Settle yourself into your practice. You know how to do this, how to find a posture that feels supportive. How to find stillness in the body, how to make adjustments and movements that allow you to sit comfortably, without feeling distracted by discomfort.
If you settle into a posture and it doesn’t feel right, feel free to move again. Your meditation practice is a space of relaxation, and a space of experimentation. And you are always free to experiment with the way you sit physically in meditation.
Notice your breath. How does the breath feel? Note, notice the length of the breath, the depth of the breath. Perhaps you are breathing deeply and easily today. Perhaps not so much. There’s no right or wrong. Simply notice the breath.
The other thing we’re noticing in today’s practice, is judgments, judgments of others, and also judgments of yourself. Bring to mind someone you often think badly about. It might feel uncomfortable to be asked to do this. Because when we think unkind thoughts about someone else, we often also judge ourselves harshly just for thinking those thoughts. But we’ll get to that in a few minutes. First, bring to mind a person you think negative thoughts about?
And then bring to mind one or two of those negative thoughts? What judgments do you make about this person? Your judgments of them may be rooted in good, rational reasons. Or they may not. For the purpose of this practice, it doesn’t matter. You don’t need to question or justify the validity of your judgments.
Instead, simply notice what those judgments are. What kind of person do you think they are? What kind of flow Do you think they have? Allow yourself to look at these thoughts. Allow them to sit here in this space with you.
And then let them go. Bring the awareness now to the feelings that have come up about yourself when you bring these negative judgments about someone else into your mind
It may be easily evident that you feel ashamed of those thoughts. Or your mind may try to cover up other feelings by justifying your thoughts. Reminding you have the validity of your judgments by judging the other person even further.
Notice how you think and feel about yourself. When you engage in judgments about another person it’s all okay By the way, it’s all a part of how our minds work. And actually, by drawing these thoughts and feelings close to you, in this safe, calm space of meditation practice, you are building your ability to observe your judgments, to witness them, to look at them from a place of calm. Instead of from a place of emotional reactivity and mental stress.
You are capable of observing your judgments of others and of yourself without being hurt by them. You can be curious about this function of your mind. Curious about the way in which your mind constructs impressions and opinions.
Because judgments are a part of the way our minds work, and necessary, but if we did not make judgments at all, we’d struggle to survive. If you did not use your understanding of the world, to judge whether a person is a friend or a threat, you would be at risk of danger. Making judgments does not make you an unkind person. And being a kind person does not mean never making judgments.
Instead, when you are living with kindness, you practice a deeper awareness of the way your mind perceives others. You notice your judgments and you give yourself space to consider whether or not they are true.
You can consciously decide which judgments to base your decisions upon.
Return to your awareness of the breath. Now. Notice the natural rhythm of the breath. The body is at ease. The mind is at ease.
And you can move out of this space when you’re ready in your own time when you feel complete.
”Making judgments does not make you an unkind person. And being a kind person does not mean never making judgments.