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    Modern version of the Eternal Knot by Charles Huttner
A View on Buddhism
Teksty w jezyku polskim     Deutsche Seiten

Quotations on:
Aversion, Anger and Hatred

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Not Buddhist, but quite appropriate anyway:
"The angry ones draw their swords, the angry ones aim their bows
To put down the poor and the weakened and to kill those who walk on the path of righteousness.
But their sword hits their own heart, their bows will be broken.
With his poverty, the righteous one is richer than all the angry ones in their abundance."
Bible, Psalm 37, 14-16

The Buddha

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

Hatred does not cease through hatred but through love alone they cease.

There are three types of people in the world. What three? One who is like carving on a rock, one who is like scratching on the ground and one who is like writing on the water. What sort of person is like carving on the rock? Imagine a certain person who is always getting angry and his anger lasts long, jut as carving on a rock is not soon worn off by wind, water or lapse of time. What sort of person is like scratching on the ground? Imagine a certain person who is always getting angry but his anger does not last long, just as scratching on the ground is soon worn off by wind, water and lapse of time. And what sort of person is like writing on the water? Imagine a certain person who, even though spoken to harshly, sharply, roughly, is easily reconciled and becomes agreeable and friendly, just as writing on the water soon disappears.
Anguttara Nikaya I/283

Suppose an enemy has hurt you in his own domain, why should you annoy yourself and hurt your mind in your own domain?
Suppose someone, to annoy, provokes you to do some evil act, why allow anger to arise and thus do exactly as he wants you to do?
Visuddhi Magga

One day, Akkosaka heard that someone from his religion had converted to be a Buddhist monk. Enraged, he stomped off to curse the Enlightened One with harsh words in person. After letting off his steam, the Buddha had a calm conversation with him (as abridged) - 'Do friends come to you as guests?' 'Yes.' 'Do you serve them delicacies?' 'Yes, sometimes I do.' 'If they don't accept them, to whom do they belong?' 'They would be mine.' 'Likewise, that with which you have insulted me, I do not accept - it is all yours. Whoever returns insult to one who insults is said to be sharing company with that person, which I do not.'
Hearing this, Akkosaka assumed he was displeased, to which the Buddha replied, 'Where is anger from one free of anger, who has his mind tamed and equanimous, who is liberated with right understanding, who is tranquil? One worsens matters by flaring up at another who flared up. Whoever doesn't flare up at another doubly wins a battle difficult to win, benefitting oneself and the another. Understanding another's anger, one mindfully maintains one's peace. When one does so to heal the illness of anger for both, those who think one is a fool do not know the Dharma.' Hearing this, Akkosaka remarked at the magnificence of the Buddha's teaching, and ordained as a monk to learn from him, thereafer attaining Nirvana (as an Arahant)!

Akkosa Sutta

You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.

A woman wanted to know how to deal with anger. I asked when anger arose whose anger it was. She said it was hers. Well, if it really was her anger, then she should be able to tell it to go away, shouldn’t she? But it really isn't hers to command. Holding on to anger as a personal possession will cause suffering. If anger really belonged to us, it would have to obey us. If it doesn't obey us, that means it's only a deception. Don't fall for it. Whenever the mind is happy or sad, don't fall for it. Its all a deception.
Ajahn Chah

To be angry is to let others' mistakes punish yourself.
To forgive others is to be good to yourself.
Master ChengYen

Is Anger Beneficial?
We generally consider something beneficial if it promotes happiness. But when we ask ourselves, "Am I happy when I'm angry?" the answer is undoubtedly no. We may feel a surge of physical energy due to physiological reasons, but emotionally we feel miserable. Thus, from our own experience, we can see that anger does not promote happiness.
In addition, we don't communicate well when we're angry. We may speak loudly as if the other person were hard of hearing or repeat what we say as if he had a bad memory, but this is not communication. Good communication involves expressing ourselves in a way that the other person understands. It is not simply dumping our feelings on the other. Good communication also includes expressing our feelings and thoughts with words, gestures, and examples that make sense to the other person. Under the sway of anger, however, we neither express ourselves as calmly nor think as clearly as usual.
Under the influence of anger, we also say and do things that we later regret. Years of trust built with great effort can be quickly damaged by a few moments of uncontrolled anger.... If we could tame our anger, such painful consequences could be avoided.
Thubten Chodron, from Working with Anger

