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The Shift From Judgment to Curiosity

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, we're going to explore the value of moving out of judgment and into curiosity. So you see an old friend and the mind says, oh, she looks really well. Walk through the park and the mind says, oh, this is not such a nice park. I've seen better.

See yourself in the mirror and the voice says something like, oh, I need to lose weight. This is the human mind. You know, it's wired in such a way that it's constantly making judgments like this as we go about our lives. Judgment is our mind's shortcut to kind of getting a grip on what's happening around us in any given moment. So every time your mind judges something, it can kind of put it aside and that frees mental energy to scan the surroundings for dangers or threats.

This was an essential survival strategy for our hunter gatherer ancestors. So the biggest challenge now with having lots of strong judgments, viewpoints and opinions and preconceived notions is that many of them are really unhelpful and negative. They can be the source of shame, anger, and anxiety. They can really limit our potential and be the source of bias, conflict, misperception of reality. Let's say you think someone is a horrible person, so you feel negative feelings towards them.

If you can let go of that judgment and become curious about understanding this person more fully, you might just come to see that, oh, you know, they actually just made this one mistake on this one day, but they're not always like that. They're not a totally miserable person. They're also kind and generous sometimes too. So when we drop all the judgments, all the negativity towards this other person subsides as well, and we're able to see a more full picture of reality. So the antidote to judgment really is this kind of curiosity.

So curiosity doesn't assume it knows the answer or label things as right or wrong, good or bad victim or villain. Curiosity, doesn't put people in a box or assign moral values to things. Curiosity let's go of rigid mental positions and simply pays attention. Instead of evaluating, curiosity listens and looks deeper. When you approach things with curiosity, your mind is open, your heart is soft and transformation is possible.

Now Buddhist nun and bestselling author, Pema Chodron encourages a simple practice when judgments arise. And I really love this. I use it a lot. She says, you know, when a judgment arises, just saying to yourself: You know what? I might be wrong. I'm really playful with this.

So if my mind says that person's just selfish, I say to myself, or I might be wrong. My mind says to myself in the mirror, you know, you're not good enough to do that thing. And I say, Hmm, yeah. Or I might be totally wrong. So today I encourage you to have a play with this practice and see how it feels for you.

I think you'll find that curiosity really is the key to letting go of judgment. So be curious with yourself. Be curious with others. And you'll naturally uncover more peace of mind. So as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here.

Let's settle in now, but today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

The Shift From Judgment to Curiosity

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, we're going to explore the value of moving out of judgment and into curiosity. So you see an old friend and the mind says, oh, she looks really well. Walk through the park and the mind says, oh, this is not such a nice park. I've seen better.

See yourself in the mirror and the voice says something like, oh, I need to lose weight. This is the human mind. You know, it's wired in such a way that it's constantly making judgments like this as we go about our lives. Judgment is our mind's shortcut to kind of getting a grip on what's happening around us in any given moment. So every time your mind judges something, it can kind of put it aside and that frees mental energy to scan the surroundings for dangers or threats.

This was an essential survival strategy for our hunter gatherer ancestors. So the biggest challenge now with having lots of strong judgments, viewpoints and opinions and preconceived notions is that many of them are really unhelpful and negative. They can be the source of shame, anger, and anxiety. They can really limit our potential and be the source of bias, conflict, misperception of reality. Let's say you think someone is a horrible person, so you feel negative feelings towards them.

If you can let go of that judgment and become curious about understanding this person more fully, you might just come to see that, oh, you know, they actually just made this one mistake on this one day, but they're not always like that. They're not a totally miserable person. They're also kind and generous sometimes too. So when we drop all the judgments, all the negativity towards this other person subsides as well, and we're able to see a more full picture of reality. So the antidote to judgment really is this kind of curiosity.

So curiosity doesn't assume it knows the answer or label things as right or wrong, good or bad victim or villain. Curiosity, doesn't put people in a box or assign moral values to things. Curiosity let's go of rigid mental positions and simply pays attention. Instead of evaluating, curiosity listens and looks deeper. When you approach things with curiosity, your mind is open, your heart is soft and transformation is possible.

Now Buddhist nun and bestselling author, Pema Chodron encourages a simple practice when judgments arise. And I really love this. I use it a lot. She says, you know, when a judgment arises, just saying to yourself: You know what? I might be wrong. I'm really playful with this.

So if my mind says that person's just selfish, I say to myself, or I might be wrong. My mind says to myself in the mirror, you know, you're not good enough to do that thing. And I say, Hmm, yeah. Or I might be totally wrong. So today I encourage you to have a play with this practice and see how it feels for you.

I think you'll find that curiosity really is the key to letting go of judgment. So be curious with yourself. Be curious with others. And you'll naturally uncover more peace of mind. So as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here.

Let's settle in now, but today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

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