Intention is the driver behind action and our ethics inform our intentions. Together these concepts are important because they orient us and point us in a certain direction. Aligning our mindfulness practice with our highest values helps us step out of the cycle of suffering and live with greater purpose.
Self-care is something we must prioritize and attend to, not only for our own wellbeing, but also for the benefit of those we love. When we practice mindful self-care, we build the patience, trust and confidence needed to sustain compassion for self and others over the long term so we can truly make a difference.
True enemies may be easy to spot, but what about "near enemies"? If near enemies were people, we might call them "frenemies". A near enemy is a subtle quality that we may miss or confuse as useful or helpful when, in fact, it can become an obstacle to our mindfulness practice that is hidden from us or in disguise.
Compassion, lovingkindness, appreciative joy, and equanimity are beneficial mental states that could be considered four complimentary "flavors of love". Together they form a firm foundation upon which authentic love can take solid root in a way that is boundless & indestructible. We can cultivate these qualities through a dedicated mindfulness practice.
The practice of mindfulness can help us pause before reacting impulsively to acts of aggression or hatred. This makes space for considering the many choices available to us for responding with skill and wisdom. Evidence throughout history and in the research demonstrates that a more reasoned and compassionate response leads to better long term outcomes for us all.