Beyond Differentiation: Do Not Judge

Venerable Master Hsing Yun

Do Not Judge Others

If we never judged others, we would never feel the need to insult them or avoid them. Buddhism begins and ends in the mind. Your mind is your own. If you find insults, anger and hostility circulating inside it, do you really think you can blame that on the world? Is it really someone else’s fault that you cannot control your own jealousy or moodiness?

No one can look into your own mind except you. No one can make you progress in your practice of Buddhism except you. If you want to progress, do as the Sutra says without making exceptions. I promise that you will progress rapidly in this way.

Now, why do we discriminate among people at all? The basic reason is because we carry with us the illusion of having a separate self. This illusion maintains itself by making judgements. Once we understand this, it becomes possible to understand how to appreciate and use anger and jealousy for our own benefit.

We cannot repress these emotions and it would be foolish to pretend that they were not there. Buddhism is based on human nature. If these emotions are part of what it is to be human, we should be able to use them to advance in our practice.

If we understand that anger and jealousy are part of the illusion of having a separate self, then we will be ready to understand that each time these emotions occur, they are signs that point directly at our own illusions. Anger is like pointing your own finger at yourself in the mirror. Jealousy shows very precisely how much we have invested in our own self-created egos. How could you feel jealous of anyone if you truly realized that all sentient beings and all Buddhas are the same?

When friends do well, we should be pleased that they have been able to grow. Just as jealousy is a sign of our delusive limitations, our friends’ growth is a sign that in some small way our company has encouraged them or helped them. Rather than be jealous of our friends, it is better to let them return the favor to us. When friends overcome jealousy among themselves and help each other to grow, enormous and very powerful energies are released.

Attention is dependent on awareness. If the roots of awareness are defiled, attention will never be free.

If goodness is not obstructed and the mind is not clinging, and if the self is beyond grasping them, there will be no defilements anywhere.

–Vijnaptimatratasiddhi Sastra