IMAGINE TALKING to a man who is very angry.
He is highly agitated. Let's say you're trying to reason with
him about something. Can you see he would not be able to reason
very well? Or make sensible decisions? Or act in his own best
interests, let alone the best interests of those around him?
Can you see that he would have fewer abilities than he normally
In other words, the same man when he is
angry does more stupid and regrettable actions than he does in
his normal state. In that sense, he is less intelligent when
he is angry. Less sane. Less reasonable. He might be more capable
in a violent encounter, but in all other ways, he is less
Now imagine the same man deeply relaxed.
Imagine him profoundly non-agitated. Imagine he has just finished
meditating and feels totally at peace. Can you see that compared
to the deeply non-agitated state, the man's normal state seems
agitated, self-centered, and unhappy? "Normal" would
seem less reasonable, less able to make sensible decisions, and
less capable of acting even in his own best interests.
The tranquil state of mind, in other words,
would be as exceptionally better than normal as the angry
state would be worse than normal.
I was reading The Accidental Buddhist, the story of Dinty
Moore and his adventures going to various Buddhist meditation
retreats. One of his retreats was with the author of one of my
favorite books on meditation (Mindfulness in Plain English), Bhante Gunaratana.
Dinty noticed Bhante was very compassionate and kind and exceptionally
at ease. Not all the meditation teachers he encountered were
And Dinty also noted that during the sometimes
very long meditations during the retreat, Bhante did all the
meditation sessions with the students.
So here is a man who meditates a lot,
and he seemed as far above normal as an angry man is below normal.
It gives us a glimpse of what is possible for someone who is
willing to take the time to meditate.
Would you like to be exceptional? Would
you like to be the kind of person you always knew you really
were? Deep non-agitation is the way. And the most reliable de-agitator
Read more: Cure