Judge For Yourself 

You are the subject. Everything else in your world is an object. Everything, and everyone.

You are always the subject, and you interact with the objects in your world. As the subject, you are also the judge. You judge every object in your world. Every moment of your existence holds a possible judgment.

You pick up an apple. You feel it in your hand. It feels smooth. You open your mouth and use the force of your jaw to take a bite. Your mouth waters. You begin to chew. Your ears hear the crunching. Your mind judges the taste. ‘This apple is delicious!’ 

You look out over the horizon. The sun is setting. You breathe in the air. You notice the swirling colors. Pink, purple, blue, orange. Your mind judges the sight. ‘What a gorgeous sunset!’ 

A couple passes by. They are wearing light, flowing clothes. They are strolling with ease, holding hands and smiling. They have well proportioned bodies and symmetrical facial features. Your mind judges them. ‘What a beautiful couple!’ 

You see a trash can. It is overflowing with garbage. There is garbage on the ground all around it. There is a group of teenagers nearby. Your mind judges the scene. ‘What an awful mess! Who would do that?’ 

You see a woman. She is walking down the street. She is wearing high heels, yellow leggings and a tube top, She has thick legs, cellulite, a protruding belly. Your mind judges her. ‘Get a load of this one!’ 

You’re spending time with a dear friend. They aren’t feeling well. They tell you their troubles. The prognosis is unfavorable. You try to lift their spirits. ‘I’m so sorry you’re going through this.’ 

You are watching the news. The anchorman is saying words. The footage of the scene is playing in the background. Your mind is judging the broadcast. ‘This is bullshit! Absolute bullshit!’

Every person, place, thing, that you come in contact with is an object of your world. You alone decide how you will judge those people, places and things. You have three basic choices for that judgment: positive, negative, and neutral. 

During the course of a day you have thousands of neutral interactions. Thousands. But most of those goes unnoticed. 

The interactions we judge as positive cause us to feel pleasure. We can hold on to that pleasure and carry it with us for a while. How long can you draw pleasure from an apple or a sunset?

The interactions we judge as negative cause us to feel frustration, anger, sadness, resentment, envy… We can hold on to those emotions and carry them with us for a while. How long can you carry anger, frustration, sadness, disgust? 

Part of a yoga practice is non-judgment. The first step towards non-judgment is noticing all of the judgments that we do make. The practice of noticing can lead to the practice of pausing. When we pause, we are less quick to pass judgment. With daily practice, the pauses grow longer and longer. Eventually, non-judgment may be achieved. 

As you move through the day, notice how you choose to judge objects, situations, people. Make a mental note of all of the neutral moments. Begin to label those neutral moments as non-negative.

Notice how quickly you judge things as good or bad, and see if you can take a pause before passing final judgment. Begin to understand which judgments you choose to carry around with you, and how long you hold them. 

Try to find just a few moments in your day where you can sit quietly, and pass no judgment at all. 

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