Author Topic: Dealing with angry minds  (Read 24635 times)

DSFriend

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Dealing with angry minds
« on: June 10, 2011, 05:27:32 AM »
Buddhism teaches us that all experiences arose from our own minds, due to the karmic seeds in our mind streams.

Therefore, we have been and continue to be the creator of our experiences be it positive or negative. As we go along the buddhist path, we learn to not create or open up further negative karmic seeds in our minds. Being a "victim" of people with afflictive emotions is also due to our OWN karma. It is empowering to see it this way as we no longer remain a "victim" but we can change the situation. Thus, we engage in protector practice, creation of merits and purification practices.

Easier said than done...that's why it's called "practice."

What should we practice when faced with people with anger  who dishes out hurtful words and causes mental and emotional abuse?

Do we stay away from them as a start to minimize such occurrences?

If it's not possible to stay away from such circumstances/peoples, then what should we meditate on regarding the afflicted person, how to prevent getting trapped into an unpleasant situation.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2011, 07:12:54 PM by DSFriend »

WoselTenzin

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Re: Dealing with angry minds
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2011, 10:49:29 AM »
I agree with DS Friend that to be able to see that being a "victim" of people with afflictive emotions as due to our own karma is empowering.  Many of us know that but we have not truly realize it.  Most of the time, we tend to react to people who vent their afflictive emotions on us.  Why?  Because it is either we do not know the Dharma or we have not internalised the meaning of Dharma we have learnt.

Rightfully if we are able to see others as suffering beings like ourselves, we will view them with compassion instead of reacting to them.  At the same time, if we acknowledge that whatever adverse circumstances that come to us is a result of our past negative karma, we will take responsibility for our past actions and not react when faced with such situation.  We will understand that it's "pay back" time and be able to endure the difficulty with patience.  We will be able to think that we are enduring it to purify our past negative actions and remind ourselves to not do onto others what we do not want others to do onto us.  Such thoughts will help us find purpose in our sufferings.

Staying away from people who are angersome and abusive is one way of avoiding getting hurt but how much can we avoid? Furthermore, the real solution to protect our minds in such circumstances is understanding the Dharma, applying it and ultimately realizing it.  In samsara, we can never completely avoid unpleasant circumstances but with understanding of the Dharma and realization, we can experience it with a purpose without creating more negative karma. 

triesa

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Re: Dealing with angry minds
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2011, 11:10:14 AM »

What should we practice when faced with people with anger  who dishes out hurtful words and causes mental and emotional abuse?

Do we stay away from them as a start to minimize such occurrences?
If it's not possible to stay away from such circumstances/peoples, then what should we meditate on regarding the afflicted person, how to prevent getting trapped into an unpleasant situation.

DS friend, this is such a good question :

In this age, it is hard to avoid or stay away from people who dishes out hurtful words when they are angry, because they are everywhere.

So I think the best antidode to this situation is to practice "The eight versus of mind transformation"  

It is like the road is covered with rocks and it wll hurt you when you walk bare feet, so the best way to prevent from being hurt is to put on a pair of shoes.

The eight versus of mind transformation was written by Geshe Langri Thangpa Dorje Senge (1054 - 1123)

With the thought of attaining Enlightenment
for the welfare of all beings
who are more precious than a wish-fulfilling jewel
I will constantly practise holding them dear

Whenever I am with others, I will practise
seeing myself as the lowest of all
and from the very depths of my heart
I will respectively hold others as supreme

In all actions I will examine my mind
and the moment a disturbing attitude arises
endangering myself and others
I will firmly confront and avert it

Whenever I meet a person of bad nature
overwhelmed by negative energy and intense suffering
I will hold such a rare one dear
as if I've found a precious treasure

When others out of jealousy
mistreat me with abuse, slander and so on
I will practise accepting defeat
and offering the victory to them

When someone I have benefited and in whom
I have placed great trust hurts me very badly
i will practise seeing that person
as my supreme teacher

In short, I will offer directly and indirectly
every benefit and happiness to all beings, my mothers
I'll practise in secret taking upon myself
all their harmful actions and sufferings

Without these practises being defiled
by the stains of the eight worldly concerns
by preceiving all phenomena as illusory
I will practise without grasping to release all beings
from the bondage of the unsubdued mind and karma

Positive Change

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Re: Dealing with angry minds
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2011, 11:19:10 AM »
Quote
It is like the road is covered with rocks and it wll hurt you when you walk bare feet, so the best way to prevent from being hurt is to put on a pair of shoes.

