64 Daily Contemplative Meditations
Practicing Nonviolence With Gandhi
Contributed by Rev. Frank zumMallen
The Gandhi-King Season for Nonviolence, Jan. 30 through April 4, is an international, educational, media and grassroots campaign dedicated to promoting nonviolence as a powerful way to heal, transform and empower our lives and our communities. The Season for Nonviolence began in 1998, inspired by the 50th and 30th memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This international movement strives to honor the vision of these great peacemakers through action and education.
This story is attributed to Ganhiji during his struggles in India. One Day a British clergyman, well-known for being an Imperialist, met Gandhi. Trying to paper over the gulf of disagreement between them, he said, “Well, we are both men of God, Mr. Gandhi, aren’t we?” Gandhi replied, “You are a politician, disguised as a man of God. I am a man of God, disguised as a politician.” (The Way to God, M. K. Gandhi, Introduction, P.11)
Whether this story is true or merely apocryphal, it reveals the secret to the Mahatma: no matter involved he became in nonviolence (Ahimsa) in politics, activism and working for change, he remained, first, last and always, a profoundly spiritual man. At his most secular, the reasons for everything he did and everything he accomplished had deep spiritual motivations and meanings. He believed that nonviolence was a “quality of the heart” and “man, as Spirit, is nonviolent. The moment he awakens to the Spirit within, he cannot remain violent”.
Each day, during these 64 Days of the 2013 Gandhi King Season for Nonviolence, we
practice a new principle of peace and nonviolence from Gandhi’s spiritual legacy. Through
his written reflections and his public pronouncements he teaches us to live a life of
nonviolence, one choice at a time, one action at a time, one day at a time. This is how we
learn to practice nonviolence. Whatever our spiritual paths may be, Gandhi’s words can
guide us to a more meaningful practice of Ahimsa (nonviolence). If we practice it for the
full 64 Days, Gandhi’s “quality of the heart” can become our quality of the heart and can
change our lives and the world we are co-creating.
Here is a link to the 64 Days Contemplative Meditations.
And the video channel to hear these mediations are listed in our CSL Chico Youtube channel.
-Rev. Kathy Fernandes