Hi Adam, I have read your page on how to deal with anger, but I am finding it very difficult to put into practice. Some things just seem to get me so angry that I can not free myself from it. The feeling is so strong I do not know what to do to lessen the pain. I try to "surrender" and accept that it is there but this does not seem to work. When I become the awareness of it this seems to make it worse aswell. Any help would be much appreciated, thanks.
Hello. It seems that you are still resisting the anger at some level. There is no "try" in surrender, it is a relinquishment of all trying. Surrender is what is left when you give up all trying, all resistance, any attempts to control your thoughts or emotions. If you were truly surrendered, you would not care if the emotion is there or not, since you would have no identification with it.
In this state of surrender/nonresistance/acceptance, you do not mind the anger being there. It can stay as long as it wants, but you have no part in it. Do not get involved with the anger, do not touch it, just let it be. When you do not get involved, you do not mistake it for who you are. You are then untroubled by any pain that it brings. You are not the one suffering, you are the awareness of any suffering.
If you try to get rid of anger, wish anger was not arising in you, or have any concept of "I should not be feeling anger", this is all resistance, part of the anger that keeps it alive. Do not resist it in any way. Since this anger has nothing to do with you, do not interfere with it, leave it alone. Then you are free whether the anger is there or not.
Only when you are in a state of acceptance that leaves you neutral as to whether anger is in you or not, only then will the anger begin to weaken and leave.
True freedom is being free even in the midst of suffering. The emotion then takes care of itself, and is no longer kept alive through your identification.
Take the "I" or "me" out of your anger. Take the "anger" out of the anger, simply by not labelling the emotion any more.
Your question says that when you become the awareness of it, this seems to make it worse....
-First of all, you are the awareness of it already, forget the idea of "when I am the awareness" and "when I am not the awareness" - who is talking here? The mind is talking. You are always awareness, aware of everything, even aware of the resistance to anger, or aware of the one that says "when I am the awareness". You are silently witnessing all of it.
-Secondly, it may feel worse at first since your mind may throw up extra resistance to combat your withdrawal from the emotion. This is ok, know it is ok when this happens. Let it. The whole reason for the extra resistance is to pull you back in to the emotion, to take you away from awareness. Witness all of this without judgement.
Remain fearless as the extra resistance arises, remain as the silent presence, accepting what arises. At this moment you are free already, nothing more needs to be done.
Do not believe the mind when it throws up extra thoughts like "yes BUT the anger is still there, how do I get rid of it?" - all this does is pull you back in to resistance.
Welcome what arises in you unconditionally, let it in, feel the essence of the emotion, drop all ideas of good or bad, painful or pleasant, just be the space for all of it, find the stillness in you that does not care whether an emotion is there or not, it is unaffected by what arises. Remain there and stay quiet.
Just because anger arises, do not be tricked into thinking that you have to do anything more, or you have to somehow be more present. Just remain as the neutral awareness, effortless and simple awareness. The rest takes care of itself.
It is extremely difficult to just "stop feeling angry". The emotion has a power and a mind of its own. All you can do is feel yourself as the awareness behind it. When you welcome it and do not expect the anger to dissipate, the anger miraculously dissipates much faster.
Thank you for your question, I hope this helps. If you have any follow up questions feel free to ask.