Monday, July 09, 2007

Daily Dharma: Pema Chödrön

Today's Daily Dharma from Tricycle:

Pushing Your Buttons

Nothing ever changes in this world through hating the enemy. Nothing ever changes through aggression and hatred. So if it's pushing your buttons, whether it's Hitler or an abusive parent or an immoral war--Hitler was wrong, a parent who abuses a child is wrong--you have got to keep working with your own negativity, with those feelings that keep coming up inside you. We have also had the experience of seeing wrong being done when there is no confusion and no bewilderment and we just say, Stop it! No buttons have been pushed. It's just wrong, unaccompanied by righteous indignation. When I feel righteous indignation, I know that it has something to do with me. In order to be effective in stopping brutality on this planet you have to work with your own aggressions, with what has been triggered in you, so that you can communicate from the heart with the rapist, the abuser, the murderer.

~ Pema Chödrön, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Vol. III, #1


DoubleCinco said...

I am a first time commenter, but have been reading your blog with great appreciation for over a year. I am moved to comment by Pema's words.

The piece I have is that righteous indignation and outrage are dangerous drugs that all of humanity are prone to get wasted on. Outrage may be viewed as an experience generated by thoughts, particularly the delight in thinking how wrong they are and how right we are to be indignant.

But this cognitive experience fueled by thoughts actually distract us from our anger and frustration and move us away from the non-verbal, non-cognitive experience of the now.

If we opened up to the emotions beneath the outrage we might discover profound sadness and compassion that all of us live in a world where people are so easily violent and sadistic.

Thank you Bill for your creativity and passion.

william harryman said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, which I agree with completely. It's far too easy to let the verbal "monkey mind" take us away from pure experience and into negative emotions, in particular.

Glad you enjoy the blog!