On Hatred and Anger

Question: What should you say to a loved one who is talking about a third person with hatred or anger? On the one hand, you want to show compassion for the feelings being experienced by the loved one. On the other hand, you don't want to reinforce or lend approval to that hatred. What might one say?

Dalai Lama: Here I would like to tell a story. Once there was a Kadampa master called Gampowa who had many responsibilities. One day he complained to the Kadampa master Dromtonpa that he had hardly any time for his meditation or for his Dharma practice. So Dromtonpa responded by agreeing with him, "Yes, that's right. I don't have any time either." Then once an immediate affinity was established, Dromtonpa skillfully said, "But, you know what I am doing is for the service of the Dharma. Therefore, I feel satisfied." Similarly, if you find one of your beloved ones speaking against
someone out of anger or hatred, maybe your initial reaction should be one of agreement and sympathy. Then once you have gained the person's confidence, you can say, "But...."


--From Healing Anger: The Power of Patience from a Buddhist Perspective, by
the Dalai Lama, translated by Geshe Thupten Jinpa, published by Snow LionPublications.

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