Saturday, February 06, 2021

Practicing Nonviolence in Our Current Times

Nonviolence is not a garment to be put on and off at will, its seat is in the heart and it must be an inseparable part of our very being.” —Mahatma Gandhi 1

The principles of nonviolence that Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. practiced, modeled, and lived out have impacted billions of people and led to many social change movements marked in history.

Nonviolence is rooted in the principle of ahimsa, which literally means to be without harm to oneself, others, and all living things. It is the place where compassion can flow in each of us and where there is no room in the heart for violence. “With truth combined with ahimsa,” Gandhi writes, “You can bring the world to your feet.” 2

Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and many others have seen the power of ahimsa and nonviolence firsthand and have in many ways brought nations to their feet. Walter Wink cites in his book The Powers that Be, “In 1989 alone, thirteen nations comprising 1.7 billion people—over thirty-two percent of humanity—experienced nonviolent revolutions. They succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest expectations in every case but China. And they were completely peaceful (on the part of the protesters) in every case but Romania and parts of the southern U.S.S.R. If we add all the countries touched by major nonviolent actions in this century, the figure reaches almost 3 billion—a staggering sixty four percent of humanity!” 3

Nonviolence has been around for a long time and it has been used effectively for centuries. Yet, it was not “developed into a movement complete with strategies and tactics until Gandhi and King.” 4

Wink adds, “No one with any knowledge of history can ever again say that nonviolence “doesn’t work.” 5

A Way of Life

For Gandhi and King, nonviolence was not just a strategy and/or tactic for a peaceful protest or movement—it was a way of life. Nonviolence was meant to be lived out daily.

To Gandhi, ahimsa or nonviolence was the duty of all, not just a select few. It encompassed being kind to all and not producing harm in any way to another. “In addition, he made it a positive and dynamic method of political action to challenge evils that had been allowed to fester—from the domination by the British to the acceptance within Hinduism of untouchability,” writes Terrence J. Rynne. “It was a method, in fact, that could be used in every arena of life.”  Read more

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

Write a Letter to Someone in Your Past Who Made a Difference in Your Life

Yesterday, as I was participating in the Season for Nonviolence, the challenge for the day was to write a letter to someone in your past who has contributed to your well-being. I thought of my father.

I wrote:

"I am deeply grateful for your love, support, acceptance and gentle spirit. I believe that these qualities that you lived helped me become who I am. I miss you very much and wish I could have shared so many more memories with you. You really were an anchor for me and modeled what grace and unconditional acceptance means. Thank you!"
I encourage you to think of someone in your past who you are grateful for who contributed to your well-being.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

A Season for Nonviolence - A National 64-day Campaign

 Carry The Vision of Peace

A Season for Nonviolence, a national 64-day campaign committed to demonstrating that nonviolence works, just started yesterday. 

The campaign, which begins January 30 and ends on April 4, was inspired by the 50th and 30th memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Season for Nonviolence was established by Arun Gandhi, Mohandas Gandhi's grandson. The international event honors the vision of individuals like these two and many others who have been pioneers in the nonviolent movement.

I invite you to participate in this 64-day campaign by checking out the website dedicated to this season created by www.gandhiinstitute.orgThey have created a brochure called daily practices where you can read a reading that has a thought for each day to help individuals reflect on living peace. To check it out click here.

I also recently wrote a book Principles and Practices of Nonviolence: 30 Meditations for Practicing Compassion that was inspired by my time participating in the national campaign some years ago. My hope in writing the book was that some day people could read it while participating in a Season for Nonviolence. I hope you will consider doing so. If you cannot purchase a copy and would like a free electronic copy email for a copy. 

Both Gandhi and King, who both acknowledged being influenced by the teachings of Jesus, demonstrated in their movements the power of nonviolence to heal, transform and empower lives and communities. I hope that you can be inspired by their teaching and insights to do the same. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Zacapa Seeks to Inspire Compassion with New Book

News Release (published in Mt. Democrat Newspaper)

Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi are remembered as pioneers for nonviolence and for their social justice and civil rights movements. Yet, both of them believed wholeheartedly that nonviolence was a lifestyle. 

Eddie Zacapa’s book “Principles and Practices of Nonviolence: 30 Meditations for Practicing Compassion” helps readers integrate principles  helps readers integrate principles and practices of nonviolence into their daily lives. 

“Many times we think of nonviolence as something that is connected to a movement,” said Zacapa, executive director of Life Enriching Communication based in Placerville and a certified trainer with the Center for Nonviolence Communication. “Nonviolence is something that we can practice everyday in our daily relationships with others. It is a practice that we can embody.” 

The book helps the reader accomplish this by providing moving quotes, sayings, and wisdom that the author has developed from his own experiences with living nonviolence. At the end of each chapter there is a stimulating skill builder to help the reader integrate the principle into their life. 

Read More

Friday, January 22, 2021

My New Book Principles and Practices of Nonviolence is now available!

I am excited to let you know that my new book Principles and Practices of Nonviolence: 30 Meditations for Practicing Compassion is now available for purchase from most online retailers and your local bookstore! 

