The following reflection has been posted on WorldWide Insight

Today’s mid-week reflection is by guest teacher Deborah Eden Tull and is entitled “The unguarded heart: meeting anger and resentment with love and forgiveness.” Eden will be further exploring this topic in her upcoming Sunday Insight session on the 1st April.

The Buddha taught that holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intention of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

Most of us have not been taught how to meet anger with compassion. In fact, most of us as children learned that, while some of our emotions were acceptable, anger, like resentment and jealousy, was not one of them. When we come to meditation practice, it is therefore easy to misinterpret the teachings. These teachings sometimes become skewed by the lens of our childhood or religious conditioning. So we continue to judge ourselves for becoming angry, suppressing anger, or believe we are simply poor meditation practitioners. We wonder why we’ve “failed” to find equanimity through difficult emotions such as resentment and rage.

To misunderstand our anger is to misunderstand ourselves. It is to misunderstand impermanence, reactivity, and fear. By distorting the teachings, we continue to judge ourselves and others. And we prevent ourselves from understanding the full potential of compassion’s empowering embrace.

In Sunday’s session, we will explore anger, resentment, jealousy, and other difficult emotions – learning how to see clearly and meet anger with true love and acceptance. We will explore our misunderstandings about anger and learn how to cultivate the compassionate presence that offers a vast and courageous expression of love. Compassion’s perception of anger is more nuanced than our small mind can perceive.

What is it to have a fearless and unguarded heart?

How can we work with anger and resentment in a healing way?

What is the role of forgiveness in liberating us from anger and resentment?

How can we cultivate forgiveness?

But isn’t it healthy to be angry in times like these?

Eden’s dharma talk will be followed by a forgiveness practice and time for question and answer/group discussion. 

This teaching draws upon 9 Buddhist teachings from Eden’s forthcoming book, Relational Mindfulness: A Handbook for Deepening Our Connection with Our Self, Each Other, and Our Planet. Realize Media is offering an online course with Eden, starting April 22nd, on Relational Mindfulness: Bringing Mindfulness to the Beautiful and Messy Realm of Human Relationship. Find out more here.