What is your weakest link?
Often many people find it hard to control our temper.
Self declaration: 90% of the time, I am good. 10% of the time, I do have a temper, a BAD temper. Especially towards a selected few.
I have tried many methods to reduced the 10% as I don’t like the person I am when I am angry. Worst when the people I am angry with are those closest to me.
I love them and yet I turn into a “monster” which I don’t like.
Don’t underestimate this 10%. It is going cost you on your search of happiness.
I tried many methods:
- give space by staying away,
- talk to a friend/family member to seek advice,
- practice looking at their merits,
- speaking to the person I am angry with after the incident to let them understand my feelings and how I was triggered as well as
- creating a photo collage with our happy memories to remind myself that I love these people.
These methods temporarily worked. Reducing incidence rate but I know it was not resolving the issue.
Many a times, it was post-explosion analysis. Not serving much as a preventive measure.
In our earlier lessons, one strategy provided by the sutra was the Art of Giving in 7 steps.
It shares the benefits of giving and the faults if non-virtuous acts were done instead the various areas of interaction with others.
According to our teacher, we too need to have a logical contemplation towards our inner peace before we can conquer our temper.
If we only contemplate after we blow our top.
It is too late as a non-virtuous deed has been done and the karmic seed has been planted. It will in the future bear the fruit of suffering.
An example is when other people speak bad about us. We would feel that they have harmed us. Our reputation stained. We are deeply hurt.
So should we changed our name, if we changed our name will we then, not be harmed or hurt.
How many names will you then have?
Often if people are gossiping about others, we could care less! If we don’t spread the gossip, I feel it is already considered a virtuous act. Worst if we pass on this non-virtuous speech and be part of this vine of negative karma.
The above shows our attachment to all that we possess and everything that has got to do with“ME”.
We need a strategy to address our affliction which may bring us unbelievable suffering that overtake our virtuous deeds in fruition and prolong our vicious downward spiral of suffering to an unlimited extension.
A Guide To the Bodhisattva Way Of Life
Chapter Six The Perfection of Patience
1. Anger destroys all the good conduct, such as generosity and worshipping the Sugatas, which has been acquired over thousands of eons.
2. Happiness is obtained with great difficulty, whereas suffering occurs easily. Only through suffering is there release from the cycle of existence. Therefore, O mind, be strong!
Would you agree that we first already have the cause of suffering in our mindstream? Then, when we encounter suffering, it is the fruition of this cause of suffering.
How often do we allow external forces to affect our mood, internal peace, learning and practice?
Not many will allow anyone who slaps them on the right cheek and turn the other cheek to him as well.
Only those who have strong determination and cultivation are able to tolerate suffering because they have an ultimate goal in their mind. Not allowing any external forces to disturb the tranquility within.
I must remember that both positive and negative karma can grow like a seed into a huge majestic tree.
In the concept of Karma: virtuous act brings happiness and non-virtuous act brings suffering.
Thus, we must resist and not let our anger, afflictions, pain, anxiety and negative attitudes take the upper hand.
Through logical deduction and consistent practice, we will be able to accept the situation and allow it to help us in our cultivation.
If we can accept the suffering, it will be reduced.
If we don’t accept it, the suffering will grow in its magnitude.
You can make your own choice and observation!
To be happy, one needs to have the right attitude in facing the suffering.
We need to train ourselves. Some may take up the following challenge:
Let the storm bring more turbulence!
Those who hold their temper are brave and wise warriors.
Perhaps you may think that others have a prick which obstructs their vision but little did that you know that you have a pillar that blocks your vision.
Our teacher would like us to bring warmth to the whole world with our virtuous deeds and bring more happiness to our lives and the lives of those around us.
Stay in an environment that practice OMAK and
we can build that habit.
That is to stay in the Lamrim community and practice, take a step at a time towards our ultimate goal!
Purify our own hearts and our happiness will grow!