2022-06-24 Respecting Anger (5 0f 5) MADLESS
10:28AM Jun 27, 2022
Good morning, good day. Here we are at the, to the last talk about anger. And anger might arise out of particularly incident in the moment. And even if it does, if it lasts, it has moved from the world of the immediacy and aliveness into the world of our memory and thoughts, ideas, story making in the mind. And it turns out that a lot of anger, anything that's chronic resentment and irritation, has a lot to do with a world of aboutness, the world of thinking about things story making that we do. And the more intense and involved we are with anger, the more there's a diminishment or a loss that we experience. There is a kind of suffering, that kind of pain and stress that comes with being angry. And there's also the more stronger it is, the more there's a preoccupation with some something about something. And and that preoccupation means that we're not available for a wider range of our emotional, spiritual inner life, that an outer will honor life, that, that to not be caught up in anything, we're, we're available for a range of responses, a range of empathy, range of perception of what's happening. And that gets diminished, the more we get preoccupied, and the one of the one way to get preoccupied is around anger. And at times, it gets quite intense. And it really diminishes our capacity to feel to sense to experience to perceive the world and ourselves, as a world of anger tends to get reduced more and more. And at that marriage gets reduced to often to a world of about this, even if there's a mood, the that's kind of her angry, irritated, hostile mood. It's probably being fueled by some background, story, belief idea that's going on. And to have the courage to drop the beliefs, the courage to drop the preoccupations, the stories, in order to be present more fully, for the aliveness of our of our life. So in this week, one of the things I hope that I've conveyed is that anger is a worthwhile subject for attention, for mindfulness and for study. That rather than having some blanket policy, that anger is bad, and we shouldn't be angry. We don't need to have that policy. Because we have a mindfulness practice, that can help us find a way through the anger. And we can understand what is dysfunctional about anger, what is causing our stress for ourselves with anger, what is unnecessary, what is what diminishes us, we can kind of use that as an object of mindfulness, to reclaim our freedom or independence or ability to not to be caught by it. And in the process of that we learn a lot. And so we're using anger as a, as a means a medium, for learning about the grievance we have about the about the difficulty that's happening, about the, the challenge that's somehow rather represented by the anger. And by studying it, we get to distinguish between where the where the essence or the the essential part of study is, sometimes we have to study what's happening externally and understand the situation better. And sometimes we have to understand ourselves better, because that's really the genesis or the, the active kind of center of the anger and that's where it's productive to bring our attention to.
So as we as I bring this to a conclusion, this topic of anger, I would like to offer you an acronym. Bit long maybe. And, and the accurate acronym is mad lists. To be Without mad without anger be coming to Mad lessness madalas. And if you're looking at this set the YouTube now, in the underneath the photograph where it says a few information about IMC and then information square, I have written out the the acronym. So the M is motivation. The A is attention. D is to diffuse, L is to learn, E is empathy. And S is to have story substitution, change a story. And then the second S is to speak. We don't want to be mindful and resolve our anger, and then become silent when the world needs us to speak. This situation needs us to speak about what's going on. We sometimes defuse anger, so that we can address a real world need. So motivation, anger itself, and think of it as a motivational feeling. What is it want? What is it trying to do? What's what's really happening there? And we tried to get rid of something without change something, or we tried to get away from something? Are we trying to attack someone? Who's there hostility? Which is kind of a motivation? Are we trying to harm someone hurt someone with our words, maybe? Get back at them? And? Or are we trying to change a situation that needs to be changed? Is it at war? What change are we trying to evoke with anger, trying to make happen? So to study what is anger about what's its purpose? What's it and is it really the purpose we we stand behind? Do we have another motivation that's more valuable for us more important, that comes to the surface, we spend time looking at the purpose, the motivation of the anger. Attention, is to really bring a lot of attention to this experience of anger. One of the fundamental aspects of mindfulness meditation is mindfulness of the body. So bringing attention to the body. If we really feel our body, when we're angry, it tends to dissipate, it tends to create some space for it. It also teaches us a lot about how we're involved with the anger, that we're contracted and tight. And then leaning forward or pulling back, whatever we're doing. Maybe we notice our fists clenched. So to keep coming back to the body, I've been angry in the past, where I didn't know what was going on with my body. Many years ago, I was really angry with someone, I didn't know it. And there was a pause, the person had to go away to do something. And so then I noticed my body. And I noticed that I was leaning forward and tight. And so then I came back into myself, and it made a huge difference. And so we use attention to notice what's happening here for us. And all these different practices of madalas all require some use of attention. And then, to diffuse it, to diffuse a means to I use this terms in terms of not so much to take the fuse away, but is to dissipate or to reduce the tension that's there. And the less tension there is, in an anger, the Wiser will become, the less we're under the influence of the anger. So to develop and learn skills, of diffusion, of relaxation, of calming, breathing, deeply relaxing the body, taking a posture, that stable and strong that allows kind of, you know, different kinds of attention where we're more present in a, in a, in a, in a way that we are in charge, we were more picky, capable of making wise choices. And then to learn. I think this is one of the great principles around anger. Always when we're angry, there's something to learn, and take the time to learn to watch the lesson that's here.
