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Foreword

This short report aims to introduce readers to an entirely new way of working with anger. By
“new” I really mean it is new for Westerners. The special view and the model itself are
thousands of years old.

The report may appeal to people struggling with uninhibited anger, aggression aimed at oneself
or others, low self-esteem, unstable attachments, and those who lack empathy. It will also be
helpful to those who are coping with chronically angry and abusive people in their lives.

By now you may be wondering why this advice comes in the form of secrets. There are two
reasons.

Some of this knowledge has been passed down for ages in a very careful manner from teacher to
student and was hidden from the so called “uninitiated” ones. “Hidden” not because someone
was not worthy but because that someone wasn’t ready or capable to accept it. It is somewhat
like telling the most hilarious joke to a friend without any sense of humor. The ensuing silence
makes both people feel totally stupid.

Another reason some of these points are called “secret” is because they’ve been beyond the reach
of an ordinary worldly person who has not been exposed to it. Lost in religious dogmas and
dualistic understanding of the world, Western societies have long hibernated in a deep spiritual
coma.

However, it is becoming apparent that Westerners are slowly opening their hearts to wisdom
traditions of the East. Due to our increasing abilities in abstract thinking and critical analysis,
there is a growing hunger to understand the world on a much deeper level than that which is
offered by the theistic religions.

The avatars of timeless wisdom would only pass this knowledge along to students who met the
following criteria: they were seeking it, they asked for it, and they would be able to understand
it. The concepts offered below have been simplified so that they can be digested by someone who
has no prior training.

Humbly, I remain confident that you meet all the mentioned criteria and stand as a proper
vessel to receive the 7 Secrets of Anger Management from Ancient Wisdom.

Who is Anger Mentor?


In the footsteps of a good tradition, you must first know who the information is coming from.
My name is Tadas Narauskas. Most of my life I’ve lived between Vilnius, Lithuania and
California, USA. I’ve worked in real estate sales, had corporate jobs, but now I own a small
business and have more time to write. Topics like personal growth have interested me for the
most part of my life.

I became a student of Buddhism and have been meditating for the past seven years. While I’ll
share my personal insights, most of my knowledge that is being passed on to you is coming from

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a few sources: qualified teachers that I personally had contact with, a heap of fascinating books,
and stories gathered while traveling in India and Nepal.

In order to express my experiences with both the Western and Eastern style of working with
destructive emotions, I became a Certified Anger Management Facilitator from Anderson &
Anderson (a leading provider in anger management classes in USA).

This short introductory e-book is meant to be read lightheartedly and with an open mind. Hope
you enjoy and find it useful.

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7 Secrets of Anger Management
from Ancient Wisdom

Introduction

“We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used
when we created them.” – Albert Einstein.

It is said there is no more accurate measure of our mental health than the nature of our
problems. Excluding true accidents and natural calamities, it is safe to say that people are true
architects of their troubles.

We design as well as inhabit a mental house in our heads. We are the building, the tenant and
the landlord. It is a big responsibility.

Our duties are not without peril. Distracted by the global ipod-ization, changing pictures on TV,
superficial idols, we’ve surrendered our decision making power to egocentric politicians and
pharmaceutical ads. We’ve been sold into the idea of competitive spirit and adopted
disempowering ideological beliefs that have stripped us of responsibility to be a better fellow
human being.

Scavenging for an opinion of our own, our senses are on fire and confusion reigns the day. We’ve
become nothing but a lousy tenant, a squatter in our own head.

No wonder we’re angry. No wonder we’re burning inside. We appear to command our bodies but
the mind has been coasting on autopilot; operated by mental software developed by the ever
bewildering world around us.

Refusing to be a puppet worked by emotional strings we are looking for answers. We attend
classes, read books, try everything under the blue sky to reign in our anger but nothing quite
brings the comfort that we seek.

A wise physicist knew it – “Don’t try to fix your problems using the same mind that created
them.” He also keenly pointed out that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a
different result is a definition of insanity1.

1
Albert Einstein.

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The State of a Modern Mind
"East and West are cross-purposed only because the West is determined to keep on going,
it knows not where, and it calls the rudderless voyage "Progress"
– Ananda Coomaraswamy in "On non-violence" by Gandhi.

In my opinion, Western style of anger management advances the idea that anger can be
managed by the same rigid, immature mind that weaved the very fabric of our problems. The
daily tabloid headlines witness that folks who attend these classes are certainly more skilled but
are far from being in control.

A young man, Victor, once put it very eloquently to me: “The biggest issue I have with my
instructors is that they suggest I should stop and think rationally before I act. Hello…! I’m
angry, rationality is out the window; I just want to punch someone in the snout so we can get
this over with!”

Advice to stop and think sounds sensible on the surface but the cold reality is that it’s like
begging for mercy from a cold blooded psychopath. His brain just does not have the capacity to
entertain any other outcomes other than the one driven by his deep neurosis. (Not to say that
psychos are hopeless, they too can feel empathy if they learn how to turn it on.2)

Nevertheless, those who have caused quite a bit of havoc while riding the anger locomotive can
easily attest – the order of events that seems to unfold most naturally is: act first, think later.

Doesn’t it feel sometimes that no matter how much we listen to Tony Robbins CDs or read up on
anger management books, our minds have a hard-wired program of their own? It’s because
they do.

Treating Symptoms Rather Than Addressing the Sources


“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly
sick society.” - Krishnamurti.

