Thursday, November 15, 2012

Revisiting the Meaning of Ahimsa

On my way to work I had that moment I have successfully avoided for a few years (ok, weeks). ROAD RAGE! I was on the highway traveling the same speed as the rest of the lane, when a driver came up very close to my rear bumper. So, I lightly tapped on the breaks to ask the driver to back away from my car a bit. (Tailgating is not only illegal in Connecticut, but is also fairly dangerous). The driver proceded to motion with her hands. I got a bit upset, which I feel I am perfectly entitled to be. The driver was not only potentially putting themself in danger, but was also potentially endangering others.

What I am not so proud of was what happened next. The thing that happened in my own head. I started rushing through a list of what ifs. What if I was hit? What would I say to the driver if they hit me? And it got really ugly. In my mind I was threatening physical harm, for tailgating. For tailgating.

Ahimsa is an ethical principle of yoga - nonviolence in word, thought, and deed. I work really hard at keeping this promise with myself in word and deed - to the degree that I do not eat meat or swat flies. I do on occasion, however, get a little violent in my head. The brain is wired to do crazy things - and for me is the hardest to control. How does one not be violent in thought if they cannot control the brain?

I am hoping that writing this posting will be helpful to me. Creating awareness, acknowledging my thoughts without guilt - allowing myself to be in touch with my thoughts to possibly curb the fruition of them in the future.

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