Ahimsa = the principle of nonviolence toward all living beings.
Ahimsa is one of the main tenets of Ayurveda and Yoga. It is the belief that all living beings have a spark of divine light within them; therefore, to harm another living being is to harm oneself.
The violence and harm that we impose on other living beings is evidence of the tempestuous struggle we have within ourselves. The only way to stop the violence without is to stop the violence within.
Violence is not easy to discern in ourselves. We may consider ourselves non-violent, but violence toward ourselves is revealed when we become aware of the way we think of ourselves and talk to ourselves.
When thoughts bring feelings of guilt and shame, forgiveness is needed. When we do not forgive ourselves or others, we have anger and conflict roiling within ourselves like poison.
“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Buddha.
When we have expectations of ourselves and others that are set too high, we are disappointed, angry and resentful, instead truth is needed.
When we are not honest and loving with ourselves and others, we set ourselves up for upheaval inside and outside ourselves, instead truth is needed.
Ghandi says: When I look for Ahimsa, Truth says, “Find it through me.” When I look for Truth, Ahimsa says, “Find it out through me.”
Non-violence and unconditional love for all living beings has to start by becoming aware of and changing they way we treat ourselves. If we treat ourselves as if we are our own best friend, our perspective would be different.
Then, we would see the darkest parts of ourselves more impartially and compassionately. Once we become aware of the abusive ways in which we treat ourselves, we have the opportunity to transform ourselves and stop acting out in abusive ways toward others.
“YOU, YOURSELF, AS MUCH AS ANYBODY IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE, DESERVE YOUR LOVE AND AFFECTION.” BUDDHA
Meditation will help get in touch with the inner work we have to do. In meditation we will become aware that there is a divine spark within each of us that lights the way.
One way we can start a meditation practice is by taking two minutes a few times a day to sit quietly and observe our thoughts. Observe our thoughts like they are rolling across a movie screen.
Thoughts are just thoughts, they are not real. Thoughts take the shape of opinions, fantasies, regrets, and appear to be real, but they are not real. Thoughts are like the wind blowing this way and that way. Sometimes thoughts are like tornadoes. In meditation we can step in the eye of the storm where it is calm, and observe ourselves.
Remember that we are more than our thoughts.
We are beings of light and love, and the more we get in touch with that the more positive light we emit for ourselves and others.
At the same time, remember that what we put out is what we get back. It cannot be any other way.
I BEGIN NOW to treat myself like I’m my own best friend.