Emptiness against anger

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
Post Reply
User avatar
tomschwarz
Posts: 766
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:31 am

Emptiness against anger

Post by tomschwarz » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:42 pm

Hello friends,

His holiness the Dalai Lama has taught that 90% of anger is anger with ourselves and that the antidote for anger is giving up the idea of independent substantial existance in favor of the realization of dependent origination, a.k.a. emptiness.

So if this speaks to your experience let's discuss the details/ real world examples. If I understand this idea correctly, the idea is that when someone/something bothers me, I think about how that person got there. For example the most negative aggressive person was once a relatively innocent young child, persecuted like Jesus by evil drunk parents who too, in childhood were innocent children being abused and so on.

Is this the intention of the teaching? Contrary ideas? Related interpretations?
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

SunWuKong
Posts: 333
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:15 pm

Re: Emptiness against anger

Post by SunWuKong » Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:07 pm

Often what bothers us the most about others, that which we criticize and pass judgement on, the same can be said about ourselves, often pointedly so. Hating others seems to be a suppressed form of what we hate about ourselves but are unwilling to admit.
"We are magical animals that roam" ~ Roam

User avatar
anjali
Global Moderator
Posts: 1566
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:33 pm

Re: Emptiness against anger

Post by anjali » Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:59 am

tomschwarz wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:42 pm
Hello friends,

His holiness the Dalai Lama has taught that 90% of anger is anger with ourselves and that the antidote for anger is giving up the idea of independent substantial existance in favor of the realization of dependent origination, a.k.a. emptiness.

So if this speaks to your experience let's discuss the details/ real world examples. If I understand this idea correctly, the idea is that when someone/something bothers me, I think about how that person got there. For example the most negative aggressive person was once a relatively innocent young child, persecuted like Jesus by evil drunk parents who too, in childhood were innocent children being abused and so on.

Is this the intention of the teaching? Contrary ideas? Related interpretations?
Greetings Tom.

I'm unfamiliar with this teaching by the DL, but I believe he could have said something like that. It would be nice to see a quote if you could provide it?

From my perspective, his comment is more about us working with our own anger, but I could be misunderstanding his intent. The teachings I've had say that the anger we personally experience is not a substantial thing that exists on it's own, independent of us. If we look directly at our anger, we experience it as arising, staying a while, and eventually passing away. By directly looking at our anger, we can see that it is actually empty by nature, and interdependently arising from causes and conditions.
Image

Dharma Wheel Terms of Service and Reporting Procedures.
Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness. –-Seneca

User avatar
tomschwarz
Posts: 766
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:31 am

Re: Emptiness against anger

Post by tomschwarz » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:50 am

)))) I am so lost, of course what you both say is very true. But let's consider all the way to emptiness itself: no origination, no cessation, no increase, no decrease, absence of identifying characteristics. That would be something like the idea of conservation of energy or the idea of quantum fields. This level of permiation and stasis makes sense on a much more general level than the conceptual dualism of me and my discontent with one situation on earth, now, in my city and so on.....


see 1:10:57 on anger is 90 our own situation. Then his holiness the Dalai Lana directly segues into emptiness as an antidote for anger via nagajuna. This all in the context of the sutra on the four noble truths.

So the question, please share your experience naturally transforming anger into its underlying nature of emptiness. But in all fairness dear anjali, you did describe just that. You seem to like the idea of looking at anger itself, accepting it as existing and then fading. Ok but what about the idea that anger actually lacks identifying characteristics in the first place? Are you ok with that? Or is the conventional understanding of anger outside of emptiness also important to you?
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

User avatar
anjali
Global Moderator
Posts: 1566
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:33 pm

Re: Emptiness against anger

Post by anjali » Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:27 am

tomschwarz wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:50 am
...see 1:10:57 on anger is 90 our own situation. Then his holiness the Dalai Lama directly segues into emptiness as an antidote for anger via nagajuna. This all in the context of the sutra on the four noble truths.
Thanks for the video and time marker for the quote. The "90% is our own mental projection" quote about anger is coming from a scientist the Dalai Lama knows. From the video, the DL seems to be presenting the standard view of dependent origination (ignorance->fabrication->grasping at true existence of self and other, etc.) and the arising of suffering. He discusses how seeing that our projections/fabrications are empty helps with loosening the grip of suffering.
So the question, please share your experience naturally transforming anger into its underlying nature of emptiness. But in all fairness dear anjali, you did describe just that. You seem to like the idea of looking at anger itself, accepting it as existing and then fading. Ok but what about the idea that anger actually lacks identifying characteristics in the first place? Are you ok with that? Or is the conventional understanding of anger outside of emptiness also important to you?
We experience anger, but that doesn't mean it exists in any tangible way. Even though we experience anger as arising, staying and passing away, it's always empty. We don't actually transform anger into emptiness. It always has been empty, we just gain insight into what it has always been.

There are any number of ways of working with anger, and may well depend on the situation and how strongly we experience the anger. One way is to look directly at the anger and see it's emptiness. Another way is to see that we've reified our projections about people and situations which give rise to anger. When we see the empty quality of our own thoughts about people and situations, then we can more easily let go of them, and that is another way of lessening the grip that anger has on us.

