Awakened Living Study Program, Lesson 48: TEEN ANGER

Dear brothers and sisters: Good morning and thank you for attending our weekly Awakened Living Study Program. My name is Alaye Soteme and I will be your host. Our topic for today’s Study is TEEN ANGER. May we focus our full attention on this study for the lessons of life because knowledge is POWER, knowledge is SUCCESS, knowledge is FORGIVENESS, knowledge is WISDOM, knowledge is ENLIGHTENMENT and knowledge is AWAKENED LIVING.

All quotes relating to GOD are interpreted in a Universal sense; in other words our use of the word GOD does not refer to any religion, cultural Gods, saviors, or created Gods. GOD is the underlying ESSENCE of the Universe. GOD has no chosen people, GOD has no Sacred Text and GOD has no Sacred Place! The Universe is the Sacred Text, the Universe is the Sacred Place and all creatures are Testaments of GOD! 

Further you are here to look at life from a different angle. You are not here to follow what others have put in place be it their religion, their Gods, their sacred texts, their beliefs or their way of thinking. You are here to share your LIGHT with the world.  The beliefs of our ancestors are our liabilities. Our challenge is to look at life in ways that promote interdependence and destroy all forms of discrimination including racism, tribalism, nationalism, nepotism, fundamentalism, fanaticism, favoritism, exclusivism, chosen people and racial superiority. 

Lastly, none of the quotes here is absolute or written in blood. They are all human thoughts and ideas based on their experiences and according to their levels of consciousness. The Awakened Living Study Program is a platform to study what others have said and improve on them. Do not for any reason use the quotes as mantra for life because you are the LIGHT!

Opening Meditation
You may offer an appropriate prayer before reading, discussing and reflecting on the famous quotes and the Sacred Texts verses. You may use the following prayer:

O LOVE who pervades the universe, we thank you for this opportunity to learn. We pray for LOVE to manifest amongst us to guide our readings, discussions and reflections. We specially pray for peace of mind and save us from all distractions and concerns of mind and body so that we may learn the lessons of life for our guidance and the transformation of our lives. In the name of Love, the Earth and the Universe, Amen.

The Study Leader may make announcements at this time. Welcome new members, recognize birthdays or anniversaries; make an award or recognize a contribution; announce Circle of Life successes. This is also an opportunity for anyone to share an experience, give thanks or make a request for special prayers.

Opening Thoughts
The leader or an appointed person will stand and read the opening thoughts. The opening thoughts explain the topic of discussion. You may use the information below or explain it in your own words.

Today’s meditation is on Teen Anger. Anger is an emotional response to a perceived threat or a feeling of displeasure toward something or someone. In reality anger is not a bad thing though it looks unattractive when we see it but that is precisely the motive. Back off or you’ll get hurt! In this sense it is a survival trait that probably helped our ancestors to triumph over external threats. Normal anger in teens is part of growing up but when anger becomes the preferred way of the teenager’s response there is cause to be concerned. This presentation will look into teenage anger and recommend ways to address teenage anger issues.

Famous Quotes
Take turns to read the famous quotes and discuss what you have learned from each quote.  Please give credit to the author of the quote and as an assignment for presentations each person may choose an author and find out more about the author to share with the group during the next session.

1 For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness- Ralph Waldo Emerson
2 Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured- Mark Twain
3 If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow- Chinese Proverbs
"To be a great teenager you need not sit like a rock but work like a clock for life is not a game but a challenge you must win." Author Unknown
5 Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. Buddha
6 "If you want to destroy something then destroy your negative thinking. Lopamudra N., Age15
7 "The most important thought you can ever hold is: Your Life Matters." David McNally
8 "The thing I fear the most may not be death. The person I like the most may not be a girl. The belief which I practice may not be a religion. The company I seek may not be of friends but the ONE without WHOM I cannot get along is certainly GOD." Akash Y., Age 18 --- India
9 "Decide in your heart of hearts what really excites and challenges you, and start moving your life in that direction. Every decision you make, from what you eat to what you do with your time tonight, turns you into who you are tomorrow, and the day after that. Look at who you want to be, and start sculpting yourself into that person. You may not get exactly where you thought you'd be, but you will be doing things that suit you in a profession you believe in. Don't let life randomly kick you into the adult you don't want to become." Chris Hadfield
10 "Sometimes life throws dirt at you; all you can do is to grow flowers with the dirt that life has given. It's all about making something good out of your problems." Rodney M., Age 16

Sacred Texts Quotes
Take turns to read all the sacred text quotes and discuss what you have learned from each quote. In your discussion compare and contrast the quotes. What did you learn from the similarities and differences? What quote inspires you? What life lessons did you learn from the quote? Please give credit to the sacred text during your reading by mentioning the name of the text and where the quote could be found. 

