The Books & Research Behind This Project
Read the story OF HOW MINDFUL-KINDNESS TRANSFORMED LIVES IN THE MOST UNLIKELY PLACE ON EARTH. Based on a true story of letters, friendship, & transcendence.Read the Story
Changing Your Life
Follow 12 steps to use mindful kindness to break your harmful habits and build kind habits that lead to better relationships, happiness and health.Learn the Benefits
About the Author
During his 35-year career, University of Oregon Professor Emeritus, Doug Carnine, PhD, taught about, conducted research on, and advocated for improved education for vulnerable children—the poor, handicapped, English language learners, and children of color. During this time he contributed to over 50 textbooks ranging from kindergarten math to university computer science. Simultaneously, he was following a personal fascination with kindness, meditation, and mindfulness, which led to adding these two very different non-fiction works to his legacy: Saint Badass and How Love Wins. His commitment to mindful kindness started in 1973, as a founding member of the Eugene Buddhist Priory, and culminated in him becoming a lay minister in the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives. He was ordained as a lay Buddhist in 1975 by Rev. Master Houn Jiyu-Kennett.
How This Started
The Feed Kindness, Starve Harm project focuses on why and how to fuse mindfulness, meditation and kindness into everyday living. It grew out of initial correspondence between Doug Carnine, a professor emeritus from the University of Oregon and Roy Tester, an inmate in a maximum security prison. Roy wanted to know more about Buddhism and meditation. Roy admited to his crimes of retaliation against abusive parents and sought ways to transcend the prison experience with mindful kindness through Doug’s supportive friendship. Doug’s four-decade personal practice of mindfulness, meditation, and loving kindness through Buddhism was the original springboard in connecting with Roy and later to three other prisoners. Through the growing friendships via letters, phone conversations and a visit to the Arkansas prison, Doug served as not only a mentor but a learner. Doug participated in and aided the development of a partnership to spread mindful kindness in the prison. In the two books he has written and the development of this web site, Doug shares what he and his prison friends are learning about the power of fusing mindfulness, meditation and kindness.
Native American Legend
A grandfather’s advice to his grandson, who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice, “Let me tell you a story. I too, have felt a great hate for those that have taken too much, with no sorrow for what they do. But hate wears you down, it is like taking the poison you wish upon your enemy. I have struggled with this many times.” He continued, “It’s as if there are two wolves inside me. One is good; he lives in harmony; and rarely takes offense. He will only fight for the right causes in the right way. But the other wolf is full of anger. The littlest thing will set off his temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think clearly because his anger and hate are so great. It is a helpless anger that changes nothing. Sometimes, it’s hard living with these two wolves inside me, as both try to dominate my spirit.” The boy looked intently into his grandfather’s eyes and asked, “Which one wins?” The grandfather smiled and quietly said, “The one I feed.”
This legend honoring Native American wisdom stands in stark contrast to the way European settlers to North America dishonored and mistreated Native Americans beginning with Columbus in 1492. It is important to examine the ways in which European settlers set up a society and mode of relating to Indigenous People that along with slavery is the definition of cruelty and violent unkindness. In order to feed kindness, we need to consider restoring the capacity for kindness to all levels of society and between all peoples.
Mindfully Kind Living Proves To Be More Satisfying Than Unkind Selfish Living
If you follow a religious faith, the religion’s teachings probably direct you to be kind. But religion aside, kindness turns out to be a social norm found in virtually every culture as well as in every religion. A growing body of research indicates that kindness appears to be just as inherent as our drives for sex and food. In our modern world, the “feel good” chemicals released in our bodies when we practice kindness, along with the social rewards we enjoy for being kind, continue to reinforce the positive behaviors that research shows are the foundation for being a loving and trusted family member, coworker, and friend. And we are not even conscious of all the health benefits of being kind. Releasing our kindness also motivates us to help others in our community and engage in social justice.
Mindfulness is important because it allows us to see beyond our self centered thoughts and emotions. With clearer vision we better know how, when and where to direct our kindness. Mindfulness enables genuine kindness. Kindness comes through mindfulness, through kindfulness.
Resources For Kindful Living
Mindfully Kind Habits for Self Care & Being Connected to Others
As an act of kindness to the reader, we gathered information on how you can incorporate mindfulness and kindness in your life. Each of the nine resource pages gives explanations, research findings, and examples of how to apply mindful kindness in a different aspect of your life.