A New Way to Think About Judgment

I’ve been thinking a lot about judgment. I’ve realized that being judgmental is more than off-handed comments about something superficial I’ve decided I don’t like. Judgment is also taking in new experiences in an analytical way, trying to figure out what’s happening, labeling the familiar and making assumptions based on what I’ve known in the past; putting the unfamiliar in the wtf category, tossing it aside, and searching for more input I can comfortably place. This has started to feel limiting.

This past week I’ve been going to meditation classes, like sound baths and breathwork and guided imagery, and thus I’ve been way more aware of the goings-on in my head, the thoughts. Friends, I am *constantly* trying to figure everything out! In my head it’s like “this is like this, I’ve heard that before, I already know this, I pronounce that differently.” All this space taken up with these little judgments, no room for a deeper experience! This, mind you, is going on while I’m sitting in a room quietly breathing, appearing to any outsider to be the image of peace.

In a space of silence between thoughts of how judgmental I’m noticing I am, an image came to me of eyes on my chest. Heart-eyes that see differently than my head-eyes. My heart-eyes, when looking, take everything in without commentary. They perceive, observe, witness. They are spacious and receive my experience instead of strive to understand it. My heart-eyes are open and alert, they simply aren’t able to analyze and judge.

This has become a new tool in my practice. When I tune in to my thoughts and notice how many opinions I’m forming of the things around me way too soon, I imagine those eyes on my chest. I imagine them opening up and gazing out, that I am seeing from them instead of the eyes on my head. Even though there might still be commentary up above, I’m not looking in that direction. Through gazing from my heart-eyes, I feel my heart opening, I feel more connected, I have a deeper experience of the moment, and an alternative to the judgmental, uninteresting thoughts in my head. It’s nice to have a choice: Am I going to look out of my head-eyes or my heart-eyes? They are both important perspectives, different tools for different tasks.