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Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
I've been trying to cultivate peace within myself and in my daily life/day-to-day interactions. I'm finding it difficult to remember to react peacefully when things go wrong. I just get so angry and feel like stomping on someone's foot. Obviously I don't really go around stomping on people's feet, but I'm certain the feeling of foot-stomping anger isn't good either.
Does anyone have any insight on how to be more peaceful on a day to day level? Are there any strategies that have worked well for you when you're angry and hurt? Any thoughts would be lovely.
don't let go of your anger. its useful. and if you suppress it, it will come out in other ways.
for me, i learned from d t suzuki, a zen master, that one must learn to love your 10k demons as well as your 10k angels. once one loves their complete self, its easier to love others. flaws and all.
I appreciate your post, Syd, as I myself also struggle with this.
Not sure I have any words of wisdom. A couple of people who have been the targets of my anger and to whom I apologized later (...apologizing is very important!) have told me that they sort of admire my "temper" or my "passion." I guess maybe in a world where people often just don't want to get involved, don't want to take a chance holding an unpopular opinion, they managed to see the good side of someone who explodes now and then :-) I keep hoping that with time I'll learn to disagree in a more neutral tone :-)
There is nothing wrong with being angry or hurt. Those are normal and natural reactions. I use the question, "Will this matter in 100 years?" quite often. If it will matter in 100 years, then I better get my act together and DO something to change it. If it won't matter, I let it go.
It may seem cliched, but as someone who's dealt with exactly what you're describing, 15-30 minutes of meditation a day is a great help. It helps you to distance yourself from the kneejerk, to step back and get some perspective and it lowers levels of fear and frustration. It also raises concentration. It's not hocus pocus: Sit either on the floor with your legs crossed, on your knees with a pillow between your legs for support, or in a chair. Sit quietly and gently focus on your breath going in ... going out. Breathe normally. You will feel self conscious at first, but over time you'll figure it out. Your mind will wander. When you notice that, bring your attention back to your breathing ... in .... out. Don't control your breathing. Then find articles or books about meditation. There's different ways to do it. But it doesn't have to be complicated. You will gradually begin to notice grasping - physical and psychological - when in your meditation you encounter those feelings of anger, fear, confusion. You will play out scenes. Fall into despairing memories. Laugh. The point is, when you feel yourself grasping, notice it. Feel the places in the body where you are grasping. Try to relax. Notice those places in the mind where you grasp. The pains or memories that cause it. Try to release it. Go back to breathing. It's kind of like trying to teach a cat to sit. At times it seems impossible. But it will come
PS - be gentle with yourself. You're the best friend you can have.
Thanks, everyone! Some helpful stuff, for sure.
Lately, I've found it works well to channel the energy of being angry into doing something I know is productive, like studying or cleaning. I guess it's a step.
Anyway, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! So far I've tried the meditating/contemplating and the will-this-matter-in-the-long-run, and so far, so good.