2022-06-22 Respecting Anger (3 of 5) Diffusing Anger and its Expression
8:53PM Jun 22, 2022
Good morning, good day. Good evening. And so we're continuing with this discussion of anger. And I said now that anger is a sign. And one way of saying the message in one way of understanding that is that it's a sign that something is wrong, somewhere or there something is wrong. And some wisdom is needed to not assume automatically that what's wrong is out in the world. Or to assume automatically that what's wrong is within oneself. But it's a sign that something is off, that something needs attention. And now, for one of the first things to do is to learn from it, find out what it is to stop and take a good look what's really going on here. And when we meditate, especially, this is a great place because we don't have to, then hopefully, when meditating, say anything to anyone or do anything in the world, you can just really be present and feel it. So we want to learn from it. And one of the things to learn, is that how anger motivates us. And that's part of the danger of anger, that sometimes anger comes with a very strong motivation to do something to say something to say very forcefully to someone, or to act forcefully or something. And, and, as and when the motivation sometimes has the upper hand, and that's why for example, for example, expressions of anger, speaking angrily, people lose touch with themselves as they say it the motivation is so strong, and so powerful, that they don't really know what's happening in their body and their hearts, their minds. They've lost, sometimes in extreme versions, they've they've kind of possessed by anger. And they don't get not really touched into what's happening here. And this losing touch with oneself, when we're angry, is a great hindrance, a great shortcoming. The wisdom, the clarity, the ability to be able to act wisely and speak wisely in the world, happens a lot from being grounded in one's body, to be present here. And then that can happen even when we're angry. And that's why we want to lose ourselves in the anger. And so a training ourselves to kind of be in the body stay present. So it helps to think of, of anger as being a part of part of what anger is, is it there's a motivation in it? And so ask yourself, what is the motivation here? What is the desire, what's the wish that you see happen? And, and regardless of what the degree of anger might be, it could be irritation, it could be and know even annoyance, I think, relatively mild, what is that? This becomes particularly important, when anger, annoyance, irritation, is hostility has become is a low key, and chronic. And so it's it has nothing to do with any particular incident that's happened. But rather it has to do with it become a way of living way of kind of an attitude which we have. And the whole assessment of chronic anger, hostility is very different than the analysis or the consideration of incident specific anger, where there's something happening right in front of us. And the chronic that goes on for a long time. That's that is particularly debilitating. That tends to be a powerful force, to help people actually not be in touch with themselves, that they might feel the opposite because the energy of anger is so strong, that they feel humming with it. But actually there's there's such a big cause we lose something. The Buddha gave this list of the downsides of anger, of being angry, especially maybe chronic anger that maybe he gave it gave it to people to motivate them to do something about their anger and how to live this way. And so, he said that the ill effects of anger include looking ugly or being in pain Making mistakes,
the loss of property falls into disputes and disgrace. Loss of friends. And then rebirth. Inhale. So the so I don't know if that motivated some of you like, oh, wow, all those things can be there with anger, chronic, I think of it as chronic anger, this kind of persistent stream of it. So one of the ways to respect anger is, I believe is not to give into it as a motivational force to say or do something. But rather take the time to feel it and to know it, and to feel and know it in the body. And the body can process this, the body knows how to unfold and relax and open up and reveal and, and sometimes when we take the time to sit down and feel anger in the body, it gets stronger, there can be murderous rage that arises. But when you're sitting still, maybe that's the, that's the whatever's happened is so powerful, that something has been erupting inside of us. And we, and if we're not acting on it, or expressing it, meditation is about letting that eruption happen. Or meditation is about letting the whole thing dissipate and dissolve. Because sometimes what keeps it going is telling ourselves stories, repeating ourselves to the injury that's been done, or it's the repetition of certain trains of thought, which keeps the anger, the annoyance, the irritation going. And so to sit quietly, and feel it in the body is an alternative to all those stories. And then the body, then you can allow the body to do what it wants to do. Or you know, the deeper process to do what it wants to do. And it might be an eruption, or it might be a dissolving. And it's not your job to choose which it is. But to really be attune to see what needs to happen here. And hopefully be quiet enough, still enough, go for a walk long enough that you allow the whole process to, to maybe come to some completion. In