What Buddha says about patience

During savasana, my yoga teacher said, “Can you sit at the edge of your thoughts?” It’s what Buddha would ask his disciples.

“Would you sit by the muddy stream and wait until it becomes clear again?”

Buddhism teaches that patience is the key to most dilemmas and troubles. When I was younger, my friends would spread the saying, “Good things come to those who wait.”

I hated that.

Well, everyone’s situation is different. Why wait for something that won’t change or change for the better? You would only do that when you’re young and stupid, lacking experience. If there is one thing that we learn in life, it’s that we have a choice. Humans have a choice, but nature does not. It doesn’t need a choice. It’s nothing but constant changes, ruled by impermanence. And that’s what peace of mind is all about.

Humans can change if they want, and while nature passes us by, we will often notice that we have an influence on it. Wait – is that destiny? The older I get, the more I think that we’re ruled by destiny, although things happen because we make them happen.

Nothing is permanent. This awareness is the key to happiness, Buddha says. All you do is combine it with patience and observation. In fact, happiness is emptiness and acceptance. I don’t know when I’ll ever get there.

Let me know if you ever do and tell me what it’s like. It must feel like listening to your favourite song throughout your life only to find out that this song never existed. Either I don’t understand, or I haven’t come to terms with it yet.

And then Bukowski came along and said that life was all about waiting –waiting for the train, waiting for your paycheck.

Waiting to die.

That kind of waiting makes the most sense to me. It’s what we can all relate to. You may call it patience or bravery because you’re not quitting. Camus would say it’s ok to quit, but you refuse to do so. That might be the best choice you’ll ever make—revolt while you can.

Again, “Can you sit at the edge of your thoughts” and observe them?

Perhaps so much shit has happened in your life that you’ve suddenly come to an unexpected halt? This is when I would sit down, too and close my eyes. The tainted thoughts will eventually clear when you realise that you’re a breathing creature. You’re still filling your lungs with air, and you’re thankful that you are still able to do so. At least I am.

This realization only takes a few minutes. Anything that hurt previously will fade. Stay calm during the retrograde and don’t say or do anything that you might regret later. This is not the time. But you should watch the stream in silence, because eventually…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *