Gandhi on PRINCIPLES


My LIVING PRINCIPLES on a small homemade gift tag amidst the blooming poppies at Gentlewood.


It was about this time last year when Gandhi walked with me in meditation and started an important conversation.

Gandhi:

Sally, how do you know if what you are doing is in line with who you are?

Sally (pausing):

I tune into my feelings. Notice if anything feels off kilter.

Gandhi:

Yes. How do you know if it is a new experience? How do you know if that rock ahead is there for you to pick up or pass by?

I turn this over in my mind. I tend to notice a lot. Pick up a lot. I’m a fairly curious person. If it is on my path isn’t it there for a reason?

Gandhi:

Here is my concern. If you have learned to live through many things, how do you know if what you are experiencing is important? If it is there for you to act upon?

What principles do you follow?

I’m silenced by his wisdom. I’ve got nothing.

Gandhi, slowing his pace a bit:

When I was a young lawyer in South Africa, I was forced out of my seat on a train that I had every right to have. When I offered the steward my papers, this made him more indignant and he threw me off the train. This was a deeply humiliating experience. This was an important experience because it changed the way I saw the world. I knew that no one should be treated the way I was treated.

Gandhi slices the air with his index finger in emphasis.

Gandhi:

This prodded me to develop standards. Principles. To live by. To adhere to.

What are the principles you want to live by Sally?

This discussion began an exploration of my living principles. Living meaning fluid, evolving. Over the next few weeks, I invite you to join me by exploring your life during this transformational time. Go inward during this inside time.

Let me help guide you to your own living principles.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS:

  1. How do you know you are living in a way that is authentic to who you are?

  2. Have you had an experience that deeply altered your view of the world?

  3. Have events in your life lead you to follow certain standards?

  4. Do these ways still hold true or is it time for a revisit?

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