Monday, July 10, 2006

Thinking -- about Anger

A Zazen practitioner with whom I trained in Japan phoned me this morning. What his motivation was I do not clearly know.

What I can say in all honesty is that my perception of everything to do with this individual is clouded by anger.

Reflecting on this matter during a long walk this evening, I practiced what FM Alexander called "the whispered ah." The basic idea is to breathe out in a controlled exhalation, making a non-habitual whispered "ah" sound, and then to let the breath flow back in spontaneously.

One can apply the same principle in reciting out loud, reciting some meaningful phrases out loud, with body and mind, and then letting the air flood back in spontaneously, through open nostrils.

For examle:

GA SHAKU SHO ZO SHO AKU GYO
KAI YU MUSHI DON JIN CHI
JU SHIN KU I SHI SHO SHO
ISSAI GA KON KAI SAN GE

The many bad actions that I have committed in the past
All stemmed, from times without beginning, from greed, anger and delusion.
They were done with body, mouth, and mind.
I now confess and repent them all.

16 Comments:

Blogger gniz said...

Mike,

You seem dedicated to the path.
But you also seem angry all of the time.
What is this anger?
Does this need to be released?

Aaron

Monday, July 10, 2006  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

Didn't you read what I just wrote about Z. Zidane?

You call your blog Gangstazen while sitting at your keyboard fretting like a true sravaka, about anger.

Hypocrite.

You imitate Brad Warner's style, but you have even less content than he does. Hypocrite. Time waster.

Master Dogen said: Three heads and eight arms!

Have you understood? I don't think so.

Monday, July 10, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Release of energy happens as skillful or unskillful action. Zidane's action was not skillful, he head butted a person rather than the ball.

Monday, July 10, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh forget it, my typing here is most unskillful.

Monday, July 10, 2006  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

I agree. It was not skillful. It was utterly utterly beyond skillful.

It was as real as a roll of thunder.

Let me tell you a secret. For his action to head-butt the source of his frustration down to the ground, I adore Z. Zidane. At that moment, he became my hero forever. I don't know exactly why, but his action moved me deeply. It was the transcendent action of a great human being.

Such actions are totally beyond "skillful" and "not skillful."

Monday, July 10, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One person intentfully harmed another. How can that person be called 'great' based upon that action?

What is it that you value that intentful harm becomes a virtue?

Monday, July 10, 2006  
Blogger gniz said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Monday, July 10, 2006  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

I just expressed my reflection that Zidane is a great person. Some things are beyond explanation.

Still, here are a couple of explanatory words:

Zidane didn't really want to harm the Italian. If he had really intended to do harm, the head-butt would have been in the face, or else Zidane might have kicked him in the testicles, for example. Any man who has experience of contact sport would understand this point.

Second, Zidane did what he did bravely, completely out in the open. It wasn't a sneaky act. He did not try to remain anonymous.

Monday, July 10, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If he did not intend to harm, then was it a gesture of goodwill or kindness?

It was certainly not unintended, nor was it caused accidentaly as a result of gameplay.

The Buddha is quite clear on acts of harm. They issue from a deluded mind.

Monday, July 10, 2006  
Blogger oxeye said...

mike, it is amusing that you seem to identify with the french captain. the bottom line is he lost focus and cost his team the cup. whether or not he was brave or mad is not the point. he forgot what was really important and self-destructed.

Of course it is possible that he never realized what was essential.. ballers can be rather thick sometimes.

Monday, July 10, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravery in this case would be characterised by restraint. If Zidane had observed the anger arising within his mind and had chosen not to express it, that would be an act of bravery.

Not being able to observe the anger arising within him indicates a lack of skill.

Choosing to express it in a harmful manner indicates a lack of skill. It is always harmful to strike another when motivated by aggression.

A brave man acts in ways not disapproved by the wise.

Monday, July 10, 2006  
Blogger SteveP said...

Thanks for posting those confessional words. I have not said them in awhile and just reading them was balm on the brain. must remember to forgive myself to remember to forgive others.

sometimes I wish the world was made of nerf.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006  
Blogger Dan said...

yeh zidane is famous for having a temper. he wrecked a hotel door a few matches back because he was angry about something or rather. instead of asking for money though the hotel owner kept the door as it was and now advertsises it as a piece of world cup history.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006  
Blogger oxeye said...

mike, good luck on your new course..

I don't think zidane was trying to kill materazzi. but I definitely think he was trying to hurt him. anonymity was not possible in front of a world television audience although judging from his reaction after he was penalized I think he wanted to hide. As far as it being a "transcendent action of a great human being." I disagree.. it was a frustrated adult acting like a child.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

Beyond knowledge of Buddhist precepts and western psychology, there is a playing field.

I'll meet you there, Zizu.

Beyond right and wrong. Nut me in the chest if you like. I won't mind.

All the punches, kicks, and rugby tackles I received in my youth never harmed me at all.

But Zazen practitioners preaching balance and compassion -- those guys are a different matter!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006  
Blogger gniz said...

There isn't really any way to know whether Z's action was the "right" action. My guess is that, as an athlete participating in one of the biggest matches of his career, he regrets that decision now.
This is just a guess people.

Aaron

Tuesday, July 11, 2006  

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