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Aloka
11 Apr 11, 09:16
I saw this article:

"A Buddhist perspective on anger from others and within ourselves" and wondered if anyone had any comments about it.

http://www.examiner.com/zen-buddhism-in-national/how-to-deal-with-anger-from-others-and-within-ourselves-as-a-buddhist

What Buddhist methods do you use personally to deal with anger within yourself and from others? Are they successful ?

:hands:

fletcher
11 Apr 11, 11:44
I tend to think of anger as a habit like smoking, if you can break the cycle you can cure the problem. But like giving up smoking some people can do it alone and others need help.

millyone
11 Apr 11, 23:06
Hi Aloka

I just tell myself anger is a waste of precious energy and that all feelings, emotions and events are temporary. We do make life what it is to a great extent so we have the option to stop over-reacting to everything and take control instead.

daverupa
11 Apr 11, 23:16
Even when strong, anger can be crushed via the brahmaviharas. The premise of the Dhamma is that only one percept can be salient at any moment, therefore if compassion, say, can be generated then anger cannot continue. One possible line is compassion for oneself, then equanimity, then compassion for the other. Anger is thereby killed.

"Having slain anger, one sleeps soundly; having slain anger, one does not sorrow; the killing of anger, with its poisoned root and honeyed tip: This is the killing the nobles ones praise, for having slain that, one does not sorrow." ~AN 3.16

Glow
12 Apr 11, 01:28
To follow up on daverupa's post: I think of killing anger in the following ways (forgive the violent metaphors):

1.) Starve it -- don't feed it with more story-lines about what this person did, or how awful the situation is, etc. The anger will eventually starve to death for lack of sustenance.
2.) Chop it up to smithereens -- Analyze the causes of your anger. Oftentimes, it is fueled by illogical expectations ("Everything should be perfect all the time."; "He should have known how I would feel about this."; etc.). Also, analyze the costs/benefits of your anger: is it helping matters? Is it remedying the problem you want solved? Does it make you feel better or worse?
3.) Throw holy water on the demon -- This is the approach of the brahmaviharas. Loving-kindness/compassion will neutralize anger.
4.) Ridicule it -- Use humor to diffuse the situation. Oftentimes, if you can see the absurdity of your predicament or of your reaction, you'll find yourself laughing and the anger retreating.
5.) Befriend it -- This is my favorite. Anger befriended isn't angry anymore. Acknowledge that your emotions are not enemies and that anger is simply a messenger that connects you to the experience of being alive.

Esho
12 Apr 11, 01:34
This is my favorite. Anger befriended isn't angry anymore. Acknowledge that your emotions are not enemies and that anger is simply a messenger that connects you to the experience of being alive.

Seems to be a favorite of mine too!

;)

daverupa
12 Apr 11, 01:38
Majjhima Nikaya 20 offers similar advice, Glow, only in a different order:

1) ...give attention to some other sign connected with what is wholesome (#3)

2) ...examine the danger in those thoughts (#2)

3) ...try to forget those thoughts and should not give attention to them (#1)

4) ...give attention to stilling the thought-formation of those thoughts

5) ...with his teeth clenched and his tongue pressed against the roof of his mouth, he should beat down, constrain, and crush mind with mind

Magga
12 Apr 11, 12:35
The above is all very good advice; it's up to each person to experiment and know which of these tools work better than others, and which are more suited to their temperament, and stage in practice.

Lately I'm more inclined to not do anything about anger when it arises, as such, except for when it's more intense. Mostly, when anger arises, it's low in intensity and I'm able to simply observe it from a detached state, without getting involved in it personally. The anger runs out of fuel often surprisingly quickly when I just let it be without trying to get rid of it. If the anger, through lack of mindfulness and wisdom, becomes intense, then I'll shift my attention to the bodily manifestations of the emotion until I notice the body change and become more relaxed (or at least less tense).

Aloka
12 Apr 11, 15:02
Lately I'm more inclined to not do anything about anger when it arises, as such, except for when it's more intense. Mostly, when anger arises, it's low in intensity and I'm able to simply observe it from a detached state, without getting involved in it personally. The anger runs out of fuel often surprisingly quickly when I just let it be without trying to get rid of it. If the anger, through lack of mindfulness and wisdom, becomes intense, then I'll shift my attention to the bodily manifestations of the emotion until I notice the body change and become more relaxed (or at least less tense).


I've found that if I notice any anger arising, that its effective to focus my awareness gently with the breath - relaxing into the anger - and it then quickly dissolves.

Esho
12 Apr 11, 15:15
My two Zen'ts

I'm unable not to feel anger about things and happenings. Before Buddhism and meditation I used to let may anger to arise; After Buddhism and meditation I let my anger arise but know I am developing some skills to contemplate it, to see it clearly, to let it go and to speak about it later on and to be aware of it when I notice it can rise again... when there is some room I breath so to let it go smoothly and act properly. Of course sometimes this works and sometimes not. Practice is needed always.

Glow
13 Apr 11, 01:19
Thanks for that, daverupa. I remember reading that sutta a long time ago but soon forgot about it (or so I thought I did; at least part of it seems to have lodged itself in my mind). Number 5 on the list seems a bit aggressive. I don't think that one would work too well for me, lol.

Magga
13 Apr 11, 11:25
I've found that if I notice any anger arising, that its effective to focus my awareness gently with the breath - relaxing into the anger - and it then quickly dissolves.

For me, anger tends to manifest physically around my chest and throat, so it becomes tight and constricted. By gently focusing my awareness on the breath, as you said, around these areas is quite helpful. Gently is the key word; if I try to force my mind too much it rebels.

If the anger is more intense and I just try to be with the emotion, without shifting my attention to the body, then my mind tends to grasp at the issue surrounding the anger, which just compounds it. I've noticed this doesn't happen as often when I just observe the bodily sensation of anger.

Aloka
15 Apr 11, 10:17
I've noticed this doesn't happen as often when I just observe the bodily sensation of anger.

Indeed.

Its beneficial to notice the negative effects that anger can have on one's own body and mind, as well as on others experiencing one's anger.

When we are more aware of any harmful emotional impulses, we're less likely to get so completely overcome by them that we always carry them out.

three_cats
17 Apr 11, 03:05
I have learned to sit with the angry feeling, neither grasping onto it or pushing it away, also have learned not to shoot my mouth off! I recognize my anger, acknowledge it, and let it pass. I haven't always been able to do that, but with mindfulness and practice, I can. :)

londonerabroad
17 Apr 11, 07:47
Yes I agree with three_cats, that with mindfulness and practice it is possible to recognize my anger, acknowledge it and let it pass. Anger starts off as a slight irritation sometimes accompanied by a physical "tightening" feeling. If we catch the anger in these initial stages and prepare ourselves to just watch it without grasping on to it and following it, then we can avoid it becoming full-blown and therefore potentially harmful to ourselves and others. With constant mindfulness we can catch all emotions as they arise, then just acknowledging them, we simply let them go and they will evaporate, vanishing like a mist back into nothingness.