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Mindful, Communicative Kindness for School
Transcript of Mindful, Communicative Kindness for School
Remember that the more you experience a state of mind, the more you strengthen or nurture it. The more you experience a state of mind, the more of a habit of mind it becomes.
Mindfully Communicating with Kindness
When one is mindful of the things that one thinks and feels, one can cultivate (strengthen) positive ways of thinking and feeling and abandon (let go of) negative ways of thinking and feeling (or not allow them to arise in the first place).
The Goals of Mindfully
Communicating with Kindness
To cultivate (grow, develop, and encourage)
helpful states & habits of heart & mind and
positive and helpful circumstances in society and the world.
Positive States of Mind
Positive states of mind include:
Unhelpful States of Mind
Unhelpful states (and habits) of heart and mind include greed, hatred, and ignorance. These unhelpful ways of thinking and feeling lead to stress. Moreover, they can lead you to say and do things that are harmful.
The Science of Mindfully Communicating with Kindness
Each person's mind has the potential for many different states, ranging from happiness, peace, generosity, openness, and love to sadness, stress, greed, and hatred. According to neuroscience (the science of brains), the more you experience a feeling or way of thinking, the more it becomes a habit of mind (a heartset or mindset). This is an aspect of something called "neuroplasticity." You can change your brain, and potential heart and mind states are like seeds that can be nurtured or neglected.
A presentation by Clay McLeod
Elementary School Teacher & Educational Consultant
To be mindful and kind when communicating,
work together with the person or people you are communicating with in order to really find out what they mean and in order to get across to them what you really mean, in the kindest possible way. Don't just wait for your turn to talk; listen with your whole heart and an open mind. Communication is about connecting with others and understanding the world in as deep a way as possible. Think about how what each of you is saying can make the world a better place, and listen and choose your words with respect for yourself, the other person, and the environment.
When you express yourself and listen to others in this way, you start to see how you are connected to other people and the whole world. When you understand this, you start to see how you can always help others and improve the world (which also makes you feel good!). When you keep this in mind, it becomes a goal, and communication becomes a tool you can use to meet this goal.
Let's unpack that rather
Speaker and Listener Together
The word "communicate" is related to the word "community."
Communication implies having something in common:
communication is sharing meaning.
Looking at communication this way, it can be seen as a cure for separation, bullying, and loneliness.
True communication can be connection in action.
Mindfulness can be defined as
"being aware of what is happening in the present moment in a calm and non-judgmental way."
To communicate clearly, it is helpful to be aware of what you're really thinking, what the best way to say it might be, and how the other person seems to be feeling when he or she hears you. When you are aware of these things, you are more likely to understand the other person and have him or her understand you. This kind of awareness improves connection.
People can feel stressed in many different ways for many different reasons. Everybody experiences some stress. Stress can come in the form of worry, sadness, sickness, pain, anxiety, fear, and discomfort.
Stress is reflected in society and the world as illness, violence, war, discrimination, racism, sexism, poverty, and harm to the environment (like pollution).
Practicing mindfulness and kindness when communicating helps to reduce stress (for yourself, others, and the world).
Connection and Interdependence
"It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality. Did you ever stop to think that you can't leave for your job in the morning without being dependent upon most of the world? You get up in the morning and go to the bathroom and reach over for the sponge, and that's handed to you by a Pacific Islander. You reach for a bar of soap, and that's given to you at the hands of a Frenchman. And then you go into the kitchen to drink your coffee for the morning and that is poured into your cup by a South American. And maybe you want tea: that's poured into your cup by a Chinese. Or maybe you desire to have cocoa for breakfast, and that's poured into your cup by a West African. And then you reach over for your toast, and that's given to you at the hands of an English-speaking farmer, not to mention the baker. And before you finish your breakfast in the morning, you've depended on more than half the world. This is the way our universe is structured, that is its interrelated quality. We aren't going to have peace on earth until we recognize this basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality.”
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
In fact, all people and things are interconnected, and they depend on one another.
We are deeply connected to one another.
This means that the reduction of stress for one means the reduction of stress for all.
The metaphor of Indra's Net imagines a cosmic lattice structure that has millions of jewels in it. When you look at the facets of each jewel in Indra's net, you see all the other millions of jewels reflected by those facets.
As the Vietnamese peace activist
Thich Nhat Hanh puts it,
"the one is present in the all, and the all is present in the one."
Remember that we are connected to other people, so our feelings and thoughts have an impact on others (especially when they influence our words and actions). When we train our brains, we help ourselves, but we also help those around us!
This means that positive states of mind make the world a better place, so when we train and take care of our brains, we are taking care of the whole world. For instance, being environmentally-aware is a state of mind that helps the planet. Standing up and speaking out against bullying is the result of habits of mind and helps whole communities.
Being mindful of the impact of one's thoughts, words, and actions, as well as the situation of the person that one is communicating with
= kindness in action.
This kindness in action
awareness of the connection one shares with other people and all things
communication that is a powerful force for good in the world.
Putting effort into generating and strengthening positive and helpful states of heart and mind in one's self and nurturing them in others reduces stress and makes happiness and peace possible.
The energy that arises from these kinds of interactions has the potential to change the entire world for the better.