How To Not Be Angry - Damn, It's Hard...

by David SilverAbsolutely essential Pema Chodron quote: "Always meditate on whatever provokes resentment."Synchronistically, I read this last night when I accidentally hit on Fox News for a nanosecond and horrible animosity welled up in my mind, quelling my heart and telling my compassion component to get lost. How in the name of Buddha, Krishna and Lennon do you remain at peace when you see a news report enjoying the Trayvon/Zimmerman verdict and applauding the appalling 'stand your ground' law in flawed Florida?Well, it ain't easy. It just deracinates your sense of justice and your aspiration for loving kindness when you are aware of such cold heartedness and lack of clarity. Rachel Maddow said that there are two kinds of people in this world - those who care and those who don't. Anger arises so swiftly when you witness lack of empathy for the suffering. The only thing is to remember, like Pema suggests, that fighting fire with worse inner fire only keeps the stupid situation going on and on forever, until the world is led by the raging blind and your heart is consumed by your own enraged reaction. The only way anything is going to change - within you and without you as George Harrison-ji put it - is when you flood the bad emotion with the always available actuality of forgiveness on the inner plane.THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU DO NOT ACT. It simply means that you go deeper and radiate and be activist without being an asshole. His Holiness The Dalai Lama is our current best exemplar of this. The Chinese have stolen his country, mass murdered his people and ruined Tibetan culture in the name of an ideology which has enveloped egalitarianism with cruel repression and oppression. And yet the monk smiles and spreads peaceful awareness without rancor. But he never stops militating for a solution. He doesn't even ask for Tibetan independence - just fairness and radical political change. He's no passive acceptor. He simply knows via his practiced wisdom that angry, violent response simply does not work and we have to dig deeper and look long term. It's supremely difficult, but we have to do it.Yeah, I often scream at the TV - not only at the injustice and war-filled machine of society but at the hateful, coarse programming itself. But I have to sit still and stop it because it only grows the vileness within me and continues the problem. It's a huge effort...but we have no choice if we want a better world, a better self. Have a great day...