Ahimsa – The Golden Rule
We are living in an intensive time where consciousness is highly accelerated. At the same time, this rapidity exposes an equally intensive state of imbalance, where many layers of vulnerability in both urban and rural communities are exhibited. With the advent of globalization, the central force for human happiness, love, and nurturance has been severely compromised. And, with this central force compromised, the progressive deterioration of the human community has followed. In this state of deterioration we have become alienated from our roots—ancestral, seasonal, geographical, and archaeological. These roots are our primary source for nourishing body, mind and spirit. To restore harmonic conditions in our cultures, communities, and in ourselves, we must nourish peace. To do so, we reclaim a life of ahimsa as the foremost priority of our time.
Each one of us has the self-organizing energy of ahimsa within us. First off, in order to shift global consciousness into the mind of peace, we must achieve the mind of peace within ourselves. By understanding healing as a perennial process, the ever-generating energy of being Whole, we can sustain a life that is free from disease and despair.
Ayurveda informs us that we are always whole—with disease, without disease, with despair, without despair, with pain, and without pain. Peace is the absolute freedom from all forms of disorder and each one of us carry this creative power within us; regardless of what our karmic distresses may be, peace remains unaffected, unbroken within the human heart. The difficulty in maintaining inner harmony is not a defect of ahimsa. How much peace we foster depends on our relationship to the mind, which is patterned by how we react to conditioned memories.
We fortify ahimsa through the cultivation of personal awareness. To nourish peace we must first heal the mind. In aligning ourselves with this process we reveal the hidden cavern of unresolved desires, fears, weakness, and hurt–transported from generation to generation, from life to life. This revelation of unresolved negativity gives us the opportunity to heal and reclaim the immutable gift of ahimsa readily awaiting our opening. The successful outcome of this healing is to realize our natural state of peace. It is critical to be present in the process of healing, however unexpected and challenging it maybe. The process is often hard to face because it is not so pretty. It contains, at the heart of it, that part of our journey which is hidden, that “stuckness” and staleness that need to be shaken loose, and brazened out. If we are able to face that hidden part of our journey head-on, we open up to spirit and find resolve.
A simple exercise that has been helpful to me in my darkest hour, follows: I find something to feel grateful for; a tree filled with light, a friend who comes to my aide; a bird in flight, a cheerful cloud drifting by; looking at a picture of my mother’s loving face. Granted, this shift is hard to do while we are stuck, fidgeting in the state of fear, angst or hopelessness. But Mother Nature is always reaching in to us, pulling us outward. Simply be. Open your eyes and engage her. Once we see her light and recognize nature’s love pouring into the soul, we can go to the next step.
Attribute difficulties and hardship, pain and angst to karmic growth; and not to injustice, or unfairness. Ahimsa is about blaming no one, nothing. We heal when we can invoke a clear intent to honor our journey, however it unfolds. Challenges are plentiful, but the solution is the same for all of us. Make peace your first and foremost priority. In other words, untether the mind, and do the dedicated work to create harmony within – Ahimsa! When we get knocked down, how quickly can we remember “I am Ahimsa”! Then get back up and strive to bring forth love by allowing ahimsa the space she needs within you, to alight and flow.
In living ahimsa, we learn that peace does not depend on conducive conditions, on what we eat, or what we think, or even what we say. Peace is about learning to transcend disharmony, disorder, disease, and despair by reaching for that inner flame, the irrevocable, incorruptible light that redefines all living conditions. Peace is about becoming comfortable with the carnal ground of noxious, rotten bones. Peace puts forth its own response through us once we stay centered in its field. Ahimsa is nourishing peace. It is about mothering, accepting, giving, caring, and protecting this serene space of the One Self we all share. This peace engenders the greatest love. My Vedic ancestors understood love and peace as foundational to nature. They recognized that harmony is produced only by cooperation with nature. They surrendered to nature to learn how to sustain prosperous communal living. They worked hard at nourishing peace and kept love thriving. Harvesting herbs, roots, fruits, and legumes without bludgeoning the forest or animal members of their community, they viewed their everyday tasks as a sacred duty to keep reseeding love into the soil. They knew, what we are now rediscovering—the greatest value in human life is to nourish peace.