My cousin Jay has had an anger problem since I’ve known him as a kid. He was the 11 year old bully in the bunch and one of the bigger kids in our group of cousins. Jay lost his temper quickly. We kids loved him and we hated him. Jay was boisterous, a natural leader and all was well as long as you went along with what he wanted. But boy if you challenged him, he got pissed and you took off as quickly as possible.
One day we were outside in the backyard at a Thanksgiving family gathering, playing touch football. One of
the boys in our family gathering was teasing Jay because he was hogging the ball. He was knocking over the littler kids as he went by, me included, and well, just being Jay, a bully.
When Charlie yelled at him to stop it, Jay punched Charlie in the face. Charlie hit back and then Jay became unstoppable. I stood there at the ripe age of 6 feeling helpless and terrified as Charlie got punched and fell to the ground bleeding. But as I watched Jay’s face, I was amazed because I saw that Jay was also terrified, and sad.
As an adult, Jay became the CEO of a small manufacturing company. Jay’s anger problems followed him all the way to his adult life. He began to deal with his anger when he noticed himself taking it out on his own kids. Jay spent a few years in therapy and personal growth programs and apparently, still has an anger problem. Jay shared with me his dilemma that he’s learned lots of techniques but nothing seems to stick.
We talked about the techniques he was using and why he thought they didn’t work. Breathing techniques, grounding techniques, regression techniques, what was the missing link?
“It works for a short while, but nothing lasts.” Jay reported. He’d done a lot of deep work, tons of self-reflecting.
“Do you meditate?” I asked.
“Well, sort of,” he responded. He described his meditation practices to me.
I’ve been told they would help, but so far, nothing! I’m frustrated. I feel ripped off.”
“The problem with mechanical techniques such as counting breaths, is that they do not address the issue of purification of the mind. As long as anger resides in your mind and heart, these forces destroy your acquired concentration progress.
And there’s another problem with mechanical meditation techniques. With most of them, the goal is to stop the mind and bring it to stillness or quiet. This works against the nature of the mind and makes long lasting progress extremely difficult.
The mind is like a perpetual motion machine. If you try to stop it, the machine goes awry and becomes unstable, it rebels. However, if you direct the mind toward the heart center and properly engage the emotional heart with spiritual qualities in your meditation practice, you begin to purify the mind of negativity.”
I taught Jay the Three-Step Heart Centered meditation technique to help him mitigate the core of his anger.
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