Anger and stress management

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  ken 5 days, 22 hours ago.

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  • #3372


    Hello everybody,

    I got a difficult question: as Buddhists, but above all as human beings, how do you cope with anger and stress? I guess that suppress them is totally wrong, but it isn’t also a great idea to lash out like crazy. I believe that the worst misinterpretation of buddhist teachings about anger is the stereotype of “a calm, zen-like individual which rises above worldy passions”: we all have to live in this world -at least, for this life 🙂 American zen master and author, Brad Warner, explains that the best thing to do is to stay with the anger as it arises: never suppress it, but don’t act under its influence. Tich Nath Han, on his side, suggests to treat rage with kindness as a crying baby. I found them both to be very good ways, altough I’m more on the Brad Warner’s side – but, in the end, I often act like Donald Duck 🙂


  • #3376

    Hi Paulo,

    Brad’s advice is good, as is Thich Nhat Hanh’s. I would add that anger and stress come from moments without faith – they are self-strategies for keeping us safe in the short-term. Of course anger has it’s own good intentions but it often doesn’t have all of the facts. For a Pureland Buddhist one of the most important facts is that we are assured of rebirth in the Pureland, so ultimately there is nothing to worry about – so practising nembutsu  – keeping the Buddha in mind – can be an antidote to stress and anger.

    I do like the idea of anger as a crying baby – because our faith is not perfect – we are bound to fall into these states sometimes – but Amida’s love is exactly for people like us – just like a good mothers love for her baby.

  • #3377

    Hope that makes sense – it reads back as a slightly confused answer – but I am at the end of a long week, and the puppy is keeping us up at night 🙂

  • #3380


    Thank you Kaspalita for the answer. And yes, it totally makes sense, despite the puppy caused sleep deprivation 🙂 Anyway, I agree with the fact that anger is a short term strategy for self protection, altough we have to manage it someway. On the faith side, well, I’m new to this concept and I have to feel it much deeper. Actually, I recognized something of myself in your chapter about your experience in Pure Land Buddhism in the book “Just as you are”: I started as a materialist, then approached Buddhism in its more apparently “scientific” forms, and now I’m turning much more spiritual so…who knows, maybe one day I will develop enough faith to keep an emotional balance.

  • #3382


    Hi Paolo . In a way similar to brad Warner’s method I was taught a while back to treat it like a spoilt child wanting attention. Just observe/view it and give it attention then it can calm down . Another method is distraction. These work sometimes in varying degrees .

    Namo Amida Bu

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