Judgment is More Hazardous Than Junk Food!
We live in an era of fads, and diet is no exception. The proponents of various diets decry the bene!ts of their latest !nd with religious conviction. Whether it is the latest Paleo, Atkins, carb- free, vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, raw food, or juice fast diet. Their advocates claim that “their” diet is the best. For a period of time they see bene!ts in terms of weight loss, increased energy, and greater vibrancy, but the minute that “stress” enters their life, the diet usually falls by the wayside, a rebound e”ect occurs, and the weight comes piling back on!
I am not anti-diet! Diets can actually serve a very useful purpose of bringing about an even more important fundamental shift with the development of awareness. No matter what the latest “diet” may be, being on a diet does give one the bene!t of feedback as to how ones’ system feels and responds to a change. This newfound awareness brings about other changes in lifestyle, exercise, relationships, and even attitudes and thinking.
There is nothing more “o”-putting” than an individual, a friend, a group, an employer or even an organization that has made the judgment that “their” way is the only way. Many religious groups and spiritual organizations have come to this conclusion. Preying on the faint hearted and vulnerable who have not established their own identity and clarity of thinking, these groups inculcate a strong sense of pride in their followers that “their” way is the right way, and that anything else is simply false. Judgment then becomes a way of life. Judgment creates division. Judgment promotes compartments. Judgment sees everything as separate. Seen in its most raw form, judgment is an intellectual type of violence. The minute we make a judgment, automatically we have excluded any other way of seeing or being. Some individuals that take to a “spiritual path” or a “health path” then become judgmental to those who do not !t into their way of living. Vegetarians judge meat eaters; vegans judge lacto-ovo vegetarians; exercise fanatics judge the obese; tee totallers judge drinkers. How deceptive the mind can be!
Next time you are in a conversation with someone new, particularly with a very judgmental person, notice how his or her pattern of questioning goes. The whole purpose of the series of questions or comments may be to come a conclusion or judgment about you. In a society that places a high priority on
money, status, and fame, the questions often serves the purpose of placing you in a category. This may actually be an entirely innocent way of interacting from the other party, that has simply become a pattern of being.
It reminds me of an Indian mystic, Yogi RamsuratKumar from the famous holy city of Thiruvannamalai in South India. He was known as the smoking Saint! He always had a cigarette in his hand and was a chain smoker, but the fragrance of tobacco was never there. Those who lived in judgment never came near him. They missed his point. He had pearls to o”er the sincere seeker who was able to drop judgment and listen to him with a non-judgmental mind.
On the other hand, observe a 5-year-old child and how they relate to the world around them. It takes the mind of a child that looks at everything with an innocent tenderness to eliminate this need to judge everything. However, it is not simply a matter of behaving or being like a child again. This again is another crafty form of deception that the mind has got accustomed to! In the same way that darkness may only be removed by light, the only way to remove the judgment tendency is to bring in awareness.
So if you are tired of a life of judgment, make a pledge, that on this day I will not judge and try carrying that through the day. You will !nd again and again, that judgment has become your way of life. Only by practice and with continual awareness can those moments of judgment be detected. As soon as you become aware of a moment of judgment, try replacing it with compassion. Judgment is like a super!cial ripple, whilst compassion is as deep as an ocean. Every ripple is di”erent, but at the depths of the ocean everything is uni!ed.
Step 1:Detect moments of judgment
Step 2:Replace judgment with compassion
Step 3:Observe the lightness that comes with a compassionate disposition