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Kindness is a Guardian and Protector

May 17, 2023
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Yin Yoga meditation for kindness

Kindness is a guardian and protector on the yoga mat and in the rest of life. Its energy is available within us to call on at any time for ourselves or on behalf of someone else. The following is an excerpt from my book Yin Yoga & Meditation: A Mandala Map for Practice, Teaching, and Beyond, a story on the power of kindness and a brief exercise to help yourself or someone else feel better. This little legend is such a sweet reminder of how acts of compassion, however small, can and do make a difference and create change in ourselves, in others, and in the world.

Every Kindness Matters

“Perhaps you’ve heard the ancient Indian tale of a small parrot who was enduring a terrible storm raging in the forest. At the height of the storm, lightning struck a dead tree, causing it to burst into flames. The frightened little parrot watched as the fire spread quickly and soon endangered all the animals who lived there. The parrot flew wildly about to warn the animals, but the raging fire had many of them trapped. Desperate to help her friends, the parrot darted to the river, dipped into the water, then circled back over the fire, shaking her wings to release the drops of water. The tiny droplets tumbled down into the blaze and vanished with barely a hiss. Again and again, the relentless parrot returned from the river, each time shaking drops of water from her charred feathers onto the mounting flames.

Though sincere, her small efforts were simply no match for such a massive fire. The divine eagle Garuda, the fierce God of Protection, noticed the flurried activity and flew down to the tiny bird. “Little parrot,” he asked, “what do you think you’re doing? This fire is much too large for you. Save yourself.” The exhausted parrot turned to him sadly and said, “Lord Garuda, though I’m small, I’m just trying to do what I can.” The little parrot’s courage and compassion instantly touched Garuda’s heart. Large tears began to flow down his face, falling onto the burning forest in massive streams. More and more tears poured from his eyes onto the fire, eventually extinguishing every flame and saving the animals from danger.”

Kindness is a guardian angel able to enter any circumstance, even the deepest suffering, and begin to calm and transform it.

Begin this exercise by spending a few moments settling into the heart of compassion within you. Bring your attention to rest in the spaciousness of your heart as you breathe with ease.

Perhaps now you say these short phrases as you send yourself the energy of lovingkindness and compassion:

My heart is resilient and loving

I deserve happiness, health, and ease

Continue this for a few moments more…

Now turn your attention to someone you know who is having a difficult time.

It could be someone you know well and care very deeply for, or it could be someone more on the periphery of your life, or even a particular community of people , that you just happen to know is moving through something difficult.

Picture their face if you can, just as it might be now. As you watch them, try saying those phrases you offered yourself at the beginning now to them:

Your heart is resilient and loving

You deserve happiness, health, and ease.

Even though they might not be here with you or even might be very far away, trust that the compassionate energy these wishes carry will reach them. Nothing obstructs love. No distance is too great, no suffering too deep.  Your compassion is going to them now.

Continue for some time, saying these simple but precious words right to their spirits:

Your heart is resilient and loving

You deserve happiness, health, and ease.

It is a big world with much uncertainty, and sometimes we all feel alone with our pain. But this person is not alone right now – you are there with them. Let them feel your caring, and your wish that they feel relief and joy once again.

If you haven’t yet had a chance, you can pick up a copy of this book and the many meditations and inspiration like this within it at Amazon.  If you have, thank you and I hope you’re finding it valuable. If you ever feel led to offer a customer review on Amazon know that it makes a huge difference. Amazon reviews are very important to Amazon search functionality in order to be found by others. My wish is that this book and the practices it explores will help you and as many people as possible be happy and healthy.

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