The more we try to interpret an experience and clothe it in words, the more we remove ourselves from it. We are left with ‘fixed’ concepts, and dualistic view concerning the world, so our responses and reactions to daily situations do not flow from a natural state.– Tarthan Tulku
Why is it so important in our modern world to let go of labeling, distinguishing, and judging?
One of the reasons why we have so many conflicts in our world is that we constantly label, distinguish, and judge. There is no harmony, no balance, no flow from our natural state, our True Self.
Labeling, distinguishing, and judging is done because we constantly are comparing. Comparing what is good or bad, comparing what is smelly or not, comparing what is hot or cold, comparing, comparing, and comparing. Our constant monkey mind of comparing never seems to stop. This in itself will deplete our energy over time, creating a tired, stressful, closed-minded state of mind.
When we compare we create trouble, and this kind of trouble might end up in not being compassionate to others and even to ourselves.
But when you do not observe the thought carefully, you may find yourself labeling or judging the experience. When this happens you will not be contacting the deeper, more subtler levels of the experience, and your awareness will be somewhat superficial. – Tarthang Tulku
Let’s take a closer look. We might say, “the tree I see in my garden is tall.” But is it? How do I know it is tall? Because I compare it with something else.
Yes, compared to the small bush next to it the tree is indeed tall. But compared to the big mountain behind it the tree is small. So what is the tree, tall or small? Neither! It is just a tree and that is all.
The more we compare, the more we label, distinguish, and judge. But what would happen if we stop all of that? If we see things simply for what they are, what would take place? We would see the tree just as a tree, neither tall, ugly, beautiful, just a tree. We would see a person just for what they are, neither ugly or beautiful; we would see the experience for what it is, neither good or bad. This in turn creates a sense of gratefulness for each experience we encounter.
This kind of seeing without labeling, distinguishing, and judging creates compassion. Most of the time we have limited compassion because instead we choose to use comparisons. We compare, label, distinguish, and judge someone as nice or not nice, someone as ugly or pretty, someone as stinky or pleasant smelling. Thus, even if we want to help someone, we gravitate towards the things we like and not towards the things we dislike.
Thus labeling, distinguishing, and judging creates duality: things we like and do not like. This in turn will create attachments to things we like and we will push away things we do not like. And to take that a step further we now have sown the seed of anger, worry, jealousy etc.
We get worried when the person who we do not like asks for our help; we get angry when the stinky person is asking something from us; we become jealous when someone else is talking to our beautiful friend.
As we now start to see, labeling, distinguishing, and judging is a breeding ground for anger, worry, fear and jealousy, just to name a few. Do these traits sound familiar?
This is why any serious spiritual practice is all about letting go of labeling, distinguishing, and judging, because that way we can become compassionate human beings. This in turn will create a compassionate world in which we see equanimity and harmony. Choose compassion over comparison. Choose compassion over categorizing.
For whenever we are involved in categorizing or interpreting, the mind cuts itself of from the experience, causing us to become caught up in and endless progression of thoughts. – Tarthan Tulku
Based in Holland, Frans Stiene teaches in North America, Europe, UK, Australia and Asia.
Frans is also the author of Reiki Insights, it is the continuation of his previous book The Inner Heart of Reiki, taking your personal practice and understanding of the system of Reiki yet another step deeper.