Check yourself when you wake up in the morning. What’s that first feeling inside? Is it angst about the things you have to do? It might be worry about meeting with certain people or concern about the pile of unfinished tasks that lies ahead. Or maybe it is relief that this is a day off, or excitement about an especially anticipated event – a birthday or the beginning of a long awaited journey.
Whatever the feeling, it is almost certainly one of prejudice – pre-judgment. We are pretty sure that things will be this way or that way. And we have pretty much decided that this way is good or that way is bad.
I am not an advocate of positive thinking, of trying to manipulate actions and outcomes by painting them bright yellow and giving them a spin to the left or to the right. Positive thinking is only what it is – a veneer we try to paste on our muddy core of judgment.
Nor am I an advocate of denial of feelings. Feelings are simply the natural reactions to reality as it is perceived and experienced by small “m” me, the me I discovered when I awoke to my surroundings under the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The very name of the tree implies exactly what it is – the tree of judgment.
Waking up under that tree, we believe that our life task is to sort our pile of baby blocks just as quickly and effectively as we can. This block is good . . . It goes in this pile. This block is bad . . . It goes in that pile over there and I hope I can figure out a way to trash it so it never comes back. And, oh my goodness, worst of all, I can’t decide about this one. What will it become? How do I know? What should I do with it? What will it do to me?
I think I will bury the feelings, maybe over here under positive thinking, so I don’t have to feel this way anymore. Shit! That didn’t work either! And now I am late for my meeting!
Chill, baby “m”. Let “Me” (big “S” Self) hold you and tell you that we are here together. And we are not, as you believe, under the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. We are under the Tree of Life.
We are not our feelings. We just experience them. And our true response comes from the source of everything we need – the fruit of the Tree of Life and the living water of the river by which it is planted – the gifts of Creator/Spirit/Mind/Source – our essence, breath and true being.
The essence of that water is love. It nourishes the sustaining fruits of the tree, which are peace, true joy, patience and compassion. Whether baby “we” know it or not, that is what we truly seek. And when we open the eyes of our Spirit, on any given morning, we know that we have exactly what we need. And we can offer it to our small “s” selves. We can live it in all of our actions, in the touch of all whom we encounter.
Let’s hold that little fearful self for a moment to calm its terror about the day. Let’s sit with it in joy and help it to let go of the angst that the things we have judged to be good might not work out. We can tell it that all is well, that we can choose to be and to act, in each moment of each day, without judgment. We can choose to be and to act as our true Self, the one that is fed and cared for – by and one with C/S/M/S – under the Tree of Life.
The practice of stillness, at one with the action of willingness, creates the doorway to non-judgment. It is the practice of being the center of the spinning wheel – completely at rest and fully in motion.
Our focus and activity, in each moment and without judgment, is to drink the living water, which makes it possible for us to be the very fruit of the Tree of Life. We offer this nourishing fruit, we offer Ourselves, in each moment and in each action. We offer it first to the little one, the little self, crying in our arms. We offer it to redeem and to transform the false vision of all who find themselves anxious and unhappy under the tree of judgment, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
A peach, for you and for me, together, under the Tree of Life.
© Two Trees in the Garden. Feel free to quote as useful, with appropriate reference.