Judgment is a tricky thing for us to acknowledge. In November 2015, Phakchok Rinpoche taught at Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery. A major point of his teaching was on how we need to understand our minds. Rinpoche explained that Dharma means knowing our own minds. Don’t think you can know and transform your mind by studying books! We need to study our own mind to transform our own mind.
How does that relate to judgment? Look at your mind right now. It is full of many thoughts, isn’t it? Rinpoche asks us to do this examination right now– as we watch this teaching. We are in a beautiful situation. Yet if we think of something bad that happened earlier, we find ourselves full of judgment and negativity. We travel back to that situation and replay the problem. Who creates that? Our own minds!
Studying someone else’s mind is not Dharma. That is called judgment. Assuming, judging, and imagining are not Dharma. We need to be clear about that!As we observe our own minds, we probably notice that we cannot rest. We cannot let go. And we seem to never be not free from thought. No ending of our thoughts means we are in saṃsāra. We need to see that we are constantly judging.
As beginners it is good to be in a quiet calm place. Then observe the mind. See how it is spinning like crazy. When we try to rest, our mind goes off chasing after a thought. This is proof that we cannot control our thoughts. We like, we dislike. But, we are not in control. Rinpoche says that stress and anger are much easier to change. But judgment is much harder for us to eradicate. Why? Because we don’t see the situation, the problem.
Dharma practice means seeing the problem as it is. We acknowledge our judging minds. We need to see that we don’t give space to ourselves or to others. And when we judge, we always think we are right! Rinpoche tells us that we are very brave to want to see this. Now we need to make the journey. The result of that journey depends on us.