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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Use your anger than let it consume you!

 Use your anger than let it consume you!

Understand what makes you angry than try to merely, blindly, control the source of your anger. Understanding, through diligent observation, yourself and your anger will help you avoid anguish and agony.

One of the most profound teachings of Gautama Buddha is just this one line: “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned.”

Indeed. Examine yourself. And look at all the situations when you get angry. When your expectations are not met, when your instructions are not followed, when you are insulted or ignored, when someone behaves with poor traffic sense on the road, when you are taken for a ride, when you are not given what’s legitimately due to you. In all these situations, and more, when you explode, you are getting charred by your own anger first before you hurl it at someone.

There’s a simple way in which you can deal with your anger. Center yourself with ‘mouna’ (observing daily silence periods) or a similar practice. When you are centered you will find that everything is transient. And the desire to control__anything or anyone__seems so stupid, so petty, so transactional. You will then understand the true concept of ‘ahimsa’. It is popularly interpreted as ‘non-violent action’ but Gandhi taught ahimsa as ‘the absence of even violent thought’! So, when you are centered you will become aware when a violent thought arises in you. When you say, “Idiot” or hurl an expletive at someone, that’s an expression of violence erupting in you!

Often times, we are angry with some other situation in Life but express our anger at someone else. For instance, let me share my experience. There was a time when I would be angry with everyone on my team. My team members had nicknamed me ‘chiefscreamer’! My title on my business card says – ‘chiefdreamer’. And clearly the pun was intended by my team! When I sat down to examine my Life some years ago, I realized that the few gaps in work quality that I noticed with my team members’ work were not really what were bothering me. I surely had the maturity to understand that. What was worrying me was the way I led my own Life! And my anger with people and situations were really an extension of my persona and not necessarily my means of correcting my flock or improving the quality of their work. It was an important realization. And so, I got down to changing myself. Over a period of time, I was able to see that my team members fared better and I became more and more tolerant of their efforts!

I still struggle. Just as we all do. I struggle at times when my intelligence is questioned. And when I reflect on it later, I always realize that it’s my ego that makes me react. So, I use my anger, constructively, to tame my ego! It’s a wonderful game of staying alert! This way, getting angry, has become a choice that I exercise. Because, at certain times, and with certain people, an expression of anger seems essential to get something done. However, that is anger, carefully chosen and used constructively. That’s the kind of anger that Gandhi used to drive out an entire empire from his (and my) land! That kind of anger delivers change, profound change and progress.

Examine yourself therefore. Anger can be channelized constructively. Try it. You’ll love the experience and the new you!

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