ordinary life, especially with incident specific anger, and we have to kind of act on things. It's very useful to learn how to diffuse the anger, how to be with the anger, so that it doesn't automatically trigger motive motivational actions, we'd say or do things. And here again, training ourselves. So it's second nature to be mindful of the body. So we feel what's happening. The body can be a source of stability, to come back to the body and just sit, be or stand feel you feel your feet on the ground. The body can also be the means by which we diffuse some of the energy of anger, some of the time tension and motivational force of anger that interferes with our ability to really be attuned more deeply, what's happening, attuned to the deeper emotions, that might really be that bigger issue that's happening, more attuned to the situation we're in and take a better look at what's happening, more attuned to ourselves to if we're, if the anger arises, because of a story we're telling ourselves to question, the story is that the right perspective that we have. So to tune into the body, and then to find ways to defuse some of that energy of anger, by relaxing, breathing, breathing, breathing, breathing deeply and relaxing, breathing and relaxing on the exhale, breathing and feeling the expansion of the ribcage in the torso, as a way of kind of grounding yourself in the body and feeling something that's really primary the primary experience of breathing. Notice your posture, when you're angry, maybe the posture is one that is not doesn't lend itself to diffusion to settling. If you're you know both both hands are in a fist it may be is not that difficult to relax the fist to relax the hand to open it and doing that is part of the diffusion process settling it to quieting down and diffusion is not the same thing as repression or denial or escaping from it. Diffusion is a settle some of the some of the The ways in which we're getting disconnected from ourselves.
And to feel more deeply what's happening to be more present. And to settle the truth, the motivational triggers that might come with, with anger, so that we're not speaking from the anger, we're acting from the anger. And we can kind of feel and sense what's going on. And so finding out where you are, each of us probably has our own specialty of where in the body anger is most expressed. It might be tension, tightness in the belly, it might be in the chest, it might be in their face, or the jaws might be in the hands. Sometimes the eyes, I've seen angry people in their eyes or feel so tense and fixed and locked in. It might be somehow in the forehead, and it's places where we get headaches, because of all the, the tension associated with maybe irritation and anger. And so wherever you're away is your place, get to know it. So that when you go about your life, and it's an incident of anger, you know, to go to that place, and maybe relax and settle. The learn skills of diffusion loose, get learn skills of being grounded in the present, so that anger doesn't get the upper hand. So that you can learn from the anger, rather than act on the anger. The expression of anger is not something what we want to do very often, I wanted to ask one of my Buddhist teachers, if it was ever appropriate to express anger, and the teacher says, He said something I forget exactly the date the time frame. But the teacher said yes, once in a blue moon, once at once in a great while, like once every, you know, five years or something. So I don't know if that guideline is the right one. But it was fascinating to me this idea, there might be a time, but not that often. And so to have the ability to step back. And the advantage of that is that if anger involves something that needs to be addressed in our life, it's often addressed much more usefully motivated by other emotions and feelings and ideas than the motivations that come from anger itself. So again, it's not denying the incident was anger producing. It's not denying the difficulty of the anger, but it's questioning the motivational value of anger. And that's where it's very rare that anger is useful as a motivational force. Some people are quick to defend anger because a lot of good gets done in the world with anger, there's people are motivated for justice and fight for it. So then maybe that's good, but it's not so healthy for the person who's angry. And I feel a little sad when people justify anger for that reason, what I wish they would do instead is find an equal or even stronger motivation from compassion. Don't set up anger, as just don't justify anger, if there are better motivations to get the job done. So defusing anger. So for this next day, you might if you find yourself irritated, annoyed, angry, rageful, simmering. resentful, whatever about you might feel today. See what you can do by tuning into your body. And like we did in the guided meditation, tune into what's going on in the body really well, and see what the body wants to do. See if the body wants to relax, see if the body wants to be energized. If you're if you do this during a walk, as I've said before I process strong anger with walks, does the bump out there's the body want to walk faster, does it work slower? What what is the body wanting to do here? Too, and, and then also explore, where can you relax? What settles you into with the emotion. And this is a personal skill that each person needs to learn for themselves. So how do you diffuse the anger? So thank you