Why love and compassion make us feel safe

Excerpt of image of “Buddha’s Blue Meditation” by Paul Heussenstamm from mandalas.com

What is anger? As Tulku Urgyen taught, a deluded emotion like anger is a movement of the mind not knowing its own nature. Anger is a strong aversion in the mind, reacting to a negative image that the mind has constructed of someone or something, unaware that it is reacting to its own image. We may get slightly or more intensely angry every day, in many little moments.

What are anger’s roots? Anger as we normally experience it occurs when our sense of self and its world feel threatened. Someone does something that makes it hard for one’s mind to maintain its concept of self and its world, triggering a painful mental feeling. With that arises an image of the other person as loathsome, not fully human. The mind then blames the other person for its painful feeling.

It’s important to note that anger is a form of fear. Someone does something, and suddenly the mind feels ungrounded and reacts with anger, trying to reestablish a firm ground by reaffirming one’s narrow sense of self. Anger’s aim is to establish safety in that deluded way.

The problem is that real safety is not found within such self-centered fear and anger. Real safety is available only in the depth of our being, our underlying buddhanature. Love and compassion are, among others, fundamental qualities of the deepest nature of mind. In those unchanging qualities is the actual source of safety for self and others. To realize this is to recognize our own deep worthiness and potential for inner freedom and goodness, and to recognize the very same in all other persons … | Read On

John Makransky, from “Aren’t We Right to Be Angry?” at Tricycle.com