Being patient to those who are mean to you

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This is part 1 of 2 impromptu stories being told by Khun Mae on 31 July 2008 right after evening chanting.

Long time ago before Khun Mae started Samnak, Khun Mae was staying in a temple. Khun Mae  did her daily tasks like sweeping and helping to clean the monastery. After she finished her tasks, she would go off alone to meditate.

The set up of umbrella tent for tudong practice

There was an elderly mae chi (nun) who did the cooking. The mae chi was upset because Khun Mae did not help her with the cooking. So when Khun Mae took her bowl to take food, the mae chi took the cooking ladle and knocked on the cooking utensils. She said loudly to Khun Mae, “you are so lazy, it’s a waste of food to feed you. It’s better off to use it to feed the dog!”. 

Khun Mae was patient and not upset- quietly she took the food- rice, soup and some vegetables and went back to her kuti to eat. She had trained herself that each time she would meditate for half and hour first before eating.

As she was meditating, she heard a very loud voice of the mae chi scolding her. She went to check and found that the mae chi was just sitting there and happily enjoying her food. The mae chi was not even upset at all.

Khun Mae then chided herself for lacking in wisdom and think bad about other people. After all, this mae chi had given her food to eat and she should be grateful for that.

Later, Khun Mae visited the kuti of this mae chi. When Khun Mae called the mae chi from outside, the mae chi told Khun Mae that she did not want to see Khun Mae’s face because she disliked it. Khun Mae then spoke softly and gently, requesting permission to see her.

The mae chi opened the door with a loud bang. Khun Mae requested the mae chi to sit down and for a bit of her time. Khun Mae told the mae chi that she was very sorry because a while ago she had bad thoughts about the mae chi. Khun Mae then expressed gratitude that the mae chi had cooked and fed her. And Khun Mae just bowed down 3 times at the mae chi’s feet.

Khun Mae’s action brought tears to the mae chi’s eyes. The mae chi cried and said she was not angry or upset with Khun Mae. And if she had done anything wrong to Khun Mae, she was also very sorry.

Next day, when Khun Mae went to take food, the mae chi gestured Khun Mae to come to the kitchen and asked her to take the food there. Khun Mae saw so much of food available. But when another person tried to take the food from the kitchen, the mae chi scolded the person, “you cannot take this food. This food is only for my ‘daughter’.

After telling the story, Khun Mae advised us that if we had refused to be patient, it would be hard to do it in the future. We need to develop patience, forgiveness and learn to say sorry when even the slightest bad thoughts are formed in our minds.

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