Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
–Martin Luther King, Jr.
All of us can play an important part in the conquest of violence. We can do this by throwing our full weight behind peaceful, effective programs for eliminating situations from which violence arises. But just as importantly, we need to do everything we can to remove every trace of hostility in ourselves.
The violence that is flaring up on our streets and in many corners of the world is the inevitable expression of the hostility in our hearts. Hostility is like an infectious disease. Whenever we indulge in a violent act or even hostile words, we are passing this disease on to those around us. When we quarrel at home, it is not just a domestic problem; we are contributing to turmoil everywhere.
A wise teacher of meditation in ancient India, Patanjali, wrote that in the presence of a man or woman in whom all hostility has died, others cannot be hostile. In the presence of a man or woman in whom all fear has died, no one can be afraid. This is the power released in true nonviolence, as we can see in the life of Mahatma Gandhi. Because all hostility had died in his heart, he was a profound force for peace.
Words to Live By – Eknath Easwaran
The homework is to consider the first precept of Yoga – Ahimsa, non-harming, non-violence or Love. Think about one part of your yoga practice – or your life – with which you are uncomfortable. Now consider it using the principle of ahimsa. Make this the starting point from which you can practice ahimsa. Perhaps you could use another block in Utthita Trikonasana (extended triangle). Or, you may decide to choose healthful foods to nourish your body. Or, you could simply greet others with a smile, no matter your personal emotional state. Whatever change you make in your speech, thought or action, open yourself to making choices based in non-harming and respect.
Rushing Water Yoga, 417 NE Birch St., Camas, WA 98607, 360.834.5994