Mar 7, 2022
The Buddha spoke many times of the importance of practicing harmlessness. The most harmful mind is the mind of anger. The nature of anger is that it wishes to harm its object. Just as the nature of fire is to burn, the nature of anger is to harm. In this episode, we look at the causes of anger and conflict in our hearts. Sometimes we are at war with someone, a family member, a person at work, with society, our government, or a political party. We can understand and touch the war within ourselves. We can lay our conflicts down and experience peace where there was pain and turmoil.
How does anger arise? Anger observes an object it finds unpleasant, dwells with inappropriate attention on the faults of that object. Then anger arises when the mind has become unpeaceful and uncontrolled. The great Buddhist Master Shantideva said there are two reasons we get angry: when we don’t get what we want and when we have to put up with things we don’t want.
Edict of ancient Rome was: “If you want peace, you must prepare for war.” The result of this traditional way of thinking: 2,000 years of war, misery, destruction and annihilation. Millions of serious casualties. In the atomic age it is now high time we reversed this motto: “If you want peace, you must prepare for peace.” This means disarming instead of rearming.”
Inner peace in the minds of human beings is the only foundation upon which a last outer peace--a world without war--is possible. The way to heal ourselves and society is the same. Loving-kindness and compassion are the antidotes to anger and hatred. A powerful antidote to anger is to accept people as they are. Another is having compassion for their struggles and personality quirks. We all have a personality quirk or two…Thich Nhat Hanh says that "We are challenged to apply an antidote as soon as anger arises, because of the far-reaching social effects of individual anger."
A profound understanding of interdependence arises when we see others with compassion and take universal responsibility for the correlation between our inner peace and outer, or world peace. The vast web of life is such that the action of one person reverberates across the entire web. Do we have a universal responsibility to end the war within ourselves as an act of nonviolence and peace for the whole world?
Always wide awake
Are the disciples of Gotama
Whose minds constantly, day and night,
Delight in harmlessness.
-Buddha, The Dhammapada
If you are interested in learning how you can work with JoAnn Fox as a Life/Spiritual Coach, visit https://buddhismforeveryone.com/coaching
References and Links
Buddha.The Dhammapada. Translated by Gil Fronsdale. (Kindle). Shambala, Boston and London, 2011, pp. 75-76
Dalai Lama. Our Only Home: A Climate Appeal to the World Kindle Edition. Disarming instead of rearming. pp. 87