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    I really like the wording of our precepts ‘may I be aware of WHEN,’ not IF, but WHEN, which acknowledges our vulnerability and our basic human being-ness. There are many times when we will fail spectacularly to fulfil our precepts, and actually that’s what they’re there for, to remind us, to bring us back, to support us.
    In some sanghas when students are studying to take the precepts formally, they are encouraged to write their own additional precepts.
    Last Wednesday as we said the liturgy it occurred to me that I could do with another precept – may I be aware of when I fall into anger, because just that morning, I had written up my diary entry for Tuesday which reads’Today I’ve been mostly Angry.’

    I’m not against Anger as such, I don’t think we should turn away from it – it’s Big Energy, which harnessed in the right way can be used really positively. Anger about injustice, inhumane treatmet of sentient beings, people and animals, the treatment of our environment . This anger can be transformed into the energy which motivates us into engaging and taking action.

    But my anger wasn’t like that. I wasn’t angry with anything or anyone in particular, but I know I was manifesting it. It didn’t have a particular focus, it didn’t have that useful kind of energy, it was more like a vacuum sucking energy into it.
    I have some short sayings that I use in my practice, one of them is ‘what is this?’ I looked closely at this anger, I asked it gently ‘what is this?’. And I realised that like most of our difficult emotions, it came from a place of fear.

    Im holding a lot of fear at the moment, fear about Stef’s state of health, the immediatate future, fearing that I won’t be able to cope, my language skills won’t be enough, I’ll somehow let him down. It’s an honour for me to be able to care for him, but it’s also a responsibility. BUT as soon as I acknowledged the fear, opened up to it, as soon as I said out loud ‘I’m frightened’, I felt a huge relief and could feel the hard edges of that fear softening.

    I can’t make fear go away, but I know it will change, it will come and go, and allowing that will help me when I no doubt meet that pointless black hole anger again.

    I also know I’m not alone – I’m supported.
    Taking refuge in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha doesn’t mean turning away from difficult emotions or spiritually bypassing; it means having faith, trusting. I can call on Dharma teachings, I know I can reach out to Sangha, and I can call on Amida and know I will be answered – Amida will sit next to me, help me hold onto my courage, give me confidence.
    I know I’m not alone
    Namo Amida Bu.

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    1 Comment

    About the Author

    Satya Robyn ()


    One Reply to “Dharma Glimpse by Frankie”

    1. Your reflection on the precepts and your personal journey with anger is both insightful and deeply relatable. The acknowledgment of vulnerability and the recognition that we will inevitably stumble on our path are crucial aspects of cultivating mindfulness and compassion.

      Your decision to add a personal precept, “may I be aware of when I fall into anger,” demonstrates a profound commitment to self-awareness and growth. It’s a beautiful reminder that our practice is not about perfection but about continuous learning and coming back to ourselves with kindness and understanding.

      Your exploration of anger as a form of energy, albeit one that needs careful discernment, resonates deeply. Anger, when channeled constructively towards addressing injustice and suffering, can indeed be a powerful force for positive change. Yet, as you discovered, there are times when anger arises from a place of fear, uncertainty, or insecurity, manifesting as a draining rather than motivating force. Your willingness to investigate and acknowledge these difficult emotions with gentleness and curiosity is truly commendable.

      Your experience of finding relief and softening the edges of fear by openly acknowledging it highlights the transformative power of mindfulness and vulnerability. By embracing our fears and vulnerabilities with openness and compassion, we create space for healing and resilience to emerge.

      Your recognition of the support offered by the Triple Gem—Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha—is deeply touching. Taking refuge in these sources of wisdom and community doesn’t mean denying or bypassing difficult emotions; rather, it provides a foundation of strength and guidance to navigate life’s challenges with courage and grace.

      Thank you for sharing your journey with such honesty and vulnerability. Your words serve as a source of inspiration and encouragement for others on the path. Namo Amida Bu.

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