There are also other ways--some more esoteric, some more mundane--for working with anger.
Image

Dharma Wheel Terms of Service and Reporting Procedures.
Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness. –-Seneca

User avatar
tomschwarz
Posts: 766
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:31 am

Re: Emptiness against anger

Post by tomschwarz » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:42 pm

So any personal experiences?

....not how one would consider lack of origination/lack of cessation/ absence of defining characteristics/no defilement no undefilement/all things are empty, to replace anger with love, but rather your personal experience on a conceptual or non conceptual level having your anger be replaced with your absolute love based of your acceptance of an all pervasive truth, of all things, that which has no origination no cessation, no defilement no undefilement, absence of identifying characteristics, no increase no decrease, and relates directly to dependent origination?

In other words, not the party line, but rather, I am interested in hearing the details of how your emptiness realization has helped you to place an emphasis on absolute love, naturally blocking anger from your mind. Has this actually worked for you? If Yes, can you relates your personal experience logically or otherwise?
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

User avatar
anjali
Global Moderator
Posts: 1566
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:33 pm

Re: Emptiness against anger

Post by anjali » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:04 pm

tomschwarz wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:42 pm
So any personal experiences?
I don't share personal experiences of the kind you are asking for online, and I doubt you will find many people here who will. Even teachers rarely share their personal experiences/attainments in public.
Image

Dharma Wheel Terms of Service and Reporting Procedures.
Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness. –-Seneca

User avatar
tomschwarz
Posts: 766
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:31 am

Re: Emptiness against anger

Post by tomschwarz » Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:56 pm

SunWuKong wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:07 pm
Often what bothers us the most about others, that which we criticize and pass judgement on, the same can be said about ourselves, often pointedly so. Hating others seems to be a suppressed form of what we hate about ourselves but are unwilling to admit.
Actually this is a personal and in that sense sincere example. It's all we have. And we are instructed time and again in Buddhism to return to that personal experience and only there weigh the instructions of the Dahrma and measure the truth potentially contained there in.

In the referenced teaching Sutra on the 4 noble truths, his holiness the Dalai Lana speaks directly and personally about his 60 years of meditation on emptiness and how that has helped him.

So I respectfully disagree that we should hide our personal experiences with Buddhism and how it has or has not effected our feelings of anger and love.
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

User avatar
tomschwarz
Posts: 766
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:31 am

Re: Emptiness against anger

Post by tomschwarz » Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:06 pm

and one more personal experience around emtpiness meditation, hopefully will inspire others to share...

....other than seeing the innocent phase of all beings who have become cruel, which i initially mentioned, let me please share with you that meditation on emptiness or better said, on the lack of origination, cessation, increase, decrease, defilement, undefilement, absence of defining characteristics and all things are empty, has laid the ground work for an actual personal revolution with me against a sense of independent self. so there is some "magic" to it in that i feel that i am practicing something that is beyond all that i have understood/mastered, and in doing so, there are these "magical" gifts that come. they are equanimity, unconditional love, empathetic joy and compassion. i was originally born an american (usa) and so a big problem that i have is "climbing", we are always taught that we need to do something like get good grades or good job or house and so on. and the emptiness meditation has taught me to be "tired of the climb" and that the great accomplishments in life will be found in the heart of compassion and in seated meditation.
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

muni
Posts: 4532
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:59 am

Re: Emptiness against anger

Post by muni » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:31 pm

By distraction anger start to project, react, and we are lost in own grasping, own suffering. Buddha would have said: you will not be punished for your anger but you will be punished by your anger.
It is great medicine to "watch" upcoming emotions instead, then anger can dissolve.
:meditate:

User avatar
fuki
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:51 pm
Location: Netherlands

Re: Emptiness against anger

Post by fuki » Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:10 pm

tomschwarz wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:06 pm
and one more personal experience around emtpiness meditation, hopefully will inspire others to share...

....other than seeing the innocent phase of all beings who have become cruel, which i initially mentioned, let me please share with you that meditation on emptiness or better said, on the lack of origination, cessation, increase, decrease, defilement, undefilement, absence of defining characteristics and all things are empty, has laid the ground work for an actual personal revolution with me against a sense of independent self. so there is some "magic" to it in that i feel that i am practicing something that is beyond all that i have understood/mastered, and in doing so, there are these "magical" gifts that come. they are equanimity, unconditional love, empathetic joy and compassion. i was originally born an american (usa) and so a big problem that i have is "climbing", we are always taught that we need to do something like get good grades or good job or house and so on. and the emptiness meditation has taught me to be "tired of the climb" and that the great accomplishments in life will be found in the heart of compassion and in seated meditation.
Hi Tom,

perhaps a way to look at it is like this;
if the situation which caused anger (or joy for that matter) wouldn't have appeared would you have then experienced that anger?
The answer is no ofcourse.

