Recently I had the good fortune to attend a 3-day Vipassana retreat where we spent a great deal of time in silence and meditation. Because there was so much quiet, it became easier to notice judgments as they arose. “She’s doing it wrong.” “I hate not being able to connect.” “That poor woman looks like she’s really struggling." Noticing this, I would return to my practice, find my center, and start again. Then one morning when I was doing a walking practice, I heard a judgment inside my head. And right then I felt my body contract. My chest got tight, my thinking felt constricted. I felt unhappy. Unhappy! I focused on this sensation and thought, “When I judge others I end up unhappy. This is not a kindness to me.”
I want kindness for me. I want a mind that isn’t fighting with “what is” but can find ways to be present that are gentler to my heart. And it’s NVC consciousness that brings me back. “I’m judging. I feel unhappy. I want kindness for my heart.” I see my suffering so clearly; I offer myself compassion. The result for me is a quieter and more peaceful heart.
Try it out. Next time when you hear a judgmental thought in your mind, see if you can slow down and notice any unpleasant sensations. Call on your own desire for kindness, and then offer it to yourself. What happens?