"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

Tag: judgment

“acceptance” . . .

You know how people talk about “just accept it,” as though if you acquiesce and accept whatever, that it will make it okay? The zen book I am reading, “Being Zen,” handily counters this notion by saying it’s much deeper than acceptance. That living your life as your practice means that it would help if you realize what your expectations might be and that they are the real root of the problem of being unhappy. A real no-no. Because if you don’t have whatever expectations you might have about how life ought to be, then there’s nothing to accept, per se.

To put it another way, we, in our American culture, have a lot of expectations. Some might even say that they’re part of an “entitled” world view: every man and woman is able to pursue his or her American Dream and succeed to some degree, find the love of your life, bear beautiful, inspiring children, live in homes with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, huge flatscreen TVs, and have enough money to do and wear what you want.

If these are our widely held expectations, then there’s a lot of acceptance to be had when we’re missing some or many parts of that American dream. A Zen approach is basically to have no expectations at all and to experience the present moment for what it is, without judgment nor opinion, even. Otherwise, the book says, we are just living a “substitute life,” not a real one in a universe where we are not constantly feeling hemmed in with what’s working or not working for us.

Seems easy to describe. Harder to live by.

“judge not today”. . .

On the day after Thanksgiving, my daughter and I were browsing in a Christmas Made-By-Hand gift shop in the small town next to the cottage. One after another visitor greeted the two women at the table who were minding the store. When asked how their Thanksgiving was, there ensued various comments about the Thanksgiving that they had, their family, and the food as their conversation drifted about in the store. Not many were positive. Not overall.

Later, I wondered about where unhappiness or dissatisfaction comes from. Especially when it happens to ourselves. So today, I was browsing on I-Tunes for some cleansing music and looked in the meditation section. Lo and behold, there was Deepak Chopra, leading meditations and speaking in his musical, soulful way, giving advice for the spirit. One meditation in particular struck me and I listened to that segment a few times before purchasing it for $1.29 (isn’t I-Tunes great?) Then, I found the text on-line, provided by another grateful listener. I share it here with you today.

Deepak Chopra: “Judge Not Today”:

“Judgment creates turbulence in our mind. When there is turbulence in our mind, then it interferes with the creativity of our soul. Creativity and judgment don’t go together. Judgment also means that letting go of the need to classify things, to call them either right or wrong, to label, to define, to describe, to evaluate, to analyze.

Let go, today. Judge not today. Today I will practice non-judgment.

This affirmation is about releasing the need to be judgmental. Just make this your lesson today. Consider what happens when you judge someone – it makes another person wrong. Someone else is wrong to feel a certain way, to look a certain way, to hold certain opinions. Judgment immediately creates separation. Any person who is wrong then becomes ‘them’. The need to judge arises from the need to be isolated – this is the ego’s form of defense. But at the same time you are pulling away from your true self. The same walls that keep other people away also shut off the flow of Spirit.
When you learn not to judge, you are basically saying, “I am willing to let anything in without deciding first whether it is good or bad.”

In the practice of openness, you will be inviting your soul to be intimate with you. So put your attention in your heart right now, and just repeat to yourself:

Today, I will judge nothing that occurs.
Today, I will judge nothing that occurs.
Today, I will judge nothing that occurs.
And by letting go of my judgments today, I will experience silence in my mind.
By shedding the burden of judgment today, I will experience silence in my mind.
And in this silence, I will find the ecstatic impulse, which is also the evolutionary impulse of the universe.
And I will align myself with the ecstatic evolutionary impulse of the universe, by letting go of all my judgments.
Today, I will not classify
I will not label
I will not define
I will not describe
I will not evaluate
I will not analyze.
Today, I will shed the burden of judgment.”

I thought it was pretty wise and maybe today, I can follow his suggestions. We can all be defensive about whether we are judgmental or not. Actually though, I don’t think I know anyone who isn’t judgmental because it’s hard to distinguish when we’re thinking about something to then realize we are being judgmental just by HOW we are thinking about it.

Anyway, it’s worth a try, don’t you think?