Hoping that this finds you all well. Come to hear about and explore the 2nd root of our suffering - Hatred. Using the Four Great Efforts or the four methods of working with the kilesas that I discussed in the overview last Sunday, we will learn how to incline our mind away from anger and aversion and towards more metta or lovingkindness.
Today I had a bad day with lots of aversion. I had been patiently working for the last 3 weeks on several art supply orders with a well known art supply store out of state. A company that I have done business with for over 20 years with no problems and wonderful knowledgeable staff who know a lot of the technical ins and outs of products and ways in which artists like to work in different media. So in the last 3 weeks, I have placed about 3-4 orders for things with them. I have patiently worked through my irritation through what appeared to be a lot of ineptitude on their part. They seem to have new staff that really know nothing about the nuances of colors in different media, i.e. oil or acrylic and they kept bungling up my orders including shipping me wrong merchandise. For the last 3 weeks I called and had them correct each bungle without taking out my frustration or anger on them, just being patient and really working towards solving the problem rather than adding to it by yelling or complaining. Today, I just hit the roof. After spending about an hour with them yesterday straightening out the last order I made, I was working on an artist book with a pen that I ordered from them to write the text of the artist book. After about 3 lines of hand writing the text, the pen ran out! It was like all that patience and biting my tongue for 3 weeks went out the door. I called the rep and left an angry but not unkind message about all the trouble that they have caused by their lack of attention and care to their work and that they need to replace this pen as soon as possible.
Then, I came home and walked the dog to try to dispel the angry and frustrated energy in my chest which felt like acid. I also talked to my husband a little bit about my frustration but have not really felt calmer until now, about 2 1/2 hours later after spending 20 minutes in sitting meditation.
So I am sharing this story to let you know that even in learning and attempting to work with these poisons in our practice, we will still have setbacks. But more and more, we will learn with the support of our caring family and friends as well as the practice and knowing how to get out of the cycle of suffering before we make it worse, that there is always the next moment where we can start over again anew.
Hopefully this story will be helpful to you and looking forward to exploring hatred aka anger aka extreme irritation aka aversion together this Sunday evening