Anger (Cold Shoulder) part 3
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2002-06-29
In part two of this second talk on anger, Bodhinatha goes into the second rung on the ladder of anger, "the cold shoulder." He summarizes the first two rungs by discussing the subtleness of these first two rungs and how important it is to avoid them because they stimulate the lower, instinctive chakras. He also talks about the problem of bringing anger home from work and disturbing the home, and the proper way of looking at dealing with anger from within our philosophy.
Second rung, the cold shoulder. "I am mad at you but not going to talk
about why. But you are going to know I am mad at you because I am not going
to talk to you, I am not going to look at you. We are just not going to
interact. If we walk by one another, I will walk down the other side of the
street. If we happen to meet and you say hello, I turn around and don't say
any thing." This is the cold shoulder.
It is more direct than sneaky anger. The frustrating part to the other
person is that they are not sure what you are mad at. "What did I do to
make this person mad at me? They are obviously mad at me because they are
ignoring me, they won't speak to me, they won't look at me. They are upset
with something I did, but they won't tell me what it is." So that, is the
These two may seem fairly harmless compared to blind rage or something like
throwing things against the wall and breaking them or hitting people. You
say, "Well, what is the big deal? These are small problems." But for
those who are on the spiritual path, it is definitely a big deal.
Gurudeva made a point that we read in a talk about swearing. Swearing is
right there in the middle, on the fourth rung on the ladder, has the problem
of stimulating the lower chakras. If we swear a lot, we are stimulating
the lower chakras a lot and that can easily lead to going further in our
expression of anger. This is the same thing. Though it sounds innocuous,
if we do enough sneaky anger and cold shouldering, we can end up in the next
step before we know it, blaming and shaming, followed by swearing, followed
by screaming and yelling. So that is the problem. It can easily lead to an
acceleration of anger. It is better not to even take the first step into
this area, better to avoid it all just to be safe. Plus not only do we
experience anger, but we stimulate the lower emotions, we could end up in
lower emotions too. The mind isn't that selective. We could end up in fear.
Anger when expressed, even sneaky anger and cold shoulder, can easily throw
us in a state of fear. Worry and fear go together, that whole state. It can
even throw us into jealousy, all of a sudden. "Boy, what everybody else is
getting! Why do they get that and not me?" We start to feel jealous about
other people and why they are getting treated better than we are. Those
emotions come along with anger, even in this subtle form of sneaky anger and
cold shoulder. We certainly want to avoid those states of mind.
Then the last thought for the day is looking at the common problem of the
husband working, having a rough day at work and getting upset and angry with
people at work. But of course, work is a professional situation. Unless
you are the boss, you cannot express your anger, you will get fired. You
end up heading toward home, in an angry state of mind or frustrated state
of mind. You are really unhappy about how you are being treated at work.
It is totally unfair. If you had your way, if you were able to do so, you
would scold the people that are being mean to you. You really have this
anger towards them. But, you cannot express it, of course, because you
would lose your job.
Usually, we look at the commute as a problem. "Boy! It takes us a half and
hour to get home from work, this is terrible. It takes us an hour to drive
from work to home, this is terrible." But, this is an opportunity also to
change our state of consciousness or at least reflect on our state of
consciousness to make sure it doesn't need to be changed. It is a
wonderful opportunity that lots of people have that commute home from work,
whereby we can first of all reflect on our state of consciousness. "Am I
upset at something that happened today? To what extent am I upset?" Then,
we have a chance if we are upset, to change that state of consciousness
before we get home. Because if we don't, maybe we end up yelling at our
wife, the wife ends up yelling at the kids and the kids
end up hitting the dog, whatever. Down the ladder it goes here, in terms of
who is bigger and who is smaller. That whole scenario, domino scenario, can
be avoided if we first of all, reflect on our state of consciousness during
our commute and then change it if we need to.
There is one school of thought, which is not our school of thought. Well,
you handle anger by expressing anger. That is not Gurudeva's teachings. We
want to express anger. You have all this pent-up anger inside and the best
thing to do is, "We will all get down in a group and shout out angry words
at one another to get it off our chest." No, that is not our teachings.
Anger is a lower emotion, the energy in the lower chakra. What do we want
to do? We want to raise that energy into a higher chakra. We don't want to
express it through the lower chakra and get rid of it all down there. No,
we want to raise it, transmute it.
As we were talking about in the 'Anger Management' part, a couple of ways of
Number one, Gurudeva gives us the color meditation method. Flooding our
aura with blue, light blue color. Flooding the inner and outer aura with
light blue coming out from the spine changes our state of consciousness.
For some people, this practice is more effective than other people. But, it
is a good tool to use in your commute if you find your state of mind is
angry. You want to get rid of it before you get home.
Another method is the devotional method of Lord Ganesha. You can stick a
little CD or cassette in your music system with some bhajans and think about
Lord Ganesha. Blend your consciousness with Lord Ganesha's Shakti and
Being. Uplift yourself in that way. We want to take this energy and lift it
up, out of the instinctive mind. Lift it back into the muladhara chakra and
above. We don't want to go below the muladhara chakra. If the energy is
below the muladhara chakra we don't want to express it. We want to raise
it back up.
So, the commute is now a positive activity, if we are in need of it. It is
a chance to change our consciousness, raise our consciousness. So when we go
home, we don't bring all this anger into the home and disturb the home,
disturb the wife, disturb the children. There is no need to go through that
process. Of course, this works well when we are not working in the home.
If we are working in the home, we have to be very careful. It is a delicate
balance when you try and run your office from your home. Fortunately, we
are usually doing it just by ourselves. So, we are not interacting with a
lot of other people. But still we could get quite upset with something
going wrong on the phone or some business deal goes sour or someone is
treating us in an unjust way. We end up getting very angry at them and here
we are in the middle of the home. So, of course we have to be very careful
not to just turn around, take that energy and express it towards the next
person we meet in the home, because we cannot yell at the customer. It is
just not acceptable. We are mad at the customer but we can't yell at the
customer. So, we turn around and we yell at the first child that comes up
and says, "Good morning!"
You have to follow other routines if you are doing business from the home,
if things are to be at all smooth. Maybe go for a walk or something which
a break so you don't take the business energy that you are generating in the
home and upset the home with it.
Those are our additional thoughts on 'Anger Management'. Building up quite
a repertoire here in this area. As Gurudeva said, it is one of the most
difficult areas to control. Remember why? Because it expresses itself in
so many different ways. That is what he says, because anger comes out in
all these different ways. Here we have eight different ways it comes out.
So, it is a very important area to control and even in the subtle,
subtleness of it. Even in sneaky anger and in the cold shoulder, we need
to take it seriously and not allow our selves to develop the habit patterns
in those areas. If we are raising children, these habit patterns can
easily, in adult years, go down further into more gross expressions.