We should be able to live each day deeply, with joy, peace and compassion because time goes by so quickly. I promise myself that I will enjoy every minute of the day that is given to me to live. It is thanks to the practice of mindful walking and mindful breathing that I can enjoy deeply every moment of my daily life. Mindful breathing and mindful walking are like two friends, always helping me to delve into the here and the now and touch the wonders of life that are available.

Anger by Thich Nhat Hanh was recommended to me by my teacher. Her exact words were, it will change everything. She was right. This book gave me the skills I need to "cool the flames of difficult emotions" and I have put them into practice near daily. If you have every struggled with anger or any other difficult emotion, please get this book, read it and take it to heart. Here is a snapshot of what I learned and what I found to be most practical.

  • Take good care of your anger : when anger comes, take care of it - nothing can be accomplished while one is in a state of intense emotion, so go and take care of it. There are two ways to do this.  The first, go back to yourself and do not say or do anything; the second, breathe, breathe consciously - just breathing in and out is enough. If you need it, add mindful walking and smiling. 
  • Look deeply into your anger. Practice until you understand the root of your anger and how it works. When a baby cries, a mother will stop what she is doing and attend to him. Anger acts much in the same way. It is your "baby"  and just as a skilled mother can find out what it wrong with her baby very quickly, you can also with our anger. You have to practice this until you understand this. One way to do this, after taking care of you anger, is to ask anger to "open itself up to you." Work to uncover the seeds of anger. Notice if the seed of anger is being watered too often. "We cultivate the energy of mindfulness, the first insight we have is that the main cause of our suffering, of our misery, is not the other person - it is the seed of anger in us." Once you realize this, you can stop blaming another person, situation, or circumstance. You can begin to take responsibility for your thoughts and actions. 
  • Practice mindful breathing all the time. Take very good care of your body. Eat mindfully, consume with all your senses and try not to consume things that nurture anger. Practice during times of peace so that when a situation comes up, and it will, you can remember your practice.
  • Make a peace treaty. Promise to express your anger in a gentle, mindful, and compassionate way so as not to cause more suffering. Make an appointment with whomever contributed to your suffering. I use this example - I have it posted on my fridge. Using this took my marriage to a completely new level - we solved a long time problem that was causing us both to suffer - simply by listening. I also use a simplified version with my boys. 
Peace Treaty
So that we can live long and happily together.

I, the one who is angry agree to:

1. Refrain from saying or doing anything that might cause further damage or escalate anger.
2. Not to suppress my anger (I have no problem with this one).
3. Practice mindful breathing and go back to myself to take care of my anger.
4. Calmly, within 24 hours, tell the one who has made me angry about my anger and suffering either verbally or by a note.
5. Ask for an appointment later in the week to discuss the matter thoroughly.
6. Not say, “I’m not angry, it’s ok. I’m not suffering. There is nothing to be angry about.” (I have no problem with this one).
7. Look deeply into my daily life, while sitting, walking, laying down, working, and driving in order to see : the ways I have been unskillful; how I have hurt the other person because of my own habit energy; how the seed of anger in me is the primary cause of my anger; how the other person is only a secondary cause or even not the cause (sometimes they are, something they aren’t); how the other person is only seeking relief from his or her suffering; that as long as the other person suffering, I cannot be truly happy.
8. Apologize immediately without waiting for the appointment, as soon as I recognize my unskillfulness and lack of mindfulness.
9. Postpone the appointment if I do not feel calm enough to meet with the other.

I, the one who has made the other angry, agree to:

1. Respect the other’s feeling, not ridicule and allow enough time to calm down.
2. Not press for immediate discussion (tough one).
3. Confirm the other person’s request for a meeting.
4. If I can apologize, do so right away and not wait until the appointment.
5. Practice mindful breathing and deep looking to see how: I have seeds of anger and unkindness as well as the habit energy, which make the other unhappy; I have mistakenly thought that making the other person suffer would relieve my own suffering; by making the other suffer, I make myself suffer.
6. Apologize as soon as I realize my unskillfulness and lack of mindfulness, without making any attempt to justify myself and without waiting until the appointment.
  • Practice compassionate listening and using loving speech: during the appointment, you must let the person speak, without interrupting, until they are completely finished. You must practice compassionate listening. The idea is that you are listening to relieve another' suffering. "You are listening with only one purpose: to allow the other person to express himself and find relieve from his suffering." You can do this by mindfully breathing while the other is speaking. When it is your turn to speak, speak with loving speech. This takes practice, lots and lots and lots of practice.