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Archive for September 23, 2014

Launching 21-Day Challenge Portal! (And Oct 2nd Challenge)

KindSpring 21-Day Challenge
Dear KindSpring Community,

Last year, you helped create a 21-Day Challenge that rippled out a lot of good in our communities. Today, we’re thrilled to announce a launch which steps up that spirit: KindSpring’s 21-Day Challenge Portal! This labor-of-love platform makes it easy for anyone, anywhere to join an existing challenge or host one of their own.

The Back-Story: Last year over 17 thousand people joined our 21-Day Kindness and Gratitude Challenges. It was clear that people everywhere were ready to embody Gandhi’s words and "be the change they wish to see in the world". Afterwards, many of you asked about ways to continue that ripple of positivity in your lives. We brainstormed various ideas and ended up creating an entire platform where anyone can host a new challenge or join an existing one. Current themes range from Kindness, and Mindfulness to Gratitude and the Eco-Footprint challenge! We’ve even created tools that enable you to design your own challenge around any theme of your choice. You can then invite friends, manage groups, and have a private story feed. Our intention is to offer participants a rich array of themes, and the intimate experience of taking a 21-Day Challenge with their own community of friends, co-workers, classmates or family members. And things are already taking off! In just the last few weeks of our beta release, more than 70 challenges have been created, and we’re excited to see what emerges next 🙂

To kick things off, KindSpring will be hosting a world-wide 21-Day Kindness challenge. It starts October 2nd. To join a group of global friends practicing kindness together, simply register here. Throughout the year, we will continue to host challenges on different themes open to all.

Thank you for your friendship in these collective experiments of love. Together, we can unleash a revolution of good.

With smiles,

The KindSpring Crew

Small Acts with Big Love

5 Ways Science Says Kindness Will Change Your Life

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September 23, 2014

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5 Ways Science Says Kindness Will Change Your Life

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

– The Dalai Lama –

5 Ways Science Says Kindness Will Change Your Life

Is kindness just an old-fashioned value celebrated in kindergarten and then soon forgotten as one grows older and more ambitious — or is there more to it? As increasing numbers of people look to live a purpose-driven life, research is beginning to reveal the tremendous rewards that come with living kindly. What follows are some of the most compelling recent studies on the topic of kindness, and the ramifications they hold for ourselves and our world. { read more }

Be The Change

Do your mind, body and spirit a favor today and commit to kindness by joining the global 21-Day Kindness Challenge that kicks off on October 2nd! { more }

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Awakin Weekly: Suffering Leads to Grace

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InnerNet Weekly: Inspirations from ServiceSpace.org
Suffering Leads to Grace
by Ram Dass

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1041.jpgFor most people, when you say that suffering is Grace it seems off the wall to them. And we’ve got to deal now with our own suffering and other people’s suffering. That is a distinction that is very real, because we may see our suffering as Grace but it’s quite a different thing to look at somebody else’s suffering and say it’s Grace.

Grace is something that an individual can see about their own suffering and then use it to their advantage. It is not something that can be a rationalization for allowing another human being to suffer. You have to listen to the level at which another person is suffering. When somebody is hungry, you give them food. As my guru used to say, God comes to the hungry person in the form of food. You give them food and then when they’ve had their belly filled then they may be interested in questions about God. To give somebody a dharma lecture when they are hungry is just inappropriate methodology in terms of ending suffering.

So, the hard answer for seeing suffering as Grace, and this is a stinker really, is that you have to have consumed suffering into yourself. There is a tendency in us to find suffering aversive, and so we want to distance ourselves from it. Like if you have a toothache, it becomes that toothache. It’s not us any more. It’s that tooth. And so if there are suffering people, you want to look at them on television or meet them but then keep a distance from them. Because you are afraid you will drown in it. You are afraid you will drown in a pain that will be unbearable. And the fact of the matter is you have to. You finally have to. Because if you close your heart down to anything in the universe, it’s got you. You are then at the mercy of suffering.

To have finally dealt with suffering is to consume it into yourself. Which means you have to, with eyes open, be able to keep your heart open in hell. You have to look at what is, and say Yea, Right. And what it involves is bearing the unbearable. And in a way, who you *think* you are can’t do it. Who you *really* are, can do it. So that who you think you are has to die in the process.

Like, right now, I am counseling a couple who went to a movie and when they came home their house had burned down and their three children had burned to death. Three, five and seven. And she is Mexican Catholic and he is a Caucasian Protestant. And they are responding entirely different to it. She is going in to deep spiritual experiences and talking with the children and he is full of denial and anger and feelings of inadequacy. In a way, that situation is so unbearable and you wouldn’t ever lay that on another human being but there it is. What may happen is she may come out of this a much deeper, spiritual and a more profound, more evolved person. And he, because the way he dealt with it was through denial, may end up contracted and tight because he couldn’t embrace the suffering. He couldn’t go towards it. He pushed it away in order to preserve his sanity.

There is a process of suffering that requires you to die into it or to give up your image of yourself. When you say, "I can’t bear it", who is that? In India, they talk about their saints as being the living dead, because they have died to who they thought they were. And they talk about the saints for whom all people are their children, so that everybody that is dying is their child dying. In that way, suffering leads to Grace.

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Suffering Leads to Grace
How do you relate to the notion that ‘to have finally dealt with suffering is to consume it into yourself’? Can you share a story of a time when your own suffering led you to find grace? How do you die to who you thought you were?
Smita wrote: Reading this passage marks the *3rd time* Ram Dass has shown up in something I’ve read…just in the last 36 hours! Important message for me, I think. 🙂 Several nights ago, I started reading th…
Denis Khan wrote: Mother Theresa endured 50 years of Darkness and Depression. She reportedly asked for exorcism before her death. Yet she lovingly served us till the end. "Spread love everywhere you go: Fir…
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