When I wrote the book my hope was that I could share the timeless message of nonviolence with others to inspire people to practice those principles that guided those we recognize as leaders of nonviolence. I think that the book's focus on nonviolence is timely and essential in guiding and shaping our future, especially in the midst of all we are seeing nationally and internationally at this time. 

I hope that you can pick up a copy and share the message with others! And don't hesitate to write a review on or your favorite online retailer. 

Here are what people are saying:

Praise for Principles and Practices of Nonviolence: A 30 Day Guide to Living Compassion

“With each chapter, comes wisdom and a clear invitation and request of how to practice these principles of Nonviolence. This book is enriching to the soul, nourishing to the spirit and essential for our individual and collective healing. A book for our times!”

Sylvia Haskvitz, Certified Trainer/Assessor with the Center for Nonviolent Communication, Author of Eat by Choice, Not by Habit; Practical Skills for Creating a Healthy Relationship with Your Body and Food and contributing author to Healing Our Planet, Healing Ourselves, The Power of Change Within to Change the World.

“Eddie is our modern-day Gandhi, beautifully sharing 30 approaches for all of us to listen, empathize, and love. He eloquently fills each chapter with moving quotes and sayings from his mentors and heroes, relating them to his own experiences and then leaving us with an inspirational and stimulating skill builder. These skills enable us to identify strengths and areas of growth as we strive to reach our place of joy and unconditional happiness. Eddie is not telling us that this growth and change is easy, but he is telling us that it is so worth it and it will change the entire trajectory of our lives!” 

Judy Knapp, Founder of PreventionWORKS


Principles and Practices of Nonviolence brings to light the practices of nonviolence of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. in the disposition of a casual read, but with a great deal of insights. It provides easy to incorporate practices for compassion in everyday situations for individuals from all walks of life. What particularly intrigued me about this book is that it calls you to truly look inside yourself and ask yourself how you can empathize with the person who hurt you, which can be a tough endeavor for many of us when in a difficult situation. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to gain perspective on compassion and nonviolence in all aspects of life.”                                          

Shabila Vijay, Resident Services Manager

A very powerful, eye opening and inspiring book on nonviolence and how we can see the good where we thought there wasn't any. The author brings Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and many others' thoughts on actions of nonviolence; It will help you look within yourself and others and come away with why we treat others based on a preconceived mindset. The book gives hope and an example is when the author writes, "Remember that when we practice nonviolence and hold others in positive regard, we can contribute to changed hearts, social change and a new future." 

Karen Jordan, Former Staff Sergeant, United States Air Force

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Feature Photo

I hope that you enjoy your visit to Harmony of the Heart. You will find inspirational articles, stories, poetry, beautiful photos, motivational videos and much more here. This blog was created to spread positive and inspirational messages that enrich people's lives. I hope that you will be a part of that by sharing posts that you like via email, Facebook, Twitter or other social networks.

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Tuesday, June 09, 2020

A Season for Nonviolence Reflections

"Photo (above) courtesy of"
I wrote some weekly reflections on nonviolence back in 2011 during the Season for Nonviolence campaign.

Carry the Vision of Peace
A Season of Nonviolence, a national 64-day campaign committed to demonstrating that nonviolence works, ended recently. I believe it does not need to end. Nonviolence is not just for a season - it is a way of life. I invite you to reflect, contemplate and/or meditate on the readings below.

Friday, June 05, 2020

Seeing the Redeeming Qualities in Others

Here is an article I wrote many years ago about when Martin Luther King Jr. and his group were trying to think about anything good about Bobby Kennedy and could not. They finally found one thing and it led to an incredible partnership that led to many changes.

The story is about seeing the redeeming qualities in others. I thought I would post it as it brought me comfort to reflect on that story again today.

read article

Sunday, May 31, 2020

COVID-19 Links

SWAB TEST. Patient and medical
supervisor preparing for a COVID-19
 nasal swab test. Image created
 by Russell Tate. Submitted for United
Nations Global Call Out To Creatives
 - help stop the spread of COVID-19.
So much has happened since COVID-19 has brought the world to its knees. Here are some links on COVID-19. 

Stay safe. 

#thefrontstepsproject The idea is to take pictures of families on their front porches during the shelter in place in exchange for a donation to a local business. Local photographers participated in the project.

A very insightful article on grief that is related to COVID-19.

How to make a family handprint keepsake during this pandemic.

An article addressing anxiety, sleeplessness and forgetfulness during this pandemic and help with coping.

A message from former president George W. Bush on the pandemic that is heartfelt and somber.

Covid-19 Survivor story and how remdesivir might have saved him. Here is a video interview as well that was aired on News 4.

An article on why giving back matters more now than ever.

Coronavirus poem, You Clap for Me Now, on discrimination and immigration.

A very special and appropriate poem for this shelter in place time by a dear friend of mine.

How to volunteer in your pajamas during this pandemic.

A YouTube video I did on how to deal with feelings connected to COVID-19.