Dear Triesa

Thank you again for you concise and helpful postings. It is true we often try to resolve a problem after it has happened. It just makes so much more sense in "avoiding" the problem altogether by being prepared and not just having a 'gung-ho' attitude in thinking we are impervious to hurt and if we do get hurt, we so easily blame the other person. We are equally to blame if we do choose to walk bare feet. Interesting change on the point of view.

I am enjoying this forum tremendously and am learning a lot. Thank you again triesa.

shugdentruth

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Re: Dealing with angry minds
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2011, 07:18:56 PM »
I find that having an angry mind has a lot to do with habituation. Perhaps anger can sometimes give you a desired result quickly. But I think lifestyle has also a big part to having an angry mind. Consumption of meat and seafood can contribute to a persons’ aggression. Low level of fitness may also play a part in a person getting angry easily. I have noticed that I get angry easier when I am tired, and if I am unfit, I get tired easily. Perhaps a change of lifestyle can contribute to helping curb this habituation??

DSFriend

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Re: Dealing with angry minds
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2011, 07:27:17 PM »
In samsara, we can never completely avoid unpleasant circumstances but with understanding of the Dharma and realization, we can experience it with a purpose without creating more negative karma. 


When I first started out on the path, I thought that experiencing negativities purifies that particular karma. But it is actually how we react when we experience the negativities will purify it or creates even more karmic seeds. Similar to when we face with an angry mind, we experience the unpleasantness. Without dharma, more than likely our habituated instinct will kick in and we automatically react back with anger also.

It is logical that we need to stop creating "angry karmic seeds" if we wish to stop experiencing this afflictive emotion.

I appreciate how you put it.. "experience it with a purpose" is what we need to keep in mind. I suppose it's like a muzzle we need to put on aggressive dogs to prevent them from harming others.

DSFriend

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Re: Dealing with angry minds
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2011, 07:38:49 PM »
Quote
It is like the road is covered with rocks and it wll hurt you when you walk bare feet, so the best way to prevent from being hurt is to put on a pair of shoes.

Dear Triesa

Thank you again for you concise and helpful postings. It is true we often try to resolve a problem after it has happened. It just makes so much more sense in "avoiding" the problem altogether by being prepared and not just having a 'gung-ho' attitude in thinking we are impervious to hurt and if we do get hurt, we so easily blame the other person. We are equally to blame if we do choose to walk bare feet. Interesting change on the point of view.

I am enjoying this forum tremendously and am learning a lot. Thank you again triesa.

Dear Positive Change
This forum has been a place of learning for me as well...and I am sure the sharing and us sincerely put the teachings into practice will bring about "Positive Change"  :)



triesa

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Re: Dealing with angry minds
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2011, 04:23:30 PM »
I find that having an angry mind has a lot to do with habituation. Perhaps anger can sometimes give you a desired result quickly. But I think lifestyle has also a big part to having an angry mind. Consumption of meat and seafood can contribute to a persons’ aggression. Low level of fitness may also play a part in a person getting angry easily. I have noticed that I get angry easier when I am tired, and if I am unfit, I get tired easily. Perhaps a change of lifestyle can contribute to helping curb this habituation??


We have talked about how to deal with others who have angry minds, then how about dealing with our own angry minds?

Shugdentruth, yes I agree with you that an angry mind has a lot to do with habituation.  Usually the emotion of anger is expressed explicitly in harsh words and bad actions, and an attitude that the others are always wrong.  So developing  mindfulness and understanding what ticks us to have this flame of anger arising is important. And we must try our best to avert that angry thought the moment it arises. It is not an easy routine, as anger is like a burst of flame upon the strike of a match stick.

I like what you said Shugdentruth, physical exhaustion, tiredness, work stress,  consumption of meat and perhaps alocohol tend to accelerate the speed with which anger arises. So I do agree with you 100 percent that a change in  life style, like meditation, a walk in the forest (perhaps) , yoga, and consuming less meat or alcohol will  definitely help.

