We all do it. Some more than others. But no one is innocent of being judgemental. It’s an unhealthy emotional practice to judge. It’s funny though, we all think we don’t judge but more often than not, the moment we begin the non-judging practice we have this realisation that we live in constant judgement. Literally judging every person who we encounter, even those on TV or social media who may not even know.
Why do we do it?
Judging is a learned behaviour which our ego loves. We learn this behaviour from our parents, teachers and peers and carry it on. It makes perfect sense, seeing as we are tribal. We want to be part of a tribe, we are ‘in’ and they are ‘out’. But the problem is that we judge everything…
In mindfulness practice, one of the 7 pillars of mindfulness is practising non-judgement. When we judge, we strengthen our ego, we give it power. Our ego tends to be a naughty manipulator who wants to get their own way and will stop at nothing to do so. This naughty manipulator only serves to cause drama in our lives so is best kept on a tight leash.
Judgements separate you from the world around you. They only isolate you.
Tips for practising non-judgement:
- Recognise that is the ‘ego’, not you that is judging and allow yourself to step back mentally.
- Ask yourself: “Why am I judging?”
- Try to remember that it’s about staying neutral, not about being positive all the time.
- Realise that once you start paying attention and specifically watching out for judgemental thoughts, at first there will seem more than you thought! Gradually there will naturally become less.
- Practice the thought observation meditations/mindfulness exercises.
It’s important to distinguish between what is a judgement and what is voicing your opinion. For example, you may not like the taste of coconut for example but that is quite personal to you and is not a judgement. Common sense must be called into use here somewhat.
The fact is, none of us is perfect and whilst our egos may find it momentarily pleasurable to cast judgements on those around us, ultimately we are left feeling guilty, bad about ourselves or with unrealistic expectations for ourselves. No good comes of this. If this isn’t a reason to practice non-judgement daily I don’t know what is!
If you wish to meditate on non-judgement, a fantastic FREE app to use is Insight Timer