« The Zen of Shakespeare | Main | Turnaround Artist »

August 07, 2008


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

xavier L

The word kindness do not included pamper.
Do you remember the 3 charities?
1. To console the lost and the sufferers.
2. Help the needy, but not the greedy.
3. Guide the ignorance to the light.

Creatively yet dangerous
“Cruel to be kind” or “kind to be cruel”
If it’s not well understood, it can be very distort.

Barry Briggs

You are correct, Xavier. Without insight, we may often confuse cruelty and kindness. When I examine my actions, I can see many instances where my soft, tender "kindness" did not help a situation and, in some cases, made it worse.

Sometimes we use "kindness" to let ourselves "off the hook" when it comes to the hard work of meeting the requirements of a situation. In such situations, when we fall short, we are cruel to be kind.

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • Zen teachers sometimes use the Ten Ox Herding Pictures to describe the path of awakening. Within this metaphorical framework, the ox symbolizes the secretive, unruly human mind.

My Other Weblogs


  • I’m truly grateful to everyone who leaves a comment on this blog. Even though many comments are generous and thoughtful, I rarely respond. Thank you for your understanding.

American Zen


  • I extend grateful appreciation to my daughter, Susie, who designed this site; to Zen Master Seung Sahn, for crossing the ocean; and to all beings for their never-ending encouragement and teaching.
  • May we together attain enlightenment and save all beings from suffering.

Free e-Books

Finding the Ox