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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.
Mindful, Communicative 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
Mindful, Communicative Kindness
wholesome states & habits of 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 mind include greed, hatred, and ignorance. These unhelpful ways of thinking and feeling lead to stress. Moreover, they can result in speech and action that is harmful.
The Psychology of Mindful, Communicative Kindness
Each person's mind has the potential for many different states, ranging from happiness, joy, peace, generosity, openness, and love to sorrow, grief, stress, greed, aversion, and hatred. According to the psychology of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), the more you experience a state, the more it becomes a habit of mind. This is an aspect of something called "neuroplasticity." You can change your brain, and potential mind states are like seeds that can be nurtured or neglected.
A presentation by Clay McLeod
Elementary School Teacher & Educational Consultant
Mindful, communicative kindness is
when both speaker and listener work together in mutual awareness to deliberately share meaning with one another in ways which support truth and wisdom, unclouded by ignorance, in order to reduce suffering, for speaker, listener, and others, from a perspective of profound respect for, and a sense of communion with, one another and all phenomena.
Mindful, communicative kindness incorporates an understanding of the profound interdependence of phenomena, and it derives from a wholehearted aspiration to connect with others and cultivate wholesome mind and heart states in oneself and others, as well as beneficial circumstances in the world.
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, competition, and alienation.
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 includes sadness, affliction, pain, anxiety, dissatisfaction, discomfort, anguish, misery, and aversion.
Stress is reflected in society and the world as illness, violence, war, discrimination, oppression, exploitation, poverty, marginalization, and ecological degradation.
Practicing mindful, communicative kindness helps to reduce stress.
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 fundamentally interconnected and
interdependent (they depend on one another).
We are profoundly 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."
Because of our connection with others, our states and habits of mind have an impact on others; the quality of our presence, including thoughts, words, and actions, impacts others. When we train our brains, we help ourselves, but we also help those around us!
Moreover, 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 mind in oneself 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.