Specific Methods, Part 1: Right Views of Others
An important set of methods for reducing anger reactivity involves cognitive reinterpretation, that is, seeing others differently. We want to see those who provoke us within the framework of the Four Noble Truths. We want always to see how they are caught in the matrix of life's forces, to sense the interdependence that the Buddha stresses (see chap. 7), to see their helplessness (for want of a better word) when enmeshed in the world ofDukkha. This is part of Right Views.
We in the West offer a similar recommendation. When you are in a troublesome encounter with another person it is commonly suggested that you put yourself in that other person's shoes. Try to see the situation from his point of view. Try to sense that person's perceptions, his feelings, his state of mind. Try to understand, in short, the matrix of forces compelling that individual. You will be less angry and you will be in a better condition to deal fairly and effectively with the problem.
For an example of how right and wrong views influence our inner state, consider an exercise I have used at the beginning of workshops. I tell the participants: