By: David Xi-Ken Astor, Sensei
There are many human emotions that challenge the harmony in our personal relationships. It is so easy to get caught up in the moment and lose sight of the causal-chain of what is really happening.
Take anger for example. If someone were to hit us over the head with a club, we would not get angry at the club would we? No, of course not. We would show anger at the person who struck us. So consider how we often act when someone uses angry words directed toward us. We should use wisdom gained through our practice to not get angry back at this individual, because they are acting out of some disturbing emotions to the nature of the root cause of their anger. In other words, the person is not the cause of anger, but a thought or emotional situation that moves the ego to act in angry ways.
If we respond back with an equal emotional response we will continue the causal-chain of negative emotions effecting additional unsatisfactoriness. A more positive and constructive way to see these moments of anger presents us with opportunities to shift the trajectory of the moment and relationship in a more useful and productive way.
When we can achieve this type of response, if we can respond in new ways, then we can transform our relationship with others in a pragmatic and mature manner that reflects the maturity of our practice.