1 As irrigators guide water to his fields, as archers aim arrows, as carpenters carve wood, the wise shape their lives. Buddhism: Dhammapada 145
2 With the conquest of my mind, I have conquered the whole world. Sikhism.  Adi Granth, Japuji 28, M.1, p. 6
3  My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Christianity, New Testament: James 1:19-20
4 One who conquers himself is greater than another who conquers a thousand times a thousand men on the battlefield. Be victorious over yourself and not over others. When you attain victory over yourself, not even the Gods can turn it into defeat. Buddhism: Dhammapada 103-105
5 That man is disciplined and happy who can prevail over the turmoil that springs from desire and anger, here on earth, before he leaves his body. Hinduism.  Bhagavad Gita 5.23
6 Attack the evil that is within yourself; do not attack the evil that is in others. Confucianism.  Analects 12.21
7 A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel. Judaism, Tanakh: Proverbs 15:18
8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Christianity, New Testament: Colossians 3:8
9 He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened. He who conquers others has physical strength; he who conquers himself is strong. Taoism.  Tao Te Ching 33
10 It is true that the mind is restless and difficult to control.  But it can be conquered, Arjuna, through regular practice and detachment.  Those who lack self-control will find it difficult to progress in meditation; but those who are self-controlled, striving earnestly through the right means, will attain the goal. Hinduism.  Bhagavad Gita 6.35-36

Teaching Story
The teaching story is a story, a parable or thoughts related to the topic of discussion. An appointed person will read each story and the group will take turns and discuss. What does the story mean to you? What did you learn from the story? Did the story add anything new to the topic of discussion? How has this study enriched your life?

Our teaching story is The Wolf that you Feed Titled “Native Wisdom”

Once upon a time a Grandfather from the Cherokee Nation was having a conversation with his grandson. The grandfather told the boy that a fight was going on inside him. He said the fight is between two wolves. "One wolf is evil, unhappy, and ugly: He is anger, envy, war, greed, selfishness, sorrow, regret, guilt, resentment, inferiority/superiority, false pride, coarseness, and arrogance. He spreads lies, deceit, fear, hatred, blame, scarcity, poverty, and divisiveness."

"The other wolf is beautiful and good: He is friendly, joyful, loving, worthy, serene, humble, kind, benevolent, just, fair, empathetic, generous, honest, compassionate, grateful, brave, and inspiring resting wholeheartedly in deep vision beyond ordinary wisdom."

“The fight between the wolves”, the Grandfather said, is going on inside his grandson and in all human beings and paused as if waiting for a response from his grandson. Naturally the Grandson asked which of the wolves would win the fight? The Grandfather said, “The wolf that you feed”.

Closing Meditation
The closing meditation presents the highlights of the Study.  The highlights should include among others what you have learned and what aspects of the study are worth noting. The leader or an appointed person may share the closing meditation. You may use the thoughts and information provided below but I encourage you to use the contributions of the participants and current relevant information.

Our closing Meditation will look at the causes of anger and how to manage anger issues

Causes of Anger
Developmental issues: As I said earlier growing up could trigger anger more so when the teen has no grasp on his or her emotions.
2. Family Problems: Unresolved family problems could trigger anger and these include loss of a loved one, divorce, neglect, and mental or physical abuse.
3. Low Self Esteem: If your child grows up with mental and physical abuse he or she is likely to develop a very low self esteem. The anger becomes a reaction to this negative self esteem.
4. Environmental: Anger could be learned from the environment. If everyone in the family is angry the children learn to be angry at a very early age.

How to Manage Anger issues in Teens
Share his or her feelings and concerns: In an open society there seems to be no problems about teens sharing their feelings but in abusive situations your teen might keep the feelings to himself or herself. Seek help if you are in an abusive relationship.
2. Sports and Games: Basketball, Tennis, Swimming, Baseball, Football, Soccer---there are many to choose from but let him choose. Sports and games have the effect of calming our nerves, bringing out the best in us and giving us a feeling of well being.
3. An enjoyable hobby: Writing, reading, programming, singing, dancing, public speaking, and volunteering are many ways to let your creative juices to begin to flow. Creativity has a way of making us to be happy with life.
4. Educate your teen on Anger Management: On your daily or weekly family meetings you may make a presentation on anger management. You may share how you manage your anger when you get angry. For instance counting backwards from 10 to 1; or taking a timeout when you feel angry or putting on your leadership hat when you feel angry.
5. Daily Meditation: Meditation could help your teen to know more about himself and give him the tools to manage his life. It is very simple and you don’t even need to hire a meditation guru. Just sit in one place and focus on your breath.
6 Professional Help: As I said earlier most teen anger issues are harmless and the above strategies could resolve them but when your teen begins to break things and hurt people you know it is time to see a professional. In fact you do not need to wait till this moment. The moment you observe something that is unusual in your teen, it is time to see a professional.

