Anger feels as if it comes from outside of us. Our minds seek out causality and blame outside sources for the anger we feel; however, this is not a skillful way to handle anger. Anger, as with all emotion, is rooted within our minds. When we lose compassion for others, we can develop anger because we fail to understand their meaning or intent or cause. Understanding is an integral part of compassion.
This is not to say that there is no such thing as a hostile action. People do bad things. What we see through mindfulness is that the anger we feel is not a direct result of others’ actions; it is an indirect result of our inability to understand. Thus, quite often, the immediate expression of our anger only solves the single incident in which we were involved … which is a symptom of a problem.
When we instead seek to understand the true causes of what we perceive to be hostile action, we mindfully empower ourselves to help solve the real problem and prevent further suffering.