Tuesday, April 17, 2007

How Can You Be So Stupid!

One fourteen-year-old boy who practices at Plum Village told me this story.

He said that every time he fell down and hurt himself, his father would shout at him.

The boy vowed that when he grew up, he would not act that way.

But one time his little sister was playing with other children and she fell off a swing and scraped her knee, and the boy became very angry. His sister's knee was bleeding and he wanted to shout at her,

"How can you be so stupid! Why did you do that?"

But he caught himself. Because he was able to recognise his anger and not act on it.

While the adults were taking care of his sister, washing her wound and putting a bandage on it, he walked away slowly and meditated on his anger.

Suddenly he saw that he was exactly the same as his father. He told me, "I realised that if I did not do something about the anger in me, I would transmit it to my children."

He saw that the seeds of his father's anger must have been transmitted by his grandparents.

This was a remarkable insight for a fourteen-year-old boy. Because he had been practicing, he could see clearly like that.

By making peace with our parents in us, we have a chance to make real peace with our real parents.

Extract from: Teachings on Love, by Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh