What is anger?
The elusive anger. We like to tone it down, calling it ‘irritation’ or ‘annoyance’. But in reality, anger functions more readily in our mind that we like to admit. It is the cause of many of our problems, and if we can learn to control it before it has arisen, we can solve many of our daily issues.
According to our teacher Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, anger is a ‘deluded mind that focuses on an animate or inanimate object, feels it to be unattractive, exaggerates its bad qualities and wishes to harm it’. For example, when we are angry with our partner, at that moment, he or she appears to us as unattractive or unpleasant. We then exaggerate his/her bad qualities by focusing only on those aspects that irritate us and ignoring all his/her good qualities and kindness, until we have built up a mental image of an intrinsically faulty person.’ (How to Solve Our Human Problems, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso).
Why are we angry and irritated?
Often when we are angry, we can’t pin it down to one individual instance. Anger instead bubbles up inside of us, with each thing that goes wrong in our daily lives adding fuel to the fire. A lot of the time, because we are not aware of the true reasons behind our anger, we tend to blame others: they are at fault for our unhappiness and they are the ones who have disturbed our peace. Sound familiar?
When life gets too much, often our minds are disturbed – we think that the only way to fix this is to escape the external circumstance that we believe is causing our anger. However, there is another way…
One simple way to overcome anger…
The truth is, if we are able to train our mind, there is no reason for our anger to get the better of us. In fact, with a controlled mind, it is possible for us to be happy all of the time, and maintain that peace no matter what goes wrong on the outside. As our teacher says, ‘Happiness and suffering are states of mind and so their main causes are not to be found outside the mind. The real source of happiness is inner peace. If our mind is peaceful, we will be happy all the time, regardless of external conditions.’ (How to Transform Your Life, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso).
Where do I start?
For thousands of years, many people have implemented meditation into their daily lives, using it as a way to control their unwanted thoughts. This then enables them to maintain a happy, patient and peaceful state of mind, no matter what happens.
Here at KMC Southampton, we run a number of classes for all levels that can begin to help you let go of the anger and irritation that seems to come from nowhere.