Guilt

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Post Reply
User avatar
BlueLotus
Posts: 436
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:46 am

Guilt

Post by BlueLotus »

Hello friends,

I like to ask you how to deal with guilt. Sometimes i get angry with my father and annoy me. We sometimes argue and later i feel bad. I feel i talked too loud. I feel i did not think about his old age. I feel guilty and my anxiety increase. I can not meditate for days.

I know it is wrong to get angry but sometimes i can not stop it. Is this ok? Am i bad? :cry:
I feel hopeless when it happen.

Please advice me how to handle this.

Thank you
:anjali:

User avatar
rowboat
Posts: 700
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:31 am
Location: Brentwood Bay

Re: Guilt

Post by rowboat »

I believe it is more skilful to deal with the anger whenever it arises than to deal with the guilt which is its result. Fortunately, with one's mindfulness established to any degree, anger is much less of a problem. It's not easy to miss when it arises. Just watch it and it will quickly pass.
Rain soddens what is covered up,
It does not sodden what is open.
Therefore uncover what is covered
That the rain will not sodden it.
Ud 5.5

User avatar
Cittasanto
Posts: 6636
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin
Contact:

Re: Guilt

Post by Cittasanto »

BlueLotus wrote:Hello friends,

I like to ask you how to deal with guilt. Sometimes i get angry with my father and annoy me. We sometimes argue and later i feel bad. I feel i talked too loud. I feel i did not think about his old age. I feel guilty and my anxiety increase. I can not meditate for days.

I know it is wrong to get angry but sometimes i can not stop it. Is this ok? Am i bad? :cry:
I feel hopeless when it happen.

Please advice me how to handle this.

Thank you
:anjali:
I have anger management problems to varying degrees and one thing I have been advised is to see this painful outcome (the guilt) as a lesson!
is anger worth feeling this way? is it worth the hassle of having to repair relationships for a fleeting feeling? or what about the medical disadvantage of anger, higher stress as it turns into a way of controlling and getting what one wants, rather than an expression of a feeling! not to mention the extra stress arguing, getting angry and violent (in a fight or flight sense the physical response is the same) which isn't really let go off so builds up causing all sorts of problems! it really would be far easier to let go of whatever is causing the anger, a sense of being right, pressured etc, and try other ways, like talking and listening to what is being said fully and weighing up the consequences, expressing your needs, than getting angry.
something I am still trying to master to some degree.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

User avatar
amtross
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:39 pm

Re: Guilt

Post by amtross »

I too have problems with anger.

I have heard it said something like "anger has a sweet tip with a poisoned root". I take this to refer to how anger tends to seem like the right thing to do at the time. It's your buddy, there to look out for your interest and sadly for me, sometimes it even seems like it feels good to "let it out". That's the sweet tip. The poisoned root is the aftertaste of anger. The definling aspect in the mind and the Karmic consequences on your life of angry thoughts and words/action.

Maybe guilt/remorse is wisdom seeing this poisoned root. It helps me to see the whole thing rather than just one part, the arising of anger (craving, clinging), the action or thoughts and how those feel (becomming, birth), then the consequences and how those feel (lamentation, remorse). It is a process with predictable results...

sean

User avatar
BlueLotus
Posts: 436
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:46 am

Re: Guilt

Post by BlueLotus »

Thank you for your replies. I have note down your answers. I will work on them next time. I am careful with my reaction at moment. With father my relationship is fine. I should be careful next time he says something angers me.

:anjali:

User avatar
Alobha
Posts: 565
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:27 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Guilt

Post by Alobha »

It also helps to be aware of difficult situations beforehand. If you know that you get angry when you talk with your father about specific topics, be prepared to keep a cool head. Be prepared to hear unpleasant things. Training my understanding often helped me in these situations. E.g. understand that we all sometimes think, act and speak in an unskillful way. Sometimes we all do make mistakes. We all have the right to have our own opinion, to make up our mind on our own. We all have the right to do mistakes.
If you get upset about your father because of what he says - well, understand that he does mistakes just like we all do.

