May 31, 2009

There is no such thing as pure, and sincere kindness...

It has been said that the Dalai Lama, when asked what it took to be a good Buddhist, simply replied: “Be Kind”. On the surface this seems to be easy, like saying “Be a nice guy”. We can all manage that from time to time.

But if you sit with this Be kind and probe what it means to Be Kind, then the resonance of the phrase grows infinite. Be kind to others? Sure. To yourself ? Maybe.

But how to do it with out being selfish? To animals? Of course, they are God’s creature just like human. To trees and plants? They are also God’s creature too.

How bout things? How can you be kind to a toilet or the dirt you’ve swept off in the floor? By keeping the one clean and handling the other mindfully, knowing fully what it is. Nothing left out, nothing superfluous, nothing wasted. We have all been surprised by acts of kindness to us, seeming to come out of nowhere just at a crucial moment.

What is kindness? Completeness.

Imagine being kind with out discrimination. Kindness is like faith; you can not pretend to be it. There is the “fake it till you make it” practice, but you must be aware you are faking it, and that to really be it you must earn it. Kindness is not given to you, though you experience it from others. I believe we are led to kindness trough the great compassion, which I understand to be a deep comprehension of mortality, what it means to live. My practice of kindness is gratitude. I express it through the simple one, which is bowing. We do a lot of bowing in Asian traditions, but it is useful to learn what it can mean for us and not to be a mere mimicking habit.

A friend of mine once said that Buddhist kindness is the kindness that need not anything in return. I must admitt and agree with him this time.

Unlike non-buddhist, in general, we are kind to others because we want otthers to be kind to us. At best, we are kind because we want to satisfy gods, and eventually a one way trip to heaven. Tt is not a sincere kindness. We expect something good, equals or more to our kindness in return.

If being kind is what is needed to be a good buddhist, then it is not a sincere kindness either. because one is kind in order to be a good buddhist. One expects something in return.

Maybe there exists a person, who is being kind only for himself. It gives him a certain degree of satisfation by being kind. But again, it is not a sincere kindness either. Because he is being kind to get satisfaction, for himself (selfishness, an opposite of kindness?).

Trust is not belief. Love is not hope. To be open is to be kind. It ceases to be a question of choice. It is simply good. We comprehend our comprehendor. As you cannot decide to be kind or compassionate, you cannot summon this sort of grace on your own. You have to trust it is there and open to it.

*Soraya, October 21, 2005*

0 lullabies from others: