Author Topic: Anger & politics  (Read 366 times)

Offline ZenCanuck

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Anger & politics
« on: December 11, 2016, 04:21:20 pm »
Hi there,

I am new to Buddhism and struggling with anger issues. Part of my anger issues stem from politics and current events.

Thich Nhat Hanh teaches us that we should not "poison" ourselves with bad images, sources, etc...treat our minds as well as we do our bodies...and there is a lot of negative information (always) in the news.

I believe we have a duty to pay attention to current events, politics, etc. so that we can vote intelligently if we wish to continue living in a free democracy. But, I get very angry at politicians and the things they do and the policies they support that clearly hurt others. I especially get angry at what I feel to be unfeeling, cruel-hearted supporters. I've been kind of avoiding the news except for the local Canadian newspaper and the CBC in the last month and a half as I just get too angry otherwise. So what I struggle with is how to handle my anger...how to approach the news with a good heart so that I don't get angry at things I can't control anyway, but I don't want to turn away from the people who are getting hurt by certain decisions and policies. I think like any right-thinking person, I dislike injustice and needless suffering inflicted on others.

How do others handle reading/keeping up on the news?

Thank you for listening.

ZenCanuck

Offline Solodris

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Re: Anger & politics
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2016, 10:13:17 am »
My personal experience on practicing the Dharma regarding pacifying aggression have revealed that unconditional compassion and an emotionally non-dualist approach by practicing humility towards the beings that is the source of my anger is the path to inner peace. Try to consider their minds being conditioned to a dualist approach to suffering while the great middle way practices non-dualism.

The teaching of the Buddha considers actions to be either skillful or unskillful in reducing suffering. A conditioned mind give rise to anger where anger would supposedly be relevant, but if we remind ourselves that anger give rise to hate, and hate give rise to violence, we would reach the conclusion that morally, the middle ground is the most skillful means to alleviate the suffering of the situation. To reach the middle ground, we must be unconditionally compassionate towards both sides of the issue.

Offline ZenCanuck

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Re: Anger & politics
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2016, 06:19:25 am »
Good points. I do try to focus on how we are *all* locked in ignorance and need to be liberated...I want to feel compassion for them but also the power and willingness to say "no" to what they're saying and doing. I don't want to lose the ability to push back against injustice. One criticism of liberal thinking with which I agree is that it's often *too* focused on compassion and unwilling to act on injustice. That's where the struggle is for me...having compassion but also having the courage to fight back against injustice.

Offline Solodris

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Re: Anger & politics
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2016, 10:12:53 am »
There is no injustice, practice is teaching the human condition to be alleviated from the accumulation of suffering.

Offline question everything

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Re: Anger & politics
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2017, 03:32:46 pm »
I choose not to watch the news on a daily basis, I look once a week and that is enough. Our own daily life as enough complications and distractions without watching the rest of the world through news agencies and media that need controversy and melodrama to sell their wares. Concentrate perhaps a little more on letting go of those distractions that create stress, mental noting, observation of the subject and then letting go. Some may find this approach ignorant, but I have no control over Politics and War and poverty, I can only  make my own world more peaceful for those around me.
" Better than a thousand useless words is one useful word, hearing which one attains peace."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/dhp/dhp.08.budd.html

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Anger & politics
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2017, 02:24:26 pm »
...Our own daily life as enough complications and distractions without watching the rest of the world through news agencies and media that need controversy and melodrama to sell their ware  ....  I can only  make my own world more peaceful for those around me.

Sounds like a great formula.  My wife is a liberal by birthright.  I must listen to her commentary midstream of every politically flavored news story and while she is reading the newspaper at breakfast.  (Yes!  Some liberals also read newspapers much like conservatives read "The Bible". )  It is during these times that I practice focusing upon and listening to my breath.

By the way, this is one of the downsides of having DVR's on every t.v. set.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 08:07:30 pm by Ron-the-Elder »
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

 


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