The Dalai Lama always says:
“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”
While the Dalai Lama is Buddhist, this quote makes me smile as I teach Taoism in terms of Kindness. It’s the common thread that connects all my dialogues.
Religion should always be about following your heart. Of course following one’s heart, when we have so many options, is a challenging process. Yet to find heart is to follow kindness.
The trouble comes when a few people try to control many. Kindness can never be truly used to control others. Instead too many leaders (religious and political) use unkind tactics for purposes of control. Hence, you find fear, conflict, forced conversion, segregation and so many other unkind tactics to force others to follow doctrine or laws. Such tactics are always self defeating since in being unkind, they harm the very person inflicting them. (But often this is only apparent in the long view of things, so kindness is tempered by patience)
- Ask yourself: Am I living kindly? Do I treat others with Kindness?
That is, do I treat others as if they share the same essence of life as myself?If not, then ask yourself why not?
- Examine any leader’s actions and ask are they Kind? That is, do they treat others as equals?If not, then ask them: why not?
Unkind acts are those actions trying to control something in an unbalanced manner. As a result all unkind actions will always create unbalanced situations. If you are stuck, if you are trying to solve a problem that always seems to spin out of control, or if everything you try fails… Re-look at the problem and try instead to use kindness in how actions are applied.
Remember Kindness is not: to always be nice.
Kindness is to treat everything in respect and
as part of the same essence as yourself.
This is why applying kindness is such a difficult process to grasp.
Kindness requires balanced actions.
To always be perfectly nice is as unbalanced as being always terrible.
More importantly, it’s possible to retake what the Dali Lama says and state it this way
“My religion is very human
My religion is kindness.”
In being human: it’s a personal choice if we make it complicated or simple.
Many people are in awe of the Dali Lama because he chooses to make the process simple. But the real point: It’s a personal choice… It’s in every person’s grasp to choose simple… So remember when you are tired of making it complicated, try simple for a change of pace.
Release making kindness hard… and live simply…
(This is another part of Taoism: teaching release paired to kindness)
What is Kindness?
So an important aspect to Taoism is embracing kindness.
But what is kindness?
Kindness is to live to one’s essence.
Generally speaking, people actually rarely take the time to be kind to themselves in how they spend their life. Being kind means being equal in the transactions you do have … for life’s balance sake…
Most people know the golden rule:
Do unto others as you do unto yourself.
The question is do you see how the golden rule can become un-balanced? Stated in this manner people often take the rule to only be nice to others. Lets balance this statement out a bit:
Do unto others as you do unto yourself.
Do unto yourself as you do unto others.
You see while the first line could imply the second line, in the literal sense it is unbalanced and people fall into the trap of only pushing kindness outward, So sadly many people miss that implication and then only push out kindness to others and forget to be kind to themselves!
When helping another person who has given too much, the first thing you must do , is remind them to be kind to themselves. To remind them it isn’t kind to give away too much of one’s soul to another, if it means diminishing your own essence, or hurting oneself in a way that later means you cannot help another.
Kindness requires balance.
ESSENCE: What is Essence?
So since kindness is the process of living to your essence, it becomes important to look at the meaning of our essence.
Essence Short Definition
For a person “essence” is the core nature that makes each person… them…
It’s the core aspect before the words even, before the stories.
We each have a spark of life: but that spark of life has a “core personality to it”, a “Style” and that is your essence.
Now essence as a term is overloaded and means several things at once so understand this means essence is a very relative word.
Essence Longer Definition
Some words are fractal in nature, they mean seemingly different things depending on how you look at it. Yet each way of looking at the word in the end still is based on the same core truth.
Essence is one of these fractal words.
The inner definition of essence is: fundamental / core nature of something.
Yet if you look at yourself as a human… well the essence of a human is their style, in how they hold their story. If you look at yourself in terms of biology… then your essence is a collection Cells & DNA and how they reproduce… If you look at yourself as the universe, then you quickly might see your essence as god…
Then there are the problem of labels… Labels, labels, labels. We slap labels on top of everything to muddle the damn definitions, to change them with that label… If you label yourself as Christian then seemingly you then see your essence as relative to “Christian” written ideals compared to a Hindu who would hold their essence as “Hindu” traditions. Labels seemingly change everything… So much so we fight wars over trying to common-“ize” these dang labels. Yet labels don’t make a difference since labels are merely a story.
So true essence transcends a story.
When in Taoism we talk about True Essence this is in part what is referred to as being your fundamental nature and likewise your essence at a deeper core level. And then original essence hints at the core to the core… but if you think about it… it’s still fractal and really all the same… rather we are talking about levels of perception now and how it plays out relative to how you ask the question “what is your essence…”
So many different ways of seeing the same thing. But seemly changes radically just depending on how you view it, hold it or play with it.
🙂 our essence love it, explore it, play with it… Hold true to your style and don’t forget to embrace it as your essence.
How do we deal with unkindness?
Right now, many people feel we are living in an unkind culture. People find their actions of kindness are lost to the greater greed of a Consumption based society.
So people look outward for saviors and hope
The truth is, we
- Don’t need new ideas how to save the day.Someone may come along to re-package old ideas in a new manner to start a movement, But the information needed is already at hand. A new spokesperson for our age, will probably happen, but that is merely optional.
- Don’t need a person to save us…
No in the end we each save ourselves, if you have to follow another person to become yourself… then ironically chances are you are not truly living in your own heart.
We follow others not to discover our hearts, we follow others because we enjoy their company and have like minded destinations to explore.
- Don’t wait for government to change.We are the government, we don’t save the day only by voting , we save the day by including other actions and building a better place now. Lets face it many of the laws of the last two decades have been laws imposed to limit people’s rights.We need normal individuals to get back into politics and remove special interests from the process. Will this be easy no, but it requires average people to step up, live and be active in their life, and for us all to start being involved in politics. Not only by voting for the parties or special groups but by being the ones to get voted in!!!
We need every day people in government jobs to get brave enough not to fear losing their jobs but rather doing their jobs for the people. Too many people work in government now for the job as salary rather than to live out life in public service. I have worked in government for many years so I am not claiming high moral ground. I understand the problems a government worker faces, and sadly the system has evolved to force government workers to not be effective.This has to change.
The only way it will change is if people stop complaining about government and get themselves involved at all levels to support the government processes.
The United States is “We the people”. As long as “we the people” and “government” are at odds, then the government “Isn’t of the people”.
It is this polarization that opens the doorway for special interests to take control of the process.
We create relative to the reflection to our actions.
We receive what our actions reflect.
- Those living to conflict will inherit only ashes of the past
- Those supporting Big Business will primarily end up as cancer victims, as they reap the toxicity produced. Too many people have bought into the consumer model and a large part of the price of that consumption is cancer, diabetes, depression, chronic fatigue and so many other diseases
If kindness represents our essence.
Then only kindness reflects back what we are without distortions!
People living to kindness will inherit a world worth living in since it will be a world:
of the people
for the people
by the people…
This isn’t idealism I am speaking about, it’s simple reflection and how our actions reflect who we are…
Use this as a guide to help understand if you are helping things or making things worse. Then make life corrections accordingly if you want the world to be a better place.
If what you are doing is causing conflict or waste or illness in any manner then that’s the major clue you are not acting kindly nor truly compassionately.
It isn’t easy to act kindly. There is much we inherited that must be cleaned up and many mistakes we have made also. We seek shortcuts and the truth is we must remove Judgment from how we measure kindness.
However, we each have an entire lifetime to practice it and get it right.
This is doable, if we just … do it.