Ahimsa is not a policy for the seizure of power. It is a way of transforming relationships so as to bring about a peaceful transfer of power, effected freely and without compulsion by all concerned, because all have come to recognize it as right.
– Thomas Merton
Bearing with people is the essence of nonviolence. To do this with a feeling of martyrdom, however, is not very helpful; we need to bear with people cheerfully. This does not mean making ourselves into a doormat. Many people suffer from the misguided notion that nonviolence means saying, "Yes, honey, whatever you want is okay with me. You say; I do." Letting people take undue advantage of us is not helpful for them any more than it is for us.
We all know that with a selfish person if we yield an inch he will ask for a yard. With the selfish person, therefore, it is often necessary quietly to say no. Don't accept a situation in which you are exploited, discriminated against, or manipulated. This is the great art of nonviolent resistance, where you love the person, you respect him, but you will not allow him to exploit you, because it is bad for him just as it is bad for you.
– Eknath Easwaran
The senses have been conditioned by attraction to the pleasant and aversion to the unpleasant: we should not be ruled by them; they are obstacles on our path.
– Bhagavad Gita
We are conditioned to like some things and to dislike others. There is not necessarily any logic to it - it is often just a matter of habit.
Take food, for example. We like what we learn to like. In Kerala we have a particular kind of mango that is eaten green, when it is acutely sour. There is nothing inherently pleasant about this sensation; in fact, a detached observer would call it painful. But everybody likes it; everybody eats it; so you learn to like it too. And in the end, you cannot do without it.
Beneath all likes and dislikes is a basic compulsion of the mind to pass judgment on everything: "I like this, I don't like that." When this compulsion is rigid, it is rigid everywhere - with food, with philosophies, and especially with other people.
So, when we free ourselves from a compulsive liking for sour green mangos - or chocolate cake or red chilis - the whole likes-and-dislikes compulsion is weakened. As a result, all our other likes and dislikes will have a looser hold on us, giving us greater freedom, which will affect even our personal relationships for the better.
– Eknath Easwaran