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Advice on anger during meditation?

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Advice on anger during meditation?
Answer
2/8/12 9:07 PM
I'm still early in practice, having started only four weeks ago. I'm sitting zazen, but doing the Mahasi noting thing.

So far the main things that I've had to "note", other than my abdomen rising and falling, have been fairly simple things: a thought about work, a pain, a sudden noise. But tonight I carried with me (involuntarily) into my sitting, anger about a situation that arose today. The details don't matter (unless anyone needs to hear them to help give advice), but I found the anger and associated emotions to be much more complex than the normal simple items. And, of specific relevance, the anger persisted through multiple "notings".

What's the right way to deal with that kind of thing? Do I just note it and then return to my breath? I did try that, but as I say the anger remained, so I was back and forth from it to breath to anger to breath for a while.

Or do I try to study the nature of the anger, decomposing it and so on?

Or what?

thanks.

RE: Advice on anger during meditation?
Answer
2/8/12 10:33 PM as a reply to Johnny Froth.
Your back and forth with the breath and anger option sounds like one of the more reasonable, not that there is a perfectly right answer.

The breath will help you keep the bodily component strong, which helps a lot, and noticing what else is arising is honest and honesty with what is arising is really good practice.

Bodily investigation of the anger is useful: where is it, how do those points move or change, how to thoughts trigger bodily responses, how do those bodily sensations trigger further thoughts, what else is going on, do you find a with that everything was ok or everything worked out or something like that in the anger, etc. ?

Those are good things to viscerally and rapidly investigate.

Daniel

RE: Advice on anger during meditation?
Answer
2/9/12 1:01 AM as a reply to Johnny Froth.
Johnny Froth:
but I found the anger and associated emotions to be much more complex than the normal simple items.



Don't stick with a simple term then. Get all descriptive, like you are describing it to a tree. We only assume 'anger' is a complex thing, but like you have spotted, get down into the mess of sensations and go for your life. "Burning, prickly, sinking, hot, buzzing, fuzzy, gas, aching, sharp, tingling, empty, throat, glands, stinging, falling, moving, hot, tense," Keep drilling down until it becomes obvious that it doesn't pin down to any single thing. that is called 'not self'; you will not find a thing called 'anger' anymore than a thing called 'happy' or the bit you assume is 'you'.

Noting, and awareness of the centre of the chest (i started noticing that all feelings basically had the same qualities in different measures) have calmed me down alot. After a while, that burning 'anger' will become more of a sensation than a story line.