Hello my fellow human Beings:
Have you experienced an angry situation?
Whether you are interacting with an irate customer, a frustrated child who hasn’t gotten his or her way, an ill-tempered and stressed-out co-worker or boss, or a friend or family member lashing out in pain, you can hear the angry words spew out and feel the heated emotions as they boil over. Their words and actions may even trigger something in you so that you too start to feel the anger simmering in your gut. This negative emotion can (if you let it) erupt in you and spread like fire through your body, taking over your thoughts, words and deeds. Alternatively, the anger in you may be set off by someone cutting you off in rush hour traffic, or an annoying noise created by a housemate or family member when you have a splitting headache, or some other irritating or frustrating circumstance. In either case, you are in the middle of an angry situation.
In the midst of this anger, can you speak lovingly?
It may be easier said than done.
It’s hard not to want to defend yourself from the barrage of angry words being fired at you.
You may find it difficult when you are sick, tired or hungry to not allow yourself to be triggered and react negatively to an annoying situation.
While in the middle of these situations, we need to pause, BREATHE, and remember the fourth precept or mindfulness training in Buddhist meditation practice. Vietnamese Buddhist monk and Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hahn, in his book, Peace Is Every Breath, recaps this precept for us as follows:
“Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I am committed to cultivating loving speech and compassionate listening in order to relieve suffering and to promote reconciliation and peace in myself and among other people, ethic and religious groups, and nations. Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I am committed to speaking truthfully using words that inspire confidence, joy, and hope. When anger is manifesting in me, I am determined not to speak. I will practice mindful breathing and walking in order to recognize and to look deeply into my anger. I know that the roots of anger can be found in wrong perceptions and lack of understanding of the suffering in myself and in the other person. I will speak and listen in a way that can help myself and the other person to transform suffering and see the way out of difficult situations.”
In addition, he states:
“As we’ve seen, only when we understand can we really love. Understanding is insight. Love is the energy of the heart.”
So the next time you find yourself in the midst of anger, STOP, be still, breathe mindfully, observe your emotions objectively, and re-connect to your True Self. Understand what is really going on in you, and clearly see what is happening in the situation you are in. Then with compassion and kindness flowing from your spirit, take the right action, and speak lovingly from the heart. In this way, you will be walking on the path to an abundant life.
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