“The vibrations of the world pass through your body. There is a constant exchange of magnetism between you and your surroundings and the people with whom you come in contact…Cultivate within yourself the spiritual magnetism which is in Christ and Krishna and all the masters. In order to do this, you have to become unselfish; you must express selfless love for all. Try always to be helpful. Develop your usefulness daily to your family, community, to your friends. Be willing to help wherever you are. ” (Paramahansa Yogananda, The Divine Romance).
How good natured, helpful, or friendly are you towards others? Do you just look straight forward, like a horse on a race track, engrossed in your own world most of the time, as if your time is the the only time that counts? How willing or able are you to genuinely experience the joys, sorrows or needs of others, and make yourself emotionally available beyond mere appearances? If you were to look deep within, do you experience envy or annoyance at times when others share their good news with you, or ask you for a favor? I once had a self proclaimed ‘spiritual-sister’ tell me: “You always know who your true friends are in LA by whoever makes the time to come to the airport to pick you up.” A few months later I asked her if she could please pick me up when I got in from an overseas flight. Being relatively new to LA, public airport transport was a daunting enigma which I could not unravel at the time, hence needing the guidance of my native friend. She unapologetically declined, saying it was too late for her, and advised me to try to figure out where I can find an Uber (which were not allowed to come to the airport terminals for pick ups at the time!).
Do you grasp the deeper meaning of altruism? Being thoughtful and selfless sounds good on paper and in spiritual circles, but understanding what selflessness encompasses reaches beyond mere appearances. It’s beyond sharing half your bag of potato chips. It’s about sharing EMOTION. IT’S ABOUT SHARING YOUR TIME. Altruism and kindness-friendliness stem from the same root: OPENNESS OF HEART. True kindness comes from a heart that is open to the needs of others – their mental, spiritual, emotional, physical needs. Did you know that if you shut yourself off from experiencing or sharing in the happiness of another person, remaining detached or aloof, weather they are sharing their joys or hardships with you, YOU WILL INEVITABLY CONTAMINATE YOUR MIND, PSYCHE, AND ENTIRE BEING, WITH THE LOWER VIBRATIONS OF ANXIETY, ISOLATION, DEPRESSION, AND DISPASSION FOR THE WORLD? Why are people anxious? Because they are all wrapped up in Them-Selves 24/7 – their needs, their problems, their agendas. What happens when you volunteer and contribute your time giving to a cause, helping others? You step outside of the “all-about-me” agenda, and the anxiety that you’ve created around your life suddenly melts into an altruistic state of pure being, where thinking and caring about others elevates you to higher state. You move from being into yourself, by being in the moment – and that moment that you spare plays a significant part in someone else’s life!
This openness of heart is the core foundation of all the world’s religions, sublimating in the Vedantic, Buddhist and Christ’s teachings. One of the techniques of cultivating a higher spiritual state, is allowing the mind to rest in a state of tranquility by purifying it with the thought of happiness and compassion for others. This is the foundation of Vedic and Buddhist meditation. Think about it, when you are upset or annoyed at someone they steal your peace of mind, don’t they? The Dalai Lama says that, “According to Buddhism, compassion is an aspiration, a state of mind, wanting others to be free from suffering. It’s not passive — it’s not empathy alone — but rather an empathetic altruism that actively strives to free others from suffering. Genuine compassion must have both wisdom and lovingkindness. That is to say, one must understand the nature of the suffering from which we wish to free others (this is wisdom), and one must experience deep intimacy and empathy with other sentient beings (this is lovingkindness).” Pantanjali, the great Indian Sage and author of the Yoga Sutras, also writes in what many believe to be one of his most important Sutras as a key preliminary practice for attaining a deeper and more tranquil meditative state, “By cultivating attitudes of friendliness towards the happy, and compassion for the unhappy….the mind retains it’s undisturbed calmness.” (The Yoga Sutras, Part1/35).
So go out of your way starting today, experience and share your FRIENDLINESS AND COMPASSION with others, and see what happens! Let go of saying, “Sorry, I can’t” for a while. Take off your blinders and look around. There’s always someone you can be kind to! And at the end of each day, remember that feeling of SHARING YOURSELF. Step back, unwind, close your eyes, and just connect to your own precious heart. Notice how your mind is filled with joy and peace – a sense of inner contentment. Recognize how being a giver brings you much greater joy, peace, and metal calmness than being a taker. Enjoy the inter-connectivness of life. You deserve to feel this greater joy coming back to you!
*Try this affirmation when you wake up, mid-day, and before you go to sleep for one week: “I feel connected to everyone today. I share everyone’s joy, and fill my heart with friendship and kindness for all!” You will see how the world suddenly responds to you with overwhelming kindness!