The Tightrope of Kindness and Compassion

The Tightrope of Kindness and Compassion

I think of practicing kindness and compassion as like being on a tightrope, because there are many ways to ‘fall off’! To really practice them consistently and master them takes a lot of discipline and dedication.

How can you fall off?
It’s easy to practice kindness to others (and yourself) when you feel like it, but what about when you don’t feel like it?
Examples of this might be when you have had a tough day, when you are tired, when someone has wounded you with words, when you feel sad or in some way inadequate, when you feel insecure, when the people around us are not demonstrating kindness. These are all situations when it is all too easy to snap at people, to be unkind, to say inconsiderate things, to switch off our capacity to be kind and express kindness and compassion. We all know these types of situation and how easy it is to lapse.

From this we can see that really dedicating oneself to the discipline of kindness is not for the weak of heart or weak of mind. The flip side of this is that one way to build a truly and deeply strong heart and mind is to dedicate ourself to treading the tightrope of kindness each day

Getting on the tightrope each day
Each day you can begin by visualizing the tightrope of kindness and compassion in front of you. The platform at the other end of the tightrope is the end of the day. The game and the challenge is to stay on the tightrope of kindness all day, expressing kindness and compassion in all that you do, without falling off.
The good thing about a visualization meditation of course is that if you do fall off, then in order to get back on you just need to realize that you have fallen off, and mentally ‘get back on’!

© Toby Ouvry 2013, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

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