Additionally, parents know about the need to set boundaries for their children, which their children often don't think is kind, and there are many other examples of how something that seems unkind or even mean is later seen as a great kindness.
The reverse is often true too, where something offered as a kindness turns out to cause greater suffering. Thus, we can be confronted with this strange reality that we do not really know what kindness even is!
I've copied one of my many favorite Rumi poems below and added a link for those of you who might want a copy of Coleman Barks's Rumi translations. In the following poem, you see an example where a wise person perceives a deeper truth and in accordance to that truth, he tries to help the sleeping man confront his pain. In this poem though, the sleeping man who is awoken by the teacher just sees a man beating him. It's not until later that he can be aware of the depth of the kindness that was being offered.
On this note, I hope you enjoy the recording of this talk.
What Is True Kindness Recording
Date of Talk:Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Time:6 PM Pacific Time
Place:All my talks are being streamed here:
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Additional Spiritual Reading About True Kindness
"Jesus on the Lean Donkey"
The Essential Rumi
Translations by Coleman Barks
Jesus on the lean donkey,
this is an emblem of how the rational intellect
should control the animal-soul.
Let your spirit
be strong like Jesus.
If that part becomes weak,
then the worn-out donkey grows to a dragon.
Be grateful when what seems unkind comes from a wise person.
Once, a holy man,
riding his donkey, saw a snake crawling into
a sleeping man's mouth! He hurried, but he couldn't
prevent it. He hit the man several blows with his club.
The man woke terrified and ran beneath an apple tree
with many rotten apples on the ground.
You miserable wretch. Eat!"
"Why are you doing this to me?"
"Eat more, you fool."
"I've never seen you before!
Who are you? Do you have some inner quarrel with my soul?"
The wise man kept forcing him to eat, and then he ran him.
For hours he whipped the poor man and made him run.
Finally, at nightfall, full of rotten apples,
fatigued, bleeding, he fell
and vomited everything, the good and the bad, the apples and the snake.
When he saw that ugly snake
come out of himself, he fell on his knees
before his assailant.
"Are you Gabriel? Are you god?
I bless the moment you first noticed me. I was dead
and didn't know it. You've given me a new life.
Everything I've said to you was stupid!
I didn't know."
"If I had explained what I was doing,
you might have panicked and died of fear.
'If I described the enemy that lives
inside men, even the most courageous would be paralyzed. No one
would go out, or do any work. No one would pray or fast,
and all power to change would fade
from human beings,'
so I kept quiet
while I was beating you, that like David
I might shape iron, so that, impossibly,
I might put feathers back into a bird's wing.
God's silence is necessary, because of humankind's
faintheartedness. If I had told you about the snake,
you wouldn't have been able to eat, and if
you hadn't eaten, you wouldn't have vomited.
I saw your condition and drove my donkey hard
into the middle of it, saying always under my breath,
'Lord, make it easy on him.' I wasn't permitted
to tell you, and I wasn't permitted to stop
The healed man, still kneeling,
"I have no way to thank you for the quickness
of your wisdom and the strength
of your guidance.
God will thank you."