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There are lots of reasons to be angry right now. It’s often said that if you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention. But according to scholar Allison Aitken, anger only leads to further harm, no matter how justified it may feel in the moment. As a professor of philosophy at Columbia University, Aitken believes that Buddhist texts offer valuable resources for working with our anger and healing contemporary divisions. Drawing from the work of the eighth-century Indian philosopher Shantideva, she positions compassion as a substitute attitude for anger and lays out methods for moving beyond righteous rage.

In this episode of Tricycle Talks, Tricycle’s editor-in-chief, James Shaheen, sits down with Aitken to talk about how anger distorts our perceptions, why anger can be so seductive, and how we can transform our rage into compassion.

Tricycle Talks is a podcast series featuring leading voices in the contemporary Buddhist world. You can listen to more Tricycle Talks on Spotify, iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and iHeartRadio.

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