February 22, 2014: Working with Anger: Developing Skill in the Midst of Intense Feeling – a daylong with Matthew Brensilver

Please join us on Saturday, February 22nd for a daylong on Working with Anger: Developing Skill in the Midst of Intense Feeling with Matthew Brensilver from 10am to 4:00pm at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Stanislaus County in the Sarana Kuti, 2172 Kiernan Ave., Modesto, CA.

The Buddha said that anger has a honeyed tip and poisoned root.  From minor irritation to intense rage, anger has important effects on our lives, our families and our society.  If we are to be deeply happy and nourish the happiness of others, we must include anger as part of our spiritual path.  While we acknowledge the suffering caused by anger, dharma teachings are not moralistic about what arises in our minds nor are we asked to disown any experience.  Anger is not a moral issue but a question of suffering and the release from suffering. Thus, we seek ways of meeting the experience of anger with wisdom and compassion and creating conditions for kindness to grow.

Although anger sometimes contains a seed of wisdom, it invariably contains a seed of delusion.  In other words, anger is never the last word – there’s always something more to be seen.  During this retreat, we’ll consider the role anger plays in our lives and the ways in which mindfulness can be helpful. We will learn meditative strategies to untangle the complex experience of anger into its component parts, namely, emotional feeling, mental images and thoughts. Teachings will also aim to remind us of the dimension of ourselves that urgently seeks a life of non-harming.  Lastly, the retreat will describe how Buddhist perspectives on self-cherishing are relevant for working with anger.  When we vigilantly stand guard at the gates of ‘Me’, we are certain to encounter challenges that mobilize our anger.  As habits of self-cherishing are weakened, the causes for anger to arise are weakened too.

All are welcome. This day is freely offered to all.  Donations are gratefully accepted to support Matthew and future IMCV offerings.  Please bring a vegetarian potluck dish to share for lunch, if you would like.  Chairs and some cushions will be available.

Sarana Kuti is the small stand-alone building on the UUFSC property at the rear of the east parking lot (the building with red and gold trim). It is behind the Johnson Building. For additional information, please contact Lori Wong at 209-343-2748. It is helpful for us to know how many will attend. Please register below.

Matthew Brensilver, PhD, served as a Buddhist chaplain at USC for four years and teaches about the intersection of mindfulness and psychotherapy at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center. Matthew was trained by Noah Levine, with whom he teaches at Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society and is currently in the Spirit Rock/IMS teacher training program.  He conducts research on addiction treatment at the UCLA Center for Behavioral and Addiction Medicine.