Practice: Defusing Anger

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Practice: Defusing Anger

We believe that democracy as a way of life can be strengthened and deepened through spiritual practices—both those traditionally considered to be "inner work" and those that require active engagement with our neighbors and communities. In partnership with our friends at Spirituality & Practice, we are sharing monthly practices to help us all “practice democracy” from the inside out.

This practice comes from peace advocate, author, and Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, in his book, Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames. "There may be times when you are angry with someone, and you try everything you can to transform your anger," he writes, "but nothing seems to work. In this case, the Buddha proposes that you give the other person a present. It sounds childish, but it is very effective. When we're angry with someone we want to hurt them. Giving them a present changes that into wanting to make them happy. So, when you are angry with someone send him a present. After you have sent it, you will stop being angry with him. It's very simple, and it always works."

Visit Spirituality & Practice's PracticingDemocracy.net for more resources.

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