Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Consider being considerate

For many years I used the word 'mindful' in a special way, for the most part. Once in a while I used the word in a sentence that wasn't meant to evoke some meditative or spiritual meaning or feeling tone. The dictionary defines mindful this way: conscious or aware of something.

Today I used the word 'considerate' in a way that made me look it up. The definition I read was: careful not to cause inconvenience or hurt to others. It's Latin root is considerare, to examine, which fits nicely with meditation practice as well.

The way I used the word brought to mind a shift in my thinking, living and relation to others.

As part of my meditation practice I have evolved a ritual without a lot of conscious thought, an invocation really. At the end of my meditation I lift my hands and offer up any merit gained in my practice for the betterment of all; as I lower my hands to namaste I ask that I be given the strength to do good works; and lowering my hands to my thighs, I wish that my actions, good & bad, increase the awareness of myself and others to do good works.

I'm seeing this orientation to others more in keeping with being considerate rather than being mindful. Examining our actions so as not to cause inconvenience or harm to others is a simple, portable way of living with ease with one another. Mindfulness has the air of non-involvement, also a noble practice of seeing attraction and avoidance, but one that doesn't fit right now with the orientation I'm talking about.

In Yoga much is made of Ahimsa, non-violence. It seems that our ango-saxon word, considerate, carries much of the same intention.

Be considerate. Be well. Be at ease.