Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Judging Mind

At the Garden Club meeting, on Monday evening, Frankie asked me to help her judge the flower arrangements members had brought in. The assignment was simple: a single flower or stem of  flowers in a vase.

"But I don't know how to judge," I said.
"I'll teach you," said Frankie. "I have macular degeneration, and I can't see very well in this church basement."

I acceded because I realized she was asking me to be her eyes.

We all have a lifetime's worth of experience in judging. Our comparing mind is judging everything. Some of us really dig in and enjoy having judgments and opinions; it puffs up our sense of self. We think we are what we know, just as Descartes' famously stated, "I know, therefore I am."

A friend's 4-year-old asks her, "What's that, Mom?" and after her mother answers, the 4-year-old says, "Yes, Mom. I know." We love knowing the answer.

Judging things, whether it's flowers or people, makes us feel like we are right. That we know. Quite often these judgments and opinions simply lead us straight to stress.

As another spiritual friend said, when we were talking about our families, "I don't really need to have an opinion. What good is it anyway?"

I didn't need to have an opinion about any of the flower arrangements. I simply described what i saw to Frankie--That one has a bug-eaten hole. This one is just past its prime.--and let Frankie do the judging.

Photos from and

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