1-17-21 Patience – Action

Patience – Action

Patience (or forbearing): The state of endurance under difficult circumstances.  It can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance or anger in a negative way.

Action: To engage your energies towards a particular endeavor. The accomplishment of a thing, usually over a period of time, in stages, or with the possibility of repetition.

The Buddhist concept of patience is distinct from the English definition of the word. In Buddhism, patience is one of the “perfections” that one trains in and practices in everyday life.
Patience refers to not returning harm, rather than merely enduring a difficult situation. It is the ability to control one’s emotions even when being criticized or attacked.

Patience, in Hindu philosophy, is also the capacity to wait, endure opposites—such as pain and pleasure—calmly, without a desire to extend pleasure artificially, or to seek revenge. Ahimsa (non-violence) is not being violent to any human being or any living being at any time through one’s action, with words one speaks or writes, or in one’s thoughts.” Paraphrased from Patience, www.wikipedia.org

“I noticed that being patient gave rise to a feeling of equanimity—a calmness of mind that makes it easier to ride life’s ups and downs without being tossed about like a boat in a storm. Seeing the correlation between patience and enhanced self-compassion and equanimity convinced me of the value of this practice.” – Toni Bernhard J.D., “Impatient? Why and How to Practice Patience” www.psychologytoday.com

We can begin by having, mindfully engaging, patience, even if only because we have been told it’s a good idea. With patience, when we don’t immediately engage our ego and self-will, will come a larger awareness of what is really going on. We are not reacting with old behaviors. We can then take an action with more skillful means that will have better results. Any sponsor or counselor must have patience with their client. They know, as we need to remember, that progress will come if we are patient and diligent about what our goal or aspiration is.

1. Start by setting the intention to watch for impatience arising in your own mind as a response to not getting what you want right away. We tend to expect people, the world, our meditation, the weather, to conform to our expectations. They ought to behave the way we think they should behave, or we get resentful at others or ourselves.

2. Investigate how impatience feels in your mind and in your body. You can’t begin to transform a stressful mental state until you know and accept that you’re caught up in it. So, work on becoming well-acquainted with how impatience feels.

3. This takes practice—patient practice. And because patience is an act of self-compassion, treat yourself with compassion over your inability to be patient at times. Know you are impatient, breathe, smile, engage patience. Repeat as needed.

We are not trying to “control” our minds, we are engaging patience in order to expand awareness, take the right action and not cause harm.

We use meditation to practice our patience. We may have a busy, busy mind or feel bored out of our shoes, but if we can have patience we will continue to sit, and the benefits of our patience and right action will bring results.                             

Right Action is the fourth aspect of the Buddhist Eightfold Path. But what is “right action?”     This means that when we act “rightly,” we act without selfish attachment to our work. We act mindfully, without causing discord with our speech. Our “right” actions spring from compassion.

“The basis of Right Action is to do everything in mindfulness.”Thich Nhat Hanh

To be aware of how we are feeling before we act, and mindfully choose a course of action that will promote and further a peaceful and inclusive action, not a selfish, reactionary action. Consider the point of view of others also. This is not easy to do and takes a willingness to be patient, expand your awareness and act gently with kindness. 

“We realized that the people who had wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick. We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend … How can I be helpful to him?” p. 67, Alcoholics Anonymous

“Compassion is an aspiration, a state of mind, wanting others to be free from suffering. It’s not passive—it’s not empathy alone—but rather an empathetic altruism that actively strives to free others (and ourselves) from suffering.” — The Dalai Lama, Essence of the Heart Sutra 

I truly wish to be fully in life, with clear eyes and mind, to live with a sense of dignity and compassion. My addiction clouded my vision terribly, and brought much suffering. My behavior of engaging negative habit energy reinforces those pathways and will continue to bring suffering. We need to take action on any aspects that keep us in chains, to actively address our suffering.

When we use the tools we have learned, we realize when we are demeaning someone or bemoaning not getting what we wanted. We feel the uselessness of all that, and naturally open up our hearts and include others and all our own goofiness with patience and a lighter hand.

We have the capacity to feel the current, the flow, and to guide ourselves and others through difficult tides and times with a sense of acting rightfully…with an open heart. In this way, we begin to deny our selfishness and find our foundation of peace.

A huge weight lifts from us and we know we are worthy and capable of living fully.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.

Heart of Recovery web site — fcheartofrecovery.com