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  • Writer's pictureLama Jigme Gyatso

Anger, Non-duality, and Meditation - 20dec22

Rage can creep up on us during meditation. It is strong, energetic, and defies being shaken off. It has mass, and adhesion, and it doesn’t feel like it is going anywhere. The third Ch’an patriarch explained that in times of turmoil we should contemplate “Not two.” But how does that work?

We sit in meditation, upon a blanket, upon the floor. Legs crossed at the hips, spine erect, head straight, and hands resting in our lap. As we inhale our sympathetic nervous system supports our sensory acuity which feeds our mindfulness, especially when we mentally recite the first half of the rhetorical question, “Hate and love…”. During our exhalations we could silently recite “…how NOT two?” as our parasympathetic nervous system induces physical relaxation and mental release.

This is NOT a Koan, intended to exhaust our intellect, nor a call to blind faith, but rather an excellent opportunity to profit from the inner therapist of our autonomic nervous system. Dread and desire comprise the fundamental duality described by Buddhism, and we notice them effortlessly as we inhale. During the physical relaxation and mental release latent within each exhalation both our experience of hate and our longing to love could feel as non-graspable as a vast, empty void; like the illusion of the infinite azure sky, on a bright and beautiful, cloudless morn, which although tantalizing to the eye is intangible to the hand.

It is neither intellect nor emotion that drives the dynamo of non-duality but the naturally occurring processes of the most ancient part of our central nervous system. Work with it consistently and you too could meditate like a Jedi.

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