On the whole let us learn from the Buddha that

“Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned”. In short do not play with fire!

You may accept gifts and donations at this time for the work you are doing. It takes effort, time and money to put the Study Program together so I encourage attendants to give. An appointed person may now pass the donation bag. The leader may bless the gifts after the donations.

Closing Prayer
Always close your Study Program with a prayer or an affirmation. Pray for guidance and direction during the week. Pray for everyone present. The leader or an appointed person may offer the closing prayer.

You may serve refreshments after the Study. This is a time to relax and socialize. Get to know the people in the Program with you and I mean really know them well. One of the secrets of success is connection so I encourage you to know the people around you. The host may decide what to serve or he or she may ask the attendants what they want for refreshments before each Study Program.

Talent Contribution
You may now entertain the group with your talent in music, songs, dance and poetry including playing musical instruments. This is also a good time to share some Awakened Living tips for the benefit of the group. 

In the past spiritual teachers have encouraged us to be the best Hindu if we are Hindus; the best Muslim if we are Muslims; the best Christian if we are Christians and so on. I have a problem with this teaching in the sense that it really does not solve anything. We are still Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, and Muslims because instead of unifying us it still separates us. If we learn anything from the quote by Malcolm X, we want to be human beings not Christians, Hindus and Buddhists. Here is the Quote to refresh your memory:

“I believe in recognizing every human being as a human being—neither white, black, brown, or red; and when you are dealing with humanity as a family there's no question of integration or intermarriage. It's just one human being marrying another human being……..”

In this view I propose that instead of emphasizing our religious affiliations let us emphasize our common humanity. Be the best husband, the best wife, the best son, the best daughter, the best father, the best mother, the best teacher and the best doctor and let our beliefs remain as footnotes in the sands of time. This is the message of the Universal Spiritual Vision!

How does the Universe Care for our Good?
We breathe in and out without any requirements! Then add the bloom of a flower, the smile of a child, the song of a bird, the play of a squirrel, the warmth of the sun, the light of the moon (or the silence of the moon in Listen to the Ocean), the wonder of snow, the magic of rain, and the serenity of a river. All these and more bring wonder, awe, peace and happiness to our lives without discrimination!

For some of you the new-year brought great news because you now have jobs after 1 year, 2 years or 3 years of unemployment. That is something that deserves great joy. It deserves great joy because you won’t be wondering where the next mortgage payment would come; you won’t be concerned about how you are going to pay your utilities and above all the heavy burden of the lack of income will be lifted off your shoulders! For those who are still searching we encourage you to be persistent because we know that your day will also come. That is part of the generosity of the Universe! You will not die in the cold! A friend told me about a man who got the job of his dreams after waiting for about three years. And this new-year a Portland family entered the new-year with great happiness because the wife got a job after 2 years of unemployment. Why am I telling you this? I am telling you this because I know your day will also come!

Circle of Life
The Circle of Life depicts different aspects of your life. You are at the center and the different aspects radiate outwards to form a circle as long as they are in harmony. You can pinpoint an aspect of your life at any given time and find out if you are in harmony with the rest of the circle. If an aspect needs improvement you may have an uneven circle. Your challenge then is to work on the area that needs improvement in order to keep it in harmony with the rest of the circle.

There are 12 aspects in this version of the Wheel of Life including Health, Spirituality, Family, Relationships, Education, Mission, Finances, Work, Play, Personal Development, Environment, and creativity. Take time to answer the following questions and begin to work on the areas that need improvement.

1. Are you healthy?
2. Do you have any bad habits like drinking, smoking, pornography, fast foods, etc?

1. Are you spiritual?
2. When was the last time you meditated, chanted, affirmed or prayed?

1. Do you have a family?
2. Are you happy with your spouse, children, and parents?

1. Do you have friends?
2. Are you happy with your friends, co-workers, boss?

1. Do you have a degree?
2. When was the last time you read a book?

1. Do you have a mission statement?
2. What is your life mission?

1 Are you financially stable?
2. Do you have any debts?

1. Do you have a job, career?
2. Are you happy with your job, career?

1. Do you play regularly?
2. When was the last time you played with your friends, children, spouse, parents or pet?

Personal Development
1. Do you lose your temper often?
2. When was the last time you took a class on human development?

1 Are you happy with your environment?
2. How are you reducing pollution?

1. Are you sharing your creativity?
2. When was the last time you wrote a poem, painted, sang, danced, or played a musical instrument?

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