June 17, 2014 § 6 Comments
I am just leaving the airport, headed to Tassajara, the great Zen Buddhist monastery in the mountains east of Big Sur. Thinking of the precious time ahead in that sacred place.
The rental car’s GPS demands that I turn left, which I do, and I find myself in a parking lot. I explode in rage, screaming at the machine and at myself. You are so stupid, why did you listen to this ridiculous machine?
I finally gather myself, take a breath, exit the parking lot, and drive on.
Patience and impatience.
Patience seems to demand so much energy and will. It feels like such a very hard thing.
Impatience in contrast seems to come easy. The trigger is pulled and out it spills, without conscious effort or will.
But this is not right.
First, the impatience that slides into anger takes enormous energy. The shaking body, the racing heart, lungs propelling the screams. This form of impatience takes great effort and leaves us wasted.
And patience, that thing we think of as so difficult to sustain, actually demands no effort at all. That is, to be patient, truly, is to give no effort or will to the circumstances. To just let it be.
Each moment of challenge and difficulty, when we are consciously striving to be patient, we are actually still locked in our impatience.
Only when we let all that go, stop trying to push away the rage, stop grasping for patience, only then might we come to that exquisite place where acceptance reigns.
Effortless patience. The quiet and still source of infinite power.