Have you ever contemplated on whether there’s a link between meditation and kindness? Me neither! Until recently.
When I first found out that the Black lotus App included Random Acts of Kindness, I just thought that Swami wanted to make this world a kinder and happier place. And it’s probably true. But I never imagined that there could be a link between the two. I simply concluded that they both could make us better and more spiritually evolved people.
However, upon contemplation, I made a new discovery (new to the good ol’ me at least). You all may know, that the ultimate purpose of any spiritual practice, as Swami says is to purify ourselves and make us happier over time. So, there is a deeper link between kindness and meditation. But first let’s look at each of them separately:
Kindness is one of the best tools for happiness. Why? Because making others happy always makes us happy, according to research and Swami too. Besides, the joy we experience when we share our cake with others is indescribable. Okay, okay. Am not sharing my cake with you! So, let’s think of the joy we experience when we compliment someone or gift them something they love. I personally noticed that nothing can make me happier than being kind and of some use to others. And as Swami says here about kindness:
Virtues are contagious. When a group of people start to live in a manner conducive to everyone’s wellbeing and welfare, others around them adopt that way too. ~ Om Swami
When we are kind and caring towards others, we stop living for ourselves and our entire focus shifts towards the wellbeing of humanity.
Now now now, I am sure you don’t expect me to write about meditation. The expert, Om Swami, has already written all about it here, here, here, here, here and elsewhere. But in essence, amongst other things, the act of meditation serves to build our awareness, make us more familiar with our own minds and have the ability to refocus our attention to the present moment or any thought we wish to. And an increased awareness also helps be more connected with our surroundings.
What’s the link between Kindness and Meditation?
It took me a few years to realise that, as it is with anything Swami does, there must be a reason why kindness is also part of the activities in the Black Lotus App. Random Acts of Kindness (RAKs) do make us and those around us happier while at the same time helping us grow spiritually. But nevertheless, many of us probably even question the need to meditate, especially if RAKs alone could give us contentment.
Well, here’s my little truth:
Kindness makes us and our world much happier whereas meditation increases our awareness. But to be kind, we actually have to be aware. Ta-da! So, these two are linked:
We cannot be kind unless we are aware of our surroundings. We can only detect RAK opportunities, if we are actually aware of them. And meditation helps us build that awareness.
Let’s imagine that a sweet child is struggling to reach an item which is on the top shelf in a supermarket aisle. That’s a RAK right there! But if we are so engrossed in our own world and completely oblivious to what’s happening around us, the chances of ignoring this child’s struggle are greater. On the other hand, someone who meditates or is more aware of their thoughts and surroundings, will naturally be more observant and steal that RAK from those who are not aware!
I always thought that everyone knew how to be kind and so, it baffled me when people would simply walk right into me on the pavement or bump into me and walk away as if nothing even happened. Now I know better! Kindness is an act we learn wilfully and perfect until it becomes our second nature, as Swami says..
So, in my opinion, here is the magic equation of why the Black lotus App actually combines kindness and meditation:
In order for us to seize opportunities to be kind, we ought to be aware. And the easiest way to build this awareness, is by meditating. These activities are inter-linked and it eventually leads to a happier us.
And in Math language? Here you go:
Meditation = Clearer mind + Awareness
Awareness = Kindness
Kindness = Happiness
Happiness = More cake! (Okay just kidding with this one)
As much as meditation on its own is great and leads to a clearer mind, I personally found my happiness quotient to increase multifold by being kind and aware of ways to help others.
Now, if I completely missed the point here, that would be funny! Right, Swami?:)
So, do you agree? Or do you agree? If you don’t, please be kind. You don’t even have to be aware, am making your life easier by telling you what to do, see?:)