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Loving Your Judgments

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Q: I feel "caught" in not being able to be free of judgment, primarily against selfish, greedy people and especially political leaders (including most Republicans), and can't seem to let it go in order to love them or even "forgive them for they know not what they do." Might this be because I haven't been able to forgive myself from judgment based on shame, fear, righteousness, and probably karma playing a part here that gets projected onto others? Is there  anything to do about this?

A: There is a simple approach to try when you are feeling especially judgmental. The trick is to start by giving love to your own judgments and any other feelings you have about other people or situations. Love, in its essence, is simply the flow of attention and space or acceptance to objects or experiences. You do not have to like something in order to give it attention and the space to simply be here.

But again, the trick is to start with your own judgments. Can you simply be curious about your judgments and give them space to be here? I would suggest you probably already are giving them attention and are curious about them. And in the moments when you are experiencing them, you are also probably already letting them be here (although you can also start judging your own judgments, but then you can simply give attention and space to your judgment of your own judgments).

It is a trick because your actual true nature is love. You are always giving space and attention to something in every moment anyways. All you need to do is start right where you are, and notice what it is that you are already "loving" with your spacious attention.

Once you get the feel of how simple and natural love really is, then it is a much smaller step to play with giving that same kind of open attention to something you don't like or have judgments about. You can get some momentum going on the things you are already accepting and noticing, and then move on to accepting and noticing more and more of your experience. Eventually, you can create a new habit where your default becomes to simply notice and accept whatever appears in your experience.

Paradoxically, that is what is already happening anyways. When you have strong judgments, you are not actually experiencing the thing you are judging. What you are actually experiencing in the moment of judging is your own judgment. And in that exact moment, you are loving (giving space and attention to) your own judgment (not to whatever you are judging). I know it might sound like a play on words, but truly when we are experiencing judgment, we are also loving the experience of judgment. It actually is the only way we can experience anything is by giving it space to be here and then paying attention to it. If we are not doing that, then we are not experiencing it, although we are definitely experiencing something else in that moment that we are giving space and attention to instead.

If you do this consciously by actively choosing to give space and attention to something, you may discover how simple love really is, and how ever-present it actually is. Learning to love is like learning to have shoulders.....all you need to do is notice that you already have shoulders. Here is an article that expands on the possibility of giving love freely to anything and everything you experience:
https://endless-satsang.com/lovearticle.htm
And several more articles about this topic are listed here: https://endless-satsang.com/search.htm?searchword=love

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Desire, Manifesting and Letting Go

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I had a discussion recently with some friends about manifesting. Someone shared the pointer that the key to manifesting is to imagine having what you desire and then letting all thoughts about it go. Upon reflecting some more, it seems the key is letting go of the desire or the wanting, or else the thoughts about the object of desire just keep coming back.

This is not always easy. If only there was a little switch inside that turned off the desire!

Another approach is to explore the nature of desire itself. I wrote some about this a while back in an answer to someone's question:

Q: As I go through the teachings & transmissions you and Gina offer, I understand the need to let go of the egoic mind to be in the present moment. But, how does one “deal” in present time with current family members who have inflicted harm? For example, there’s unresolved trauma between my parents and me. Do I just walk away from the relationships? I have no desire to hold onto the pain, but I also have no desire to be around them at this time in my life. That does not feel like a loving place to me & it creates conflict. Yet, I’m not willing to compromise my own emotional safety - and set myself back on my path.

In an ideal world I hope to return to a place of love so I can spend time with them again before they die. But, I’ve not been able to do that for over a year now, and I have judgements towards myself because of it. Forgiveness has been elusive so far, though I am not giving up.

A: Thanks for your question,. I will answer from a different perspective than you might be used to. I would suggest that the only way this situation is a "problem" is because you have conflicting desires about it. You want to stay away from your parents and you want to connect with them and heal the relationships. You want to forgive and you want to protect yourself.

Surprisingly, there is actually no problem even with equal and opposite desires. That is simply the nature of desire in us humans: we want everything and its opposite. In fact, we truly want literally everything because desire does not cost us anything, so we want things with abandon! This is OK if we can just let the desires be here. In a strange way, when we let all of the different and even opposite desires just be here, then they do not matter as much. If you recognize that you want something and its opposite, then no matter what happens you both get what you want and do not get what you want. So it no longer matters what happens.

When for a moment, you just let all of your desires be here in all of their many directions and intensities, then they all cancel out. You are left simply being here and life becomes strangely simple and quiet. You still want what you want (which is everything and its opposite), but you know that those desires do not really matter. This frees your attention to notice what else is here besides desire, such as the mystery and wonder of every simple moment just as it is.

In this totality of acceptance, action will still arise. You may reach out to your parents or you may move away from them. You may find yourself forgiving them more completely, or you may find yourself feeling the same way towards them. Often from the place of acceptance of all of our desires and feelings in a particular situation, the actions you take are surprisingly appropriate and effective. But even when they seem to not be very helpful, you still are OK with that also. And sometimes, you then discover that in the long run, it was actually the best thing you could have done after all. In this place of acceptance, our deeper intution can flow more freely to guide us from within, even if our mind is still questioning.

My teacher, Neelam, always gave me great advice. Whenever I had a question about what to do about something, she would say, "Don't give it another thought. If something is meant to happen it will and if it is not meant to happen, there is nothing you can do to make it happen." I am naturally lazy, so I really liked the advice to let it all go. And sure enough, when I stopped worrying about the situation, it would naturally and effortlessly shift in an apparently positive way, sometimes due to my own actions and sometimes without me doing anything. But again, even when things shifted, it just meant I was still getting what I wanted and also not getting what I wanted. That is the inherent dilemma of the world of duality, but it only is a place of suffering if you think it should be different.

Desires are like a compass that points in all directions. That is just their nature. But, you might as well ignore a compass like that! The sense of inner conflict is only present when you think that your desires are important and that they matter. Without that attitude, they simply are something you can pretty much ignore or at least hold very lightly. Then the sense of inner conflict and the suffering it engenders subside, and right action may or may not arise. The simplest solution to any "problem" is to stop seeing it as a problem.