godsdreamjournal asked: For the past month I have faced challenges in my path where I encounter individuals that mistreat other people through their words or their actions and I have found it difficult to not feel rage towards them. It is hard for me to keep my mouth shut and let it go when I feel like they do these things on purpose because they love their ignorance. What are some practices one can do to channel this negative energy that lingers inside me to something more positive and peaceful? Thank you.
It is easier to spot the ignorance in other people than it is to see it in ourselves. Only ignorance recognizes ignorance. Your anger is not just toward them but towards yourself as well.
Everyone wants love and desires to avoid suffering. That is something we all have in common. They do not love their ignorance but they just know no other reality. There is no blame to be offered for this. Ignorance is suffering. After all, it is your own ignorance that is making you feel rage toward them.
Extend yourself some compassion. Then offer it to them as well.
A technique that will be of definite use to you is called tonglen. It is a tibetan buddhist meditation technique. You can do it as a sitting meditation or when you are out in the world and feel this negativity overcoming you.
The technique is simple but profound. When you inhale, inhale the suffering and pain and ignorance that is in you and in the world and in those people. When you exhale, you give away everything pleasant, beautiful, loving, and peaceful to those people and the world.
Inhale in the bad; exhale the good. Counter-intuitive, yes?
Most people desire the opposite. To inhale the good and make walls of positivity and goodness around one’s self, while throwing out the trash into the world. But in the end, walls always have to shatter.
By inhaling the negative, we are demonstrating our strength and capability to ourselves, while diminishing the ego’s desire to focus on itself. By giving away the positive, we are recognizing our own inherent wealth. Happiness and compassion does not decrease by being shared and yet we are so stingy with it! We are the ones who convince ourselves that love is scarce and precious.
Tonglen will cultivate a wealthy mentality in which there is plenty of love to go around while at the same time becoming a garbage disposal for suffering.
There is more detail on the subject but you can find a variety of tonglen techniques simply by googling.
Through this technique, you will gradually become aware of the reality behind interdependence. You are not separate from those to whom you feel rage.
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