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.

Metta-cine

Years ago I read Bhante Gunaratana's "Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness".

Within chapter 6 he writes of the Four Steps to Skillful Effort.  He lists them as:

- prevent negative states of mind

- overcome negative states of mind

- cultivate positive states of mind

- maintain positive states of mind

Perhaps we can break it down to four words:

prevent/overcome/cultivate/maintain

When we practice loving kindness/loving friendliness (metta) meditation, we demonstrate to ourselves that we can influence the mind to break from its habitual patterns of negative thinking, interjecting beautiful thoughts of loving friendliness. We witness firsthand how entertaining such kind thoughts alters our entire being.

Positive Thoughts = Positive Mind

So long as we can continuously cultivate and maintain thoughts of loving kindness toward ourselves and others we will be able to prevent negative states of mind from arising.  And should a negative state of mind arise, it can be overcome by abandoning those negative thoughts, instead cultivating thoughts of loving friendliness. 

It's quite good metta-cine ; )  

Beautiful Mind

It's common to say "the thought came to mind"...

Most of our days, moment to moment, thoughts of all types come and go, arising without any apparent rhyme or reason.

If we pause to take a look, we find these thoughts painting a mental landscape, which color how we perceive and then interact with the world.

When we practice loving kindness meditation, rather than being at the whim of the mind, we direct it, cultivating kind and compassionate thoughts, altering the mental landscape.

Painting with beautiful thoughts we paint a beautiful mind.