Sunday, November 6, 2016

5 Meditation Strategies: Dealing with Anger

     One of the most challenging emotions to deal with is anger. Anger can come out of nowhere and be overwhelming. Anger is itself complex. It has a root in fear and separation from something important – food, wealth, an opportunity, sleep, peace, quiet, perceived injustice – and the list goes on.

     When you feel angry, it is important to recognize and acknowledge the root of anger. When being swept into a strong emotion, stopping to recognize anything is very challenging. This is where the work of meditation plays a role. Our meditation practice has intrinsic strategies to help us deal with all nature of strong emotion. No one is exempt from anger or its root; fear. You cannot meditate your way out of anger. So what can you do? You can take care of yourself in anger.

Here are five strategies to address yourself when angry:
1.     Remove yourself, mentally and/or physically, from the perceived source or cause of the anger.
2.     Take several deep slow breaths; remind yourself that you are safe.
3.     Do not speak or take action until you feel centered. Acting out of anger creates more       suffering.
4.     Once in a safe place, allow yourself to experience your anger fully and directly.
5.     With meditation, find the fear at the root of your anger.

     Taking care of yourself in anger is necessary for peace and stability. Allowing yourself to feel angry is different that acting out of anger. Meditation practice gives you skills that allow you to recognize extreme states of emotion sooner and thus allow you to address it sooner. Building on anger is a habit that leads to an eventual breakdown or break through – an outburst or destruction. Anger is energy, it has to move, and it will. Allow yourself to take care of anger as if it were an infant, with patience, without acting on it. Just being with anger, as it presents, like a wave that passes leaving beautiful seashells on the shore. Your shore will certainly contain many treasures as you practice allowing anger’s energy to dissipate with patience. Anger is something we cannot avoid or transfer to others without harming others and ourselves. This harm leads to deeper levels of anger and constricts our energy. Instead of transferring anger, transform anger with patience, awareness, and breathing. Anger holds courage and strength away from you, come closer to anger and extract the things you need.

     Our fear stems from separation from that which we are attached. This fear often gives rise to anger and other strong emotions. We may feel alone, unattached, without a sense of belonging. These things bring out defensive survival tactics. When we are in survival mode, anything can be our enemy. The awesome by-product of the habit of meditation is that we reverse this defensive posture. We relax and expand in connection to whatever we contact. We feel united with all things. We feel coherence. Oneness with all that is, to use a worn our way of putting it. We are not separate from anything or anyone when we have our meditation practice in the front of our mind. The illusion of separation is all that is holding us back from joy and peace; look beyond this illusion with meditation. I hope this blog helps you to deal with anger and use it as a positive influence in your meditation practice.

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