Barzin

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Re: Dealing with angry minds
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2011, 09:28:19 PM »
Yes I agree.  A friend of mind used to have anger issues but since he became a vegan, i find him more at ease, more patience and eventually less anger.  I believe wellness and lifestyle also play a big part in one's mind.  Choosing not to acknowledge one's anger issue can lead to depression or even worse behaviour.  So I guess one has to make a change, but it will definitely take time... 


Positive Change

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Re: Dealing with angry minds
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2011, 08:17:51 AM »
I remember having a chat about this with a friend once.

About how we are always masters of our own emotion. Anger being one of them. An Angry mind stems from many things but all of which are insular. Meaning, it all comes from within you..

No one or nothing can actually make us angry! Seems like a strong statement but if you dwell deeper it actually is true. We 'feel' angry not because of what someone does or when something happens, we 'feel' angry because we assume or use our own interpretations to twist that situation into an attempt to feed our bruised ego.

For example... If we get "angry" because someone said something bad about us, is it really that person's fault? Perhaps the person was right (hence our bruised ego)? And if that person is wrong, it is still our ego wanting to be right and making that person feel small for stating a false accusation. Either way, anger does not help.

Hence if we curb our angry mind we actually curb our self cherishing mind and ego... well at least thats how i see it. :P

WoselTenzin

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Re: Dealing with angry minds
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2011, 11:28:43 AM »

No one or nothing can actually make us angry! Seems like a strong statement but if you dwell deeper it actually is true. We 'feel' angry not because of what someone does or when something happens, we 'feel' angry because we assume or use our own interpretations to twist that situation into an attempt to feed our bruised ego.

For example... If we get "angry" because someone said something bad about us, is it really that person's fault? Perhaps the person was right (hence our bruised ego)? And if that person is wrong, it is still our ego wanting to be right and making that person feel small for stating a false accusation. Either way, anger does not help.


It's true that no matter how we justify our anger, it doesn't help.  Anger can never be the right thing because it causes so much damage.  It ruins friendships, destroys marriages and families and generally causes disharmony among people. The results of anger is always disastrous.   

No matter how unjustified we feel a situation is to us, it is for the benefit of ourselves and others to control our anger because once our anger is unleased, we may say or do thing that we regret forever and the damage we cause may be irreparable.   

If we recall the times we have been angry, we will remember that our mind is completely turbulent and there is no peace in our heart.  In a way, being angry is just like being in hell on earth. Why do we even put ourselves through this?

From the Buddhist point of view, anger is completely dangerous.  One moment of anger can destroy vast amount of merits and create much negative karma that can cause immense future sufferings.  It will take our spiritual progress many steps backwards.

Therefore, instead of viewing others as our enemy, it's would be better if we view our anger as our enemy and work to take control of it.

Helena

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Re: Dealing with angry minds
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2011, 03:55:23 PM »

No one or nothing can actually make us angry! Seems like a strong statement but if you dwell deeper it actually is true. We 'feel' angry not because of what someone does or when something happens, we 'feel' angry because we assume or use our own interpretations to twist that situation into an attempt to feed our bruised ego.

For example... If we get "angry" because someone said something bad about us, is it really that person's fault? Perhaps the person was right (hence our bruised ego)? And if that person is wrong, it is still our ego wanting to be right and making that person feel small for stating a false accusation. Either way, anger does not help.


It's true that no matter how we justify our anger, it doesn't help.  Anger can never be the right thing because it causes so much damage.  It ruins friendships, destroys marriages and families and generally causes disharmony among people. The results of anger is always disastrous.  

No matter how unjustified we feel a situation is to us, it is for the benefit of ourselves and others to control our anger because once our anger is unleased, we may say or do thing that we regret forever and the damage we cause may be irreparable.   

If we recall the times we have been angry, we will remember that our mind is completely turbulent and there is no peace in our heart.  In a way, being angry is just like being in hell on earth. Why do we even put ourselves through this?

From the Buddhist point of view, anger is completely dangerous.  One moment of anger can destroy vast amount of merits and create much negative karma that can cause immense future sufferings.  It will take our spiritual progress many steps backwards.

Therefore, instead of viewing others as our enemy, it's would be better if we view our anger as our enemy and work to take control of it.

I liked what you wrote here, WT. Thank you for reminding us all that ANGER BURNS up vast amount of merits and create HUGE negative karma.

