Kindness vs Niceness
Two recent dharma talks given by Lisa Dale Miller at Marin Sangha explicate what kindness is from Buddhist psychological perspective and how it radically differs from niceness. To lay the groundwork of what kindness is, the first talk employs a very challenging sutta, “The Simile of the Saw”, where the Buddha proscribes wholesome conduct in all manner of difficult relational engagements. The second talk investigates kindness and niceness and clarifies their differences. Niceness though pleasing or agreeable, is only intended to avoid discomfort and is deceptive and disingenuous. Kindness is genuine benevolence enacted through skillful application of presence and discerning wisdom. Due to its engaged and other-centered nature, kindness isn’t always easy and navigating the discomfort it can bring is the common ground of both talks. May these talks lead to the awakening of all beings everywhere.