Temenos Journal II

October 4, 2014

Surrendering Judgment

reflections-of-our-mind

Surrendering Judgment

by Paul Ferrini

One of the most important spiritual practices
is to let things be as they are without interpretation,
without embellishment, without judgment.
That immediately gives the ego a coronary.

Imagine telling the ego it cannot judge, compare, interpret?
What then is it going to do?
It doesn’t really know how to do anything else.

As soon as we try to tell the ego not to judge
a whole new layer of judgment comes up.
But that’s why the process is so rich.

From Everyday Wisdom by Paul Ferrini
www.paulferrini.com

Surrendering Judgment

Surrendering Judgment

by Paul Ferrini

One of the most important spiritual practices
is to let things be as they are without interpretation,
without embellishment, without judgment.
That immediately gives the ego a coronary.

Imagine telling the ego it cannot judge, compare, interpret?
What then is it going to do?
It doesn’t really know how to do anything else.

As soon as we try to tell the ego not to judge
a whole new layer of judgment comes up.
But that’s why the process is so rich.

From Everyday Wisdom by Paul Ferrini
www.paulferrini.com

June 11, 2011

On Barking Dogs and Sovereignty of Mind

Imagine being at a cabin in the mountains, nestled in the valley between the desert of the Diamond Mountains and the green pines of the Plumas National Forest. Golden, rolling hills with sagebrush and wildflowers and 36 acres of peaceful, private space.

The closest neighbor is a mile away. Imagine there is an artesian spring that originates on the property, and there is an unlimited supply of cold, crystal clear spring water.

This was back in 1996… I had just been to the source of the spring, where it bubbles up from the earth amid sparkling flecks of gold pyrite and ancient dancing pebbles. I felt perfectly safe and protected as I gathered up my jugs of cold fresh water and began to follow the path alongside the brook that flowed from this source.

Lost in my peaceful reverie, I was aware only of the rustling grass beneath my feet and the gentle mountain breeze that swirled around me as I walked. The sound of the bubbling brook beside me was like a soft song.

I was startled suddenly by the sharp, loud sound of dogs barking and I could tell they were close. (A little background… At that time, I had an acute fear of large dogs! One of my worst fears!)

I stopped in my tracks and there they were right in front of me… Two very large dogs–dobermans, I think–and they were showing their teeth, barking aggressively, about ten feet away.

At first I kind of panicked. “I’m going to be mauled by dogs in this isolated place and no one will find me for dayyyyys!!” Thankfully, I recovered quickly and changed my thoughts to “No way!”

I called on my acting training and I got in to the character of Zena, Amazon warrior woman. I planted my feet firmly on the ground and sensed a connection with the solid earth. I sent out a psychic alarm for help (a prayer?). I breathed in all the courage I could muster and in my mind I made myself huge. “Go AWAY!!!!” I bellowed in a voice unfamiliar to me.

The dogs immediately turned around and ran away. “Wow,” I thought to myself. “I scared the dogs away!” I shrank back down to my normal size and my normal voice. “Cool.”

The dogs in this story remind me of the internal demons that can surface at any time without warning, uninvited. When I am over-tired, or feeling uncentered, or just plain not paying attention, I am more likely to let down my guard against the “barking dogs” of self-doubt or unworthiness.

But I am the queen of my world and I claim sovereignty over my dominion, which certainly includes my own mind. I can choose my thoughts. Our thoughts create our world.

So now, when I am invaded by uninvited “dogs,”–obsessive thoughts or worries or regrets–in my consciousness, I simply insist that they go away. Just like I did to the dogs on the path beside the brook.

I am the gatekeeper of my own mind and you are not welcome here. SCRAM!

And it works.

Related: On Mind Training