30 days without anger, anger, buddhism, taoism, zen

Day 2: 30 Days Without Anger – The Intention of Attention

A question was raised today about 30 Days Without Anger. In essence the questioner asked why bring more attention to it (anger) and suggesting that we simply need to acknowledge our thoughts and feelings and then let them go. A fair question.

There is a danger when we bring our attention to a thought or emotion that we will invest in that thought/emotion. That is, when we bring our attention to it we will form an attachment. We will come to embody that thought/emotion. Said another way, we will move from “feeling anger” to “being angry.”

Conversely, there is a danger that by bringing our attention to the thought/emotion we will form an aversion. As we feel the rise of anger we become so adverse to the feeling (or threat thereof) that we come to be “NOT ANGRY!!!”

For me, and what I hope to be doing with 30 Days Without Anger, the nature of the attention that I hope to bring is not attachment or aversion but instead an “attending to.”

When one brings one’s attention to anger one attends to the anger. That is, one gives it it’s proper due. One sees it arise, understands from whence it came. One shows it the proper respect, understanding that it has the power to possess but only if we embody it. When one has no other choice we sit with it for a time, have tea with it. In the end, when the time comes we see it safely to the door, and watch it leave. Ultimately, we don’t “let it go” because if we properly attended to it, we never will have held it in the first place.

I commit to attending to anger properly and skillfully.
I commit to seeing anger pass.
I commit to 30 days without anger.

Have and spread peace.

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Discussion

5 thoughts on “Day 2: 30 Days Without Anger – The Intention of Attention

  1. Good post, gave me a lot to think about about out ‘attentive faculties’

    Posted by OneBreathMeditation | May 10, 2012, 1:21 am
  2. Thank you.

    May you experience and spread calm.
    HB

    Posted by The Habituated Buddhist | May 10, 2012, 7:03 am
  3. Just wanted to say, fantabulous job in answering that comment. Right now, I’m thinking about how I’ve come to view physical pain as a way the body can let us know that there is something that requires our love and attention to heal. Your post is helping me remember that the same is true for mental or emotional distress, in that if we can pay attention to the underlying dissonance, we give ourselves a better chance of finding out what it’s trying to teach us.

    Plus, it makes life nicer to be in. 🙂

    Posted by Nynia Chance | May 11, 2012, 10:14 pm
  4. (I meant the comment about paying attention to anger, but your wish for experiencing and spreading calm is pretty fantabulous in its own ❤ )

    Posted by Nynia Chance | May 11, 2012, 10:14 pm

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