Five Ways Of Putting An End To Anger

Shariputra shared with monks, five ways of putting an end to anger:

1. If there is someone whose bodily actions are not kind but whose words are kind, if you feel anger toward him, meditate to put an end to your anger.

A bhikshu practicing asceticism wears a patchwork robe. On a filthy garbage pile one piece of cloth is still intact. So he takes it home, washes, and sews it into his patchwork robe. If you are wise, when someone’s bodily actions are not kind but his words are kind, pay attention to his kind words. This will help you end your anger.

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2. If you become angry with someone whose words are not kind but whose bodily actions are kind, meditate to put an end to your anger.
The surface of a lake is covered with algae and grass. A thirsty man takes off his clothes, jumps into the water, and with his hands clears away the algae and grass, and enjoys bathing in and drinking the cool water. It is the same, with someone whose words are not kind but whose bodily actions are kind. Pay attention to his bodily actions and not words, to end your anger. 

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3. If there is someone whose bodily actions and words are not kind, but who still has a little kindness in his heart, if you feel anger toward that person, meditate to end to your anger.

At a crossroads a weak, thirsty, hot and deprived person sees a buffalo’s footprint with some stagnant rainwater in it. She thinks, ‘If I use my hand or a leaf to scoop it up, it will become muddy and undrinkable. I will have to kneel down, put my lips right to the water, and drink it directly.’ She does just that. When you see someone whose bodily actions and words are not kind, but where there is still a little kindness in her heart, pay attention to the little kindness that is in her heart so you may end your anger. 

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4. If there is someone whose words and bodily actions are not kind, and in whose heart there is nothing that can be called kindness, if you are angry with that person, meditate to end your anger.

A man on a long journey falls sick. He is alone and exhausted and he fears he will die. Someone comes along and takes the man’s hand and leads him to the next village. She ministers to his needs. Because of this compassion and loving kindness, the man’s life is saved. When you see someone whose words and bodily actions are not kind, and in whose heart there is nothing that can be called kindness, think: ‘That someone is undergoing great suffering. Unless he meets a good spiritual friend, there will be no chance for him to transform and be happy.’ You will open your heart with love and compassion. 

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5. If there is someone whose bodily actions are kind, whose words are kind, and whose mind is also kind, if you are angry with that person, meditate to end your anger.

A lake’s water is clear and sweet. A thirsty man takes off his clothes, jumps into the water, and finds great comfort and enjoyment in drinking and bathing in the pure water. His suffering disappears. Give your attention to all his kindness of body, speech, and mind, and do not allow anger or jealousy to overwhelm you. Abridged from a Plum Village discourse.

source:speakingtree

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