Although many religious and spiritual texts write about the sinfulness of anger (slightly ironic), the truth is that anger is a feeling built into our DNA. If you’re a long-term or even short-term meditator you know that resisting one’s feelings isn’t very conducive to their passing. Rather, resistance only prolongs one’s pain and suffering.
Checkout this recent Huffington Post from Leslie Davenport on using meditation to not only move through one’s anger, but also as a way to heal and harness its true power. According to Davenport, over time (beginning in childhood), many establish a neurological anger response to situations. Unfortunately, this prevents a person being receptive to other experiences, not to mention another’s perspective. By using mindfulness meditation, however, an individual can begin to have a different relationship with one’s mental stories so that a person does not fall victim to the feeling of anger but rather uses the energy for more constructive purposes.
Mindfulness meditation practice is very helpful in expanding our emotional range. The anger groove gets reinforced by repeating outdated story lines — “She’s always…” “If it wasn’t for him, I’d…” “Others have it better…” — and meditation brings us into a different relationship with our mental stories. With mindfulness, the aim is not to deny or silence our thoughts and feelings or impose a superficial peace. But by loosening our investment in our story, fresh perspectives and other feelings can naturally arise in the space that is created.
Meditation Practice: Set aside about 15 minutes of undisturbed time. Bring awareness to your breath and remain present to its flow and rhythm. When thoughts arise, simply notice that they are there without suppressing, judging or engaging the storyline. Just sit with it, including any physical sensations and emotional intensity. Then bring your focus again to your breath. This cycle may repeat several times during your practice.
Read more from Davenport on using meditation to heal and harness your anger here.