Because Zen makes sense

Loosing My Temper

The ideal is tranquilly  and stability  of mind.  Then yesterday I lost my temper for a moment in the most ridiculous way. A new opportunity for learning unfolded.

What happened was that I found a bucket filled with oil in a closet in the cellar. It was definite from my time as an owner, but anyway I decided to get rid of it. The result was stinking oil spilled on the floor, on myself, and on some other equipment standing on the floor. When I cleaned up the mess, I suddenly had an outburst towards those who, more the thirty years ago, had put the bucket there, and left it for me to find it.

It was anger of no use. I don’t know who this person might have been, his/her reason for letting the bucket behind. And besides; my anger by no means helped me clean up the mess, the mess I actually had created all by myself.

Afterwards I could smile of the whole incident. But I also felt a bit embarrassed for not controlling my temper in a better way. But by that I fell into several traps in my thinking.

First: I was judgmental towards myself. My outburst was a fact, by feeling embarrassed I was not accepting this. Acceptance is the key to change. Change is the brother of acceptance, but the younger brother.

Second: My emotions are also part of myself, by observing them, and even act them out, I get an opportunity for insight. I shall not cling to such outbursts, or excuse them, but just observe them with awareness, and then learn from them.

Third: The only one hurt was in fact myself. The one who put the bucket there in the first place was not around. So I experienced the truth in Buddha saying: I am not punished for my anger, but by my anger. So my emotions fooled me into anger, the consequences was in the end just a bit more wisdom.

Acceptance is the key concept in this little episode, not as an excuse, but as a platform for insight and then change. I should be thankful for the bucket of oil, my spilling, and my emotions, which, retrograde, I actually am. Our trivial experiences all widens our horizons.


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