Thursday, January 24, 2013

Putting an End to Anger

by H. J. Ford for the story "The Comb and the Collar"

I want to share a sutra with you. It is the Discourse on the Five Ways of Putting an End to Anger, and I'm sharing it because it describes a process I have watched in myself. Maybe you will also find that you are practicing this already, or maybe you will be encouraged by what you hear. 

The full sutra is here, and it is relatively short. I think you will enjoy the story-like quality of the sutra. But if you want the short version, here is the fourth method:

"This is the fourth method, my friends. If there is someone whose words and bodily actions are not kind, and in whose heart there is nothing that can be called kindness, if you are angry with that person and you are wise, you need to find a way to meditate in order to put an end to your anger.

"My friends, suppose there is someone on a long journey who falls sick. He is alone and completely exhausted, and not near any village. He falls into despair, knowing that he will die before completing his journey. If at that point, someone comes along and sees this man’s situation, he immediately takes the man’s hand and leads him onward to the next village, where he takes care of him, treats his illness, and makes sure he has everything he needs by way of clothes, medicine, and food. Because of this compassion and loving kindness, the man’s life is saved. Just so, my friends, when you see someone whose words and bodily actions are not kind, and in whose heart there is nothing that can be called kindness, give rise to this thought: Someone whose words and bodily actions are not kind and in whose heart is nothing that can be called kindness, is someone who is undergoing great suffering. Unless they meet a good spiritual friend, there will be no chance for them to transform and go to realms of happiness. Thinking like this, you will be able to open your heart with love and compassion toward that person. You will be able to put an end to your anger and help that person. Someone who is wise should practice like this."
    —Discourse on the Five Ways of Putting an End to Anger


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