People Skills


Conflict Resolution

Ten-Step Guideline for Resolving Inner and Outer Conflict

A Yoga Approach

By: Rama Vernon, a yoga teacher


Practice Non-Violence

(physical, mental and verbal) within yourself and your own life.

To be truly non-violent, it is necessary to cultivate the spirit of non-judgment and forgiveness. Non-violence requires a continual refinement and awareness of your own inner process. It requires the reduction and eventual elimination of judgment, criticisms, and projections onto others. True non-violence is the development of a positive dynamic quality of universal love and not a mere attitude of negative harm to others.


Express Truthfulness

by aligning thoughts, words and actions.

Being truthful has many facets including following through with our commitments, not saying one thing and doing another. It is also not saying one thing to one person and making a contradictory statement to another. It is also not saying another. Truthfulness constructs rather than destroys; it is not a state of angrily hurling our opinions or judgments to others, thinking them to be fact. It is taking responsibility for our own judgments of others by looking to the source of our projections within our own selves. It is the direct expression to another, free of the anger that arises out of our own unfilled expectations and desires. Truthfulness is the gift of non-criticism. It expresses the thoughts and words that heal rather than wound the hearts of others. There is great power in truthfulness.  When truthfulness is achieved, your words will acquire the power of fruition and manifestation.



Develop Non-Covetousness (Non Envy)

When we give up "wanting" many things will be given onto us and manifest in a variety of unexpected ways. Non-covetousness creates a feeling of unattachment. We only want or "covet" what we feel we lack, whether it is material possessions or qualities we admire in others. If we envy the possessions and qualities of others that we feel we lack within ourselves, it can create territorialness, competition, envy and, in turn, the "downplaying" of others in order to boast our low self esteem. When we are fulfilled within ourselves there is no need to compete, criticize, or gossip about others to make ourselves feel superior. When there is no envy or wanting what others have (possessions or qualities) we can delight in their joys and successes as we would our own.


Assume an Attitude of Non-Possessiveness

(physical and emotional) avoiding over accumulation of possessions that causes us to protect and defend.

This mainly refers to our emotional storehouse of memories of anger, resentment, projections and aggressive thoughts towards others. As we develop a feeling of giving in all areas of our lives, it contributes to a sense of trust and non-defensiveness. When we are bound by the ordinary desire of a variety of needs for security, the walls we build to keep something in also are the walls that keep something out. We become possessed by our own need for security which can also take the form of attachment to personal, ideological, socio-political, religious and spiritual beliefs. When desire to possess and accumulate is absent, we seek nothing for our separated and individual self. Non-possessiveness is a stage where we find that "more is not always better", and that "if only things could be different", then we would be happy. It is the realization that little is required for a loving and true experience of happiness.



Regulate the Senses

avoiding physical and emotional self-indulgence.

Sensual regulation is not repression of sensual needs for gratification but sublimation of our desires into the sacred act of giving of oneself. For instance, it is meeting one's sexual partner as a manifestation of the divine. It is moving from self-gratification to understanding the roots of the needs of the human soul. Regulating the senses is not just of food, drink or the sexual drive, it also includes self pity. When our eyes are filled with our own tears, they cannot see the suffering of others. When we indulge in our own emotional pains, we cannot extend our hands to another. Self pity is the mirror of our ego turned in on ourselves. It creates separation rather than unification. When we are absorbed with our little self, we cannot serve the greater whole.


Purify Motives

As we release the motive for power, success and recognition, we learn to take up each action for the sake of the action alone, letting go of the need or attachment to a particular outcome. In conflict resolution, it is extremely important to do everything possible to bring about healing of the situation and then let go of a desired outcome. Our mission is to be a spontaneous channel for the outpouring of love with no self reference or need for self-recognition. Purifying our motives require a constant watching of all desires and hidden agendas that cross our mental horizons. It is endeavoring to take an action while at the same time, letting go of our desire for a specific result. Pride may be the outcome where there is desire for achievement or an attachment for the results of our actions. Pride breeds separation and is a hindrance to our sense of oneness with all humanity.



Cultivate Contentment and Serenity

to develop the spirit of non-attachment as the witness or onlooker who sees all people and happenings through the light of universal love.

Contentment is not a state of repression but a state of serenity that transforms the negative into the positive recognizing that every thought we have is contagious and the time is coming when every thought will become public property. Therefore, our inner contentment radiates and creates an atmosphere of serenity and peace. Contentment and serenity is the deep calm devoid of emotional disturbances. Contentment is "seamless" where we are the in all life's situations of conflict, but we can help heal conflict situations by contributing our own calmness, serenity, peace of mind and compassion. Contentment and Serenity are the way of the "Peaceful Warrior".


Develop Equanimity

in all situations.

Do not try to get rid of life's difficulties, but be thankful that they are there to smooth the ragged edges of the personality and to teach greater compassion for others. Find a point of peace within you in the midst of any or all conditions of life. Achieve equanimity both in praise and blame, success or failure where public opinion has no hold over your mind or emotions.


Study the Lives & Writings of Inspirational Role Models

We become inspired by the lives of historical figures living and non-living, who have incorporated the principles of non-violence, love, compassion and forgiveness into their daily lives. Contemplate their lives and remember them during life's difficulties and the "dark nights of the soul". Hold the remembrance of those who have shed light on the darkened corners of mind and heart in life's most difficult hours.


Remember God or "Higher Self"

in all life's actions and interactions.

Whatever your beliefs and non-beliefs, when confronting conflict situations within your life or within the lives of others, it is very important to develop growing sensitivity to hearing the inner voice that leads to the defenseless endeavor to dwell in the Higher Self. Holding the "remembrance" is the perfect steadiness of inner poise which holds to the vision yet does the outer work on the physical plane. It is doing the work of the world with one hand while holding the remembrance of God or the Higher Self with the other.



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