My last entry was intense, especially if you look at ahimsa, non-violence, as behavior or a state of being that you have to “make” happen. Even the idea of that journey is exhausting when viewed as a standard so high, so perfect, that it becomes the impossible goal. “I’ll do the best I can but I’ll never make it.”
Let’s make it simple, remembering that simple isn’t always easy. Mindfulness, compassion toward myself, honesty about what I think and feel are all necessary to live a non-violent life. However, changing thought patterns and behaviors is not the best place to begin. It can be frustrating and fruitless if these changes are not emanating from a fundamental shift in what I believe about mySelf, my True Nature.
If I continue to believe that I am born a sinner who must gain the approval and love of a judgmental God, then judging myself and attempting to control my thoughts and behaviors will be my path. This path brings me right back into himsa, violence toward myself. What then?
The most loving and compassionate path toward changed patterns and behaviors is to come to believe something different about my fundamental nature, the true essence of my being. There is a lovely legend about the creation of the universe. It says that this Being, This Divine Love Energy we call God existed pure and complete within Itself. The nature of Love is that It must be expressed so The Divine looked into Itself and the expression of Love was so profound it expanded, imploded, then exploded into the vast expanse of All That Is and universes came into being. Everything from that moment on became an expression of Divine Love in form…
including you and me and all others that exist in form.
Yes, you are Love Divine in human form. Love manifesting in the physical world. This is where you begin to manifest ahimsa, from the Love that you are, your True Essence, True Self, your Soul. This is a beautiful, loving, simple way to live. Simple but is the process easy? Letting go of what has always been is not easy for most people.
So, the path begins within rather than in trying to control your thoughts and behaviors. It is good to exercise wisdom in your thoughts and expressions as you begin this journey. The discovery of the True Essence of your being will ultimately shift the source of your patterns and exerting effort will fade away as love and compassion motivate your thoughts and behaviors naturally; because that is who you are at the core of your being.
Where to begin? Right here by reading blogs and other spiritual offerings that are different from what has brought you to believing you are something other than Love in Form. Open the mind and heart. Sit with what you read and let yourself feel it. What would change if you came to believe Divine Love abides (to stay, remain, continue) in you, giving you life and sustaining your being? What would you think of yourself if you believed that you don’t just “have” Divine Love in you but that you ARE Divine Love manifested? What would change if you believed, on every level of awareness, that there is no separation, that there is only the Oneness and Wholeness of All That Is (God, Divine Love).
It begins with practices like yoga and meditation. Take a walk without music to distract the mind. Let the mind take in your surroundings and the movement of your body, the sound of your breath. Sit quietly and, if the mind does not cooperate (there is a reason we name it the monkey mind!), watch it roam. Laugh at its need to see everything, think everything, fix everything! It is a little monkey exploring its world. Sit without music and count your breath, inhaling to a very slow count of four and exhaling to an equally slow count of six. Abide in these practices without judgement. How many years have you believed you were not spiritual enough? Can you give yourself a few minutes (5-10) every day for a few months, maybe a year, to shift those beliefs? If you skip a day, can you let that be okay and begin the next day? Is there a deadline or is this an unfolding of something new and wonderful? Why not show up and let it unfold? I promise it will happen in spite of you.
In the Oneness of All That Is I AM Whole. In the Wholeness of All That Is I AM One.
Divine Love Abides in Me; I Abide in the Love of My Soul.