Posts by Stephanie Van Hook

“A lesson from children”–Daily Metta

April 16 “I have noticed it in my own experience that, if we would approach children in humility and in innocence, we would learn wisdom from them.” –Gandhi (Young India, 11-19-1931) I recently made the decision to fill up the bulk of my “free time” by becoming a preschool teacher in a Montessori classroom of… read more

“Liberation from an ideology”–Daily Metta

April 15 “I would like to say to the diligent reader of my writings and to others who are interested in them that I am not at all concerned with being consistent. In my search for Truth, I have discarded many ideas and learnt many new things.” –Gandhi (Harijan, 4-29-1933, p. 2) When I first… read more

“Jesus in my car”–Daily Metta

April 14 “The strength to kill is not essential for self-defense; one ought to have the strength to die.” –Gandhi (Young India 102101939, p, 27) One of my all time favorite stories of nonviolence in action is that of 92-year old, Pauline Jacobi. Getting into her car in the parking lot of her local Tennessee… read more

“Nonviolence not non-action”–Daily Metta

April 13 “Not knowing the stuff of which nonviolence is made, many have honestly believed that running away from danger every time was a virtue compared to offering resistance.” –Gandhi (Harijan, 7-20-1935, pp. 180-181)   One of the most insidious misconceptions about nonviolence pervading popular culture is that it means doing nothing at all. We’ve… read more

“Returning Home to Ourselves”–Daily Metta

April 12 “The world today is moving towards the ideal of collective or co-operative effort in every department of life.” -Gandhi (Harijan, 2-5-1942, p. 39) Through her study of the microbial universe, evolution biologist and futurist Elisabet Sahtouris can speak to the human condition from a rather penetrating angle. Life, she maintains, has been discovering… read more

“Real Lovers of God”–Daily Metta

April 11 “I decline to be bound by an interpretation [of a religion], however learned it may be, if it is repugnant to reason or moral sense.” –Gandhi (Young India, 10-6-1921, p. 317) Gandhi’s favorite hymn, “Vaishnava Jana To” or “The True Lover of God,” was composed by 15th century Gujarati poet-mystic, Narsinha Mehta. So… read more

“Humanizing our so-called enemy”–Daily Metta

April 10 “No man can look upon another as an enemy unless he first becomes his own enemy.” –Gandhi (Mahatma, Vol. 7, p. 204) In nonviolence, we don’t need to turn enemies into close, dear friends, but at least we can turn them into human beings. Such a transformation is not simply an ideal–it can… read more

“Non-cooperating with death”–Daily Metta

April 9 “Non-cooperation is not a hymn of hate.” –Gandhi (Mahatma, Vol. 2, p. 200) Whenever I think of an act of non-cooperation in its most potent form–that is, as the expression of love– I think of the Russian nun, Elizabeth Palenko, Maria Skobtsova, also known as “Mother Mary,” who was a member of the… read more

“Mutual Respect and Service”–Daily Metta

April 8: “My effort should never be to undermine another’s faith, but to make him a better follower of his own faith.” –Gandhi (Mahatma, Vol. 2, p. 343)   Throughout Gandhi’s life, especially in the early days, many of his friends wanted to convert him to Christianity, thinking that Hinduism–his own religion–was inferior. For example,… read more

“Conversion not destruction”–Daily Metta

April 7: “I believe in the conversion of mankind, not its destruction.” –Gandhi (CWMG, Vol. XXV, p, 531) The prison system based on a retributive justice model is one of the most stark institutional examples of the need to change our vision of who we are as human beings. It destroys human dignity and self-respect,… read more