Changing relations (with ourselves)

“I have been surprised at my own levels of judgement.”

As part of a recent programme one attendee stated that they had become aware of judgement, or should I say the degree to which they were judging others.

My first question was to ask how often that person was aware of judging themselves.

Within the Buddhist foundations of Mindfulness there is a concept of “Clear Comprehension” which with appropriate learning leads the traveller towards “liberation and the end of suffering”. It is this end to suffering that I want to refer.

In the example I wanted to look at how that individual viewed themselves; to understand ourselves as a foundation point from which to reflect on our opinions of others.


Where are you taking yourself?

So what has this to do with suffering?

The end of suffering to which the Buddhists refer is the release from that which is created by our mind, not that which we consider to be inflicted upon us by others. It is the relationship that we choose to have with our own thoughts and bodies that create the vulnerability which exposes to ourselves to suffering.

We humans love our binary outcomes – for every potential success we create a potential failure, for every saint, we create a demon. And to steer towards that black or white option we allow our judgement to steer us.

If I were to offer you any word at random, I suggest that you will have some judgement, some opinion, something based on experience or received wisdom or … well you name it.

Finding a means to relieve this judgement can loosen the constraint of binary outcome. Without the binary measure we can begin to be more accepting of ourselves and our thinking.

How often do we judge ourselves each day? What if we were to not do that?

Could you learn to just accept yourself?

Our foundation for interacting with the world is always ourselves. If we cannot live comfortably with ourselves then the chance of doing so with others is nominal. Try to watch yourself, or should I say your mind. Watch how it treats you through the day.

Ask yourself, is it time to seek a change in your relationship with yourself?

And if it is, remember there is no silver bullet, this will take time and active practice. The journey of mindful awareness, is the journey of a lifetime. 

And always ensure that there is room on that journey to accompany yourself with compassion and kindness.

(c) The Mindful Horse, 2016