Vipassana for anger management? Please help!

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Re: Vipassana for anger management? Please help!

Postby PeterB » Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:28 am

Once more..perhaps you would care to share with us a little about where you learned Vipassana and from which organisation/s Chownah...it would help in comparing notes.
I seem to remember last time I asked you were a little vague.
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Re: Vipassana for anger management? Please help!

Postby PeterB » Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:56 am

befriend wrote:i think embracing a new philsophy on life could be helpful. say there is a slow driver in front of you. are you late for anything?, if you are can you just tell them there was a slow driver in front of you? say it is a little old woman do you think she can help driving slow. she probably thinks its the year 19 dickity 2 and is going god knows where, shes probably going to get lost in a few minutes. and have her driving privelages taking away from her. that should ellicit compassion not anger. say its a asshole teenager who wants to piss you off, so he drives the exact speed limit as an ironic joke. this teenager will suffer from his mean spiritedness and not find peace of mind. which should also ellicit compassion from you. REMEMBER THIS IS EARTH, THIS IS NOT HEAVEN. are you surpised that your toddler throws a temper tantrum when you dont buy her candy? do you get mad at a wolf for eating a sheep??????? kudos on your determination on curbing your anger. oh i forget, i used to be the angriest kid i knew, i actually have broken my hand in 3 places, and dislocated my shoulder and burned a relationship forever. now i woudlnt think of doing that. because of my philosophy. not because of my meditation.



" If you think of this world has heaven you will be constantly disappointed. If you think of this world as one of the higher hells you be frequently astonished by its beauty and by the wisdom of those who dwell there..."

Luang Por Sumedho.
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Re: Vipassana for anger management? Please help!

Postby jackson » Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:42 pm

Great quote PeterB!
:anjali:
"The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Vipassana for anger management? Please help!

Postby chownah » Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:56 am

PeterB wrote:Once more..perhaps you would care to share with us a little about where you learned Vipassana and from which organisation/s Chownah...it would help in comparing notes.
I seem to remember last time I asked you were a little vague.

I don't see how your question is related to the topic....and frankly it seems a bit off the mark in terms of Nayanatloka's definition of vipassana....in an attempt to stay at least marginally on topic I submit the following excerpts from the definition of "Vipassana" from Nayanatiloka' Dictionary (online):
http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... dic3_v.htm

(the first sentence of the definition:)
"Vipassanā: 'insight', is the intuitive light flashing forth and exposing the truth of the impermanency, the suffering and the impersonal and unsubstantial nature of all material and mental phenomena of existence."


From this I take that vipassana is "intuitive"....and it is thus not "learned" per se.

(the first sentence of the second paragraph)
"Insight is not the result of a mere intellectual understanding, but is won through direct meditative observation of one's own bodily and mental processes."


This reinforces my view that vipassana is not something that is "learned".
I guess that any experience that anyone has had of vipassana was "won through direct meditative observation of one's own bodily and mental processes.".
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Re: Vipassana for anger management? Please help!

Postby PeterB » Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:28 am

Of course it does...

:anjali:
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Re: Vipassana for anger management? Please help!

Postby ground » Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:07 pm

chownah wrote:(the first sentence of the definition:)
"Vipassanā: 'insight', is the intuitive light flashing forth and exposing the truth of the impermanency, the suffering and the impersonal and unsubstantial nature of all material and mental phenomena of existence."


From this I take that vipassana is "intuitive"....and it is thus not "learned" per se.

How so? How could "the truth of the impermanency, the suffering and the impersonal and unsubstantial nature of all material and mental phenomena of existence" be exposed if you did not learn about these phenomena in the first place, if nobody told you "that is {that]" and "this is {this}"?
"intuitive" is misleading.

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Re: Vipassana for anger management? Please help!

Postby hoshin » Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:19 pm

The noble octuple path is a path of purification which purifies us in three ways, by using "tools"...

It purifies our act and speech by the path of SILA, morality. When we see the angry lead us to act or to talk badly and that this act or speach is not FAIR, with SILA, we abstain to act bad and to tell bad words.

It purifies our mind by the path of SAMADHI, concentration. When angry lead us to think and to have bad thoughts, by practicing SAMADHI (by focusing on in and out breath, or by focusing on metta thoughts, or even by watching a film...), we can stop those bad thoughts. But when we stop our concentration, those thoughts can come back when conditions are gathered.

