In the Ho’oponopono tradition as described by Dr. Hew Len, it is a sign of emotional freedom when we cease judging others for any reason at any time. We experience this by degrees of awareness, and often fall back on old habits, but if we are aware of making judgments, that is already a sign of freedom coming into place.
Dr. Len has observed that he has not achieved total freedom in this. Like others on a similar path, including the great teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, he lives with a great honesty of purpose and recognition about his own actions. Complete freedom from judgement is the way of Jesus Christ, of the Buddha, of the Tao.
But what do we judge if we are not aware? How often? It is really beneficial to track this, if you are willing, FOR JUST ONE DAY.
People judge each other on first sight, whether it be someone we are introduced to or someone we see on the street. A flash of judgment streaks through our mind about how the person looks, what they are wearing, how they behave, how they walk, the color of their clothes, the sound of their voice, their attitude, who they are with, their role in life, their job or lack thereof, their status financially, their marital state, their children, their hobbies, how much television they watch, their taste in movies, books, food, environments, subjects, their political preference…the list is extensive.
So here is a way to discern how often you judge others, if that draws your interest: Have a piece of paper or a small notebook and pen near at hand. Every time you have a thought that is not positive toward someone (this is the definition of feeling judgment), for any reason, place a tick on that page. Try to do this for one whole day–or at least for seven hours. At the end of the day, count the number of ticks you placed.
It is likely the number is large. But one thing is certain–even after doing this exercise just once–you will never be able to feel judgment again without being aware you are doing so.
Another thing you can do in addition is gauge how deep a particular instant judgment is on a scale of 1-10 and put it beside the tick mark. This can be a game-changer.
Depending on your outcome and response, you may want to do this again, and see if there is a difference the next day or the next week.
Now, you might ask why bother or even say so what. There is an easy answer for that. Every strong emotion uses our energy, and fast. Positive emotions regenerate us. Negative emotions drain us.
So it matters what we choose to do. It matters how aware we want to be. And there is one more thing that matters:
Being conscious of who we are and what we feel in this very moment is freedom.