365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 166: Anger Eclipses The Mind’s Rationality

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I struggled with anger at certain times in my life. Every single time, once the anger was gone, I was left depleted, spent and physically weak.

So I understood in my bones, so to speak, that anger is a destructive force that eats us from the inside out and made a pact with myself to not allow anger to eat away my life force and well-being.

I can still get angry, but I do not stay angry; instead I turn inside, become still and aware and allow anger to wash over me and dissipate.

Anger does not serve me, so I choose to let it go.

From the same article I quoted from yesterday, comes another nugget of clarity and wisdom.

“We should begin by removing the greatest hindrances to compassion: anger and hatred. As we all know, these are extremely powerful emotions and they can overwhelm our entire mind. Nevertheless, they can be controlled. If, however, they are not, these negative emotions will plague us – with no extra effort on their part! – and impede our quest for the happiness of a loving mind.
 
So as a start, it is useful to investigate whether or not anger is of value. Sometimes, when we are discouraged by a difficult situation, anger does seem helpful, appearing to bring with it more energy, confidence and determination.
 
Here, though, we must examine our mental state carefully. While it is true that anger brings extra energy, if we explore the nature of this energy, we discover that it is blind: we cannot be sure whether its result will be positive or negative. This is because anger eclipses the best part of our brain: its rationality. So the energy of anger is almost always unreliable. It can cause an immense amount of destructive, unfortunate behavior. Moreover, if anger increases to the extreme, one becomes like a mad person, acting in ways that are as damaging to oneself as they are to others.
 
It is possible, however, to develop an equally forceful but far more controlled energy with which to handle difficult situations.
 
This controlled energy comes not only from a compassionate attitude, but also from reason and patience. These are the most powerful antidotes to anger. Unfortunately, many people misjudge these qualities as signs of weakness. I believe the opposite to be true: that they are the true signs of inner strength. Compassion is by nature gentle, peaceful and soft, but it is very powerful. It is those who easily lose their patience who are insecure and unstable. Thus, to me, the arousal of anger is a direct sign of weakness.”  – excerpt from Compassion and the Individual by Tenzin Gyatso, The Fourteenth Dalai Lama.

Love,

Rucsandra

365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 165: Dalai Lama’s Words On Compassion

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I was pondering on compassion today, and searching the web for quotes and articles. I stopped at an article entitled Compassion and the Individual by Tenzin Gyatso, The Fourteenth Dalai Lama.

Below is an excerpt.

Simple. Clear. Powerful.

The best article I ever found on compassion, from me to you:

“True compassion is not just an emotional response but a firm commitment founded on reason. Therefore, a truly compassionate attitude towards others does not change even if they behave negatively.

Of course, developing this kind of compassion is not at all easy!

As a start, let us consider the following facts:

Whether people are beautiful and friendly or unattractive and disruptive, ultimately they are human beings, just like oneself. Like oneself, they want happiness and do not want suffering.

Furthermore, their right to overcome suffering and be happy is equal to one’s own.

Now, when you recognize that all beings are equal in both their desire for happiness and their right to obtain it, you automatically feel empathy and closeness for them.

Through accustoming your mind to this sense of universal altruism, you develop a feeling of responsibility for others: the wish to help them actively overcome their problems. Nor is this wish selective; it applies equally to all. As long as they are human beings experiencing pleasure and pain just as you do, there is no logical basis to discriminate between them or to alter your concern for them if they behave negatively.”

Love,

Rucsandra