Be Patience

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.

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§ 6 Responses to Be Patience

  • susan cooper says:

    Patience for me is still not effortless. It is more of a decision. A conscious choice to remain calm and let it be. Hopefully one day it will begin to just happen, without giving it a second thought.

    • Thomas Ross says:

      Susan,

      I know what you are describing. When I was in that airport parking lot, and after the initial rage subsided, I did consciously think about the foolishness of my impatience.

      But I also know that I never really “think my way” into the centered way of existing- only if I let go, allow the feelings to come and go, only then can I slide into a truly patient way of being.

      Thanks for the gift of your attention and support.

      Tom

  • Patience is a tough one, Tom, for all of us. You’re doing the hard work, and it will come, just keep the faith….

    As St. Augustine said, “Patience is the companion of wisdom.”

    • Thomas Ross says:

      Lori,

      So good to “hear” your voice.

      I agree, patience may be the toughest one. But as St. Augustine suggests, I believe it is the essential companion to the way of being I would seek.

      Thanks for the kind words and support.

      Tom

  • Robert G. Longpré says:

    I too must learn to simply let it be, patience. For me that this time, it still isn’t effortless, unless I am not thinking about it, and then I don’t even notice it. Enjoy the sacred time at Tassajara, my friend

    • Thomas Ross says:

      Robert,

      Your phrase, “and then I don’t even notice it”, seems so important to me. Being in that place where there is no conscious sense of being patient is what I’m trying to describe and what I seek.

      Thanks for the read and thoughtful message.

      I am back from Tassajara. Still feeling the experience.

      Tom

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