There are many invisible beings who gather around us to enjoy our performance as a human in the running production called “Life On Earth”. Perhaps some of them tried their hand at it a time or two and so can well appreciate the level of challenge involved in just getting out of bed in the morning and moving about, doing this or that, attending to whatever business happens to come our way.
Our lives are made up of lots of little things that cumulatively amount to an artistic rendering of the play of light on water. Every little gleam or glitter can bring a smile of wonder, but what really pleases the spirit friends in the audience is any act of kindness. We typically judge ourselves too harshly, so being kind to oneself is already a great accomplishment! Our kindness to others is just an extension of that original kindness.
Eventually, we may come to realize that there is no difference, that the sense of separation between self and other is just a trick of perception, but in the meantime, we can notice how any act of kindness makes us happy, no matter how seemingly trivial. It just feels right, and that tells us something important about this life, and why we came here.
One of the easiest ways we can choose to be kind to ourselves is by occasionally slowing down a bit and taking few good deep breaths. Sure, that recommendation has become almost a cliche, but we usually get so caught up in things that we forget to just breathe. We are often surprised by how much tension we’ve stored up in our bodies when we finally take the opportunity to relax and breathe deeply.
When we feel the stress drain out of our system with each full exhalation, we can understand the basis for all the yogas and meditation techniques, because the breath and the thought stream are so connected. Since it is thought which spawns the chronic contraction we feel in our bodies, learning how to relax our minds is essential to our well being. Refusing to dwell on our passing thoughts is a primary meditation, and can be a true kindness we bestow on ourselves and each other.
Even when all the external sources of stress are removed, we can notice that consciousness itself is stressful, and so relaxing from the energetic compulsion to entertain and identify with its arising display in the form of thought, memory, perception, or sensation can bring us to a place of deep rest. From this spacious depth, kindness can manifest naturally and spontaneously, without any artificial effort or idealistic motive. That’s also when love becomes unconditional, because it is no longer an attempt to achieve the bliss state, but rather arises as a manifestation of it. That is true kindness indeed!