“What ails you today?” – That would be the first question that comes out good doctor’s mouth
upon a visit to the clinic. Of course we have not a faintest clue what the heck is the real problem
so what we do is describe the symptoms and hope the doctor will use his experience to diagnose
it. “Oh, it’s a gut bacterium. Here’s an antibiotic, a stomach acid suppressor, an antidepressant
just in case you feel blue,” and off you go.

Symptoms masked, problem solved, mission accomplished. Not quite... Six months later you
show up again with the same problem because it was never really treated at the root of it.

2
New Findings Spur Debate: Are Some Psychopaths Curable? – Bioscience Technology.

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Our Western medicine is the indisputable champion of trauma management, diagnostic tools,
hygiene and treating the symptoms. However, where it fails abominably is in getting to the very
source of the problem and holistic approach to healing.

During the few months when I had my stomach discomforts neither my family doctor, nor a
qualified gastroenterologist was able to say how the bacteria ended up in the stomach to start
with. However, they did prescribe a handful of medicine to hide the symptoms. It was just
another example how our doctors and psychiatrists create a culture of dependency on our
medical and pharmaceutical industry.

A rather superficial approach to merely treating symptoms is also evidenced by a wild


abundance of therapists that help dig up the causes of our problems. They analyze our past, and
in a way, make us very well educated victims of our own circumstances.

What good does it do to know that your paralyzing fears are caused by childhood traumas, or
that your relationships keep falling apart because you’re modeling the behavior of your abusive
father? To a certain extent there is some benefit, as you understand the reasons for your
madness but it doesn’t change the fact that you are still mad.

Most of our psychiatrists are mainly concerned with how the outer events affect our inner
environment, upon which they dispense a twofold advice: either re-arrange your life to suit your
neuroses or take a pill to dumb down and live happily ever after.

If we follow the approach in the West we’ll be guided to treat anger as a condition. We’ll be
introduced to terms such as anger “management,” cognitive therapy, emotional intelligence,
and so on. Some of it is quite useful, and eventually one finds some relief, but it always feels like
a ceaseless game of Whack-A-Mole.

One doesn’t slap a Band-Aid on a shotgun wound so why take a half measured approach to
mastering emotions? Life experience dictates that if the medicine only masks the symptoms
then anger roots too will keep rearing their ugly heads in our lives.

Why Ancient Wisdom Traditions of the East?


Not so many hundreds of years ago, wellbeing was woven in the tapestry of humanity. It used to
be a part of daily living, culture, diet, studies without any significant reference to spirituality as
such.

What we call spiritual today was simply the way of life back then. Wisdom was the most revered
and treasured human quality. Man’s status was imperially elevated not due to one’s material but
spiritual wealth.

When there was no abundance of CD’s, DVDs and LCDs and instead of bragging about the size
of their plasma TVs, children gathered in circles and listened to a community “medicine man”
with eye popping curiosity and suspense. There were fewer comforts, but due to vast knowledge

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about mind’s nature, people had answers to all the mental anguishes faced by modern societies
today.

While the West and Middle East were fighting a war after war for land domination and chopping
heads to spread their dogmas, countries like India and Tibet (even while facing their own
internal problems) enjoyed a relatively peaceful environment, where the most prioritized science
was that one of the inner world.

Naturally, it was these societies that produced some of the most convincing people and sages in
the world.

What, you might ask, can a tradition developed in a remote Indian forest or an Himalayan cave
two and a half thousand years ago can possibly teach Western man in the twenty first century
about mental health?

As it happens, the most amazing paradox is that the knowledge amassed by these traditions is as
applicable to the modern mind as it ever was. In the finest empirical form, it offers solutions to
our human condition based on an unflinching analysis of facts and logic. It provides tried and
tested practices arranged in clearly defined steps that can lead us from blazing mental hells to a
refreshing ocean of peace and fulfillment.

Treating at the Source of it All


Buddhist psychology advances that anger itself is a symptom. It’s a symptom of lack of mental
health and faulty coping mechanisms. It’s a symptom that the real problems are not being
addressed in our life. It’s a symptom of unchecked desires and misguided beliefs. It’s a symptom
of poor understanding of how our problems arise, their causes, and their makeup.

We must learn how to fix problems from inside out. Naturally, old problems call for new
mindset, a totally different way of looking at our relationship with disturbing emotions and
ourselves.

Any honest path towards inner change involves three logical steps:

1. Understanding things as they truly are (having the right view);


2. Learning the techniques (skillful means);
3. Applying oneself in daily life (action).

The 7 Secrets is an introduction to the first step – acquiring a new mindset. I invite you to take
the time to contemplate the 7 Secrets. This mental roadmap is an effective tool for making fewer
mistakes and building a solid foundation for future development.

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The 7 Secrets

1. Anger is a weakness.
“Violence and anger are signs of vulnerability, disappointment, and fear rather than
strength. The best possibility for effectively improving one's [plight] is to recognize a
general responsibility for one's actions. In doing so, one emerges with a handful of tools
from the difficult corners of one's existence.” - Lama Ole Nydahl, ‘Buddha and Love’

It is said that we fear most the unknown. We also tend to label the unknown and assign blame to
it in order to objectify our fears – Satan, Lucifer, Dr. Evil, the green monster in the closet… they
all represent a mysterious incarnation of an evil figure.

Some relate serious rage episodes to being possessed by the devil while others interpret anger as
some sort of power needed for aggressive intimidation to achieve their goals.

Eastern wisdom has a much more rational explanation. Through a deeper analysis and
observation, it teaches that anger is an e-motion (energy in motion) which is much like a wave in
the ocean arising due to conditions.