"All our hand postures are mudras in that they are associated with subtle or not-so-subtle energies. Take the energy of the fist, for instance. When we get angry, our hands tend to close into fists. Some people unknowingly practice this mudra a lot in their lives. It waters the seeds of anger and violence within you ever time you do it, and they respond by sprouting and growing stronger.
The next time you find yourself making fists out of anger, try to bring mindfulness to the inner attitude embodied in a fist. Feel the tension, the hatred, the anger, the aggression, and the fear which it contains. Then, in the midst of your anger, as an experiment, if the person you are angry at is present, try opening your fists and placing the palms together over your heart in the prayer position right in front of him. (Of course, he won't have the slightest idea what you are doing.) Notice what happens to the anger and hurt as you hold this position for even a few moments.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, from 'Wherever You Go, There You Are'

Question: Certain associates can say things to me that spark an aggressive reaction. Why is it so easy to spark this feeling of negativity if there is not an accumulation of energy behind it?
Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche: This is because of your pattern of clinging to the idea that you should have all the good things, and nothing that bothers you should ever happen, as I explained earlier. This is wishful thinking, because the nature of the world is not like that at all. The ego game you have planned is itself the explanation for how easily your anger is sparked. Because you have planned such a delicate, impossible game, and there are many things that can happen, anything that jeopardizes the plan of your ego upsets you. It is not an accumulation of energy but the pattern of clinging that is at fault.
Venerable Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, Dharma Paths

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

When reason ends, then anger begins. Therefore, anger is a sign of weakness.

If subconscious anger had a parallel in Buddhist writings, it would have to do with what is called mental unhappiness or dissatisfaction. This is regarded as the source of anger and hostility. We can see subconscious anger in terms of a lack of awarness, as well as an active misconstruing of reality.

If there are sound reasons or bases for the points you demand, then there is no need to use violence. On the other hand, when there is no sound reason that concessions should be made to you but mainly your own desire, then reason cannot work and you have to rely on force. Thus, using force is not a sign of strength but rather a sign of weakness. Even in daily human contact, if we talk seriously, using reasons, there is no need to feel anger. We can argue the points. When we fail to prove with reason, then anger comes. When reason ends, then anger begins. Therefore, anger is a sign of weakness."
from 'The Dalai Lama, A Policy of Kindness'

Some people feel that although it may be right to curb feelings of intense hatred which can cause us to be violent and even to kill, we are in danger of losing our independence when we restrain our emotions and discipline the mind. Actually, the opposite is true. Like their counterparts of love and compassion, anger and the afflictive emotions can never be used up. They have, rather, a propensity to increase, like a river flooding in summer when the snow melts, so that far from being free, our minds are enslaved and rendered helpless by them. When we indulge our negative thoughts and feelings, inevitably we become accustomed to them. As a result, gradually we become more prone to them and more controlled by them. And we become habituated to exploding in the face of displeasing circumstances.
Inner peace, which is the principal characteristic of happiness, and anger cannot coexist without undermining one another. Indeed, negative thoughts and emotions undermine the very causes of peace and happiness. In fact, when we think properly, it is totally illogical to seek happiness if we do nothing to restrain angry, spiteful, and malicious thoughts and emotions. Consider that when we become angry, we often use harsh words. Harsh words can destroy friendship. Since happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others, if we destroy friendships, we undermine one of the very conditions of happiness itself.
Ethics for the New Millennium

Question: What should you say to a loved one who is talking about a third person with hatred or anger? On the one hand, you want to show compassion for the feelings being experienced by the loved one. On the other hand, you don't want to reinforce or lend approval to that hatred. What might one say?
Dalai Lama: Here I would like to tell a story. Once there was a Kadampa master called Gampowa who had many responsibilities. One day he complained to the Kadampa master Dromtonpa that he had hardly any time for his meditation or for his Dharma practice. So Dromtonpa responded by agreeing with him, "Yes, that's right. I don't have any time either." Then once an immediate affinity was established, Dromtonpa skillfully said, "But, you know what I am doing is for the service of the Dharma. Therefore, I feel satisfied." Similarly, if you find one of your beloved ones speaking against someone out of anger or hatred, maybe your initial reaction should be one of agreement and sympathy. Then once you have gained the person's confidence, you can say, "But...."
Healing Anger: The Power of Patience from a Buddhist Perspective

Anger cannot be overcome by anger. If a person shows anger to you, and you show anger in return, the result is a disaster. In contrast, if you control your anger and show its opposite--love, compassion, tolerance, and patience--then not only will you remain in peace, but the anger of others also will gradually diminish. No one can argue with the fact that in the presence of anger, peace is impossible. Only through kindness and love can peace of mind be achieved.
...human beings can judge and reason; we understand consequences and think in the long term. It is also true that human beings can develop infinite love.... However, when humans become angry; all of this potential is lost. No enemy armed with mere weapons can undo these qualities, but anger can. It is the destroyer.
If you look deeply into such things, the blueprint for our actions can be found within the mind. Self-defeating attitudes arise not of their own accord but out of ignorance. Success, too, is found within ourselves. Out of self-discipline, self-awareness, and clear realization of the defects of anger and the positive effects of kindness will come peace.
How to Expand Love: Widening the Circle of Loving Relationships

