The shila paramita, or perfection of kindness, encompasses all of the teachings on ethics and morality, and all of these teachings can be simplified into one word: kindness. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. Be kind to the world. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has often been quoted as saying “My religion is kindness.” He suggests that we contemplate this every morning:
“Every day, think as you wake up: Today, I am fortunate to be alive. I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all of my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve Enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts toward others. I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”
In much the same way that we begin our meditation practice by setting an intention and close our practice by offering a dedication, we could begin and end each and every day this way. The more we pay attention to the goodness that we sow in our bodies and hearts and minds, through our actions, words, and thoughts, the more we water those seeds of goodness so they can bloom.