Friday, January 22, 2010

Patience: Not just a virtue

When we look deeply, we know that having patience is not only a virtue in itself, but the key to developing other virtues- and to reaching our goals.

Yesterday I had a really stressful, just generally bad day. When I came home, I immediately sat myself in front of my altar and meditated. I chanted the mantra, "Om Mani Padme Hum" for a few minutes, then focused on my breathing. But my focus soon shifted to my emotions; how sad I had felt earlier, and how stressed. As I thought of this I remembered all the things that were good in my life, and all the people who had helped me. Without warning a huge sense of gratefulness welled up inside of me, and tears began to flow down my cheeks. I had so much to be thankful for, and decided to try and help myself better evaluate future situations before I get so upset. I focused on my breathing for a few minutes more.

My meditation session had helped me realize that the key to dealing with difficult situations was patience. Patience with the situation, patience with the people around me, and most of all, patience with myself. I immediately looked up several articles on the subject, and found this great one from wikiHow.

I especially liked tip #6, which was as follows:
"Think about your happiest memories. Chances are, they were instances when your patience paid off, like when you worked steadily towards a goal that wasn't immediately gratifying, or took a little extra time to spend leisurely with a loved one. Would you have those memories if you had been impatient? Probably not."

That really puts it in perspective, doesn't it? In this modern, tweeting, texting, download, order and pick up, society, we are used to instant gratification. And I'll be the first to admit how much I appreciate things like email, Wikipedia, and Google, but we have to remember that those are all tools we use to help take care of the 'marginal' items more efficiently. The things that are really worthwhile take time, as they should.

Leo Babauta of Zen Habits also has great thoughts on patience.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment! If you enjoyed this post, please share with others. -With Metta, Renata