As a wise person once said—and then ascribed it to Buddha—being angry at someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.
It’s not helpful.
Even if we’re not yet in the frame of mind to be willing to see things from the other’s perspective, it’s still in our own interest to let go of the anger. To forgive, if necessary.
But knowing this doesn’t stop me from feeling hard-done-by every now and again. I might still have the odd rant and lick my wounds. And when I calm down, I begin to acknowledge my own role in the energetic state of play between me and any other person.
To heal that, I practice a Buddhist meditation called metta bhavana.
‘Metta’ means love, friendliness, or kindness. ‘Bhavana’ means development or cultivation. Hence, it’s more secular name is “Loving Kindness” and the practice helps us to develop feelings of good will—towards ourselves and towards others—and to repair troubled relationships.
Throughout the process we bring different people to mind and consider the qualities we admire in them. Having done so, we send them loving energy through the form of a mantra:
May you be well.
May you be happy.
May you be peaceful.
May you be filled with loving kindness.
There are different variations on this mantra that can be recited, but there is a recommended sequence in which to call people to mind.