August 17, 1973, Friday evening.

On Serious Shortcomings

Ven. Master Hsuan Hua  


Don’t think you can simply get angry if people treat you badly. That is the ugliest, the lowest, the most spineless thing to do. Once you get angry, all the effort you put into cultivation is lost. Cultivation means being patient with what others cannot be patient with, yielding to what others cannot yield.


[Editor’s note: Master addresses a certain disciple] You, on the other hand, are especially impatient and unyielding. You are the first to eat, but the last to work. Should someone say a few words to you, you blow up in anger and get all upset. You have those serious shortcomings.


People who have cultivation and virtue never really get angry. If a virtous person makes a show of anger, people find it very easy to take. If a person lacking virtue blows up, however, it won’t work. Don’t think, “Now that I have virtue, I can get mad at others.” That will not do. Any indication of anger is a sign of your own stupidity. You may not get mad at anyone. You must not get angry even at people who are one or two levels junior to you, or who are lower than you in position, much less your Dharma peers. Just because you have your own afflictions and ignorance does not mean you may attack others.

(Timely Teachings. page 51)