Be aware of what one wants to be free of…
A disciple of Bankei asked him: I become overwhelmed by anger. I want to be rid of it but I cannot be. What shall I do?
Bankei did not say a word, just stared deep into the disciple’s eyes, who began to sweat in those few heavy minutes of silence.
He wanted to break the silence but couldn’t gather the courage. Then Bankei laughed ant said: It’s strange! I searched and searched but could find no anger within you. Still, show me a little of it, here and now.
The disciple said: It is not always here. It comes all of a sudden, how can I produce it now?
Bankei laughed again and said: Then it is not your true nature. That remains with you always and if your anger had been part of it you could have shown it to me. When you were born it was not with you, when you die it will not be with you. No, this anger is not you. There is a mistake somewhere.
Go away and think again, search again, meditate again.
One must therefore know what is not one’s nature so as to be aware of what one wants to be free of. Recognizing it becomes freedom from it.