50 Days of Meditation: Day 23

By observing myself over the last twenty two days I have uncovered the pattern of my mind: I make a judgement about something, followed by the opposite judgement to try to neutralize the first, followed by a realization about what just occurred, followed by a moment of mental silence and transcendence.

Here are some examples:

While driving to work a car cut me off. I rushed instantly to negative judgements: “What a jerk! He’s got to be stupid.”

I quickly realize I’ve succumb to negative thoughts. I catch myself and promptly make an opposite, positive judgement to atone for my sin: “He’s probably a nice guy. He’s smart; everyone is entitled to one mistake.”

In this moment I see that both judgements were forms of resistance. Being cut off was contrary to my desires so I indicate this with my negative statement- this is my first form of resistance. But I resist my resistance by battling myself with a positive judgement. I am locked in a debate in my mind.

I let go of both judgements and let the situation be as it is. I am instantly at peace.

The same situation plays out in reverse: I see an attractive woman leaving a store. I think to myself: “What a pretty lady.”

I realize quickly that I am privileging this woman over other people on superficial grounds. I attempt to balance the scale with a negative comment: “She’s not that great; what a burden it must be to be pretty and be judged superficially by everyone.”

Rather than begin with resistance, here I begin with desire. This situation pleases me. But realizing my desire I begin to resist. I am now trapped in the same internal debate.

In both examples I have bought into the illusion – I am battling the mind with the mind.

Liberation is not achieved through positive judgements: it’s achieved by relinquishing judgment and taking each situation as it is – nothing more, nothing less. The goal is to let circumstances be as they are without calling them good or bad. No desire, no resistance.

If judgements arise, let them be. They will run their course if allowed to pass; there is no reason to debate them. Offer them up to God.

True peace is found in the silence that comes from the absence of judgement. True spiritual power is achieved by silencing the self, not from arbitrating the good from the bad. Positive judgements are hubris. They imply that you grant or condone what is good. That is not for you to decide. If it is true that only God can judge, then our primary task is to cultivate submissive humility to God. In all things and situations, offer judgement up to God and be still in His presence. Only from this peace and stillness can you offer true love and understanding.

 

 

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