[Photo courtesy of Thorsten Becker]
Today is World Kindness Day, a wonderful day to celebrate kindness, one of the many faces of love.
One of the themes of Puran and Susanna’s book Follow Your Heart: The Map to Illumination is how things look and feel different at different stages of the journey to illumination: mind, heart, and spirit. So it is that your understanding of kindness changes and develops as you make progress through the steps of the path.
When you are developing your mind and the power of concentration (steps 1, 2, and 3), kindness is tactical. It makes sense to be kind to others because it increases the odds that you will get what you want. People exchange favors. Those who you have helped are less likely to block your efforts.
When you are opening your heart and learning about the web of connection that binds us all together (steps 4, 5, and 6), kindness comes alive. Where before it was dry, tactical, and strategic, now it is a soaked in feeling. The kindness of a stranger moves you to tears. A sense of gratitude fills your heart for no discernible reason, and perhaps it lasts all day.
When you are treading the steps of unity with Spirit within your heart (steps 7, 8, and 9), the sense of kindness enlarges again, deepening endlessly and widening to infinity.
Kindness appears in the rain gently washing the petals of a flower, in the rising and setting of the sun, in the rays of the moon, and the rising and falling of the waves.
Kindess no longer appears as rare and precious, but as a common unifying element, that which binds all life together as One. You begin to see it even in places you had not thought to look, in the last place you expected to find it, there it is, in disaster, in calamity, in conflict, in sorrow.
Here is an application of Heart Rhythm Meditation to experience more kindness in your heart, and in the life around you.
- Sit or stand in a way that allows your spine to be upright yet relaxed.
- Pay attention to your breathing.
- Breathe in and out, making your breath rhythmic, so that your inhalation and exhalation are the same length and intensity.
- Now deepen your breathing so that you are using the full capacity of your lungs. Your should be breathing slow, deep, full and rhythmic.
- Feel as though it is your heart that is breathing.
- (Optional) If you can, feel your heart beating, and make your inhalation the same number of heartbeats as your exhalation, for example, 8 beats in, 8 beats out.
- Now use the Water Breath (described in Living from the Heart, Ch 12), breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- As you breathe in through your nose, think of all the times you have received kindness, in the form of words, actions, or even kind thoughts. Feel it washing over you like a gentle rain. Feel yourself held and nurtured by that kind, loving energy.
- As you breathe out through your mouth, feel the energy of your heart expanding outward, toward those who need you, and toward those you love. Eventually your feeling will expand to include those who are more challenging. They too need kindness.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share a comment below.
P.S. Susanna Bair is presenting a webinar 11/14 entitled Divine Union in Everyday Life which will give more insights on the state of unity.