Be aware of any jokes or remarks that show disrespect toward ethnic groups, women or men, classes of people, religious groups, gays or lesbians. By being considerate of every person's dignity and by choosing not to participate in disrespectful communication, I am contributing to a nonviolent society.
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny - it is the light that guides your way." -Heraclitus
Do you think the statement “We always have a choice” is true? Do you ever think that you don’t have a choice? Do you ever think you must be violent? Can you always choose nonviolence?
Today: I will write about the choices I face throughout the day and on how they translate my commitment to nonviolence into my thoughts, words and actions.
This post was modified from its original form on 24 Mar, 7:33
"Those who are good and pure in conduct are honored wherever they go. The good shine like the Himalayas, whose peaks glisten above the rest of the world even when seen from a distance. " -The Buddha
People who are as described by Buddha, who work for the welfare of others, will be very deeply loved, respected and honored wherever they go. It is a simple law of human nature that we love the highest, that we emulate such people, and we want to lead the kind of life they lead. This is the saving grace of human nature: when we see someone who is patient, kind, forgiving, and forbearing, we recognize their nonviolent ways, because we too, have those qualities. As we honor them, we honor ourselves.
Today: A simple way to raise my awareness of honoring others is to do so at mealtime. Before each meal today, I will stop to think about all the people involved with the food I eat and I will silently say to them, "I honor you." Likewise, I will bless and honor the earth for its abundance.
Gandhi said "To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves."
Individuals like you and me who make the final decisions about what is bought and sold in the stores, how much carbon dioxide is pumped into the atmosphere, and what is dumped into the sea. Each of us can begin to heal the environment right away by changing our daily habits.
And what about our internal environment, which is as real as the one we see around us? This internal environment has a powerful effect on the external environment: the way we think affects the way we treat the earth. When we purify this inner environment, we are not only making ourselves more secure and fulfilled, but we are also making an important contribution to the health of Mother Earth. Nonviolence extends from ourselves, not just to our brothers and sisters, but to the earth as well.
Today: I will practice recycling by using at least one recycled product and by recycling a product. I will reduce, reuse and recycle the products I use.
What if we lived in a world where there were no weapons? What if we used the resources for developing weapons for other projects? What if we really did beat swords into plowshares? Imagine such a world for yourself and your family, because until be believe it is possible, it cannot become a reality. Peace and nonviolence, does, and must, begin with each and every one of us.
Today: I will have a conversation with someone today about what the world would be like if there were no weapons, nor any need for them. I will define new uses for the resources freed-up by not developing weapons.
When I judge myself, I tend to believe that who I am is what I have done or not done, what I have or do not have. I know that who I am is greater than all these things. I am greater than any mistake I have ever made. When we get even the slightest glimpse of the unity of life, we realize that sitting in judgment of other people and countries and races, I'm training my mind to sit in judgment of myself. As I forgive others, I am teaching the mind to respond with forgiveness everywhere, even to the misdeeds and mistakes of my own past. Practicing self-forgiveness is a foundation for practicing nonviolence.
Today: I will write an apology letter to myself for anything I have done to myself that I wish I had not, or ways that I have disappointed myself and not fully lived up to my potential. I'll mail the letter to myself and when it arrives, I will read it in a quiet place.
“Resentment, fear, criticism and guilt cause more problems than anything else” says author Louise Hay. By choosing not to judge myself and see myself as unique, loving, capable and bright, and by accepting myself just as I am, I will be modeling nonviolence. Any time I can take down the walls of defense, I open myself up to a nonviolent way of living.
"Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such."
Today: As I reflect on what is difficult for me to accept - in myself, in other people, and in the state of the world - I'll let go of any resistance or judgment, and allow myself to accept and acknowledge whatever I have been resisting.
Civil Rights activist Diane Nash said, “Freedom, by definition, is people realizing that they are their own leaders.” Take a leadership role today in your own life. Find a way where you can express who you truly are.
“When people decide they want to be free, there is nothing that can stop them.”
-Bishop Desmond Tutu
“To be free is to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
Today: I'll claim my definition of freedom. I'll write a haiku poem about freedom, or blog or just write about what freedom means to me.
