In light of World Kindness Day, what is kindness?

World Kindness Day, observed annually on the 13th of November, allows us to pause and reflect on the significance of kindness in our lives and the world.

Kindness transcends mere politeness; it’s a force that binds us as humans and fosters love, compassion, and understanding.

On this World Kindness Day, let’s unpack ‘into what ”kindness’ a little, and how Loving-Kindness practice – or Meta Meditation – can guide us in nurturing this virtue.

Understanding kindness.

Kindness is a genuine and selfless expression of goodwill towards others and, equally important, towards oneself. Kindness involves empathy, compassion, and an open heart. It’s a way of connecting with the world on a deeper, more humane level.

Being kind makes us human. It softens those rough edges we have, especially when we extend it with genuine well-wishes (rather than out of duty or from wanting to be morally or spiritually superior).

Some benefits of genuine kindness are:

  1. Harmony in relationships: Kindness is the glue that holds relationships together. It fosters understanding, patience, and forgiveness, creating an environment of trust and love.
  2. Personal well-being: Being kind to oneself is often overlooked but profoundly important. Self-compassion, as promoted in Meta Meditation, leads to greater happiness, self-acceptance, and emotional resilience.
  3. A kinder world: Acts of kindness, whether small or large, ripple outwards. They have the power to heal the world and foster a sense of unity and goodwill among people.

Meta Meditation: cultivating kindness.

Meta Meditation, an ancient practice rooted in Buddhist philosophy, is a powerful means to nurture kindness. It invites us to extend love and well-wishes to ourselves, loved ones, acquaintances and even to those we may have conflicts with.

This practice transforms the idea of kindness from a mere concept into a living, breathing reality.

Kindness in grief.

Grief is a natural and healthy response to loss. However, it can be a challenging and painful experience.

Meta meditation is a practice that can help to ease the pain of grief and promote healing.

How to practice meta meditation.

Meta meditation is a simple practice that can be done anywhere, anytime. To practice meta meditation, simply follow these steps:

  1. Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed.
  2. Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight.
  3. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
  4. Bring to mind someone you love and care for.
  5. Repeat the following phrases to yourself:

May you be happy. May you be well. May you be safe. May you live with ease.

  1. As you repeat these phrases, imagine that you are sending them to your loved one with all your heart.
  2. Once you have sent these phrases to your loved one, bring to mind yourself.
  3. Repeat the same phrases to yourself, sending yourself loving-kindness and compassion.
  4. Continue to practice meta meditation for as long as you like.

Another form of this practice is:

  1. Reflect on Kindness: Spend a moment considering what kindness means to you. How does it feel to receive kindness, and how can you extend it to others?
  2. Kindness Towards Self: Begin your practice by directing kind thoughts and well-wishes towards yourself. Recognize your worthiness of love and happiness.
  3. Radiate Kindness: Expand your practice by focusing on loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and even those you may have conflicts with. Visualize their happiness, well-being, and serenity.
  4. Universal Kindness: Extend your kindness to all living beings. Visualize a world where kindness is the guiding principle, and compassion flows unconditionally.

Tips for practicing meta meditation.

  • Be patient with yourself. It takes time and practice to cultivate loving-kindness and compassion.
  • Don’t judge yourself if your mind wanders. Simply bring it back to the present moment and continue with the meditation.
  • If you find it difficult to send loving-kindness to yourself, start by sending it to someone you love and care for. Once you feel comfortable with that, you can begin to send loving-kindness to yourself.

So, on this World Kindness Day, I encourage you to practice meta meditation. Send loving-kindness to yourself, to your loved ones, and to all beings everywhere. Do this for a week and notice the difference.

I hope you found this helpful. If you have questions or require support, please do reach out, and I promise I will try to my best to help within my capacity.

May we all be happy, well, safe, and live with ease.

Morning Loving-Kindness in Grief.

This guided meditation is designed to bring comfort to your mornings, by starting your mornings with intentions of self-care and positivity. By focusing on loving-kindness, you’ll create a nurturing space within yourself, allowing grief to co-exist with self-compassion.