Philosophy: Ahimsa

Damn it feels great to go easy on yourself!

These days, if it’s a toss-up between beating myself up, or realizing I’m simply human, I’m all for treating myself with compassion.

And I’ve got yoga philosophy powerhouse Patanjali to thank. He lists ahimsa, or non-violence, as one of the yamas, or best-life behavioral tips. When we’re practicing ahimsa, we’re compassionate, sensitive, loving, patient and understanding. We’re conscious of how our thoughts, words and actions effect ourselves and others.

A day without harmful thoughts, words, or actions? I’m all for it.

Are you? What if, for one day, or one week, we all avoided thinking harmful thoughts, speaking harmful words, or taking harmful action, against ourselves and others. No gossip. No insults. No violence. No “I can’t believe I messed that up!”

I’d love to hear about your experience.

Patanjali compiled yogic knowledge, essentially tools and techniques for living a healthy, happy, fulfilled life, in a series of simple, easy-to-memorize statements. The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali is a system that can be used as a map to guide us in realizing and becoming our best, truest self. This system, or path, includes 8 limbs: Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhayana, and Samadhi.

Aug 5, 2008 · Comment

Add your comment