Due to our lack of understanding and obstructed energy channels, this energy is being syphoned
through the filters of greed, desire, basic ignorance and produces inner heat that makes our
minds exceedingly uncomfortable.

Eastern Wisdom believes that pure evil, such as Satan, could not exist as anger is a self-
destructing energy. It would self-implode like a fire cracker into a puff of smoke. Yet this logic
does not bode well with 70% of Americans.3

After all, “How would one explain such blatant acts of violence as suicide bombers, the Rwanda
massacres, the school shootings, the world wars?” You must admit, Satan is an easy target here.
In fact, if he did exist, he’d like to own up to it and claim his glory, kind of like Bin Laden after
911.

However, even science now openly asks us to exercise more reason: “If we accept the message
from decades of social psychological research, that at least some instances of violence and
malice are not the result of “pure evil” — that otherwise decent individuals can, under certain
circumstances, be compelled to commit horrible acts, even atrocities — then the results of these

3
Americans More Likely to Believe in God Than the Devil, Heaven More Than Hell, June 13, 2007, Belief in the Devil
has increased since 2000, by Frank Newport, GALLUP NEWS SERVICE.

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studies serve as an important cautionary tale. [In fact] the
longer we cling to strong beliefs about the existence of pure Anger is a symptom, a way of
evil, the more aggressive and antisocial we become.”4 cloaking and expressing feelings too
awful to experience directly - hurt,
It would not be a wildly deductive reasoning to conclude
that if pure evil does not exist then one ought to assign bitterness, grief, and, most of all,
responsibility where it’s due - one’s own actions. fear. - Joan Rivers

If one can make this leap the answers will manifest at the
tip of one’s nose. One would clearly see that in order to become a strong person it would make
sense to develop wisdom and patience. In Buddhist terms, this would be called adopting an
enlightened view. One would apply oneself in practicing this view every day until it would
become naturally woven in one’s fabric of personality.

While ladies trusting their superior intuition can accept it with ease, men, especially the macho
types, will have a miserably hard time accepting that anger is a weakness. However, when they
do, their transformation is almost immediate. It was for me.

Secret: Any outward expression of anger and aggression is a weakness; it is a sign that a person
is not able to cope with life or recognize the underlying feelings behind it.

2. Help the body to help the mind.


“If a person is on proper diet then there is no need for medicine, and if a person is not
on proper diet then there is no need for medicine.” – A saying in Tibetan Medicine.

Tibetan medicine believes that 90% of our physical and metal ailments arise in the mind and
subsequently manifest in the body. This psychosomatic concept of disease and health suggests
that body and mind are closely interrelated inasmuch as the health, happiness, and misery of
one directly affects the other.

There is no doubt that our emotional states produce physical changes in our body. Anger in
particular raises blood pressure, releases stress hormones, increased chances for heart attack by
three fold, and a myriad of other illnesses; it literary makes our blood boil. In fact, one of the
angriest, hateful person that I’ve known in my life recently died of blood cancer. I was in shock
how quickly it all happened, but I was not surprised.

Although sometimes it may seem like they do, our feelings don’t manifest out of thin air. Like
the waves in the ocean, they are conditioned by the undercurrents of your mind and body.

Diet is one of those conditions that can cause one to have a shorter fuse immediately. I don’t
need to tell how you how unbalanced our diet can be these days. We literary stuff our mouths

4
The Psychological Power of Satan - How a belief in “pure evil” shapes people’s thinking. By Piercarlo Valdesolo.
Scientific American, October 29, 2013.

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with anything that looks appealing disregarding various neurotoxins and elements that agitate
our nervous system. Most of us have no clue how this food is going to affect our body and mind.

Ancient science of Chinese and Tibetan Medicine, as well as Ayurveda, are treasures of
knowledge if you want to understand how your diet influences your energy system. You might
have heard terms such as chi/qi (Chinese), prana (Indian), and lung or inner winds (Tibetan).
All of these refer to the so called life energy which is the animating force within the body that
promotes movement, metabolism, transformation, and change.

This energy is everywhere around us and inside us. When it comes to our bodies this energy
works like water. If it moves freely, it is lively and clear; if it stagnates it becomes dull, and if it is
rushed it invites tension and disease.

Our diets influence these inner winds, which in turn influence our central nervous system. There
are foods that agitate our nervous system and there are foods that calm the nervous system.
Tibetan medicine says that the lung or wind is the horse upon which the mind rides. “If the wind
rushes about frantically, then the mind will also follow.”

A physical manifestation of disturbed winds will cause various hormonal disruptions in the
body, which in turn can affect your mood. For example, a study from Britain’s Cambridge
University5 found that low serotonin levels make it difficult for the brain to control emotional
responses to anger.

Even our sex lives can influence our inner winds. For example, men with certain energetic
constitutions are recharged by having sex, but most men actually deplete their vital energy and
become more irritable the next day.

Ladies close your eyes here… guys’ ears only: nothing depletes men’s energy more than
masturbation. This life force is absolutely essential to maintain mind’s clarity, creativity, mood,
self-esteem and self-control. (More about this in my future book.)

When it comes to our diets, our goal should be a fine balance of ingredients that will promote
emotional equilibrium and a stable mind. If we maintain a constant nutrient deficiency we are
just not going to be able to cope as well as if we ate the right stuff. A balanced diet literarily
makes the gears in our heads spin better - we’re able to handle more stress and think more
clearly.

