― J. Krishnamurti
This deeply engrained process of evaluating what we experience as bad, wrong, condemnable can dominate our lives. It is embedded in the language we use to describe and communicate our experience.
At that point, I was able to look deeply and explore the paradoxical nature of "Self. " Just "who" the hell it is that doesn't like "who?" Peering at that brought a sense of wonder -- and a chuckle.
(READ MORE....A FEW TIPS ON PRACTICE)
1. Clarify your intention. The actual bottom line of Mindfulness Meditation is not changing yourself from "bad" to "good". That can just be another product of Judgment Mind. Try not to set up your Practice as yet another cycle of warfare against "yourself", another ego trip. The object is to "come as you are you are" to the process and engage in a journey to explore the nature of your own mind. Mindfulness is nothing more, nothing less than Seeing your own experience as it is.
Patience and Persistence are both the means -- and the ends -- of Practice. There is a quality of consciousness accessible to all, experienced by most of us already in special moments (oftentimes without noticing it). Cultivating a more consistent connection to that aspect of mind will take commitment, time, and what one of my teachers called "effortless effort".
Relax -- and keep Practicing.
3. Just Take Notice. The "noting practice" taught by various schools of Buddhism as part of Shamatha Meditation can be a useful means of identifying and releasing moments of Judgment Mind. Generally used in conjunction with Mindfulness of Breathing, this technique calls for us to make the mental note "thinking" when we notice that our attention has been drawn from a primary focus on the sensation of breathing into the realm of thought. Noting the quality of that mental note, your inner monologue's "tone of voice", can indicate the presence of Judgment Mind. Is is harsh, carping, frustrated, whinny? If so, take the opportunity to pause and take at deep breath -- and repeat the mental note, "thinking", with greater kindness and compassion for yourself -- and all sentient beings.
The noting practice can be done at any point during the day, not just on the meditation cushion.
The Bottom Line?
Thankfully, we have the capacity to determine, in part, the nature of that change. Every day is Judgment Day -- or not. With Practice, we do have a choice in the matter -- moment to moment.
The bottom line?
We don't have to stay stuck in the same conditioned rut. Instead, Life can be a Groove!