“Do the Right Thing!” Spike Lee used these words as a title for one of his movies. When faced with a choice, listen to your conscience, and be willing to act accordingly, no matter what others may say. You know what is right to do; you can choose to do it.
Integrity asks for firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values and denies any form of corruption. Integrity is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. And when I am in harmony, I am a model of nonviolence.
Today: When faced with a choice today, I listen to my conscience. I'll recall then write a short story about a time when I listened to my heart when the people around me were doing something else.
Every day is a day to express gratitude, actually every moment is a blessing. There are many pieces that go into making up our day, and this community so often provides the inspiration needed on any given day. Thank you to those who are active, and those who partake silently. The energy exchange is welcome.
Thank you for being more like me than different from me. I honor the uniqueness of each being on the planet; that makes life rich. I seek to find the point of connection that recognizes that we are all one, destined to walk this journey together. May we walk in harmony, peace and love, with understanding and compassion for all.
On this Valentine's Day, I send love and gratitude to this community. Thank you for being a part of my life.
On her show, Oprah Winfrey frequently promoted the daily practice of gratitude.
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." -Melody Beattie
Today: I will list five things for which I am grateful for and share these good things with another, then reflect on who and what made those experiences possible. I will write a “thank-you” note to someone who would least expect me to thank them. I'll journal about my feelings with regard to this.
Reverence for all life is fundamental to Ahimsa; it is the ultimate rationale for nonviolence - for how can one willingly do harm to that for which one has reverence - and towards which one has the love that reverence engenders?
"In the main, reverence for life dictates the same sort of behavior as the ethical principle of love. But reverence for life contains within itself the rationale of the commandment to love, and it calls for compassion for all creature life." -Albert Schweitzer
"Reverence is a virtue that prepares us well to belong to one another; it reaches out to those who have given messages of not wishing to belong. When we approach others with gentle reverence, we bring gifts and share theirs with us." -Paula Ripple
Today: I open myself up to a feeling of reverence for all forms of life, especially each and every person that I meet during the day. I'll take a walk outside and experience the beauty that surrounds me as I BE with the sky, the plants and animals, as well as my brothers and sisters.
Author Wayne Dyer writes about the impact that our beliefs have on our daily lives. Each day this week believe you have all the resources to move your life in the direction of peace. Be aware of simple demonstrations of peaceful responses you receive.
Making mistakes is a part of learning and growing, simply an error in approach. Paradoxically, the only way we can begin to escape from the consequences of our actions is to stop running from them and to face them with fortitude and humility. In this sense, every difficult situation is a precious opportunity for learning.
When we humbly acknowledge our mistakes and reflect on what we have learned, it frees us from the need to be defensive. Being free from defending our position creates an opportunity for nonviolence.
"The seeker after truth should be humbler than the dust. The world crushes the dust under its feet, but the seeker after truth should so humble himself that even the dust could crush him. Only then, and not till then, will he have a glimpse of the truth."
Today: As I gaze up at the stars tonight, I am aware of how small I am, how my life is but a fleeting moment in the vast scale of time and distances of the solar system and the universe. And in that moment of humility, I acknowledge that I DO make a difference.
The Season for Nonviolence, in it's 15th year, draws attention to what should, in my estimation, be a daily awareness. There are so many subltle little things that we think, little actions that we take, let alone the larger issues that confront us every day, that either contribute to happiness, harmony and peace, or to our suffering and pain.
What do you do to elicit peace? For yourself? Your family? Your community? Your State/Country? Other countries? The planet?
Do you see yourself as separate from others? Do you see an integrated organism that is the planet with an interlinked energy that binds us all together? Do my thoughts and actions impact yours, or those on the other side of the planet?
This is an invitation to share with the community your thoughts on this issue, or to contemplate on your own.
My peace I give to you.
The human soul’s natural desire is to create. The best thing you can do to a human soul is to express the natural desire to create. Your life is your creative expression. Creativity allows something unpredictable and joyous to express through you.
"Why should we use all our creative power? . . . Because there is nothing that makes people so generous, joyful, lively, bold and compassionate, so indifferent to fighting and the accumulation of objects and money." -Brenda Ueland
Today: I reflect on what I am creating in my life today by identifying at least five ways in which I can express my creativity joyously. I will create something that expresses my feelings about nonviolence.
