Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice

 

Inner Work


For the week of: March 29, 2004


Non-Anger

Depending on our type, we experience more or less anger every day. We say “I got angry” when the real truth is that “anger got me.” Indeed, in any given episode, anger can have us for hours, days, years, or even a lifetime. So what’s the problem, you might ask. The more obvious problems with anger are that it makes us unhappy, clouds our attitudes towards people, ruins relationships, wastes our energy, and leads us to say or do things we later regret. The less obvious problem with anger is that the identification and attachment that give rise to, feed, and are fed by anger also block our path to liberation, service, and the Divine.

To practice non-anger we first need to recognize our anger as anger while it’s actually happening. We look to see the whole package: rapid heartbeat, labored breathing, tightness in the chest, flushed and contorted face; the supporting, urgent and repetitious thoughts; the fleet of subsidiary emotions like indignation, outrage, hatred, malice or frustration.

Seeing our own anger in action opens the key issue: the question of willingness to let it go, not to add a sense of identification on top of the body-heart-mind details of the anger, not to claim it as “my anger” or think “I am angry,” not to buy into and fuel the justifying thoughts. To help establish this willingness to let go of anger, we note that we ourselves suffer the results of our own anger: the constellation of unpleasantness in our body, heart, and mind. Then out of kindness toward ourselves, we may be willing to allow the entire process of anger to subside and relax.

For this week, practice non-anger.

 


     

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