If you want to learn about patience, then this lesson is going to get interesting. To learn patience, it’s best to learn about impatience first.
You see impatience means you are moving and not paying attention to other things around you. To be impatient is to go against the flow and always be off beat.
The problem with patience is… it really isn’t a static definition (despite the dictionary telling you to quietly and steadily persevere as you wait for more details). It always changes relative to what you are working against. If you try to force patience to be at some standard pace… you will fail most of the time. If you try to learn patience in a vacuum, on your own, you ignore paying attention to what’s around you. You will always be out of sync and feel impatient.
People think patience is the goal, it isn’t, rather it’s a style and tool in how we connect to the world around us. People think to be patient is letting the world catch up to you. But being patient is allowing yourself to catch up to the world and at times you do need to move quickly to keep up.
Patience has nothing to do with waiting, it is all about pace: timing yourself to work with more than one process around you. Since the world around is shifting, changing and everyone is different: patience requires flexibility and timing. At times to go slowly to let everything come together, at times to move along with surety and allowing everything to catch up with you.
Patience is to pace yourself to the essence at hand.
I am a very patient person. Not because I wait, but because I pause to understand the essences in play around me. Then once understanding the flow of life at hand, I practice moving at different paces. And move to the pace that feels best. At times quietly letting everything reveal itself, at times to move quickly but with awareness to reveal new perspectives of the world. When possible moving at my own pace rather than the forced pace of outside drum beats.
If you want to learn patience, then don’t be fooled by the waiting: instead practice being aware and connecting to both yourself and life around you.
Patience is all about connecting to the world around you. You are not being patient if you drag or are dragged by the world. You are patient if you pace yourself to the connections and patterns around you.
Patience of the Mountain
Patience in Taoism is embracing the “empty” space fully. That is something that requires a life time. Yet pain, problems and pressing concerns from the outside: force the issue of patience.
I teach patience, with kindness. I know that while much of what I teach in Taoism takes 10, 20, 30 even more years to master, that most people don’t have the patience to relax into that style of exploration. So I mix the Taoist teachings in layers so that, its possible to begin learning, have some smaller key advancements early to support the longer term process of inner transformation.
It’s not about curing all one’s problems at once: to do so would create a vacuum in one’s inner space, a vacuum which people would tend rush ahead unconsciously to re-fill with new problems. To have a miracle cure, to have one magical solution, to take away all the pain and edges of life: in a flash would mean not living to your life truly or fully. Patience is about allowing yourself to work on multiple aspects of life at once. To not force only one solution for everything in life.
It’s very easy in modern culture, our inpatient culture, to medicate, or to follow others in such a way: to “televise” one’s life away. That’s a choice which takes away the view of one’s own expanse of life.
All Taoists live on the mountain, and that mountain is your life.
The real question is:
- Are you trapped in fast answers and eternally re-living the same mistakes in a style as Sisyphus?
- Do you have the patience to explore life to live and fulfill it with your exploration in wonder?
From this point its possible to take the conversation in many many interesting ways…
The point is to take it where you find your own wonder, to have the patience to fulfill one’s life.
Finally: Some people may think because our life is the mountain that means the trick is to live at or near the top of the mountain, and not beneath it. Yet this isn’t the case. Our life being a mountain does offer many options to how to approach exploring it over time.
- For some, it’s about the climb,
- For some it’s about the view,
- For some it’s literally about being the mountain.
- For some it’s about the erosion: the letting go.
- For some it’s a volcano about anger
- Depending on where you are: you experience a different part of that mountain.
- For some it’s about the storms that awash the sides
- For some it’s about being above the clouds of attachment and illusion…
- In later parts of the practice: its about being the mountain at all moments, all spots of the experience.
- In later later parts of the practice: Its something else again…
- We are all of the mountain.
What patience means is being able to explore that mountain of life with more than one approach and with fullness. To also take time out to rest or at times to pause in order to switch how we move about our mountain of life.