Q: Can you discuss the problem of self-hatred, and the Buddhist means to alleviate it?
A: In fact, when I first heard the word "self-hatred" and was first exposed to the concept of self-hatred, I was quite surprised and taken aback. The reason why I found it quite unbelievable is that, as practicing Buddhists, we are working very hard to overcome our self-centered attitude, and selfish thoughts and motives. So to think of the possibility of someone hating themselves, not cherishing oneself, was quite unbelievable. From the Buddhist point of view, self-hatred is very dangerous because even to be in a discouraged state of mind or depressed is seen as a kind of extreme. Because self-hatred is far more extreme than being in a depressed state, it is very, very dangerous.
So the antidote is seen in our natural Buddha-nature--the acceptance or belief that every sentient being, particularly a human being, has Buddha-nature. There is a potential to become a Buddha. In fact, Shantideva emphasizes this point a great deal in the Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life, where he states that even such weak sentient beings as flies, bees, and insects possess Buddha-nature, and if they take the initiative and engage in the path, they have the capacity to become fully enlightened. If that is the case, then why not I, who am a human being and possess human intelligence and all the faculties, if I make the initiative, why can't I also become fully enlightened? matter how poor or weak or deprived one's present situation may be, a sentient being never loses his or her Buddha-nature. The seed, the potential for perfection and full enlightenment, always remains.
Healing Anger: The Power of Patience from a Buddhist Perspective

...there are generally two types of harm caused by others. One type is direct physical harm inflicted by others and consciously experienced by you. The other type is harm done to your material possessions, reputation, friendship, and so on. Though not directed at your body, these acts are also a type of harm. Let us say that a person hits you with a stick, and you feel pain and become angry. You don't feel angry toward the stick, do you? What exactly is the object of your anger? If it would be appropriate to feel angry toward the factor that impelled the act of hitting, then you should not be angry with the person but with the negative emotions that compelled that person to act. Ordinarily, however, we do not make such distinctions. Instead, we consider the person--the intermediary agent between the negative emotions and the act--as solely responsible, and we hold a grudge against him or her, not against the stick or the delusions.
We should also be aware that since we possess a physical body that is susceptible to pain when hit by a stick, our own body partly contributes to our experience of pain. Because of our body and its nature, we sometimes experience physical pain even when no external causes of pain are present. It is clear then that the experience of pain or suffering comes about as a result of interaction between both our own body and various external factors.
The Compassionate Life

Q: Let's say that someone makes you angry. Your natural response to being hurt, your immediate response, is to get angry.... You might think about the event later, even much later, and every time you think about it you become angry all over again. How would you suggest dealing with that kind of situation?

Dalai Lama: If you look from a different angle, then surely the person who caused this anger in you will have a lot of other positive aspects, positive qualities.

Q: But what about if you look for the positive angles of a person or event and can't find any?

DL: Here, I think, we would be dealing with a situation where you might need to make some effort. Spend some time seriously searching for a different perspective on the situation. Not just in a superficial way. But in a very pointed and direct way. You need to use all your powers of reasoning and look at the situation as objectively as possible.
For instance, you might reflect on the fact that when you are really angry at someone you tend to perceive them as having 100 percent negative qualities. Just as when you are strongly attracted to someone the tendency is to see them as having 100 percent positive qualities. But this perception does not correspond with reality. If your friend, who you view as so wonderful, were to purposely harm you in some way, suddenly you would become acutely aware that they aren't composed of 100 percent good qualities.
Similarly, if your enemy, the one you hate, were to sincerely beg your forgiveness and continue to show you kindness, it's unlikely that you would continue to perceive them as 100 percent bad. So, even though when you are angry at someone you might feel that the person has no positive qualities, the reality is that nobody is 100 percent bad. They must have some good qualities if you search hard enough. So, the tendency to see someone as completely negative is due to your own perception based on your own mental projection, rather than the true nature of that individual.
In the same way, a situation that you initially perceive as 100 percent negative may have some positive aspects to it. But I think that even if you have discovered a positive angle to a bad situation, that alone is often not enough. You still need to reinforce that idea. So you may need to remind yourself of that positive angle many times, until gradually your feeling changes.
Generally speaking, once you're already in a difficult situation, it isn't possible to change your attitude simply by adopting a particular thought once or twice. Rather it's through a process of learning, training, and getting used to new viewpoints that enables you to deal with the difficulty.
The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living