So this shows us that anything which arises is void of own-being or self-nature, so since it isn't really "your feeling" how could you ever become angry again unless you see anger arises due to self-grasping, when there are no "others" from where would anger arise?
In the same way if someone is angry at you you would only be compassionate towards that person because you clearly see his/her anger comes from ignorance, a notion of self, which you know is a fabrication and not a reality.

For some this is perhaps more easy said then "done" but that compassion/wisdom is a spontaneous function of your true nature, while anger comes from delusion. So as others said just keep observing/witnessing the mind instead of getting entangled in emotional reactivity, in its arising it is simultaniously liberated into its own condition, for since it has no nature of its own, it will depart by itself. So there's nothing really to "do" about anger, only when it arises see the composition, the dependend origination. When self arises vexations flourish, so keeping that in mind, any anger experiencing could be a blessing for it would immediately gives you an opportunity for insight into dependend arising. Then even when anger (or joy) arises there is no attachment.

ps I'm speaking in general terms eventhough it looks due to my English that I might be talking about you, you seem a very joyous and compassionate, I appreciate you starting this thread and I agree it's important to share personal experiences with each other. But yes when you see dependend arising there is no arising of an independend self, or non-self :lol:

I often say to non-spiritual friends/family, if this wouldnt have happened would you have experienced what you are experiencing now? Then they say no, but when I get to the point of them trying to find out what this can actually teach them they go no further, just blankness.

One could speak of emptiness, void of own-being etc but the intellectual part of it brings limited merit, for ppl only think about things when they experience negative feelings, but who want to hear that joy is momentary and arises due to conditions, everyone wants to attach an identity, a fabricated sense of a personality to good feelings and thoughts! Ironically there lies the crux, you cannot remove something which only exists in imagination. Dependend arising and practise is 24/7 not only when we experience something we don't want to experience.

In my practise (Ch'an) I never tried to invite or get rid of anything or "do" something about anything, I consider anything which happens a blessing, an opportunity. and when practise matures things transform accordingly, and we also do not hold unto any view that being without vexations is somehow a good thing, or being a good Buddhist, for then we would would manifest a bigger self then all the angry and evil one's combined. ;)

ps the term "emptiness against anger" is a bit off, you cannot seperate them, because there's emptiness, there is also anger, due to emptiness anything is possible!
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen nederland.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

User avatar
tomschwarz
Posts: 766
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:31 am

Re: Emptiness against anger

Post by tomschwarz » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:01 pm

Wonderful Fuki, Muni. Tremendous theme Fuki.... ...Cleary understanding all experiences as blessings is an absolutely integral part of some early steps on the path to enlightenment.

Ok so Fuki one mind of one human sees what you were trying to point out to your non-spiritual friends/family, that their reactions to experiences are beautiful signs of interconnection and interdependence a.k.a the absolute truth a.k.a emptiness. Then that same person has a reaction of anger to a situation, firmly attaches to it and shrieks in rejection at the unjust actions that he/she has judged. And then that same person, studying Buddhism, sees how their previous realization of dependent origination applies not only to their reaction of anger, but also how the unjust actions that they were angry about were also logical and justified in the sense that they too were 100% caused.

So then, this same person starts seeing everything as logical, caused, dependently arising and no longer has angry reactions to unjust actions (of other beings) but instead feels compassion for the negative karma that they are taking on.

Question, is this person fooling themselves and a true realization of emptiness should not relate to decreased anger and increased compassion? Or does the realization of emptiness directly oppose anger? Does the realization of emptiness directly support compassion?

Of course we know my answers are yes. But what are your answers? I deeply respect your idea that:
I never tried to invite or get rid of anything or "do" something about anything, I consider anything which happens a blessing
...But is it not true that from that neutral base of all acceptance, specific fruits of wisdom and ethics arise? E.g. the 6 perfections and 4 immeasurables?
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

User avatar
tomschwarz
Posts: 766
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:31 am

Re: Emptiness against anger

Post by tomschwarz » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:14 pm

fuki wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:10 pm
So as others said just keep observing/witnessing the mind instead of getting entangled in emotional reactivity, in its arising it is simultaniously liberated into its own condition, for since it has no nature of its own, it will depart by itself. So there's nothing really to "do" about anger...
Or as muni wrote:
muni wrote: It is great medicine to "watch" upcoming emotions instead, then anger can dissolve.
Clearly you are both correct. We are talking about a more stable and less ignorant part of the mind observing a reactive, very interactive and ignorant part of the mind. In this way we watch ourselves (which can also be a hinderamce to samatha, see observer) to coach minds not to forget that dissolving follows arising, as muni said.

But the fine point that is interesting to discuss.... looking at fuki's wording, if you do not try to "do" anything about anger, and you simply become more aware of its dependent arrising and disolution, and that awareness actually calms your mind as well as decreases the amount of anger you feel as well as increases your heart felt kindness and caring for other beings, then why not call a spade a spade: you relaxed your mind (samatha) became aware of its nature (vipasana) learned about the wisdom of the nature of reality (dependent origination, composition, emptiness) and became less angry. In other words, the meditation and wisdom practices of buddhism supported your ethics practice, no?
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

Post Reply

Return to “Dharma in Everyday Life”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Empty Desire and 43 guests