A client recently asked me how to accept others without judgement?  This has been a question I have been curious about for many years.  When I started to really dive into the practice of Engaged Buddhism, I really noticed that accepting others as is and releasing judgement is actually really difficult.  I also realized, just has the spiritual texts says,  it was my only way out of suffering.

This is a daily practice.  I do know that accepting our loved ones, or colleagues we must work with, is vital for our happiness quotient in life. Of course in many negative situations, one must leave the scenario asap, but for those non-threatening relationships, I say start with curiosity and compassion.  Ask questions. Listen deeply but when those thoughts creep in about judging, stop them dead in your tracks. 

I know that I personally have transformed negative relationships because I tried really hard to cease the judging, to let the anger go, to try to look at situations from the other perspective.  I had to look in the mirror and face facts —- see my mistakes, acknowledge them, apologize and share appreciation for the other person. This does not happen over night, but I am here to say, it works.  A little prayer does wonders too.

I am a real proponent of mindfulness practices. Meditation and living mindfully can go a long way and help alleviate our fears. This passage from Thich Nhat Hahn breaks it down…

”Most of us experience a life full of wonderful moments and difficult moments. But for many of us, even when we are most joyful, there is fear behind our joy. We fear that this moment will end, that we won’t get what we need, that we will lose what we love, or that we will not be safe. Often, our biggest fear is the knowledge that one day our bodies will cease functioning. So even when we are surrounded by all the conditions for happiness, our joy is not complete.

We may think that if we ignore our fears, they’ll go away. But if we bury worries and anxieties in our consciousness, they continue to affect us and bring us more sorrow. We are very afraid of being powerless. But we have the power to look deeply at our fears, and then fear cannot control us. We can transform our fear. Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.”

If we can remind ourselves of the beauty of now, no matter what, I think it can uplift us.  Let’s bust down the blocks of fear that is holding us back. Recognize when judging others is actually making you miserable. Combat the social media envy! :) You can press pause. Now is the time to take that leap of faith.