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Sober October- Day 11: Ahimsa

Updated: May 7

Do no harm...

The above line was something I read, which resonates with my idea of ahimsa, and which I also thought was kinda funny and light-hearted. I believe that coming from a place of kindness in my words and actions makes me, and my environment, more peaceful. It is something I constantly remind myself of because the person I am the most unkind towards is myself, most of the time. Something, I have come to realise, we all do. So to be kind to myself first is to be kind to everyone. I have had the experience that kindness can be taken advantage of by some people, which is when the take no shit part comes into play. I may come in peace and love, but I also do not have to allow behaviours, words or actions into my life which do not support my truth.

I found this article on the net ( and I loved the extract below – although the choice of the word 'weapon' was a bit unfortunate when talking about ahimsa :):

The Deeper Meaning of Ahimsa According to Swami Kriyananda

Ahimsa, rightly understood, is the ultimate weapon; it turns one’s enemy into a friend, thereby banishing the possibility of further conflict. In the practice of yoga, it is important to understand that the same life flows in the veins of all creatures.

What Patanjali referred to, essentially, was the attitude of the mind, rather than the literal acts of the body. It is one’s attitude that can either lead him toward liberation, or hold him in greater bondage. An attitude of harmlessness (and its corollary, a feeling of universal benevolence) is what is meant by ahimsa. It is not possible in any case to kill anyone: the soul is immortal. What is possible, however, by wishing harm to another living being, is to develop a consciousness of death, which causes harm to the perpetrator.

The principle of ahimsa must be understood in subtle ways, not only in gross. To harm anyone in the slightest way, even by disrespect, will harm the person doing the action as well as the one receiving it. The perfect practice of ahimsa, then, is very rare. For though not many people would actually kill their fellows, it is common to find people slashing at one another with angry words, or with contemptuous glances.

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