Sunday, March 14, 2010

Loving Kindness and Integral Assessment

This fits perfectly on an index card and is easy to remember - May all individuals gain freedom from suffering. May all individuals find sustained health, happiness and wholeness. May I assist all individuals in gaining freedom from suffering. May I assist all individuals in finding health, happiness and wholeness - it is beautiful and selfless.
As i worked through the assessment I realized that I do this quite often already - I sit in a moment of quiet prayer and I ask "What can I do to make each moment of my daily life have meaning? How can I make it all count?" I have found a couple of answers...
Right now my area of difficulty is disorganization. Those of you who know me may not realize it, but I live on the disorganized side of life. Although it does not cause any direct difficulty or suffering it does in an indirect way. Being disorganized causes undo stress and anxiety. It cause me to be short fused.
The area that is ready for growth is definitely interpersonal. I consider myself to be very compassionate and perhaps even empathetic to the needs of others. It pains me to see someone suffering and my heart goes out to the person in pain - I want to help. I have begun to take steps to cultivate this growth in myself... There is a program, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), it is a volunteer program that assigns an advocate to the case of a child who has been abused or neglected and is now in the foster care system. To be very truthful I am nervous to take on this role. But nerves aside I am excited to be able to touch the life of someone who may not have any other constant in his/her life, as many of these children do not.
Going through this exercise this week was great because as I did it seemed to me that the exercise cemented my action plan of becoming a CASA, even the words in the Loving Kindness meditation spoke to me in the same way.
I look forward to updating you on the experience.


  1. Catie,

    It sounds like you are well aware of the concepts of loving-kindness and are taking steps to help others in your community. The work that you are trying to do is very admirable and it takes a lot out of a person as an individual. My fiance works with severely handicapped kids, the stories that he tells, makes me want to adopt his students. It takes a lot out of a caring person to look at those who are suffering and offer help. Good luck with your endeavors, I imagine that these practices will be able to help you when you do work with the disadvantaged. These activities will likely help you get back to a happy place.

  2. Catie,

    I saw your comment on my blog and thanks for sharing that information! I might try that out.

    Thanks again!

  3. Hi Catie,

    Congrats on CASA. My mother has been a counselor and worked on the adult side for so long as a victim advocate and counseling court ordered anger managment classes. She then did a lot of work as a guardian alitem to help children and give the child a voice. Often there is not anyone else to speak for the child or listen to them other than a GAL. It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job helping others and easing their suffering and aiding healing.

    I am usually organized, but I can say the move has caused me to be behind, disorganized, and definatly takes a toll on my patience level. Trying to get caught back up with school has been very hard this week, but I think I am just about there tonight. THat alone is a huge relief that was making me a little sick to my stomach. I have been so focused on taking care of family and getting settled that I stopped taking care of myself.

  4. Catie,
    Thanks for sharing. CASA, huh. That is awesome and I wish you the best of the best. I know that with your kind heart and compassion, you will do great! I have to say that I am right there with you on the disorganization thing. I am trying to get reorganized in my life as well. I am talking about room, house, money, time... you name it... I do agree with you, though, with an organized room, or house you feel as sense of completeness when you walk into it, not something else to put on the to do list. I agree that it does cause anxiety and undo stress that can be avoided. Thank you for sharing that! I know for myself, it is going to take a day of concentration to just 'do it'... ya know! LOL I wish you the best and let us know how you do!