One of the concepts that the Buddha taught, is the importance of Cultivating Harmony.
I am sure you have noticed many times, how some people make you feel uneasy or even nervous, while in other people’s presence, you feel expanded and happy.
It is a spiritual practice, to learn to be a beacon of harmony, that radiates from you, out to the people you come in contact with.
It requires first the intention of cultivating harmony IN YOURSELF and learning what promotes it and what will snatch it away….. And then intentionally radiating harmony out.
You need to become aware of your own energy.
If you are tense and uncomfortable, you will radiate nervousness out.
If you are happy, full of goodwill and wish to see others happy, blessed, healthy, abundant and joyful, you will radiate it out.
If being right and arguing your point, is MORE important to you than being calm, loving and loved, you will create anxiety inside and around you.
If you have a lot of hidden anger and self righteousness, you may be unaware how it blocks harmony and surrounds you with a morally righteous, nervous and uncomfortable energy.
There are people who spread harmony unconsciously, simply by being good natured, happy and calm people.
When you come into their presence, you feel calm and accepted.
Good natured grandmothers and non-judgmental kind people, just make you feel good by being around them.
People’s nervousness is visible by their body language.
You can see them scratching their skin as if they are uncomfortable in their own skins, tapping their legs or raising their voices to yelling levels.
When you have spent a long time in the presence of a non-harmonious person, and if you are not aware of it and intentionally work to mindfully radiate harmony and to energize the vibrations between you, you may pick up his/ her dis-harmony, and you may feel nervous and exhausted.
When you spend time in the presence of a harmonious person, you feel cozy… Alive and enriched.
Many people are not even aware of how much we influence one another energetically.
They go into relationships with partners, friends and lovers, without being aware of the importance of harmony in their lives.
Some want excitement, thrills, passion, and do not value harmony.
Harmony at home with your partner, husband or wife, is what makes you happy to be married.
It is something that needs to be understood and valued by both partners, and cultivated with conscious intentions.
When you cultivate harmony and promote it, your home life becomes a joy.
It does not matter what you do together, if you travel or have a dinner or lay on the sofa with good books, it all feels so warm, cozy, wonderful, and filled with love….
Each of us is capable of creating and cultivating harmonious relationships by cultivating a harmonious environment INSIDE and around us.
We need to learn to do it consciously, because it will allow us to become aware and to be powerful enough to shift non-harmonious situations and to bring about harmony by choice.
Learning to cultivate harmony consciously, will also allow us to restore balance, in case it is lost to us.
Cultivating harmony is not done by always being agreeable, and going along with opinions and actions that you are not in agreement with.
It involves learning to listen to others, evaluating what they mean and seeing if there is a seed of truth there, or something that can be handled with love.
It is about looking for amiable solutions,
It is about being considerate, it is about having patience, willingness to help and to understand.
If people are really provocative and are just looking to vent out their anger, then cultivating harmony is about removing yourself from the situation.
The Buddha spoke of six rules of harmony that we need to follow in order to bring about unity and harmony.
1- Unity in cohabitation: Work together in partnership, live together in unity, and love each other like brothers and sisters.
2- Unity in communication: Do not say harmful things; do not quarrel or bring about anger, which may lead to fighting.
3- Unity in thought: Consider and listen to every person’s ideas.
Work out a common solution to satisfy all parties.
Only with true harmony can tasks be accomplished.
4- Unity in observing the precepts: Always encourage and help each other to practice the principles of Loving Kindness of Buddhism.
5- Unity in sharing: Benefits gained by an individual or by groups, must be shared equally between all the participants.
Participants share not only material goods like food and money, but also share any kind of recognition.
6- Unity in view and explanation: Share your knowledge and understanding with others so everyone can improve together and reach the same level of understanding.
As I am writing this, I am sitting in a cafe, sipping my tea.
I am sitting on a large brown leather sofa with four cushiony leather empty armchairs next to me.
A man sat himself next to me and pulled a book from his bag.
To make himself comfortable, he placed his feet, wearing hiking booths, on the coffee table in front of me, right by my tea… His shoes almost touching my tea…
For a split second, I thought that it is not appropriate… And that I… (notice the self righteous “I ” ) would never do it…
But in a flash, I realize that instead of proper manners and etiquette, I would MUCH rather live in a world of happy, comfortable people and to share our space in total harmony…
I WANT him to be comfortable…
I VALUE harmony above manners…
I chase these thoughts out of my mind, and smile at him instead….. He smiles back…. He has a nice smile…
I notice the book he is reading.
It is titled “The Cosmic Serpent; DNA and the origin of Knowledge”
It looks like a good read…
I download the book onto my iPad for future reading.
The cafe feels cozy… There is art on the walls…
The coffee machine is hissing…
People are laughing, some are reading, other are working on their laptop computers…. Harmony is all around….