Please don't punish yourself or feel bad about it. It is very good that you care about how you deal with other people and it is very good that you try to do better. Anger can be a great teacher, so see that as an excellent opportunity to learn! :)

User avatar
BlueLotus
Posts: 436
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:46 am

Re: Guilt

Post by BlueLotus »

Alobha wrote:It also helps to be aware of difficult situations beforehand. If you know that you get angry when you talk with your father about specific topics, be prepared to keep a cool head. Be prepared to hear unpleasant things. Training my understanding often helped me in these situations. E.g. understand that we all sometimes think, act and speak in an unskillful way. Sometimes we all do make mistakes. We all have the right to have our own opinion, to make up our mind on our own. We all have the right to do mistakes.
If you get upset about your father because of what he says - well, understand that he does mistakes just like we all do.

Please don't punish yourself or feel bad about it. It is very good that you care about how you deal with other people and it is very good that you try to do better. Anger can be a great teacher, so see that as an excellent opportunity to learn! :)
Really true. Thank you for great advice

:anjali:

whynotme
Posts: 547
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:52 am

Re: Guilt

Post by whynotme »

Alobha wrote:It also helps to be aware of difficult situations beforehand. If you know that you get angry when you talk with your father about specific topics, be prepared to keep a cool head. Be prepared to hear unpleasant things. Training my understanding often helped me in these situations. E.g. understand that we all sometimes think, act and speak in an unskillful way. Sometimes we all do make mistakes. We all have the right to have our own opinion, to make up our mind on our own. We all have the right to do mistakes.
If you get upset about your father because of what he says - well, understand that he does mistakes just like we all do.

Please don't punish yourself or feel bad about it. It is very good that you care about how you deal with other people and it is very good that you try to do better. Anger can be a great teacher, so see that as an excellent opportunity to learn! :)
Great words from a great mind, thanks
Please stop following me

User avatar
Nibbida
Posts: 466
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 3:44 am

Re: Guilt

Post by Nibbida »

Sila is usually translated as “virtue” or “ethics,” but we need to be careful not to confuse it with Western ideas of virtue and ethics. A traditional foundation of Western ethics is commandments and values often handed down from a god. These values include ideas about right and wrong, good and evil, and absolute rules that we have to live by. This approach to ethics leads easily to guilt, an emotion that is pervasive in the West, but which is considered unnecessary and counterproductive in Buddhism.

Buddhism understands virtue and ethics pragmatically, based not on ideas of good and bad, but rather on the observation that some actions lead to suffering and some actions lead to happiness and freedom. A Buddhist asks, “Does this action lead to increased suffering or increased happiness, for myself and others?” This pragmatic approach is more conducive to investigation than to guilt.
Gil Fronsday, The Issue at Hand, p. 36-7.
http://www.insightmeditationcenter.org/ ... d4thEd.pdf

manas
Posts: 2654
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:04 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Guilt

Post by manas »

Alobha wrote:It also helps to be aware of difficult situations beforehand. If you know that you get angry when you talk with your father about specific topics, be prepared to keep a cool head. Be prepared to hear unpleasant things.
That was so well said I'm going to quote it yet again.

In the last few years of my father's life, I really made more of an effort in this regard. Now the he has passed away, i am so glad I did. In the last year particularly, we both made an effort to be understanding and patient with each other. But, BlueLotus, even if the patience just comes from your side, see it as an opportunity to develop khanti.

:anjali:
“It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what’s called ‘mind,’ ‘intellect,’ or ‘consciousness’ by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another." - SN 12:61 (excerpt)

User avatar
BlueLotus
Posts: 436
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:46 am

Re: Guilt

Post by BlueLotus »

thank you :anjali:

User avatar
BlueLotus
Posts: 436
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:46 am

Re: Guilt

Post by BlueLotus »

Buddhism understands virtue and ethics pragmatically, based not on ideas of good and bad, but rather on the observation that some actions lead to suffering and some actions lead to happiness and freedom. A Buddhist asks, “Does this action lead to increased suffering or increased happiness, for myself and others?” This pragmatic approach is more conducive to investigation than to guilt.
make a lot of sense. thank you for the link

Post Reply