#4691 - Sunday, August 26, 2012
Nonduality Highlights Issue #4691, Sunday, August 26, 2012
To obtain real peace and happiness in this world one has simply to follow the path of ahimsa - nonviolence - which naturally is common to all the religions of the world. If we do not like to experience any pain or suffering of any kind, how can we expect any other creature - whether big or small - to feel otherwise? There is no better prayer or worship we can offer to Lord Buddha than being thoughtful, kind, compassionate and abstaining from taking the life of any fellow human being, animal, bird, fish or insect.
- Chatral Rinpoche (100 year old yogi-hermit on retreat in Nepal), posted to DailyDharma
When thoughts of revenge and hatred arise in the mind, try to control the physical body and speech first. Do not utter evil and harsh words. Do not censure. Do not try to injure others. If you succeed in this by practice for some months, the negative thoughts of revenge, having no scope for manifesting outside, will die by themselves. It is extremely difficult to control such thoughts from the very beginning without having recourse to control of the body and speech first.
First control your physical body. When a man beats you, keep quiet. Suppress your feelings. Follow the instructions of Jesus Christ in his Sermon On The Mount: "If a man beats you on one cheek, turn to him the other cheek also. If a man takes away your coat, give him your shirt also." This is very difficult in the beginning. The old Samskaras (impressions) of revenge, of "a tooth for a tooth", "tit for tat", "an eye for an eye", and "paying in the same coin" will all force you to retaliate. But you will have to wait cooly. Reflect and meditate. Do Vichara or right enquiry. The mind will become calm. The opponent who was very furious will also become calm, because he does not get any opposition from your side. He gets astonished and terrified also, because you stand like a sage. By and by, you will gain immense strength. Keep the ideal before you. Try to get at it, though with faltering steps at first. Have a clear-cut mental image of Ahimsa and its immeasurable advantages.
After controlling the body, control your speech. Make a strong determination, "I will not speak any harsh word to anybody from today". You may fail a hundred times. What does it matter ? You will slowly gain strength. Check the impulse of speech. Observe Mouna (silence). Practice Kshama or forgiveness. Say within yourself: "He is a baby-soul. He is ignorant, that is why he has done it. Let me excuse him this time. What do I gain by abusing him in return ?" Slowly give up Abhimana (ego-centred attachment). Abhimana is the root-cause of human sufferings.
Finally go to the thoughts and check the thought of injuring. Never even think of injuring anyone. One Self dwells in all. All are manifestations of One God. By injuring another, you injure your own Self. By serving another, you serve your own Self. Love all. Serve all. Hate none. Insult none. Injure none in thought, word and deed. Try to behold your own Self in all beings. This will promote Ahimsa.
- Sri Swami Sivananda from Bliss Divine
Why is nonviolence vital, not merely as an action, but as a philosophy? Because it respects the capacity of human beings to grow - to grow their souls - and we owe that to each other.
- Grace Lee Boggs, civil rights activist, 97 years old, March 2, 2012
We are often exposed,if not first hand, then through films, reading material, and conversations, to violence, fear, hatred, meaningless infatuations.Society is full of violence and hatred, which accumulates in the collective consciousness. If in our daily lives we do not know now to abstain from damaging materials and attitudes, the seeds of violence, hatred and suffering in us will continue to be watered. We need to be aware of what we hear,see, and read every day Do our associations and consumptions poison us?
- Thick Nhat Hanh
Since the situation in which we live is much changed but the attitude of people who are in that situation is at variance with the times, this is one of the causes of unnecessary pain, unnecessary problems. Therefore, education is needed to communicate that the concept of violence is counterproductive, that it is not a realistic way to solve problems, and that compromise is the only realistic way to solve problems. Right from the beginning, we have to make this reality clear to a child's mind - the new generation. In this way, the whole attitude towards oneself, towards the world, towards others, can become more healthy. I usually call this "inner disarmament." Without inner disarmament, it is very difficult to achieve genuine, lasting world peace.
...Through inner disarmament we can develop a healthy mental attitude, which also is very beneficial for physical health. With peace of mind, a calm mind, your body elements become more balanced. Constant worry, constant fear, agitation of mind, are very bad for health. Therefore, peace of mind not only brings tranquility in our mind but also has good effects on our body.
With inner disarmament, now we need external disarmament. As I mentioned earlier, according to today's reality, there no longer is room for war, for destruction. From a compassionate viewpoint, destruction, killing others, and discriminating even against one's enemy are counterproductive. Today's enemy, if you treat them well, may become a good friend even the next day.
- HH the Dalai Lama, from The Art of Peace: Nobel Peace Laureates Discuss Human Rights, Conflict and Reconciliation
The practice of mindfulness unveils and reveals your essential Good Heart, because it dissolves and removes the unkindness or the harm in you. Only when you have removed the harm in yourself do you become truly useful to others. Through the practice, by slowly removing the unkindness and harm from yourself, you allow your true Good Heart, the fundamental goodness and kindness that are your real nature, to shine out and become the warm climate in which your true being flowers.
This is why I call meditation the true practice of peace, the true practice of nonaggression and nonviolence, and the real and greatest disarmament.
- Sogyal Rinpoche, from Glimpse of the Day