I have been thinking about anger lately. There’s certainly a lot of self-improvement literature that promotes positive thinking in it’s various forms. I’ve also noticed how averse society is to the subject. As I went on thinking though, I remembered going over this topic on several occasions among friends. It turned around our generation being too soft(there’s even a term for it, snowflake). We concluded that the incapacity to get angry came bundled with a tendency to apologize for just about anything one does and being personally offended at the slightest remark whilst staying mute.
It’s very interesting to see how my psyche has changed since the humble beginnings of my meditation practice four years ago. The practice has helped me in developing a hyper-awareness of physical reflexes that became an unforeseen benefit. This has helped me in great ways with sports as to regulate my breathing, my exertions and my facial expressions. Another visible example lies in most social interactions. I have noticed that whenever I have a slight moment of hesitation or that I am ashamed of my position I will break eye contact and move my locus of attention to the right and then go on a tangent that smooths out my story. I’ve come to the conclusion that I did not like taking specific positions because I was agreeable and that I had a tendency to avoid conflict. By understanding this pattern, by looking at physical cues; I can better assess and question my behavior to come up with corrective measures(A simple way to correct defective patterns will be the topic of my next article). Being neutral means that you never state the conditions for success… or failure! It’s in line with the classic adage that we cannot reach a target if we do not aim at it. And how many times have we been told to think before speaking? It has always been notoriously difficult to take a moment of reflexion before speaking up. That exciting angst that exists within us breaks out and gives us an arrogant and foul air. How are we to learn and understand someone if our conversations are oriented towards ourself?
The idea of having a mentor to help us make decent decisions or to have someone we can talk to has been a recurrent theme in the world of entrepreneurship; with good reasons. The idea is nothing new. Young adults in Greek society chose a school of life where admirable figures could readily be found. The idea of shamans or priests resonates with us all as well. It makes sense to have someone we can put our ideas to the test before making them real through action.
I began learning and practicing meditation four years ago. At the time I was emotionally and materially wealthy, but I felt wretched throughout the day. Especially when I was alone in a public setting. It is hard to explain why one feels lonely or sad, or even happy and excited… when one lives whatever thought stream happens to exist at the time without being aware of it. It’s similar to being on a boat that is buffeted by strong currents. Only the experience is heart wrenching if we have no navigational skills. You get pulled in different directions, at nature’s mercy. The reason why I am talking about this, is that four years later my relationship with this thought stream is very different. Let’s go over distinct experiences that I had which seem to have a lot in common.
I am fond of using plain, physical examples to describe certain aspects of human psychology. The human psyche is fascinating, but also abstract and intangible. Consider yourself as a city. The structures such as the palisades, the castle, the gates and the market are your body. These structures represent the environment that brings life into existence. That is to say, it supports the city dwellers. Which in our metaphor represent our thoughts. The citizens as a collective produce a culture. If the citizens get wasted or enjoy numerous brawls we could say that the community showcases an outside image that is raw and mongrel-like. If, on the other hand, the citizens are avid book readers who believe in freedom of expression we could say that they display an artistic or liberal image.