Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Road Reflections About Getting Enlightened

I've been reading about anger today. Trying to get a handle on that emotion before it messes up my first Ahimsa practice of not thinking mean thoughts about bad drivers. That same truck tried to hit me again today and I found myself glaring at them and feeling all knotted inside and I thought, boy this is the second day I've dealt with this and both times it's left me feeling bad inside. So I decided to read a little yoga stuff to see if I could figure anger out. Here's some of the info I've gathered.
One of the articles I was reading said there's a misconception that yoga people never have negative emotions and that they just float through life on this cloud of happiness. So not true. Maybe yoga people seem a little calmer then the outside world, but that doesn't mean they don't have emotions. Swami J says that it's funny how we're so educated and cultured but it only takes one little rise of emotion to tear that all down. And that's exactly the point. For many of us our emotions are our masters. So working towards being in charge of our emotional outbursts can bring us less frustration.
For me I need to understand my emotion before I can get a hold of it. So why am I so angry at these drivers? Well my knee jerk response would be because they're idoits but I don't actually catagorically know that and I think that probably not the underlying reason. I think the main cause of my anger is the fear of being hit by another car and then the anger rises because I feel like they're not valuing my life by throwing their car at me. When I look at it that way I'm sure I do the same thing. I don't put everyone else's safety on the road before mine, it's a man hit man world. So part of the lesson here is why do I expect everyone else to think of me first when I don't put their life before my own? Of course it's a flight or fight response which creates the anger, but by letting it fill me and control my thoughts and actions I'm just doing more harm to myself because I'm creating my own life stress.
So this is the part where I try to apply yoga practice to. A common way to work through emotions is to observe them, recognize they're there and let them pass. This detached method of dealing with anger allows you too experience it without supressing it or acting on it. Of course when big things come up that make you angry it's hard not to react to them and even to feel justified acting on them. But would you ever want anyone using anger as thier motivator for how they treat you, no matter what you did wrong. I'd much rather have people use compassion as their motivator towards me. So to practice for when the big waves of emotion hit I'm going to work with the little frustrations in my life, like people riding my bumper on the Queensway or people pulling out to quick in front of me. Then maybe when I do finally get hit by a careless driver I'll have practiced enough to react out of compassion instead of anger.
LOL! Hopefully that truck will try to hit me tomorrow so I can begin my practice.