Chew On This, Unpack It, Let It Settle In
Patience in a Paragraph
The alternatives to patience in the spiritual life form a spectrum of wasted energy from irritation and frustration to anger and all the way to fury and wrath. Such a waste. All the result of trying to force ourselves and others to change rather than allowing us and them to be. If we try to force change we prevent change from happening. Patience is needed if there is to be spiritual growth. Patience is neither passive nor submissive; it is finally being fully engaged, without our stories clouding our vision. Patient effort, enduring effort, persistent, consistent effort is needed for patience and peacefulness to replace the raucousness and violence of our greed, anger and delusion. In the end, patient, enduring effort is the pathway to a successful. This sort of effort, the effort that persists day after day, the effort that persists during good times and bad times, is an effort that understands and uses the law of karma. Actions have consequences. Skillful actions have beneficial consequences. Patient, enduring effort in skillfulness of body, speech and mind brings about spiritual growth and wisdom. Patient, persistent effort in ethics, meditation and study brings about spiritual growth and wisdom. Patience is a “perfection” (paramita) because it is natural aspect of reality, an aspect of wisdom. The nature of wisdom is expressed in the concept of the dependent origination. This law of conditionality states that everything arises in dependence on conditions. Spiritual progress too arises in dependence on conditions, and in the absence of those conditions it does not arise. We need to patiently and persistently create and put in place the conditions for spiritual growth to arise. This is in accordance with the world as it really is.