Continuing with the talk by Kamala Masters titled, “The Power of Patience.”
Kamala shared a reflection that resonated with me:
You might have noticed that there’s no joy when there’s impatience in the practice. … When we can go at good pace with ourselves, just allowing things to arise that are already arising, and our only job is to notice them, there can be a lot of contentment in our practice. It’s simple. … When there’s aversion and attachment and disappointment, and self-judging and judging of others, this is a sign of impatience.
It’s not just when I’m sitting in meditation that I notice the correlation between impatience and a lack of joy.
Suppose there’s a long train travelling through the city, blocking traffic… When impatience is there, I notice gripping the steering wheel, tightness in the shoulders, leaning forward, shallower breathing. There’s grumpiness too – why are these trains moving through the city when I have to get somewhere! Why didn’t I take the route with the underpass? Grumble, grumble…
All that unpleasantness doesn’t make the train move any quicker!
I recall Jeanne Corrigal saying something like, “Impatience is the doorway to patience.” I like that I don’t have to reject that impatience has arisen. Instead, I can turn my mindful attention to that.
Even just a small equanimous acknowledgement that “impatience is like this” can help me ease into what’s here. Yup, there’s a train. Yup, I might be late. But now I can open to other options than grumpiness. I can celebrate that here’s a moment I can just sit with the breathing. I can invite the muscles to relax. I can feel a contentment that in this moment, I’m fully here, watching this body+mind+heart do its thing. (I bet you just wish you were stuck in traffic now!)
Reflection: See if you can notice a moment today when impatience turned into a doorway to patience. What shift in your body+mind+heart did you notice?
Feel free to share your reflections or comments below, or by email.
With warm wishes,