I had an experience years and years ago, where I went to see a friend of mine who is a healer, and I had been practising Vedic meditation for a few years and before that many different types over many years. I expressed to her my frustration that even though “I was consistently meditating” I was still feeling angry, pissed off and frustrated at times. Which was in truth annoying as I thought I was inoculating myself to these things!!
This wonderful woman Corrie works with many incredible sages, monks, and healers and asked me did I think the Dalai Lama got angry. I responded, absolutely not, that was the point! She suppressed an affectionate laugh and explained it to me like this…
A regular person with no mechanisms to release stress, is in a confrontational situation, and they are instantly gripped by it, their throat tightens, they get hot, fists clench and they react instantly from that place.
A meditator who has a daily technique of reducing stress and rewiring their systems, is in a confrontational situation, and they are instantly gripped by it, their throat tightens, they get hot, fists clench and they then have a little buffer, a moment, where they can choose to respond wisely. They won’t always do this, but it’s now an option.
The Dalai Lama then, it is in a confrontational situation, and he is instantly gripped by it, his throat tightens, he gets hot, fists clench and then he almost instantly dissolves into giggles.
Because he understands anger is just a human response and we can’t numb ourselves to anything. I had the misconstrued idea that I would be able to have an emotional switchboard and turn ‘off’ all the things I wanted to not experience, shame, resentment, anger and then keep ‘on’ all the good stuff, like love, joy, compassion. But it’s all on one giant volume control. Numbing is numbing, heightening is heightening. Just because we meditate doesn’t mean we transgress being a human being, we can though understand ourselves and others much better because of our practice.
So I refocused my attention after this wonderful moment of clarity not on NOT experiencing being a human being, but on what I call ‘recovery time’. Recovery time is about the space in between the moments of something occurring and then the response to that. In this space, can I minimise the output of anger? Can I understand it more deeply? How long will I allow myself to wallow in shame after getting really angry?
Sent with love,