The idea of operating from the state of no-judgment was introduced to me through a course at New Equations in 2005. We all talked about being judgmental and being judged frequently. But what does operating from the state of no-judgment really means? What does it look like?
I had no idea what this no-judgment nonsense mean at all when I first encountered it. I was thoroughly confused. I have to admit that I still do not know entirely what it means, and never mind about mastering the skill! I feel it is one of those “peeling the onion” experience (like peeling an onion, you learn a bit/layer at a time). My last posting/learning regarding my mom is exactly one of those learning that revealed itself when I peeled away a layer of this onion of life!
Today, I gather that when operating from a state of judgment means you see things as they are without adding any of your idea why or what it is about. Basically, see things as “it is what it is” and STOP there. For example, say a friend who normal gives you a Christmas present every year, suddenly stopped doing so. The truth is this person stops giving you present because this is what you see and it is a fact. But most of us go one step (or a few more) further. We begin to wonder why and then we start making stories about them and ourselves. Stories that can us lead to believe that they are cheap, inconsiderate, broke, snotty and we are unworthy; bad; greedy and deserve not to receive anything. These negative judgments start to colour how we look at ourselves and them. Their sole purpose is to separate and place s distance between us.
At my very first New Equations retreat, before the notion of no-judgment was introduced to me, I was paired with a roommate that is sensitive to snoring and I tend to make noise when I sleep. I have learned to wear earplugs when I need to share a room with another person. This person was a well seasoned no-judgment participant at the retreat. The next morning, he mentioned that he could not sleep well because of my snoring and before I began to launch into any justification of my nocturnal action, he immediately said,” No judgment please”. I did not know what it meant. I felt being cut off and on top of that he moved to another room. Guess what happened next? I began to beat up and judge myself. I was so preoccupied with the task that it took me away from being fully present at a good part of the retreat and I was not able to form any sort of relationship with this participant.
Being judgmental takes me away from experiencing happiness. It causes me to make up a bunch of negative stories which prevent me to enjoy the situation, thing or company of a person. I am NEVER happy when I am in a judgmental mood. When I find myself in the company of judgmental folks, we would immediately begin a hay ride of complaining and bitching about other people and what is worst is we make ourselves to believe that we are having a good time.
Being non-judgmental is not easy. We have been brought up and conditioned to judge. Most if not all of us have no idea how to function daily without judging anyone, anything. It takes you years to become who you are. It is really unrealistic to think that you can change everything around just like that. One baby step at a time. Be aware when you judge and see where you are going to go with it. You have the choice.
Most important of all, be KIND and patient with yourself when you begin your no-judgment training!
I am happy.