The More We Dislike, the Harder to Be Happy

How many times throughout the duration of one day do we say "I don't like this" or "I don't like that"?  How often do we use the word "hate" (even when we say we don't mean it)?

These were all potential opportunities for cultivating a happy mind, but instead of accepting conditions as they are, we fall victim to our preferences, wish that circumstances were other that they are, and subsequently begin to suffer.

An inverse relationship exists between hate and happiness; the more we hate, the harder to be happy.  The more we're happy, the harder to hate.

Practicing meditation develops a multitude of different skills, one of which is the ability to objectively observe our experience with a calm and accepting mind.  Making an effort to not judge the experience, we aim simply to observe the object of meditation as it is, not wishing it to be otherwise.

As we develop this skill "on the cushion", we bring it into our daily life. Carrying this same calm and accepting attitude throughout the day, we find more happiness and peace of mind amidst the inevitable ups and downs of life.

Don't Give an Inch to Anger

From moment to moment we're constantly coming into contact with and reacting to different objects in the world that surrounds us. In attempts to make sense of this world, the mind moves quickly, placing every object or phenomenon into a category, deciding whether we like it or not, then reacting accordingly. The process happens so rapidly that we are often left unaware.

Anger slips in when we don't meet with conditions we like, or we meet with conditions we don't like.  Many times the anger builds well before we are aware, gaining momentum, preparing to settle in for the long haul.

When we turn our attention within, we might see the mind replaying the event over and over again, telling the story such that we are a victim, or that we have every right to be angry.  We then find ourselves turning to friends and family seeking support for our "righteous anger".  

We want to feel right about feeling wronged. Inasmuch, we've given an inch to anger and it's gonna take at least a mile.

The more familiar we become with the mind and emotions, the more we understand that anger hurts us first.  So we ask ourselves the question "if I want to be happy, do I really want to be angry?".

Anger is suffering.  Interestingly, despite the suffering that it causes, it has quite the appeal, as we're often easily drawn to it.

The more we practice meditation and cultivate the faculty of mindfulness, the sooner we can tune into clearly seeing the process, and then consciously make the effort to abandon the anger. We might encourage the mind to consider looking at the situation from a multitude of different perspectives, or interject thoughts of loving kindness.  

It's so incredibly important to go to the roots, to witness, to observe these thoughts of wanting to be justified in our anger, and abandoning them, as this anger and the subsequent suffering will persist so long as we cling to these justifications.

Don't give it an inch.