When we practice yoga, we are speaking of ahimsa (of non-harming). In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali says that non-violence is avoidance of cruelty, injustice and violence. Which is to have compassion, kindness and goodness, to others and ourselves.
Ahimsa isn't always black and white. Violence, after all, takes many forms. Thoughts, rude comments, pollution, pushing it to hard on our yoga mats, but also physical defense when we feel our lives are in danger. Another one is vegeterianism/veganism. A question I get quite often. A question that made me rethink my choices a couple of times.
I've come to the conclusion, that I/We don't have to give up meat to practice non-violence. There are many ways, and many small actions we can take. Back off when things don't feel right. Push negative thoughts away. Small steps in the right direction. Keep trying again and again with mindfulness and compassion. Let your goodness shine through. Ahimsa is universal, compassionate love.
I love this story:
Buddha was traveling in the company of several other people.
One of the travelers began to test Buddha by responding to anything he said with disparaging, insulting, hurtful remarks. Every day for the next three days, this traveler verbally abused Buddha, calling him a fool, arrogantly ridiculing him in any way he could.
Finally, after three days, the rude traveler could stand it no longer. He asked Buddha "How can you continue to be so kind and loving when all I've done for the last three days is dishonor, offend and try to find ways to hurt you? Each time I try to hurt you, you respond in a kind manner? How can this be?
Buddha responded with a question for the fellow traveller, "If someone offers you a gift, and you do not accept that gift, to whom does it belong?"
|Peace out my friends. Love is the choice.|