‘An ancient teaching says that by looking after oneself, one looks after others - and by looking after others, one looks after oneself. Kindfulness, the subject of this small book, is a wonderful way to bring this truth into our lives.’ - Ajahn Brahm
Kindfulness is an attitude, a way of being and a way of meditating.
This book is written by Ajahn Brahm, one of the world’s most famous meditation teachers.
He’s given talks at Google and Facebook HQ, he’s been invited for dinner by The Queen, he’s coached Prime Ministers, and has one of the most popular Buddhist Societies in the world.
I LOVE anything by Ajahn Brahm.
His latest book, Kindfulness, didn’t disappoint.
Ajahn Brahm beautifully explains that mindfulness alone is missing a key, core ingredient - kindness.
He should know - he has meditated for 45 years and most of that time has been spent either in meditation or giving talks on the subject.
So, Kindfulness is the way to go.
Ajahn Brahm’s approach to Kindfulness meditation is made up of 5 stages.
Coming into the present by letting go of past and future.
How to enjoy silent, present moment awareness.
Cultivating a silent awareness of the breath.
Going onto experiencing a full, sustained awareness of the breath.
Enjoying a full, sustained awareness of the ‘beautiful’ breath.
This five stage process is the heart of his approach. But that’s not the only meditation Brahm advocates.
Loving kindness meditation is beautifully described in the book.
Brahm uses the analogy of starting a warm fire in your heart - a fire of love and compassion.
You do this by beginning with the dry kindling of cultivating love towards someone or something you find easy to love.
Once that fire in your heart is roaring, you can even find the capacity to love yourself too - an experience so many of us are challenged by.
Another wonderful meditation Ajahn Brahm describes, is the Letting Be meditation. This is a great meditation for anyone who struggles with the step by step process...it’s simple, easy and powerful. I enjoyed practising that one!
The book then goes on to explain the common challenges that come up in meditation, and kindful ways to overcome them.
The challenges (hindrances) include desire, ill will, sleepiness, anger, remorse, doubt.
Kindfulness is not just a meditation - it’s an attitude and a way of being. As you discover how to be more kind and friendly to your own body, mind and to those around you, life becomes happier for you and others.
Combining a warm, present moment awareness relaxes your body, calms your mind and leads to feelings of deep peace, freedom and bliss.
Everyone is able to access kindfulness. It lies at the heart of all of us. And by reading this book, you’ll be on the way.
If you have any questions or comments about Kindfulness, feel free to share in the comments section below and I'll respond as kindfully as I can. Thanks for reading and/or sharing!