Today there seems to be something wrong in my life. As I ask myself what is right with this wrong, I find my first answer very helpful.
It’s this: I’m noticing how much I am judging. These judgmental thoughts have been running around in my head, seemingly on their own, and now I am aware of them.
That is a step forward. Bigger than it may seem, for now the unconscious has become conscious, and new choices can be made.
Awareness of what is taking place unconsciously also helps me feel my emotions.
I can actually feel the suffering that the judging mind causes.
I feel the burning indignation, the heaviness of shame and all the unpleasantness.
Then I look for my motivation for making this judgment, and I find it is not very pure. Fear is at the bottom. I admit that this is what I was believing. Another not so pleasant truth.
Judgments don’t contain truth. They will always be overstated, ego-driven and thus distorted. They are projections of our own sense of inferiority and our fears.
But here’s what’s right with the wrong: I’m noticing the judgmental mind at work. Wow. This is awareness and awareness leads to joy.
As I become aware that I am judging, I make the decision to bring myself back to the breath, back to the awareness of this very moment.
The vastness of this moment becomes interesting and worth investigating. This moment is unlike any other moment and will never occur again in just this unique way.
Then I notice that the judgments have faded away, simply dissolved. They were from old stories that have no factual basis anymore.
This is a triumph. Moment by moment awareness of what the mind is doing leads to wisdom.
Suffering is relieved by observing what the mind or the body is doing — just watching, without getting involved in any train of thought. This allows wisdom to arise naturally. Wisdom gives us new nourishing and wholesome ideas.
My intention is to watch my mind, and be aware what my body is doing. As I keep alert to what they are doing, I find increasing joy and happiness.
A wise teacher has said: “The mind does not belong to you but you are responsible for it.”
So that’s what right. Simply stay aware and observe all the “wrongs” the mind comes up with.
When practiced daily, over and over, it leads to joy.
The good news is that we don’t have to right all the wrongs, just notice, with deep awareness, and stay alert, and we will be shown what to do.
Sometimes we are guided to do nothing, and sometimes there is an action we need to take.
Wisdom will lead the way, and suffering is relieved.
The poet, Rumi says it like this:
These thoughts have such power over you
From nothing you become sad
From nothing you become happy.
You are burning in the flames.
But I will not let you out
until you are fully baked,
and fully yourself.
This is my prayer for you:
May you awaken to joy. This is your natural state. Watch your mind. It’s slippery, but powerful. Never let it run around on its own. It can get into real mischief when left to its own resources.
Keep watching — bring your attention back to the breath, and give thanks that something good is happening right now!
For it is.