Engaging conflict with awareness is a powerful spiritual practice because we are confronting the protective mechanisms of our ego in the moment. Much in the same way that we have learned to countenance difficult sensations while meditating, we find that we can remain present despite all sorts of impulses to do something else. We discover that an impulse is not an imperative. We don’t have to save anybody.
The same is true of our threat responses in daily life. We feel like slapping somebody, but we don’t slap them. We feel like helping, but we don’t help. We feel like fleeing, but we don’t flee. We can trust ourselves to experience the most primitive sensations of fear, hope, and aggression without doing something primitive.
From Everything Is Workable: A Zen Approach to Conflict Resolution by Diane Musho Hamilton, page 30