For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? (Matthew 16:26)
Only the love within has any authority to lead you.

When people see some things as beautiful, other things become ugly. When people see some things as good, other things become bad. (Tao Te Ching)

If there is a good to be pursued or held onto, then there must also be a bad which should be resisted or fought against. To judge at all is to create a negative where there otherwise was none.

Any notion of beauty and ugliness or good and bad are evaluations of the external. By judging the external, we attempt to give supremacy to form. The underlying assumption is, then, that beautiful weather is required for happiness while stormy weather causes suffering. But external reality is such that we cannot only accept the parts we would keep and fight against the parts we would reject. This is to wish for the entire universe to be different from how it is. Here, we have found the sure cause of suffering.

Attempt to make reality different from how it is and live painfully out of alignment with the truth. Wish for that which isn’t and weaken yourself by losing access to what is. Of course, some experiences in life are more enjoyable than others. We can continue to enjoy whatever we do enjoy. But a spiritually awakened being, absent of judgment, also finds aliveness in places where others don’t look. We transcend the ups and downs by remaining rooted in the calm stillness of being.

By simply observing the leafless tree in the grayness of winter without labels or judgments, the mind can be still and negative emotion can be undone. By responding to people or situations through intuition rather than mental judgment, we allow love and energy to flow continuously from within.

Observe the mind’s judgments and practice letting those thoughts go. Don’t follow them. Notice any stress or tension or inner resistance to what is and let it go as well. Your salvation is not found in any evaluation of good and bad; rather, in presence and being. Observe the mind, and all of reality, as the silent observer—consciousness itself. I am.