June 18th, 2010

Dhammapada (17) - Anger

Let go of anger.
Let go of pride.
When you are bound by nothing
You go beyond sorrow.
Anger is like a chariot careering wildly.
He who curbs his anger is the true charioteer.
Others merely hold the reins.
With gentleness overcome anger.
With generosity overcome meanness.
With truth overcome deceit.
Speak the truth.
Give whenever you can,
Never be angry.
These three steps will lead you
Into the presence of the gods.
Dhammapada (17) - Anger

This is a great set of verses; i hesitated to pull out a few for direct posting, they are all so good.

I thought i had let go of anger; but perhaps i have just gotten better at stuffing it.
When i stuff anger--when i have it without owning it or expressing it,
eventually it will explode.
It will explode over those i care about, and, eventually all over me.
I will suffer for my anger ten times over;
and the object of my anger might not know or care about it.

For the expression of my anger comes from me, not from the object of my anger.
The object of my anger is usually not the object of my anger.

The first line of this group of verses says: "Let go of anger."
So simple, yet so difficult.
So simple, yet so profound.
So simple, yet so right.

The world gives my plenty of reason to be angry, if i need or want or reason.
There will always be reasons to be angry.  That was said 2500 years ago and its not been proven wrong yet.
But anger is a poison, and as Blake wrote, it poisons not only the one who eats the poison, but also the one who administers it.

One thing about the "body's anger" that might help.
The physiological effects of a negative emotion are flushed from the body in ninety seconds.
So don't count to ten before you act in anger.
Count to ninety.
Then don't act.

or act generously and lovingly and with truth.