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Transforming Anger into Strength

Transforming anger is a skill that we can all work to achieve.  In this very brief video excerpt, Phakchok Rinpoche gives some specific advice. We often feel that we have the right or well-meaning motivation to be angry. But he reminds us that anger does not solve our problems. Generally speaking, anger doesn’t make us perform more effectively, does it? Often, anger means that our message falls on deaf ears.

Transforming Anger into Strength

Rinpoche observes that there is a big difference between anger and strength. Transforming anger into strength, or ability to do or say what needs to be done, is important. We can be strong. Traditionally, we give the example of a parent yelling at a child who is about to do something very dangerous. The parent may appear angry because he or she needs to be forceful to avoid a potential threat.  But, that is not real anger. Anger comes from dislike and fear.

Similarly, we may wish to make changes in society for a good reason. And we do what we can forcefully. But that is not anger: that is strength. Through our own experience, we can understand that anger does not help a situation. So we work on transforming our anger into compassion. That allows us to act in a way that can bring change successfully. We pay attention to our words and actions. By doing that, we soften our delivery and we actually change. As we understand this, we become different and the changes in ourselves affect the people around us. They, too, will have less anger. Experience and knowledge can help us and others transform.

At the end of the teaching, please remember to dedicate the merit of receiving a Dharma teaching. As you go through your day, take a few moments from time to time to recall these instructions.

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