Lightmind Extract 017

01Jan08

Jim 11.18.04
Hi Jana. Yeah, Chetananda was a student of Rudi’s, as I’m sure you know, and Rudi was at one time one of the most grounded teachers around in the US. He was an in-the-body-experience-oriented teacher in a world of out-of-the-body-experience-oriented seekers. Three of my teachers studied with him.

One of them was Stephen Levine, a friend of Wilber’s known for his work with people with life-threatening illnesses. I studied with him in the early 80’s in SF when the AIDS crisis began. My wife was the first social worker in SF to work exclusively with an “AIDS population,” and I did volunteer work through her. We also had people from the SF Zen Center AIDS Hospice Program working with us. Within a two-year period we got to know a few hundred men, mostly young, who died within a very short time span.
What you say about judgment is very important, IMO. Levine was IMO cutting edge as far as offering ways to move into any type of experience non-judgmentally, including the experience of judgment, contraction, fear, aversion, abject terror, dread, anguish, intense pain, grief, anger, you name it. His book Who Dies? is a classic, IMO.

The judging mind has an opinion about everything. It selects from the mindflow who it believes it ought to be and chides the rest. It’s full of noise and old learning. It is a quality of mind addicted to maintaining an image of itself. It is always trying to be somebody.

Where there’s judgment, there’s “someone” judging, there is an “I am” embroiled in the dance identified with phenomena as “me,” someone quite separate from the flow, the process.

When judging arises, if we acknowledge it with a spacious, non-judgmental attention, we loosen its grasp by seeing it with compassion for the process that we are, with a respectful recognition of the enormity of the power of conditioning to draw us out.

If we are simply aware that the mind is judging when it’s judging, and acknowledge it with open, clear attention, the judging mind begins to dissolve.

Someone asked, “How can we maintain if we don’t judge? Aren’t we then completely indiscriminate?” That question comes from a basic lack of trust of ourselves, a disbelief that if we really let go we’ll be okay. Some people believe that if we let go of our constant judgmental overseer we’ll become wild, rabid beasts… – Stephen Levine, A Gradual Awakening, 1979

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