Raudra literally means to roar or to howl that expresses the Rasa of anger. When the ego feels neglected, threatened, been treated incorrectly or isn’t fulfilled by the egos expectation, it gets angry and wants to act out and roar! It is hard as the mind follows the ego. ‘I am hungry, I am tired, I am lonely, I am hurt, I am…’ The intellect or consciousness will try to guide the ego back to what matters to you most, what is right and good, however the ego is fragile and affected by life. If the ego feels insecure, there is unfulfilled desires, or if the ego feels bruised by life and isn’t given the respect, validation or attention it feels it deserves, if the heart is touched by grief, sorrow, we aren’t able to communicate properly to get our needs met and we are clouded in out thoughts. This affecting our subtle body of our Chakras.
Feel where the meaning of these words resonate. The Bhava of anger can range from Annoyance, being Cross, Irritable, Vexed, Irritation, Stressed, Intolerance, Impatience, Aggravated, Passive Aggressive, Outraged, having ill Temper, Incensed, Rage, Fury, leading to Violence. When we are angry, we are tunnel visioned where the ego is just concerned with ME, MINE and I. There is no room for anyone else. I AM ANGRY, I AM becomes the point, justifying behaviour as the ego had expectations that weren’t met.
The energy of Anger is motivating, however can be very destructive. Anger can easily get out of control and cause problems in ever aspect of your life and relationships. Unresolved anger can lead to held resentments opening the doors for the emotion of disgust, fear and unsupported sadness. Physically anger is linked to health issues, high blood pressure, heart disease, anxiety issues and depression. This is where having a practice, knowing and working with what matters to you most is essential. What do you ultimately care about? What matters to you? What is most important to you? As in times of anger, the ego will override what intentions you have to get it’s needs met even if it has to take or cause harm.
Anger is really Rajasic in its nature and if not fuelled, will burn out and dry out quickly. The first 90 seconds of anger is hormonal and conditional under your unconscious habitual learned reaction, however after that you can regain control and learn techniques to cool down and calm.
Anger used in a good way can motivate change, right the wrongs in this world and fight for the good, in peaceful, productive way when injustice is present. Anger gives us strength and energy to act for what is right, fair and just facing brutality, cruelty, tyranny, repression, exploitation, prejudice, bigotry, discrimination, or what you morally find is wrong. Learning how to manage your anger takes time and practice. Think of Gandhi or Martin Luther King and the anger they directed in peaceful protest to create change for civil rights for all. Took practice facing injustice and not to react in the same violence.
If you think you have mastered anger, just go to your relatives for a holiday meal and see how well you do. Anger is a human emotion and using RAIN is essential to learning how to work or practice with it. Recognise your angry thoughts, the bhava-feelings, and notice the sensations…they will tell you so much about yourself. With that information then open to it. Allow it. Be curious and fascinated by your human reaction. Investigate and discover how it manifests in you. We Nurture ourselves with Wonder – Adbhuta. This is the antidote to our small angry ego, to expand the ego as wide around what triggered it.
- Does the way you react come from your learned behaviour from your parents, guardians, friends?
- How do you react? Shout? Shut down? Lash Out?
- Verbally be abusive or threaten?
- Physically act out to someone or to yourself?
- Where do you feel it? What shape, colour, size?
- What unmet need is asking for attention, to be safe, loved, belonging?
- Expand around your Anger where you becomes curious, astonished by how you feel and fascinated by it. Wonder where does it come from? Why?
This is the bhava of Wonder – To be surprised, stunned, amazed, marvelled by the mystery of life where it leaves you in an awe state of openness. This gives a redirection of the egos attention, it is startle by this wonderment, dissolving the attachment to ME, MINE and I. There is an expansion by your amazement of the present moment, I-ness that is experiencing the here and now without attachment, just pure conscious receptiveness. This awe awareness is ready, curious and willing to experience the beauty of it all. Change is hard and it is human to react with anger to something that doesn’t fit our vision of what we think it should look like.
Practice RAIN. Recognise your signs that anger is present. The A in RAIN is to allow it in a safe place, don’t pass it on. I recommend 1:2 breathing, Kriyas, wide open spaces, nature and reasoning it out with someone you trust. As you investigate, you open to wonder to understand and explore, discovering more about what triggered you, how it manifests and why it occurs. This then leads you to N – nurture yourself.
We are human, embracing our humanity even the uncomfortable feelings like anger is key to skilfully practicing.
1. When you feel angry where do you feel it? What shape? Colour? Size? Energy? And story that is attached to keep you justifying acting out with angry behaviour. Does the way you react come from your learned behaviour from your parents, guardian, friends?Shout? Verbally be abusive or threaten? Physically act out to someone or to yourself? What unmet need is asking for attention, to be safe, loved, belonging?
2. So what makes you angry? Person, place or thing? Think about when you are walking and someone bumps into you. People walking too slow. Cycling and a car gets too close. Driving and someone cuts you off. People in your way when you are late. People who smell on a packed tube.
3. Who makes you angry? Bullies, Martyrs, Victims, Perfect people, Jobsworths, Know-it-alls, Criminals, Racists, People who marginalise or discriminate others, Angry people.
4. Unmet expectations? Someone not doing what they said they would do. Not having, getting or receiving something that you were expecting? Attention, validation, recognition, promotion, a relationship, children, money, fame?
5. Close friends and family? Parents, children, teenagers, partner, social group, best friend? Someone who’s pissed you off as they haven’t respected your space or boundaries. Who may have been insensitive to you because of your closeness. Or maybe feeling neglected, not belonging, or there is conditions that feel unreasonable.
6. Being treated unfairly, being threatened or attacked verbally or physically? By someone you love, or says loves you, or feeling unsafe by their behaviour – it can be a neighbours, people in your community, or of strangers?
7. Feeling disrespected, laughed at or publicly humiliated? At work, at the pub, in your family, or online? Someone who made you feel embarrassed, publicly shamed, feel mortify in a public way.
8. Not being able to do things that others can do? Asanas, Forward Bends, Handstands, backdrops, Multitask, have a family, perceiving to life with such effortless perfection and the frustration you feel in comparing yourself to others?
9. Not having what other have and feeling the injustice, unfairness or the inequality? Safety to walk the streets without fear, rights of autonomy, feeling angry at how marginalised people are treated, how people mistreat our planet, animals, children, other human beings.
10. Anger can be a part of grief, losing a job, status, reputation, followers, or the loss of a friendship or family member? What loss have you had and can you touch the anger in that grief?
11. Unexpectedly being pulled off course in what you are doing, or trying to achieve? The obstacles that get in our way and make us loose our momentum in life. Loosing a job, a car, a home, a relationship?
12. Anger can be historical or generational that the anger we feel is of our family’s or cultural past that we carry into our lives? What do you carry that isn’t yours, but feel it is something you are having to hold?
13. Are you able to understand someone else’s anger? Can you be curious and wonder what is triggering their anger? Can you see hurt people hurt? Reflecting on yourself and forgiving yourself for being human, can you be open to forgive someone else’s intolerance, impatience, ill temper? Make healthier boundaries with them to protect yourself from them and them from your angry reaction?
Bring Wonder to your Anger – AWE, Fascination, Be Surprised, Be Amazed, Astonishment, Amazement, Marvel, Wonderful thing, Curiosity, Ponder, Ask Yourself, Think about it, Meditate on it, Reflect on it, Deliberate about it, Inquisitive about it, Be Interested, Respect, Admire, Wondrous, Stare into the mystery of lifeAppreciate What takes your breath away.