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Stop burning yourself. April 5, 2014

Posted by ourfriendben in Reiki, Reiki wisdom.
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“In a controversy, the instant we feel anger we have ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves.”

“You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.”

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

—The Buddha

These three observations about anger from the Buddha are among my favorites. Those of us who walk the Reiki path know how strongly Usui Founder felt about anger, since he included “Just for today, don’t get angry” as one of his Five Reiki Principles (aka Precepts, Ideals). And yet, it seems that every day we encounter more of it.

I think impatience has been the contributing factor to our anger epidemic. We’re all in such a rush, we simply don’t have time—or so we think—to tolerate delays, be it an elderly person slowly crossing a parking lot or a server taking “too long” to bring our order. Road rage is endemic, whether we’re gunning down the person who gave us the finger in the other lane or honking our heads off at someone because he or she was driving at the speed limit.

We’d probably be just as bad in the checkout line if we were allowed to bring our guns inside the stores. Instead, we use our tongues as weapons, as we say nasty things to the poor exhausted cashiers or mutter imprecations against the person three in front of us in line who’s stopped to chat with one for a minute. Keep the line moving!

This doesn’t even touch on resentment, the Buddha’s “hot coal.” Nursing our anger, keeping it alive, is like being the fire carrier in a primitive society. Before ancient people knew how to make fire, they captured burning coals from lightning-struck trees and kept them alive. It was the job of one person to carry the coals and tend to them so they could be reignited into flame at the end of a day’s march. This task occupied the fire carrier constantly, for woe betide if the coals grew cool and the fire went out. If we nurse the coals of our resentments, they will eventually drive out all nobler aspirations. This is the opposite of Usui Founder’s path.

Just for today, don’t get angry.

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