On Kindness: “After 45 years of research & study, the best advice I can give is to be a little kinder.” ~ Aldous Huxley

kindness russell

We are very happy to continue this series on Peter Russell’s book “Seeds of Awakening.” It is one of the clearest distillation of  “perennial wisdom {without} the trappings of time and culture” that is very readable, engaging, deeply insightful and a treasure trove of very relatable “wisdom gems.”

As Peter explores timeless wisdom he, naturally, considers Kindness or “… The Golden Rule found at the heart of the world’s spiritual traditions …”  Thanks to Peter’s generosity we are able to offer this chapter as a FREE downloadable PDF.

Seeds of Awakening is listed in our book library and can be purchased by clicking here. All italicized text below is directly excerpted from Peter’s book with his permission.

Here’s Part 1: Rediscovering The Timeless Wisdom.

Is Kindness Universal?

The answer, of course, is YES! … and here’s what Peter says:

Deep down we are all of the same kind. We all want to feel at ease, to be treated with respect, to feel cared for and appreciated. None of us want to feel criticized, rejected, humiliated, ignored or manipulated. To reduce it to its simplest terms, we each want to feel loved. I do not mean love in a romantic sense, or some outpouring of emotion, but simple caring. This is the universal bottom line of every human relationship. We all want to feel cared for. We want to be treated kindly.

If each of us would like to be treated with kindness, then it should be our intent to give this to others. But often we do the exact opposite. Instead of trying to ensure that the other person feels cared for and appreciated, we can end up in a vicious circle of recrimination and attack.

The Vicious Circle of “Hurt” or Un-Kindness

It usually starts with feeling hurt over something that someone said or did. Whether they intended to hurt us, or whether it is only in our imagination, doesn’t matter. The fact is we feel hurt. Then, if we are not fully conscious of our own inner processes, we are likely to defend ourselves by attacking back in some way. It’s not the noblest or wisest response, nevertheless that is the way we less-than-enlightened folk tend to react.

Breaking The Vicious Circle

The vicious circle can be broken if we start from recognizing that just as we want to feel loved and at ease, so do they. Our intention then becomes: How can I communicate so that the other person does not feel attacked or rejected, but cared for and respected?

We can start by becoming vigilant against attacking attitudes. Filtering out our less-than-noble thoughts can remove much of the problem at source.

How to Speak Our Truth with Kindness

kindness dissolves fear

This does not mean we should not speak our truth. Instead, explore how to do so in a way that the other person feels appreciated rather than attacked. When you have something difficult to say, you might preface it with the reason why you want to say it, letting the person know it comes from an attitude of caring rather than attack. For example, you might start by saying: “I value our relationship, and want to see it grow, but for that to happen, I need to discuss an issue that is difficult for me.” This sets a very different tone than simply blurting it out.

Or it may help to express your own fears—they are also part of the truth. Revealing your fear of rejection or of being misunderstood, can help others appreciate your concerns and put them more at ease—which, remember, is the goal of this exercise.

And when this practice slips, as it surely will from time to time, and the attacking mode creeps back in, there is nothing like a genuine apology to set things back on track. Own up to your mistake (we are all human after all), and try to express yourself again with a more caring intention.

Kindness: The Heart of Spiritual Traditions

This practice of kindness is essentially The Golden Rule found at the heart of the world’s spiritual traditions. In the Bible it is said: “All things whatsoever that ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” Similarly, in the Koran we find, “No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.”

If we all applied this to everyone we met or spoke to, the world would be a very different place.

_ _ _

Again, here’s Part 1: Rediscovering The Timeless Wisdom.

Peter covers topics like Effortless Meditation, Forgiveness, Returning to Natural Mind, Not Resisting Resistance … all of which are/contain “seeds” that can blossom into awakening … so stay tuned for more of these seeds in the coming weeks …

Above excerpt (all italicized text) is from Peter’s latest book Seeds of Awakening and is published here with his permission.

Images (edited & Logo added): 1 & Featured) Hands by jclk8888CC0 Public Domain, 2) Butterfly in Hand by Ethan Ableman, CC BY 2.0.


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