Despite cutting people some slack, there are times when situations seemingly become overwhelming. For example, when I was in Washington, DC recently a tanker turned on its side on one of the busiest, yet only two lanes, exchange. It took us two hours to get to our hotel. Those close behind the tanker were stuck for eleven! Ideally, under those circumstances we can focus on being patient, circumspect and grateful that we, ourselves were not directly involved in the accident. But at the eleven hour point, tired, hungry, thirsty, possibly with young children in the car, this may be a bit difficult for the novice. So, what to do with that frustration, that anger?

Note that the title of this week’s musing does not suggest that you deny or attempt to squelch your anger. It is a key emotion in all humans, and needs to be recognized as such. Contrary to the typical American style of addressing anger, when Thích Nhất Hạnh was asked how to let anger out, he responded that the goal is not to let the anger out, but to instead keep it in. Not quite what you’ve been told before? Since he explains this concept so eloquently, I’ll let you listen for yourself rather than summarize his response for you. Here is the link:

Intrigued? Thích Nhất Hạnh also wrote a book about anger, Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames. The book is readily available online and in book stores and, as are all books written by Thích Nhất Hạnh, is relevant and easy to read and understand.

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