"I completely conquered anger."

Here is one more story alluding to the benefit of Sangha. A monk was going to do a ten-year solo retreat in a cave high up in the mountains. As he passed through the plain and foothills below the mountain he met a farmer who asked him where he was going. The monk told the farmer; the farmer wished him well in his pursuit, and the monk continued up to the mountain. Ten years passed. The monk finished his retreat, and as he came down, he met the same farmer. The farmer said, “I remember you, you went to practice alone in a cave for ten years. Let me ask you what did you attain?” The monk said, “I completely conquered anger.” “Really!” said the farmer with a slight tone of disbelief. “Are you really sure you completely mastered anger?” “Oh yes” said the monk. After three or four times of the farmer questioning him with mounting disbelief, the monk shouted, “Listen, I completely mastered anger!”

It is not so difficult to master anger in a cave all alone in the mountains. Who or what is there to get angry with there? But in community, in relationship, that is where you develop tolerance, patience, and so on.


Zen Master Wu Kwangteachings