One hot August afternoon I was having an altercation with one of my neighbors about the parking situation on our street. He was angry that one of my friends had parked her car in his ‘territory’. When I got home I festered over our conversation, aware my 8-year-old son would return soon from his Cub Scout outing. I did not want to run the risk of dumping my anger onto to him. As an unsupported single parent, I had experienced a lot of anger at the time of the my divorce and had found the Gibberish meditation technique very helpful. I was now aware that I needed to release my bottled up feelings once again. First I put on a blindfold then turned on my Gibberish CD. I stomped and hollered and ranted and raved against my neighbor, all in gibberish of course! Aaaah! It felt so good to release the hot anger from my body and mind, taking the lid off the pressure cooker. I felt like a dormant volcano that has been muttering and grumbling underground and then the time comes to explode and get rid of all the unwanted garbage from within.
It was like a cleansing, a dumping out of emotional and mental poisons. After a while I noticed that the ‘charge’ of my anger was disappearing, and my sense of humor was returning. I found myself clowning around, mimicking my neighbor in gibberish and generally laughing and guffawing at myself too. Suddenly I heard STOP shouted from the CD.
I immediately stopped the gibberish and listened. The silence was profound. I then sat down for the second stage of this meditation technique, which is sitting in silence. I sat and watched: thoughts, feelings and emotions. I felt a delicious silence descend upon me. Compassion for myself and my neighbor arose.
The hot anger inside me had transformed into cool compassion through using the very energy of the anger to take me to compassion. As I sat in silence, my emotions now calm; I could see the situation with more clarity. A possible solution arose in my mind. What a relief to be back home in integrity with myself. The same kind of results that I had experienced around the time of my divorce. The point of the gibberish technique, and the other expressive meditation methods I use and teach, for example, the dancing, humming, shaking, laughter, crying and dynamic techniques, is that they allow us to dump out our anger and frustrations in the context of a meditation technique.
The benefits are:
- Releasing poisons from our body and mind which is good for our health
- Discovering an alternative to dumping our anger on another individual, thus avoiding a destructive chain reaction
- Learning how to use the energy of anger and transform it into compassion
- Transforming victim into empowerment freeing ourselves from mental/emotional prisons
Most people do one of two things with their anger. Either they repress it, women, for example, are taught it is not lady-like to get angry (I certainly was!). As a result we become afraid of anger, our own or someone else’s, and become paralyzed with fear rather than being able to respond to a situation. We become victims.
Alternatively we dump their anger on someone else which is more of a masculine characteristic. We become bullies. Victims and bullies are trapped by their own unconscious. Victims internalize their anger and bullies externalize it.
How to free ourselves?
If we are a victim and have become paralyzed with fear, the gibberish meditation technique can help us get in touch with our anger and we can learn to defend and stand up for ourselves and create boundaries. Bullies can learn to re-direct their anger into a safe context. Both then learn how anger transforms into love. Both become empowered, freed from an unconscious habit.
These expressive meditation techniques offer a healthy solution – awareness of oneself.
We can learn to become so rooted in ourselves, that we live in our center where our inner wisdom lies. This is a place where we are so anchored to peace and calm that nothing can disturb us. We can then respond to situations rather than react from unconscious habit. The ocean has millions of waves which become agitated by the wind, but deep down the ocean is in silent meditation, no wind, no hurricane can disturb it. We are like the ocean. If we live on the surface, agitated by every disturbance, we live in a constant turmoil. But we can learn how to move down to our own silent depths where no one can disturb us. Our issue then becomes: how can we move from the periphery to the center, from the surface to the depths? How can we become more rooted in ourselves? Through an expressive meditation technique. It will take you from anxiety to serenity, from chaos to peace, from anger to compassion.
If it doesn’t come out of your body, your anger can do serious damage to your coronary arteries (health). A new study at Harvard Medical School and Deaconess Hospital, led by epidemiologist Murray A. Mittleman, M.D., show that outbursts of moderate to extreme anger heighten your risk of a heart attack. Moreover the study reveals that the increased peril lingers for a couple of hours, even if the eruption of temper lasts for just a few minutes. According to Mittleman, the average risk of heart attack more than doubles in the two hours following an outburst of moderate-or-greater anger.
In summary: I returned to speak to my neighbor about the parking situation. He was receptive to my new idea and and we resolved to treat each other with friendliness and respect in the future. We were even able to joke about how upset we had become.
Don’t fight, don’t condemn, use the hot fire of anger and transform it into the coolness of compassion. This is how you become the master, rather than being a victim or a bully. Accept, watch the lightning, and dark thunder clouds of your inner sky and the clear blue sky will again appear.
When you understand how it works, you have the master key.
Pragito Dove is author of Laughter, Tears, Silence: Expressive Meditations to Calm Your Mind and Open Your Heart(2010), a meditation master, keynote speaker, and trainer. Visit Pragito’s website at http://www.discovermeditation.com, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415.925.9533 for more information on books,cds, trainings, and workshops and to book her services.
Copyright ©Pragito Dove, 2010.Laughter, Tears, Silence: Expressive Meditations to Calm Your Mind and Open Your Heart