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I attended your talk tonight at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. You may or may not remember, but as you were signing copies of Jesus I was the one who asked you why you don’t make it a “pro-peace” vow instead of a “non-violence” vow. Wouldn’t a “doing” action be better than a “not-doing” action? Additionally, wouldn’t such a vow potentially lead to an attachment? I very much enjoyed your talk tonight and look forward to learning more.
The vow of non-violence is a vow of peace. It amounts to the same thing. Whatever language one chooses there are certain pitfalls associated with it. As we know, people have tried to justify war and violence in the name of peace as well. I see the vow of non-violence in terms of the Sanskrit word Ahimsa, which is an active interaction with others and nature on the basis of the spiritual unity which connects us all. So non-violence is not passive, but active in a nurturing way. Ahimsa describes behavior that respects and supports all who are involved. It assumes a universality the way that the greeting namaste recognizes the divinity in others is the same as the divinity within us.
When we see, feel and know that consciousness that we are all a part of, then becoming a peacemaker comes naturally, and compassion, joyfulness, and friendliness towards others is just an expression of who we are.