The first limb, yama, deals with one’s ethical standards and sense of integrity, focusing on our behaviour and how we conduct ourselves in life. Ahimsa traditionally does not only mean “do not kill or hurt people” in our actions or deeds but it also refers to refraining from violence in feelings, thoughts or words.
Stepping back as we look at the big picture on being non-violence or non-injurious, I realized as or whilst we aspire to be so towards others we are unaware that we are doing it to my loved ones at some level one way or the other. It begins at home, how we treat our own parents, children, spouse to help us truly embrace and practice it upon others. I believe that charity starts from home be it in giving monetary contributions to charity organizations for example to physical as well as emotional support. We tend to go out of our way to help others when the ones who need the most happens to be our own family members. We use kinder words to others, more careful in our actions when conduct ourselves in public but at home it is otherwise.
It starts from home.
Being aware of thoughts of hatred or dislike, frowning, speaking ill, harsh and rude speech, lying, hurting someone’s feelings or being deliberately discourteous towards another I learn how easily I can commit them without sometimes intentionally meaning to do so.
Ahimsa, in all aspect of it’s meaning is an awareness I am practicing in my daily life because I will be remembered by the words I use. So choose them wisely.
200hr TTC, Jan-Feb 2016