Day 35: Kindness Through Non-Attachment
“He who binds to himself a joy, does the winged life destroy; he who kisses the joy as it flies, lives in eternity’s sunrise.” – William Blake
One who holds desperately onto to something or someone that makes one feel good ruins the joy, but one who enjoys the moment will be happy forever. True joy is best felt in the moment. It cannot be forced nor can it be hoarded or manufactured, it can only be created and felt spontaneously. The flip side of this is that joy does not last forever, and so we will feel and experience pain and a whole gamut of other feelings and situations. It is understanding that impermanence and change are the only constants in life. It is living in non-attachment.
Kindness to Self:
Sounds wonderful, but how do we put this into a personal practice? How can I live a life of non-attachment and what does that look and feel like? The closest I have come to practicing non-attachment is through my practice of yoga and meditation. I am still learning what this means and how it feels, but I like to think of it as allowing myself to experience and, more importantly, accept the rainbow of feelings, situations and people, even the unpleasant ones.
Kindness to Others:
If you love something or someone, set it or them free. So much easier said than done! It is human nature to want to keep the things and the people that we love close to us. Maybe it is allowing those we love the most the freedom to be who they are and love them regardless of how we feel. To love unconditionally is perhaps the goal, in the meantime, do the best you can.
Kindness to Strangers:
There are times that we have negative encounters and experiences with strangers. Maybe we caught a waiter on a bad day or a stranger pushed us out of the way as they were rushing to catch a train. Whatever the negative experience, try practicing non-attachment and let the negative experience brush past you as quickly as it came.
Kindness to Our Planet:
Impermanence comes to mind when I think of our planet and the display of mother nature on a daily basis. Let the law of nature and science be a metaphor for life. Just a seasons change and day turns into night, so does life and what it brings to our lives. Learn to live in the moment and experience whatever this moment brings.
Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com/GregHurley