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 offbeat.
The problem with patience is it 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 decide 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.
Learning how to pause is an important part of being patient. Pausing is not the same thing as waiting and Patience has nothing to do with waiting. Learn all about pacing: 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. Pacing requires timing and one of the best ways to time yourself is to pace yourself against the various tides all around us in life.
If you want to learn patience, then don’t be fooled by the waiting: instead practice pausing into awareness and connecting to both yourself and life around you.
Patience is all about connecting to the world around you. You are not patient if you drag or are dragged by the world. You are patient if you pace yourself to the connections and patterns around you.
How do I regain my patience?
Impatience also represents the desire to act.
Impatience represents built up potential within a person, trying to push one to a more natural place.
When in a state of impatience: close your eyes, listen to your inner potential. Slowly release into actions, and with inner guidance, use your impatience as a force to drive creative actions. Start with small steps. If your actions are interrupted by outside influences, then drop those little actions and try different actions (don’t power through). If your actions go sideways, then you are pushing too hard and pull back on your actions. However: once your smaller actions end up being supported by outside events or they move ahead, both unimpeded and properly, then add more energy to those actions using any extra external support.
Start with roughly 60% action, just enough to move forward. FYI: 50% action is just maintaining status quo. Less than 50% represents depression and decay. There is a fine line to the amount of force you place into action to push past impatience.
Discover Wisdom is Patience.
But impatience can serve as a tool to help explore one’s inner potential that builds up for all of us. Over time a Taoist learns how to hold on to greater and greater potential, allowing for greater patience in their actions and seemingly more amazing feats. Keep in mind you still have to ride a wave to learn how to surf potentials that arise in your life. To surf the bigger waves, you first start in surfing the smaller waves to gain experience and skill with your actions.
So impatience often represents bad timing while patience represents good timing. We have to practice with our smaller actions to learn good timing, as the surfing example shows us.
To have patience is also to have played with impatience to learn how to move safely with our actions within the range of potentials we each experience.
Patience and impatience can work in tandem with each other:
To complete each of us as a realized human being.
The Patience of the Mountain
Patience in Taoism is embracing the “empty” space fully. That is something that requires a lifetime. 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, which 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 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 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. This isn’t the case. Our life as a mountain does offer many options on 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: it’s about being the mountain at all moments, all spots of the experience.
- In 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 and then switch how we move about our mountain of life.
Being with Time
As one gets older, the tides of time rush by a bit quicker. Time as a friend seems to be impatient and always skips on to the next experience.
Time is fractured & fleeting.
Time is motion.
Time is painstakingly linear in a seemingly non-linear universe.
But also to be eternal is to be whole and in that motionless, and timeless.
In Taoist practice, we play with time, discover what it is to be eternal, shift potentials to skip around time, so time becomes a jump rope so we can skip around time rather than time skipping past us.
Now I must go again. So have fun pondering the beats of the clock. I rather live life than ponder what I cannot tame, as time ultimately is: an un-tameable beast that chains your stories, no matter how well you claim it’s tamed/imprisoned within your watch. So it’s best to let it be free, so you are likewise free.
I was also pondering how best to balance my time my right now. I for sure don’t lack for projects. Each project is demanding its share of time.
I will choose carefully how I spend my time. Since I want to spend it well with friends and family. Factor in work and we discover work often throwing life out of balance. When we feel out of balance we often reach out to validate ourselves, wait for something to confirm how we should balance out our efforts.
Don’t wait for the universe to validate what you do. We are capable of doing this on our own.
Time is a balancing act, and if you try to balance it with only money or only work or only relationships or only personal efforts or only outside measures (judgment): then one ends up with an unbalanced life indeed.
Mix it up, so you have a healthy balance of it all.