Author: Stephanie Van Hook

Awakening Compassion: Daily Metta

Here Michael cites the discovery by Rachel MacNair of what she calls ‘Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress’–the fact that as the Buddha and the others often said, when we injure another, we feel that injury ourselves, a fact for which there is now scientific proof. Michael emphasizes how the nonviolent actor can awaken awareness of this reflection in a person threatening to use violence against one, and that this is one of the powers underlying nonviolence. Add your comments below. About Daily Metta Stephanie Van Hook, the Metta Center’s executive director, launched Daily Metta in 2015 as a way to share Gandhi’s spiritual wisdom and experiments with nonviolence. Our 2016 Daily Metta continues with Gandhi on weekdays. On weekends, we share videos that complement Michael Nagler’s award-winning book, The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World. To help readers engage with the book more deeply, the Metta Center offers a free PDF study guide. Enjoy more Daily Metta: See the  archives Get Daily Metta by email: Subscribe    

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Being Human: Daily Metta

“Unless the mind and the body and the soul are made to work in unison, they cannot be adequately used for the service of mankind.” ~ Gandhi, The Gita According to Gandhi, p. 208 What is a human being? Gandhi answers: Mind, body and spirit. Work that lasts, that uplifts and ennobles, needs to have all three components working together in harmony. It’s a complete package. To take away or to overemphasize any one aspect, Gandhi maintains, takes the wind out of our sails for service, which, he will tell us again and again, is the purpose of being human. Thanks for sharing a comment below. About Daily Metta Stephanie Van Hook, the Metta Center’s executive director, launched Daily Metta in 2015 as a way to share Gandhi’s spiritual wisdom and experiments with nonviolence. Our 2016 Daily Metta continues with Gandhi on weekdays. On weekends, we share videos that complement Michael Nagler’s award-winning book, The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World. To help readers engage with the book more deeply, the Metta Center offers a free PDF study guide. Enjoy more Daily Metta: See the  archives Get Daily Metta by email: Subscribe    

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Habit: Daily Metta

“Habit is not nature.” ~ Gandhi, The Gita According to Gandhi, p. 187 If our nature is good, then why do we do things that harm ourselves and others? Because there is a difference between habit and nature. We might acquire a negative habit—of judgment rather than mercy; of condemnation rather than forgiveness; of self-centeredness instead of selfless action—over time, through repeated words, thoughts, and deeds. If we convince ourselves that our nature is selfish, it would seem to contain these qualities. But when we turn that image around we can see our habits and tendencies more clearly and begin to do something creative to redirect them closer toward our real nature. Thanks for sharing a comment below. About Daily Metta Stephanie Van Hook, the Metta Center’s executive director, launched Daily Metta in 2015 as a way to share Gandhi’s spiritual wisdom and experiments with nonviolence. Our 2016 Daily Metta continues with Gandhi on weekdays. On weekends, we share videos that complement Michael Nagler’s award-winning book, The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World. To help readers engage with the book more deeply, the Metta Center offers a free PDF study guide. Enjoy more Daily Metta: See the  archives Get Daily Metta by email: Subscribe    

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Charitable Acts: Daily Metta

“A man of charity does not even know that he is doing charitable acts, it is his nature to do so, he cannot help it.” ~ Gandhi, The Gita According to Gandhi, p. 185 Gandhi firmly believed that our nature is good. We do not need to prove it to ourselves by having others affirm it. When we do something charitable towards others, therefore, we should not even notice it. It should be like our blinking or breathing. There is no need to draw attention to ourselves in such a situation; when we do, our act stands to lose its power, redirecting its energy toward our own upliftment rather than that of others—in which our own good is necessarily included. Others will take notice, but it does not need to affect our security. Thanks for contributing a comment below. About Daily Metta Stephanie Van Hook, the Metta Center’s executive director, launched Daily Metta in 2015 as a way to share Gandhi’s spiritual wisdom and experiments with nonviolence. Our 2016 Daily Metta continues with Gandhi on weekdays. On weekends, we share videos that complement Michael Nagler’s award-winning book, The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World. To help readers engage with the book more deeply, the Metta Center offers a free PDF study guide. Enjoy more Daily Metta: See the  archives Get Daily Metta by email: Subscribe    

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Six principles of Kingian Nonviolence

Ever try to talk to your child about Martin Luther King, Jr.? Here’s a quick intro to his vision of nonviolence. Learn about six principles of Kingian nonviolence from 5th grade teacher and Kingian nonviolence trainer, Robin Wildman on this episode of Parent Power Podcast! Listen here, or at the player underneath my bio box. You can also find this podcast on iTunes. Share this widely, and make sure to add your comments below.    

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A Seed Sown: Daily Metta

“The seed is never seen. It works underneath the ground, is itself destroyed, and the tree which rises above the ground is alone seen.” ~ Gandhi, Hind Swaraj, Chapter 2 Gandhi wanted us to understand that no single event, great or small, is an end in itself. Each one leads to something down the line: each one is a seed planted. When we act out of a sense of discontent, it is because the seed of discontent was sown in us by some action in the past. Same goes with the seed of love. All of life begins with a seed sown. Please add your comments below. About Daily Metta Stephanie Van Hook, the Metta Center’s executive director, launched Daily Metta in 2015 as a way to share Gandhi’s spiritual wisdom and experiments with nonviolence. Our 2016 Daily Metta continues with Gandhi on weekdays. On weekends, we share videos that complement Michael Nagler’s award-winning book, The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World. To help readers engage with the book more deeply, the Metta Center offers a free PDF study guide. Enjoy more Daily Metta: See the  archives Get Daily Metta by email: Subscribe    

