Ahimsa: Non Violence

Ahimsa Defined.....

For the one who is firmly established in non-violence, all hostility ceases in the presence of that one. - Patanjali

Killing and doing physical harm are grosser forms of violence that are easily seen and understood. When we feel hurried, afraid, powerless, out of balance, and harsh with ourselves, we may find ourselves speaking words of unkindness or even exploding with a violent outburst. As our awareness of these nuances grows, we learn that our ability to be nonviolent to others is directly related to our ability to be nonviolent within ourselves. ~Deborah Adele

The first Yama is perhaps the most famous one: Ahimsa usually translated as "nonviolence." This refers not only to physical violence but also to the violence of words or thoughts. What we think about ourselves or others can be as powerful as any physical attempt to harm. To practice, ahimsa is to be constantly vigilant, to observe ourselves in interaction with others and to notice our thoughts and intentions. - Judith Lasater

QUOTES THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU...

Shall we make a new rule of life from tonight: always try to be a little kinder than is necessary? ~ J.M. Barrie Peace comes from within.

Do not seek it without. ~Buddha

Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him. ~Martin Luther King, Jr. If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. ~The Dalai Lama

Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man. ~Gandhi

The creation of a more peaceful and happier society has to begin from the level of the individual, and from there it can expand to one's family, to one's neighborhood, to one's community and so on. ~Dalai Lama

Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages. - Thomas Jefferson

QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES FOR YOUR EXPLORATION

  • Practice courage by doing one thing daily that you would not normally do. Can you discern between fear and the unfamiliar?
  • Watch where you are running interference on others' lives. Are you a worrier? A fixer? Discern the difference between "help" and "support".
  • For this week, ponder the words of Etty Hillesum and bring more peace inside you.
  • SELF-LOVE: For this whole week, pretend you are complete. There is no need to expect anything from yourself or to criticize or judge or change anything about you. No need to compete with anyone, no need to be more than you are (or less than you are). Note your experience. Notice how much pleasure, kindness, and patience you can allow yourself to have with yourself.