Obviously, there is no “right” diet for everyone. However, one who easily “flies off the handle”
will be advised to avoid… caffeine, alcohol, highly processed foods (high in simple sugars), spicy
peppers, onions and….. garlic. As per the latter two, according to Ayurveda and Taoist
teachings6, “As well as producing offensive breath and body odor, these (alliaceous) plants
induce aggravation, agitation, anxiety and aggression. Thus they are harmful physically,
emotionally, and spiritually”.

If you have a casein or gluten sensitivity then obviously avoid wheat and milk. According to the
5
University of Cambridge, ‘Serotonin levels affect the brain’s response to anger.’
6
Kurma, ‘Why no Garlic and Onions?’

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Jack Challem, author of The Food-Mood Solution: “Casein, found in dairy, and gluten in wheat
can cause some people a toxic effect, creating a substance in the body that leads to aggression or
inability to control behavior.”

Instead, there’s plenty of research that supports consuming more Omega 3s. Western gurus are
right on board here; they advise that one key for controlling runaway emotions is to increase fish
oil in the diet7. Some researchers say that a diet rich in Omega-3 decreases violence8. Others just
plainly claim that “fish is the best anger management food because Omega-3 fatty acids
encourage neuron growth in the frontal lobe, which is the part of the brain that manages
impulsive behaviors like anger”9.

Besides the healthy fats, other diet choices that help with serotonin production include foods
high in B-vitamins (brown rice, chicken, corn ,eggs, leafy veggies, legumes, meat, nuts, peas,
sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast), Calcium (almonds, brewer’s yeast, leafy and cruciferous
vegetables, fish with bones, sesame seeds, tofu), Magnesium (leafy veggies, brown rice, sesame
seeds, shrimp, salmon) and Tryptophan (turkey, soy foods, peanuts, almonds).

A good diet and herbal supplements alone are not a total solution to one’s mental health but it
certainly helps with composure and replenishing one’s vitality.

Secret: Our bodies and minds are intricately connected energy systems. Expecting mental
health without proper diet is like wishing for the crippled bird to fly. We must use our body to
support the mind and use our mind to help the body.

3. Anger cannot be vented or transformed.


“If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a
hundred days of sorrow.” – Chinese Proverb.

Contrary to what popular psychiatrists and most people believe (thanks to the misunderstood
concept of catharsis by Sigmund Freud10), venting anger doesn’t actually work. In fact, it makes
things worse.

Let’s address the obvious – yes, screaming and hitting a pillow does provide for a superficial
physical relief, however it does something more sinister for the mind – it plants new anger
seeds in our consciousness and reinforces a habit.

7
Dr. Barry Sears in ”Diet, Stress, & Emotions: The Mind-Body-Diet Connection”
8
Stephen Mihm, University of Georgia.
9
In Mihm’s article, “Fish Is Anger Management Food.”
10
Famous psychiatrist Sigmund Freud believed that people remained healthy as long as they could freely express
their pent-up emotions. He coined the term catharsis, which is associated with a dramatic release of deeply rooted
anger. More than likely what Freud had in mind was a structured therapy session with a professional rather than a
violent outburst on an inanimate object or another living being.

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As a consequence, our brains establish neuropathways (information highways) that will make us
feel like the only natural way to release anger is an outward aggression. Our anger will only lurk
in the dungeons of our mind bursting to rear its head when we least expect it. Needless to say,
this can take over our life and cause profound damage to our relationships and physical health.

An intelligent anger management program recommends talking to a counselor or writing your


feelings down as opposed to venting it. It’s a start. Eastern wisdom encourages to stop
“managing” anger altogether. Instead one is encouraged to develop patience.

Mind you, I’m not talking about the kind of patience toddlers are taught while fervently waiting
for a popsicle. I am talking about a space like patience where one learns to “park” one’s mind
and feel unaffected by the discomforts of frustration.

Make no mistake, the anger would still be there due to a


long standing habit but it’d be declawed and placed in a People talk about “conquering”
well-lit corner of one’s awareness for it to be examined by anger. Why would you want to
the experiencer. One would have more freedom of action
conquer it in the first place? If you
and can consciously choose to wait for it to pass before
were a king, would you rather
taking the next step.
conquer a waste land or some rich
A popular metaphor in Tibet compares anger to a thief. It lands? Why would you want to
is advised to offer a visiting thief nothing to rob. The thief
conquer something that you don’t
visits less and less often, until one day he just doesn’t
want? What you are really are
come back.
saying is how do you respond to
Another reason anger cannot be vented is due to its anger? Perhaps your mind, your
illusory nature. It’s not real! It appears yet it cannot be
body, your energies are not
located. X-rays don’t see it.
behaving the way you’d like them
Try it next time, point your finger at it when you feel it. to. They run a show of their own,
Where is it in your body? Where is it in your mind? Can don’t they? You are battling anger
you locate it? Like a soap bubble, the second you point
but it is your mind that is not
your finger at it – it disappears. My teacher’s words often
taking instructions from you.” –
ring in my head: “If it wasn’t here before and it won’t be in
the future – why worry?” Sadhguru

Secret: Anger cannot be vented, forced out or transformed because it is merely an illusion.
Much like a mirage, it appears but cannot be located at closer inspection. What really transforms
is our habits and our relationship to this destructive emotion.

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4. Happiness and misery springs from the mind
“Words alone have no power to makes us angry. It is the meaning that we attach
to the words that makes us angry.” – Trungram Gyaltrul Rinpoche

Nearly every modern therapist will agree that perception of the world is influenced by the inner
mental and emotional landscape of the experiencer. Films like “The Matrix,” “What the Bleep
Do We Know,” “The Secret,” are all awesome resources for diving into the world of quantum
mechanics and universal laws. However, unique as they are for our age, they do nothing but
reverberate what sages like Gautama the Buddha have realized while meditating under the
Bodhi tree in India two thousand five hundred years ago.

