1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Removing anger April 5, 2009

Anger destroys. It ruins lives, relationships, careers, personalities.It scars children and friendships, and eats aways at the soul. No one would deny that it is a thing to be avoided, but unfortunately everywhere we turn we see evidence of the anger which lurks inside the human psyche. Newspapers are TV report constantly talk of angry groups and individuals; all of them infuriated by some injustice, decision or insult.

People are routinely described as “outraged” and “furious”, whilst little attention is paid to voices of conciliation or modesty. Critics vent their wrath on features to which they take exception; bad meals, bad art, rotten holidays. We seem to be fascinated by anger and rage and at the same time intimidated by it. Terrorists use anger and rage as their weapon of fear, and it works insofar as it creates a climate of suspicion and mistrust in their target societies.

 (image by me)

Yogis understand the reasons for the anger in modern times, and battle constantly to overcome this destructive emotion. In its mildest form, of course, anger is called irritation, and we know it to be a symptom of an overheated right side. Maybe even a hot liver, which is having difficulty accomplishing all its purifying tasks. For the yoga practitioner, the focus is on cooling down the right side and looking after the liver by eating well, avoiding stressful situations and focusing on nature as often as possible. Another good method: In olden times, people often travelled to the seaside to recover after a period of trauma in their lives. Salt, water and an ocean view are a powerfully healing combination.

From “Meditation” by Nigel Powell

Other quotes from Nigel Powell:

A right sided personality

A left sided personality

Western people have the lowest self esteem?

The mind games or the myth of self-improvement

Spirituality on sale

3 questions about YOUR spiritual practice

The Ego and the Super Ego

 

19 Responses to “Removing anger”

  1. Rambler Says:

    interesting thing about sea side, would love to read more on that

    • axinia Says:

      Rambler, that is really intresting. Most people I know are just crazy about the sea. The best holiday they can dream of is to go to a seaside and swim, swim, swim – to bathe in the water and in the sun… I am a bit of exception here as I am fully in love with the sky (airplanes, parachutes, paraplans, any kind of flying is what attracts me the most).

      Anyway, this mass phenomenon – love for a seaside has been always puzzling me. There must be something very special about it. Why swimming in the river/lake is not that popular? Why is this salty, vast water?..

      The answer came from an unexpected side: foot soaking! To soak the feet in salty water has been known since centuries (I believe, in the Arab tradition – please correct me somebody if not). Apparently it is meant to bring some relief, especially after work). Today foot soaking is offered as one of the most natural and effective relaxation methods of wellness.

      I learned to do foot soak as a part of my Sahaja Yoga practice: before my meditation I put my feet ankle deep into a bowl of cool water (salted with a table spoon of any salt) and sit for 5-10 min. Doing it in the evening I often feel so fresh again, the whole tiredness vanishes and I still have powers for some other things! The reason might be that the salt, as an intensive earth-element absorbs all kinds of negative energy.

      Interesting: if you put “foot soaking” to the flickr.com search, you will get about 2.000 photos of people soaking their feet in all types of water.

      Of course, I do not know for sure why so many people love swimming in the sea – but I suspect it has something to do with the foot-soaking effect (in that case it is already a body-soak).

  2. Axinia, I guess there is absolutey nothing wrong in having some anger in oneself 🙂 Of course, if one allows anger to become one’s master, then that would mean high blood pressure, irritability and a lot of other problems because anger is only one letter short of danger.

    But if one were to get rid of anger completely, it would not be possible to lead a normal life in this (evil) world, one would have to retire to an isolated place and become a mystic. The trick is to keep anger within one’s control, to use it to achieve whatever one wants to accomplish.

    One of my favourite quotes is this one by the world’s most famous rebel of all time, Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara:

    If you tremble indignation at every injustice in this world, then you are a comrade of mine!

    • axinia Says:

      Interesiting Raj, how do you want ” to keep anger within one’s control, to use it to achieve whatever one wants to accomplish.” – ???

      • Anger is a powerful tool, Axinia, something that can unleash all of one’s potential. Just like love can make people do unbelievable things, so can anger. But the difference is that love is a “positive” force, while anger is a “negative” force, that is why one needs to keep anger under control.

        Even if it is “negative”, it is still a force and a force to be reckoned with. Now, the forces in the world are not always “positive”. Let’s take some “forces” that are of a “negative” nature – friction and electrical resistance. While both friction and electrical resistance can be considered “negative” that cause a loss of energy and reduce efficiency, they are both very essential, if one knows how to keep them under control and utilise them. The concept of braking would be impossible without friction and heaters, light bulbs etc. would be impossible without electrical resistance.

        These “negative” forces can indeed be applied for useful purposes. It’s the same with anger 🙂

  3. Diffio Says:

    Thank you. This post is posted at the very good time. Just yesterday I failed to recognize the anger and … 😦

  4. Princess Says:

    They say don’t get angry on others, it is the punishment you give to yourself for the mistakes done by others..

    -Aiz.

  5. Tor Hershman Says:

    As they stated in “Westside Story,” Be Cool.

