In recent years our knowledge of modern technology has increased considerably and as a result we have witnessed remarkable material progress, but there has not been a corresponding increase in human happiness. There is no less suffering in the world today and there are no fewer problems. This shows that the cause of happiness does not lie in external objects. Happiness and suffering are states of mind and their main causes cannot be found outside the mind.
When things go wrong in our life and we encounter difficult situations, we tend to regard the situation itself as our problem, but in reality whatever problems we experience come from the side of the mind. If we were to respond to difficult situations with a peaceful and positive mind they would not be problems for us. We may even regard them as challenges or opportunities for growth. Problems arise only if we respond to difficulties with a negative state of mind. Therefore if we want to be free from problems we must transform our mind.
We are like servants of our mind. Whenever it wants to do something we have to do it without choice. We are completely under the control of our mind. Anger is one of our most common and destructive states of mind. It afflicts our mind almost every day. To solve the problem of anger we first need to recognise the anger within our own mind, acknowledge how it harms both ourself and others, and appreciate the benefits of being patient in the face of difficulties. We then need to apply practical methods in our daily life to reduce our anger and finally to prevent it from arising at all.
Odiyana Buddhist Centre is running a seven-week course explaining how to recognise, reduce and finally eliminate anger from our mind and how to develop and maintain a patient and peaceful mind. Only then will we have real freedom.