Non-Judgement Day is Here!

21 May .. Happy Non-Judgement Day!

Why do we judge?  Well, for lots of reasons.  Often, it’s an instinctive response to a situation we are unfamiliar with, so we do it to protect ourselves.  Mostly, when we get past reasons and excuses, judgment can be reduced to a single motivation – fear.

For all our attempts otherwise, we are fearful beings.  We fear the unknown and what we don’t know.  We fear not being ‘normal’ or ‘fitting in’, we fear appearing to be ‘inadequate’ or ‘uninformed’, or we fear not being able to express our ‘true feelings’.  We fear because it’s easier to look outside our self than to peer into depths left so unexplored that sitting quietly with self can be a daunting experience.

And so we judge others.  Just remember: When you point a finger at another, there are three more pointing back at you.  (Karma or Threefold Law, anyone?)

So how do we break the cycle of judgment?  First, we need to understand what ‘judgment’ means.  For example, today – 21 May 2011 – is a good day to start because for many, this is ‘Judgement Day’, the day when god comes to hand out the ‘final and eternal judgment’ upon every nation.

To begin, lets determine what judgment is.  When someone wears something we never would, or they don’t know something that we do know or assume that ‘everyone knows’, or their sexual lifestyle is ‘odd’ or ‘disgusting’, or their religion is ‘out there’ or ‘misguided’, or how much money they have or don’t have, or if they are disabled or sick, or if we in any way come to a conclusion about who they are and how they will respond to any given situation based on these things (and more), that is judgment.

Mostly, judgment is defined by ‘society’, or what ‘society’ deems it to be, so that ‘society’ has assigned neat little tags that we can label people with so we know how exactly how to judge them.  For example, we judge based on what is ‘normal’ and ‘perfect’; but, who defines what is ‘normal’ and ‘perfect’, and who is ‘society’?

To begin, ‘normal’ is a setting on a washing machine, along with ‘casual’, ‘heavy duty’, ‘delicate’, ‘bulky’, ‘hand wash’, ‘wrinkle free’, ‘steam’, ‘rapid/speed’, and ‘rinse/spin’.

Personally, some days I wake up feeling ‘heavy duty’ – either ready to take on the world or tired and lethargic.  Other days I get concerned or stressed, so need some ‘wrinkle free’ because I may feel ‘delicate’.  When in a hurry, ‘rapid/speed’ is nice, and if I eat too much I feel ‘bulky’.  Mostly I have ‘casual’ days, and when walking in the words, contemplating life, I experience a refreshing ‘rinse/spin’, which are always, of course, ‘hand wash’ days.

Because every soul we encounter is coming from a different ‘setting’ (mind-set, culture, circumstance, background, what have you), then our soul-self – our unique reflective essence – can never be ‘right’, or ‘perfectly’ match the setting of another in any particular encounter.  Sure, sometimes we meet others who – at that very moment – share our ‘setting’, but mostly, not.

Therefore, it seems to me that ‘normal’ is recognizing that everyone I meet may be on a different ‘setting’.  And instead of being ‘agitated’ by this, I allow myself to be like water .. to gentle flow in the moment.

When we meet another, if we allow ourselves to be ‘light’ and ‘soak/pause’, then we may determine another soul’s setting, or not.  Honestly, it doesn’t matter if we do or not, and that too is normal.  Think about it: Dirt gets on clothing, so we wash clothing to remove what clings / attaches to it.

In Yoga Philosophy, ‘attachment’ is abhiman, and ‘non-attachment’ – to be removed from the dirt that gets on us, is asamsakti.  Likewise, ‘clinging’ is upadana, and there are plenty of things we cling to; such as harmful perspectives, over-indulgence, religious or worldviews, and self-doctrine.  Mind you, none of these things are ‘bad’, but they can weigh down the garment of our body/skin when they become measures for the ‘cleanliness’ of others.

So, on Non-Judgment Day, 21 May, I have decided to contemplate acceptance for others, to honestly listen to what they have to say, to understand where I can, and where I cannot .. to not be concerned.  It’s a very good day to not be attached to pre-conceived ideas, to take a sincere look at being ‘sincere’, at what it means to be ‘thoughtful’ towards others, and ‘peaceful’ or non-agitated in all my doings.

Truth is such a precious thing, for akin to trash and treasure, one man’s truth is another man’s fear.

Each of us walks upon the Great Wheel .. some on the outer rim, some on the many spokes.  Some have arrived at the outer hub, and some, once there, seek the spiral that leads deeper still.  Who then can judge another for their place, their particular ‘setting’?

When we grow towards our true self, it is not necessary for others to do the same; for truth brings height, and that amounts to perspective, and that means we have not forgotten the many ‘settings’ we have already experienced, and may yet experience again.

Breath Well!  Smile Often!

Yogini Valarie Devi


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