Paths for freedom and progress
Disarming anger
NOTICE ARCHIVE - 06/06/2020

In this world
Hate never yet dispelled hate.
Only love dispels hate.
This is the law,
Ancient and inexhaustible.

(Buddhist wisdom, Dhammapada 3-5)

If we fight the black shadows with other black shadows, we are just prolonging the conflict and it will never end until we not turn on the light.

Hatred has never yet dispelled hate. Only love dispels hate. Hatred just leads to revenge, and revenge leads to more hate. A cycle of suffering is set in motion that can go on and on. Many places in the world today give sad evidence of this truth. Hatred is an extreme form of anger. The Buddha’s teachings take anger very serious­ly, because anger causes so much suffering.

Anger is most hurting oneself

Even when anger is not expelled and is apparently controlled, a person who is inwardly angry can instantly change the atmosphere where he enters. She brings an invisible chill with him. Anyone nearby tightens up and draws back, becomes less spontaneous and more guarded. When anger is not contained but erupts into violence, the damage is mostly irreversible.

What is often overlooked about the disas­trous effects of anger, however, is the harm it does to oneself. The first person hurt is al­ways the self who is angry. An angry mind is a suffering mind. An angry mind is agitated and tight. It is constricted and narrow. The quality of consciousness changes. Judg­ment and perspective vanish. All good sense disappears. The mind feels restless. Nothing is satisfying. Sleep is difficult. The body is tense. The pain is installed.

Anger acts as a poison in the mind. It generates un­wholesome karma.

The imprint of anger in the mind

We maybe think, after we have done some­thing, especially when no one else knows of it, the act just disappears. The act does apparently disappear. The thought has been thought. The word has been spoken. The deed has occurred and it’s gone. But that act has set in motion a chain of after-effects that linger on. Just as ripples are sent out in every direction when a stone is thrown into a pond, so each intentional act has resultants that move out in space and time and affect whatever they touch. We are stuck with what we’ve done, and with effects of what we have caused. We are, in other words, the heirs of our karma.

If the intention in the mind was good, happiness will follow. But if the inten­tion was evil, that is another story. The results of an act are always of the same nature as the intention that brought them about. Just as when you plant an apple seed, the only kind of tree that will grow is an apple tree. And that tree will bear only one kind of fruit—an apple. An apple seed does not produce an orange or a peach.

So, likewise, if a seed of anger has been planted in the mind, suffering is sure to follow. For one day when conditions are right, that angry seed will ripen and bear bitter fruit.

The law of karma act over our personality. Character end even facial traces are molded by what we think and say and do. Each angry moment deepens the imprint of anger in the mind stream. This means that each time we are angry, it is easier to become angry again. An angry reaction, repeated frequently, gradually becomes a habit. We begin to find less to like about our life situation and less to like about others, and we become increas­ingly irritable and negative. Not surpris­ingly, people begin to avoid us, and we feel isolated and lonely. Meanwhile unpleasant things keep happening, and we don’t under­stand that they are actually the results of our own doing.

Our personality, and our very lives, are shaped—and continue to be shaped—by the karmic choices we make. It is therefore so important to reflect on our own responsibil­ity for the way our lives unfold. Our actions are the one thing that we truly possess. We inherit their results and reap whatever we sow.

Getting Free of Anger

We are not doomed to repeat the past. At any given moment the pattern can be broken. When we are mindful, we see that every moment gives a choice. Shall I react in anger? Or shall I respond in kindness?

The more we practice, and the more we reflect upon our own lives and the lives of those around us, the more we begin to understand the profundity of the law of karma. We come to see why we should never respond to anger with anger. To meet another person’s anger with anger is like following a lunatic who jumps off a cliff. If it is crazy for him to do it, it is even crazier to follow!

Anger has many different shades and takes many different forms. These include irritation, frustration, rage, hate, bitterness, sadness, cynicism, and impatience. Then there is judgment. Judging mind is a fre­quent one—judging oneself, judging others. And guilt, too, is a form of anger. It is anger at oneself.

Life keeps presenting us all the time with things we never would have chosen if there had been a choice. It can be a painful sitting, an upset stomach, a biting wind, bad news… The question, then, is how not to react with aversion, how not to be automatically angry or sad or afraid.

The entire practice that we are doing leads to freedom from anger and from every form of aversion and it can be developed by loving kindness and by mindfulness. These two ways can be pur­sued simultaneously.


We need to observe our minds attentively. We want to catch anger, if we can, when it is small, just as it begins to unfold. If the very first feeling of unpleasantness is noticed, it may disappear before it grows into irritation. Or, if it is already irritation, it may be noted and checked before it grows into anger. Or if it is already anger, if it is seen, it can be caught before it spills out into some act we will later regret—a cross note, sharp words, or a slammed door. Rage and hate don’t just appear out of nowhere, full blown. They de­velop from a momentary unpleasant feeling that went unnoticed and rapidly escalated in intensity.

The point at which we become aware of anger depends upon the quality of atten­tion. The earlier we tune in and know anger is present, the easier it is to control and abandon. But if we are lost in thought, lost in some story about ourselves, there is no contact with what actual is happening now.

In fact, anger is not solid, but is made up of different components: thoughts, which are spinning out the story; a particular emotional tone; and numerous body sensations. All of these, just like the anger itself, are transient. They arise and pass, arise and pass.

Try to let the thinking go away. Drop the story that’s going on in the mind. Certain thoughts are both an expression of anger and are also feeding the anger. Let them go, and bring attention to the sensations in the body. Al­low yourself to feel, fully feel, the emotion directly. Look to see what is going on. Is there heat, is there pressure, is there tight­ness, is there contraction? Where in the body are these sensations being experienced? Do they move? Do they change? What is your relation to them? Is there resistance to them? If there is resistance, stay with the resistance and feel it. Being upset and angry with anger only increases the anger and increases the pain.

If thinking is so strong that it keeps pull­ing you back into the story, reflect over the hierarchy inside you. Your soul, your brain, the thoughts. Outside is the external World and is not important at this analyzing moment. In this particular set, your soul is the pilot, not true? The soul commands the brain, the processor of thoughts. Take command over that situation, it is both your right and your duty. Don´t let your brain run rampage as a crazy dog, don´t lower yourself to such a level that you bark instead of talk. Don´t mess around, don´t dirt. Kill that dog!  When mindfulness has shaped peace and order, your brain shall produce and deliver the thoughts your soul decide. Then you open the door – your eyes, your ears and your mind – to the external World and communicate the good way.

Having mindfulness is to have the command over your brain. It is like knowing when to open and when to close your windows and doors. Or when it is time to move or to stay. Mindfulness tells us when is the appropriate time to do things. Be mindful. Stop struggling, screaming or weeping. Be mindful!



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Views: 200344 - Atualizado: 18-09-2021