So it has been difficult for me to sit down and write this particular blog entry. Not because I have not had any ideas, on the contrary I have been overflowing with ideas. The Universe has pressed the idea of Satya, or truthfulness, more than the idea of Ahimsa, non-violence; which was the idea of the week. I have concluded to put the two together for two blog entries as I explore each concept more this next week.
The concept of Ahimsa has been floating in my mind more and more lately. I have always been a great practicer. However with Easter and the protests of buying bunnies and ducks just for the day as well as the vegan and veggie blogs I have recently been reading, this ideas has been brought again to the forefront for further analyzation. Satya has been another concept that has nagged at my brain for some time. The main concept with truthfulness was to myself as well as not exaggerating. Still as I was pushing these ideas to the back of my mind, and trying to focus on Ahimsa, more and more obstacles were being presented to me in the aspects of Satya. In the end it seemed that these two were destined to be worked on together.
The past few days have been difficult on my mind. It is the beginning of April, and as many of you know my birthday is rapidly approaching (4-15). From the time I turned 18, I have had a nervous break down of sorts on my birthday. Each year this break down has gotten worse, I feel that as I get older there is less and less that I have accomplished. Usually this breakdown will result in some pretty hurtful behavior to myself, thus hurtful to those around me. Many of these negative feelings and behaviors are often based on falsehoods, and my refusal to accept the positive things about myself.
Before the signs of my break down started happening, I had a rather intriguing incident with an acquaintance who is a close friend with my better half. More than anything this intrigues me because it is something so petty-I thought many people only joked about such dramas. In the end I had decided to take the higher road and let things settle on their own, yet I was broad sided when I heard the things she was saying through the grape vine. This story that she was presenting to others was so skewed, and dishonest; making her seem to play the victim. In actuality many people were at fault for the said incident, however what angered me was the fact that she could lie so greatly through exaggeration and left out details. The story seemed to change from a simple miss communication, into an all out attack on her as a person. Still this illustrates how everyone has their own reality to live.
Both incidents got me really thinking, and for this even the worse things I am grateful. The former, reminded me of Ahimsa; and the latter reminded me of Satya. Then as these thoughts began to form and take shape, eventually they meshed into one lesson, some beautiful life lesson rolled from truthfulness and non-harming. Granted the Universe tipped me off to said lesson before either incident took place in the form of Ben Hoff’s ‘Tao of Pooh’. I was avidly reading this book, until the end of last weekend, for whatever reason I did not continue past the chapter titled, “The Cottleston Pie Concept”. This chapter was built around the idea of everything having its true natural state, working within that; using everything as it is, just maybe, redirecting it. (If you have not read the book I recommend it, the book has changed every life it has touched greatly.)
So then, Ahimsa. I think it would be fairly easy to understand the first and surface meaning of the lesson given my week. Still lets not jump to conclusions and begin the conversation with just what Ahimsa is based on my understanding. Ahimsa is a concept that I was aware of before I could put it into words. My first memory of this lesson was when I was very young, as for age I could only tell you It was between 4 and 6. It was something that involved my beloved Belle. I learn by pushing boundaries, as a child I was no different, and at one point I remember locking my dog in a room she was not allowed. This only went on for less than five minuets, for as soon as I saw her face so pained I understood to harm another creature, regardless of species, was very wrong. The pain was heartbreaking. Not to say I am stellar at this idea, however from that one memorable moment on I resolved to do my best to never harm another living being.
Still there was something I never understood from that lesson twenty years ago, that has been continually explained to me from the time we put my beloved down. One of the last things that Belle taught me as a familiar was that I had mis interpreted the lesson. Ahimsa does not teach that it is wrong to unnecessarily harm other living beings, but it was wrong to unnecessarily harm ANY living being, including myself. She showed me that the unnecessary amounts of hate speech, and other self-destructive behaviors I would engage in were violating this rule as much as my belief that eating meat did. So then this past week when the crazy amounts of negative thoughts came back, and my engrained behavior revved up for a nervous break down, I breathed and grabbed at the collar of Belle. I realized that these emotions were not wrong, it was my reactions. I sat down and wrote a deeply dark story living out the behaviors I wished once more to engage in, giving me release without harm and removing the guilty feelings that occurred after the self-destructive behavior; thus breaking the circle.
Then the second lesson here was not just being kind to myself; but that thoughts are also harmful. As I looked into this, I found it increasingly hard to just correct my thought process; I needed to understand why my thoughts were so hateful. Now this seems like a no brainer for at least exploration of myself, still it’s a lot of work. Yet I was more interested in my anger and hate towards this acquaintance that had been causing me so much grief. I was not only concerned about why I was having these reactions, but also why this person was having these reactions with me. I could easily rationalize many things about my own anger, some of them had to do with the other person, and some, my own fault. Still I came to realize that this person was spreading negative speak about me based on her own interpretation of reality, and I was having negative thoughts of her based on my own interpretation. Neither of us are being truthful about the other, and we are harming one another needlessly based on our falsehoods.
Ahimsa and Satya have many lessons, this is just scratching the surface. For what I have learned so far beyond the physical interactions we can have with beings, our thoughts are the next step in promoting these Yammas. Thoughts have waves too and can manifest in many different ways; also they can be just as harmful as speech and/or actions. In all I feel the best way to describe this is through an old Jewish proverb that was shared with me. (Hint you can also exchange thought and speech with the story)
There was once a businessman in a small town who loved to spread stories. One day he heard a story about a fellow businessman and spread it all over the town until it finally got back to the subject of the story. The man whom the story was about went to the rabbi sobbing that because this story was now out he would be ruined. The rabbi summoned the man who loved to tell stories to question him. When the man found out how hurtful the rumors were, he was beside himself with grief and asked the rabbi how he could make things better. The rabbi ordered him to take a pillow full of feathers and spread the feathers all over town then come back. The man was confused, but did as the rabbi asked. When he came back the rabbi told him to then go and find every single feather and put it back in the pillow. The man went out and tried to find all the feathers, but could not and returned to the rabbi complaining how impossible it was, that many feathers flew away with the wind. “Yes” answered the rabbi, “as too are rumors and stories, once they leave your mouth there is no telling where they will end up, they fly on the wind.”