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Saturday, December 03, 2005

Thay's Advice on Anger

Anger is something that I deal with on a regular basis (as we all do). It is sometimes very easy to become angry because I have (historically) had a problem with patience which often leads to anger.

Anyway, I've been reading Thay's book, "Anger" and it has really helped me (as well as my meditation practice). In the book he gives a great example of how we are to take care of our anger and sit with it instead of seeking revenge on the person(s) who "made us angry."

He says:

If your house is on fire, the most urgent thing to do is to go back and try to put out the fire, not to run after the person you believe to be the arsonist. If you run after the person you suspect has burned your house, your house will burn down while you are chasing him or her. That is not wise. You must go back and put the fire out. So when you are angry, if you continue to interact with or argue with the other person, if you try to punish her, you are acting exactly like someone who runs after the arsonist while everything goes up in flames.

I do not always do this wise practice but I have come a long way since I have started on the path of the dharma.

This is a great teaching and something I have really engrained in my mind for future reference when the fires of anger pop up.

PHOTO: "James" meditating on our most recent vacation to Hawaii (I was a lot skinnier then but everything must change! Tis' the nature of existence).

-Peace to all beings-

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Belly said...

Wow, and again, timing is perfect! James, as always thank you for sharing. I have been working on my anger as well...for many years I was an arsonist chaser. I was really called to task on it as my marriage ended. I could have continued seeking revenge for all I had endured or I could step back and deal with myself. It was hard and I did not always do it well but in the end the beginings of a new path was forged for me.

Take care!

Dave said...

This blog came to me just as I am dealing with an issue of anger. This only re-emphasis my belief that there are no coincedences in life. When we need something in our day it will come.

Thank you for your gift

"James" said...

Belly and Dave: I'm always so happy when something I post here helps you in a moment of need. It might be cliche for Buddhist practioners (and maybe non-Buddhist practioners too) but it is true that the teacher will arrive when the student is ready.

Richard said...

One of the best ways to deal with anger is to practice loving-kindness meditation. It's hard to do this and be angry at the same time. Also think of what you might have learned about what makes you angry and what behaviours of other people make you angry. By looking at it as a naturalist, insights into human nature may help. If you expect less of people you are not likely to be surprised by typical behaviour.

They call him James Ure said...


I have tried that meditation and you're right, it works. Thank-you for reminding me of this because I have been in another angry rut lately. Bowing...

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