Lonnie R.:The Dharma teaches us that we should try to see things as they are without judgment. I have always had trouble with this because I am a very judgmental person. Can you give me some advice on how to see things without judgment.
Lama Surya Das: First, let me say, since we’re alone here and what happens on the Internet stays on the Internet, as they say.
I can personally empathize with you and understand that it’s difficult to be free of judgment, especially self-judgment. Those inner voices (from the past, mostly) just don’t seem to stop! But that’s where meditation and self-forgiveness (including cultivating self-love, unconditional loving-kindness and compassion) comes in.
One can actually learn not to give in to and be deceived by— and tyranized by— the harsh inner critic, that Inner Tyrant, and come to just regard that cacophany of self-judgment and criticism as like an unruly group of kindergartners whom you have to oversee with a generous and loose hand. The bad news is that we are conditioned; the good news is that it is just conditioning, and we can skillfully, intelligently, learn how to recondition and even decondition ourselves, according to understanding the fundamental law of cause and effect (karma).
Engaging in spiritual practice helps us to do just that. Meditation for example helps us clear our hearts and minds, focus on the present moment rather than past memories and future fantasies, and vastly enhances our clarity and objectivity, which is the essence of seeing things as they are rather than as we are or as would like them to be. Then effective, appropriate action naturally and spontaneously flows.
External judgmentalism is intimately related with inner judgmentalism, and reflects the internal mental states and associated feelings of dissatisfaction, insecurity, fear of inadequacy and so forth. How can you accept others if you can’t accept yourself? Patience and forbearance goes a long way to help us accept things as they are, while genuinely caring about people and things and striving in a balanced fashion to make things better for ourselves and this entire world.
Continuously try to remain vigilant and aware of judging yourself, and accept the fact that it’s happening even while treading the path of inculcating news ways of acting, seeing and being. Awareness is curative, I assure you. Everything changes, so let’s help steer it in a positive direction. We don’t necessarily have to change things around externally or see different things in order to see things differently. This is an internal revolution. Buddhism is an inside job. Help yourself.
Submitted by Lonnie R. via Facebook on September 7th, 2010
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