In this world and in our life, many things are in duality: negative and positive, good and bad. When we hear something negative, we would probably feel bad. At that moment, our life is not on the middle path. Learning Zen gives us a way out; to be free from good and bad, free from our emotions. It leads us back to the middle path.
When hearing others’ speech, only reflect. This means to accept reality. Salt is salty, sugar is sweet. This is truth. When someone says something irritating, perhaps you could invite him to have a cup of tea. In our life, we should rehearse continuously until nothing can bother us. Then you become free. At this point, you are the master.