Readings From Class: ahimsa inspiration from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Always be sure that you struggle with Christian methods and Christian weapons. Never succumb to the temptation of becoming bitter. As you press on for justice, be sure to move with dignity and discipline, using only the weapon of love. Let no man pull you so low as to hate him. Always avoid violence. ….I still believe that love is the most durable power in the world. Over the centuries men have sought to discover the highest good. … I think I have discovered the highest good. It is love. This principle stands at the center of the cosmos. As John says, ‘God is love.’ He who loves is a participant in the being of God.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., taken from a 1956 sermon titled, The Most Durable Power
In honor of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I reflect on his work for freedom and equality through non-violence and love. It is a great reminder to go back to the Patanjali’s Yogs Sutra’s and review the Yamas and Niyamas. And start reflecting on the first and over-arching Yama of Ahimsa, most often translated as non-harming. I like to use the translation of kindness.
As we can only control our thoughts and actions, we can use our practice to cultivate kindness and non-harming as we navigate our limitations and our mostly unfriendly/self-loathing minds.
I shared these readings last year. Here they are again:
“Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must ever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.