An Ill-tempered Woman

by Dr. Pran Rangan

Once upon a time, there was a very ill-tempered woman. She could rage over a silly little thing even though she understood that it was wrong. One day she consulted a Zen Master for how to bring about improvement in her temper.

The Zen Master led her into a room after listening to her distress. He locked the door up and walked away without saying a word. She had lost her mind completely in a flash. She jumped and screamed for a very long time to gain his attention. The Zen Master turned a deaf ear to her shouting. The woman had gone silent at last.

The Zen Master stood outside the door and asked, 'Are you still mad? '

The woman yelled, 'Yes, I'm mad at myself. Why should I have come to such a place and make myself suffer! How can one be calm as the still water if she is mad at herself yet?'

The Zen Master went off. Later when he came, he asked her again, 'Are you still mad?'

'Not anymore!' the woman replied.

'Why? ' asked the Zen Master.

'It can't help at all! ' the woman answered.

'You're keeping your rage down deep in your mind. Your rage will get to the top when you flare up.' said the Zen Master and left again.

When he came back the third time, the woman said, 'I'm not angry anymore. It's just not worth!'

The Zen Master smiled, 'You're still haggling over in your mind! It means your trouble is not yet gone.'

The woman asked, 'What is the rage?'

The Zen Master leaned against the doorway as the sun was setting down. He poured a cup of the hot water on the ground. The woman gazed at the steam floating into the air until it faded away. She understood eventually. She bowed her thanks to the Zen Master and left.

A comprehension comes to her that rage will harm her in the first place. She also understands that she always used to energize rage by keeping it alive deep down in her mind and, therefore, used to hit the roof at even a silly little thing.

Instead of energizing, if she simply watches it, rage will evaporate into thin air like the steam of hot water. By understanding what rage is, she has taken the first step towards learning how to manage it.

The moral of the story -

When we rage over someone or something, we always punish ourselves at the same time! RAGE is around always. If you ignore it, it will go away soon. Life is just too short to pay attention to and entertain anger.

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