Discussion in 'Buddhism' started by Vajradhara, May 28, 2008.
So did the Buddha. His last meal was supposedly dodgy meat.
I think anger comes from a sense of injustice. Maybe it would help to see a bigger picture, to believe that everything will work out... anger can come from the injustice of being mistreated or misunderstood. Better communication.... maybe... knowing that God is the All-Knowing. God knows me perfectly, therefore, if everyone else misunderstands me, it will be okay anyway.... does that help?
I find that anger is not properly understood by people- anger is often thought of as a bad thing, and something which should be controlled, or quashed, yet anger is a gift- instead of a curse... anger says... something here is wrong, something is not right, I am offended, annoyed, etc...
generally, we are sane and rational people- get angry!
I like shouting and slamming doors myself, and using cusswords... great stuff...
I do draw the line at physical violence, though- that doesn't bring any release... unlike shouting and slamming doors does!!!!
Then you need to kick start another emotion to just counter balance that emotion.... So now you need to question yourself....
Is something wrong? Or is it my attitude?
Should I be offended? Or am I looking for trouble?
This person is annoying me..... Should I be annoyed? Is it just?
Have to -always- question anger.
I used to like to swear, punch holes in objects/walls... Now I rise above it and offer a smile... I am better off.
Sometimes people see injustice everywhere and it just means we've had a little too much coffee. It can also mean we've held a negative point of view for so long that it is entrained in our thinking. We can directly compare this negative attitude with the mechanism of hallucination, because the mechanisms for each are related. We can predispose ourselves to see injustices against us.
The following quote is from an online summary of the article How hallucinations may arise from brain mechanisms of learning, attention, and volition. written by S Grossberg for the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. This article was referenced in the Wikipedia's entry on hallucination. I didn't understand every word of the article, but I focused on the parts I've put into bold and was able to work it out that they are talking about the way the neurons in our brains which should be trained to perceive life and to learn can also be maladjusted until they impose a false reality upon the real. We desire to see something so strongly, that we perceive it to be.
Correction: The book was called Change the Way You See Everything, and I've purchased it, now. Its illustrated and comes with exercises. It has no bibliography, but has biographies which fulfill the same function. A quote:
This makes a lot of sense, especially considering that it can be complicated to distinguish between anticipation and desire. They're really very similar. The fight or flight reaction is psychologically similar to anticipating or even desiring to respond to threats, while curiosity or interest is similar to desiring/anticipating an experience or an opportunity. If I train myself to anticipate with interest, I should theoretically be able to decrease negative perceptions. Of course, I'm just anticipating the possibility and don't really know for sure.
Sounds like it might be helpful with dealing with PMS.
PMS is over rated....
remove the predeterminations.
such that anger is almost like laughter; a reaction to an unexpected observance.
In anger, one wants a specific reply action; predetermined.
Such that a joke often has a punch line that is unexpected.
The goal is to remove the self of need to a specific outcome.
in trying to remove anger, seek the knowledge of what occurred.
Or simply remove the self as the priority of the event experienced.
Or remember the rules; if the intent or 'desire' is 'good' it supports life.
if the need or desire is a loss to the common, then the suffering is self inflicted.
: here you recommend reading the texts.
What does the Buddha say about anger in the texts? :
thank you for the thoughtful and interesting replies.
there are some which i'll go back to and respond to individually as i'm able though i'll offer some of my thoughts on it and how it effects me.
i am an angry person. i've been angry since i was 4 years old; the sort of towering, overwhelming anger that consumes a being blotting out all thought but eliminating the perceived source of the anger.
i remember going to see a psychologist for children when i was 7 or 8, those years are difficult to remember, to help deal with my anger issues. i don't recall much of the visit though i recall that the instructions i left with were to try to tear a towel in half when i became angry, use all my strength and not be afraid of hurting it or myself. i used the doctors well intentioned advice for many years.
as i grew older i read more about anger and how it effects the body and mind and how the doctors recommended treatment actually exacerbates the anger problem, i don't hold any grudges towards the doctor, such treatment is still recommended and in some cases court ordered. in any event, it was clear that the methods that i had at my disposal were not able to help alleviate my anger and the potential for my anger to arise in a wide variety of locales.
when i become angry my skin flushes a deep red, my jaw sets and a certain look comes across my face. i've been told that it is quite apparent when i become angry due to these things and when it happens those i care about become anxious.
(i'm getting somewhat angry just thinking about being angry!)
i would have to say that the first real break through with my anger came during the middle of one of the worst displays that i've had. it was a display of road rage, though not my first one....it was the first time that my spouse was in the car with me. the details of the incident are irrelevant at this point, suffice it to say that when it was all said and done i became convinced of the urgent need to resolve the sources of my anger, to cool those flames that had engulfed me and nearly ended our lives and those in the other vehicle.
the first real break through towards resolving that anger was during a meditation session using a practice called Tonglen or the Equalising of Self and Other or Exchanging of Self and Other. a fancy way of saying putting yourself in someone elses shoes but it's done in a certain manner as are many things in the Buddha Dharma.
over the year i've managed to uproot many anger weeds in my psychic garden through the use of tonglen and taking an analytical approach towards anger as outlined in the Bodhichiyavaratara, the Way of the Bodhisattva; a seminal text in the Tibetan Vajrayana tradition composed by Shantideva. when i take a break from weeding to enjoy the fruit of my labors i'm able to see the next row of weeds that need tending to.