Gandhi said “To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves.”
Black Elk reminds us “Some little root of the sacred tree still lives. Nourish it, that it may leaf and bloom and fill with singing birds.”
This is how we are going to feel grounded, like a tree planted in the earth. Stand up straight and close your eyes. Imagine your body is a tree. Send down roots into the soil, feel the sun shining from above. Feel your branches and leaves blowing in the wind. When we feel grounded, we feel secure in our environment; and when we feel secure, we are more likely to respond to a situation in a nonviolent way. Being grounded helps us contribute to peace, to a culture of nonviolence.
Today: I will nurture a plant or plant a seed in, and for, the earth. When I am in a confrontational situation, I will recall that sense of being grounded and respond in a nonviolent way.
For at least three minutes, relax, breathe, and let your mind be fed by whatsoever is good and beautiful. Many sacred texts tell us some variation of 'your thoughts shape your reality'.
"The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival." -Aristotle
Today: I take a moment to relax, breathe and let my mind be fed by what is good and beautiful. As I think, so I am! I will write down my thoughts and share them with others.
When Cesar Chavez was organizing farm works in California, he challenged them to say, “Si, se puede” - yes, it is possible - when they didn’t know how they would overcome obstacles. Today, say “Yes, it is possible” even if you don’t know how your goal will be realized. Have faith - you will find a way.
Today: I will say, “Yes, it is possible,” to every obstacle I meet. I will write down three things I am having a challenge with and with each one write “It is possible for me to overcome this obstacle and be successful.”
The thought for today is DREAMING. Martin Luther King, Jr., had a great dream. Follow your dream; follow your heart; follow your inner light.
We need men (and women) who can dream of things that never were, and ask why not. -George Bernard Shaw
There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were, and ask 'Why not?'
-Robert F Kennedy
Today: I take ownership of my own dream for peace and nonviolence. I will write down and act on at least one thing to honor my dream today.
Week 2 Harmony, Unity
Choosing not to engage in any form of gossip today contributes to harmony and peace in relationships. Each day this week choose to see the good in others rather than finding fault. Differences give variety to life and are often only on the surface, anyway. Each day this week look for three ways to see beyond outer differences in opinions, appearances or goals. Find the meeting point of underlying unity that exists in diversity.
Poet and activist, Maya Angelou turned a traumatic childhood experience into a catalyst for creativity and achievement. She used this experience as a reason to bring peace to the world.
We all have had such experiences, sometimes holding on to the experience for a very long time. A mantram is a wonderful way to resolve conflict we hold in our mind and one of the best times to repeat the mantram is while falling asleep at night. Tuck yourself in, close your eyes, and start repeating your mantram. Between the last waking moment and the first sleeping moment, there is an opening into deepest consciousness. You can send your mantram in through that opening, repeating itself in your sleep, healing old wounds and restoring your peace of mind.
Today: I will reflect on an incident in my life to find the "gift" it has brought me. I will write down two ways I can use this memory to become a more creative and peaceful person. Consciously, I share this gift with others.
Knowledge strengthens your conviction and deepens your understanding and acceptance. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” The complete education teaches how to live by the principles which benefit us and the people around us.
Learn about the power of nonviolence by educating yourself. Read an article, periodical or book; watch a video on a subject that relates to nonviolence. Learn about human rights, diversity, ecology, history, politics, forgiveness, spirituality, peace studies, biographies of heroes and more.
Today: I consciously expand my knowledge about nonviolence. I will share what I have learned with at least three other people, and invite them to learn, too.
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” Lao Tzu
Deep in the heart of life there is heart.
Not just one heart but all hearts connected.
They pulse, rising and falling in a rhythm.
Yes, life – heart pulses…
Open one heart at a time to see all.
Open one heart at a time and see peace.
Open One heart and know the connection,
Yes, the rhythm - palpable...
Deep in the heart of life there is heart.
You are connected, reflected, embraced.
Send the love of your heart to the One.
Yes, heart – love and peace...
To simplify is to invite peacefulness into your life. When we have lots of 'stuff' in our lives, it is hard to be peaceful. Close your eyes and ask "How can I simplify my life, what can I let go of?"
"Live simply, so others can simply live."
