our relationship to anger…

Zen Parable of the  Monk and the Samurai ~

A big, tough Samurai once went to see a little monk.


He barked, in a voice accustomed to instant obedience.

“Teach me about heaven and hell!”

The Monk looked up at the mighty warrior and replied with utter disdain,

“Teach you about heaven and hell? I couldn’t teach you about anything. You’re dumb. You’re dirty. You’re a disgrace, an embarrassment to the samurai class. Get out of my sight. I can’t stand you.”

The Samurai got furious. He shook, red in the face, speechless with rage. He pulled out his sword, and prepared to slay the Monk.

Looking straight into the Samurai’s eyes, the Monk said softly,

“That’s hell.”

The Samurai froze, realizing the compassion of the Monk who had risked his life to show him hell! He put down his sword and fell to his knees, filled with gratitude.

The Monk said softly,

“And that’s heaven.”


do we want to create hell or heaven? the celebrated Franciscan, Richard Rohr put it this way, “What we don’t transform, we transmit.”

like all emotions, anger carries an energy, a particularly intense and hot energy. if we don’t meet our anger with skillful means – mindfulness and an open heart – we can burn ourselves and those around us up. anger not attended to, can be harmful and destructive to ourselves and others. it can lead to aggression, violence, and suffering. we can become stuck and lose ourselves, becoming ghosts of who we once were.

we can, however, meet anger with open-heartedness, understanding, and compassion, we can look deeply into anger mindfully. perhaps the anger is pointing to a deeper unresolved fear or hurt. perhaps anger manifests because we see an injustice or harm taking place. the energy of the anger can be used as a motivator to end the harm. anger can be our wake up call that something needs to be taken care of.



*come sit with me this weekend for Self-Care Saturdays & Sundays at 10am PT as we practice meditation. free or by donation. $10 suggested. link: https://linktr.ee/jaysenwaller

#anger #aggression #compassion #clarity #equanimity #meditation #path #practice #JinpaLhaga #JMWart

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