When Stuff Bugs You, Meditate

As soon as you recognize a sense of aversion in yourself, it’s time to take a step back. When petty concerns bother you and cause you to bicker with yourself and others, it means you are staking too much of your self worth and satisfaction in the endless world of external distractions.

Contentment and peace are states that you build from within, and so you must learn not to invest yourself too much in things that are outside of yourself. All you can really control is your response to the world, not the world itself. When you build the discipline to tame the part of your mind that is riddled with abstract thoughts and concerns, your perceived world also straightens itself out.

Here’s an exercise: when something bothers you, meditate on it. Don’t delve into it too much lest you fall into the trap of circular thinking. Instead, just sit on it and see what comes about. You’ll find yourself relieved of the burden that results from impulsively indulging in getting mad about things. There’s no real reason to get angry. You make up reasons to justify your anger when you are living inharmoniously— we all do it.

Anger is by far the ego’s favorite way to flex its little Napoleonic muscles. Once you subdue the part of the ego that causes anger, you begin to build a better muscle— the calmness muscle. Most people already have this inborn serenity but it’s buried by the varied attachments and expectations of modern society. Shed them to find inner peace.

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