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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Kindness?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Kindness


Compassion: This is the aspect of loving kindness that is needed to experience and accept one's hurts and wounds, without defense and without resentment. One cannot have an objective understanding about anyone if there is no Compassion. When there is Compassion it becomes possible to experience one's deep wounds, an experience which readily leads to the aspects related to these wounds. Each time an aspect is buried there results a deep wound in the psyche, and the experience and acceptance of this wound is indispensable for the emergence of the buried aspect. Compassion is usually recognized in its manifestations such as consideration, regard, concern, sympathy, empathy, warmth and the like. However, it is a mode of consciousness, a presence of Being, in a certain differentiated form. Its real significance is not exactly to remove suffering, but to lead to the truth by providing the capacity to tolerate suffering. This increased tolerance for emotional suffering gives the individual the ability to refrain from ego defenses. This allows one to look objectively at one's experience, which facilitates its metabolism. It eliminates suffering in a more ultimate and fundamental sense, by allowing the ability to see the deeper causes of suffering. Also, the increased tolerance and acceptance of experience allows one to just be, instead of trying to manipulate. This allows both objective understanding and personal presence. To be who one is is a compassionate act. It is compassionate towards oneself and towards all others.

Kindness and Inquiry

So inquiry must be cognizant of everything in your experience and take all of it into consideration, but it will have to directly address what really matters to you at the moment. Otherwise, you won't feel that the inquiry is addressing you—it is addressing some idea of what should happen or of what's important. This attunement is the function of kindness or compassion in inquiry. It gives our inquiry an attuned sensitivity, an empathic precision. Inquiry then is attuned to the pain of the soul, her suffering and needs, and to her interests and loves. When inquiry addresses exactly where our heart is, the heart responds; if it is seen and cared for, it will open up.

Kindness and Trust

Here is the connection to safety, to the issue of hurt, and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. When you allow yourself to be vulnerable, the compassion center is open. Don’t we usually trust someone if we see that he is compassionate toward us? Love alone sometimes isn’t enough to engender trust, but when a person has kindness and compassion, we respond with trust. What this means is that the green center of the other person has activated your own green center. It’s the same thing, the same energy. If a person is compassionate toward you, you trust him. Trust and compassion come from the same center.

Kindness as Primary Factor

The next factor needed to prepare ourselves for the perception of the experience of liberation is that of compassionate kindness. It is a very important, necessary quality. You need kindness for yourself because the process is difficult. Since you’re not liberated, it is natural that you’ll suffer, so why push yourself in a way that you’ll suffer more? Why beat yourself up if you make a mistake? The factor of kindness also brings a quality of trust in yourself, trust in the process, a kind of trust in your mind, in your essence. Kindness also brings an unselfish attitude. If you have kindness, you have kindness for everybody, for everything. You have kindness for anything that suffers. You’re doing the work out of kindness because you suffer. You see that you suffer, and out of kindness for yourself you want to do something about it, and that kindness in time extends to others. Other people’s suffering hurts you too. You want to liberate yourself and you want other people to be free from their hurt and suffering. This natural course of events brings in a very important attitude that is a factor in allowing this state of liberation. This liberation has no fixation, and if you are focusing only on yourself, that is already a fixation, the biggest fixation. “What’s in it for me, what hurts me, what doesn’t hurt me, what’s good for me?” Activity is focused around the I, the sense of ego identity. Compassion is a vehicle that dissolves this fixation or boundary, and frees you from self-centeredness. Kindness makes the pain of going through difficult work tolerable, and brings more trust to your mind, your essence and your heart; it brings more gentleness into your work, and more compassion for others, and works on the dissolution of the self-centered fixation which is one of the main barriers to self-liberation. It is a very necessary factor which needs to be developed while we’re working through the personality patterns and issues.

Kindness Gives Our Inquiry a Type of Intelligence

Kindness gives inquiry the capacity to listen to our experience and to be receptive to the communications from our soul. This allows the soul to be wide open to revelation and unfoldment. When our inquiry is characterized by kindness toward ourselves, we are not interested in being judgmental. Our interest is in truly understanding who we are, not changing ourselves or making ourselves fit any model or mold. Kindness gives our inquiry a type of intelligence that is responsive to the actual situation, to the precise nuances of our experience. It expresses our Being’s openness in a completely selfless way. This selfless openness is basic to the operation of the Diamond Guidance. Therefore, our attitude has to correspond to and reflect this selfless service that the Guidance offers us.