-Traditional Quaker guidance
If we dare let go of our possessions and the will to control and dominate, we will cultivate a deeper spirit of peace within us because we can accept the present moment as a gift. By simplifying our lives, dropping less important activities and 'things', we allow more time for what matters most.
Today: I will write down three ways I can simplify my life and put at least one of them into practice today. I will give away something I have not used in the past year.
Author, Wayne Dyer writes about the impact that our beliefs have on our daily lives. Believe that you have all the resources you need to move your life in the direction of peace, happiness and nonviolence. Believe that you can be peaceful all day. Say to yourself “I am peaceful, I practice nonviolence.”
Today: I will write what I believe about nonviolence. I will create an “I Believe in Nonviolence” t-shirt, bumper sticker, song, or art, and be aware of the simple demonstrations of peaceful responses.
According to Peter McWilliams “Nonviolence toward the self is caring for oneself. Self love is a crowning sense of self worth; it is what the Greeks call reverence for the self.”
When I regard my life as a trust, I realize that the first resource I have to take care of is my own body. This can be startling! Even my body is not really my own - it belongs to life, and it is my responsibility to take care of it. Taking care of it is a demonstration of nonviolence.
Today: I will make a list of at least five ways that I can take care of myself, physically and/or mentally, and I will honor that list today through demonstration.
Author Louise Hay says “Praise yourself as much as you can…The love in our lives begins with us … Loving yourself will help heal this planet.” Peace in the world begins inside each person. Appreciating who I am raises my awareness of nonviolence.
Life is filled with opportunities to express appreciation, yet how many times do we pass up the opportunity thinking "oh, I'll tell them later." When we tell someone that we appreciate them, we are promoting nonviolence.
Today: I will write down ten things that I appreciate about myself and my life. I will tell at least one other person what I appreciate about them.
Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh said “If, in our daily life, we can smile…not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.” A smile creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in business, and is the countersign of friendship and nonviolence. A smile not only improves our looks, it improves our outlook, and when our outlook improves, it is much easier to be at peace.
Today: I will share a sincere smile with everyone I meet, knowing that my smile contributes to peace.
I do pray for peace every day! If everyone would do this then we would not have so much violence going on in the world!
Prayer is very powerful.
Today, I contemplate Mahatma Gandhi’s statement:
“Be the Change You Wish to See in the World.”
This will start on Feb. 2nd and run for 9 weeks.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register and get an invite.
Invite your friends!
This post was modified from its original form on 30 Jan, 6:02
Week 1-Prayer, Peace
"Prayer from the heart can achieve what nothing else in the world can," said Gandhi. Begin and end each day this week with a prayer for peace. Let peace begin with you. An 11-year old writes, "Peace is a special thought or a special love or light or spark that we all share within ourselves." Thich Nhat Hanh wrote, "Practice watering seeds of joy and peace and not just seeds of anger and violence, and the elements of war in all of us will be transformed." Each day this week make a choice to meet each experience with an intention for peace.
Today, I will reflect on what peace means to me.
"I can shake off everything if I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn."
When you discover that everyone is contained in you and you are contained in everyone, you have realized the unity of life, which is the divine ground of existence. Then you are not just a person; you have become a beneficial force. Wherever you go, wherever you live, those around you will benefit from your life. Even one unassuming man or woman in a community has the courage to lead a nonviolent life, she will make her contribution, and she will slowly inspire others to make the same contribution, because human nature responds to such an example.
When we can say, “Whatever comes, we will not be afraid because the divine Self is within us,” then this resoluteness and faith will enable us to work free from tension, agitation, and fear of defeat. The person who works in this way is at peace, because he or she is not anxious about results.
Today: I will light a candle to symbolize my commitment to accept the courage to practice 64 Ways of living nonviolently.
The Gandhi King Season for Nonviolence (1998-2012) begins today and continues for the next 64 days. I will be sharing daily thoughts in honor of the call to peace. I invite you to join me on this journey...
Our purpose is to create an awareness of nonviolent principles and practice as a powerful way to heal, transform and empower our lives and communities.
Through an educational and community action campaign, we honor those who use nonviolence to build a community that honors the dignity and worth of every human being.
We are demonstrating that every person can move the world in the direction of peace through his or her daily nonviolent choice and action.