Sit-a-Long with Jundo: I'M ANGRY!!

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Well, I'm not angry right now ... but I do feel anger sometimes. The subject came up this week in our discussion forum at Even after almost 30 years of Zazen, something at my work, in the news, or said or done by my kid or wife can still push my buttons, and I feel anger start to well up inside. I believe that, so long as we are human beings we will sometimes react in very human ways (at least until we are someday Perfect Buddhas beyond all anger). Unfortunately, our primitive brains are wired to all too easily fall into anger.

Of course, after almost 30 years of Buddhist Practice, I know for a fact that I do not usually react to anger as I would without this Practice. I am rarely, if ever, its prisoner. I believe that the start and arising of angry feelings is not as important as how we recognize them, redirect them, release them, are not trapped by them... do not act upon them, let them go.

(Click through to watch today's talk, and to "sit-a-long.")

In our next "sit-a-long" on Buddha-basics, I'll talk about how it's really necessary to develop good knowledge and insight into basic Buddhist philosophy, psychology and teachings on the workings of the "self"... because it is that "self" which is the prime culprit here. We need to become students of our "self's" reactions, and to develop a sensitivity to how anger arises within us, the triggers which tend to set it off, the first feeling of it starting to arise, the cycle it follows until vanishing, and methods to help that vanishing along. (One excellent tool is a practice to replace the mental seeds of anger with seeds of tolerance, patience, contentment, loving kindness and the like, of a kind as recommended by Thich Nhat Hanh and others... read a bit more here.)

As much as possible, we need to catch it as it is arising, not be sucked into it, not be entangled by it. Most importantly, we should not act out of our anger.

Today's Sit-A-Long video follows. Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended.

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