Hello you prosperous beings I would like to help you on the Avenue of Abundance. If you decide to join then you will get these posts directly to your email. How handy is that? Take WISDOM  with you wherever you go! Sometimes we lose our way so reviewing any blog post that speaks to you hopefully will help get you focused and back on the path.

 

 

July 24, 2022

“So long as we have not cultivated the strength to die with courage and love in our hearts, we cannot hope to develop the ahimsa (nonviolence) of the strong.” M.K. Gandhi Gandhi’s struggle, and Dr. King’s struggle, of nonviolence was much more dramatic and dangerous than most of ours, so this language is also stronger than most of us would use. But the message is clear: if there is anything which we fear so deeply that we would lose our courage and abandon love in the moment, we have not yet embodied nonviolence in our hearts. In everyday terms, this means that nothing said to us, no action taken against us or another, should be able to drive us from nonviolence. The founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy said, “Stand porter at the door of thoughts”. Every thought is a choice.Once on the path of nonviolence, every interaction, every relationship, no matter how difficult, becomes an opportunity to be aware of the thoughts we allow ourselves to think. Often we hear people say that they can’t help reacting with anger when others attack them. Yet, in the split second between the perceived attack and our response, a whole thought process occurs. That process has been described like this: we are attacked, we judge what has occurred based on past experiences, a feeling arises based on that judgment, we react. It may only take a second (actuall about 0.6 seconds), but that process always occurs when we are reacting to someone’s attack upon us. Then we can choose love or fear and anger in response. Being aware of this process and watching for it in every interaction is one way to cultivate the strength we need to hold to love no matter what. Responding to the love within us instead of reacting to the world outside us is the path of nonviolence. Affirmative Practice Today, I will meditate on this question, “Are there any circumstances under which I would surrender my commitment to nonviolence?” Today, I will watch for opportunities to choose nonviolence over violence. Today I will choose cultivate the strength to love. This is the path to nonviolence.

Let peace begin with you.

 

July 3, 2022

“As long as the secret of the soul is not known, all practices are useless. Thy life has passed away uselessly, like rains out of season.” M.K. Gandhi Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of Gandhi’s heroes, said, “No man can violate his nature. All the sallies of his will are rounded by the law of his being….” Each of us has a soul secret, a hidden truth of our nature waiting for us to awaken to it. It’s buried beneath a lifetime of mistaken beliefs, negative experiences and limited thinking about who and what we think we are. Until we come to truly know our inner nature, our soul secret, any practice, including nonviolence, will fail to produce the results we are looking for. Many of us have seen in the lives of others or in our own lives experiences that looked like and felt like they were natural, and yet fell far short of what was intended or desired. Then we discovered that, in the end, they were forced. These experiences, even when they do reflect some pale version of our soul secret, will always fall short of what we are born to do unless we uncover, discover and recover from the beliefs, memories and thoughts of a lifetime. When we have done the deep work of recovering from the violence done to our psyche by our past, then the secret of our soul can be revealed. When that secret of our true nature is revealed, the work of nonviolence comes easily, without frustration, anger, resentment or anger. In that consciousness, the work is easy and success assured. Affirmative Practice Today, I will meditate on the universe’s highest vision for my life. Today, I will ask, “What’s really going on here? Does my life truly reflect the “secret of my soul?” In everything I do today, I will listen for the negative voice of my old beliefs. When I hear it, I will ask, “What is it I need to recover from here?” This is the path of nonviolence.

Let peace begin with you.

June 19, 2022

“Nonviolence is a matter of the heart. It does not come to us through any intellectual feat.” M.K. Gandhi With the work of Gandhi and King and Cesar Chavez and the Occupy movement of today, many think nonviolence is a political position or a tool for political action. It is and it isn’t. nonviolence is a way of life that embraces a change of heart, a change of beliefs and actions about all our relationships. Many who have been a part of movements where nonviolence training is routine. But training alone isn’t enough. In fact, if nonviolence does not come from a deep heart place, no amount of training and intellectual understanding can ever produce nonviolence. Many of us have discovered, as we did the work of self-growth, that interpersonal strategies for communications and building relationships were useless as long as they remained “in our heads”. Only when we have embodied them and moved them that “terrible eighteen inches” from our heads to our hearts can they have any value. These strategies, of whatever kind, are techniques in one-to-one nonviolence. Like them, nonviolent strategies for group action can only work when they come from the heart. Our job, then, is to embody love and nonviolence as the only tools necessary to the heart, whatever tools the intellect may embody. Affirmative Practice Today, I will meditate on bringing nonviolence from my head into my heart, opening myself to feeling love and nonviolence, not as an idea, but an embodied reality. In all my interactions today, I will check first with my heart, before responding from my head. This is the path of nonviolence.

Let peace begin with you.

