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My Meditative Moments

Taming Our Aggression

by meditative - April 15th, 2016.
Filed under: Insights for Mindful Intelligence.

Growing up in the Western part of the world, we are socialized to be “climbers”- to be competitive, successful, and proud of the position and status of our pecking order. Competitiveness and aggressiveness are deeply conditioned into our Way of living. Committing acts of aggression in our Western society both actively and passively are commonplace in a culture that seeds, perpetuates, and sometimes exploits the importance of position and status in its hierarchy of social being. However, it is often our prideful nature and aggressive tendencies that obscure our capacity for open and clear communication; for working and relating amicably with one another; and for cultivating sensitivity and sensibility to the feelings of others.

It is our underlying impulse for aggression that is the most challenging to observe and regulate. This impulse runs continuously and subtly as an ‘undercurrent’ awaiting the right cues for overt stimulation and activation. As a ‘reactionary force‘ it’s often fueled by our passive-aggressive attitude and tendency “to push”- to be seen, heard, and/or felt in a seemingly hostile manner. We “push back” when we feel our prideful self to be threatened. Our aggressive, self-clinging nature to be “right” may offend, denigrate, violate, and hurt another. In a mindful Way of being… this runs contrary… to do no harm to oneself or to another.

Working with our aggression and our overt expressions of anger are vital in the developmental process of cultivating mindfulness. Personal freedom and liberation of mind cannot manifest without taming the underlying forces of aggression that hinder our capacity to openly, clearly, and compassionately communicate and relate with one another. It is the cultivation of our mindful intelligence and the refinement of our own inner capacity for mindsight that helps us to see the selfless quality of our aggression and anger. It is through our own selflessness and compassion that we can transform this unwholesome and afflictive tendency into something more useful, relational, and adaptive. By opening our hearts to this awareness of mind, we can realize its transformative quality.

With awareness, knowledge, insight, and practice, we become capable of penetrating and shifting our Way of seeing, perceiving, and ultimately acting. We move away from our fixating and consuming tendencies for “self” and “selfishness” to one of more “selflessness”. It is this state of selfless being and interbeing that sustains a quality of genuine openness, caring, and compassion… antidotes for aggression. Awake– we begin to clearly see these underlying impulses that give rise to our aggressive tendencies. We “push” to perpetuate and “push back” to protect- illusions of solidity- neurotic forces of habit constructed by an ego fixated to be separate and unique. Mindful awareness or wakefulness is a powerful mechanism for taming our aggression- it is also an invaluable capacity inherently accessible for all to experience and culitvate.

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