Extreme Kindness


Reciting a loving kindness meditation at the end of a yoga class can help us be in a kindness mind set, but how do we *live* it as we face our daily ‘stress tests’; too little time, a shortage of help, and no end to the tasks at hand? The secret is found in an ancient Zen manual for overworked cooks written in 1237 by Dogen Zen, the founder of Soto Zen.

Kind mind is one of the essential attributes of a cook, the same love and attention that parents naturally give to their children. Only an accomplished monk or senior disciple was up to the task.

Here are five steps to finding extreme kindness – kindness that works 24/7 no matter what!
1 – Kindness is our job. Do you want to live in a kinder world? Do not neglect your duties.
2 – Be watchful. If you look carefully with your mind undistracted, naturally the three virtues (wisdom, generosity, and compassion) will be fulfilled.
3 – Don’t judge. Kindness doesn’t pick and choose. Keep yourself harmonious and wholehearted.
4 – Avoid getting upset. Silence is always kinder than a fiery tongue.
5 – Never change your attitude. Do not build up disdain for one person and delight for another.

Adapted from Be Kind to Difficult People by Karen Maezen Miller Lion’s Roar/January 2019

Image by StockSnap from Pixaby