One day there was an earthquake that shook the entire Zen
temple. Parts of it even collapsed. Many of the monks were
terrified. When the earthquake stopped the teacher said, "Now
you have had the opportunity to see how a Zen man behaves in
a crisis situation. You may have noticed that I did not panic. I
was quite aware of what was happening and what to do. I led
you all to the kitchen, the strongest part of the temple. It was a
good decision, because you see we have all survived without
any injuries. However, despite my self-control and composure, I
did feel a little bit tense - which you may have deduced from the
fact that I drank a large glass of water, something I never do
under ordinary circumstances. "One of the monks smiled, but
didn't say anything. "What are you laughing at?" asked the
teacher. "That wasn't water," the monk replied, "it was a large
glass of soy sauce."
People's Reactions To The Story - Reflections
* "I see this sort of behavior often in men. They feel
they have to put on a front to appear to be something
that they are not."
* "Sometimes the calmest looking person in an
emergency situation is really the most nervous."
* "This reminds me of people who think they are so
great and are always bragging about it. Admitting that
they are wrong is the hardest thing in their lives, when
it should be something that's very natural."
* "Sometimes, when you're in a very stressful
situation, you aren't aware of your actions until
someone else points it out."
* "To conquer one's mind is the greatest challenge. To
have a mind that is truly calm, composed and
equanimous requires continuous and ardent training
and development of the mind."
Reflect Upon 64
There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father
gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his
temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The
first day, the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the
next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number
of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He
discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those
nails into the fence. Finally the day came when the boy didn't
lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father
suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he
was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the boy was
finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The
father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He
said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the
fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in
anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in
a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say
I'm sorry the wound is still there. A verbal wound is as bad as a
* The mental defilement of Dosa ( Anger, hatred, ill will,
jealousy, temper and resentment ) is a very terrible one ... it can
drive a person to do irrational and wrongful actions that can hurt
* One has to be always mindful of one's thoughts, speech and
actions lest one hurts another through them.
* One can practise the Meditation on Loving-kindness to curb
anger and ill will.