8 Buddhist Tips for Dealing with Anger

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8. It’s Not Real: Emptiness

While patience might be the direct antidote, emptiness is the strongest antidote, not just to anger, but to all of our problems and difficulties. In fact, it doesn’t matter how patient we are, if we haven’t understood emptiness, or voidness, problems will continue to rain upon us like an Indian monsoon.

If we take a moment to analyze our minds when we’re angry, we’ll notice something: a strong sense of “me” or “I.” “I’m so angry about what you said to me. I can’t believe what he did to my friend! I’m definitely right about this, and she’s definitely wrong!” Me, me, me.

When we’re angry, we’ve got the perfect chance to analyze this “I” that appears so concretely. It doesn’t exist! We’re not saying that we don’t exist or that nothing matters, but that when we try to find this “I” – is it in our mind? our body? in both? – there’s no way that we can say, “Yes, there it is!”

This one is difficult for people to comprehend, but the fact is that when we start to analyze reality, it radically changes our perspective. We’ll see there never was anything we can pinpoint to be angry about in the first place.

Summary

It doesn’t matter how many times we repeat “I won’t get angry”; without actual effort, we’ll never achieve the peace of mind we all wish for.

The above points aren’t just a nice list – they’re actual tools we can use to free ourselves from our frustration, anger and sadness. With practice, any of us can do it.

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