Just for today, Anger not

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Repeating the Reiki Principles at times of stress can help modify habitual responses and reactions. Taken from my Reiki First Degree portfolio completed at Morley College:

Just for today, Anger not. How do you feel after you say the Principle? Every day this week look out for situations where anger could be aroused and reflect on it. What effect does anger have: physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially? What makes us angry? Why does it make us angry? Does it make us strong? Does it weaken us?
Physically anger can make the body tense (flight or fight response) It can also be ‘held’ in the body as muscular tension, (locked jaw, headaches, etc). Bodywork of any description can help release the emotions held within the body.
Emotionally anger can be turned inwards as well as outwards.
Anger can be part of the process of change. It can be the catalyst for change.
Loss of control over situations can result in fear and anger. Anger and Fear are close cousins.
I found that my anger had gone after my First degree attunement. I had been holding a lot of anger that I had been unaware of until it dissipated. I woke up the next morning, feeling something was different. It didn’t take long for me to realise my anger was missing. I looked around the room, rather theatrically, searching for my anger. Where was it gone? It had been a real physical presence in my life and now it was gone. This anger was different to the day to day angry moments one might feel. I’m glad it’s gone.
Saying the principle in the evening as well as the morning allows for reflection on the days experiences. It would be a tall order to vow never to be angry ever again. “Just for today” makes it more manageable.

From Thich Nhat Hanh Anger: Buddhist Wisdom for Cooling the Flames

Cooking Anger

You need to sustain your mindfulness for a certain amount of time in order for the flower of anger to open herself. It’s like when you cook potatoes; you put the potatoes in the pot, cover it, and put it on the fire. But even with a very high flame, if you turn the fire off after five minutes, the potatoes will not be cooked. You have to keep the fire burning for at least fifteen or twenty minutes in order for the potatoes to cook. After that, you open the lid, and you smell the wonderful aroma of cooked potatoes. Your anger is like that—it needs to be cooked. In the beginning it is raw. You cannot eat raw potatoes. Your anger is very difficult to enjoy, but if you know how to take care of it, to cook it, then the negative energy of your anger will become the positive energy of understanding and compassion. You can do it. It is not something only a Great Being can do. You can do it, too. You can transform the garbage of anger into the flower of compassion. Many of us can do this in just fifteen minutes. The secret is to continue the practice of mindful breathing, the practice of mindful walking, generating the energy of mindfulness in order to embrace your anger. Embrace your anger with a lot of tenderness. Your anger is not your enemy, your anger is your baby. It’s like your stomach or your lungs. Every time you have some trouble in your lungs or your stomach, you don’t think of throwing them away. The same is true with your anger. You accept your anger because you know you can take care of it; you can transform it into positive energy.

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