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Following the same dynamic of the meditation sessions I'm doing every Wednesday at 8:20 pm (GMT-4, Buenos Aires), I have decided to publish each of the stories I share at the end of the class. A few weeks ago, in the third meeting, I talked a little about anger and how it is sometimes based on practically nothing.
That day I wanted to share with the meditators the following story that brings together multiple teachings regarding anger and its origin:
A man had a small boat, and he used to go to the lake alone.
He would stay there for hours and hours.
One day on a very beautiful afternoon, while he was meditating, with his eyes open, he noticed another boat heading toward his position. As he approached that boat, the man began to feel uncomfortable.
-What's that boat doing sailing in the direction of my ship, why is it disturbing my precious peace?
As the boat got closer, the man became more and more confused. Soon he began to raise his arms, shouting and waving angrily, so that the owner of that boat would correct his course and leave for another place.
-What a lack of consideration, with so much lake, with so much space, to have to come here, where I am, to bother me!
His anger continued to grow, until the boat, floating, reached its position by hitting his boat. At that moment, at the edge of the greatest anger, he only thought of being able to see that man, to tell him something... when he realized that the boat was empty.
There was no way to go on. Who would he yell at, venting his anger, if that boat was empty?
What chance was there of projecting his anger onto a boat where there was no one on board, which was floating in the wind or some current, aimlessly?
It was not the boat that had brought this man his anger. His anger was real, but as he saw that there was no one in that boat, he could also see that he, and he alone, had been the one to give rise to that anger, feeding it more and more with his thoughts, as the boat slid towards him, until it struck him.
If there were a person in the boat, that anger, originating from within him, fed by him, would have been "spat out" with force and aggression. On the other hand, since there was no one in the boat, our man was able to learn that the others are not the ones who bring us anger, they are like empty boats. And he also made another valuable learning; when, on the contrary, if someone else were to come to him loaded with anger, he could simply not take it personally, because in the end, anger is not provoked by others, it is fed by us.
Moreover, since he could not harm an empty boat, he also learned to prevent the anger of others from harming him, by feeling himself to be an empty boat adrift.
Thank you very much for reading me.
I am Julio Cesar Arvelo, practitioner and teacher of Ashtanga Yoga and Meditation.
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