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Ahimsa Psyche & the Art of Pause

By Maya Tiwari

When you consider that we have spent centuries growing accustomed to living with violence—becoming tolerant of hurtful behaviors or simply becoming immunized to their consequences—harvesting the fruit of the mind feels like reaching an oasis after crossing a vast expanse of desert. In short, we must mitigate the root of violence in our minds to convert discordant thoughts into wholesome actions. And we can do so once we make a commitment to the Mind of Ahimsa. For this, each one of us must pay attention to the cultivation of our personal awareness.

How do we support the building of awareness? By making the necessary time each and every day to allow our thoughts to settle; to remain current with our multiple activities; to digest our thoughts and foods with leisure; to acknowledge when we have an obstacle; to allow the mind to digest the nature of that obstacle and to reveal to us what we need to know, when we need to know it. In other words, take incremental pause at various points of our day. Do nothing during these pauses. Simply keep the intention to allow everything to settle within. Then rise with ease and continue your day–however it unfolds. Do not intrude on this process. Let it be whatever it is. Everything changes. All obstacles tend to dissolve themselves once we allow them to get assimilated and settled within our awareness. In this way, we will find ourselves uncovering joy, contentment, ease, success, and a prevailing sense of lightness and freedom. It is a scientific fact that negative emotions indicate a stifling of the spirit’s freedom. What creates obstacles to a life of ahimsa are: unchecked guilt, fear, isolation, anger, and other negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

Our modern society is being founded on an infrastructure of accumulated guilt—a sense of fragility that is gathered from generation to generation. In my opinion, this is the most significant impediment blocking access to our power of awareness. In fact, the emotion of guilt is never content to remain purely on its own. It is a deeply imprinted, culturally acquired emotion that leads to fear, anger, isolation, and depression—not a fulfilling path for conscious beings striving to achieve a life of harmony!

Once you endeavor to live a life of ahimsa you will find it to be the most powerful path for cultivating inner strength and dissolving the feeling of fragility. This meditation, along with complementary changes you will be making in your diet, will help you become more flexible and light, with increased energy to cleanse stuck patterns of behavior, which can lead to disease and disharmony.

Disease and despair come from a state of conflict, and conflict tends to move us rapidly away from health and happiness. When we feel we are powerless in the hands of disease or illness and unable to redirect our focus and energy, we become overwhelmed and succumb to its descending force. However, when we learn to view illness as a time to take pause and resolve inner conflict—a necessary break that gives us a chance to get back into our physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies—we can ward off hurt, injury, and negative effects. We must discard erroneous notions such as; "I can’t take time for myself right now", or "I have too many other commitments to take care of" or "there is no way I can create time to do this". You must create this time to take pause when you are facing a major challenge. The first rule of Inner Medicine is that nothing else is as important as your well-being and for this the art of pause is your greatest medicine! When we continually cross dharma—the natural rhythms of life that benefit all—disease occurs, compelling us, and sometimes forcing us, into a necessary place of introspection. As the survivors of deep illness know, disease affords us a golden opportunity to reclaim the state of personal awareness and individual sanctity.

Obstacles are there to remind us that we’ve forgotten something of value in our lives. It forces us to take pause and awakens us to dharma—that which is good for all. Nurturing the self must include nurturing others. Health is never for the healing of one—it is always about healing all! When you heal, your family heals. My healing and your healing is pervasive energy that instantly touches the immutable soul of the entire community, humanity, and world. The protection of all life is the greater intention of leading a life of ahimsa. Our actions cannot benefit the self at the expense of others, or serve humans at the expense of the animals, forests, rivers and nature as a whole.

In Hinduism, there is no right or wrong. There is only “what is,” and that “what is” is God. Everything is God. We seek not to believe in God, but to know God. To protect the dharma of all, we can never impose our ideologies and belief systems on others. However, we can share, as I do, the gems of our traditions in order to benefit all of humanity. I feel fortunate to be born into my unique tradition: Its central credo is to help humanity cultivate wisdom by sharing practices that address every aspect of living, from the mundane to the sublime, in this life and beyond. We do so without attempting to convert a person to the tradition of Hinduism, which is not in my view a religion, but a vast and meaningful way of life.


This article is adapted from Maya Tiwari’s book, Abundance: From Feast to Fast, published 2009 by Mother Om Media:
http://www.motherommedia.com/products.html

Notes: Check out the itinerary for Maya Tiwari's Living Ahimsa Tour; come and take the Vow of Ahimsa and learn the proven way to cultivate inner harmony and good health.

Living Ahimsa World Tour 2011 - 2016
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Living Ahimsa World Tour 2009 - 2010
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Honoring Ancestors' Event
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