This ancient mind science and its secret instructions had been carefully passed down via a
special teacher-student relationship. It is because of this that it is available today in its shape
and form, exactly as it was practiced by the luminaries thousands of years ago.

Amazingly, modern science, with its retinue of most amazing and precise instruments, is slowly
catching up to what ancient Buddhist, Taoist and Vedic psychology has known for centuries.
That is that all of our happy and miserable experiences in life are all colored by our, so called,
perceptual filters.

We view the world individually through lenses of our creed, culture, values, national identity,
and personal experiences from the past. Ever since childhood we were taught to manipulate our
environment to achieve happiness yet very few were granted an insight that it is the angle of our
view that paints the canvas of our experience.

Imagine sitting in a movie theater engrossed in an epic movie like Avatar. Now imagine that
your consciousness is actually that clear light emitted from a projector; subsequently it reaches
and interacts with a film, further projecting an image onto the screen. Now I invite you to think
about it… Does the clear light itself contain the image? Where does the picture come from? You
know the answer.

The ancient yogis had realized that our mind-stream itself is a clear light of awareness. In itself,
it is pure, wise and compassionate, yet when it’s projected through one’s previous conditioning
(seeds planted into our consciousness) it outwardly projects a different picture. Due to a strong
habit we believe what we see, we identify with it and we act upon it.

Even at the movie theater, when we recline comfortably in a lush seat and have our hand in
popcorn, we get so lost in the pictures that our daily reality freezes, and we find ourselves in a
helicopter surveying the planet Pandora. We feel like we’re there, part of the picture.

When it comes to anger exactly the same process takes place. We observe, we filter the
experience at hand through our mental imprints and we react. It happens lightning fast and
feels very natural. Then we think, “Oh well, it’s just me, this is who I am, nothing I can do about
it.”

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Secret: Anger is projected by the mind. Instead of focusing on the projected pictures, one
should work to identify the underling beliefs (the film) that give rise to anger (the picture). Once
the bomb has been dismantled it is then time to plant the right set of impressions which will
project a very different picture. This way next time your eyes see an aggressive face what you’ll
really perceive is a very neurotic Chihuahua.

5. The law of cause and effect - your best friend or worst enemy. You
choose.
“Without exception, all impressions from past actions of body, speech, and mind are
retained in the subconsciousness. They create corresponding outer and inner
conditions in this or later lives. The impressions that are formed in the
mind from inhuman actions bring, karmically speaking, the worst
results of all.”– Lama Ole Nydahl11.

Personally, when I realized how real and how powerful the law of cause and effect (karma) is, it
became my main “motivator” to get my act together. It is due to this law that we are spellbound
to keep making the same mistakes over and over and I didn’t want that. So I really started
watching what I said and how I treated people.

Can you imagine how utterly different our world would be right now if our politicians,
businessmen and religious leaders only took this universal law seriously? The concept of karma
is not even such a mystery if one examines it better.

This very principle is skillfully illustrated by Newton’s Law of Motion: “To every action there is
always an equal and contrary reaction; the mutual actions of any two bodies are always equal
and oppositely directed. To have a single force is impossible. There must be, and always is, a pair
of forces equal and opposite.” No law of chemistry, physics, or any other science for that matter,
is found exempt from inherent opposite or contrasted principles.

One doesn’t need to look for evidence very far that mind functions like a fertile field that bears
fruits of seeds that were planted in it. For example, people with sharp tongues are the most
defensive, biggest gossipers live in constant paranoia of being gossiped about, thieves live under
constant threat of being robbed, and hot heads constantly attract like kind for a fight.

Mental impressions are just like seeds. Once planted, they can lie dormant for weeks but sprout
rapidly when they get in contact with moisture and sun. The same way anger seed can lie
dormant for years and will manifest when a set of conditions comes together. As soon as the
conditions disappear, they also pull the proverbial plug behind the emotional current.

Before the modern quantum mechanics even hinted at it, the ancient mystics had realized
through a mind’s eye that:

1. The universe acts like a container where nothing ever disappears, it simply changes form.

11
Nydahl, Lama Ole. “Buddha & Love: Timeless Wisdom for Modern Relationships.”

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2. Every action (positive or negative) has a corresponding re-action; karmic seeds
inevitably ripen with accordance to their cause.
3. If certain causes (karma) are not planted, there can be no result of it; everything that
happens has a cause.
4. Karmic seeds never lose their potency.12

The most important thing we can realize is that our previous thoughts, words and actions
produced our current state and we are constantly planting new seeds that will shape our future.
That venomous comment will one day make a U-turn; that verbal blow launched today will
eventually sucker punch us back years ahead; that physical pain inflicted onto others will one
day return to haunt our own body “out of nowhere.”

When it comes to working with our minds, disregarding this law bears the same consequences
as disregarding gravity. Sky divers rarely forget the parachute, why should we?

This is where Eastern traditions of mental development cardinally differ from theistic religions.
One does not have the luxury to roam around carefree in hopes to be forgiven by God after
death, as the law of karma cannot be circumvented. Therefore, one is behooved to take
responsibility for one’s actions and sharpen one’s mind to prevent unpleasant results now and in
the future.

This same responsibility comes with a liberating wisdom that regardless of their “good” or “bad,”
fair or unfair nature, no one is actually judging our actions. The only question we must ask
ourselves is, “If I do this, am I ready for the consequences?”

