Patience has nothing to do with suppression. In fact, it has everything to do with a gentle, honest relationship with yourself. If you wait and don’t fuel the rage with your thoughts, you can be very honest about the that fact that you long for revenge; nevertheless you keep interrupting the torturous story line and stay with the underlying vulnerability.
That frustration, that uneasiness and vulnerability, is nothing solid. And yet it is painful to experience. Still, just wait and be patient with your anguish and with the discomfort of it. This means relaxing with that restless, hot energy—knowing that it’s the only way to find peace for ourselves or the world.
~ Pema Chodron
Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
The practice of patience guards us against losing our presence of mind. It enables us to remain undisturbed, even when the situation is really difficult. It gives us a certain amount of inner peace, which allows us some self-control, so that we can choose to respond to situations in an appropriate and compassionate manner, rather than being driven by our disturbing emotions.
– Dalai Lama
The third paramita — kshanti paramita — is the perfection of patience. Let’s begin with a conversation about what patience is not, and what the perfection of patience is, according to the Tibetan Buddhist view:
Patience is NOT
Grinning and bearing it
Not doing anything
Trying to get resolution on our own terms
Pausing and getting still
Being really honest with ourselves about how we feel
Creating space for our experience
Responding instead of reacting
Cultivating courage to sit with discomfort, discord, or disagreement (or any other “dis”)!
Patience is an antidote to anger and aggression. Here is a link to a great article from Pema Chodron: The Answer to Anger and Aggression is Patience.
How Our Meditation Practice Leads to Patience
Our meditation practice helps us to cultivate patience because it teaches us how to be with our experience without repressing or indulging it, but rather witnessing it with kindness and curiosity. Meditation invites us to be fully present with ourselves in a kind and non-judgmental way, and this helps us to be more fully present with others….even those who push all of our buttons! No one said this was easy!
But Pema Chodron does say: “Patience is an enormously wonderful and supportive and even magical practice. It’s a way of completely changing the fundamental human habit of trying to resolve things by going either to the right or the left, calling things right or calling things wrong. It’s the way to develop courage, the way to find out what life is really about. … We discover that as a matter of fact joy and happiness, peace, harmony and being at home with yourself and your world come from sitting still with the moodiness of the energy until it rises, dwells, and passes away.”