On Mar. 14, 2020 after meditation, we learned from three different teachers about Anger.
At Teachers’ Corner last Saturday, we watched two short video teachings and read a short article, by a Zen Master, a Tibetan Rinpoche and a Theravada Teacher, respectively, on the topic of “Dealing with Anger.” The teachers shared insights on the nature of anger, how to transform it into loving kindness and compassion, how to mindfully work with this emotion, and various mindsets and techniques for our daily practice. Afterwards, the group shared which teaching resonated with them the most, how they have experienced moments of learning in dealing with anger in their lives, what fundamentally create anger, how we can skillfully observe and make use of that strong energy, and how we can extend the practice to ever more subtle forms of “anger” (such as: annoyance, frustrations, etc. – i.e. when things don’t go our way).
The material we shared during our session are all posted below: the video “How to Let Anger Out?” with Thích Nhất Hạnh; “Transforming Anger into Loving-Kindness” by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, and the article “Working Mindfully with Anger” by Philip Moffit.
Also check out the questions we discussed, and our suggestion for homework.
From the Teachers: Dealing with Anger
“How to Let Anger Out?” – Q&A with Thích Nhất Hạnh*
* Thích Nhất Hạnh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist, founder of the Plum Village Tradition and the the Plum Village Monastery in southwest France. On May 1, 1966 at Từ Hiếu Temple, he received the “lamp transmission”, making him a dharmacharya, from Zen Master Chân Thật. Nhất Hạnh is now recognized as a dharmacharya (teacher), and as the spiritual head of the Từ Hiếu Pagoda and associated monasteries.
“Transforming Anger into Loving-Kindness” – Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche**
** Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche is a meditation master in the Kagyu and Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. He is the guiding teacher of the Tergar Meditation Community, a global network of meditation groups and centers.
*** Phillip Moffitt is a co-guiding teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and the author of “Emotional Chaos to Clarity” and “Dancing with Life.” Since walking away from his highly successful post as chief executive and editor-in-chief of Esquire magazine in 1987 to focus on his inner life, Phillip has spent most of his time studying Theravada Buddhism and practicing vipassana (insight) meditation. After completing a three-year teacher training at Spirit Rock, he has been teaching vipassana meditation with an emphasis on living with dharma in daily life.
Questions for Discussion
- Did any teaching we heard or read today resonate with you? Which one resonated the most?
- What are the different kinds of “anger?” Could different approach work better with different kinds of anger?
- Each teacher seems to suggest we can make use of anger somehow – what do you think?
- Try applying one or more of the suggested approaches / techniques by the teachers in your daily life!