My entire practice has been tumbled down by anger and an overall sense of failure because I cannot go through a certain group of exams. As a Psychology student -haha- I find it appalling how little control I have over anger and negative emotions when facing adversity -not even real adversity, it is not that I'm drowning in a river or being shot at- particularly when it has to do with long-term goals which require accomplishing or jumping through certain loops of fire.
I understand that meditiation is a great way to deal with this. But I sometimes think something else could complement it. Anonymous Angryholics?
I've reached the point that maybe a heavy scholastic and aim-the-questions-to-kill model could not be my cup of tea. Also that meditation is non-negotiable, just like brushing your teeth. If you are too lazy to do it, yeah you might have won some "time" by losing a lot more idling and procrastinating. The bad breath of not venting the monkey's cage.
Right now I might seem all calm and thoughtfu but while under the trance my personal blend of Bhairavi spice I looked and behaved like a ...
I think the heavily scholastic route isn’t really suitable for the search for the enlightenment, eventually all that knowledge becomes a burden. It’s better to stay with a steady practice and occasional reading of dhamma books just for fun and wisdom and a little immersion.
Anger can be dealt with by mindfulness, I think Thich Nhat Hanh wrote a whole book on Anger and Dousing the Flames. It generally passes if you refuse to get caught up in it in your mind, it’s about not feeding it by not carrying it in your thoughts.
It seems the mind is becoming charmed by its own thoughts...Keep in mind this too shall pass ... Keep up with your meditation practice ( perhaps a spot of metta meditation for yourself) .... be kind to your self ...
May you be well @コチシカ
Anger is something we are all familiar with. And it’s something we are all capable of feeling when the right circumstances arise.
Just try not to act on it. Go for a walk, meditate, scream, whatever.
Is Anger anything more than a thwarted attachment?
Doesn't matter how adeptly one tries to give this beast a make over, its essential core will inevitably reappears for the intrinsic cause of our suffering that it is.
Only in the transcending of ones attachments to this beast
will its corresponding sufferings no longer have you for an owner.
Anger is usually driven by fear. Try and work out what you are scared of and work with that.
The good news is that you recognize the problem. I heard (can't remember where) that if we resist the urge to act or speak out of anger, we are actually training ourselves to be more calm and caring.
I have been screaming 'whatever' all day …
I will be sedated shortly …
I am a very angry/fearful person. In my yoga practice, I am incorporating more martial arts moves
I've had better luck over the years dealing with strong emotions with cognitive tools rather than meditative ones. Like intentionally reframing the scene (CBT) or philosophical reflection (this too will pass).
For anger and worry the reflection that has done a large amount of work is, "If something can be done why worry/get angry, if nothing can be done why worry/ get angry?"
I think it refocuses your mind onto solutions or coping mechanisms rather than the frustration of the moment.
Understand that anger is always a secondary emotion … designed to hide our awareness of emotional pain and/or of feeling helpless. If you doubt this, just notice how “powerful” you feel in the pit of your stomach when you get truly angry. Sometimes we are rewarded for our anger, because we scare someone and they change .. this only reinforces our habit of anger.
Buddhists understand that everything is impermanent. And that what makes us unhappy is the misbelief that life will always be what we want, and nothing negative should ever happen. We fight it when things don’t go as we want, and the more we resist pain, the stronger it becomes. But as we develop awareness, we start to open to our pain/helplessness, accept that this IS part of life, and then relax about it anyway. The better-able we become at relaxing the less we hurt. Mind you … it doesn’t make it go away … but it makes it relaxable. And sometimes we just WANT a magic wand to make something go away from our life ... but this is not how life works.
Always we have to ask ourselves … will anger fix the situation? Will anger make me happier? So often we need to decide to let go and relax about the situation so we CAN be happy. Happiness is a choice.
