Featuring — Kindness Tech
If your outwards motivation is love and Vipassana, you cannot help but succeed. This is none other, BTW, than the canonical two-step formulation of Tibetan Buddhism: Wisdom and Compassion. A synoptic combo like Jesus’ similar two-part Greatest Commandment:
- Loving God means imbibing the commands of the social and making them automatically self. A tribe that imbibes that same principles in a manic, self-replacing way is a great place to visit, any maybe live. Loving God means making his laws your own, where God is a collective sentience that emerges from our own, based on our theory of mind about thunder. He is the first person of the social leviathan. His laws should all be principles of social welfare.
- Loving your neighbor as yourself means realizing that other individual first persons are inflections of the same first person that you as so concerned with helping. This makes them, by substance identity, worthy of equal concern.
Doing (2) is actually a happiness intervention. Studies show that helping others increases happiness.
There is a certain type Tibetan meditation called Tonglen which is the opposite of the typical self-helping and self-valorizing meditations sold inside Western self-help. You breath in other peoples’ disease, and you breathe out your own possession of health.
So, for example, every morning, when I lived in Dharamsala and worked for the LTWA, and edited this, we did Tonglen every morning. It went like this:
Now, imagine someone is cold. Give them your blanket.
Now, imagine someone is on fire. Put out the fire.
Now, imagine someone is thirsty. Give them water.
… and so on. Doing this creates an automaticity—an automatic instinct to help.
In Mahāyāna Buddhism, compassion (karuṇā) is one of the two qualities, along with enlightened wisdom (prajña), to be cultivated on the bodhisattva path. Wisdom means seeing the the solidity we impute onto meaning-feeling clusters is false; everything is interdependent and passing. Compassion means feeling the care of self-love for other suffering selves. You need both to be truly happy/libterated.
Go out, be kind, and practice Vipassana on those somatic avoidance motivators. Your is making sensation, not meaning. You don’t need to add any in response. Sensation without meaning, feeling without story, really ain’t nothing.