Thoughts. Experiences. Inspiration.

Being angry in the Dharma

July 10, 2013 1

We had a liaisons council meeting two days ago. After concluding another meeting, Rinpoche came to join us and give us a teaching. The liaisons are a group of Kecharians who work closely with Rinpoche to ensure that his direction and vision for the Kechara organisation is fulfilled.

During the teaching, amongst the many things Rinpoche said, one thing in particular stood out for me:

Dharma doesn’t make you angry. Impossible.

I’m always amazed by how Rinpoche can use very few words to convey so much meaning. I was taken aback not just by the simplicity of the sentence, but how profound it is once you think about it.

  1. Dharma doesn’t make you angry. If you are angry, it is because you came into Dharma with that anger. You came to Dharma to do something about the anger you already have. Since the anger exists prior to Dharma, Dharma cannot make you something you already are
  2. if you’re truly practising Dharma, and practising all the way, then there shouldn’t be any anger in you. To truly practise Dharma is to cultivate the six paramitas, all of which are the antithesis of anger

So therefore on both counts, it REALLY is impossible that Dharma makes you angry. To say otherwise is illogical and arising out of anger, which itself arises from you knowing there’s something you should be doing but you’re not (and you’ve been trying to hide it but have been found out).

Let Go So if you’re angry and you’re in Dharma, ask yourself why you still have that anger in you. Is it the Dharma’s fault that you’re still angry, when the Dharma has been able to help countless other sentient beings? Or is it your fault, because you haven’t applied the teachings that is the Dharma? You know what they say – you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. Did you forget to drink in the nectar that is the Dharma?

And when you don’t apply the teachings, is it fair for you to blame something that has the potential to help others? Is that the responsible thing to do? When you blame the Dharma for your anger, aren’t you just reinforcing the very actions and attitudes that caused you to fail in your practice in the first place?

Those who don’t know any better will call Buddhists nihilistic because we’re always talking about death, impermanence and letting go. The trouble is that the uninformed don’t realise that once you let go, all of the things that caused you unhappiness are no more, and you open yourself up to receiving so much goodness. Because “letting go” doesn’t mean letting go of the good stuff; it means letting go of the behaviours, thoughts and actions that have caused you unhappiness and suffering over countless lifetimes.

Six simple words and two days later, I’m still thinking about what they mean to me!

Reflections and Teachings

One Comment → “Being angry in the Dharma”

  1. michele marie 9 years ago   Reply

    Thank you Pastor Jean Ai so much for your very useful and inspiring writing on anger pride and letting go!

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