Non-Violence: My 2010 Vow

This year, I vow to study, explore, practice, and live non-violence. By study and explore, I mean to be aware of my responses to unpleasant events that I am subject to at any moment. I start with myself. It's the Benedictine way: continuous conversion of the heart, one's heart, not any one else's.
By being aware of my responses, I give myself the chance to do lectio on it. By reflecting on it, by accepting its invitation, by noticing the prayer that bubbles from within, by hearing God's voice, then perhaps, I will be blessed with the wisdom and the courage to respond calmly, and peacefully, at any given moment.
Practicing and living non-violence, I start with the body by eating only vegetables, fruits (those are mangoes, my favorite fruit, in the photo), grains, nuts, and legumes. How is that non-violent? Animal products can contribute to a higher cholesterol and blood pressure. I am not lucky enough to be born with high tolerance for animal products. It's also good for planet earth. I'll also be more serious about my exercise routine. At 60 this year, I have to be more vigilant about maintaining muscular strength, balance, and flexibility. I will join a couple of short walking events this year. And oh! Massage, yoga, walking on a sunny day, or on a rainy day like today with my wife.
The body is the temple of the Spirit. It is thankfulness and reverence to be a good steward of this wonderful work of his hand, the word made flesh, of love manifest.

What about you? What are you doing this year to take care of your body, the temple of the Spirit? Can you celebrate with your body, no matter what you or others may think about it?

For it was you 
who formed my inmost parts;
you knit me together 
in my mother's womb.
I praise you for I am fearfully 
and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.

-Psalm 139


Anonymous said...

Wonderful, inspiring words. I never thought about my diet as being violent, but when I look in the mirror at this obese body I scarcely recognize it rings true. I've been reading Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food, and he says to eat real food--not processed, chemical junk-- mostly plants. I'm saying "yes, and amen" to that. Happy New Year!

Rebecca Johnson said...

What a great way to think of non-violence. My body is demanding that I listen to it these last few days. I'm in a bad bout of insomnia and I have to be gentle with myself and take care. And now, I need to get some sleep! Love....

Roy said...

Insomnia. Well. Quit thinking... about me. Kidding! This might work onyour insomnia: Lengthen your exhales, and as you exhale, you say a very soft, almost inaudible, "aaaaaahhhhhhhh" and soften your belly and feel it go down. Sweet dreams...