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From Teabaggers (I never got used to "Tea Partiers" and stick with the name they gave themselves) to television news shriekers to the average Jane and Joe on the street (employed or not), Americans seem pretty testy lately. Just turn on cable or take public transportation—or read the blogs.
Whether it's difficulty adjusting to the realities of the new century or to our much-changed role in the world, people are angry. So I thought I'd link to a short piece by Ken McLeod, who wrote on anger, its causes, and its remedies through mind-training (lojong), a practice Acharya Judy Lief writes about regularly for us at tricycle.com.
Ken wrote back in the hot summer of 1998:
Mind training is about learning and knowing that you don’t exist the way you think you do. Anger ceases to arise because there’s nothing to defend...
How does mind training help? It works in two ways, which are the two components to Mahayana practice. One, they help cultivate compassion, and two, they help cultivate an understanding of emptiness.
Since then, everyone seems only angrier. Maybe the country doesn't exist the way it thinks it does. Or maybe everyone missed that issue. If that's the case, you can read "Awakening to Anger" here.
Photo © William Klein