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

Luckily, in most of the civilized world, we are free of overt spiritual violence.  However, there is still a lot of subtle and covert violence in modern culture, and much of that has been insidiously internalized.  Thus, part of the contemplative path requires a detoxification process from inherited 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.