Framing the Dialogue

The Cow in the Parking Lot

“Even though he is the human embodiment of patience and compassion, the Dalai Lama himself has admitted that he gets angry. The object of this book is not to eliminate anger but to place it and our expression of it in a different context…A fair summary of this book is: You are hitting your hand with a hammer. If you stop, you will feel better.”

What do you do when some idiot cuts you off on your drive to work?  How about that putz who has been tailgating you for the past 10 miles?  How about when your spouse always puts their wet towel on top of your towel and your towel is still wet the next morning (yes we use our towels more than once)?  In Susan Edmiston and Leonard Scheff’s “Zen Approach to Overcoming Anger” you’ll get the tools to let go of those feelings by looking at the type of anger; Important and Reasonable (you want love from your partner); Reasonable but Unimportant (you didn’t get that seat in the restaurant window); Irrational (you want respect from a stranger); and the Impossible (you want someone to fix everything wrong in your life).

This one really hit home for me!

“What we observe in the moment is what we know. The rest is all interpretation based on a filter of past experiences that may or may not have any relevance to it. ..One way that we invite anger into our lives is by not letting our demands be known. We expect, in fact, that people around us magically know what we want from them. When they do not divine our needs, we get angry.”

The book is full of helpful tips and anecdotes and not without some humor.  This one is a keeper…

“One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside all people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. “One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. “The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”


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