I have anger in me and I'm no longer afraid to admit it. I am angry. It could be many things, it could be one thing or it could be nothing, the root cause of my anger. The fact is that I am human, and humans get angry.
So I reached out to read Thich Nhat Hanh's book Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames published in 2001. I'm not even half way through it and I'm already recommending it. The first night I read it I went to bed angry, and not at the book or Thich Nhat Hanh. The suggestion of anger, bringing my awareness to the fact that I have anger in me and the emotions that surround anger, caused it to emerge like wildfire in my mind. My head felt hot. I had trouble sleeping.
Thich Nhat Hanh writes:
"Both our negative feelings and positive feelings are organic and belong to the same reality. So there is no need to fight; we only need to embrace and take care. Therefore, in the Buddhist tradition, meditation does not mean you transform yourself into a battlefield, with the good fighting the evil. This is very important. You may think that you have to combat evil and chase it out of your heart and mind. But this is wrong. The practice is to transform yourself. If you don't have garbage, you have nothing to use in order to make compost. And if you have no compost, you have nothing to nourish the flower in you. You need the suffering, the afflictions in you. Since they are organic, you know that you can transform them and make good use of them."
So now, as I continue to read on and learn from the wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh, I'll be tending my anger like the good, rich compost it is, making me a certified organic farmer of my feelings. And like other certified organic things, I'm learning that certified organic anger is not always cheap and easy to cultivate and harvest, it requires a lot of time and patience, and constant care and nourishment that goes way beyond a quick fix. But I'm up for it. I like my 100% certified organic anger just fine.