I have studied with teachers from Christian, Buddhist and Hindu religions and I've recently attended a Quaker meeting. Non-violence remains a core belief of most of these traditions. Though the Old Testament taught an eye for an eye, the new Testament teaches to do unto others. Self-defense to protect one's body-temple feels right and necessary, but provoking violence feels inappropriate. If we really want to make a difference and live a spiritual life, then practicing non-violence in thoughts, words and deeds becomes the basis for life.
Debra Moffitt is an award-winning author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life and Garden of Bliss. Read more from Debra on her Beliefnet blog, Awake in the World.