Embracing Anger

These words of wisdom from Mark Epstein in Tricycle Daily Dharma teach us about sitting with anger, or, as Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) teaches, embracing anger.

Can you imagine a more explosive situation than what is going on in Israel today? With the recent war in Gaza started by Hamas with their bombing of Jewish settlements in the Negev and their digging of tunnels into Israel, who can blame Israel for going in there and defending themselves? Don’t you think this situation brought out a lot of anger on both sides of the Gaza Strip? Is there any chance of real peace?

Thay really thinks so.

When he brought Israelis and Palestinians together for a retreat, there was first a lot of anger on both sides. The participants had no idea of how to breathe, how to recognize and embrace their anger, fear, frustration, and despair.

They could not even look at each other or talk to each other. The fear and anger were huge.

When they learned to breathe together, walk together, eat together, they could begin embracing their anger and fear together. They could begin to express their feelings when they learned the practice of deep listening and loving speech in small groups taught by the monks and nuns of Plum Village.

They began to realize that the other group is made up of human beings, just like themselves. They began to realize that both groups had suffered deeply.

These Palestinians and Israelis have now become brothers and sisters to each other in the practice of embracing anger, embracing fear, embracing each other.

They began to believe that peace in the Middle East is possible.

Sitting with Anger | August 10, 2014

Like a forest fire, anger tends to burn up its own support. If we jump down into the middle of such a fire, we will have little chance of putting it out, but if we create a clearing around the edges, the fire can burn itself out. This is the role of meditation: creating a clearing around the margins of anger.

– Mark Epstein, “I’ve Been Meditating for Ten Years, and I’m Still Angry. What’s the Matter with Me?”

Mark Epstein

Many Israelis, including my brother, don’t think peace is possible in the Middle East while the Arab countries are still in the process of wanting to eliminate Israel altogether. What do you think?

Do you have any unfinished anger you are ready to embrace? If so, buy this Anger Control Guided Meditation recording and I’ll send you another one free.

Anger Control Guided Meditation

Anger Control Guided Meditation

Free Yourself from Causing Yourself and Your Loved Ones to Suffer Because of Your Anger


You Can Easily Learn How To


  • breathe deeply into and out of your abdomen
  • bring your attention into your breath, body and feelings
  • create a relaxing scene for you to return to at will
  • scan your body to achieve a state of total relaxation
  • breathe into the anger and let it go
  • embrace your anger so that it stops harming yourself and and your loved ones
download-mp3 buy-cd

Books by Mark Epstein

Going to Pieces without Falling Apart: A Buddhist Perspective on Wholeness

Mark Epstein

For decades, Western psychology has promised fulfillment through building and strengthening the ego. We are taught that the ideal is a strong, individuated self, constructed and reinforced over a lifetime. But Buddhist psychiatrist Mark Epstein has found a different way.

Going to Pieces Wi… [Read More…]

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