Praise be, value judgement relaxes – into preferences rather than things which we insist on to be happy and satisfied – allowing us to see things, and accept them, as they are. Being hungry, or alone, or poor, is not something which we would choose or want, but can accept it as part of existence, as part of the polarities which life must bring forth in order to be in balance, to be complete, to experience itself in all possible ways. We accept that cold and hot, long and short, young and old, strong and weak, healthy and sick are, respectively, opposite ends of the same axis, axes which can only exist with two ends.
Tibetan teachers say that there are three main attitudes which hold us back: Holding on to things; pushing things away; and simply not wanting to know. I have watched people doing all three for many years and I must say, my experience totally substantiates this teaching. It is a fantastic practical elaboration of the basic idea ‘a judgemental attitude’. In fact, it is so basic, so important, that I’ll repeat it, for you to observe in daily life, and in particular in yourself:
- Holding on to things
- Pushing things away
- Simply not wanting to know
Observe this enough and you will sooner or later be so fed up with it, so sick of it, that you will, bit by bit, or even in one big step, stop doing it (or at least, distance yourself from it, not take it so seriously, not define yourself by having successfully held on, pushed away or ignored).
Good and bad are in the realm of the mind only. Disown whatever you get from the mind.
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, in ‘Seeds of Consciousness’, talks edited by Jean Dunn.
The relaxation of the judgemental attitude has a very welcome side-effect: Not judging oneself. This makes space for you to become aware of something which was there all along, but unnoticed, eclipsed: I love myself, I accept myself totally.
Exercises: Simply notice when you are insisting, holding on, pushing away or ignoring. Do not judge yourself for doing this, just notice it, and understand that it is there for a reason. It is trying to protect you / your integrity / your world view, whatever. Picture it as a little demon, perched on your shoulder and whispering in your ear. Strike up a conversation with the demon, try and make a deal with it to let up a bit and see what happens. Cultivate the mentality of preferences rather than insisting on things.