And for many of us, I think there's a huge lesson to be learned within ourselves. What is the attachment that triggered the anger? What's the place inside the belief, the sense of self? What's the history we have? What's the wound We have that's been now touched by the incident around us, the unintended unresolved wounds we carry with us. And so to learn what's going on, sometimes we're gonna learn outside. And one of the things to learn outside is to learn what's going on with the other people what's really happening there. Many years ago, I read about that New York, in New York, the bus system, they gave as kind of a training for bus drivers, they showed them a video of, of people who get on the bus who are very annoying to bus drivers, that they just have behavior, which is kind of troublesome, difficult. And, and they interviewed or described or talked to these people, and found out that they had all kinds of personal circumstances, very difficult. Learning disabilities may be all kinds of personal challenges that were not obvious in the surface. And as soon as the bus service began, looking at these personal challenges, these people had their anger and annoyance to people who are difficult in the bus decreased dramatically, that if we take time to learn about who people are, maybe there's much less reason to be angry, though there might be reasons for compassion and care, and having a strong conversation. And then, to have empathy, to care about others to have love, to have kindness, to try and kind of following up what I just said about learn, really get to know people. And, and, and understand more deeply what's going on with them when they behave. Even people pay very difficultly difficulty. And, but not so much because they deserve it. But because it's actually better medicine for each of us for ourselves, to have a degrees of compassion, love kindness, than an empathy than it is to do the opposite, and to be closed. And it was something grows in us when we take the time to be empathic. And then to a story substitution, so many of anger has to do with some story. We're telling ourselves, and I've had anger with people, and I had the wrong story. I had made up a story and which was an interpretation. That wasn't really what happened. And, and so be very careful the stories you tell yourself, the fish gets bigger, the more they tell the story, they say, what stories are you telling? And are they really accurate? Check out the story. Find out say this is what I understand happened. And maybe it didn't happen that way. And, or maybe there was more to it than meets the eye. And then speak. We've talked about this yesterday. And as I said earlier, mindfulness meditation is Buddha's approach to anger is not to make us passive mute, silent, uninterested in uninvolved with the world and other people. Most anger is social. Most anger has to do with people around us, especially if it's really, really intense and simmers and lasts. The anger we have for technology or the weather or something doesn't have the same power as the anger we have with people in social circumstances. And and so it implies that sometimes it's very important in the social world to speak, and what do we speak? How do we speak? How do we speak with kindness and clarity and purpose for bringing the welfare of everyone involved? And so that,
I think is one of the principles I'd like to end this discussion on anger, the principle that we live a life that looks for what's best for everyone involved in a situation. We don't look at just what's best for ourselves. We look at what's best for everyone, surprisingly, even for the people who have harmed us that what's best for them, because what's best for ourselves and best for others, who fits into what's best overall, as we create a better society. I'd like to end with a quote from Maha kusala Nanda. He was kind of like the Mahatma Gandhi of of Cambodia or meat it was a after the Khmer Rouge, the genocide there, he was the Buddhist leader of Cambodia Buddhist monk, I met him lovely man keep very peaceful, very loving, full of smiles. And he wrote the here I do not question that loving one's oppressors, Cambodians loving the Khmer Rouge may be the most difficult to edit to to achieve. But it is a law of the universe, that retaliation, hatred and revenge. Only continue the cycle and never stop it. Reconciliation does not mean that we surrender rights and conditions. But rather we use love in all our negotiations. It means that we see ourselves in the opponent for what is the opponent, but being but a being in ignorance. And we ourselves are also ignorant of many things. Therefore, only loving kindness and right mindfulness can free us. So to practice, bring anger, bring your anger under the purview of our practice or mindfulness. And maybe we can negotiate with our enemies with love. So speak. So thank you. And I have a couple few announcements. One is that I'll be away on vacation next week. And so my friend and wonderful Zen teacher, Paul Howler will come and teach the 7am this this sitting starting Monday. And some of you remember Paul, he came and did a week, back last April, April, May when I did the Zen Vipassana kind of retreat. And so I'm very happy he's coming. And the tomorrow IMCs Earthcare group has a wonderful teacher named Tarrant Anissa coming to give a dharma talk, you have to go into MCs website. I think it's listed under what's new. And finally, I mentioned that a couple of weeks ago, I think that I'm doing a day long retreat on online on July 9, and I think it was not so easy to find where to register the information about it. It should be easier now because now it's in on in the WHAT'S NEW section of IMCs website much more clearly. And eventually it'll be clearly I think, on the calendar as well. And, but for now it's, you know, in the What's New in the homepage. So, thank you and I look forward to coming back in a couple of weeks and I'll be here on the Fourth of July. Thank you