Yesterday I wasn’t feeling particularly aggravated or irritable, I thought I was quite centered and calm as I worked on the computer and answered multiple phone calls. There were several tasks to be done at once and I was emailing documents back and forth when the phone rang again. This time it was a telemarketer and not one of the people I was expecting. She wasn’t unpleasant or rude, just doing her job with persistence, but I tried to get off the phone quickly and move onto more “important” things. As I was trying to end that call, my cell phone rang and I picked it up, whispering to the “important” person I knew was calling, to hold on for a moment. After finishing the one call and addressing my friend on the cell call, he asked, “Who was that?”

In a flash of crystal clarity, I realized he had heard me and picked up on the impatient and not very kind energy I had with my other caller. I explained the call and he didn’t give any criticism, but it was very clear to me that although my words had not been rude, my attitude had been. There is never a good excuse for being unkind.

Have you ever noticed that life seems to hold a theme for a while until you pick up on the lesson being offered? Kindness is my theme right now.

In every circumstance and setting of my daily life, I’m acutely aware of the little acts of kindness that can transform and heal and connect us to unconditional divine love. One child sweetly asks another child to join a game on the school playground, a friend listens to my small concerns with calm good humor, a woman at the grocery store offers a stranger her place in line, the bank teller listens to the halting speech of an elderly customer with patience and a smile.

The pain caused by harsh words and thoughtless unkindness seems to be amplified as well. When I witness the myriad ways we have of expressing our limited self-centered concern, the contractive energy squeezes on my heart and I seem to feel the pain on multiple levels. The dark consciousness seems to hover in the air like a toxic cloud.

In his book, Affirmations for Self-Healing, Swami Kriyananda says, “Kindness is the recognition that all are truly our own.” It’s worth noting that the book is not called Affirmations for Fixing Those Other People – it was written as a tool for transforming our own consciousness.

Swami Kriyananda has tried to help us understand that everyone is seeking happiness and trying to escape suffering – everyone is a spiritual aspirant and a fellow traveler on the path. Everyone we meet is a divine friend.

Paramhansa Yogananda even explained that through the millions of lifetimes we have in human form, searching for true happiness and freedom from suffering, we literally have countless millions of loved ones. In fact, everyone on the planet has karmic connections that have drawn us to be here together. That’s a mind boggling thought.

Kindness is the simplest spiritual practice there is. There is nothing to memorize, nothing to make time for, nothing to study, nothing to buy, no vow to take, no requirement for initiation, no limitations of time or space. Kindness is a door we must open for infinite love and divine attunement to enter our life.

If you want to know what perfect kindness looks like, look to Swami Kriyananda. He has been known to say, “All I ask is that you be kind to one another.”

In divine friendship,

A Place Called Ananda

A blog by disciples of Paramhansa Yogananda