I first tried the Black Lotus Meditation App last summer. Meditation is something that I have been practicing but it has something unique called a RAK(Random Act of Kindness). This involves doing a kindness act every day.

There are different categories for the RAK and I chose the easiest of the lot  – Feeding the birds. I have tried many other RAKs too but due to lockdown this act seemed achievable.

I have a couple of pet cockatiels so birds are not unfamiliar to my balcony. But this required daily commitment which was challenging. The pigeons would flock first and later the smaller birds like – bulbuls, sparrow and munia would get the leftovers.

The pigeons would be waiting for me every morning and in case I was late sometimes I would feel their vibes as if they were saying – hey, hurry up!!! I was very happy and enthusiastically started feeding the birds 3 times a day.

A single pigeon I have named him Puffy(because he’s fat) started owning my balcony, he would shoo away the other pigeons and the smaller birds. I got to know about the birdfeeder and I got that for the smaller birds. They could now happily eat the whole day without Puffy’s fear. Thus, the act continued for the next couple of months.

Puffy got a partner and they started messing the balcony with their droppings and soon began nesting. Family members were annoyed with me so I had to cut down their feeding. Pigeons were not welcome anymore!

Puffy and his partner would see the small birds on the birdfeeder and smartly found a way to use it. The feeder was not designed for big birds and could crash with their weight. So to my utter dismay I had to take the birdfeeder off. My RAK was over!

Puffy and the other birds would come looking for the food and it was sad. A friend shared that Bulbuls and Myanna’s eat bananas, that the pigeons don’t. I was happy with the news and got bananas for them which they happily ate dodging Puffy. He was angry that they got to eat while he didn’t and I was filled with empathy. So, despite family objections I decided to feed him once in the morning.

I began growing bird feed in some pots which the smaller birds ate along with the banana! My RAK is still in progress…I still get resistance from family members due to the pigeons, but I have not given up…And it gives me joy!

Earlier I would have crumbled and given up the act… but how did I persist? This transformation is the result of the App. The standard form of kindness to me meant donating food, money or clothing to an orphanage or old age home. When I saw the RAK list on the App it was staggering…there was so much and yet so little that one could do.

The kindness stories shared by the other members – inspire, motivate, encourage, support, strengthen and makes one feel part of a community.

Smiling at strangers is a RAK that helped me overcome my childhood belief that talking to strangers should be avoided…I can now bravely go up to random strangers  – wish or compliment them. Kindness helps overcome beliefs.

I now see many kindness opportunities which otherwise I would have never been able to see or would have ignored them. Kindness has made me more sensitive.

I make more time over the phone or in person for senior citizens, friends or relatives and listen to them. Kindness is helping me be a good listener.

These are some of the general changes that have taken place within me and there are myriad subtle ones. I would encourage every one to try the App.

Kindness transforms a person and helps imbibe qualities like – love, compassion, empathy, gentleness, courage, power, strength and many more and more importantly it endows the giver with love, peace and joy!