Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

anger, patience, and putting out fires ~

This is me mad. I’m only half kidding: I have a terrible social temper. Meaning, what gets me mad is social injustice, and/or the will to ignore it. There’s one problem: I’m always the one defining the term…

Anger is not Buddhist. It’s not Christian, either. In fact, few religious faiths find a helpful rôle for the debilitating state. So I’ve been reading on how Buddhists are supposed to deal with anger. Note: Buddhism is far more polyvalent in ‘ways’ to work, to do work. There are different systems of Buddhism, just as there are different systems of Christianity or Islam, or Judaism. But none embrace anger.


There’s a great saying in Buddhism — I can’t remember where I learned it, but it helps sometimes: If you can’t change it, don’t bother w/ anger. If you can change it, don’t bother w/ anger. In other words? Do what you can — then let the anger go. If you can’t fix it — or don’t want to — then don’t get angry.

Soooo much easier said than done. I’m not good at letting things go.

One of the things Buddhism teaches us is to learn our own natures. Who am I? Who is this ‘me’ that gets angry? And why? In my case, anger is an armour against the pain of an unfair world, and unfair playing field. It’s penance for the many privileges I’m privy to. If I can make it a little easier for someone else, then my own charmed life seems less unfair. And all my advantages a bit less guilty…


Pema Chodron says the antidote to anger is patience. And I’m sure that’s true…. if I could just get a handle on patience…:) But the antidote sounds as hard to practice as working w/ the challenge… Sigh… Maybe that’s why I’m still a beginner…






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