Today I learned about the theory of inclusive fitness, which essentially explains the altruistic, cooperative, albeit often self-harming behaviors of various species in terms of maximizing propagation of genes by helping kin. In other words, proponents of the theory argue that altruism is inherently selfish, because it functions as a tool for survival. Check out this fascinating article on the topic.
Today I meditated for 15 minutes. Instead of a description, here’s a thought: The ultimate value and point of meditation is its integration into every day moments, not just during the time spent alone, silent, back straight, eyes closed. Eckhart Tolle recounts a fable in which a man is meditating on loving-kindness (“metta” in Buddhist lingo), cultivating and spreading his intention for all beings to be well. Then, his young daughter enters the room saying, “Daddy! Daddy!” …and he snaps at her angrily for interrupting his practice. Of course, truly embodying the meditation would have meant being patient, nonjudgmental, and compassionate toward her. Thus, the moral is that thinking or speaking good intentions is good, but only if they are acted on and carried out. Alas, we’re human, so that’s easier said than done (ha, fitting expression), but the point is that never spending a single minute meditating yet living each day with kindness and mindfulness is probably better than meditating on kindness and mindfulness every minute of each day. In short, meditation practice should be just that: practice.
Today I acted kindly by giving more home-made cupcakes to friends and colleagues!