Founder’s Message

A Message from Michael Nagler, Founder & President

Probably the most hopeful sign in today’s world is the way nonviolence and the  knowledge of how it works is spreading. The knowledge, however, often lags behind the practice. Our culture is simply not “tuned in” to a power that draws upon the unity of life instead of the competitiveness and alienation that are the prevailing image of humanity and its lack of meaning.

Here a little knowledge can be a safe thing, for with it people who find themselves caught up in a potentially nonviolent struggle—as they are right now all over the Middle East as well as in far less heralded movements in places like Honduras and Mexico—can act both more safely and more effectively.

This effect is far from limited, as is sometimes thought, to insurrectionary struggles. Gandhi experimented with principled nonviolence in literally every walk of life from health care to national defense, so it is possible for every one of us to engage this great power not just against unwanted regimes but as a way of changing cultures so that such regimes could be denied a grip on societies (provided we understand well enough what are the basic principles and how to apply which ones).

This is where we at Metta come in. As a friend of ours said recently, we are a “small but mighty” group of people with a burning passion to develop for ourselves and others an ever deeper understanding of the potential and power of nonviolence. We work with students, educators, activists, the media and military personnel from around the world who see, however far off in the future, a vision of healing, respect, justice and compassion based on a much higher image of the human being and the meaning of life.

We welcome the opportunity to work with you in building a more nonviolent world.

In peace,
Michael Nagler, Founder and President

See our Mission Statement, and read how our work makes impact.


What board members say about collaborating with us:

The Metta Center for Nonviolence, and its president Michael Nagler, introduced me to the theories and practices of nonviolence years ago. Nonviolence gives me guidelines to examine actions on the personal level, at work, and on the political and global level. The Metta Center’s website, publications, videos, and events help us in pursuing and achieving a world free of violence on all levels. ~ Tal Palter

I have experienced firsthand the great work that the Metta Center does with providing contemporary tools/methods to practice nonviolence, the need of the hour.  ~ Nandu Menon

I support the Metta Center because of its people. They give me hope that change is possible. They teach me that the role that I as an individual can play is not a small or insignificant one—in fact, person power is nonviolence. The Metta Center’s work has given me a deeper perspective about my life as a whole and on how to contribute meaningfully to creating a culture of peace in my own capacity as a Buddhist, NGO worker, scholar, and mother. ~ Mitsuko Anna Ikeda

As humans, we all need to be a part of a community. The Metta Center is an inclusive organization that has given me an opportunity to learn and grow. I invite you to see what we are doing. ~ Tiffany Tool

My association with the Metta Center started right after I watched videos of a nonviolence course that Michael Nagler taught at UC Berkeley. I attended Metta Center retreats and learned more about the organization’s philosophy. I wholeheartedly support Metta’s holistic approach towards life and the tireless work of its team to tell the New Story. Metta has taught me how to look at my life and people around me with this new perspective. As a father, I would love my son to grow up with a generation that can understand a more peaceful way of living. Last but not least, I support Metta because of the very talented and lovable people on the team. ~ Prashant Nema

Learn more about the Metta Center team.