“The way to Gandhi’s heart”–Daily Metta

April 28

“Ahimsa is our supreme duty.”

–Gandhi (Yeravda Mandir, p. 7)

gandhi-21Ahimsa means respect of all of life, and as this can seem impossible, Gandhi would always connect the ideal with a practical suggestion. For example: “Look at the flowers–which belong to all of life–that surround the ashram. Why would picking them as an offering honor a person like myself?”  Picking flowers, he felt, was an undue cruelty to nature, and he said that he actually preferred to see them fall naturally to the ground. Moreover, he shared, if people insisted on offering flowers, he would auction them off, and he did. For these reasons, people began to offer him wreaths of home-spun cotton, or khadi to show their respect and dedication for the movement. That’s the way to Gandhi’s heart, no question–throw away the empty symbolism and turn toward the joyful fulfillment of our duties and responsibilities in a way that honors life. But wouldn’t flowers be much easier? 

Experiment in Nonviolence:

The next time you see a flower you would like to pick, show ahimsa by leaving it where it is growing.



Daily Metta 250x250Daily Metta 2015, a service of the Metta Center for Nonviolence, is a daily reflection on the strategic and spiritual insights of Mahatma Gandhi in thought, word and deed. As Gandhi called his life an “experiment in truth,” we have included an experiment in nonviolence to accompany each Daily Metta. Check in every day for new inspiration. Each year will be dedicated to another wisdom teacher.