The Mindfulness Blog

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How Can I Help You To Say Goodbye?

One of the most poignant lines in the song is something we 've all heard countless times before, and will likely hear countless times, again: "Life's about changing, nothing ever stays the same". The impermanence of everything, and the wistful realization we all wrestle with-- it's an immutable fact of life.

One corresponding truth is that we may not be able to control change, but we can control-- or, at least, work on-- the way in which we respond. One way to respond is by helping others, which is rooted in kindness and compassion. Transitioning our attention from "me" to "we", in a way that is proactive and sensitive to the needs of others, as opposed to wallowing in self-directed hand wringing.

My favorite place to begin, when thinking about kindness or compassion, is with metta meditation. For many, meditation is a practice that is exclusively about me, and granted, a lot of meditation practices are inward-facing. But that's not the case with metta meditation, which may begin with an inward-facing orientation toward one's self (May I be happy/May I be healthy/May I be safe/May I find ease in my life), but quickly changes to an outward-facing practice, directing the very same wishes to others.

Like many memorable prayers that many of us in the States may have memorized, metta meditation can be a kind of internal "messaging" (to borrow a term from the political world)-- a reminder of haw important it is to be kind and compassionate to both others, and to ourselves. Conventional wisdom teaches that, "home is where the heart is", and giving ourselves a little love can also be the start of extending that same love, and respect.

The Golden Rule (more conventional wisdom) instructs us to do unto others, as we would have them do unto us. So does metta meditation-- a rose, by any name, is still a rose!

In modern lawyer-speak, kindness and compassion are pretty much the same thing as "civility". Maybe that's a C-word more folks-- (especially lawyers, who are not taught to be either kind, or compassionate)-- can identify with, but the underlying truth remains the same.

Love, respect, kindness, compassion? They're all components of civility, and that's a quality that can help us all!


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