Relax into Kindness

You will be much more compassionate and kind, both towards yourself and others, if you just learn to relax. Say, “What is this? Why am I driving myself crazy? Why not relax and have a cup of tea?” Take a walk, forget about all the problems for a while. Why do you think you can only enjoy yourself if there are no problems? Why do you have to wait until you get enlightened? Don’t wait for the mantle of loving kindness to drop on your shoulders before you can be nice to yourself and everyone else. Why wait for it to drop spontaneously, so that you begin to do everything right all of a sudden? That’s not how human life is. You have to work at certain things, exert effort, deal with problems here and there. There will be pleasures, enjoyments, and fulfillment which will help you in dealing with the problems.

The Importance of Strength Also Lies in Its Function of Complementing Kindness

Remember that at the beginning of our practice, we need to defend ourselves against the superego, and to do that, we need to bring forth our aggression and our strength. As a matter of fact, in time, simply feeling our strength burns up the superego, without our doing anything to make it happen. However, we recognize that the importance of strength also lies in its function of complementing kindness. We cannot progress on the path with kindness alone, because sometimes what is happening is scary or destabilizing or disorienting. Perhaps where we are is terrifying because what’s happening is unknown, totally unfamiliar. Or there’s the possibility of pain or of feeling lost or falling apart if we keep going. Then kindness might not be of much help. That’s when we need courage. We need a bold, courageous, adventurous heart to take us where we have never gone. Because that’s what the inner journey is—going where we haven’t gone before. If we only have a nice, kind heart, that might help us to not attack ourselves, but we won’t take the bold step of moving into the now, of being open and vulnerable to whatever beckons us into new territory.

The Infinite Kindness of True Nature

True Nature is a pure research scientist. What does a pure scientist do? He or she explores to find out the truth of a situation. Pure scientists know that as they explore something, they should not interfere with it, should not add to or subtract from it, should not manipulate it one way or another. They just want to know what they are studying as it is, in its bare, naked condition. They don’t desire anything from it; they just want to behold it and discover the truth of what it is. As we have seen, our meddling mind never acts in the way that a pure scientist does. But True Nature, in its infinite kindness, will respond impeccably according to our meddling. It will bring out whatever wisdom or quality or insight is needed in relation to whatever meddling we are doing. That is why True Nature has many qualities—because we engage in many kinds of meddling! In our ordinary condition of never leaving ourselves alone, our manipulation happens on all levels, from gross to subtle. We can be trying to push ourselves through the eye of a needle by molding our experience in some highly manipulative way, or we can be engaging in a subtle form of holding on simply by remembering a condition that we enjoyed in the past and trying to shift our consciousness in that direction. As we continue our study, we will learn more about the various ways that we interfere with our experience. But however we interfere, it is always true that because we don’t have the infinite wisdom, intelligence, and awareness that True Nature has, we don’t know what should happen next in our inner experience. Doing anything to make our moment-to-moment experience different from what it is means we believe we are God; we believe we know how things should be.

The Kindness that Creates an Opening to Whatever is Happening

The intelligence of Compassion allows a kindness that does not try to get rid of suffering but creates an openness to whatever is happening so the truth will have the opportunity to reveal itself. In this way, inquiry goes counter to the tendencies of the ego. Ego doesn’t want to experience pain. It wants to protect itself from pain; Guidance wants to open up the pain. It wants us to feel the pain as fully as possible, for without that willingness to feel whatever is there, we won’t be open to ourselves or our experience. That is why getting in touch with our Compassion requires us to feel our pain and hurt—because our hurt is what invites the Compassion. Compassion comes out as a response to pain. At the same time, we need the Compassion in order to be attuned to our experience so that we can inquire effectively. Without our pain, our kindness would be limited, which would limit our attunement, which would then limit our inquiry. Human beings get used to believing that emotional pain is bad, but emotional pain is mostly an invitation for Compassion, an invitation for sensitivity. That is how human beings learn to be sensitive—we get cooked, and by getting cooked, we soften. We become delicate and sensitive. Of course we need to deal with the pain correctly, for experiencing pain does not in itself develop our sensitivity. It can harden us or distort our perceptions if we have no support from our deeper nature. However, with understanding we can see that if we have a great deal of pain, it gives us a greater opportunity to develop our compassion and sensitivity.

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