  6. Molly Says:

    Great post. Through my meditation practice I’ve learned to observe those intense emotions when they arise (usually, that is), and therefore it has become easier not to move into them, to become them. Except for when I do 🙂

    Life, what a place to practice.

  7. Rambler Says:

    foot soaking has been known to relive pain, just like the hot salt pack is known to do the same. What I found interesting was how sea watching can provide mental relief. May be its got to do with the calmness and wideness. I had read somewhere that it has been proven by research that color blue calms people a lot, and soothes the mind. May be its a combination of all these things, may be its just a physiological feeling.

  8. Sometimes anger is essential Axinia. Gandhi was angry that India was ruled by the British. It was because of this anger that he took steps to fight in a non-violent way. I think anger is essential in such situations. How to channelize your anger might be a more important consideration….

    Destination Infinity

    • axinia Says:

      Yes, I see your point DI. There is such a thing like a “holy” anger, the thing is only that sould be used very rare and only by holy people. Otherwise everybody can justify just anything with that!!

  9. Atlantic Says:

    Destination Infinity refered to “holy” anger as the non-violent aproach. I agree. Rightious anger never repays injustice with injustice. It rebukes the injustice in love and sets forth a better example. It provides alternatives to hate and violence, and never more of the same. People who do not love and respect human life can not justify their anger as “holy”. The reason is simple, (speaking from a spiritual perspective) Holy is practicly the definition of human life.

    Axina, “anger” is an emotion that we all share. It’s no different than “happy” or “sad”. None of these is inherently good or evil. We all express these emotions in different ways and for different reasons. Its these that determine whether an emotion is for good or bad. I know for sure and for cirtan that even you experince anger but the reason if you don’t recognise it, is because you channel it in a positive way. You cirtainly don’t express it in wild fits of rage!

    The purer your heart is, the more disterbing corrution becomes and I’d say your as good a person as I’ve ever met, so you must feel it even more intently than most. And your right, “Anger distroys, it ruins lives, relationships, and careers. It scars children and friendships and eats away at the soul.” Are you sure your not “angry”? (smile)

    Raj, I liked and agreed with your comments on the positive and negitive forces. I also think your right about anger being a good motivator, where as if we were to practice mere
    contentment and apathy our quality of life and the lives of others would never improve.

    By the way, it’s nice to see everyone still here!

    Newfoundlander

  10. axinia Says:

    Atalantic,
    wow, long time no seen!! Happy to hear from you again!!!
    thanks for this profoudn and well-thought comment. YOur reasonsing is correct by pointing pot ““Anger distroys, it ruins lives, relationships, and careers. It scars children and friendships and eats away at the soul.” Are you sure your not “angry”? – as you may notice the text does not belong to me….I love the general idea but I never could have expressed it this way and that is why I did not use my won words.
    In fact, if I were speakinig of me, that woudl be probably less understandable for people because…when I see and angry person, IT MAKES ME LAUGHTH 🙂 really! I fint it so funny when somebody gets nervous and angry, starting shouting and doing crazy things…I am never frightened and only feel pity for that pour thing.

    Again, it feels differntly for the “holy” anger – but this is something soooooo rare and can be only expressed by holy people (LIke when Christ was wipping people that were things around the church)…

  11. Atlantic Says:

    Dear Axinia, I think that anyone can be “holy” if they practice things like love respect and dignity toward other human beings. The thing to remember is that rightious anger never seeks to distroy. It’s never selfish. It always shows as much love for the ofender as it does for the victom. The anger is directed more so toward the injustice and selfishness as aposed to any one specific person. It’s a type of controled anger that shows its disaproval in a generaly calm and more collected manner. It seeks to help and to heal wounds, to fix a problem and make it better.

    On the other hand destructive anger is to do and say a whole bunch of things that you may not even really mean without really thinking of the conseqences of your actions to yourself and others. It’s usually based intirely on hurt feelings and practices no self control. It unfortunatly makes a situation worse and not better.

    Everyone should express some type of anger when it comes to the faults of this world. They just need the right kind. Yes, it can be harmful, it can be destructive, but it can also be expressed with love.

    Newfoundlander

  12. Atlantic Says:

    I get the impression that you see anger as a violent action when it’s really just a feeling. Its what you do with that feeling that really counts.

  13. Thanks, Atlantic/Newfoundlander! It’s great to have you back, my friend! 🙂

    I completely agree with this:

    If we were to practice mere contentment and apathy our quality of life and the lives of others would never improve.

    Everyone should express some type of anger when it comes to the faults of this world.

    Brilliantly written!

    Axinia, about what you mentioned as anger expressed by “holy” people, there is a proverb in Tamil:

    Saadhu mirandaal kaadu kollathu! [If a sage becomes angry, the forest (in which he lives) would not be able to bear it!]

    I was quite (pleasantly) surprised to find out that Christ had actually whipped and driven out some people who had turned the temple into a den of thieves. It turns out that even those who were the epitome of love and kindness became fed up with the ills of the world and expressed their anger occasionally 🙂


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