actions are helpful in relieving stress and which one's create more suffering.
the importance of surrounding ourselves with wise practitioners
how do we judge people to discern who is worthy of our time, and who isn't?
—comparing ourselves with others is always a form of conceit; the only time a conceit is useful is to spur us on in the practice.
—many comparisons are completely speculative based on guessing at what other people are experiencing inside (speculative) or lead to discouragement
—if our comparisons rest on objectifications, turning ourselves or others into static, static characteristics, it'll often cause unskillfulness
—it may be worth seeing that someone could use our help, or that someone is better at something than us and could help us learn
sometimes things start as skillful, early in the practice, then become less skillful later on.
—self can be useful early in the practice, but then after awhile we don't need it to spur us on
—skillful thinking is useful in the early stages of meditation, especially being inventive in keeping the mind focusing on meditation objects and evaluating them
in the pali canon there are many texts showing how to judge other people skillfully.
there aren't any suttas that explicitly denounce all forms of judging.
—rather than condemning others, we simply view them in terms of actions, noting when they're trapped in unskillful tendencies or behavioral habits
—even if we have to distance ourselves, we don't close to possibility they might change, though associating with them inappropriate from hereon
the buddha was interested in helping us find admirable friends, inspiring teachers, suitable students, worthy beings to help.
—we look for virtue, generosity, spiritualconviction in karma and wisdom.
—we see their virtue by being with them, it takes a long time; we seeing their integrity in dealings, bartering, etc; their resilence by watching how they face adversity.
—we see their wisdom by having conversation with them, observing how they analyze problems.
—it takes time.
once we find someone who is wise, generous and virtuous, we should watch them in action and try to learn with them.
—this is why its a good idea to be in a community of other practitioners.
—other people's generosity or virtue can spur us on when we're tired or unmotivated
so the buddha is advising us to draw conclusions about people, but he's asking us to do it skillfully, over a course of observation, not paying attention to unimportant issues
—how much popularity, money, beauty, etc they display
there's a difference between 'judging' and being 'judgmental.'
—whereas the former denotes taking time and noting another's spiritual development
—judgmental denotes snap verdicts made to arbitrary standards, as in "i just don't like the way he looks, etc."
forgiveness is essential if we find the stories of their unskillfulness playing in our minds.
then we can take the judicious approach and apply it to ourselves.
—we can make excuses for poor actions or obsessive thoughts
—if we're serious in the practice we'll aspire to the standards that we hold our teachers and esteemed practitioners