Cultivating Ahimsä: the spirit of love and kindness in all its forms
Join Lotus Heart Zen for a special service focused on the practice of Ahimsä (non-harm). We will be practicing chants of peace and compassion, sitting meditation and discussing Ahimsä.
September 24th, 10:00am – 12:00pm — Please RSVP!
Location: 181 Kenwood Ave, Oneida, NY
No cost to attend, however, donations are greatly appreciated.
Ahimsä is based on love and kindness for all forms of life. The Jains uphold Ahimsä as the highest of all dharmas (teachings). Shakyamuni Buddha has been called the Lord of Compassion. “Thou shalt not kill” is one of the ten commandments in the Holy Bible.
Ahimsä is not to be practiced at the physical level only but at a mental one as well. In other words, mind, body, and speech states. Even hurting someone’s feelings is himsä. In fact, ‘Violence is the presence of harmful thoughts, feelings or attitude’. Ahimsä or non-harm, of course, implies non-killing. But, non-harm is not merely non-killing. In its comprehensive meaning, Ahimsä or non-harm means the abstinence of causing pain or harm to any living creature, either by thought, word, or deed. Non-harm requires a harmless mind, mouth, and hand. Ahimsä is not mere negative non-harm. It is positive, cosmic love. It precedes any other form of love. It is the development of a mental attitude in which hatred is replaced by unconditional love. Ahimsä is true sacrifice. Ahimsä is forgiveness. Ahimsä is Sakti (power). Ahimsä is true strength.
In trying to enforce in one’s life the central teaching of Gita, one is bound to follow Truth and Ahimsa. Perfect renunciation is impossible without perfect observance of Ahimsa in every shape and form. – Mahatma Ghandhi
The killing, which is done through the careless activity of thought, speech and body, is violence. – Tattvärth Sutra of Umäswämi
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