Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


A Kindness Reminder

I woke up feeling fatigued, anxious and cranky this morning. Just one of those days where I wished I could crawl back under the covers and hide until the world settles down. Instead the grown-up inside my head propelling me through each day reminded me that I was stiff and needed to move around, that I had piles of meetings today, and a long list of tasks.

Today was one of those days when that inner grown-up felt like a bully.

And then my laptop for work booted to just the picture on my desktop and began to emit a high-pitched squeal out of the speakers. Last week I'd discovered that the right single to the speakers wasn't working, not even with headphones. I've had other problems too, but nothing this dramatic. Then it wouldn't boot at all. Around 2PM I tried again out of pure exasperation and it came up.

The morning spent trying to use a Java client to access work files, and having it crash every hour or so, plus a pile of meetings, and a stream of bugs on something I just turned over for testing didn't help with my feeling that the day was just too much, too irritating, too demanding, too much stress.

What did help at the end of my day was a friend sending me a message asking about mindfulness and kindness. I finally responded to them that I now feel that kindness gets rather dismissed in our culture, even seen as a weakness. The nature of kindness, the heart of it lies within the first grave precept, which is also the first of the Yamas in yoga, Ahimsa, or non-harming.

The Zen teacher John Daido Loori writes this precept as such, "Affirm life. Do not kill."

The heart of kindness resides in the directive to affirm life. I was really grateful to my friend for providing me such a good shift in a day that was growing in that feeling of psychic irritation. Where my mind seems to chafe against the difficulties of life and expends energy on devising how to best avoid them (although all ideas seem to lead back to hiding under the covers...). My mind testing the waters of suffering instead of abiding calmly in the present, which really isn't too bad and has some rather glorious moments to it.

Comments (0) Trackbacks (0)

No comments yet.

Leave a comment

No trackbacks yet.