Being Nonviolence

Circle of hands, Western Australia Quest 2008

Being Nonviolence means that, with all our heart, mind, and intention, we are choosing a way of life that is on a path of learning, developing, and cultivating practices of nonviolence. We are guided by five principles:

  1. Mindful Relationship to All Life – Cultivating a mindful relationship to ALL life, we will not go out of our way to kill or intentionally cause harm to any life. As it is quite true that our very foot presses upon the grasses and at any moment we may unknowingly take a life of a small insect or the grass itself, we walk with an intention of interdependence with all life. It is also true that food is part of all life and whether we eat vegetables, fruit, or meat, we are killing life. To practice a mindful relationship means that we consider, honor, and understand the life taken to serve ours. We honor life given to provide for ours by not going out of our way to cause harm, create suffering, or kill. We consider carefully how food is grown, how animals are killed for food, and whether the sources of our food provide a sustainable interdependence for all beings on the planet. We choose not to support industries of agriculture whether vegetable, fruit, or meat where there is an unconscious connection to life. Whether taking the life of an animal for meat or uprooting a carrot for salad, we strive to not see a hierarchy of life and not disrupt the natural flow of events that serve all life, including death.
  2. Mindful Relationship to Intoxicants – Cultivating a mindful consumption, we are only willing to ingest items that preserve peace and well-being in our bodies, hearts, and minds. We are aware that certain levels and ways of consumption of media, films, magazines, food (especially sugars), alcohol, prescription medication, illegal drugs, and other resources can cause damage to our bodies and our consciousness leading us to choices that distract us from a life of Being Nonviolence. We strive for a balance with all of our choices assessing as clearly as we can how well each choice will meet Universal Human Needs. We ask for help if we are struggling with any one choice that might be creating an intoxication that creates imbalance, unmanageability of our lives, or disrupts peace and well-being for ourselves or others.
  3. Mindful Relationship to Resources – Cultivating a mindful relationship to resources, we respect the elements and all that is produced by them via natural development or by human hands. We will not take before connecting to see if it is indeed willing to be taken. We will not take more than we need. In striving to protect and to serve all life, we consider the well-being of people, animals, plants, and minerals when we borrow or purchase anything. We practice generosity by sharing time, energy, and material resources. We respect what is already in use by others. We strive to end the profiting from the suffering of all species everywhere.
  4. Mindful Relationship to Power – Cultivating responsibility, we engage a “power with” understanding and paradigm with all our relations. When roles like teacher and student or parent and child is present as a mutual agreement, we engage in our interactions with an intention to connect and see that all needs are understood and met in a way that one person will not have power over the other. Learning ways to protect the safety and integrity of individuals, couples, families, and society, we choose not to engage in sexual relations without love, respect, and shared responsibility for all outcomes.
  5. Mindful Relationship to Communication – Cultivating empathic speech and listening, we strive to communicate honestly with words and listening that inspire connection, understanding, and empathy. Knowing that nonviolence seeks alliances, we make all efforts to reconcile and resolve conflicts in ways that meet the needs of everyone involved. We utilize Nonviolent Communication and our understanding of Universal Human Needs as a basis for building strong, trusting relationships.

Respect journal - Western Australia Quest 2008To go on a Wild! is to embark on the journey of Being Nonviolence – to protect and to serve all needs, all beings, all life. Play in the Wild! provides programs to learn these practices, deepen our understanding, and re-commit to Being Nonviolence. Each person finds how they will align with these values and how they will work with them in their lives. It may look different for different people.