It purifies our latent tendency by the path of PANNA, wisdom. If we have some tendency to be angry, practising vipassana meditation can lead us to understand what is angry, what causes angry. By failing to act his anger by becoming aware of it when it emerges and returning to the abdomen when she leaves, slowly, we understant it is dukkha (unsatisfying), caused by craving-aversion-ignorance, it is anicca (impermanent), and it is anata (uncontrollable). Realizing this, and applying constantly the instructions each time angry occur, those tendencies are beginning to erode slowly because we do not feed them anymore with craving (craving that angry does not exist) or aversion (aversion for the angry).

I'm not sure it's good to begin by yourself. Instructions are quite simple, but to understand those is quite difficult. Understanding need someone allowed to guide you to talk about your experiences. Sometimes, we feel good but actually, our practise is not good. Sometimes, it's the opposite and we feel extremely bad but, actually, our practise is really perfect. It's hard to practise alone, without a proper guide, because we face strong feelings like those that we are unable to understand when we begin. It's not bad to have short sittings periods (like 30min or 1hour a day), but facing difficulties and with noone to help you to understand it, you'll maybe think it's not a path for you. That's a risk you have maybe encountered before (with zen...). But it is strictly not recommended to meditate in an intensive manner (like making a self retreat). It's the best way to loose ourself to bad path, to acquire bad reflexes (which will be difficult to avoid later when we will have good instructions), and at worse, to become mad.

This path should not be taken to FIGHT your angry, but to UNDERSTAND it. And, with this good attitude in your mind, with a good guidance, with proper instructions, and by practising the method you've chosen, you WILL go beyond this difficult stage. It's a matter of time and effort (which means it WILL be difficult and that's why a good guidance is needed to "reach" the end of this path).

So, what to do, what not to do?

- If you have time, if you can take a break, maybe it could be time to care about yourself and to organise a long term retreat (at least 25-30 days). If you go to a therapist, ask him if he don't think it's bad for the moment. If he think it could be good, so, go to a meditation center, even a far away one (in Myanmar, for example).
- If you don't have time for the moment, try to find some introduction papers to vipassana meditation, and try to practise in small doses. Practise also Samatha like meditations (like metta for example) and see if it's suitable for you. If you feel too much angry or restlessness, try maybe to practise walking meditation.

From this I take that vipassana is "intuitive"....and it is thus not "learned" per se. [...] vipassana is not something that is "learned".


Though, it needs to be learned. It is not Vipassana which is intuitive, it is the understanding coming from a vipassana meditation which is occuring in an intuitive manner. We learn anicca/impermanence by ourself, by the practise, not by reading. It occurs spontaneously when conditions are gathered to produce Panna/wisdom. BUT the method must be learned intellectually first, then by the practise, then by the adjustments during the interviews with a proper guide.

If vipassana was intuitive everyone should be in Nibbana state... I think it's the opposite: Vipassana is counterintuitive, artificial. Thats why we have to put so much effort. It's only at Sankaruppekkha nana where vipassana practise is stable and felt like natural...

I hope the best for you. May you be happy and peacefull!

(Sorry for this long post) :reading:
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Re: Vipassana for anger management? Please help!

Postby PeterB » Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:33 pm

:goodpost:
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Re: Vipassana for anger management? Please help!

Postby danieLion » Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:57 am

MAV wrote:I'm...awaiting a DBT workbook.
Does it have a Diary Card form in it?
Daniel :heart:
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Re: Vipassana for anger management? Please help!

Postby manas » Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:26 pm

Hi MAV,
I've got an ex who really gives me hell (metaphorically speaking) from time to time, and kids who stay over most weekends. Although my relationship with my kids is very good (well, apart from Dhamma, they are the most precious aspect of my life), I can recall a phase where they were really annoying me...I mean, seriously, their bickering, senseless fighting (with each other) etc was driving me to distraction, and I was somtimes raging at them for it. During that time I kind of discovered something that helped me, and I really should still be using it. I had forgotten all about it till today.

Just take a look at the statement "they were really annoying me..." Notice what's happening? It's all about them... One day, I tuned in to the flow of my energy (attention), and discovered that when I was in a rage, my focus was outside of myself - I was focussed on the kids, and what they had done etc, and not on what was happening inside myself. So I tried an experiment. Next time they acted up, I was ready. I stopped right where I was and closed my eyes. I went right into my body, observing every detail, without taking a step, or opening my eyes. I forgot about the kids, and what they had done...and just focussed on what I was feeling inside. It was very uncomfortable and painful. And sometimes my fists were clenched as I did it, and I left the room, tears falling down from the pain... (of course, after I had calmed down I would 'lay down the law' regarding whatever stupid thing they were arguing about...but only when my mind had calmed down).

