9

Forgiving Patience

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When your house is on fire...

"I should be angry when people criticize me,
Since they thereby ruin others' confidence."
Then why don't you also get angry
When they criticize others?

"I can patiently tolerate such hostility,
Because it is aimed at another person!"
Then why can't I tolerate criticism of myself,
Since it aims only at my mentally addictive habits?

When someone is angry at someone other than yourself, how easy it is to see the folly in their anger. But in that case why do we get angry when someone speaks harshly of us and feel sorry for them when they slanders someone else?

reflect

When someone is angry at someone other than yourself, do you easily see the folly in their anger?


If we can see how unhelpful it when other people act in anger over words spoken about them, why do we get angry when someone speaks harshly of us?

Should one person commit harm out of delusion,
And another get angry out of delusion,
Which one is to be more blamed?
Which one is to be blameless?

reflect

Someone might justify harming us, not realizing how much she's harming herself. We might retaliate out of the same ignorance. So who is right and who is wrong? Aren't we both in the same boat? quote


For when a building is ablaze
And flames leap out from house to house,
The wise course is to take and fling away
The straw and anything that spreads the fire.

In fear that merit might be all consumed,

We should at once cast far away
!
Our mind's attachments:

Tinder for the fiery flames of hate. quote

When our house is on fire we should try to remove those things that will fuel the fire. When you are on filled with anger, your internal house is on fire!
reflect

Following the suggestion, what is it that fuels your anger that you can remove?


At the root of our anger is our attachment to wanting things to be a certain way. Obsessing over what we think we need and how others are keeping us from our happiness feed the flames of our hatred.

The Dalai Lama points out the relationship between attachment and hatred:

The difference between hatred and attachment is that hatred, when it arises, is very destructive, very rough; it immediately has an extremely disturbing quality. This is not so much the case with attachment, which has more gentleness. However, attachment also is at the root of hatred, so in order to totally eliminate hatred one must also deal with attachment. quote