Ahimsa and Kindness

person holding clear and red floral ball

Photo by Javon Swaby on Pexels.com

Ahimsa or non violence is the foundation of all yoga philosophy. Most of us might think we are not violent people. We don’t go around bullying or hurting others or animals. We are loving and giving, and would never want to do any harm.

However, there are many ways that we unconsciously do “violence” on ourselves.

How often do you stay at your desk to get through your work without a break or refreshment? Are you pushing yourself to exhaustion?
Is your self talk kind and supportive, or do you judge yourself harshly and put yourself down?

To paraphrase Gandhi’s words “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. Being forgiving and compassionate to yourself is the essential step to practicing ahimsa in the world.

This is fundamental for all of us on the path of yoga.
We must start with ourselves and allow the past damage of inner violence to heal.

Everything starts with our awareness of it.
Here are ways to bring about more awareness and change.

Decide to commit for one day to notice your internal conversations. Take time to journal and capture your thoughts.
At the end of the day. What did you notice? Is it time to change your conversation?
How can you start every thought with kindness?

An other practice is Loving Kindness Meditation. If your usual meditation is guided or based on mindfulness or mantra, commit to a loving kindness practice instead.Choose words that resonate with you.

May you be happy
May you be healthy
May you free of trouble and the causes of trouble
May you live your life with ease

metta-prayer

Understanding Violence

“When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent.

Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind.
When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence.

So a person who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.”

~ Jiddu Krishnamurti
In yoga we honor the practice of ahimsa, or non violence. There is also the understanding that we are all connected and are not separate beings. It is the persona or ego that keeps us separate and fearful. The path of yoga is to awaken to our interconnectedness and to see ourselves in others.
May we all continue to plant seeds that bring us together instead of tearing us apart.

The Martial Art of Love

aikido non violenceI am entranced by a book I  downloaded called The Art Of Peace. It is written by Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of the martial art of Aikido.

Wikipedia Description:

Aikido (Japanese: 合気道? Hepburn: aikidō) [aikiꜜdoː] is a modern martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Aikido is often translated as “the way of unifying (with) life energy”[1] or as “the way of harmonious spirit”.[2] Ueshiba’s goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury.[3][4]

Aikido techniques consist of entering and turning movements that redirect the momentum of an opponent’s attack, and a throw or joint lock that terminates the technique.[5]

In Morihei Ueshiba’s words:

“Aikido is the true martial art because it emerged from the truth of the universe. Since universal unity is at its center, Aikido sees everything in the cosmos as part of a single family, and it is an expression of ultimate harmony and absolute peace. Based on its universal vision, Aikido should be perceived as none other than the martial art of love. It can never be violent. Aikido is the embodiment of the Divine Creator, a truly august presence. Aikido is practiced at the junction of heaven and earth, in a peaceful manner. The purpose of Aikido is to teach people how not to be violent, and lead them to a higher path. It is a means of establishing universal peace. If we harmonize all nations together, there will be no need for atomic weapons, and this world will be a good and pleasant place to live….

Aikido is the Way of Harmony. It brings together people of all races and manifests the original form of all things. The universe has a single source, and from that core all things emerged in a cosmic pattern.

At the end of WWII, it become clear that the world needed to be purified of filth and degradation, and that is why Aikido emerged. In order to eliminate war, deception, greed, and hatred, the gods of peace and harmony manifested their powers. All of us in this world are members of the same family, and we should work together to make discord and war disappear from our midst.

Without Love, our nation, the world, and the universe will be destroyed. Love generates heat and light. Those two elements are actualized in physical form as Aikido. As the last aspect of creation, human beings came into existence as an actualization of all higher powers. Human beings represent all of creation and we must bring the divine plan to fruition.”*

~ Morihei Ueshiba

There is plenty of food for thought in the world we live in today.

Namaste

 

 

*Ueshiba, Morihei. The Art of Peace (Shambhala Classics) (p. 21). Shambhala. Kindle Edition.

 

 

 

School Prayer

This poem by Diane Ackerman really touched me deeply. Thank you Radiating Blossom for sharing it today 💕

Radiating Blossom ~ Flowers & Words

In the name of the daybreak
and the eyelids of morning
and the wayfaring moon
and the night when it departs,

I swear I will not dishonor
my soul with hatred,
but offer myself humbly
as a guardian of nature,
as a healer of misery,
as a messenger of wonder,
as an architect of peace.

In the name of the sun and its mirrors
and the day that embraces it
and the cloud veils drawn over it
and the uttermost night
and the male and the female
and the plants bursting with seed
and the crowning seasons
of the firefly and the apple,

I will honor all life
—wherever and in whatever form
it may dwell—on Earth my home,
and in the mansions of the stars.

~~ Diane Ackerman ~~

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* Choose Yin

save the world

“Our planet will be saved by women not men. Men think they can solve their problems through violence. Jesus, Gandhi and other great souls knew that men have no fear of violence – they’ve been killing since Cain and Abel. So they conquered men by acting like women. They brought yin to the planet, not more yang, and that’s how our planet will be saved.

You can do this too. Choose Yin. Start small. Decide to harm no living thing, including yourself, in thought, word or deed for one hour. Then extend it for two hours. Then perhaps for an entire morning.”

by Sister Mary Ann Kelley.
Taken from Soul To Soul by John Mundahl

This is such a strong statement by Sister Mary Ann.

It isn’t easy to choose yin over yang in a world that dismisses gentleness, and often sees softness as weakness. There is violence everywhere – in a world at war, the news, sports, entertainment and the media. In the words we hear and use, and even in our self talk.

yinyang symbole

Yang is everywhere. Yet as the Yin Yang symbol shows, both are a part of the natural balance of life.

I like to think that choosing Yin brings the world back into balance.

* Dalai Lama on Life’s Purpose

life purpose

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others, and if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” Dalai Lama

I love this message and also the photo of the little mouse on the palm of a hand. It reminds me of the little lady mouse that took up residence in our outside grill in September. Whenever we thought to clear out the nest, there have been babies …. We hope Mother Nature will encourage her to move back out to the woods in the Spring.

Namaste.