Continuing from Living Buddha, Living Christ . . .
To practice nonviolence, first of all we must learn to deal peacefully with ourselves. In us, there is a certain amount of violence and a certain amount of nonviolence. Depending on the state of our being, our response to things will be more or less nonviolent. With mindfulness – the practice of peace – we can begin by working to transform the wars in ourselves. Conscious breathing helps us do this. But no one can practice this precept perfectly. We should not be too proud about being a vegetarian, for example. We must acknowledge that the water in which we boil our vegetables contains many tiny microorganisms, not to mention the vegetables themselves. But even if we cannot be completely nonviolent, by being vegetarian we are going in the direction of nonviolence. If we want to head north, we can use the North Star to guide us, but it is impossible to arrive at the North Star. Our effort is only to proceed in that direction. If we create true harmony within ourselves, we will know how to deal with family, friends, and society.
Thich Nhat Hanh
To be continued . . . .
Solitude Quilty Image Seamus Berkeley