Hopefully we’ve been lucky enough to have a good sleep, and a satisfying waking process that was in the most meaningful ways, similar to the one discussed at the outset of this series. From there, we’ve done most of what we can do to ensure we’re in a positive frame of mind to take on today’s simple meditation.
Today’s meditation is about learning to watch ourselves without the impulse to define ourselves as wrong or broken, and without the impulse to ‘do better.’
Rather than a constant ‘want’ to be a better person, we want to experiment with the idea of seeing ourselves in the way we might imagine a compassionate God might. In an entirely forgiving way, where we see ourselves as just fine, as we are.
This open and accepting way is also how scientists view nature. Ants are neither right or wrong by doing this or that, they are simply being ants. The scientists simply attempt to understand the origins and purpose of these behaviours, they don’t pass moral judgment on them. We’re going to do the same thing with ourselves, which achieves two ends.
Firstly, we learn to get more distance between the us that creates our ego, and the thoughts we produce to create our ego’s life. And secondly, if we do that, then we can assume the God-like or Scientist-like view on our actions, so that we can see them more honestly for maybe the first time ever.
MORNING MEDITATION NINE
For today, our meditation is to simply watch for judgments we’re making of any kind. If it suits us, we can count as many as we can notice –which will only be a small portion of them if we’re not experienced at this.
It helps if we can divide up the ones against ourselves; from those against someone specific; and also those that are against any form of ‘them.’ The ‘thems‘ can come in the form of anything from a profession, to a political party, fans of something, or even some high school group that we keep dredging up memories of.
We can have judgmental thoughts about other’s opinions, genders, or even ethnic groups. We can judge our history, our future, and our character. But note: no matter how valid we’ve judged our own beliefs to be, we are counting total judgments, not just ones we’re ashamed of, or ones we want to stop. All judgments, even if they’re compliments.
That’s it. Easy huh? Yet this is really one of the bigger ones from the perspective everyone’s seeking. The upside is, we’ve done nine of these now, and each of these is helping us to remain more and more conscious as we do each one.
In addition to that invisible benefit, as we do these, each day’s targeted effort exposes another aspect of reality for us to remember to watch for from now on. Accumulatively, that can have a massive effect on our lives.
The hardest part about today won’t be finding judgments. We make them all day. It’ll be staying conscious enough to notice them. But that’s okay, because learning to ‘lift that psychological weight’ is what this all really about: learning to stay more conscious.
I look forward to seeing you for tonight’s meditation, which I will put below right now due to time zone differences between my readers. This should allow all of you to jump in on any day and to start moving down the flow of the meditations at the pace that suits your life. I hope you all find this works better for your current needs.
Just don’t forget to enjoy doing these.
EVENING MEDITATION NINE
This evening we will be focused on our list of judgments noted during the day. We want to look back carefully at each segment of the day. What was the balance between who our judgments were aimed at? Ourselves, family, friends, others, other groups? Our own group?
Was there a pattern to the shape or form of our judgments? Did some cause more chain reactions than others? Were they harsher before or after certain experiences? Or with certain people? Was one thread of judgments worse than others? In what ways? Why?
We literally want to get to know ourselves. How were our judgments phrased? Where in our history did our phrasing come from? Was it truly valid when it was said to us (or when we said it to ourselves), or was it just someone else’s common, programmed reaction to life?
How were the people who raised us in similar situations? Did they make or receive similar judgments?
As we ponder those questions there are no easy, clear answers. But our consideration of the questions can help us understand the relationship between the outside of our heads world of the ocean, and the inside of our heads world of our boat and our ability to sail it.
We all become more compassionate with ourselves and others when we can truly recognize how innocent and ephemeral everyone’s thought-based sense of reality truly is. We all acquire these ideas without even noticing. Our thoughts are like the water a fish swims in. It all starts off as invisible to the swimmer.
If we do this earnestly, that alone is incredibly helpful when it comes to judgment. Because only then can we truly grasp the fact that, just because we think something does not mean it’s true, or that it needs to be acted on, or that we have some obligation to keep thinking it. We have to make our intellectual understanding of that idea into something livable.
Once we’ve meditated long enough on the relationship between ourselves and what we perceive as our external ‘reality,’ we come to know that, in a profound way, it’s been us steering our experiences the entire time.
Yes, in life we still have to accept the vagaries of the ocean, and the reality of rocks, and the shoreline, and other ship’s conflicting paths. But in the mental silence that frees us of all of our self-created judgments, we can suddenly find ourselves miraculously anchored to a true sense of acceptance and belonging that only then do we realize has always been ours to enjoy.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.