April 8, 2013

Working Through Impatience.

Cultivating Patience

An interesting person has recently come into my life. I have never met a person who was more steeped in his practice of cultivating awareness. He has a remarkable ability to reference teachings and readings from his entire life, and throughout the course of this particular class, he has given me numerous seeds to plant into my own repertoire of life lessons.

Recently, we had a discussion on impatience.

There are few people that I know who genuinely appear as though they are patient. It just seems like everyone has their own places to be, agendas to satisfy, obligations to adhere to…and the day is spent centered around needing.

Yet, we are all striving to not let those things affect us. We try not to be rattled by no shows; we try to be okay with our lunch date running 15 minutes behind; we try to not boil when flights are delayed…yet, we can’t help it—we’re impatient. Where did all of this happen? Where in the line of development did this trend win?

I think about the chaos and unrest in our lives that is merely a blossom from the tree of impatience. Because of impatience, we don’t live peaceful existences; outbursts of anger and short wicked tempers are just the manifestation of an impatient mind. We aren’t concerned for the well-being of others. We are really more passionate and consumed with having our own personal voids filled.

A beautiful story he shared focused on the value of patience and the danger of impatience: a man comes onto a cocoon, and thrilled that he is about to witness a true miracle of nature, he grabs it and places it in the palm of his hand. His excitement and eagerness overwhelms and he begins to blow warm air on it, to help facilitate this transformation. After a few minutes, slowly, the cocoon begins to open. A struggling butterfly, with wet wings battles flight in the palm of his hand. And there right in front of him, the prematurely born butterfly dies. And he described it as one of the heaviest weights on his person. He was so consumed with his own needs, that the needs of others were abandoned.

In this idea, I feel like we are all working on “trying not to be impatient.”

But isn’t that what impatience is? You don’t try to be patient. Either you are patient, or you aren’t. But trying to be is not patience. Therefore, I work every day to one day wake up and be patient.

There is an opportunity for all of us to cultivate awareness in those moments of seeming unrest. In your life, take a moment and notice the feelings associated with impatience and start to familiarize yourself with it. Once you do that, you can notice when it arises and why, and you can begin to embrace it rather than let the fire be flamed by acting it out.


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Ed: Brianna Bemel

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