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“Anger can be good if it’s an energy that motivates you towards action to right the thing that is angering you.” ~ Martin Sheen
“Consciousness exists on two levels: as seeds and as manifestations of these seeds. Suppose we have a seed of anger in us. When conditions are favorable, that seed may manifest as a zone of energy called anger. It is burning, and it makes us suffer a lot. It is very difficult for us to be joyful at the moment the seed of anger manifests. Every time a seed has an occasion to manifest itself, it produces new seeds of the same kind. If we are angry for five minutes, new seeds of anger are produced and deposited in the soil of our unconscious mind during those five minutes. That is why we have to be careful in selecting the kind of life we lead and the emotions we express. When I smile, the seeds of smiling and joy have come up. As long as they manifest, new seeds of smiling and joy are planted. But if I don’t practice smiling for a number of years, that seed will weaken, and I may not be able to smile anymore.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step
Emotional poison is created by our reaction to what we consider injustice. Some wounds will heal, others will become infected with more and more poison. Once we are full of emotional poison, we have the need to release it, and we practice releasing the poison by sending it to someone else. How do we do this? By hooking that person’s attention.
Let’s take an example of an ordinary couple. For whatever reason, the wife is mad. She has a lot of emotional poison from an injustice that comes from her husband. The husband is not home, but she remembers that injustice and the poison is growing inside. When the husband comes home, the first thing she wants to do is hook his attention because once she hooks his attention, all the poison can go to her husband and she can feel the relief. As soon as she tells him how bad he is, how stupid or unfair he is, that poison she has inside her is transferred to the husband.
The following meditation is an excerpt from the book, The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama:
Let us imagine a scenario in which someone who you know very well, someone who is close or dear to you, is in a situation in which he or she loses his or her temper. You can imagine this occurring either in a very acrimonious relationship or in a situation in which something personally upsetting is happening. The person is so angry that he or she has lost all his or her mental composure, creating very negative vibrations, even going to the extent of beating himself or herself up or breaking things.
Then, reflect upon the immediate effects of the person’s rage. You’ll see a physical transformation happening to that person. This person who you feel close to, who you like, the very sight of whom gave you pleasure in the past, now turns into this ugly person, even physically speaking. The reason why I think you should visualize this happening to someone else is because it is easier to see the faults of others than to see your own faults. So, using your imagination, do this meditation and visualization for a few minutes.
At the end of that visualization, analyze the situation and relate the circumstances to your own experience. See that you yourself have been in this state many times. Resolve that ‘I shall never let myself fall under the sway of such intense anger and hatred, because if I do that, I will be in the same position. I will also suffer all these consequences, lose my peace of mind, lose my composure, assume this ugly physical appearance,’ and so on. So once you make that decision, then for the last few minutes of the meditation focus your mind on that conclusion; without further analysis, simply let your mind remain on your resolution not to fall under the influence of anger and hatred.
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“Not only is everything I experience part of who I am, Spirit-filled, and not to be rejected, but there is no need to go searching for something special anywhere else. Everything life has to offer is always right here wherever I am right now. There is no place more alive and sacred than this place. No time more alive and sacred than this time.” ~ Robert Kull, Solitude
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
~ Rumi, via Solitude
“Anxiety is part of our human condition, and we need to learn to treat it as an old friend, or least a familiar acquaintance. Many therapists say to do something to avoid anxiety, but in such endless activity much of our experience – joyful and painful – is lost. Seems like a hard bargain.” ~ Robert Kull, Solitude
“When sadness comes, be really sad. Don’t try to escape from it – allow it, cooperate with it. Let it dissolve in you and you be dissolved in it. Become one with it. Be really sad: no resistance, no conflict and no struggle. When happiness comes, be happy: dance and be ecstatic. When happiness comes, don’t try to cling to it. Don’t say that it should remain always and always; that is the way to miss it. When sadness comes, don’t say, ‘Don’t come to me,’ or, ‘If you have come, please go soon.’ That is the way to miss it. Don’t reject sadness and don’t cling to happiness.” ~ Osho, The Art of Living and Dying
“Sadness has a song… a very deep phenomenon is sadness. Accept it. Enjoy it. Taste it without any rejection, and you will see that it brings many gifts to you which no happiness can ever bring. If you can accept sadness it is no longer sadness; you have brought a new quality to it. You will grow through it. Now it will not be a stone, a rock on the path blocking the way; it will become a step.” ~ Osho, The Art of Living and Dying
“Sadness is sad because you dislike it. The sadness is sad because you would not like to be in it. The sadness is sad because you reject it. Even sadness becomes a flowering of tremendous beauty, of silence and of depth, if you like it. Happiness is always shallow; sadness, always deep. Happiness is like a wave; sadness is like the innermost depth of an ocean. In sadness you remain with yourself, left alone. In happiness you start moving with people and you start sharing. In sadness you close your eyes and you delve deep within yourself.” ~ Osho, The Art of Living and Dying