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Born Irascible

Zen Master Bankei always made his preaching clear and easy to understand, and he would answer questions raised by the followers of Buddhism before ending his preaching. Therefore, there were many followers of Buddhism coming from afar because of respect for the fame.

One day, a follower came to Zen Master Bankei and asked:” I was born with an irascible temper. How can I cure it?”

“What do you mean by ‘born with’?” asked Zen Master Bankei, ”Show me and I will cure it for you.”

“No, I can’t show you now.” replied the follower, “My born irascibility only appears under certain circumstances.”

“Since you can’t show it now and you only lose your temper under certain circumstances, it means that your irascibility is created by you when you dispute with others.” said Zen Master Bankei, “Now you said you were born irascible, putting the blame on your parents. This is unfair indeed.”

After listening to Zen Master Bankei, the follower was enlightened. He no longer lost his temper easily.

Nothing in the world is innate. Everything in nature is created by the combination of conditions and causes. Our human nature consists of good and evil. Everything can be created and destroyed by the mind. Therefore, no bad habit is unchangeable if one is determined.

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