anger management

 

A student came before the master, Bankei,
and asked for help in getting rid of his violent temper.

 

"Show me this temper," said Bankei,
"it sounds very fascinating."

 

"I haven't got it right now,
so I can't show it to you," said the student.

 

"Well then," said Bankei,
"bring it to me when you have it."

 

"But I can't bring it just when I happen to have it.,"
protested the student.  "I'd surely lose it again
before I got it to you."

 

"In such a case," said Bankei,
"it seems to me that this temper
is not part of your true nature.
If it is not part of you,
it must come into you from outside.

 

I suggest that whenever it gets into you,
you beat yourself with a stick until
the temper can't stand it
and runs away."

 

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story as told in Zen Buddhism, ©1959, Peter Pauper Press

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