Dhamma Letter No. 66
Q&A 19 Anger : Vipassana
Q: How can I deal with anger?
A: Anger is a reflection of wanting/expectation. In Dhamma Letter No.13, we discussed sadness which is a part of anger (dosa).
I get angry when things don't go the way I want or expect them to. It can be an expectation that I have of others, or it can be an expectation of myself. Anger arises because one is trying to get results based on one's thoughts (delusion) or expectations without recognizing the facts and conditions as they are.
It must be accepted that the root cause is not accepting the facts as they are as well as not having the eyes/wisdom to see the facts as they are.
Anger stems from thinking that only one's own views are correct. It is only when we recognize the root cause, we can be completely free from anger.
That is the Eightfold Path we practice which begins with having the right view.
Lobha (greed/attachment) leads to dosa (aversion/anger). It is rooted by moha (delusion/ ignorance).
There are two main ways to manage anger in vipassana meditation.
Step 1: Notice it and stop the action. Don't let your anger grow any further.
Step 2: Once your mind has calmed down and you have a better understanding of the situation, use your investigative mind for wisdom.
In the first stage, many meditators set 'metta (loving kindness)' as an object and temporarily transform their anger into metta. This is also a way to calm anger as a part of the practice. (See Dhamma Letter No. 65 for the 5th method.)
However, only temporary, the fundamental problems remain unresolved, and one will still live with anger in their hearts. And in the same situation or conditions, anger still arises.
When the state of anger appears in various intensities of coarse- medium -fine, you must first recognize your state well. Start by extinguishing your anger as soon as you realize it, and then practice calming your emotions with deep breaths.
In the second stage, you should be able to understand yourself and the other person properly through the mind of investigating the cause and effect after some time has passed and the emotions have subsided. This takes time and effort.
Only through complete understanding, anger is completely eliminated. When understood correctly, ‘metta (loving kindness)’ occurs automatically. It is a paññā (wisdom) part of practice. And it comes from the right view. (Dhamma Letter No. 60, No. 61, No. 62)
May you develop your concentration and insight through meditation!
May you be peaceful and happy!
May all practice well for Magga (道, the path of enlightenment) and Phala(果, the fruit of enlightenment)!
Ayyā Kosallā & Mahāpajāpatī Bhikkhunī Sangha
Edited by Euna Bonovich
If you have any questions related to dhamma & meditation, please feel free to ask. You can reach Ayya Kosalla directly at Bhikkhuni.Kosalla@gmail.com .
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Buddha Sāsanaṁ Ciraṁ Tiṭṭhatu!
May the Buddha’s teachings last a long time!
Bhavatu Sabba Sotiṁ ca Maṅgalaṁ ca!!
May everyone be led on the path of peace and blessing!!
Sādhu Sādhu Sādhu !