7-30-23 Patience – Right Action

Patience – Right 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. To not react to a situation but to accept it, and feel the proper response.

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, to calmly endure opposites—such as pain and pleasure, without a desire to extend pleasure artificially, or to seek revenge.

“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, impatient, 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 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. We will know how our mind works, and be able to better work with it.                            
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 means not engaging idiot compassion. We do not help someone else to their detriment or to our own. We are not doormats, nor enablers, but equal members in any situation, with any decision. If we feel we are more important than another, we feel the tightness of selfishness. When we feel the other is more important than us, or we do not respond when we should out of fear, we feel the weight of not caring properly for ourselves. We say ‘yes’ when we can, and ‘no’ when we should. We take a breath and are mindful before making any 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 our awareness and then act with kindness. Progress will come if we are patient and diligent about what our goal and aspiration is. A considered response is done calmly with a sense of balance. As we feel the rightness of our action, anothers reaction is not our concern. You may incur some resistance from others because you are not bending to their wishes. That is good news, let their anger or frustration be on them, not taken in by you. You have acted properly from compassion and right action. Step out and walk tall. It takes practice, and courage, both of which grow with use, and will wither with neglect and disuse.

To open up your awareness and respond properly, with dignity, truth and compassion, is how you apply, utilize, what you have learned about how to live rightly and happily. This is your practice that needs to be practiced, if it is to be of any benefit. If we trust in our inate curiosity, wisdom and intelligence there is no problem or anxiety. 

If you wish to get in better physical shape, or to be better at any task, you “practice” and train to become famaliar with how to do that task in a better way. You have to Practice your path, or it will only be an unfulfilled wish that may leave a sense of being disappointed in yourself and feeling unworthy. That is NOT who you are!

To begin using Patience and Right Action more, it is helpful to have a phrase or word you use when you start feeling tight. When you feel the unease or fear, Breathe deeply and say, –
“Calm”, breathe again and say – “Strength.”
The “Calm” helps relax the tension, to have – Patience, – so you can engage – “Strength,” – which brings a sense of awareness and appropriate assertiveness, if needed – Right Action.
Or use your own words that bring you to the same place.
You can use the same technique when you find yourself, battling yourself in your own mind. The “Strength” would be to engage your sense of dignity and worthiness of your basic goodness.
To simply relax, and be with the calmness that is your true inner self.

My addiction clouded my vision, and brought suffering. My behavior of engaging negative habit energy reinforces those pathways and will continue to bring suffering. When we practice Patience and Right Action, we will feel the uselessness of all that negativity drop away and our hearts will open. 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, peace is always available.

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 you be well. May you be happy. May you find peace