I discovered that when I get really angry, I'm like an animal reacting to a stimulus...my mind is jumping from 'how dare they do that!' to the feeling of rage at this, back and forth, rather unconsciously. It gets out of control very easily. That experiment I tried a few times worked because I literally stopped looking outside of myself, stopped seeing the kids as the source of my anger. I reversed my gaze. I went into my own body. What you find will be up to you, but you have to be really open and not push it away. Really feel those sensations. Feel the quickened heartbeat, the mind racing, blood coursing, heat, pain...stay with it, and let it play itself out without reacting to it, taking it as a (temporary) meditation object. You might need to warn your family in advance about it. I told my kids that I might just storm out into the backyard, or into my own space for awhile, to be alone. You can't go into all this stuff with your eyes open, I've found. It helps to quickly exit the situation that triggered the anger, so you can be alone with your eyes closed, concentrating on what is happening inside. In my experience, the sensations would last for 30 seconds to a few minutes, but of course, not forever, however difficult they are to witness in oneself. A few times, the anger changed into sorrow, a deep tearful sorrow, which really surprised me. (This did not always happen, nor am I saying it has to happen for you. Your experience will be uniquely your own). But the result was, my kids were spared getting yelled at...

I feel quite moved relating this because it reminds me of how painful anger is, and how it burns not just the people we love, but our own body-and-mind also. I have to warn you that I'm not a therapist of any kind, just someone who likes experimentation, in the area of healing (I've had alot of healing to do).

Thanks for your honesty in posting what you did, because I had actually forgotten all about this 'emergency rage control method' I had discovered ('conveniently forgotten' probably, since it is quite challenging...but IME effective). I really need to do it myself a bit, sometimes, when my eldest daughter yells at me for the most absurd reasons (she just entered puberty...yep).

Best of luck,

:namaste:
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Re: Vipassana for anger management? Please help!

Postby wizi » Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:33 pm

Mav, what does your spouse think about your intention to try out a retreat? Does she think you are 'withdrawing' further into your own world-ego-type of thing? Or she's really curious and wants to find out more about it as you do?
All beings like yourself are responsible for their own actions. Suffering or happiness is created through one's relationship to experience, not by experience itself. Although I wish only the best for you, I know that your happiness or unhappiness depends on your actions, not on my wishes for you.
May you not be caught in reactivity.
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Re: Vipassana for anger management? Please help!

Postby Ben » Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:10 pm

manasikara wrote:Hi MAV,
I've got an ex who really gives me hell (metaphorically speaking) from time to time, and kids who stay over most weekends. Although my relationship...

...for the most absurd reasons (she just entered puberty...yep).

Best of luck,

:namaste:


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Re: Vipassana for anger management? Please help!

Postby chownah » Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:15 am

hoshin wrote:
It is not Vipassana which is intuitive, it is the understanding coming from a vipassana meditation which is occuring in an intuitive manner. We learn anicca/impermanence by ourself, by the practise, not by reading. It occurs spontaneously when conditions are gathered to produce Panna/wisdom. BUT the method must be learned intellectually first, then by the practise, then by the adjustments during the interviews with a proper guide.


hoshin,
It seems that you use the term "vipassana" to mean one kind of meditation technique which will result in a certain kind of intuitive understanding. If you go to the website I referenced and carefully read how vipassana is defined there you will see that they use "vipassana" to mean the intuitive understanding which arises and they do not use the term "vipassana" to mean a kind of meditation technique. This can be confusing because people will commonly say "vipassana meditation" to mean any meditation technique whose purpose is to create vipassana. In other words it is my view that the term "vipassana" rightfully means a type of intuitive knowledge and if one learns a technique whose purpose is to help in the arising of that intuitive knowledge then one might refer to that technique as "vipassana meditation" because the purpose is to create vipassana which is a kind of intuitive knowledge. Where things get really confused is when people don't say "vipassana meditation" but shorten it and just say "vipassana".....here they are using the word which means the desired result of intuitive knowledge but they are using it to mean the technique used......what do you think?
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Re: Vipassana for anger management? Please help!

Postby hoshin » Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:27 am

what do you think?


