Home Discussion Forum About temper?

About temper?

Do you have an Uncontrollable temper?
Here is a Zen Story I heard once, and when I received a link to http://www.101zenstories.com I found it again.
A Zen student came to Bankei and complained: Master, I have an ungovernable temper. How can I cure it?
You have something very strange, replied Bankei. Let me see what you have.
Just now I cannot show it to you, replied the other.
When can you show it to me? asked Bankei.
It arises unexpectedly, replied the student.
Then, concluded Bankei, it must not be your own true nature. If it were, you could show it to me at any time. When you were born you did not have it, and your parents did not give it to you. Think that over.
Do you think this story’s meaning is correct? Why?
How do you deal with anger when it arises?
As always I ask this Question with Metta/Loving Kindness
(((((May All Sentient Beings Be Happy)))))
Thank-you for answering


  1. People today are walking around with hand grenades. It’s the stress of modern society. More exact, it’s the incorrect response to stress. When you deal with stress without patience (love) you are reacting wrongly, like an animal, and the stress gets under your skin until the reaction becomes a conditioned response and you can no longer control it. Now the challenge is to step aside when it rises uncontrollably and find a new way to respond to the stress of life. Anger is another part of the fight response, the other half being fear and flight, all of which belong to the animal self, not the higher spiritual man.
    “Through patience posess ye your soul”

  2. not about temper though i’m an unbelievably (sometimes annoyingly) calm person (that is just my nature not by following what i said below) … but i have to disagree with the story … take crying for example it is part of everyone’s true nature but has to be triggered. Not everyone can fake crying and most people cry as “unexpectedly” as the student’s temper rises.
    and about dealing with temper i think it can be controlled when you think objectively of how useless and unproductive it is, and if you are a spiritual person (and you appear like one) then by rising above worldly problems and viewing them from a higher perspective (maybe as part of a test, part of fate, karma …. according to your beliefs)

  3. This story has a very good point.
    A bad temper would be acquired, it is the result of an unfocused mind, a burdened conscious and an inflexible attitude. All of which are acquired over time and maintained at will.
    Consider a man moving numerous clumsy and heavy objects. He will be quick to anger because he has a concept of how the transportation should take place, but it unable to see it though.
    A personal failure due to his own inability to be flexible.
    Because he is unable to see outside his current task he is quick to anger when outside influences interrupt.
    The curse of a burdened conscious.
    Rather than selecting a different way to move the objects, such as one at a time he sees only his initial logic.
    The flaw of an unfocused mind.
    Temper is the result of perspective.

  4. I will tell you… this Zen story stays with me. After hearing it many years ago, at a time I had great anger, I was able to use this story to learn how to be aware of my anger.
    To be aware of what is within us, this is key.

  5. I suppress it when it’s inappropriate, but sometimes it can be a godsend. In the past it has strengthened my resolve, and gave me strength. The key is to be able to focus your anger and not let it control you. Suppression most of the time is not the right thing to do, but in this kind of society, people don’t appreciate it and it becomes necessary. I appreciate all passionate emotions and take pride in my temper. Without it I would not be me.
    EDIT: This doesn’t mean I am angry all the time. I’m actually a very happy and comical character 90% of the time.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here