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True Swaraj

“You are impatient. I cannot afford to be likewise.” ~ Gandhi, Hind Swaraj, Chptr 1 Nonviolence requires patience and Gandhi knew this. In Hind Swaraj, he frequently describes the various movements for a free India not under the categories of violent or nonviolent, but by the kind of energy behind the actions of those who were agitating for home rule, or swaraj: those who had patience and those who were impatient. Violent means, he emphasizes, have tended to be the chosen form of resistance for those who were feeling impatient. Impatience would not get them far, he argued. By scratching at the surface of those who held such views, he found that what they wanted was to create the same unequal system that the British had set up. Patience would be needed to unite parties riven asunder; to build new institutions that did not imitate the violence of their colonizers; and to empower a democracy based entirely on nonviolent lines. That does not mean refraining from action, it means in fact that there is a lot to do, and violence, impatience, could ruin the great work of art that was true swaraj. Please add your comments below. About Daily Metta Stephanie Van Hook, the Metta Center’s executive director, launched Daily Metta in 2015 as a way to share Gandhi’s spiritual wisdom and experiments with nonviolence. Our 2016 Daily Metta continues with Gandhi on weekdays. On weekends, we share videos that complement Michael Nagler’s award-winning book, The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World. To help readers engage with the book more deeply, the Metta Center offers a free PDF study guide. Enjoy more Daily Metta: See the  archives Get Daily Metta by email: Subscribe    

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Home Rule: Daily Metta

“The views I venture to place before the reader are, needless to say, held by many Indians…and they are also held by thousands of Europeans.” ~ Gandhi, Hind Swaraj Gandhi wrote Hind Swaraj, or Indian Home Rule, in 1909 while on board the Kildonan Castle taking him from England to South Africa. Written in Gujarati, and printed by his own printing press at first, it was banned in India. So Gandhi instead published it in English, which, as the paradox of repression always works, actually gave it a wider readership and much more publicity. Written in dialogue form between an Editor (Gandhiji) and Reader (any of us, but particularly Dr. Pranjivan Mehta, with whom he had argued in India), the piece is a strong critique of imperialism, Indian and English violence, and industrial society in general. Reviewing various subjects from the partition of Bengal to medical science, he paints a picture of an empowered, thriving Indian society, while reasoning carefully against much of the thinking that was inhibiting people from resisting nonviolently. Thanks for contributing your comments below. About Daily Metta Stephanie Van Hook, the Metta Center’s executive director, launched Daily Metta in 2015 as a way to share Gandhi’s spiritual wisdom and experiments with nonviolence. Our 2016 Daily Metta continues with Gandhi on weekdays. On weekends, we share videos that complement Michael Nagler’s award-winning book, The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World. To help readers engage with the book more deeply, the Metta Center offers a free PDF study guide. Enjoy more Daily Metta: See the  archives Get Daily Metta by email: Subscribe  

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A Radical Idea: Daily Metta

“Happiness has no exchange value. There’s no profit from it.” From Gandhi to Vinoba, by Lanzo del Vasto, p. 26 When advertisers offer us happiness in exchange for buying something, for ourselves or others, we would do well to remember Gandhi’s insight: there is no happiness outside of ourselves. Advertisers don’t really want us to be happy. Their job is to make us desire things whether we need them or not, so that we give them, and keep giving them, our money. Sure, with that kind of exchange we may find short-lived experiences of pleasure, but not what we are really after—lasting happiness, deep satisfaction. In a world of material exploitation, voluntary simplicity is a radical idea. Please share your thoughts in the comments below. About Daily Metta Stephanie Van Hook, the Metta Center’s executive director, launched Daily Metta in 2015 as a way to share Gandhi’s spiritual wisdom and experiments with nonviolence. Our 2016 Daily Metta continues with Gandhi on weekdays. On weekends, we share videos that complement Michael Nagler’s award-winning book, The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World. To help readers engage with the book more deeply, the Metta Center offers a free PDF study guide. Enjoy more Daily Metta: See the  archives Get Daily Metta by email: Subscribe    

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A Serious Call: Daily Metta

“We must not forget that India’s conquest was not an invasion by a people but the operation of a trading company.” From Gandhi to Vinoba, by Lanzo del Vasto, p. 26 Gandhi knew that people thought that he seemed foolish by putting his hopes in the spinning wheel, of all things. But he saw into the heart of the matter: India had lost her grasp on her industries and resources. It was a trading company, not an army, remember. Therefore, reclaiming those resources and those industries, required more than grasping them back out of the hands of the machine-driven West. The people had to rebuild their capacity and skills for the work of which they had been temporarily “relieved.” While on the outside it looked harmless, non-confrontational (how could the hand overcome the machine?), it represented a rather serious call for nonviolent resistance, for reclaiming their culture as much as their resources. Please share your thoughts in the comments below. About Daily Metta Stephanie Van Hook, the Metta Center’s executive director, launched Daily Metta in 2015 as a way to share Gandhi’s spiritual wisdom and experiments with nonviolence. Our 2016 Daily Metta continues with Gandhi on weekdays. On weekends, we share videos that complement Michael Nagler’s award-winning book, The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World. To help readers engage with the book more deeply, the Metta Center offers a free PDF study guide. Enjoy more Daily Metta: See the  archives Get Daily Metta by email: Subscribe    

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