I was recently asked to write something about Ahimsa, or non-violence, by my yoga teacher. I am currently in massage school and this is a class I am taking. What is Ahimsa?
Ahimsa: The idea that no one need suffer in order for me to be free.
First of all, mind is singular. I am only picturing a world of suffering that I made up. Everything I see is a reflection of my inner state of mind and my thoughts about myself. I have to accept this premise first. It is fundamental to the teaching. I am only here to let this dream of death go. I cannot be in darkness forever. This is a world of temptation, of idols or things you want to make you feel safe or loved. None of which is true. Underneath is the feeling of separateness, or hell. This is always there until you wake up to find that it is not so. Finding out what is true is the purpose of the dream.
So, everything is an idea But what does that mean, and how does that help you? Many years ago, I was in a great depression and it occurred to me to work with my thoughts. I don’t know how that happened, but I found that the thought comes first, then the experience. If I focus on my mind and allow my thoughts to come into my awareness without judgment, I become aware of the source of a problem. The source of a problem is always my idea about it. Because I am in a seemingly separate body, I feel separate. Because of this inherent feeling of separation, fear arises.
So, the only problem I ever really have is this idea of separateness. This is the cause of all discomfort, stress, or illness. My purpose in this life, therefore is to become free of this. All attack thoughts are fear based upon the idea of separation from everything. Nice concept. But what to do about it?
I practice a mind training which allows the release of these attack thoughts. This is based upon A Course in Miracles and the teachings of Jesus, enlightened master of Nazareth. He is my guide and my teacher. His teaching is forgiveness through a physical and mental transformation. He gave us this path so that we could come into the light at last and release our belief in separation. First of all, accept that you are not separate. You are not this body, you are Mind.
My choices are based upon the idea that all attack or violence is due to wrong-mindedness. It is based upon lack, or an idea that I am not free, not happy, not able to achieve or do what I want. But it is a relinquishment. I must let go of my idea of what I want to happen, what I think will make me happy, and allow a new idea to arise. My willingness to allow my thoughts to change is all that is required. But it takes much persistence and dedication, because being non-violent really means being compassionate toward others and myself. This is also called non-defensiveness of true Christian teaching, the idea “be as little children”.
If I spend each day with the idea that my mind is naturally whole, and I can forgive and all attack will disappear, this becomes my experience. This means getting very quiet and listening to the inner voice within me to see what it is I need to look at within myself right now. Paying attention to my inner state, to my mind and the thoughts I am thinking is my practice. It is ongoing because mind is always active. But I cannot achieve anything. I have to let go of trying to achieve and let the new idea dawn upon me. It is a miracle of grace that I only have to allow, to receive.
I notice today that I have changed from the way I used to think. I used to put others first, my husband, my children and everyone else. I learned that this isn’t love. It was an attack upon myself. I have learned to love myself, take care of myself and extend the peace of this experience to all. Mind is singular and there really is no one outside of me. Love is real and everyone I see or think of is loved and included. Exclusion is attack and stems from fear. I won’t be looking outside for my Self, I am simply That.
Extension of love is natural and easy. There need be no real effort on my part to extend love, because love is what I am. Love never harms anything or anyone. Love cannot be defined. It is whole, perfect and true.
So, what is real? God. He is real and my relationship with Him becomes very desirable once I hit the point of realization that nothing in this world satisfies me. God is love. God created you perfect and you are right now perfect as He created you. You have nothing to say about this. You can deny it, but that will not make it real. Only the love of God is real. It is unfathomable how much He cares for you. May you find Him now.