1-2-22 Patience and 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. (Patience)

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, calmly endure opposites—such as pain and pleasure, 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 the 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” 

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.Treat yourself with compassion over your inability to be patient at times. This takes practice—patient practice. 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, to 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

Right action also means not engaging idiot compassion. We do not help out someone else to their detriment or to our own. We are not doormats, but equal members in any situation, any decision. When we feel we count as more important than another, we can feel the tightness of selfishness. When we feel the other is more important than us, we can feel the unevenness of not caring properly for ourselves. We say ‘yes’ when we can, and ‘no’ when we should. And we take a breath and become mindful before making the decision.

We strive to be aware of how we are feeling before we act, and mindfully choose a course of action that promotes and furthers peaceful and inclusive action—not selfish, reactionary action. We try to consider others’ points of view as well. It’s not easy to do; it takes a willingness to be patient and to expand the awareness and then act with kindness. Progress will come if we are patient and diligent about what our goal and aspiration is.

“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

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 those aspects which keep us in chains in order to actively address our suffering.

When we use the tools we have learned, we realize when we are about to demean someone, or bemoan not getting what we want. Before we act, we can feel the urge to resort to old behaviors. We can stop at that critical moment and switch gears by engaging our patience and healthy, sane action. We’ll feel the uselessness of all that negativity drop away and open our hearts. We’re much more likely at that point to see others (and all our own goofiness) with compassion and treat the situation with 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 tenderness. In this way, we begin to deny our selfishness and find our foundation of peace. Selfishness covers peace like angry storm clouds, but like the sun, the peace is always there, always available.

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
May the blessing of light be upon you
May you be well. May you be happy. May you find peace.

Heart Of Recovery web site  — fcheartofrecovery.com