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Children in my part of the world have a saying: “If you say it onto others, you say it onto yourself.” But it is not until they grow up that they realize the true weight of these words.

We all judge others, it’s a habit. We like to judge. There is even an industry catering to our needs – the show biz. What we love about shows like American Idol is not the performances but the ability to judge those performers from the comfort of our couch. Heck, we even judge those “judgemental” judges. It’s a real thrill.

Judging is closely related to a Buddhist notion of “discriminating wisdom,” which refers to our mind’s ability to perceive all phenomena ‘as it is‘ and its ability to discern how it is all interrelated. This is our  power to act in ways that are most beneficial to sentient beings at any given time.  However, because of our ego and its inability to experience non dual nature of reality we tend to cling to concepts and build relationships with them, often times elevating our own superiority. This is what unenlightened judgement really is: “I know better, I am better, but if I’m clearly not better then I know who’s better than you, because I’m smart this way.”  Ego, too, works in [click to continue…]

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Short Fuse? Take Great Care of Your Nervous System

Short fuse, long fuse, everyone has one. There is no person on earth who doesn’t have a limit before getting irritated and then becoming angry. The only interesting question is how come someone’s reservoir of patience is much deeper than someone else? How come one gets irked and blows up from a sound of cat’s nails tapping on the hardwood when another one can take Chinese water torture for days and still keep their cool?

You might point out the obvious – patience! But patience is a finite resource. Besides, if one is not experiencing any irritation from an obvious trigger then what’s there to be patient about? The answer lies within our nervous system (NS). It is our NS that determines how comfortable we are in our bodies. In scientific terms a nervous system is responsible for “sending, receiving, and interpreting information from all parts of the body; it monitors and coordinates internal organ function and responds to changes in the external environment.”

In simple terms NS is intricately linked to our perception of things whether we’re aware of it or not. My past three years of struggle with health and insomnia has definitely taught me many lessons about the role that our nervous system plays in self control. Insomnia, especially, hits the NS like a bulldozer and makes one into a walking zombie. This is where I had the fortune to put all of my thus far accumulated “anger mentor” wisdom to the test.

It didn’t take long to notice that following a sleepless night my fuse was extremely short. I basically already got out of bed irritated and pissed for having gone through [click to continue…]

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Modern psychology says that being judgmental toward others is a psychological defense mechanism: we reject in others what we can’t accept in ourselves. It’s an insightful discovery but I believe it’s a short sighted one. Our inner critic has much deeper roots, those that hide way beyond the ordinary observation of the ego mind. 

Ever since I was a kid I was known for having “a bit” of a wild temperament. Naturally, life was generous with painful but valuable lessons. After all, no matter how high you fly, if your wings are made of ego you’ll eventually crash hard face down into a big pile of cow shit. Basic laws of the mighty Universe.

In addition, my dad was a total ass to my mom. I mean, he loved her but his was awful to her. Imagine a young boy growing up watching all that and you’ll get a sense of the type of “manhood” lessons I was ingrained with since childhood. After going through all this trouble myself I now notice other men struggling to keep their relationships together, all due to their fathers’ absence of basic skills on how to treat a lady and accept her with all her strengths and weaknesses.

Anyways, if you love exploring your inner world like I do then you have also done some soul searching, drilling into the depths of your heart asking one simple question – how can I criticize less? And I feel we have to frame it this way because it would be virtually impossible for one (masterful in the art) to just  ‘stop‘ criticizing. Gotta be realistic, right?  After all, making a mere wish to be something completely different from what you were your entire life is as effective as drinking more beer for a hangover remedy.  What we need is a system, a process that will [click to continue…]

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So you’re furious, I mean you’re really pissed… Now what?  Come with me to the dungeon of your mind where you find yourself absolutely livid, so full of rage you’re ready to explode and take everyone with you. Basically you’re Taliban, wearing an emotional suicide vest. The Dawn of Madness In this downward vortex you [continue reading...]

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The story testifies to one key aspect about anger – it’s an alienating emotion which we can’t afford. Think about it… when we are angry we feel misunderstood and have a deep wish to be heard, but ironically, our tone of voice achieves the exact opposite. It’s a shame as we might be communicating a [continue reading...]

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“How Can You be Angry When” is a series of posts meant to pause the words, ground you and hopefully inspire you to shift perspective, consider the alternative; even if… it’s just for a moment.

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“Our puppet strings are hard to see, so we perceive ourselves as free.” – Theodore Melnechuk, Poet and Scientist. Life – a precious opportunity to exist on the terrestrial plane among animals and fellow human beings. Full of joy, love, service to others, and at the same time riddled with pain, frustration and disappointment.   Ever [continue reading...]

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“Look, I’ve tried all of your advice on dealing with angry people and nothing works. I’m at the end of my wits, what else can I do?” When, once in a blue moon, I get an e-mail stating something like this I have to access my drawer of secret advice and introduce a radical notion [continue reading...]

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When I was a “seasoned” nurse, the first thing I would tell new psych nurses was to throw out everything they learned in books. I explained that although saying sweetly “I’m concerned about you….. for whatever reason” may work with neurotic folks who just want to talk, that it wouldn’t get you anywhere in an [continue reading...]

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Unless you were one of the fortunate ones who happened to have a Sunday school teacher who wasn’t afraid to be bluntly blasphemous you were told that God is a truly nice guy, watching after us from above with a loving tender, ready to forgive every sin.  The Bible, however, contains some mind blowing stories that paint God anything [continue reading...]

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