Kindness is a Virtue –
Nov. 7, 2020 – Kindness has become difficult, and politeness is beginning to seem like a quaint relic of pre-pandemic life – along the lines of blowing out birthday candles or sharing appetizers at bars.
Nov. 7, 2020 – Luckily, we can look to ancient disciplines for guidance. Loving kindness meditation, which traces its roots to early Buddhism, helps us find compassion for one another even during trying times. The meditation prompts us to send thoughts of loving kindness first to loved ones, then to neutral persons and finally to challenging persons. Over time, our negative thoughts are replaced with more open, accepting ones, our anger eclipsed by love (or, at least, kindness).
Donald Altman, a Portland, Ore., psychotherapist, former monk and author of “Simply Mindful: a 7-Week Course and Mental Handbook for Mindful Living,” learned the practice from a traditional Burmese Buddhist monk during his time in the monastery. He says loving kindness meditation (LKM) helps us recognize we are all fragile, we have all been hurt. “For that reason, we could all benefit from love’s warm and comforting blessing,” he says.