Dealing with Anger and Aggression | Dalai Lama

Written by Mind Yourself on April 5, 2012 in Personal Growth - No comments
India Inspired Photography Kate Wilson

Photo by Kate Wilson

The Dalai Lama is coming to Chicago to give a public talk on non-violence.  From practicing Buddhists to devout Catholics, the words of His Holiness the Dalai Lama settle deep into any religious background. It is more of deep truths as oppose to having religious affiliation.

Here is His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s response to the question:

What is the most skillful way of dealing with anger and aggression without either submitting to the aggressor or becoming angry and aggressive oneself?

“If you let anger out and just keep expressing it, it is very difficult for this to be helpful. Since the technique itself promotes more anger, it will not bring about any positive result; it will only increase problems. Still, under certain circumstances it may be necessary to take counteraction to stop another’s wrongdoing, but I beleive that such measures can be enacted without anger.

In fact, without anger, the implementation of countermeasures is much more effective than when your main mind is governed by a strong afflictive emotion, because under such influence you may not take the appropriate action. Anger destroys one of the best qualities of the human brain – judgement, the capacity to think, ‘This is wrong,’ and to investigate what the temporary and long-term consequences of an action will be. It is necessary to calculate such circumstances before taking action; free of anger, the power of judgement is better.

It is clear that if in a competitive society you are sincere and honest, in some circumstances people may take advantage of you. If you let someone do so, he or she will be engaging in an unsuitable action and accumulating bad karma that will harm the person in the future. Thus it is permissible, with an altruistic motivation, to take counter-action in order to help the other person from having to undergo the effects of this wrong action in the future.

For instance, wise parents, without any anger, may sometimes scold or even punish their children. This is permissible, but if you really get angry and whack the child too much, then you yourself will feel regret in the future. However, with a good motivation of seeking to correct a child’s bad behavior, it is possible to make a display, to make a show of an expression appropriate to what the child needs at that moment. Responses should be made in that way.”

Excerpt from the The Meaning of Life from a Buddhist Perspective, His Holiness the Dalai Lama translated and edited by Jeffrey Hopkins

If you are interested in learning more about meditation and calming the mind read more on pranayama and breathing exercises. We also featured a series called the 8 Weeks to Happiness, a mental and meditation approach to happiness.

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