Secret: The poetic justice of cause and effect will make sure that no matter how many anger
management courses one takes, nothing will work if one doesn't stop intentionally making
others upset. Instead of continuously planting seeds of aggression, one would be wise to
cultivate patience and virtue. In this new mind field, old anger germs, however virulent or
powerful they may be, will not be able to germinate into new trouble.

6. No ego, no anger, no problem.


Ego is the absence of true knowledge of who we really are, together with its result:
a doomed clutching on, at all costs, to a cobbled together and makeshift image of
ourselves, an inevitably chameleon charlatan self that keeps changing, and has to,
to keep alive the fiction of its existence. Sogyal Rinpoche, ‘Glimpse of the Day’

Initially, grasping the concept of ego being some sort of separate phenomenon from “ourselves”
may feel futile. “Who would we be without ego?” one might ask. “What’s left if ego is gone?”

12
Tibetan Tradition of Mental Development, Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey, 1985.

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No question, a sense of ego is exceedingly embedded with our sense of identity. Our entire
culture is built on competitive spirit and grandiosity of individuality. If we only could, we would
bottle ego and erect monuments to it. Some believe ego is the engine of the Western civilization.

If you asked even a novice spiritual practitioner about the source of anger one would
undoubtedly mention ego clinging. He or she may not know exactly what that means but they
would know where to look for it.

The truth seems to be that anger is deeply rooted in the ego. It hides in the crevices of greed,
blinding self-significance, pride and has infinite ways of expressions. This is why it is so hard to
eradicate or control.

When the armchair psychiatrists like to make explanations such as “Anger is an expression of
unfulfilled desire,” or refer to evolutionary development of a dominance submission display
system in humans,13 they are only skimming the surface of a vast ocean of insights that is
available to a yogi who had spent over 30 years examining his mind with clinical precision in the
laboratory of a secluded cave in the Himalayas.

In its most obvious form, ego clinging can manifest in a few ways:

1. When we are overly concerned about ourselves, we tend to ignore the needs of others.
2. When we want something really bad we’re willing trample others in order to reach the
top.
3. When someone or something gets in the way of our desires we get frustrated and
aggressive.

Understanding ego’s ways expands our awareness. However, the work here only begins because
it is not enough to just simply say it’s “all in the ego.” It’s too abstract as an idea and it doesn’t
change anything, does it?

My teacher often lovingly jokes about pride of new practitioners. He says, “Before we were just
proud and now we’re spiritually proud.” What he means to say is that we only changed the lingo
and sound smarter but have not solved the predicament of our condition. In fact, merely
labeling anger as ego clinging simply adds extra weight to our already heavy emotional baggage.

A key point here to make is that once we know the true source of anger we now have the correct
diagnosis and can apply the appropriate medicine. Instead of just putting a band aid on a
painful spot on the stomach we can now make a fine incision, insert the laparoscope and nip the
tumor in the bud.

Practitioner, who learns the skills, reflects, and applies himself in daily life will develop a
genuine understanding the extent of suffering brought about by ego clinging. Only then this
notion of self-grasping will make sense and bring maturity to him or her as a human.

13
According to this view first offered by Kraeplin, depression relates to anger in a way that both of the emotional
states are a part of the dominance submission display system in humans. When humans need to assert dominance
they experience anger and when humans would benefit more from showing submission, they experience
depression and its corresponding behaviors.

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By the way, if by any chance you harbor fears that a small ego would somehow hamper your
ability to be effective or productive in our society, you will be delighted to find out that it would
be quite the opposite. The space left by our shrinking ego is quickly resettled by more humble,
nimble and compassionate qualities.

As India’s great Yogi Sri Yukteswar says: “Saintliness is


“Softer than the flower, where
not dumbness! Divine perceptions are not
incapacitating… The active expression of virtue gives rise kindness is concerned; stronger
to the keenest intelligence.14” than the thunder, where principles
are at stake.” Vedic definition of a
Nothing can be more meaningful and liberating than that.
person with true spiritual qualities.
It’s a beautiful thing.

Secret: The way big mansions must have many angry dogs to protect them; big egos must
constantly stand watch for intruders that threaten to burst their illusory bubble of self. It is hard
work to guard an overblown sense of self-significance. The duty comes with immense
frustration, fear, paranoia, and obviously aggression. Therefore, it would be quite reasonable to
accept that the smaller the ego, the smaller the anger, the smaller the problems.

7. Meditation – your true secret weapon.


“All creative scientists know that the true laboratory is the mind, where behind
illusions they uncover the laws of truth. – Paramhansa Yogananda”

Not to be confused with relaxation, meditation is the most powerful and profound skill one can
master in this lifetime. It is the fast-track for taming one’s anger.

Now, I totally respect that someone with a healthy dose of macho would rather hunt tigers in
Siberia and live off of tree bark, than sit cross-legged for half hour every day and chant the sweet
“Aummm.” In part, you can thank for that the new age movement and a retinue of self-
proclaimed TV gurus these days, who aim to create sensation when their instructions result in
some powerful yet temporary experiences. Trust me on this, “these are not the droids you’re
looking for.”

So before you shrug off meditation as old news, I’ll make a promise to you… Unless you’re an
advanced practitioner, you will look at meditation in a new light and with renewed interest at
the end of these few paragraphs.

The Tibetan word for meditation is gom, which translates to “become familiar with”. The best
way to look at it is that it is a process of getting to know your mind. You may say, “Hey I already
know my mind; it’s a mess, why would I want to learn more about it?” Simple answer – because
you live there.

14
‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ by Paramhansa Yogananda.

