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106 | Hope and Hard Work: The Promise and the Challenge of Nonviolence with Michael Nagler
Episode 10610th April 2023 • Sacred Changemakers • Jayne Warrilow
00:00:00 00:56:10

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Hope and Hard Work: The Promise and the Challenge of Nonviolence

Our guest on the podcast today is Michael Nagler, Ph.D., is professor emeritus of Classics and Comparative Literature at UC Berkeley, where he founded the Peace and Conflict Studies Program and taught upper-division courses on nonviolence, meditation, and a seminar on the meaning of life. He is President of the Metta Center for Nonviolence and author of The Search for a Nonviolent Future, The Nonviolence Handbook, and the award-winning film and book, The Third Harmony: Nonviolence and the New Story of Human Nature.

Today we explore the spirituality of nonviolence, the connection between meditation and nonviolence, and why breaking the spell of our separateness is key to this work. You will hear Michael emphasize the importance of understanding humanity's universal connection, and acknowledge the need to move beyond stereotypes in order to promote a greater level of peace, including how we can all embrace the perspective of non-violence despite living in an extremely violent world.

Listen in as Michael shares with us how non-violent methods are impacting the citizens of Iran, and how it is being used in Ukraine. It inspired such hope in me to hear how this valuable methodology is making an impact in places where it’s really needed, those places at war, where our fellow humans are exposed to extreme levels of violence and you could say the worst of human nature - its heartwarming to know that non-violence is making a difference.

If you feel overwhelmed by the violence in our world, Michael will guide you toward an alternative path, so I encourage you to listen to this deeply resonant dialogue for insights. Michael is a great example of someone who has found success and focus in life through his long-time practice of meditation and passion for justice and peace. I suspect you’ll enjoy Michael's perspective on how we have the potential to shape a world governed by peace and solidarity.

Key Takeaways

  • How Michael’s spiritual beliefs made it so clear that he was not going to “pick up a gun and kill people, no matter what”.
  • How nonviolence is the bridge between meditation and social action
  • Using meditation as a powerful tool for grounding oneself and developing a nonviolent approach to social action.
  • How nonviolence is the core of our nature and our destiny, and restorative justice is an example of how to implement it.
  • Shifting perspectives to realize that conflict can actually be an opportunity for spiritual growth, and we should strive to be reminded of our shared humanity, rather than our separateness.

Memorable Quote

“The universe has three domains of reality, matter, energy, and consciousness. And each of us is a microcosm of that hierarchy. And in us, it shows up as body, mind, and spirit.If we were to become completely established in spirit, or consciousness, then there'd be no barrier between us at all” —Michael Nagler

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