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Core of Ahimsa: Daily Metta

Michael Nagler Posted by Michael Nagler.

Michael is founder and president of the Metta Center for Nonviolence and the author of Our Spiritual Crisis and The Search for a Nonviolent Future, which received a 2002 American Book Award and has been translated into several languages.

Core of Ahimsa: Daily Metta

“God resides in every human form, indeed in every particle of His creations, in everything that is on His earth.” ~ Gandhi, Mahtama 4. 124

In our Western worldview, to the extent that it recognizes the existence of a being we can call God, that being is said to have created the world, more or less the way a carpenter creates a table. This has created a sense that God is apart from the world, apart from us—a concept that the mystics of all ages, including our own, refute. The Quakers, for example, speak of “that in God in every man” (person). It is easy to see how this belief, which has always been more mainstream in India, would lead to an aversion to violence and keen sense of human dignity, which, as we’ve often seen in these quotations, is the core of ahimsa.

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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.

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