Reader Email: "Ahimsa means entire abstinence from causing any pain or harm whatsoever to any living creature, either by thought, word, or deed."
Date: January 17, 2009 7:53:21 PM EST
Subject: turning the other cheek…
For talk of spirituality, I have a few friends who I feel like I can relate to and discuss all my crazy new “insights”… I consider one of my friends a spiritual guru, so I talk to her when I particularly need guidance or have questions. I also listen to a lot of podcasts… and don’t laugh, but I’m really into watching Oprah’s Soul Series (all her past episodes are online to download). Her guests are from all walks of life and some are just amazing. I read a ton of books - including Tolle - but many others as well. Through all of these things I’ve also learned to meditate and go deep for answers, trusting my own inner guidance system. It’s a perpetual learning and practicing experience for me.
I thought you may appreciate this as well….
Just today I was listening to a podcast that had an entire session dedicated to “Ahimsa”. I hadn’t heard of it before, but it totally struck me and then seemed like it might be exactly what you were asking about wrt Turning the other cheek.
Here’s a page I got when I googled Ahimsa: http://www.dlshq.org/teachings/ahimsa.htm - and here’s the basic meaning I just copied from that page:
In its comprehensive meaning, Ahimsa or non-injury means entire abstinence from causing any pain or harm whatsoever to any living creature, either by thought, word, or deed. Non-injury requires a harmless mind, mouth, and hand. Ahimsa is not mere negative non-injury. It is positive, cosmic love. It is the development of a mental attitude in which hatred is replaced by love. Ahimsa is true sacrifice. Ahimsa is forgiveness. Ahimsa is Sakti (power). Ahimsa is true strength.
AHIMSA, A QUALITY OF THE STRONG
If you practice Ahimsa, you should put up with insults, rebukes, criticisms and assaults also. You should never retaliate nor wish to offend anybody even under extreme provocation. You should not entertain any evil thought against anybody. You should not harbour anger. You should not curse. You should be prepared to lose joyfully even your life in the cause of Truth. The Ultimate Truth can be attained only through Ahimsa.
Ahimsa is the acme of bravery. Ahimsa is not possible without fearlessness. Non-violence cannot be practiced by weak persons. Ahimsa cannot be practiced by a man who is terribly afraid of death and has no power of resistance and endurance. It is a shield, not of the effeminate, but of the potent. Ahimsa is a quality of the strong. It is a weapon of the strong. When a man beats you with a stick, you should not entertain any thought of retaliation or any unkind feeling towards the tormentor. Ahimsa is the perfection of forgiveness.
So… sounds nice, but clearly it’s hard as hell to truly achieve - but I like it. I blogged it immediately and want to put it in practice..knowing I’ll fall short much of the time but it’s something to strive for.
Looking forward to more of your posts on spirituality….
Sunday, January 18, 2009
RG: Julia, Jan 18 - 2:26am
Another reply from a so-called reader (JAB's just like Oprah!):
Posted by NSRB at 2:29 AM