The Venerable Master always taught us not to lose our tempers and to follow the six guiding principles─no fighting, no greed, no seeking, no selfishness, no pursuing of personal advantage, and no lying. As a beginner in Buddhism, I tended to feel that I didn’t have a temper. Yet when a state came up, it was always a test!
I always felt that I was right and others were wrong, and that people should do things my way. This brought on a fighting attitude and I started arguing with others. Bickering and scolding back and forth, ignorance, greed, and hatred came forth. When others disagreed with what I said, they also became offended. I ended up committing an unforgiveable mistake. It was only when they all detested me, stayed away from me, and refused to forgive me that I realized I was wrong. I knelt in front of the Venerable Master’s photo and sincerely prostrated myself. I repented of my wrongs, admitting that I shouldn’t insult my elders for no reason, give rise to hatred and ignorance, and commit such a great offense of disturbing the harmony of the assembly. I was very sorry and vexed. I shouldn’t have lost my temper. Just when I didn’t know what I should do, these words appeared in the mind,
“Don’t worry, everything will be all right soon. Recite the Buddha’s name more.” I calmed down and started to recite the Buddha’s name. Thanks to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, I understand now. I should go and repent to the people I offended.
Groaning in the Agony of Sickness
I linger on, breathing with difficulty, spending the remainder of my life
Amidst the suffering of old age and disease.
During the day, when I eat my meals it is like taking poison;
At night, I lie on the sickbed like a dead worm that has gone stiff.
In my dreams, I often encounter the Ghost of Impermanence;
When I awaken, I cannot find a god that can save my life.
Don’t you know that life is a matter of going from one breath to the next?
Quickly return to the City of Pure and Ultimate Bliss!
── Composed by Venerable Master Hua in the Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas
December 25, 1992