TUESDAY, JAN. 8 - 7:00AM; THURSDAY, JAN. 10 - 6:00 PM OUTDOOR 816 PASSIFLORA AVENUE, ENCINITAS; SATURDAY SANGHA - JAN. 12; 7:30-9:00 AM
TUESDAY AND SATURDAY SITTINGS LOCATED AT SOUL OF YOGA, 627 N. Encinitas Blvd.
NOTES TO SELF: ONLY KINDNESS MATTERS NOW--from Diana
The failures of the lovingkindness practice are several. None of them are YOU but what you mistakenly believe!
The first failure of any practice is often the unrecognized, unrealistic and aggressive demands we place on ourselves to magically transform our seemingly pathetic and deficient selves into some other, idealized version of the FAIRY GOD-PARENT we wished we'd had, but never deserved.
The typical perception of lovingkindness is as a emotion/feeling that we believe we must drum up from "GOD KNOWS WHERE?" This perception is saccharin, caricatured and plain old wrong! This false belief only contributes to the practice and ourselves turning out to be a big disappointment. It then appears to verify our worst fears...."We are heartless", and consequently, we quit the practice and any other heart-awakening endeavors.
When we notice that not only are we not improved, more loving, or obviously better in any discernible way, we become more judgmental, condemning and unkind than before the practice. This is the result of the disgust we are levying against ourselves. We are clearly NOT GETTING ANY KINDER as evidenced by the fact that we don't FEEL any kinder, and confirming the reality that we must be despicable individuals, just like we thought we were. The reality is that kindness does not come in one feeling-flavor or form. Our own aggression is mistaken for the truth of who we are rather than the reaction to the harsh expectation that to get lovingkindness right means we will be nice to everyone, under all circumstances at all times....except to ourselves, right now?
The kindness we make contact with in the lovingkindness practice is already here in you. And we get to begin by directing it to ourselves (or our pet), whichever is easier. We begin the heart practices to remember and touch in to the very heart qualities such as kindness and compassion that are our natural state and present now. If we can offer kindness to Fluffy before Uncle Jim, it is the prefect place to start. The kind words and actions from loving others are now imprinted, informed and growing in us. Every other moment of kindness is now feeding our own genuine desire to be kind, because we know how good it feels and how important it is. We offer it more often than we know and usually without thought or 'LOOK AT ME" interest.
Conversely, we do NOT practice to create a kindness we do not have or know. We practice to make direct and immediate contact with the kindness and goodness that we actually are, that is here now. Once we remember our essential goodness, it is much easier to continue to grow and expand those present heart qualities. That which we remember, touch, practice and hold in awareness continues to grow stronger and become more available. Yes, even in you....actually, especially in you. You have the causes and conditions for the kindness that is uniquely YOURS! My kindness looks like cooking for my family. My husband's kindness looks like spending hours working on a tile project that is something I am intently want to gift to someone special. The actions aren't the point. They could be any infinite number of offerings. All of these acts of kindness do share one common characteristic; the open, receptive and generous heart that is being offered freely. This is the real deal and asks nothing in return.
Rather than trying to be some other kind of kind, it is most helpful if we can make contact with the kindness in us that is present now. The extra patience, the smile offered spontaneously, the helping hand that is extended because we could....these are acts of kindness that are uncountable and often not invisible because we offered them without self-importance, "WHAT ABOUT ME" pre-occupation or to get anything in return. This is the nature of true kindness.
See how many moments of kindness are extended to you each day and how many words and deeds of kindness you then extend to others. Kindness grows itself from moment to moment and person to person. We know that one smile spreads smiles throughout the day. This goodness does not require that you become someone else. Kindness comes from the heart that remembers its essential goodness and offers itself freely. It knows there is plenty to go around.
May we all be happy. May we all be free from suffering. May we all think, speak and act from the goodness that we are.
(It helps to take a breath and a pause as the first act of kindness, directed towards yourself.)
love and blessings to you, now and always, di
EMC's Fall Retreat
PLEASE JOIN US FOR EMC'S AUTUMN 5-DAY RETREAT ON
THE TENDER AND BOUNDLESS HEART:
"The Four Heavenly Abodes" - Cultivation of your own natural, tender and limitless heart.
WHEN: MONDAY, OCT. 15-SATURDAY, OCT. 20, 2018
WHERE: QUESTHAVEN RETREAT CENTER, San Marcos:
Residential and commuter options available
WHY: BECAUSE YOUR HAPPINESS AND THE HAPPINESS OF OTHERS DEPENDS ON IT
Early bird discount of 15% begins now through Oct. 1, 2018.
TUESDAY STUDY GROUP
"The Tender and Boundless Heart"
Orientation: Tues. Sept. 11
8-week course: Sept. 18-Nov. 6
Dana: $5-10 per class-
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course
ORIENTATION: WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12TH; 6:30-7:30 PM
FIRST CLASS: WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19TH; 6:15-8:30 PM
(Friday morning class beginning Sept. 21 will be offered if 6 or more participants sign-up)
ORIENTATION LOCATION: SOUL OF YOGA 627 N. ENCINITAS BLVD, ENCINITAS.
PLEASE GO TO: everydaymind.com/register/ to sign up for course orientation and/or 8-week series. Payment not required.