Sunday, July 19, 2020

Reaping the Weeds of Judgement via Svadhyaya

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

Another parable Jesus put before the crowds: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’” Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!”

When I started this blog, its intention was to explore the intersection of Yoga and Christianity, both in my life and in the philosophy of yoga. This is one of those passages that screams to me on a personal level but also has depth when explored through yoga philosophy.

For myself, this passage gives me hope that all are acceptable to God provided evil (the weed) does not win.  It is not my job to judge it is simply my job and yours to do our best in this world, and to be open to others. Even if I do not agree, the ultimate judge is God. I get hope from this for everyone that does not consider themselves to be a Christian like me; what I mean by that is whatever Christianity or non-Christianity means to all the other people in the world. None of us have the job of judging each other.  Our only job is to love and accept others with openness.  You may think that another is evil, but perhaps God does not view them that way. Or perhaps they make a big life change late in their life. For myself, I know there are those that judge me for my style of Christianity, with Buddhist and yoga philosophy notes; I am comforted by the fact that other’s opinions do not matter, only that of God does. I simply do the best I can and follow the Ten Commandments/ Yamas and Niyamas and hopefully all will be well in the end.

On a philosophical level the Niyama – Svadhyaya, or self-study, comes to mind. Deborah Adele, in her book The Yamas & Niyamas, breaks this Niyama into parts of how to study the self. 1. Projections where everything we think is a projection of our experience in the world. 2. Tracing it [projections] Back to our origins and how they formed our beliefs. 3 Then We can’t be afraid to look at the disharmony these beliefs and projections may have caused in our life and to make a shift where needed. 4. The role of the ego sometimes we get stuck in the “I” and make our belief and projections our model of reality. If everyone is stuck in ego, then there are as many versions of reality as there are people. 5. The Power of the Witness allows us to step back from the ego without trying to change, fix, or judge anything.  Simply be, leave the judging to God (See where I am going? Read Matthew again). For me I can move into witnessing via my meditation form called iRest.  It is not a quiet sit Zen and stop the thoughts.  It is more a processing system for the thoughts, feeling, emotions that brings these back to the body or somatic feelings we hold our whole lives.  Recognizing these feelings allows one find harmony with them and not judge them, be with them, respond verses react to them. Now no one is perfect, I, myself have a high “J” in the Myers Briggs!  But constantly returning to this place of witnessing, recognizing the sensations in the body, noticing without judging takes the power away from my judgements. I leave the judging to God.

This year has been really hard, am I judging? Maybe. But perhaps if we all could move into a place of no judgement of others, leaving that to God, recognizing that our experience of this world is completely different from the others around us, leading with compassion and love, then perhaps we can find our way to the end of the year in peace/ Shanti.

Namaste (the good in me honors the good in you – without judgement)

Photo from:

Deborah Adele, The Yamas & Niyamas Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice, 2009.

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