For compassionate wayfarers, contemplative spirituality is always deeply nonviolent.

The spiritual aspect of nonviolence (in addition to the conventional meanings of the word) has many facets:

  • freedom of belief, speech & conscience
  • non-coercion/non-imposition from teachers & institutions
  • refraining from normative pressure towards self and others
  • patience
  • critique of power

Physical violence connected to spirituality and religion is usually plain to see.  However, even when free of such overt violence, modern culture still propagates a lot of subtle and covert violence, which can become internalized and self-reinforcing, from generation to generation.  Thus, part of the contemplative path requires a detoxification process from insidious patterns of systemic violence.

Think of this subject when you find yourself using the word “should” in the context of meditation or other spiritual practices.