On November 7, 2008 Dr. Deepak Chopra, in front of an audience of 500 people took a vow of non-violence in his thoughts, words and actions. He then asked his audience if they were inspired and FELT in their hearts that they could — to join him in taking that vow. 450 people stood up and took the vow with him. As I begin writing this 5,094 people have taken this vow and are spreading the word to others. Imagine what the world would be like if this continues and people can find it in their heart to recognize that THIS is power and love. A vow extremely well worth taking. What does non violence mean in thoughts, words and actions and is it possible for you to take this vow and put a halt to them forever in yourself?
Dr. Deepak Chopra has been a significant teacher and Hero for me. It is through his teachings that I fully began to comprehend JUST how powerful the mind is and how self healing we all are. He is on my Heroes of Healing list – Dawn Abraham wrote about him and she had the pleasure of working with Dr. Chopra in person. Dr. Chopra is a leader in the mind/body connection and in a global peace movement. His video below shows his passion , integrity and joy as he takes this vow and asks others to do the same.
NON VIOLENCE IN THOUGHTS
I thought seriously about this vow before I took it. I have never been a “violent thinking” person so maybe this was easier for me than others but I took it a step further. I took this to mean no hateful thoughts as well, no disparaging thoughts, no thoughts that will bring me and the people around me down by just thinking them. Does this mean I am going to walk around grinning all the time? No, I will honor those thoughts that make me feel “angry” or “upset” and figure out what can be gained from those moments. I will “Appreciate EVERY Moment — NOT JUST the GOOD Ones” remaining conscious if strong negative thoughts/emotions come up about anyone or any situation.
Honestly, since I took the vow I already had a situation come up that brought less than happy thoughts up about a couple of people. I stopped myself and made myself think about it differently. As I mentioned, I am not one to think “violent” thoughts at all. I know there are people that have hostile fantasies and luckily I have never been one of those people. But back to the story… so I was thinking these “negative” thoughts about these people and stopped myself to ask “WHAT can be learned from this situation?” HOW can you walk away from this wiser and preserve your wellness at the same time? When you really look at the situation instead of letting your “monkey mind” go crazy and swing from thought to thought YOU are in control. My favorite Chopra quote is fitting here since I am writing about him so here I go again (sorry regular readers) 😉 :
“You must realize that everyone is doing the best they can from their own state of consciousness” – Dr. Deepak Chopra
If you stop and repeat that quote to yourself and think about it — you can calm yourself and become in the moment and “conscious”. It is very rare that a person goes out of their way to hurt someone. Sometimes it happens by accident or circumstance and sometimes that person is acting from their learned response or is on auto-pilot and isn’t even remotely conscious of what they are doing. This quote has stopped and woken me up more times than I can count and I feel it is very appropriate for taking this vow.
NON VIOLENCE IN SPEECH
I have never said “I want to hurt that person” or wished violence on another”. For myself I felt the vow for non violence in speech needed to be taken a step further. No negative remarks about people. No coloring how others might look at how I perceived someone or something. Most of us have played that game telephone as a child. (For those who haven’t there are 10 or so people in a circle…. the first person thinks of something to say and whispers into someone’s ear and the message goes round the circle person by person. By time it has reached the end it is RARELY the same message that began.) When you say something bad about someone the story usually gets blown out of proportion not quelled.
If you speak about how you hate someone you are telling people YOUR side and not allowing for the person to make up their own mind. If you are talking about wishing violence towards someone you are putting those thoughts into someone’ else’s head. There is no need to speak violent thoughts! Does it make you feel better?! I would guess overall it makes you feel a lot worse. Maybe a temporary release of some sort but I guarantee if you spent that time doing a little “Ho’oponopono” towards the person instead — you would feel a WHOLE LOT better.
NON VIOLENCE IN ACTIONS
Not having siblings — it was easy to avoid fist fights ;-). Only once did I ever really strike someone with the intent to hurt them and that was in the Bahamas as a teenager when a drunken man physically grabbed me places I did not want to be touched. Even after that I had thoughts that I “could have handled it better”. We were around lots of people and it would have been easy to get the attention of a bouncer or someone else nearby.
Having two children I have frequently said “hands to self!”, “use your words”, “would you like it if they hit you?”…. and it always makes my kids stop and think… even when NOT screamed at the top of my lungs! 😉 Before my husband and I had children we agreed we would not hit them. Why? Because hitting them shows them that hitting is ok. I never really “got” the whole hitting children thing. Children are born into the world innocent and as grown ups WE are leading by example. How could I tell my kids not to hit other kids if I hit them? By putting in some kind of clause that for parents (who are supposed to love, care and protect their children more than anyone else) it is somehow okay? Never made any sense to me. THAT will teach them? I don’t think so. I feel it will make children resentful and confused. Come at a child with love and try to understand WHY they did what they did that made you angry and maybe THEN you will be getting somewhere. If you are so angry at a child that you feel you might physically hurt them… best to remove yourself from the situation and give YOURSELF a time out.
Everyone is entitled to feel safe. Hurting others does nothing to help ANYONE. I feel even as angry as you can be at someone there are OTHER ways to go about dealing with that anger rather than lashing out. Are you angry at a “group of people”? Maybe it is time to sit down and think about what old ways of thinking contributed to that anger and if there are better ways to deal with it than violent actions, thoughts or speech. Only YOU can change the way you look at life, situations and people.
Beginning a healing practice has brought up interesting questions for myself. What if someone came to me who did some “really ugly things” or who I “got a bad vibe from” and they wanted to heal — what would I do? When the answer came I immediately felt at peace… of course I would do a session on them because if they did something “horrible” or I felt “bad energy” obviously they are in NEED of healing. When you start to live out of love instead of fear, worry or anger the whole world changes. Before I begin a session (with a client whether in person or distance) I feel love and a connection to that person. EVERYONE can benefit from some love and kindness sent their way.
So what’s next? Are you convinced? Does this FEEL like something you can do? I will tell you that by taking this vow you are telling yourself you will be more conscious and THAT alone can work wonders! Dr. Chopra along with The Alliance for a New Humanity even set up a whole site devoted to this:
Please think about this and think about who else you can tell. The more it continues the more peace will be spread. Just in time to start 2009 off right! I would love to hear what you think of the Vow of Non Violence — please leave comments!