Anger shakes us to our core. It also brings fear into the hearts of others. Everywhere I go to teach I ask audiences if anyone never gets angry. Very occasionally there is one hand. I feel the person did not understand the question correctly! Then I ask, does anyone like getting angry? Occasionally someone says yes, they feel emboldened. But soon that feeling morph into guilt. Then what can we do about it? First remember again and again the deficits of anger, both the emotional and physical toll it takes on your health. Gain conviction that anger is not healthy. Then start “looking inside in the present moment,” a form of Mindfulness, to recognize what we are feeling and thinking. Be on the lookout for signs of early anger. What are they? Check inside yourself. Fast heartbeat, fast breathing, feeling frustrated or irritable, becoming loud or somethings the opposite, withdrawing. Maybe you get red in the face. See what your early signs of anger are. When you identify them, think, “I may be getting angry.” Use your imagination to transform the early signs of anger into a cloud way over there in the sky. The cloud drifts and dissolves, along with your early anger. The first time we try this it will not work as we are so habituated with getting angry. Keep trying. Never give up! Eventually it will reduce your anger.
Not neglecting generosity, but adding to it, we move to the practice of patience. This we’ve discussed in more detail under the heading of anger management in several recent posts, but I will summarize, as […]
Are you ready to go further? I would like to share with you another method to transform anger into tolerance, understanding, and eventually compassion. This one comes from the 8th Century Indian Buddhist saint, Shantideva. […]
Let’s review anger management as this is our pillar for cultivating compassion. Patience and tolerance are cultivated through transforming anger. Tolerance can easily flourish into love and compassion. Anger management does not mean suppressing our […]