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Noticing my anger

KeromeKerome Love, love is mysteryThe Continent Veteran

I’ve recently been noticing that where I thought I didn’t often get angry, I have instead been repressing feelings like irritation and anger. When they came up, I have been stuffing them away deep inside. It’s a long established pattern, I have been doing that for a long time because I have felt that getting angry was dangerous, that people wouldn’t like me when I was angry and that it might cause permanent rifts. I guess it is something that goes back to my childhood and the separation of my parents.

I still don’t get angry often but when it happens now I have decided to try and observe it mindfully, rather than repressing it. It is funny, it only seems to turn from irritation into anger when I actually express it. Otherwise it is just a small dark cloud on the horizon... I recall Thich Nhat Hanh wrote a whole book on mindfully handling anger.

It seems to me that when you become angry, your thinking is somewhat twisted, you are no longer reasonable in your thinking. It takes an effort to think logically when you are angry. Things within me seem to protest when I attempt to think logically while I am caught up in the righteousness of temporary anger. For me anger is always about getting justice, righteousness.

Just another thing to let go of...

BunkslobsterpersonJeffreyadamcrossleyDharma_VibesShoshinLionduck

Comments

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    I am exactly the same @Kerome . When I get angry I think I am a bad person and I beat myself up about it.

    A good practice I found (but don’t often enough use) is to welcome the anger like an old friend and invite it in for a cup of tea. Funny how quickly it scuttles away....

    adamcrossley
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    I haven't really been totally able to distinguish experientially the difference between suppressing an emotion and letting go of an emotion.

    I can understand it intellectually. But it seems like maybe I've for a long time either been largely only suppressing some emotions or letting go of them, such that I'm not really sure what the difference is anymore.

    BunksFosdickadamcrossley
  • コチシカコチシカ Berlin, Germany Explorer

    Hi @Kerome

    If you would be so kind to share the title of this book. I have to admit I sometimes become very angry with myself. I'm trying to let go but need an extra boost of help.

    But @Bunks , your method will be tried definitively. Next time I enter these states of rage...I will tell them to sit down and drink some rooibos tea. Hopefully he won't start yelling in Afrikaans.

    Bunksadamcrossley
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Thich Nhat Hanh’s book on anger is called Anger — Wisdom for Cooling the Flames.

    Bunks
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @コチシカ said:
    Hi @Kerome

    If you would be so kind to share the title of this book. I have to admit I sometimes become very angry with myself. I'm trying to let go but need an extra boost of help.

    But @Bunks , your method will be tried definitively. Next time I enter these states of rage...I will tell them to sit down and drink some rooibos tea. Hopefully he won't start yelling in Afrikaans.

    Yes! Give it a go......Ajahn Brahm often quotes the same story as the one below. It's quite inspiring.

    コチシカ
  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    While it is good to find a way to address the anger that has captured anybody, there are also forms of practice that can help teach how to not get captured by it in the first place.
    This applies as much to anger as any other strong emotion.

    I have found for myself that the moment to moment data flows from all phenomena that arrive at my sense gates often gets dampened immediately preceding an arising of any strong emotion.
    I usually think of this dampening as one of our minds main preparation tools for limiting any competing data that might bring a questioning of the ego's dominance of it's story line over any alternative sense gate storylines.

    When I am attentive enough to my present data flows, any disappearing data streams alert me to that loss and trigger an intentional reawakening of those snoozing sense gates so that the mind loses some of its freedom to completely monopolize its storyline. This forces the mind to return to relating collegially to all the sense gates and whose data often doesn't support the dream production of it's own supremacy, which in this case would have otherwise expressed itself as a manifestation of anger and the connecting consequences of it.

    Another way of describing a harmonization of body & mind.

    lobsterコチシカShoshin
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    Noticing difficult emotions, letting them be and letting them go seem to me to make sense as an effective strategy.

    I've also heard practices that seem to contradict that style. Specifically the practice of watching the mind and applying antidotes to negative emotions. So if lust arises, intentionally changing the mind state to reflecting on the disgusting aspects of the body. If anger arises, cognitively reframing the narrative giving rise to that anger maybe reflecting on the positive aspects. I think this is something similar to CBT.

    They seem to be at odds but each sounds like they can be effective. I'm wondering if they aren't simply different skillful means that would be more beneficial towards differing types of people? Like feelers vs thinkers.

    adamcrossley
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    My name is Lobster and I am an anger junky
    Anger Anonymous

    Useful reminder from @how of the importance of awareness.

    Dharma sloth and zzz will never make a Buddha. We have to be vigilant/attentive/practitioners. Most of us have to bite the tongue, bend and fold before being engulfed by negative farces such as inappropriate, hurtful, hateful, harmful demonic chew monsters. They do feed on us.

    Thus:

    Raise the positive, virtuous, redirecting bodhisattva quality emotions first and foremost.

    • Kindness/compassion/metta
    • Wise restraint/noble silence/attentive minfulness
    • Clean up your act/grind and polish the karmic residues

    コチシカpersonadamcrossley
  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    You are applying your Buddhism. That is where change happens.

    Anger is one way to avoid having to face pain or helplessness. We are advise to allow the pain to be there, accept it, and relax with it. We don't have to LIKE it, but it is our desire to not have pain that causes our discomfort more than the pain itself.

    lobster
  • Dharma_VibesDharma_Vibes California, USA New

    I used to have a similar problem with lust. Repressing these feelings just made them stronger when they eventually came up as well.

    After a while I finally realized that lust, anger, fear, these emotions are ok. It is ok to feel these things, we are human and these are natural but what we don't want to do is ACT on these feelings. It sounds like you made the right choice by deciding to observe the feelings. Just don't "accidentally" break something or someone haha. 🙏

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Noticing my anger

    I'm reminded of what Rumi had to say about transient emotions

    lobsterDharma_VibesWalker
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    I've gotten really sloppy about my diet during the pandemic and have put on the proverbial COVID 19. I'm recommitting myself to be more disciplined and a key part of doing so is accepting that I am going to have to be emotionally uncomfortable with the cravings that will arise and that I don't want to chase.

    Bunks
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Dr Paul Ekman on How to control your emotions...

    He and his daughter developed Atlas of Emotions at the request of the Dalai Lama ( @Bunks posted a link a while back on it)

    Bunksperson
  • namarupanamarupa Veteran

    Part of dealing with anger is using your own wisdom to pull you out of that same scenario where you are always short handed in terms of finding alternatives to acting it out in an unskillful way. I have to learn to allow myself to lose an argument even though I know am right, because given she is the kind of person who makes decisions based on assumptions. In other words acceptance.

    Shoshinlobster
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    I've made the mistake of going on to Twitter recently.

    With all the things going on here there is a hell of a lot of anger flying around. And it's creating a lot of anger in me.

    I've realised that it's for the best if I avoid it.

    ShoshinlobsterWalker
  • LionduckLionduck Veteran

    We all get angry about major and minor things.
    Simply put: The key is to not be controlled by your anger.
    We can choose to redirect our anger into positive action.

    Peace to all

    ShoshinBunksWalkerlobster
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