Anger/unhappiness Subconscious

I try to be mindful of unwholesome state of mind, particularly negative emotions such as anger and unhappiness when things doesn’t “go right” in life. Recently a friend did something that is quite clearly unfair to me. Being mindful, i didn’t react and just let it be.

However that night when i slept, just like a wet dream stemming from lust, my mind during sleeping, started thinking/dreaming unconsciously about the issue and rebuke my friend and his doing.

How should i deal with this? Do i continue to just be mindful and see it as it is or is there certain method i can use to counter this?

Thanks!

A friend of mine who has been a monk for a while once taught me something really powerful. Beside being aware and investigating what goes on within our minds and hearts we need to work as well on purifying it.He used the analogy of a bucket with muddy water:

It is great to be aware that’s what you have in front of you. Most of people don’t!

However there’s no point in looking at it and wishing it to not be muddy. You have then to start filling it with clean water, beyond the point it overflows.

After a while, the dirt is gone and bucket will be full of clean water. For the path to unfold a similar thing has to take place within us.

And this is pretty much aligned with Buddha’s recollection of his own practice in regards to thoughts before his Awakening, recorded in MN19. In a nutshell, remind your self the path is eightfold and right at its first factors you find right view and right thought/resolve.

"As I abided thus, diligent, ardent, and resolute, a thought of non-ill will arose in me…a thought of non-cruelty arose in me.
I understood thus: ‘This thought of non-cruelty has arisen in me. This does not lead to my own affliction, or to others’ affliction, or to the affliction of both; it aids wisdom, does not cause difficulties, and leads to Nibbāna.
If I think and ponder upon this thought even for a night, even for a day, even for a night and day, I see nothing to fear from it. "

You see, it’s already an aspect of right view that you see a problem with these things. The next step is to endeavour on the cultivation of right thought/resolve, which is threefold: renunciation, love and compassion.

However, as MN19 shows as well, once the water has been made crystal clear one needs to then move a step further and then just allow it to still:

"Bhikkhus, whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. If he frequently thinks and ponders upon thoughts of renunciation, he has abandoned the thought of sensual desire to cultivate the thought of renunciation, and then his mind inclines to thoughts of renunciation. If he frequently thinks and ponders upon thoughts of non-ill will…upon thoughts of non-cruelty, he has abandoned the thought of cruelty to cultivate the thought of non-cruelty, and then his mind inclines to thoughts of non-cruelty.

“Just as in the last month of the hot season, when all the crops have been brought inside the villages, a cowherd would guard his cows while staying at the root of a tree or out in the open, since he needs only to be mindful that the cows are there; so too, there was need for me only to be mindful that those states were there.

The above tells you that once the homework is done in terms of cultivation of positive mind states and thoughts of renunciation, non-violence and compassion, the right sort of energy and awareness is brought about. And that is the very foundation of the stillness that in turn triggers awakening, as it was in the case of the Buddha himself:

Tireless energy was aroused in me and unremitting mindfulness was established, my body was tranquil and untroubled, my mind concentrated and unified.

“Quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, I entered upon and abided in the first jhāna…I directly knew: ‘Birth is destroyed, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more coming to any state of being.’

Above all, remember, the path has many factors and auspicious!

“When a person has right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration, right knowledge, & right release, whatever bodily deeds he undertakes in line with that view, whatever verbal deeds… whatever mental deeds he undertakes in line with that view, whatever intentions, whatever vows, whatever determinations, whatever fabrications, all lead to what is agreeable, pleasing, charming, profitable, & easeful. Why is that? Because the view is auspicious.

“Just as when a sugar cane seed, a rice grain, or a grape seed is placed in moist soil, whatever nutriment it takes from the soil & the water, all conduces to its sweetness, tastiness, & unalloyed delectability. Why is that? Because the seed is auspicious. In the same way, when a person has right view… right release, whatever bodily deeds he undertakes in line with that view, whatever verbal deeds… whatever mental deeds he undertakes in line with that view, whatever intentions, whatever vows, whatever determinations, whatever fabrications, all lead to what is agreeable, pleasing, charming, profitable, & easeful. Why is that? Because the view is auspicious.”
–AN10.104

Hope it helps!

:anjal:

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Loving kindness is your friend here. Remember and know that there is nothing you can do that will undo the unfairness you have received. If you allow the mind to stay there with the thoughts and feeling that accompanies these memories, they will amplify until a reaction becomes unavoidable due to overflowing out of the unconscious mind.

I can tell you this form my own experience last year. I was treated very very unfairly. I wanted an apology, but I was not given it and I was not even allowed to speak my feelings without being shut down. I lost my best friend in the end. I found that I was being betrayed even more than I thought and even more than I thought was possible for this person.

In the end. I had to end the friendship and simply walk away. It was not a wholesome thing for me and I got angry which was not good for me. I also became incredibly sad in the moment, but these things pass.

I will say this. Loving kindness has a way of melting unwholesome memories and mind states, especially if practiced consistently over time. Metta can arise wholesome mind states and it is impossible to have an unwholesome mind state and a wholesome one in the mind at one time. Accept that there is an unwholesome mind state in the mind, that it is not helpful and that it is causing suffer, allow it to be there and move your attention from it. When we move our attention away from it without trying to crush it or push it down, suppressing it, it begins to lose power as we are no longer feeding it. The mind will feed on wholesome or unwholesome nutriment and so we should always strive to remember that it is our choice what we feed it and our minds will become what we put into it and what we allow it to focus and perseverate on.

Trust in the Buddha’s teachings. They are here for all of it us to allow us to see things more clearly through our thinking and, ideally, through direct experience so that it stops being such a will thing and we just naturally let things go because we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is not worth holding any longer.

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As @Gabriel_L mentions, MN 19 is useful; I use it in my own life so I thought I might share how. Consider this (formatted) excerpt:

“As I abided thus, diligent, ardent, and resolute, a thought of ill-will arose in me.

I understood thus:
‘This thought of ill-will has arisen in me. This leads to my own affliction, to others’ affliction, and to the affliction of both; it obstructs wisdom, causes difficulties, and leads away from Nibbāna.’

When I considered: ‘This leads to my own affliction,’ it subsided in me;
when I considered: ‘This leads to others’ affliction,’ it subsided in me;
when I considered: ‘This leads to the affliction of both,’ it subsided in me;
when I considered: ‘This obstructs wisdom, causes difficulties, and leads away from Nibbāna,’ it subsided in me.

Whenever a thought of sensual desire arose in me, I abandoned it, removed it, did away with it.

The way I use this sutta is when I have ill-will thoughts, I consider first how it makes me feel to have these thoughts; it makes me feel physically and mentally unwell.

Then I think about how when I’m in an ill-will state of mind, I am more likely to harm others, and I spread that bad vibe around to friends and family, who may have nothing to do with the cause of my ill-will thoughts.

Then I consider how this ill-will scenario is a lose-lose situation: I lose, those around me lose. In sum, no one benefits.

I find this to be a very effective form of cognitive behavioral therapy :slight_smile:

Edit: I find that I have to spend some energy on considering though. It’s not enough to just go “ill-will thoughts are bad”, I have to go through the motions and argue the lose-lose nature of the thoughts to my mind, then they tend to disappear.

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Thanks for the answers. I find the replies very useful for me which i will try to keep in mind for the next “attack” in future.

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