Anger can be one of the most frustrating emotions, carrying us headlong away from ourselves and depositing us into separation and dismay. Vietnamese monk and world teacher Thich Nhat Hanh tackles this most difficult of emotions in Anger
. A master at putting complex ideas into simple, colorful packages, Nhat Hanh tells us that, fundamentally, to be angry is to suffer, and that it is our responsibility to alleviate our own suffering. The way to do this is not to fight our emotions or to "let it all out" but to transform ourselves through mindfulness. Emphasizing our basic interdependence, he teaches us how to help others through deep listening and how to water the positive seeds in those around us while starving the negative seeds. Serious though lighthearted, Anger
is a handbook not only for transforming anger but for living each moment beautifully. --Brian Bruya
From Publishers Weekly
In an age of road rage, Americans would do well to cool down with prolific Buddhist monk Hanh (Living Buddha, Living Christ). There is plenty in this small volume worth skipping, such as Hanh's tedious call for "Healing the Wounded Child Within." And some of his advice is banal (e.g., if a husband is angry at his wife, he should tell her). But some of Hanh's suggestions cut refreshingly against the grain. He dissents, for example, from the popular therapeutic wisdom to "express our anger": when we beat a pillow to get rid of our feelings, he insists we are merely "rehearsing" our anger, not "reducing" it. Hanh reminds us that anger begins and ends with ourselves we may feel that we are mad at our wife or son, but really we are the direct objects of our rage. Hanh doesn't limit his task to discussing anger between families and friends; he also deals with anger among countries and between citizens and governments. That expansive vision is not surprising (Hanh, after all, is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee) but it is refreshing, lifting this book out of the self-absorbed self-help pile. Like Hanh's other books, this is not weighed down with Buddhist terminology. The appendices, which contain meditations designed to help release anger, give it the specifically Buddhist spice that some readers will appreciate. The meat of the book, however, will be accessible to a broad, ecumenical audience.
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