Intent to Heal: Daily Metta

“A Gujarati didactic stanza likewise gripped my mind and heart. Its precept, return good for evil, became my guiding principle.” ~ Gandhi, Autobiography, Chapter X

When Gandhi uses terms like “good and evil,” we have to be clear about what he means. “Evil” does not apply to people, it means the energy behind an action: something intended to harm, to degrade, something consciously cruel, based on the illusion that we are separate. To that, one offers its opposite: the intention to heal, to uplift, to be consciously compassionate based on the awareness that we are one. Here are those famous lines in English translation:

For a bowl of water give a goodly meal;

For a kindly greeting bow thou down with zeal;

For a simple penny pay thou back with gold;

If they life be rescued, life do not withhold.

Thus the words and actions of the wise regard;

Every little service tenfold they reward.

But the truly noble know all men as one,

And return with gladness good for evil done.

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About Daily Metta

Book cover imageStephanie 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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