Monday, August 1, 2011

Contemplative Monday

I read an article in the latest edition of the Shambhala Sun, a magazine about Buddhism, culture, meditation and life.

It is by Karen Maezen Miller....she is a teacher at the Hazy Moon Zen Centre in Los Angeles.

She has picked a number of quotes from various people and gives her interpretation of their meaning.

The quote I chose to share with you is by Thich Nhat Hahn :

"You are the mother for your anger, your baby."

Here is Ms. Miller's take on what he is saying:

"Face it, you're angry.
Anger is so unpleasant, so altogether ugly, that we usually attribute it to someone else. Someone else made you angry, that certain someone who tore out your heart and ruined your life.

"It's easy to blame others for our injuries, but if we persist in seeing our own anger as the unavoidable outcome of someone else's actions, we are going to be angry for a very long time.

"Anger is power, and blame is powerlessness. When we take responsibility for our anger, we take back our power to change. That power has never belonged to anyone else.

"This is what Thich Nhat Hahn teaches when he suggests we view our anger as a howling baby. No one wants to be around it, but it cannot be ignored.

"Someone needs to do something about the baby! The baby is yours, and the only one who can do anything is you.

"However disagreeable the infant is, you pick the baby up and place it on your lap. Then you rock and comfort her, and wait. You attend to yourself without judgement or blame.

"In this way, anger wears itself out. The baby goes to sleep.

"In the wake of anger, you may find the strength and determination to live differently. If you don't, you haven't yet seen fully to the needs of your own screaming child. You are rejecting it still.

"There's time. You'll have opportunities to quiet the rage. You'll have chances to apply the alchemy of your own gentle attention to whatever is disturbing you.

"Screaming babies go to sleep, eventually, and every wise parent learns to let a sleeping baby be."


  1. Tack för fin läsning och pssande bild!


  2. Thank you for sharing this insight. I will work hard to quiet that screaming baby.

  3. This is SO timely, have no idea. I have a baby that's been howling for quite some time and I've been at wit's end as to what to do with her. This passage was a little painful: "but if we persist in seeing our own anger as the unavoidable outcome of someone else's actions, we are going to be angry for a very long time."
    Something that's so easy to see in someone else, so difficult to identify with one's self.
    btw, I love the sequence of photos--the wave rising and doing it's rolling break through the slats of the fence is a great visual for the construction of anger. It feels like blaming someone else for one's own anger is a wave that just won't break.

  4. I have not been awake long enough to make sense of this - my first thought was - give that screaming baby to somebody that can handle it. I know that I probably don't make sense either.

    Good Morning, Jim!

  5. Very interesting food for thought!

  6. Ah - I really needed to read this right now... (Having just had a bit of a hissy fit).. I must go take care of my baby!

  7. Oh my, do I know someone I am so sending a link to this post! Very very good!

  8. Very thought-provoking post! Lovely photo of the water.


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