Finding the Root of My Anger
(Minghui.org) I found that anger is not inherent in one's nature. It is due to great dissatisfaction and hurt that accumulate during a person's development. This later manifests as resentment and produces bad habits like venting anger and throwing temper tantrums.
For example, my relationship with my parents was not harmonious. When I was young, they did not give me any kind of parental love or treat me the way other parents treated their children. I grew up experiencing my father’s bad temper and verbal abuse. As an adult, I had even worse feelings about their behavior.
Each time I went to visit my parents, I did not feel happy. Even though I brought them lots of gifts, there were no sincere smiles. At times, my mother said things that were hypocritical, but I knew she did that for the sake of appearances and really only cared about herself. My father, on the other hand, wasn’t considerate of other people’s feelings at all.
Many times, I said in my heart that I wouldn’t go to their house anymore. Yet I still returned and brought them a lot of gifts and was often very angry when I left. Sometimes, we couldn’t converse peacefully and ended up quarreling. For this reason, I was very distressed and could not find a good way to change my miserable state.
Having grown up in such a family, one can imagine that my temperament was also bad. My anger was directly related to being conditioned in that family environment. Every time I saw how good other parents were to their children, I’d think about how my parents were really selfish. I regularly had negative thoughts about them, which made me feel even more resentful.
I have been practicing Falun Dafa for more than 20 years. Thus, over time I was able to let go of how others treated me. And I knew I should treat others well unconditionally, including my parents, in accordance with Master Li's requirements. However, I still harbored resentment towards them and was troubled by it. I looked within many times and asked myself again and again: “Am I too attached to emotions? Do I always want to hear something nice? Is this somehow related to my attachment to money? Is my kindness not enough to affect them?” Yet each time I looked within, I couldn’t find the real reason for my anger and became distressed.
When I read Master’s article “Buddha Nature,” it touched me a lot:
“A notion, once formed, will control you for the duration of your life, influencing your thinking and even the full gamut of emotions, such as your happiness, anger, sorrow, and joy. It is formed postnatally. If this thing persists for some time, it will become part of a person’s thinking, melding into the brain of that person’s true self, at which point it will shape his temperament.” (“Buddha Nature,” Zhuan Falun Volume II)
It turned out that I regarded the postnatally formed notions, anger, and complaints I experienced as myself. The feelings I had from the expectation that parents should be good to their children was, in fact, a selfish concept and was not my true self. Upon encountering unsatisfactory things, the ensuing feelings of resentment and anger were not my true self at all, but rather a "false self" formed by the acquired notions. Yet I continued to be driven by that false self to react to unpleasant things.
“The extremely, extremely microscopic particles that comprise the human body make up the nature of a human being, something that never changes. When the boundaries that confine a person’s thinking are removed, man’s kind disposition, temperament, character, and traits become readily apparent, and that is the true you.” (“Buddha Nature,” Zhuan Falun Volume II)
After I understood what was the true me and what were the bad things formed after birth, a heavy burden was lifted from my heart, and I felt a lot lighter. At the same time, I also realized that the reason I was always upset about my parents’ behavior was because I regarded their acquired notions of selfishness, hypocrisy, and anger as their true nature. However, their bad things were also formed after birth and were not their true selves.
A human being’s nature is assimilated to Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and it will never change. It has simply been covered up with acquired selfishness and bad habits and appears to be oneself. And when I was also driven by my acquired notions when responding to my parent's acquired notions, quarrels would arise.
When you factor in the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) deliberate inculcation of the concept of struggle, it produces a society of people full of selfishness and demon nature; so they will fight and argue. I was also influenced by this Party culture.
When I distinguished between the true nature of my parents and the behavior driven by their acquired notions, I let go of my long-held resentment. I am now no longer angry when I think of them. Moreover, when I encounter other people’s bad behavior, I also understand that they are being controlled by those bad things instead of their true nature. My resentment, anger, and dissatisfaction have dissipated, and my heart has become clear and bright. I learned how to handle myself when I encounter conflicts.
“But it is very hard to vanquish thinking and notions acquired after birth, for that is what cultivation is all about.” (“Buddha Nature” in Zhuan Falun Volume II)
This experience left me with some deep realizations. If I want to eliminate the bad things formed after birth, I must always use Dafa to guide myself and reject my deviated notions, attachments, and bad habits. Meanwhile, I should also eliminate any influence of the CCP culture and let my true self return. The true self should be quiet and unwavering. As cultivators, we work to rectify rather than be driven by those bad things.