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Your mind is the crown seat of your emotions, perceptions, pain, suffering, as well as the
ultimate freedom from it all.

The biggest misconception about meditation is that it seeks to induce a vegetative state, in which
we seek to dull our mind and escape the “real world” problems. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Sri Yukteswar says, “All creation is governed by law. The ones which manifest in the outer
universe, discoverable by scientists, are called natural laws. But there are subtler laws ruling the
realms of consciousness which can be known only through the inner science of yoga15. The
hidden spiritual planes also have their natural and lawful principles of operation. It is not the
physical scientist but the fully self-realized master who comprehends the true nature of
matter.16”

My own observations over the years are very consistent - with the correct instructions, even an
occasional meditator will grow more confident, mature and fearless. It really works, and there is
a growing body of neuroscientific research to back it up.

So let me answer the burning question at hand – how can meditation actually help with anger
management? Here are only a few practical benefits:

1. When you learn to focus your mind in meditation (focusing on an object or breath) the same
skill will come to be useful to you when dealing with daily irritants at work and at home.
2. Unlike what you may hear out there, meditation is not about “emptying” your mind, it’s not
about avoiding thoughts or intentionally seeking ecstatic states. As you’ll hear from the true
yogis, meditation is about getting familiar with the experiencer of those thoughts, that
awareness behind the thoughts and between the thoughts, and ultimately resting effortlessly
in that state of the way things really are.
3. One of the best advices one can get from a good teacher is not to judge one’s meditation and
simply practice observing things that come and go within the landscape of the mind. Once a
thought arises one simply notices it, observes it, and returns one’s attention back to the
breath. In this secure and controlled laboratory of the mind, one learns to patiently observe
physical sensations and not to cling to concepts or emotional states. This skill will be
habitually and timely summoned by your inner teacher (explained later) in a heated
situation.

15
The ancient Vedas of India define yoga as "the stilling of the changing states of the mind.”
16
Autobiography of a Yogi.

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4. Regular meditation thickens the prefrontal cortex of our brains.17 This is the very part that is
responsible for self-awareness and self-control. But on the much deeper level meditation
works to unbind our “higher” mind from the senses, allowing us to maintain a broader
perspective, and allow for things to play out without reacting to them. This expanding
spaciousness of the mind is exactly the prescribed medicine for managing disturbing
emotions.

One Zen parable compares our minds to a drunken monkey. The creature is locked in the house
of our stiff fabric of reality and unabatedly roams around wreaking havoc. You can try talking to
it but there is so much cackle barking that it doesn’t hear you. You can try to drug it and enjoy
peace but only till next morning, when it wakes up even
more tense and determined. In other words, no amount As more and more researchers are
of gluttony and entertainment could help us escape the telling us these days, with regular
problems that inherently exist within our own minds.
meditation practice we tend to
The way to calm the monkey is to open a window. The enjoy greater physical well-being
monkey will become curious of the unknown world and better health. We become
beyond the house walls and settle down to observe the “well in our own skin.” Then, quite
scenery. Eventually one can also open the doors. At first,
naturally, the more we get in touch
the monkey will hesitate to make contact with the foreign
environment but will find it irresistible and eventually with who we really are through
take off, leaving the house quiet once more. This is what meditation, the more we can be
meditation does to your mind – it quiets the voices of completely in touch with others,
judgment, fear, anger, and eventually unfolds its true too. Difficult people, conflicts, and
potential. situations that otherwise might
Recently, I read an interesting research summary. have caused us harm or posed a
Published in the journal Neuropsychologia, it drew huge problem are softened and
particular attention to the skills acquired through musical easier to deal with. Because our
performance. It pointed out that when playing to an minds are relatively free and
audience or to themselves, musicians demonstrate
uncomplicated we turn out to be
heightened awareness of their actions: they are able to
continuously monitor their playing through auditory good company to others!
feedback and rapidly adjusting their movements to —Sogyal Rinpoche from the book,
anticipate possible mistakes18.” I suddenly thought, “Man, 'The Healing Power of Meditation'

17
A study “Meditation experience is associated with increased cortical thickness” by Psychiatric Neuroimaging
Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts: “Previous research indicates that
long-term meditation practice is associated with altered resting electroencephalogram patterns, suggestive of long
lasting changes in brain activity. We hypothesized that meditation practice might also be associated with changes
in the brain's physical structure. Magnetic resonance imaging was used to assess cortical thickness in 20
participants with extensive Insight meditation experience, which involves focused attention to internal
experiences. Brain regions associated with attention, interoception and sensory processing were thicker in
meditation participants than matched controls, including the prefrontal cortex and right anterior insula. […] These
data provide the first structural evidence for experience-dependent cortical plasticity associated with meditation
practice.
18
You can read full article at Independent website.

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this is exactly what meditation does for anger management!”

Secret: It is absolutely impossible to quash anger without learning to meditate. If real estate is
all about location then the path of self-transformation is all about meditation, meditation,
meditation. It helps us to “self-monitor” with honest retrospection and see things the way they
really are. When dormant wisdom qualities gradually sprout we make fewer mistakes and
acquire unshakable confidence.

Inner Teacher
Thoughts like, “Of course! I knew it…” or “This makes sense, it’s so simple,” might have crossed
your mind while reading about these seven secrets. That is because intuitively your inner
intelligence already knows this - it comes from there.

The ancient sages did not invent it, they discovered it. By quieting their minds and minimizing
distractions they listened to silence. They found it to be pregnant with answers.

