How do we develop the willingness to not retaliate? Shantideva’s approach is based on developing tenderness for the human predicament and, if that’s not possible, to at least realize that anger increases our suffering. It’s like eating poison seeds and wondering why we get sicker.
To interrupt anger’s momentum, he suggests these contemplations on the futility of our habitual responses. Ask yourself once again: Why do I get angry at people and not inanimate things? How much of my anger is caused by fixed views of good and bad, right and wrong? And couldn’t I have some tolerance for others who, just like me, keep creating their own misery? The real culprits are the kleshas themselves, and couldn’t we all use some compassionate guidance in working with them?
From No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva, page 182.
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