September 25, 2010
Today’s Daily Dharma,
Anger is one of the most difficult defilements to overcome; I know this from firsthand experience. When I was a young monk in Ceylon, I gave many sermons on anger and how to control it, even as my own anger caused me to lose my temper repeatedly. I’m calling it “my” anger, but that isn’t quite right. Anger would invade my mind and overwhelm me, and I let it do that, despite the fact that inevitably it made me feel miserable. When I was angry, I felt pain in my chest and burning in my stomach. My eyesight blurred, my reasoning was unclear, and ugly, harsh words came out of my mouth.
After I calmed down, always feeling ashamed and foolish, I would reflect on the Buddha’s words about anger: “One should give up anger, renounce pride, and overcome all fetters. Suffering never befalls him who clings not to mind and body and is detached. One who checks rising anger as a charioteer checks a rolling chariot, him I call a true charioteer.”
-Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, "Taming a Crank"
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