As we started a new quarter last week, our mindfulness practice asked us to look at all things in our environment with loving eyes. How did you do with this practice? I know when I first read about the practice I thought “loving eyes?” If I do that to a stranger, will they think I’m coming on to them or something? Then I realized that looking at a total stranger with loving eyes can be achieved by simply smiling when you talk to them. It seems to work with most people. How can you not smile back at someone? To me, smiles are contagious. Smiles and laughter are the one form of language that we all share as human beings on this planet, regardless of our native language.
This Week’s Practice: Secret Acts of Virtue
This week’s mindfulness practice is fun. Secret Acts of Virtue. Paying it forward. Doing something nice for someone without them knowing. I was first introduced to this practice a few years ago. It may have been called Acts of Kindness or something similar. But the intent was the same: to engage in a secret act of virtue or kindness for someone anonymously.
My favorite approach to this was paying for the meal of the person behind me at the drive-thru window. I remember the quizzical look on the cashier’s face when I told her what I wanted to do. I don’t think she “got” what I was doing.
Secret acts of virtue can be as simple as picking up trash, collecting the shopping carts in the parking lot, or buying someone a cup of coffee. While we humans love to receive recognition for our good deeds, there is something even more satisfying in doing something for someone anonymously.
So this week see how you can engage in secret acts of kindness. In doing so, you not only open your heart but the heart of others too.
Reflection: Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. -Lao Tzu