It makes sense to take an umbrella out with us when it is raining to protect us from the water.
Similarly, when negativity is raining from our mind, we need a method to protect us.
Firstly it can help to distance ourselves from the negativity, not to identify with the negative emotion. When it is raining, we take practical steps to stay dry; likewise, when negativity is arising, we take practical steps to stay uninfluenced by it.
The Mindful mind practices detailed in Chapter Four of Guide to the Mindful Way of Life can help us to stay objective.
Rain can be relaxing to listen to if we are protected from it. It can also be exhilarating if we are out in it and have the right attitude.
Once we have stepped back from the negativity in our mind, we are in a position to respond creatively and constructively.
Every negative mind has an antidote or opposite. There is an umbrella we can bring out to protect ourself.
The umbrella to pride is humility.
The umbrella to strong desire is renunciation.
The umbrella to anger is patience.
The umbrella to confusion in our mind is wisdom.
Firstly we learn the methods intellectually; when it starts raining, we can begin to apply the practices and enjoy all the benefits.