It was our founder, the most revered and loved spiritual leader, Om Swami’s birthday yesterday. So many of our members wrote befitting odes and canzones, heartfelt gratitude notes, and love-powered stories for and about him.

As we all know, he has taken a vow of truth — in action, words and thoughts. Kindness is another virtue that he embodies. The one incident that I read in a book that really changed me was when Swamiji addressed a few villagers who had come to him to ask about their cattle.

It looked funny to someone like me, who felt it was not a matter of great importance and certainly not worth the time of someone Swamiji’s stature (I mean, if you were to meet God himself, what would you really ask?). But he heard them out patiently, with utmost sincerity, and resolved their problem.

That changed me for the better and good.

All our problems might seem insignificant to someone, but all problems are insufferable to the one suffering. That’s why it is important to be compassionate to everyone. I have received kindness when I needed it the most and that made all the difference to my life. I decided to pay it forward in whichever way was possible for me. I continue to do so.

Many studies and research show practising compassion can change our brain positively. It also helps us love ourselves a lot more. It also makes the world a better place. Swamiji has captured all of it in the bestselling The Book of Kindness. He offers a step-by-step guide to cultivating kindness, explains the evidence-based science behind it with anecdotes, citing international research findings — weaving it all beautifully.

To celebrate Swamiji and his birthday, I have decided to do at least one random act of kindness (RAK) every day through this month. I will maintain a record of my actions under this thread. Many of you already carry out RAKs. Join me in keeping track and encouraging the community, too (will that be a RAK?).

If you’ve ever received any kindness, pay it forward. Take inspiration from reads. Here’s a pick of our members’ posts:

Transformative Ideas

The Best Thing That Can Happen to You: ‘If you treat a cook badly, he will spit in your soup when you are not looking,’ writes Francesc Miralles, the co-author of smash-hit Ikigai. Then he gives out the one-word secret to avoiding such an accident. He also talks about that ability that has helped most intelligent and successful people on their way. It’s simple — kindness. Pay it forward.  

Sadhana: When John Clark left organised Christianity, he considered meditation boring. Today, he wakes up at 3:00 am, observes regular meditation practices, self-study, and reflection. He shares his learnings in this blog and his thoughts on choosing one’s sadhana. He gives fair warning: It is not a competition, and it should not augment the ego.

Fisherman’s Wisdom: Sometimes, what you are seeking, you already have. Shivansh Sharma retells a popular tale, provoking the reader to reconsider their choice and the goalpost. Here’s to living a more content life.

5 Simple Breathing Techniques to Deal with Everyday Stress: With all of humanity’s progress, it’s ironic we’ve become worse at the basic task of breathing, writes the founder of Mindful & Driven, Amardeep S Parmar. Et tu? Worry not, he’s got your back.

40-day Coffee-Tea Detox: Prahalad Rajkumar has survived without coffee or tea for more than 40 days. Only once did he bang his head, but that might not be related to his withdrawal. You might want to read this insightful personal essay, for he also discovered two unique benefits of quitting. He has lived to tell the tale. Don’t miss out on reading it.

The Angry Young Man: Pratik Kulkarni is the angry young man who “regretted being right”. So here’s what happened: He had a few coupons. He went shopping. The salesman acted like a salesman. Pratik lost his cool. Later, he kept wondering, between being right & winning the debate, and mental peace, how should he ensure the latter? Do you have suggestions? Please pour in.

Ayurveda Series: Ayurvedic Physician Manju P Badiger is running a series on Ayurveda. In the seventh series, she educates the reader on Kapha prakriti characteristics. Follow the series for a healthy lifestyle, and to end Tridoshas.

Of Spirituality: What makes one spiritual? Asks Kunal. Spirituality is not a one-off 45-minute block during the day, which when checked off, makes one more spiritual, he writes. Then what is? He writes about that, too. Read on.

Quote of the Week

I found this awesome quote on this Instagram handle.

Wisdom from Swamiji

Just Like That 0 – 40: On spiritual leader Om Swami’s birthday yesterday, I pulled up this post that he wrote on his 40th. He had shared a few anecdotes from various stages of his life. Were enlightened masters any less naughty than other kids? Do they know all the answers since childhood? Did they also wonder if the TV has tiny humans inside it? All the answers in this post.

What Could I Have Done: Have you ever asked what you should do when someone does wrong to you? The moment you get in touch with yourself and find your spiritual footing, you will no longer have that question, writes spiritual leader Om Swami. Then he goes on to show the path. Find yours in this post.

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Here are 5 ideas to ‘pay it forward’ without spending a dime:

  1. Mentor someone
  2. Listen to someone patiently and with full attention
  3. Write a positive review
  4. Be kind to the tele caller
  5. Say thanks

Could you think of more ways? I need ideas for my RAK challenge.

Stay OSME! Until next…
PS: Happy December! How many resolutions did you stick to this year?