Every afternoon on Sunday and Monday, I have Pali class from 13.00 pm. to 16.00 p.m. at Wat Saundok which is located in Chiang Mai city. It’s far from my temple, about an hour. I have to take two buses from Doi Saket to Wat Suandok.
One day, after lunch at about 12.00pm I took the first bus from Wat Doi Saket to the second bus stop. When I got there, it was about 12.30pm. I asked a bus driver: “Do you go to Wat Suandok?” “Yes, I do.” he said. So, I got on the bus and sat down with two other passengers. The ride from there to Wat Suandok usually takes 30 minutes only.
The bus driver took all passengers who got on the bus before and after me to where they wanted to go. He finally took me, the last one, to Wat Suandok; by then it was already 14.00 p.m. but my class had started at 13.00 p.m.
While I was sitting in the car and 30 minutes had gone by, I begun to be annoyed and I became very angry. I think that I hated him (the driver). Complaints, curses and a lot of other bad words arose in my thoughts during that time. The longer he took the angrier I became. Suddenly, just about 6 minutes to Wat Suandok, my thinking changed. I thought: “Oh he is my teacher. He allowed me to know about the super high and powerful anger happening in my mind. If he had not done this, I couldn’t have known this anger so clearly. I should say: thank you so much to you, teacher.” After that, the anger was killed by the changed thinking and I was able to smile at him when I got off the car.
This story taught me a lot about how to be happy in a bad situation. In our life, we cannot reject the truth neither select only the truth we need. Anger is one of the truths which we don’t need but naturally we cannot reject it because it has more power than us and it can also control our mind like fire, burning everything it wants.
The anger I felt came from selfishness. While I was sitting in the car, I just thought: “I have class at 13.00 p.m., he is wasting my time, I will be very late, surely.” I thought and thought only about me and my needs. I didn’t think about what he needed or why he was doing that. In fact I should have thought that perhaps he had a good reason to do that, such as needing money that evening for his family; but I couldn’t think like that because of the power of selfishness arising more and more.
The best way how to understand anger and how to control it is trying to contemplate each moment. Do know and do note every happening moment as well as you can. If you do like this again and again, you will gain wonderful knowledge which will come and help you like my changed thinking.