June 5, 2022

“Love is the strongest force the world possesses, and yet it is the humblest imaginable” M.K. Gandhi Since Gandhi made this statement in 1927, science has discovered forces unimaginable at that time. Yet Gandhi’s words are as true today as they were when he spoke them. True nonviolence is an act of love. It is the willingness to face the violence and hatred of another in love. nonviolent love… that sounds redundant, and in a way it is. There can be no true nonviolence without a deep love, not only for yourself and those you represent, but for those you oppose. Likewise, there can never be love when violence of thought, word or deed is present. Love is always an act of humility. It is literally impossible to face those who are violent toward you with pridefulness, arrogance or superiority and still be nonviolent, for there is no love in that attitude or behavior, only ego. When we are in our egos, we are always judging others against our standards. Judging others always comes with moral violence and superiority, never love. Love with humility always demands that we see differences with others as “opinions”, not as right or wrong or as “truths” vs. “untruths”. This important distinction makes all the difference in the world to the one practicing nonviolence. The only right or wrong is whether we express our differences with nonviolence or violence. Love with humility also demands that the one practicing nonviolence see those who use violence against others as deeply wounded themselves and needing the healing only nonviolence can bring. Affirmative Practice Today I will meditate on how love can be a more important force in my life. Today, I will approach each interaction with love and the humility to know that there is no right or wrong, only opinions expressed violently or nonviolently. This is the path of nonviolence.

Let peace begin with you.

May 15, 2022

“My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents and I lay them both at his feet.” M.K. Gandhi As we move from considering our place in the universe to considering “our place” within our own consciousness, Gandhi tells us to remember that ALL that we are is a blessing. Our path of nonviolence in the world must include accepting that our imperfections and failures are as much a blessing as our gifts and successes. Feeling guilt and shame about our imperfections and failures, lying about them or disguising them are violence committed against ourselves. In these behaviors, the message we are sending ourselves is “you aren’t worthy! If people knew who you really are….” Were we to do this to another, we would recognize the violence in it, but when directed to ourselves, we often miss the self-inflicted injury we cause. Instead, let us focus on how each of our imperfections and failures can be gifts to the world. Learning nonviolence toward ourselves, seeing all of our gifts and imperfections, all of our successes and failures as blessings is the work of nonviolence. Affirmative Practice Today, I will meditate on my imperfections and failures, seeing how each of them have blessed me as a step along the path to who I am today. Today I observe how they can be used as gifts to myself and to others. This is the path to nonviolence.

Let peace begin with you.

April 24, 2022

“To me God is truth and love. God is ethics and morality; God is fearlessness. God is the source of light and life, and yet He is above and beyond all these.” M.K. Gandhi Many of us describe ourselves as “spiritual, but not religious”. What we’re really saying is that we do not accept the idea of a God that exists as a “Super Being”, in the sense of “the Old White Man with white hair and beard on the Throne of Gold” or whatever our idea of “Not God” is. Each of us is entitled to our own soul metaphor, even the metaphor of “Not God” because none of us can ever know God except through ourselves. Gandhiji is stating the Truth of the Divine, whatever soul metaphor you may apply to it. Those of us who reject the idea of God, but honor, respect and practice the highest ethical and moral qualities are worshiping the Divine in our way. All of the highest qualities, the “soul” qualities, that we possess are the Divine. And yet, even within us, God is above and beyond all those soul qualities. Our very life essence is Spirit expressing itself in a unique way through each of us. Many of us, however “Spiritual but not religious” we may be, still feel a connection with all life, and a unity in all life. We feel that connection all life is the Divine expressing. Nonviolence is the outward expression of our conscious unity with Spirit, however we understand it. Violence is the separation that comes when we forget who we are. Affirmative Practice Today, my day will begin and end with consciously remembering that I am one with everyone and everything. Today I will see and bless Spirit expressing in all Life. Today, I will see and honor the Divine even in those with whom I most disagree. That is the path of nonviolence.

April 18, 2022

“Man as an animal is violent but as Spirit is nonviolent. The moment he awakes to the Spirit within he cannot remain violent. Either he progresses towards ahimsa (nonviolence) or rushes to his doom.” M.K. Gandhi While the Mahatma and Dr. King lived and carried on the work from the high place of spirituality, their movements remained nonviolent. After their assassinations, anger, frustration, and pain drove major elements in both movements in the direction of violent confrontation. Negative and violent emotions only gain dominance when we have lost our spiritual awareness and connection. Whatever we face, whatever forces we oppose, we have to first awaken to Spirit and then stay awake. That awakening is a daily part of nonviolence. As Gandhiji said, grounding ourselves in Spirit, holding to a spiritual practice of Ahimsa, are the only path to success. Whenever we feel frustration, fear, anger, irritation, impatience or depression about the pace of the work we do, we are in the violent realm of “animal man”. When we are able to hold to the Truth, walk the path and do the work from a place of peace, serenity and love, we are in the spiritual realm of Ahimsa. Affirmative Practice Today, I will meditate on my motivations and emotions. Am I doing the work of nonviolence to “defeat” the forces of violence? Or am I doing the work of nonviolence to bring love and healing to those who fear, who are angry, in pain and frustrated. Today I will treat each person I meet with love. That is the path of nonviolence.

