As I sit here, an LAPD helicopter is flying overhead, presumably on its way to provide support to a request for help. Whether we like it or not, we live in a world dominated more by violence and discontent than by peace and acceptance for our neighbors. Maybe it’s a perception thing, but the fact is, we have a lot of unhappy people on this planet.
Ed and Deb Shapiro give us another great perspective on life in their latest Care 2 post. Using as their platform the tradition of Ahimsa, the yoga practice of non-injury, the Shapiros explore what the world might become if people were to dedicate themselves to a daily regiment of meditation, mindful yoga, and quiet reflection.
This may sound so simple, but ahimsa actually requires a complete shift in attitude. Few of us get through life without causing harm, whether by ignoring someone’s feelings, by using more of the earth’s resources than we need, or by buying products made by underage and underpaid workers. What to do when insects invade the kitchen or slugs eat away at the vegetable garden, yet we don’t want to harm them? And how often do we do things that are hurtful or harmful to ourselves?
How many times a day, consciously or otherwise, do we put ourselves down, reaffirm our hopelessness, dislike our appearance, or see ourselves as incompetent or unworthy? How much resentment, guilt, or shame do we hold on to, thus perpetuating negativity?
Read more from Ed and Deb Shapiro on using yoga and meditation to promote peace here.