I think the anger is focussed on the person but the anger has arisen because of the reasons; so you can't have one without the other (clearly).
The road rage was created by the reasons (other driver driving like an idiot) but the anger cannot be focussed on the reasons, it has to focussed on the perpetrator of the reasons (the idiotic driver). It was the driver you might have wanted to harm, not the reasons; if driven (sorry for the pun) by your anger.
Unrelated PS Vaj: I've been patiently waiting for a contribution from you to http://www.comparative-religion.com/forum/n-g-rjuna-9048.html#post151108
but now I'm getting a little angry with YOU!
I can see how this could be quite useful if "Other's" action was done in a scatter-brained, unmindful manner. Anger is contracting, squeezing, (or focusing when optimized,) whereas "scatter-brained-ness" or "unmindfulness" can be over-expanded to the point of having no focus, so the action of "Exchanging of Self and Other" can truly be seen as an "Equalizing of Self and Other," preventing an explosion from uncontrolled contraction in "Self" and providing some needed contracting focus in "Other." It might be the best way to go if there is no other action you can take to enact a needed change.
So cognition leads to emotion, yes?
I expect any increase in empathy would be helpful in terms of immediate modulation of the anger response.
In the long-term, I think increased empathy would also affect stable trait anger (as opposed to situanal anger). I believe stable trait anger involves a whole set of egoistic (and therefore dysfunctional) beliefs about self and the world, particularly low self-efficacy expectation that affect the way the person creates/attracts events or situations that they expect to be rewarding.
You are raising your expectations for success, which likely helps a lot.
My immediate reaction to your first point is this: what the other person did or how they did it is largely irrelevant to my response to their actions, especially if I can't assess whether or not they were conducting themselves in a scatter-brained, unmindful manner.
So my focused anger" would be a fix for their "scatter-brained-ness" or "unmindfulness"? Shouldn't they work on themselves rather than depend on you?
Sounds like an interpersonal boundaries issue. People need to accept responsibility for self-control, which includes exercising their G-d given abilities to create and manage their own emotional environment (I think it's called affect regulation.)
snoopy, anger and hatred, as u know, and as u know I know, are considered poisons...
anger is not always a poison... not if it's justified... sometimes anger is like manna instead...
of course, unjustifiable anger- somebody treading on your toes, metaphorically or otherwise, suggests the problem is yours- an ego thing, perhaps, yet getting angry because of real injustice, is understandable and all too human...
without anger we would not have had Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat... we would not have had the suffragettes throwing themselves under horses...
my position is now, much as it's always been- choose your fights well...
just come out swinging............
Rosa Parks denies that anger had anything to do with it when she refused to comply with the bus driver's driver who ordered her to give up her seat:
"I did feel determined to take this as an opportunity to let it be known that I did not want to be treated in that manner and that people have endured it far too long."
Do you reconcile this with the Buddha Vacana?
e.g.“Having killed anger you sleep in ease.Having killed anger you do not grieve.The noble ones praisethe slaying of anger — with its honeyed crest & poison root — for having killed it you do not grieve.
'He insulted me, hit me, beat me, robbed me' — for those who brood on this, hostility isn't stilled.'He insulted me,hit me,beat me,robbed me' —for those who don't brood on this, hostility is stilled. Hostilities aren't stilled through hostility, regardless.Hostilities are stilledthrough non-hostility: this, an unending truth.Unlike those who don't realizethat we're here on the verge of perishing,those who do: their quarrels are stilled.
Guard against angererupting in body;in body, be restrained.Having abandoned bodily misconduct,live conducting yourself well in body.Guard against angererupting in speech;in speech, be restrained.Having abandoned verbal misconduct,live conducting yourself well in speech.Guard against angererupting in mind;in mind, be restrained.Having abandoned mental misconduct,live conducting yourself well in mind.Those restrained in body — the enlightened —restrained in speech & in mind — enlightened —are the ones whose restraint is secure.”
then they are all deluded, and self deluded, which is the biggest sin of all... Anger does not have to be some rage filled foreign entity... anger is normal...
If everything in the world was how its supposed to be, nobody would disobey the law, or speak out against things or stand up for themselves, for we would all be in sway of the doctrine or tenets or rules of the game, which tell us masters and elders all know better than us...
If we lived in Utopia, a sweet place with white picket fences and home made apple pie, living a life free of anger would be easy... if we were all great selfless enlightened beings, then anger would not arise...
anger in response to injustice is normal... nobody says its always useful, but without a sense of injustice, of right and wrong, we would be ppl with no shame, no conscience...
restraint in speech and mind is not good for you if you are being bullied. Telling someone who has just been assaulted on the road not to be angry is futile, and unkind. How you manage the anger, how you channel it, process it, this is the important thing...
If something makes you feel so angry... you should find a way to do something about it, find some way to channel this passion within you to bring about change. Fighting with sticks in the street won't work... you have to be clever, temper the anger like you would a piece of metal to fashion a sword, instead of exploding, plan your assault on the enemy with military precision, aim to win the war instead of just this one small battle, gather an army, and weapons, and attack...
All these "rules" and regulations of our collective religions... great ideas, but generally unworkable unless you live in a cave...
the aim is to see reality for what it is, and cling to neither extremes or ideologies or concepts which are not artful...
living in a world were keeping your mouth shut and your head down is sometimes the only option, lets not glorify the lie and pretend this mouth shut eyes closed head down way of life is somehow more noble...
So basically you think the Buddha Vacana is wrong.
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