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Center for Action and Contemplation

Healing Our Violence: Weekly Summary

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Healing Our Violence

Summary: Sunday, October 18-Friday, October 23, 2015

The root of violence is the illusion of separation—from God, from Being itself, from being one with everyone and everything. (Sunday)

Your absolute foundation is communion with God and others. This is the “deepest me” to which you must return before you act. (Monday)

“God embraces all human beings. The heart of faith is the call to love one another.” —Dom Helder Camara (Tuesday)

If we do not recognize the roots of violence at the disguised structural level (“the world”), we are largely wasting our time simply focusing on merely individual sin (“the flesh”), and we have almost no chance of recognizing our real devils, who are always disguised as angels of light (“the devil”). (Wednesday)

It takes warrior energy to see through and stand against mass illusions of our time, and be willing to pay the price of civil disobedience. (Thursday)

For the first time, on a broad basis, future reformations can come from the inside out and from the bottom up, in a positive, nonviolent way. (Friday)


Practice: Loving Kindness

We all need to practice being kind, particularly to ourselves. It is only when we first reconnect with the infinite love that is our ground of being that we can extend that love to others through nonviolent actions. When we remember that we are love, we can truly wish even our enemies well. The Buddhist practice of metta, loving kindness, is a wonderful way to grow kindness for yourself and for others.

Begin by sitting in silence and finding the place of loving kindness within you. Then speak the following statements aloud:

May I be free from inner and outer harm and danger. May I be safe and protected.
May I be free of mental suffering or distress.
May I be happy.
May I be free of physical pain and suffering.
May I be healthy and strong.
May I be able to live in this world happily, peacefully, joyfully, with ease. [1] 

Repeat these affirmations as many times as you wish. When you are ready, replace the “I” in each statement with someone else’s name. You might follow the sequence from the maitri (another word for loving kindness) practice I introduced a few weeks ago, gradually widening the flow of love to include: a beloved, a friend, an acquaintance, someone who has hurt you, and finally the whole universe.

[1] The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society,

For further study:
Thomas Keating and Richard Rohr, Healing Our Violence Through the Journey of Centering Prayer
Richard Rohr, Dancing Standing Still: Healing the World from a Place of Prayer
Richard Rohr, Spiral of Violence (CD, MP3 download)

Image credit: St. Francis embracing the leper, by Lawrence Zink, reprinted from Francis: The Journey and the Dream, copyright © 1988, Murray Bodo, St. Anthony Messenger Press, p. 13. Used with permission.
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