Monday, August 27, 2012

Ahimsa

I have been lent some reading material by a friend of mine, a large stack of back issues of 'The Sun', a literary magazine from the US, that is free of advertisements, and rich in thought provoking short stories, article, quotations, and photographs.  Each issue has a section called the dog-eared page, selections from works that have deepened and broadened the editor's understanding of the human experience.  One of the issues that I am borrowing features excerpts from 'All Men Are Brothers' by Mahatma Gandhi, and what Gandhi had to say on the idea of ahimsa piqued my interest.

He says:

In it's positive form, ahimsa (not doing harm) means the largest love, greatest charity.  If I am a follower of ahimsa, I must love my enemy.  I must apply the same rules to the wrongdoer who is my enemy or a stranger to me as I would to my wrong-doing father or son.  This active ahimsa necessarily includes truth and fearlessness.  As man cannot deceive the loved one, he does not fear or frighten him or her.  The gift of life is the greatest of all gifts; a man who gives it in reality, disarms all hostility.  He has paved the way for an honorable understanding.  And none who is himself subject to fear can bestow that gift.  He must therefore be fearless.  A man cannot practice ahimsa and be a coward at the same time.  The practice of ahimsa calls forth the greatest courage.

And another gem:

Love is the strongest force the world possesses, and yet it is the humblest imaginable. 

Some nice thoughts to start to week, no?





 

Friday, August 17, 2012

sweet simplicity

Life in Bondi beach is ticking along in a way that one friend of mine has labeled as 'sweetly simplistic.'  Maybe this is why I've had nothing to write about?  Not enough drama in my life perhaps?  What I have noticed lately is that I am getting a little better at rolling with the punches.  Last year when I had to move house, I resisted it and dreaded it, even though I hardly had anything to actually move, and had a great housemate to move with.  This weekend I will be moving house here, and it has hardly even ruffled my feathers, so to speak.  I live with a lovely family, and have more or less been adopted into the fold.  The mum and dad are near the same age as my parents, but their kids are 14 and 18, so I have slotted into the mix as a bit of a bridge between the generations, and get to be an independent adult, as well as a stand-in big sister.  Anyways, this family has been kind enough to ask me to come along with them, even though it means that quarters will be a bit cramped, and my lil sis will have to use the sunroom as her bedroom.  We aren't moving far, still in Bondi, and closer to all the essentials (work, the beach the organic bakery....) but I haven't actually seen inside the house yet.  Something tells me that if it is good enough for them, it is good enough for me.  Moving on to my kajillionth house address has never felt so easy. 
Another thing I have realized is that my life has been sweet because I have struck up a few fantastic friendships here.  Not only do I have good friends who I have quality time with over coffee and scrabble and trips to the farmer's markets, but walking home from work sometimes takes ages because I keep bumping into people that I know, and it is a great feeling to be a part of the community.  I don't think I will be turning into one if the infamous Bondi Hipsters anytime soon though, thank goodness, due to lack of  ability to grow an ironic beard.