It might or might not surprise you to know that showing kindness is steadily going out of fashion in today’s world. More and more, we see and hear cases where people find it extremely difficult to be kind to others, even in their time of need or pain.
Chances are you have experienced the scenario where someone seemed in discomfort, but everyone else wouldn’t even take a second look, not to mention helping. Perhaps some part of you wanted to help too but seeing no else make a move stopped you from performing any acts of kindness. This is known as the bystander effect.
Does this mean we are all heartless and selfish now? Well, not necessarily.
Did you know that to be kind, you must understand the true meaning of the word? Sure, we all have the idea that kindness is about being nice to others. The truth is, it’s much more than that. What is Kindness?
How Meditation is Related to Acts of Kindness
Answer – Kindness is a lot of things. No one is wrong when they say kindness means being nice to others. But it also means having the ability to be happy for someone else, being honest without hurting others with your words or approach, giving and making others feel good, living as the person who learns to love themselves too. These are all acts of kindness.
If you take a good look, you might agree that kindness should be a civic duty. Think about it. If everyone can show any of these variations of kindness, utopia would be real. Well, there might be flaws here and there, but just imagine that feeling radiating from everyone around you.
It’s possible to cultivate feelings of kindness if you find it challenging to be kind. Yes, acts of kindness may seem simple enough, but they are not so simple for everyone.
The cure for the kindness you never knew existed is meditation. And before you start swimming in doubt, read on as I show you how.
It’s within all of us
Long time practitioners of meditation would tell you how kindness is like a mother’s love for her child. It is within all of us, although you might be out of touch with it. Meditation helps you get back in touch and generate the kindness that is already within you. The first-way meditation does this is by making you pay attention to what’s happening around and within you. Meditation widens your perspective from being self-centered to being other-centered. So now, you can see a bigger picture through understanding and compassionate eyes. Performing acts of kindness become easier with this.
It starts with you
Do you love you? This is a whole other issue on its own because time and time again, many humans have proven that they lack self-love. Contrary to what you may think, self-love is not selfish. It’s part of the science of kindness. Loving yourself is showing kindness to yourself first, and meditation helps you reach this level of self-acknowledgment. You quickly discover that only by loving yourself first, can you extend to others. Meditation also helps you create inner strength and confidence to keep you going even when you make mistakes.
Meditation activates your compassion organ
As humans, we can trace almost everything we do to some biological reaction within us. Neuroscientific researchers from Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York discovered through a brain scan that during meditation, the anterior insular cortex, which is the empathy area of the brain, lights up significantly.
There are many more ways meditation digs into our lives to build good feelings of kindness, confidence, and so much more. To get started, here are the major types of meditation that can be used to generate this level of compassion
Types of Meditation to Cultivate Compassion
- Loving-kindness meditation – Loving-kindness meditation looks like it was certainly built to help you generate kindness. With this, you can cultivate friendliness, compassion, patience, and appreciative joy. It takes a while to see the optimum results of this technique, which is fine because no meditation technique promises same-day miracles. Loving-kindness meditation begins with you and involves repeating phrases.
- Mindfulness meditation – Chances are you are familiar with mindfulness meditation. It is one of the most popular meditation techniques. Mindfulness meditation offers lots of benefits and involves guided contemplation and focus.
- Self-compassion meditation – This type of meditation is similar to loving-kindness meditation, but also different. It uses a tricky method of first connecting your compassion to someone else and then directing it back to yourself. Self-compassion practice is especially suitable for those who find it hard to love themselves truly.
- Tonglen meditation – This is a meditation practice used in Tibetan Buddhism. Tonglen means ‘giving and taking.’ You take or inhale someone’s suffering and exhale compassion. It’s a visualization practice.
Be sure to share, to share your experiences with the techniques and always radiate kindness, remembering that one act of kindness can change the world.