I think I'll read this article carefully... But before, I think what you call vipassana is maybe what I call Panna/wisdom which is the "result" of a vipassana meditation. Anyway, you're right, I use shortcuts. I should talk using "Satipatthana vipassana bhavana"...

So, I'll read this...
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Re: Vipassana for anger management? Please help!

Postby MAV » Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:07 pm

Hi all --

Daniel, I believe it contains diary cards (if not, I noticed a number
available online). Here's the book:

http://www.amazon.com/Dialectical-Behav ... 633&sr=8-1

Mana, thank you for relating your experiences with anger. Your method
strikes me as sound. I had a little success over the weekend focusing
on feeling the passage of my breath. Even just a few exhalations can
take you out of your angry train of thought long enough to establish
some perspective.

Wizi, your question is important, and I must confess that I haven't
given my wife any details about my plans yet. There are a couple
reasons for that. First, we're both teachers, so my attending a
retreat for twelve days (with travel) is not as burdensome for her/us
as it is for those who must work in the summer (we do continue to
work, but it is very flexible). And that period would actually be a
good time for my wife to take our daughter to her parents anyway. That
said, the biggest reason is that I do not want my wife to think I am
just coasting until the summer -- not really working on my
anger issues -- in anticipation of some miracle retreat. She would
wisely look at that approach with skepticism.

I'll probably wait until the end of this semester before explaining my plans (registration isn't until the
spring) because I want to have a serious talk with her about my
meditation/DBT practice at that time. She is rather stressed/overworked at the moment, and my hope is to make her
understand how important it is for me to take a very disciplined
approach to my anger, without making her feel like my temper is another thing for her to have to worry about.
I recognize that it could be selfish to put that burden on her right now.

Unfortunately, she does not appear to be as
concerned about my anger as I am. Maybe that is the case because she
only sees the brief, daily flashes of it, while I live with it
constantly. Maybe it's because she's so used to it (her mother has a
temper, too). But she only really becomes vocal about the problem when
our daughter is around to see me yelling. I think I still have to do a
better job of articulating the seriousness of the issue, and make it clear to her
why I earnestly desire liberation from the suffering I too frequently cause myself and those around me.
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Re: Vipassana for anger management? Please help!

Postby chownah » Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:05 pm

hoshin wrote:
what do you think?


I think I'll read this article carefully... But before, I think what you call vipassana is maybe what I call Panna/wisdom which is the "result" of a vipassana meditation. Anyway, you're right, I use shortcuts. I should talk using "Satipatthana vipassana bhavana"...

So, I'll read this...

Here's another reference which talks about vipassana:
Wise Reflection
The Importance of Wise Reflection in Meditation
by
Steve Weissman
Buddhist Publication Society

http://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh463-p.html#Part1


An excerpt:
"The word vipassana was mentioned above. It is helpful to remove another wrong view that surrounds this word. As Theravada Buddhism is relatively new in the West, the word vipassana is not always being used in the proper way. Some meditators wrongly believe that vipassana meditation means a specific technique, such as sweeping the body, mental noting, etc., but this is not true. Rather, it means the resulting wisdom or insight that comes from using skilful techniques."


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Re: Vipassana for anger management? Please help!

Postby wizi » Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:15 pm

Hi Mav,

There's a website by Rick Hanson, he is a clinical pyschologist who writes regularly for the meditation column in HuffPost. It's got some really skillful advice on how to nurture the family, particularly the mother and father, and also the child.

http://www.wisebrain.org/tools-and-skil ... g-a-family
http://www.nurturemom.com/Web_store/News/catad.shtml

There's a lot to read there, but I hope these skillful advice would be helpful for you with your family, and your growing spiritual self-awareness.

I made a thread about Parenting while Meditating on this forum, here's an extract from that thread which I'll like to share with you :


Nibbida wrote:From "Bringing the Monastery Home" by Shinzen Young:

"One question I struggled with early on was how to make the practice doable by anyone, without watering down its intensity. When people read accounts of traditional monastic training, the usual reaction is, “If that’s what it takes to get enlightenment, I think I’ll wait for a few lifetimes.” And indeed it’s true. Most people have neither the time nor the inclination to do intensive formal meditation practice. Why should they? Isn’t there enough physical and emotional discomfort in ordinary life? Why intentionally seek it out?

