The Third Bucket
Our egoic mind is always looking to label or identify what it is perceiving and put it in a category. There are usually only two buckets that our mind considers to place these items. Most of the time, they are labelled as: Good/Bad, Right/Wrong, Like/Dislike, etc. They are opposites and you are forced to pick one or the other in a hurry. Why do we have only two buckets, why can’t we have a Third Bucket?
Once the mind is able to put it in a box quickly, it can then feel comfortable that it is a known quantity and thinks it is familiar with it. Lack of familiarity for the mind is very disconcerting. So the constant evaluation and screening has a purpose – to pick a bucket to place whatever we are perceiving quickly. This makes us very judgmental and places us in a mode of resistance to what is happening in front of you.
We also constantly filter words when we listen to someone else. Our goal is to hear some words and then map it quickly to what we know, feel a sense of comfort and then stop listening, since we assume that we know what the other person intents to say. How arrogant of us or our egos to believe that? Can you catch yourself doing that?
Consider this proposal. Create a Third bucket and label it “Just Is”, as opposed to the typical good or bad labels. This third option or bucket creates an opening for you to suspend the act of constant judging and can lead you to the habit of acceptance of whatever comes into your life. This does not mean you need to be a door mat to the world.
Developing a habit to suspend automatic knee jerk reactions to events allows you the space for deliberation and creative solutions with unique approaches. Try to see if you can table instant judgment and practice using the Third Bucket.