DAY 45 Mar. 15: The thought for today is MASTERY. Labor organizer, Cesar Chavez taught “If you use violence you have to sell part of yourself for that violence. Then you are no longer a master of your own struggle.” To practice nonviolence you must learn to master your anger. Breathe deeply, silently counting backwards from ten to calm yourself and cool off before you speak or act with impatience or anger.
“We can do anything we want to do if we stick to it long enough.”
This should not be surprising. After all, to attain excellence in anything we have to work at it. An Olympic swimming champion doesn’t go for a workout once a week on Sunday afternoon, but practices for hours every day. The impetus to gain mastery over one’s mind and senses does not come from some Olympian height, or from a distant deity; it doesn’t come from any monastic rule, or even from one’s spiritual teacher. It comes from deep within yourself. You have had a fleeting glimpse of the shining presence within, and in its bright remembered light, all your flaws and blemishes are thrown into sharp relief. You can’t wait to start removing them.
Today: When I think of something or get into a situation where anger comes up, I will acknowledge the anger then breathe deeply, silently counting backwards from ten, and then decide what action to take. Mastery of nonviolence will come as I continue to practice.
A Season for Nonviolence, January 30 – April 4, is a national 64-day educational, media, and grassroots campaign dedicated to demonstrating that nonviolence is a powerful way to heal, transform, and empower our lives and our communities. Please Join Us! We welcome your comments below and invite you to share your experiences with the 64 ways – A Season for Non-Violence on our blog or on our facebook page.