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Birthing the Heart: Kindness and its Near Enemies

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2014-06-17
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



Kindness could be an easy inroad into the heart if we believed we deserved the label of kindness. As we become more self-aware, we often lead with our deficiencies by seeing where we are not living up to our spiritual ideals. Yes, we might say, we helped that person, but there are so many ways that we are still inconsiderate. We do untold damage to ourselves by casting us out of our own hearts. We can turn this around by noticing when we are kind. Make a point of warming your heart to yourself in that moment, and when you are not kind, become interested in what seemed to deflect kindness. You might have been in pain and unable to consider another. Resolve to understand what keeps you internally focused unable to connect with others. Patience is an attribute of kindness and allowing the necessary time to learn the path of kindness requires patience. We have to lead with kindness as patience from day one.


How can we discern the difference between authentic self-kindness and self-indulgence? Is it within the behavior or the motivation behind the behavior? Set the intention this week to be self-kind and see whether you cross the boundary of indulgence. Be disciplined in your willingness to give yourself completely to kindness but not indulgence. Secondly, incline your mind toward being kind to others in action, speech, and mind and notice the near enemy of being nice to others. How do the intentions differ? Niceness is a mental interpretation of kindness. Notice there is an egoic payoff in being nice and indulgent but not in kindness.


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