And making choices FOR happiness – using constructive cognitive-behavioral self-statements in response to these unwanted emotions – will gradually create a new habit of NOT getting upset, that becomes stronger than our current habit OF getting upset. After all, 95% of our emotions arise automatically from whatever kind of emotional habits (neural pathways) we have previously created in our brain. Change what you tell yourself and gradually you change yourself. Change what you put in, and gradually you change what comes out.
Buddhism addresses this change in two ways. The rituals, chants and mantras are creating a new kind of input, using all 3 learning modalities (visual = visualization, auditory = chanting, and kinetic = prostrations, bowing and mudras). And the meditation allows us to observe, to gradually develop self-awareness, so we CAN observe what is coming up from within .. and reshape it by our cognitive response (which, in Buddhism, will be some set of verses or mantra). Buddhism is perhaps the FIRST cognitive-behavioral psychology ever developed.
Don’t expect quick results. Your current emotional habits have come from a lifetime of creating these patterns within .. and if rebirth happens, then your current emotional habits arise from countless lifetimes of setting those habits inside yourself.
While cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectic behavior therapy (DBT) work faster than Buddhism in prompting inner change, these psychology tools only work on one issue at a time. And Buddhism, while it takes longer, takes care of ALL of it. Individually, they are both powerful tools, but together, even more powerful.
As for enlightement:
“Everything is always changing. If you relax into this truth, that is Enlightenment. If you resist, this is samsara (suffering).” Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse, “What Makes You (Not) a Buddhist”
One thing I've noticed is that the more I put spoken thought into my anger, the easier it is to get caught up in it. This seems to hold true for any feeling really but anger is one of the most damaging. Once I notice I'm doing that I take a few deep breaths to help myself find center, calm the storm and de-identify with the harmful train of thought. Noticing is the biggest part because as soon as we notice we've been dragged away, we are present.
Not every feeling needs a narrative. We can just feel the feeling and understand without ego-splaining it in the head. We may find the feeling doesn't last as long or seem as painful if we just feel it completely without the story.
Thank you for your constructive input!
I will now have to return to the catecombs and dig out the weeds and clear the cobwebs of my habits.
The dusty zabuton,
Uncleaned and misused,
Waiting for those three bell-strikes.
My legs crunched once again.
Did I smell chicken?
@FoibleFull ". Buddhism is perhaps the FIRST cognitive-behavioral psychology ever developed." I'm actually looking into this because in our manuals and books not a single word is mentioned except a few small paragraphs explaining meditation (and other "related" techniques) ands how since the 1970s they have been gathering quite a load of successful results and publications.
I have a Mantra I have recently started reciting to myself in moments when Emotions (mostly the negative ones) threaten to get the better of me; It has come about largely through a film I watched recently*, coinciding happily with a meme @Shoshin has posted twice now, in the past few days.
The Mantra is simply,
"The One You Feed".
(*The New Mutants)
When Priest Yaoshan was sitting in meditation a monk asked,
“What do you think about, sitting in steadfast composure?”
Yaoshan said, “I think not thinking.”
The monk said, “How do you think not thinking?”
Yaoshan said, “Non-thinking.”
… in the above hulk posing the 'victory asana'. This expression of tension and frustration, gives both the inner situation and a way of placating the beast
I didn't think actually, that there was any such thing as 'Mindful Anger'...
I think you are right, there is no such thing. Anger tends to pull you into the stream of thoughts, while meditation takes you out.
What is an angry gal to do?
Skilful means … skilful.
There are (at least) two fast paths. Zen and vajrayana. You tried hitting the cushion but were impeded … Vajrayana uses the impediments as its fuel.
For example opening the wind channels …
Personally at the moment, I find martial arts moves, which I am incorporating into my yoga practice, deals with emotive energies such as fear, anger and pain.
@Kerome and I were discussing Wim Hof and his quite extraordinary command over his own body and the "Mind over Matter" technique he now teaches to people from all over the world. Well worth looking at...
Maybe a cushion on your head?
… as usual I don't know my tit from my elbow, my head from my ass and my emotions from my thoughts …