It has also occurred to me that although most of the time, we view angry minds as something furious and ferocious. Those are the more aggressive types of angry minds. There is also another kind of angry mind that is less aggressive. What I mean here is that it is more emotional and it gets our feelings wounded. We also become consumed with negative emotions because we perceived that we have been hurt. However we may lash out not by rage, but perhaps by tears.

Either way, we have been upset and we can't get past that strong emotion.

It's interesting to note how much we are tied to the 8 worldly concerns in our every day speech, action and thoughts. Many things we do are done not by a pure motivation or out of real care for someone else. We might expect something in return or we want to be recognised. Hence, when we do not receive all that we expect or even gets accused for something we did not do or harbour, we will get upset. And we will express this in a fiery manner or cry buckets.

A dear friend reminded me today that if we really operate without any attachments to the 8 worldly concerns, the outcome will not affect us and upset us. We will not be affected whether we get critisized, awarded or ignored. Then this is done free of the 8 worldly Dharmas.

I sincerely hope I can really get there.
Helena

vajraD

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Re: Dealing with angry minds
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2011, 12:27:10 PM »

The eight versus of mind transformation was written by Geshe Langri Thangpa Dorje Senge (1054 - 1123)

With the thought of attaining Enlightenment
for the welfare of all beings
who are more precious than a wish-fulfilling jewel
I will constantly practise holding them dear

Whenever I am with others, I will practise
seeing myself as the lowest of all
and from the very depths of my heart
I will respectively hold others as supreme

In all actions I will examine my mind
and the moment a disturbing attitude arises
endangering myself and others
I will firmly confront and avert it

Whenever I meet a person of bad nature
overwhelmed by negative energy and intense suffering
I will hold such a rare one dear
as if I've found a precious treasure

When others out of jealousy
mistreat me with abuse, slander and so on
I will practise accepting defeat
and offering the victory to them

When someone I have benefited and in whom
I have placed great trust hurts me very badly
i will practise seeing that person
as my supreme teacher

In short, I will offer directly and indirectly
every benefit and happiness to all beings, my mothers
I'll practise in secret taking upon myself
all their harmful actions and sufferings

Without these practises being defiled
by the stains of the eight worldly concerns
by preceiving all phenomena as illusory
I will practise without grasping to release all beings
from the bondage of the unsubdued mind and karma


Thank you triesa for sharing the 8 versus of thought transformation.

I went trough a few times on the 8 versus. I found it not easy to be apply but is not hard either. I took some mini steps in applying in my daily each day as much as I could. I feel that I become a slightly lighter person. Every time I feel like throwing a huge tantrum I will take a deep deep breath and ask why am I so angry.

Having to be a new leaner in this I find the 8 versus make things much easier for me to follow.

Good sharing.

Jessie Fong

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Re: Dealing with angry minds
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2011, 02:56:59 PM »
Thank you for posting this topic.

Many a times I have come to the situation where my anger had been difficult to control.  Much as I tried, it would just swell up in me.  So as not to explode at the people around me, I would walk away to face myself and engage in my own cooling period.  Yes VajraD, taking mini steps is the first step along the path before your big steps.

biggyboy

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Re: Dealing with angry minds
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2011, 03:39:31 PM »
In samsara, we can never completely avoid unpleasant circumstances but with understanding of the Dharma and realization, we can experience it with a purpose without creating more negative karma. 


When I first started out on the path, I thought that experiencing negativities purifies that particular karma. But it is actually how we react when we experience the negativities will purify it or creates even more karmic seeds. Similar to when we face with an angry mind, we experience the unpleasantness. Without dharma, more than likely our habituated instinct will kick in and we automatically react back with anger also.

It is logical that we need to stop creating "angry karmic seeds" if we wish to stop experiencing this afflictive emotion.

I appreciate how you put it.. "experience it with a purpose" is what we need to keep in mind. I suppose it's like a muzzle we need to put on aggressive dogs to prevent them from harming others.
Thank you for sharing this and I totally agree for what has been pointed here.

Oh yes, without dharma, one would have created more negative karma whenever this angry moment happens.  It is easier said then done, but with dharma, we would check our mind constantly and arrest it immediately as compared when we are ignorant.  Through constant practices, arresting of this angry mind will become much easier over time.