The Spiritual Practice of Kindness
Last Sunday, Rev. Terry and I delivered a service to you that focused on how the practice of kindness is intertwined with the practice of democracy. Both require deep listening (even when we disagree), compassion, and fairness (restorative justice). I offered you ways to develop some spiritual muscle in order to practice kindness with others with whom it seems risky to do so. What follows are principles and actions that The Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray (our current Unitarian Universalist President) recommends we follow in order that we may each become stronger, spiritually, as we try to practice kindness in this troubled world.
From Rev. Jeanne’s Reflection, 11/8/20:
To really practice transformative kindness with others requires some spiritual muscle. It requires that we intentionally develop the spiritual discipline of practicing kindness, starting with ourselves before we move on to others.
The Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray follows this spiritual discipline to deepen her spiritual discipline of practicing kindness. There are three parts.
- First Principle – Name or share a kindness received, each day. Doing so, offers us the opportunity to develop the ability to recognize kindness when it happens. Naming acts of kindness is a first step toward creating health.
- Second Principle – Engage in a daily Kindness Meditation, offering a blessing of hope, love, kindness, wellness and peace for yourself and for others:
- Begin with yourself – reflect on what kindness you can extend to yourself . . .
- Reflect on a close friend, offer them love and hope in your meditation . . .
- Reflect on someone you don’t know well. Offer them wellness and peace in your meditation . . .
- Reflect on someone with whom you have difficulty. Offer them hope, love, kindness, peace and wellness . . .
- Finally, offer a blessing of love and kindness to all living things . . .
- Third Principle – reflect on how this practice affects you and your relationships.
None of this is easy. All of it requires a commitment of your soul, and of your time, to realize that the transformation you seek in others starts first with a change in your spirit health.
May we be up to the challenge.