Don’t be Surprised

by Friends of Godwin

When we get angry unexpectedly, what do we do? The first suggestion is: Don’t be surprised! Because you are still practising, you are not enlightened, so don’t be disappointed, don’t feel guilty, don’t get angry with yourself because you got angry. This is very important. It can happen to meditators, especially when we take to meditation, that we form an image: I am a meditator now. I am practising loving-kindness. This is how I should behave. It is good to have an ideal but an ideal is one thing, reality is another.

So at that moment when you have not been aware and you got angry, what you can do is just be with that anger without feeling bad: no need to give yourself a minus. Please realise that. It is very important.

But what has to be done is after you recover from that anger, maybe after five minutes, maybe after ten minutes, maybe after thirty minutes, it doesn’t matter even if on the following day, when you have recovered then you reflect on that anger. And this kind of reflection has to be done in a very friendly, gentle way. Just to ask the question: What really happened to me? So you take your mind backwards and try to see the incident objectively, and also see the different aspects of that incident. So our anger becomes the object of meditation. In this way our shortcomings, our failures, become learning experiences.