mystic


Even More Angry

By: Brian Robertson


Yesterday’s blog on Thich Nhat Hahn and the idea of anger from a spiritual point of view drew a lot of emails my direction, most of them extremely positive. I ended up getting so many questions about what was meant by this or that and requests that I expand on what was said, I decided to just go ahead an print a short series of quotes.

Anger, it seems, is a concern for a lot of people who arrive on this site, but several of the emails talked about how there were other problems in relating to people (or, more to the point, reacting to people) that this approach would also apply to. So, I’m going to close this off by doing two things.  First, I’ll offer up the following quotes. Then, I’d suggest if you have never read or seen Thich Nhat Hahn, you might go to Google’s Video and I honestly hope you are interested.

 

“When you say something unkind, when you
do something in retaliation, your anger increases.
You make the other person suffer, and they try hard
to say or do something back to make you suffer,
and get relief from their suffering. That is
how conflict escalates.”

“Just like our organs, our anger is part of us.
When we are angry, we have to go back to ourselves
and take good care of our anger. We cannot say,
‘Go away, anger, I don’t want you.’ When you have
a stomachache, you don’t say, ‘I don’t want you
stomach, go away.’ No, you take care of it.
In the same way, we have to embrace and
take good care of our anger.”

“Just because anger or hate is present does not
mean that the capacity to love and accept
is not there; love is always with you.”

“When you are angry, and you suffer, please go
back and inspect very deeply the content, the nature
of your perceptions. If you are capable of removing
the wrong perception, peace and happiness will
be restored in you, and you will be able to
love the other person again.”

“When you get angry with someone, please don’t
pretend that you are not angry. Don’t pretend that
you don’t suffer. If the other person is dear to you,
then you have to confess that you are angry, and that
you suffer. Tell him or her in a calm, loving way.”

“In the beginning you may not understand the
nature of your anger, or why it has come to be.
But if you know how to embrace it with the
energy of mindfulness, it will begin
to become clear to you.”

“Anger is like a howling baby, suffering and crying.
Your anger is your baby. The baby needs his mother
to embrace him. You are the mother.
Embrace your baby.”

“Anger has roots in nonanger elements. It
has roots in the way we live our daily life. If we
take good care of everything in us, without
discrimination, we prevent our negative energies
from dominating. We reduce the strength
of our negative seeds so that they
won’t overwhelm us.”

“In a time of anger or despair, even if we feel
overwhelmed, our love is still there. Our capacity to
communicate, to forgive, to be compassionate is
still there. You have to believe this. We are more
than our anger, we are more than our suffering.
We must recognize that we do have within
us the capacity to love, to understand,
to be compassionate, always.”

“When we embrace anger and take good care of
our anger, we obtain relief. We can look deeply into
it and gain many insights. One of the first insights
may be that the seed of anger in us has grown too
big, and is the main cause of our misery. As we
begin to see this reality, we realize that the other
person, whom our anger is directed at, is only
a secondary cause. The other person is
not the real cause of our anger.”


Comments:

[Thanks for the Thich Nhat Hahn recommendation. He has been a wonderful friend of Christians and for deep ecumenicism. His spiritual teachings are compassionate and really seem to flow from something he himself has experienced.]