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Don’t get angry. September 24, 2014

Posted by ourfriendben in Reiki, Reiki wisdom.
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“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty.”

It was no coincidence that Usui Founder made the first of his Five Reiki Principles “Just for today, don’t get angry.” Given the power that anger has to focus attention, ramp up the ego, get adrenaline going, and charge single-mindedly towards a goal, I’m surprised there isnt a bestselling book, The Anger Diet, taking its place alongside all the paleo and other low-carb diet books. I’m sure staying really angry must burn a lot of calories!

We who follow the Reiki Way are also pursuing a goal, trying to focus our attention. But our goal is to leave the ego behind, the true source of anger. (“How could you/he/they do this to ME?!!!” “I’m going to get you for this!”) Catching ourselves when we start to become angry, and asking why we’re becoming angry, what this anger has to do with anything, what it has to do with us, why we’re wasting our time on it, can help us progress along our Way. It can also help us let go of old, corrosive anger.

As the Buddha so graphically said, “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.” What a word picture! You can just imagine frantically tossing the coal from hand to hand, trying to avoid the pain without dropping the coal, while the other person obliviously goes about his or her business. Obviously, trying to keep the coal in motion becomes a full-time job, leaving no room for anything worthwhile. Ouch!

Language changes, and now, when we think of coal, it’s a mined fuel, not a chunk of red-hot wood from a banked fire that can be used to start another fire. But the phrase “hot potato” survives in our culture, sort of in the sense of the Buddha’s hot coal, an awkward situation or issue, usually related to business or politics, where you want to pass the “potato” instead of getting burned yourself. The phrase passed down to us from agricultural and industrial times, because the humble potato was cheap, filling, and able to retain heat. A worker could be sent to the fields or factory with a potato pulled hot from the coals of the fire, and it would still provide him with a warm, filling meal at lunchtime. But I digress.

Follow Usui Founder and stop anger when it first comes up. Let the Lord Buddha’s burning coal image help you let go of old anger. Free yourself to move forward.

Just for today, don’t get angry.

Anger management. July 18, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in Reiki, Reiki wisdom.
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“Just for today, don’t get angry.” I’m sure all you Reiki people recognize this (or your favorite translation of it) as one of Usui Founder’s Five Reiki Principles (aka Precepts, Ideals). But for many of us, that’s a lot easier said than done. If you struggle with anger management, perhaps you’ll be inspired by someone who was able to conquer his anger and channel it into something more productive. I have a feeling you’ll recognize the name!

“I have learned through bitter experience the one supreme lesson, to conserve my anger, and as heat conserved is transmuted into energy, even so our anger controlled can be transmuted into a power that can move the world.”

                             —Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhiji certainly moved—and changed—the world by turning his anger into a movement for freedom based on ahimsa, the principle of nonviolence. So did the Reverend Martin Luther King, Bishop Desmond Tutu, and many others who spoke and speak from a place of love rather than hate, from compassion rather than anger, from a desire for justice rather than revenge.

Since Reiki people are healers, we see and hear a lot to get angry about: people suffering psychological scars, abused and abandoned pets, people who seem to be suffering needless physical trauma, the abuses heaped on our beautiful planet by unrestrained population growth and greed. And of course we have our own tempers to deal with at home.

But rather than expending our energy in fruitless anger, which helps no one and can harm others (and ourselves), those of us on the Reiki path should try to think, when anger arises, where we can channel that energy so it can do good. Maybe we can start small—cleaning the house, paying bills, going for a walk, organizing files in our office, weeding and watering the garden. Or channel that adrenaline rush into shaping a project we’ve long had in mind: creating a blog or website, writing a novel, researching and writing a book on Reiki, investigating ways to start or expand our Reiki practice, learning a new language or a new skill. Eventually, we might come up with a way to move our community, or even the world.

Remember above all, as Usui Founder could have told us, that anger is a choice, not a given. How we respond to any provocation—or, for that matter, any situation—is ultimately up to us. If we can train ourselves to shine the bright light of understanding and compassion on the causes of our anger, ultimately it will cease to arise, and then at last we’ll be able to live up to Dr. Usui’s hopes for us.

Just for today, don’t get angry.

Excerpted from Living Reiki. All original content © copyright Red Dog Reiki. All rights reserved.