“You will not be punished for your anger. You will be punished by your anger.” -Buddha

Long story short, on Saturday night, I ended up in a room full of Buddhists.

 

I sat at a table, with my non-Buddhist friends, and 3 women I didn’t know.

 

One of my friends broke the ice, asked if any of the women were members of the temple putting on this fundraiser.

 

“I used to practice there,”  answered one of the women.

 

She described the location of the temple.  Turns out, it’s right behind the “big” Buddhist temple here in town.

 

The other Buddhist temple practices, in her words, a more “gentle” form of Buddhism.  And although she wasn’t affiliated with that other, bigger temple, she had sought the advice of its spiritual leader.

 

One of the pieces of advice this spiritual leader gave was to reserve a room in your house for anger.  When you come in from work, from the stresses of the day, you should go directly to that room, get your anger out, find peace, so as not to spread that anger to your family, to your children.

 

We all agreed, that sounded like a very good idea.

 

And then I thought about my life.

 

 

And I realized that there are days,

 

when I would never come out of that room.

(Image is “Prayers for the dead…” by Wonderlane)

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25 responses to ““You will not be punished for your anger. You will be punished by your anger.” -Buddha

  1. How would Buddha feel about locking certain people in that room?

  2. Can’t you just take the people who cause the anger inside that room and shoot em in there?

    It’ll certainly make the visits to the room more purposeful.

  3. Just furnish it with a bar fridge, some chocolate, a couch and a tv before you lock yourself up for the duration

  4. Buddha was wise, but he didn’t work with the people i work with… (sigh)

    There also needs to be a ‘frustration’ room, an ‘anxiety’ room, a ‘disgusted with the state of humanity’ room… pretty big house when it’s all done.

    hope things pick up for you soon…

  5. That’s a great idea, and in all seriousness, will plan to implement it at home and propose the idea at work. And loosely, only loosely kidding, I too will probably never emerge from it.

  6. In my house, it’s called the bathroom. Purge it, dammnit!

  7. It would need to be a comfortable room. Maybe with a game console. And a television. Maybe a bong. Now it’s starting to sound like a good idea — and my college apartment.

  8. Being a bit of a non-practicing existential Buddhist myself i can assure you she is right, though i don’t think you need a specific room, just a space, some space from everyone around you, i like to use my front porch…
    though in my basement bathroom, in the medicine cabinet, is a glass bubbler and a small tin of daddy’s anger management medicine, so i guess i do have a room.

  9. It’s a nice idea but I don’t think I’m zen enough not to take some of that anger out with me. Sorry things sound rough.

    • Meh, I`ll be fine, but thanks Marilyn. And I think you`d need to do it a couple of times, maybe lots of times. Or maybe you need to have some other Buddhist `bricks`in place before you can use this piece of advice. I`ll look into it. Eventually.

  10. Seriously.

    Someone I know ended every email with the Ani Difranco quote ‘If you’re not angry, you’re just stupid, you don’t care.’

    Sounds about right some days.

  11. I like the idea of Buddhism, but some of that stuff – like the anger room – just doesn’t seem like a good idea to me. Seems like you would just store it away for a rainy day.

  12. The interesting thing about emotions is that they have a natural life cycle. We don’t generally feel a particular emotion (anger or other) for more than about 5 minutes. UNLESS we feed the emotion. Anxiety with anxiety-inducing thoughts, anger with anger-inducing thoughts, etc. So, taking the time to be alone and recognise the anger (where we feel it in our bodies, what thoughts are associated with it, what urges it gives us) means we are then in a position to accept it and move on. If we try to deny anger (or any emotion) it nips at our heels. If we buy into it, it builds and builds. But if we simply accept it as it is, and let it go then we are the ones in control.

    By the way, accepting does not mean rolling over and putting up with whatever it is that causes the anger (e.g. an unjust situation, etc). It just means not fighting or not buying into being consumed with anger. There is still the room to then go about doing proactive things to alleviate the likelihood of subsequent anger-inducing situations.

    So, I didn’t mean to write an essay, but thought the info might be relevant.

  13. michael.offworld

    Ah Ginny, you’d make a good Buddhist. I miss writing this fall. How about you?

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