What is Ahimsa?

Ahimsa means the practice of non-violence towards others and ourselves. It comes from Sanskrit which is the classical language of India, still used as a religious and ceremonial language mostly. Ahimsa is an important principle of Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, who all share a strong belief that we are all interconnected as living beings and to harm someone else is to harm ourselves.

But what is it exactly to “do no harm” in our daily lives?

The concept of practicing Ahimsa goes beyond the act of physical violence, it includes words and thoughts as a conductor of energy.

A Healthy State of Mind

One of the most prominent promoters of Ahimsa was Mahatma Gandhi. He was a true believer that the energy we produce can impact all spheres of our lives. That way, any unkind thoughts and behaviors, hatred, resentment, evil doings, negative words and dishonest attitudes is toxic to you.

The practice of Ahimsa must include the positive, thoughtful and kind state of mind to achieve its plenitude. Get away from the things that will take to your usual bad thoughts, change the habits that will drive your poor actions to pop up and breath deeply when your attitude is going negative.

A Day to Day Habit

Your thoughts turn into words. Words turn into intentions. Intentions develop as habits. And your habits become you. So how do your start your day? What is your first thought as you get up?

Start by noticing what comes to your mind early in the day and just like a meditation, acknowledge it, but get a hold of it early on if it’s not driving you to a positive state of mind.

As researches increasingly show that meditation can re-wire your brain, be conscious that your thoughts can transform the brain on a neurological level.

The Art of Forgiveness

It’s easier said than done, but letting go gently is also an act of love. This means understanding that neither you or any body else is perfect, and we all deserve forgiveness. Having compassion for others deepens your understanding that helps healing uncomfortable feelings. Having a open mind and heart will develop better acceptance, your own limits and weaknesses and the ones from those around you.

A Mindful Exercise

Because Ahimsa is an idea that gets cultivated into a reality, naturally it also means being more observant of life around you. For example, what you eat can make you feel good or guilty, and you should act upon these feelings accordingly. This principle can be used for almost anything around you.

Be fully aware of the decision you are making, how that is impact your body and mind, and set your mind to better react to this. As they say, some pain is necessary, but reacting with negativity is optional. Adjust your life around these feelings and thoughts so everything around you feels pleasant as much as possible.

Ahimsa is a very old principle, dating all the way to 500 BC, yet still very needed in our world today. How can you start today?

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