Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Nonviolence belongs to a continuum from the personal to the global,
and from the global to the personal. One of the most significant
Buddhist interpretations of nonviolence concerns the application of
this ideal to daily life. Nonviolence is not some exalted regimen that
can be practiced only by a monk or a master; it also pertains to the
way one interacts with a child, vacuums a carpet, or waits in line.
Besides the more obvious forms of violence, whenever we separate
ourselves from a given situation (for example, through
inattentiveness, negative judgments, or impatience), we kill something
valuable. However subtle it may be, such violence actually leaves
victims in its wake: people, things, one's own composure, the moment
itself. According to the Buddhist reckoning, these small-scale
incidences of violence accumulate relentlessly, are multiplied on a
social level, and become a source of the large-scale violence that can
sweep down upon us so suddenly. One need not wait until war is
declared and bullets are flying to work for peace, Buddhism teaches. A
more constant and equally urgent battle must be waged each day against
the forces of one's own anger, carelessness and self-absorption.

--Kenneth Kraft, Inner Peace, World Peace
from Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle book

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