If we are enraged by listening to the news during this challenging season, we can use our mindfulness practice to turn toward our rage and make good use of it in order to protect the most vulnerable and oppressed.
In addition to serving the common good, using our anger in this way releases the stuckness that we often feel when anger builds up inside of us.
I want to offer you a video excerpt that addresses anger from the Block, Build, Be workshop that I co-led with Katie Loncke at Circle Yoga last month. I talk about how to use the energy of our anger to block harmful actions, rather than venting it or letting it become a painful resentment eating away at us from the inside.
In the video, I refer to the 14 Mindfulness Trainings that form the foundation of my ordination in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. These trainings serve as a guide to the practice of the Bodhisattva (someone who practices for the sake of the whole world).
In the ninth Mindfulness Training, the suggestion is:
We will do our best to speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so may threaten our safety.
From the 11th Mindfulness Training:
A spiritual community should, however, take a clear stand against oppression and injustice and should strive to change the situation without engaging in partisan conflicts.
From the 13th Mindfulness Training:
Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing, and oppression, we are committed to cultivating loving-kindness and learning ways to work for the well-being of people, animals, plants, and minerals.
Using our anger to take clear stands against oppression and injustice is a helpful way to change the situation without engaging in partisan conflicts or taking sides and adding to the conflict.
Please reach out to me with questions and comments, or post them below.