You may say, “Look, I fish. There are times I sit out on the lake in total quietude, no distraction -
just me and the lake, but I don’t hear no wise whispers in my head.” If you can bear a rough joke
- good news - Schizophrenia is not the problem then19!

Actually, if we compared our minds to that of the great


mystics, we’d find our minds to be exactly like theirs, with “You’re trying to handle your
one major difference – they are awake, and we’re asleep. wellbeing with your eyes closed. You
Our inner intelligence is obscured by a plethora of rigid have to open your eyes.” –
beliefs and disturbing emotions. Our sixth sense, that
Sadhguru
which can hear the inner wisdom, lies submerged under
the five limited senses that we’ve come to rely on for
survival.

So how do we ultimately solve our anger problem? We will not solve it by merely wishing to be
less angry, we will not solve it trying to stop and think before we act, and we surely won’t stop it
purely hoping it will go away when something in our lives resolves.

We solve it by opening our eyes.

By taking care of our bodies, meditating, taking karma seriously, and adopting a new way of
looking at things, we can open the gates to our sixth sense – our inner intelligence. Spiritual
traditions call this increased acumen – the inner teacher.

19
People who suffer from Schizophrenia are known to hear voices in their heads. I’m simply joking that if you don’t
hear any voices, then you’re not suffering from this mental condition.

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Our inner teacher is the key to transforming the nature
of our problems, and thus - getting rid of our problems. Our awakened nature has an active
To awaken it requires effort and skills, and the avatars aspect, our “inner teacher.” From
of ancient wisdom discovered just the tools. the very moment we became
In the beginning, the challenge may seem overwhelming obscured, this “inner teacher” has
– “Where to start? Who to believe? What to do? Does it worked tirelessly for us, trying to
work? If yes, then how soon?” These are all healthy bring us back to the radiance and
questions by a weary western mind. spaciousness of our true being. Not
The key thing is to start investigating. Start today, even for one second, has the inner
if you’re skeptical. My teacher once told me, “You can teacher given up on us. In its
doubt your way all the way to enlightenment as long as infinite compassion, one with all
you don’t doubt the same things over and over.” the enlightened beings, it has been
What he was saying is - don’t chase your tail in circles; ceaselessly working for our
once you established something to be true – build on it. evolution—not only in this life but
in all our past lives—using all kinds
For example, if you realize that the problem is in your
mind then work with your mind; don’t go back blaming of skillful means and all types of
others for your emotional turmoil when it’s more situations to teach and awaken us
convenient this way. and to guide us back to the truth.
—Sogyal Rinpoche, Tibetan Book of
Fortunately, one doesn’t need to move to the Himalayas
to practice mind training. With some discipline, it can Living and Dying
be done from the comfort of our home, while snacking
on dark chocolate and sipping on a cup of fine green tea. What you will discover is nothing short
of amazing - your inner teacher will do the dirty work for you. This means you can finally stop
fighting with yourself.

FINAL THOUGHS

“It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles.”


Buddha Shakyamuni
I’m not a lama, swami or a mystic. In fact, up to the age of twenty, I was an awful trouble maker
and I could care less about “knowledge.” Now I’m a family man. I too love a comfortable car and
a cozy home with a fireplace. I’m a sucker for action movies and hi-fi stereo. I too have bills,
occasional health issues and quarrels with my family, but all these things do not define me.
They do not rule my life.

Ultimately, it’s all about our inner wealth and a path of discovery. I want to walk it with you.
You’ll see me do my best to simplify all concepts and make it accessible to you till you start a
journey of your own.

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As we move into this time of increasing chaos, we need more tools to deal with our desires,
frustrations, and to keep the energies of the mind in a calming place. We have to learn how to
work with our emotions and apply the antidotes to situations that makes us angry. Time spent
on developing maturity and self-control is the best investment you’ll ever make.

You may find yourself in a situation where due to angry


words and actions you’ve inflicted an immense amount “Forget the past. The vanished
of damage – shipwrecked relationships, lost job lives of all men are dark with many
opportunities, abused or even killed living beings. But shames. Human conduct is ever
go easy on yourself; history is ridden with examples of
unreliable until anchored in the
irredeemable human beings turned saints.
Divine. Everything in future will
There have been some seriously disturbed people who improve if you are making a
managed to achieve full awakening in their lifetimes20. spiritual effort now.” Sri Yukteswar
None of them had to take anger management classes to in an Autobiography of Yogi.
achieve enlightenment.

Anger is a byproduct of unrealized intelligence. Once the inner-wisdom is awakened, all


destructive emotions lose their power. I truly believe that angry people are full of zest for life;
they are bursting with energy and hold vast reserves of potential.

If one took the energy one spends being angry, harnessed it and channeled it through “cleaner
pipes” one would lose a mountain of neuroses, and instead radiate with power and non-
sentimental compassion for others.

My personal path is guaranteed to have many challenges and setbacks ahead but I’m committed.
In my humble view it is the only thing that truly matters in life, the only thing that makes the
most sense. If you care to walk it together, I’ll share with you what I learn and what works for
me.

You are here now, with a future ahead of you. Don’t be afraid to change. In fact, you don’t need
to become all “spiritual” to become less angry. However, you will reap great benefit by engaging
in some skillful inner engineering. By gaining access to that dimension of intelligence and
competence within you, you can be who you are, do what you enjoy but you’ll be kinder and
more patient. Ultimately, that is in line with the spirit of life, and that is what the ancient
wisdom ultimately calls spiritual.

20
Life story of Jetsun Milarepa tells a tale of him murdering dozens of people by a request of his mother. Later on
he develops into a greatest yogi Tibet had ever known.

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