It’s Not Mindfulness Without Kindness

Here's one thing that might be missing from your definition of mindfulness.

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The term mindfulness has been mentioned everywhere from front cover TIME Magazine to speeches at the United Nations. But some people are asking…what’s next?

Earlier this year I attended a talk by my favourite monk, Ajahn Brahm. He was speaking at Google Headquarters in Mountain View, California—a cool place for a forest monk to hang out. Brahm expressed the problem of separating mindfulness and compassion—they work far better together.

Mindfulness on it’s own is simply a present moment non-judgmental awareness, as researchers say. But to develop the beautiful peace, gentleness, and stillness of meditation, a kindly awareness is required.

So Brahm developed a new term—kindfulness. And I like it!

Mindfulness and kindness are the two wings to help you soar to the dizzy heights of insightful wisdom, unconditional joy, and deep peace.

I think rather than using the word mindfulness, perhaps kindfulness is better—it reminds you to be forgiving and friendly as you practice.

Mindfulness without kindness becomes dry, boring, and cold. Kindness without mindfulness is hard to imagine. How can you be kind if you’re not aware of what you’re being kind to?

Most good meditation teachers encourage a warm, kind, and friendly awareness. But I think rather than using the word mindfulness,…