Author: Metta Center

It’s About Liberation: Newsletter

The very foundation of yoga is nonviolence, as we note in our latest newsletter. And yet, where is the nonviolence in all the yoga-ish ads and selfies we see out there? Largely missing.
We’re folding yoga-based practices into our Certificate in …

Protection without Violence: Podcast

At the United Nations on Thursday, 24 May, the missions of Australia and Uruguay hosted a Side Event on “Sustaining Peace and Preventing Violence Through Unarmed Civilian Protection”  following an open-ended debate in the Security Council …

Moms Are Vital to Peacemaking: Newlsetter

Taylor Anderson-Stevenson, our Partnership Catalyst and a mother, writes in her introduction to our latest newsletter:
This past Sunday, many of us celebrated Mother’s Day. It’s the one day of the year that women are recognized for giving birth, raisi…

What’s in a pledge? Podcast

 
Pledges, vows, and oaths, oh my! What role do they play in nonviolence and nonviolent action? What kind of commitment to nonviolence are you willing to make right now, and what do you need to deepen your commitment over time? Listen to this sho…

True Generosity: A reflection

When I give someone a handout, they call me a Saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a Communist. ~Archbishop Romero Matt Harman, a student in Metta’s Certificate in Nonviolence Studies, has offered this reflection on generosity, inspired by the idea of “true and false generosity” as explained by Paolo Freire.     Gandhi often spoke of the dignity associated with self-sufficiency I understand Gandhi’s insistence on bread work as a way to avoid or break from cycles of false generosity. False generosity is a term used to describe the detrimental consequences of charity based upon unequal relations between life. This type of giving is a consequence and perpetuation of maintaining unequal relations between life. For example, in India during the satyagraha independence movement, Gandhi encouraged the people of colonial India to spin their own clothing as a form of self-reliance. In essence to avoid the tariff system which tended to favor the export of raw materials and the import of British textiles, an oppressive economic cycle. True generosity is often described as the act of recognizing the mutual dignity inherent in all life then subsequently working to balance the ongoing, and evolving, empowerment of all life. In short, it is teaching someone to produce or acquire their own means of sustenance rather than handing it to them in the hope that they will one day become self-sufficient without the transformation of society as a whole. Yet sometimes an individual experience can transform a seeming act of false generosity into an expression of true generosity – I call it love. For instance, I often distribute fresh food that would otherwise be thrown away to people who are hungry simply because I know how it feels to starve. It is as painful as it is transformative and anyone who has experienced prolonged starvation and lived rarely wishes it on another life. Living in an affluent country that produces and imports immense quantities of food, few of the people I give food to are starving in the sense of months, years, at times entire lifetimes with little to no food. But they have days and weeks without much to eat, and their choices are as limited as they are erratic. From a macro perspective, my distribution of food may be perceived as false generosity because I am simply giving food without offering any program to get people on their own two feet. Moreover, the food I am giving out was produced via an unequal socio-economic order that literally helps create and perpetuate humans in need of basic necessities such as food and dignity. My personal experience leads me to perceive this act of giving food as a form of taking the products of an unequal social order and redistributing them imperfectly, albeit as best as I can within the current limitations of context I exist within. In short an attempt at true generosity. Moreover, I do not give out the food through pity nor insistence on future returns […]

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Interconnectedness Is Our Safety: Newsletter

It has been an incredible couple of weeks in nonviolence, most notably with the reconciliation of North and South Korea, and the promise of transforming the demilitarized zone (DMZ) into a peace park, sealed with the planting of a peace pine. Doesn&#8…

Constructive Dialogue: Workshop

Creating Constructive Dialogue: Using Empathy Circle practice to connect across differences
Learn some key principles and a simple practice that helps create understanding and empathy among people regardless of their differences. Structural attributes …

Roots of Resistance: Podcast

What happens when we imagine and tell stories about nonviolent movements? We are more likely to make them a reality! Novelist, activist, trainer, Rivera Sun, joins us to talk about her latest novel, The Roots of Resistance, and the power of nonviolenc…

Tools and Principles of Nonviolence: Workshop

“Nonviolence is the greatest power at the disposal of humanity.” ~Gandhi

 
Conflict is inevitable, violence is not. In this workshop, we will dive into the transformative power of nonviolence, which, when properly understood and crea…

Harnessing Power as a Community: Workshop

There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about. ~Meg Wheatley

Building community is more than getting to know our neighbors–it is about building our power together to be a force for security, safety, heali…