Monday, November 20, 2006

Beating Anger Without Smoke But With Mirrors

I can have a terrible temper. I can get really, really mad. And getting mad is never a good strategy.

In Taming the Tiger Within by Thich Nhat Hanh, he suggests the following:
When anger comes up, take out a mirror and look at yourself. When you are angry, you are not very beautiful, you are not presentable. Hundreds of muscles on your face become very tense. Your face looks like a bomb ready to explode.
I took Hanh's advice. I bought a small metal pocket mirror I keep in my back pocket. It's been there for about a month and a half. Never had to take it out--yet. Just having the mirror there reminds me not to get ticked off.

Now that's practical mindfulness!

6 comments:

Will said...

I've studied Buddhism in depth, and if you'd like any reading recommendations feel free to ask.

Todd Epp said...

Will:

I would be happy to hear your recommendations!

Todd

Will said...

I'm sure you'll familiarize yourself with the big ones, so I'll mention a couple you might not otherwise come across:

1. Awakening the Buddha Within, Lama Sura Das

2. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig

Have you heard of or read either of those?

Mike Quinlivan said...

Todd,

I also enjoy eastern religion(s). I have to say that my first exposure to a Buddist Philosiphy has through Herman Hesse's "Siddhartha". I have read bits and pieces of the Tao Te Ching, and some little stuff. Have you read Siddhartha, if so, what did you gain from it?

Anonymous said...

Siddhartha's great. Another excellent book by Hesse (although not necessarily in the Eastern vein) is called Demian. If you enjoyed Siddhartha, I highly recommend Demian.

Will said...

Whoops, I meant to sign my name there.