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The Wisdom in Anger:
What the Buddhists Teach

With Robert Thurman, Narayan Liebenson Grady, Zoketsu Norman Fischer, and Judith Lief

July 30 — August 1.
Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, New York.

When we are in the throes of anger, we hurt ourself and others. We are hurt when others turn their anger against us. Anger causes so much suffering in our life, yet it is also rich in insight, intelligence, and useful energy. When we bring it to the spiritual path, it can even be a doorway to awakening.

Buddhism and anger may seem to go together like oil and water. But the 2,500-year-old wisdom of the Buddha is renowned for its wealth of effective techniques for working with difficult emotions like anger.

In this fourth annual collaboration between Omega and Shambhala Sun, four accomplished Buddhist teachers representing the three prominent Buddhist traditions in the West—Zen, Theravadin, and Vajrayana—tap Buddhist wisdom to show us positive ways to understand and experience our own anger. We also see how to to handle the anger of others with safety, self-respect, and compassion.

Through a blend of individual presentations, meditation practice, and question-and-answer sessions, we learn to:

  • Distinguish between anger and aggression

  • Live the Buddha’s way to peace through the Eightfold Path

  • Experience anger’s energy directly and mindfully

  • Maintain our dignity and confidence when anger is directed at us

  • Tap into the Vajrayana practice to change neurosis into wisdom (or turning poison into medicine)

Those new to Buddhism and longtime practitioners alike are invited to explore how Buddhism and anger combined can be a rich source of wisdom and awakening.


Robert Thurman, PhD., is perhaps the West’s most renowned Buddhist scholar. Cofounder and president of Tibet House in New York City and professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University, Thurman is author of several books on Tibet, Buddhism, art, politics, and culture, including Anger: The Seven Deadly Sins.

Narayan Liebenson Grady is a guiding teacher of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, and the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as well as a regular contributor to Buddhadharma magazine. Her training includes more than 30 years in the Theravada tradition as well as in Chan (Zen) with the late Master Sheng Yen. 

Norman Fischer is a poet and Zen Buddhist priest. From 1995-2000, he served as co-abbot of the San Francisco Zen Center, the oldest and largest of the new Buddhist organizations in the West. He is now a senior dharma teacher there as well as the founder and spiritual director of the Everyday Zen Foundation, an organization dedicated to adapting Zen Buddhist teachings to Western culture. He is the author of many books of poetry and prose, most recently, Sailing Home, which explores Homer’s Odyssey to reflect on spiritual journey. 

Judth Lief has been a Buddhist teacher for more than 25 years. She was a close student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, his son and successor, recognized Lief as a senior teacher, or acharya, in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition. She is the author of Making Friends With Death.


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