Dusk on the River
I’ve seen a lot of clients recently wanting to find more positive ways to deal with their anger.
In the system of Reiki healing there are 5 Reiki precepts, or rules to live by. The first one is: “Do not bear anger, for anger is illusion.”
This precept reminds me of the Zen story told by Pema Chödrön, “Dusk on the River,” and offers an interesting perspective on anger.
A man is enjoying himself on a river at dusk.
He’s in a small boat. And suddenly he sees another boat coming down the river towards him.
It seems so nice that someone else is enjoying the river on a nice summer evening.
Then he suddenly realizes the boat is coming towards him faster and faster.
He begins to get angry and upset and shouts, “Hey, hey! Watch out! For heaven’s sake, turn aside. Don’t hit me!”
But the boat just comes faster and faster, right towards him. By this time he is standing in the boat, screaming and shaking his fists.
Then the boat smashes right into him.
He sees that it’s an empty boat.
The great thing about this story is that it offers many different meanings. How does this story resonate with you?
The Japanese have a saying:
“When there is an earthquake, go into the bamboo forest.”
Bamboo has long roots, so a bamboo forest is very stable. In our own lives when we experience anger, the more grounded or stable we are, the easier it is to wait and observe until the high emotion has passed before we try to deal with it.
That’s one of the many things I love about Reiki, Tao Hands, and Hypnosis whether you’re dealing with anger, anxiety, or basically any emotion that runs around in your head, these are wonderful ways to help ground you, making you feel secure and centered.
Next time you start to feel angry, investigate it. Anger is just energy; think of it as an opportunity to see what lies underneath.
For example, maybe someone isn’t acting the way you want them to, or maybe they’re acting in a way you don’t allow yourself to act. Or maybe getting angry is a defense mechanism, a way to protect yourself. Often the person you’re most angry with is yourself.
The precept above isn’t saying don’t get angry, but rather don’t hold on to it or suppress it. Instead of keeping it, notice it, feel it, and then let it go. Otherwise, you carry it and research suggests anger can contribute to many illnesses.
Your Next Session
Book a session if you could use support releasing anger, frustration, or resentment. I can also teach you one-minute self-hypnosis strategies to help you deal with anger in the moment. I work with clients all over the world using Distance Reiki, Virtual Hypnosis, and Tao Hands.