Being with Anger

Excerpt from “Happiness”, Thich Nhat Hanh

Our anger is like a small child crying out for his mother.  When the baby cries, the mother takes him gently in her arms and listens and observes carefully to find out what is wrong.  The loving action of holding her baby with tenderness already soothes the baby’s suffering.  Likewise, we can take our anger in our loving arms and right away we will feel relief.  We don’t need to reject our anger.  It is a part of us that needs our love and deep listening just as a baby does.  After the baby has calmed down, the mother can feel if the baby has a fever or needs a change of diaper.  When we feel calm and cool, we too can look deeply at our anger and see clearly the conditions allowing our anger to arise.

A strong emotion is similar to a storm, and it can create a lot of damage.  We need to figure out a way to protect ourselves, to create a safe environment, and to wait out the storm.  We cannot sit and wait for the storm to go by quickly while we receive all the damage of the storm directly.  Keeping our body and mind safe from the storm is our practice.  After each storm, we become stronger, more solid, and soon we’re no longer fearful of storms.  We no longer pray for a calm sky and a calm ocean.  Instead, we pray that we have the wisdom and strength to deal with the difficulties that arise in life.

About StillWaterSanghaMN

We are a community, formed with enthusiasm and joy, practicing Mindfulness and Meditation together in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. We meet on Monday nights from 7-8:30pm in a private home in Stillwater, Minnesota.
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