Posts by Stephanie Van Hook

“Mirror Neurons and Nonviolence”–Daily Metta

July 19: “Ahimsa is a science.” ––Gandhi (Harijan, May 6, 1939) Modern scientific research has begun to corroborate Gandhi’s understanding of nonviolence as a science, or rather, to supply the scientific foundation for some of Gandhi’s core ideas. One such breakthrough is the discovery of mirror neurons in Parma, Italy in the 1980s in a… read more

“Wisdom and sugar”–Daily Metta

July 18: “What are the characteristics of a Sthitaprajna (a Self-realized person)? He is one who withdraws his senses from the objects of the sense behind the shield of the spirit, as a tortoise does its limbs under its shell.” –Gandhi (Harijan, April 28, 1946) This quote of Gandhi’s from a famous verse in the… read more

“Nonviolence is a form of protection”–Daily Metta

July 17: “I believe in the sovereign rule of love which makes no distinctions.” –Gandhi (Harijan, May 25, 1947) [This post is a continuation of July 15 and July 16] Working with Gandhi, Sushila Nayar became intimately in touch with her fear–learning how and when to heed its warnings and how to overcome its promptings… read more

“Helping others feel secure”–Daily Metta

July 16: “If light can come out of darkness, then alone can love emerge from hatred.” –Gandhi (Satyagraha in South Africa)   [This post is a continuation of July 15] Gandhi’s personal physician during the last nine years of his life, Sushila Nayar, had a scientific mind and an open heart that lead her to… read more

“Gandhi’s courage in action”–Daily Metta

July 15: “My nonviolence does not admit of running away from danger and leaving dear ones unprotected.” –Gandhi (Young India, May 28, 1924) Sushila Nayar met Gandhi as a child and began working with him as his personal physician as well as an active member of the freedom struggle from 1939 till Gandhi’s assassination in… read more

“Love, like nonviolence. . .”–Daily Metta

July 14: “Love never claims, it ever gives. Love ever suffers, never resents, never revenges itself.” –Gandhi (Satyagraha in South Africa) Gandhi was familiar with the tenets and writings of Christianity at an early stage in his personal and spiritual development. He took up its study with an open heart to grasp the teachings of… read more

“A Charter for Compassion”–Daily Metta

July 13: “The unity we desire will last only if we cultivate an unyielding and charitable disposition toward one another.” –Gandhi (Young India, May 11, 1921) In 2009, religious scholar Karen Armstrong won a prize from the TED Institute for, as their tagline goes, “an idea worth spreading.” It was compassion. Her wish, emerging from… read more

“Hearts as Broad as the Ocean”–Daily Metta

July 12: “Make your hearts as broad as the ocean.” –Gandhi (Young India, January 1, 1925) Compassion is as essential to nonviolence as dehumanization is to violence. From Latin, it means “to suffer with,” or to paraphrase religious scholar Karen Armstrong, “to put yourself in the shoes of another, and take the journey with them.”… read more

“The lesson of the willow”–Daily Metta

July 11: “The means may be likened to a seed, the end to a tree; and there is just the same inviolable connection between the means and the end as there is between the seed and the tree.” –Gandhi (Hind Swaraj) I woke up early today with my mother on the phone, telling me that… read more

“Paying attention to our words”–Daily Metta

July 10: “Where there is love there is life; hatred leads to destruction.” –Gandhi (Young India, May 5, 1920) A dear friend has told me time and again that when I use the word ‘hate,’ she always feels slightly surprised. It hadn’t really occurred to me. I have never spoken to her about hating anybody,… read more