Let peace begin with you

April 17, 2022

“God alone knows the mind of a person; and the duty of a Man of God is to act as he is directed by his inner voice…. I ask nobody to follow me. Everyone should follow his own inner voice.” M.K. Gandhi For many of us, the Power of the Divine comes as a “still, small, voice”, the voice of Spirit. Yet Gandhi says the “still, small voice” is our “own, inner voice”. Is this a contradiction? No, of course not. Our own inner voice, the voice of our intuition, the voice of Love, IS the voice of the Divine speaking through us, as us. For each of us that voice is different. If you are a member of a spiritual community of any kind, you know that every person, even in your own community, believes something different from everyone else. And yet we are all right, and all wrong, for the Divine can not defined in human terms. We can never hear, nor act, perfectly, but we can endeavor to do so with authenticity and integrity. We do that when we listen to, and follow our own inner voice. The surest way to walk the path of nonviolence is to listen to our own inner voice knowing that it is THE path of nonviolence and allow all other beings to do the same. Affirmative Practice Today, I will meditate and listen for that still, small voice within me. I will follow that inner guidance and know that each person does the same. This is the path of spiritual nonviolence. Let peace begin with you.

April 10, 2022

“God is not some person outside ourselves or away from the universe…. God is then not a person. He is the all-pervading all-powerful Spirit. Anyone who hears Him in in his heart has accession of a marvelous force or energy, comparable in its results to physical forces like steam or electricity but much more subtle.” M.K. Gandhi 
 
When we remember to think of the Divine as a Power, a Spirit, a subtle force within us, then something marvelous happens. How often have all of us set out on a task, a mission, only to become “burned out” before the job is complete? This Power we speak of is literally that, a Power. It will fill us as we listen for it, listen to it and open our hearts to it. Then, like electricity charging batteries, we are charged with that very Power that is Spirit. As Spirit is all powerful, we are filled with all power when we are truly listening and open. Our work then, should always begin with a conscious opening to the Divine, whatever that may be to us. With nonviolence as our polestar and a Higher Power filling the sails of our souls, the work of nonviolence becomes light and easy. Affirmative Practice Today, I will open myself and allow the Power to fill me. Today, all my actions will begin with that conscious opening to the subtle force that pervades all things, including me and I will let that power carry me through my work of nonviolence.
Let peace begin with you.  

April 3, 2022

“There is an indefinable mysterious Power that pervades everything. I feel it though I do not see it. It is this unseen Power which makes itself felt and yet defies all proof, because it is unlike all that I perceive through my senses.” M.K. Gandhi We have all had moments of awe and wonder that filled us with some sense of the spiritual nature of everything. A beautiful sunset, an eagle crying out as it soared over head, the first smile of recognition from an infant… each of us has experienced that “indefinable mysterious Power”. When we begin to understand that the indefinable nature of that Power forces each of us to interpret it in our own way, through our own “soul metaphor”. The path to true nonviolence begins when we remember that this “Power… pervades everything” and be clear about our “soul metaphor” and its role in our work. Our work of nonviolence begins and ends with knowing that the person who gives nonviolence is that Power and the person who receives nonviolence is that Power and the nonviolence itself is that Power. Affirmative Practice Today I will meditate on and remember that undefinable, mysterious Power that fills all life including me and look for it in every being and situation. In finding that Power in every being and situation, I will find nonviolence.

Let peace begin with you

March 28, 2022

On April 4th, 2022, our center will be finishing up the “64 days of Nonviolence.”

I would like to share more, especially from M.K. Gandhi’s sharing. We are not at the place in our society let along our world, to experience nonviolence, yet. We are always becoming more than we really are. Practicing Nonviolence With Gandhi was created by Rev. Frank zumMallen.“Religions are different roads converging upon the same point. What difference does it make that we take different roads, so long as we reach the same goal.” M.K. Gandhi No religion or spiritual path can ever completely embrace all the Divine is. The Divine is Infinite. No human religion can ever be anything but “the finger pointing at the moon”. Franciscan theologian Richard Rohr says, “All religion is metaphor”. Each of us has our own “soul metaphor” or cosmology, our way of understanding the universe and our place in it. We each have a soul metaphor, whether we know it or not. Gandhi’s soul metaphor refers to the Divine as “God” and “He” and “Him”. For many of us, the word “God”, along with concepts like a male Deity, seem to create a violent dissonance within us. Dealing with our own feelings about a Male God can be a wonderful practice of nonviolence. Arun Gandhi, M.K. Gandhi’s Grandson and co-founder of the “Season”, reminds us that we should release all attachment to possessing the Truth and join his grandfather in pursuing it. Believing we possess the Truth is the path of “himsa”, violence. Believing we all, even Gandhi, pursue the Truth is the path of “Ahimsa”, Ahimsa is the Hindu/ Buddhist practice of reverence for and nonviolence toward all living beings. Affirmative Practice Today, I will meditate on and remember each being has their own “soul metaphor”. Today I will remember that every belief, even those that make me uncomfortable, are different roads taken in pursuit of the same goal,

Truth. That is the path to nonviolence.

Let peace begin with you.