...hatred is compared to an enemy. This internal enemy, this inner enemy, has no other function than causing us harm. It is our true enemy, our ultimate enemy. It has no other function than simply destroying us, both in the immediate term and in the long term.
The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living

The mind in which anger arises is also the mind that holds it, hides it, fans it, justifies it, or suppresses it. That's why this first step is crucial--before we can understand, befriend, tame, and transform our anger, we have to recognize it clearly and acknowledge it frankly. This is no small task.
Self-awareness is a precondition for understanding and healing our anger. If we become aware of the workings of our mind we can discover the means by which we create our anger and the key to healing it. If we become aware that we are harboring irrational beliefs, ideas with false premises, mistaken assumptions or flawed logic, we can examine them and correct them. If we discover that we cherish ideas which are not in harmony with the realities of life and nature we can learn to relax into existence. If we find that we harbor desires, hopes, and expectations which cannot be achieved we have the option of letting them go.
Ron Leifer, Vinegar into Honey: Seven Steps to Understanding and Transforming Anger, Aggression, and Violence

The true state of hatred, when you experience anger very strongly, is beyond concept. It's just an experience. It's like a vibration that you feel inside. When it is really strong, there is no concept at all. That's why no actions are very logical when they arise from anger. They are very stupid. If you look at them after a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks, you will see how stupid they were. That is because they were coming out of total nonsense.
What we are saying here is to remain in that vibration of anger, which is almost like a complete shock. It is like any kind of shocking experience, like a roller-coaster, or like Splash Mountain when you get totally soaked by the splashing water. Anger has the same kind of quality. It's very awakening in its nature but we usually paint it more than it requires or needs. We have to simply experience it. When you experience it, just experience it. Just rest in it. Don't hate it and don't follow it with any more thoughts, any more paintings. Just be. Just sort of let it be. It comes close to the end of words at a certain point.
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Penetrating Wisdom: The Aspiration of Samantabhadra

As long as we live with the view that anger is to be condemned, we can easily fall into the habit of repression. We will also fail to hear what truth lies behind it that is not being voiced. When we ask questions such as, "What do you really want to say?" or "What are you really wanting that is not being heard?" we will begin to hear what is at its root. This becomes a healthier way of living with anger, rather than creating a regime that fears it and tries to disown or suppress it. If our capacity to be assertive or to feel heard has become blocked and distorted, when we listen more deeply to what lies beneath or behind the anger, we will often discover some inner truth that needs to be asserted more clearly and creatively.
Rob Preece in The Wisdom of Imperfection: The Challenge of Individuation in Buddhist Life

The Buddha taught that the fire of anger can burn up everything we have done to bring happiness to ourselves and others. There is not one of us who has not sown seeds of anger in one's heart, and if those seeds are watered, they will grow rapidly and choke us and those around us. When we are angry, we should come back to ourselves by means of our conscious breathing. We should not look at or listen to the one we feel is making us angry and causing us to suffer. The other person may have said or done something unskilful or unmindful. But his unskilful words or actions arise from his own suffering. He may just be seeking some relief, hoping to survive. The excessive suffering of one person will often overflow to others. A person who is suffering needs our help, not our anger. We come to see this when we examine our anger through our breathing.
The Buddha says that anger makes us look ugly. If we are able to breathe [mindfully] when we are angry and recognise the ugliness anger brings with it, that recognition acts as a bell of mindfulness. We breathe and smile mindfully in order to bring some evenness back into our hearts, at the same time relaxing the nervous system and the tense muscles of the face. We must keep on with our conscious breathing as we practise walking meditation in the open air, looking deeply at what has happened. Mindfulness and conscious breathing are sources of energy and can calm the storm of anger, which itself is also a source of energy. If we keep practising mindfulness in order to take care of our anger with the affection of a mother when she takes a small child in her arms, then not only shall we calm the storm but we shall also be able to find out where our anger really comes from. Our practice, carefully executed, will thus be able to transform the seeds of anger in us.

Thich Nhat Hanh: The Blooming of a Lotus: Guided Meditation for Achieving the Miracle of Mindfulness

'Righteous hatred' is in the same category as 'righteous cancer'or 'righteous tuberculosis'. All of them are absurd concepts.
Allan Wallace in 'Tibetan Buddhism from the Ground up'

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Last updated: August 12, 2011