Kindness cultivation: “… “Captivation”—the rapt, continuous attention to beauty—allows us to be more in touch with intimate feelings such as love and tenderness. … Enjoying beauty is the easiest way to be kind …” ~ Pierro Ferucci
Our Deepest Gratitude to all the people on the “COVID-19 Frontline”
We want to express our deepest gratitude to the first responders/public-servants from all the pertinent segments such as healthcare professionals – doctors, nurses, hospital/medical-services staff – firefighters, law enforcement, volunteers, and any/all the people involved in keeping the “system-at-large” functioning for ALL of us, especially those of us who are “inside and remote working.”
Thank You – our lives would not be possible without your dedication.
More on this further below – after the kindness related text …
“… I believe that if we stop to think, it is clear that our very survival, even today, depends upon the acts and kindness of so many people. Right from the moment of our birth, we are under the care and kindness of our parents; later in life, when facing the sufferings of disease and old age, we are again dependent on the kindness of others. If at the beginning and end of our lives we depend upon others’ kindness, why then in the middle, when we have the opportunity, should we not act kindly toward others? …” ~
These are the words of His Holiness The Dalai Lama, in the Preface of Pierro Ferucci’s book, the power of kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life.
Indeed, His Holiness The Dalai Lama’s remarks suggest a simple yet profound “anchor” for a life immersed with peace and equanimity.
Kindness and compassion are at the core of his message or “teachings” … in his Nobel Lecture (the day after his acceptance speech for the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize) he underscores this simple fact: “… When we feel love and kindness towards others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace …”
In our last post, Compassion: Dalai Lama & Robert William Service, we suggested that as we all navigate the COVID-19 global crisis, it would be beneficial to balance these challenging times by consciously deepening the qualities that bring us all together: compassion, kindness, and forgiveness. These are qualities that will be tested as we navigate this pandemic so any reminders to cultivate and deepen these are timely and worth contemplating (of course that is true at any time in our lives).
In that spirit we look at Kindness in this post … and share what Buddha said about this powerful human trait … through Sharon Salzberg – from her book Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness:
Buddha … said that the intimacy and caring that fill our hearts as the force of lovingkindness develops will bring eleven particular advantages:
- You will sleep easily.
- You will wake easily.
- You will have pleasant dreams.
- People will love you.
- Devas [celestial beings] and animals will love you.
- Devas will protect you.
- External dangers [poisons, weapons, and fire] will not harm you.
- Your face will be radiant.
- Your mind will be serene.
- You will die unconfused.
- You will be reborn in happy realms.
All of us, across the globe regardless of our spiritual leanings, would welcome such benefits as our lives would naturally become more peaceful and happiness would not be elusive … so kindness and compassion is definitely worth cultivating – consciously – until it becomes ingrained in every aspect of our interactions with our fellow beings in this universe.
Again, His Holiness The Dalai Lama:
“… I have found that the greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion.
The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater our own sense of well-being becomes. Cultivating a close, warm-hearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. This helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the ultimate source of success in life. …”
And Aldous Huxley who was “… a pioneer in the study of philosophies and techniques aimed at developing human potential, including such diverse approaches as Vedanta, psychedelics, bodywork, meditation, hypnotic trance, and Zen …” said in a lecture towards the end of his life:
“People often ask me what is the most effective technique for transforming their life. It is a little embarrassing that after years and years of research and experimentation, I have to say that the best answer is—just be a little kinder.”
Helping The COVID-19 Relief Efforts
Go Fund Me has organized various campaigns to help with the COVID-19 relief efforts. All of them are worthy endeavors but for now we wanted to highlight one of the most critical ones that I (Sanjiv) received via email and donated personally and also as Stillness Speaks … here’s the opening paragraphs:
Right now, we are at a crucial point in the fight against COVID-19. Medical professionals are working around the clock to care for the countless individuals who have fallen ill—but these frontline responders are at serious risk of contracting the coronavirus themselves.
A massive shortage of masks, gowns, gloves, and other critical supplies has put these heroes in harm’s way. That’s why we’ve partnered with former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and a handful of philanthropists, artists, and tech and business leaders to create a fund for frontline responders.
You can read more on the GoFundMe page for Frontline Responders Fund … we are all facing financial challenges but if your situation allows you to donate and help this critical effort then please do so.
May you be kind and compassionate and loving in your daily interactions …. and remain safe and healthy as you navigate this global crisis.
Serving truth, love, & beauty … with gratitude,
Chris, Sanjiv & Cherie