I'm an American living in Scotland, a long-time Buddhist (Theravada, with Mahayana roots), keen to put Right Livelihood into practice. In my view, in our modern culture we swim in a sea of judging, blaming and criticising. My aim, through Kindful Communication, is to be part of the wave of people seeking to share and practice ways of speaking that uplift, heal, honour, and respect all beings.
On a personal note, I'm a woman of many parts -- musician, ex-forester, dog mum, crazy volunteer (having 9 volunteer commitments certifies me as a bit bonkers), and with more interests than I can keep up with -- Tiaji, Qigong, meditation, Pali and Chinese languages, dog training, playing guitar and composing, hiking, going on meditation retreats, visiting friends & family, gardening... Life is full. I'm continually trying to 'prune' in order to simplify my life, but fascinating opportunities and ideas keep coming up that I want to engage with. Like kindfulness.
'Kindful' is a made-up word that combines mindfulness with kindness. Mindfulness gets a lot of attention these days, with Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, mindfulness for mental health, mindfulness meditation, and more. But mindfulness by itself, while very helpful, is not enough.
Mindfulness is bare attention. Not judging, storytelling, reacting, or getting involved – just noticing. But sometimes we do want to do something skillful, something kind, something active in response to what we are noticing. That’s where introducing an element of kindness can be quite helpful.
The Dalai Lama is famous for having said, ‘My religion is kindness.’ Kindness, combined with mindfulness, is a powerful team.
It was at The Buddhist Society in London, when Ajahn Brahm gave a talk on Kindfulness, that I first came across this word (and then decided to incorporate it into my communication work, thus creating Kindful Communication). Ajahn Brahm's talk was recorded, and you can view it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRK5DGMv4Yg