Yoga Sutra of the Week: Cease Harming Others

When you cease harming others, others will cease to harm you. Yoga Sutras, II: 35

For me, this sutra has to do with changing the entire outlook of how you face the world. Are you fighting against the world, waiting for the everything to come down on you? Or are you a part of the world, supported by the earth, blessed to be breathing air, tasting the bounty and enjoying the landscape? When you take harm out of your life, it changes the way you see the world and it begins to break down that veil of separateness between you and everyone else. If the world around you is not separate from you, there is no reason to be aggressive or cause harm because it would only be hurting yourself. You can see yourself in others and understand that we are all in the same boat, trying to to be happy and free, and from there, compassion blossoms.

Ahimsa goes beyond just physical non-harming. It means not thinking negative or harmful thoughts about anyone or anything. This is a practice of training your mind and changing the way you see yourself in the world. And when you begin to harness non-harming, you radiate harmony. You experience kindness because that is what you are becoming. Infuse your thoughts, words and actions with non-harming and notice how the world you see begins to shift. Treat others with kindness and notice how that kindness is reflected back at you. Start small, do something for someone else without expectation. Smile at a stranger. Treat everyone you buy something from during the course of the day with respect. Allow it to blossom within and color your worldview.

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