On January 14th The Gabriola Ecumenical Society  presented an evening with Tejomaya, who  shared the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the practical and the mystical sides of this ancient practice of Ahisma.

35 people gathered and were inspired by this most fascinating presentation.Many left encouraged to make changes in their daily lives.

Everyone is seeking peace. Each action we perform is a desire for peace. From the monk spending countless hours in meditation to the addict committing the robbery which will allow for one more fix, everyone is seeking peace. We have been pursuing peace as a species since our earliest existence, and yet our world is increasingly filled with non-peace as any news broadcast on any night in any country will affirm.

One of the cornerstones of Gandhi’s efforts in India was a principle or practice known as “ahimsa” which means non-harming. The practice, which has been available to us for centuries, involves refraining from doing anything that would cause harm by one’s physical, verbal, or mental actions.

At the surface, the practice is not especially difficult; most, if not all Gabriolans find it quite easy to refrain from physical violence every day. The challenge and magnificence of the practice occurs below the surface where one is led on a very personal quest to discover and resolve those factors which stimulate harmful thoughts, violent words, and destructive actions. Imagine a world, your world, sustainably free from killing, violence, and harm because the causes of such have been permanently eradicated!

The Jainists in India are far and above the most committed group of practitioners of ahimsa, some even covering their mouths when they walk to avoid inadvertently harming organisms of air! While the height of the practice is nearly unimaginable – it is the perfection of peace – the benefits to any level of practitioner are immediate and profound as harmful acts, words, and even thoughts begin to melt away from all of one’s relationships.

Gabriola’s Pandit Tejomaya has been engaged in a seven year experiment systematically exploring the depths of ahimsa, and has been teaching the practice in Canada, the U.S., and India.