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  • Writer's pictureLama Jigme Gyatso

Anger, Prayer, and Healing

Larry’s daddy was an angry man; a rigid Evangelical with a penchant for slandering others. When Larry told me that telling his father of his Buddhist studies could put him in peril, I believed him. So I was more than a little intrigued when Larry asked me, “How could I teach my father techniques that could heal his hate?”

“Do not endanger yourself by mentioning the Buddha or his techniques; that would do much more harm than good.” I explained, “Rather, respect both his world view and his controlling tendencies with the following strategy.

Pique his curiosity with the words, ‘Dad, it’s been a while since last we prayed together. Let’s do that this week, maybe some place in nature. Could that sound good to you?’ Let your father choose a date, time, and place. Set space, that during your drive to the venue your father might vent about the individuals who anger him the most. Draw him out with questions: sincere and free of agenda.

Once you two have started praying, and you feel a measure of comfort with the setting, act, companion, and the back and forth, begin intercessory prayer (vulnerable, and enthusiastic) for the repentance of the individuals your father hates. Address each individual, each specific sin, each character flaw driving that sin, and each real or potential circumstance triggering them. Pray their minds fill with wisdom and their hearts with love.

That way, you’ll be leading your daddy by example, upon the path of compassion, in a manner he will not find threatening.”

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