But the monastery will come to each of us when we have to confront our fears, losses, compulsions and anxieties, or process the aftermath of trauma. The monastery comes to us in the form of emotional crisis, illness or injury, a phobia or a failed relationship. The question is whether we will be in a position to recognize and use it as such. If there were a way to help people maintain continuous quality meditation through intense real world challenges, anyone could experience insight and purification comparable to that of traditional renunciates’ regimes.


Children are just another monastery, and an intense one at that. Every single interaction with them is an opportunity for practicing mindfulness, equanimity, compassion--toward them and towards ourselves. The goal is to have a good understanding of the techniques and some practice with them, so that when the opportunity arises, you just apply them as best you can in the moment.

It doesn't mean we're going to be perfect parents. We're still going to slip up, although less and less so over time. Children are a terrific reminder that we're not as in control of life as we like to think. But we can develop equanimity with that, or have equanimity with our lack of equanimity at times (which I like to call "meta-equanimity"). And just when you think you've got them figured out, they go and change again.

The trick is to have the mindset and some level of skill in order recognize those opportunities. Otherwise, it's too easy to just feel overwhelmed and ignore the opportunities as they pass. Opportunities don't announce themselves unfortunately. But they're just sitting there waiting for us to recognize them. The nice thing is that purification happens even when the situation doesn't go as perfectly as we might have liked it to. It's the intentional practice that matters, and that gets results over time.
All beings like yourself are responsible for their own actions. Suffering or happiness is created through one's relationship to experience, not by experience itself. Although I wish only the best for you, I know that your happiness or unhappiness depends on your actions, not on my wishes for you.
May you not be caught in reactivity.
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Re: Vipassana for anger management? Please help!

Postby Soe Win Htut » Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:13 am

Dear friend,

In this forum, I find some questions of the mind such as
1) how to overcome lust
2) how to manage the pain
3) how to change habitual pattern
4) now Vipassana for anger management.

It seems to be different kinds of problem but in fact, the real problem is about managing the mind. Nowadays, most of us (Buddhists) are famaliar, practicing and knowing meditation practice but we can't handle the mental problem. Nearly all problems are concerned with the mind.

According to my knowledge, the big misunderstanding is we are trying and controlling the mind, believing and centering it as reality or real existence.

We misunderstand the mind that our perception can now detect is real, and a kind of original truth. If we believe the mind or feeling or desire or perception is real or a real existence, we can't overcome the effect of the mind or defilements.

Vi- passana means the seeing or contemplating differently and specially from the formal, traditional and habitual seeing. (vi - differently , passana - contemplating) according to my understanding,

To overcome and manage the anger with the help of Vipassana.

We need to go beyond the relative, habitual or formal seeing such as seeing pain as pain, pleasure as pleasure, likes as likes, dislikes as dislikes, hotness as hotness, tightness as tightness, beautiful as beautiful, woman as woman, or dog as dog-etc;

1) Accept whatever mind such as anger, desire, thinking, feeling, sensation or emotion as created truth which is fake and fraud nature.(Sammuti Sacca).

2) Understand that the created truth is unreal and not a real existence because it is temporary, inconstant, impermanent and non-self.

3) Accept that created truths are just to be used for the practice of abandonment (Letting go).

4) At first, be aware of the mind-action of centering, and believing the current arising mind (or) created truth as reality so that we can abandon it.

5) But we do not try to abandon directly the arising mind such as a thinking, anger, craving, an agitation or a negative thought which is just a created truth. We must neither indulge nor reject it directly. It is just to be used only or experiened only for the practice of abandonment (Letting go).

6) And then try to abandon the mind-action of emphasizing and centering and believing the arising mind as reality which is accompanying behind the arising mind such as an anger, thinking, lust, craving, an agitation or a negative thought.

with kind regards,
Awareness(mental noting) alone is not enough for real enlightenment. (Ashin Tejaniya)
Created truths(Sammuti Sacca) are just to be used only, experienced only and known only but .....they are not for noting, believing, confirming, centering and thinking as reality and real importance.
Vipassana (Insight meditation) is just the abandoning the mind-action of centering, grasping, confirming, and attaching the created truths as reality and as of real importance.
To Learn more....
http://www.thabarwa.org, or
http://www.thabarwa.org/guided-insight-mp3-talks/
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Re: Vipassana for anger management? Please help!

Postby hoshin » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:20 pm

It seems that you use the term "vipassana" to mean one kind of meditation technique [...] what do you think?


You're right, this is a confusing way of using this term... Sorry! (Sorry also for late reply!)

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