Things we don’t like happen to us everyday. When somebody says something nasty to us or cuts in front of us on our way to work or in line, we get angry. That is a natural reaction but it is not in our best interests to follow that feeling through to completion by snapping something nasty back or taking revenge in some other way. The surest way to determine whether the action you plan is a good idea is to ask yourself what practically you have to gain by taking that action, what are the chances that you will actually achieve your goal and what are the costs to you of seeking it? If, as is usually the case, the costs outweigh the potential reward, it is foolish to pursue it. To determine what action is the best in any circumstance we need true wisdom.

Most of the time, it is much more efficient not to allow ourselves to become involved in a battle to try and change the situation to what we want. When we look at a situation rationally we can see that this is true. The problem then is getting back to that rationale frame of mind and that is a problem that only insight meditation can solve which is why it is true that mindfulness is the deepest source wisdom. There are two steps to acquiring it. First me need to recognize and accept that we have allowed ourselves to temporarily entertain an irrational perspective. In other words, something has happened and we have responded to it by becoming angry. The next step is to refrain as far as possible from taking any action until the anger has subsided and we are thinking rationally again. In some cases this can happen immediately after we realize that we have become angry and in other cases it may take some time. Regardless of how long it takes, this process is what we refer to as overcoming. We are simply allowing the wisdom that already exists to come to fruition as the anger subsides.

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