by clicking the "Next" arrow.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Mindful : February 2016
PRACTICE other boat just kept approaching. The boatman used all his skills to swiftly shift direction, so there was more room for the other boat. He got really upset when he saw that the other boat changed its own course, now coming directly to him. “Stay out of my way!” he shouted again, but the other boat just kept coming closer, until it finally crashed into his boat. The man was enraged: “ You idiot! What the hell are you doing?!” He got totally worked up and continued his rampage until the fog lifted enough so that he was able to see that the other boat was empty—it was just an old abandoned boat floating downstream. Now he was perplexed and frustrated: To whom could he express his anger? Could he project his anger onto an empty boat? Without a person to blame, it was impossi- ble to keep the story of anger going. Ask yourself: Do I ever get mad at “empty boats”? If so, where does this anger come from? Where does it go? Becoming aware of the inner terrain of anger can be helpful in catching it sooner and sparing ourselves and others the hurt and regret that often ensue from acting out anger. To work with anger, we need to see the space between trigger and reaction in order to mindfully look within. Door Number Four Anger is tricky because there’s a cost both to showing anger and to suppressing it. Suppress- ing doesn’t actually solve anything. It only post- pones having to deal with anger while it keeps quietly simmering under the surface, wreaking havoc with our bodies. But if we show it, almost invariably we either hurt others or provoke retaliation. Another common habit is uncon- sciously “feeding” the mind states of anger with our stories of blame and victimization, thereby reinforcing the anger habit. It’s rare that therapists nowadays advise their clients to act out their anger with real or symbolic others (punching pillows, shouting loudly in an empty room, and so on), partially because brain science has demonstrated that each time anger is expressed it gets rehearsed and strengthened. The idea that if you let your anger out you will reach peace and calm is sim- ply not true—the satisfaction of the discharge will invariably be transient relief. And the anger will be saying, “I’ll be back.” Most of us know we can get a certain satisfac- tion or relief when we express aggression. There can be a seductive quality to the anger, and an → Mindfulness of Anger Take about three minutes with each response. You may also lengthen that time if you want to try more intensity. 1 Sit in a comfor table yet aler t position with your hands resting comfortably and your eyes gently closed. Check in with your body, and feel the places where it makes contact with the chair or cushion. 2 Take some deep breaths, completely filling the torso with air, then completely release the breath. 3 Think back to a time when you experienced anger, relatively recently. You don’t need to choose your worst episode. In fact, it’s wise to star t with something smaller. Envision and experi- ence what happened, allowing yourself to feel the anger again, right now. Allow the feeling to get as strong as possible within a zone of safety (e.g., not getting to the point where you want to get up and scream and jump around!). 4 Other emotions, such as sadness or fear, may arise as you remember the episode. For now, see if you can stay with the feeling of anger. 5 Where in your body do you experience it? Explore this feeling. You may be tempted to try to push it away. Instead, investigate how it feels, noticing gross and subtle sensations. As you notice a sensation, inquire whether it increases or decreases in intensity. Does it change or move? Is it warm or cool? 6 Practice bringing compassion to the anger. The feeling of anger is normal, par t of being human. We all experience it at times. See if you can cradle your own anger like a mother cradling a newborn. What happens if you hold it in this way, with tenderness and care? 7 Say goodbye to the feeling. Slowly bring your attention back to the breath and stay with it for a while, letting your emotions settle into the spaciousness of your breath and awareness. 8 After you finish, reflect. Which sensations did you notice in your body? Did they change as you observed them? Were you able to bring compassion to the anger? How did you do that? What happened to the anger at that point? February 2016 mindful 61 emotions