Communicating, Not Fighting

When we are angry it may be important for us to communicate what we feel. But how we do this is critical. Simply blasting other people with our anger is not skillful or kind. We may think, “Well, they’re so thick-headed, I need to yell in order to get through to them.” But it’s difficult for people to take in what another is saying if they are being yelled at, because their defenses are instantly mobilized. They’re just as distracted by the reactionary thoughts going through their heads as we are by the force of our anger.

If we allow ourselves to calm down before addressing the situation, we can let go of our own defensiveness and anger. As we all have experienced, it is not possible to think objectively when we are in the throes of strong emotion. We need space to think clearly, to see what is really bothering us, and then to decide what it is that we actually want—and need—to communicate.

– Lama Palden, “Practicing with the Five Hindrances” (Spring 2004)

Read the full article:
Practicing with the Five Hindrances

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