Patience is something we can talk about a lot. It’s something we should be trying to cultivate because it’s very helpful, not just in our meditation practice, but in our day to day life too. We can always try to have more patience.
There are also different kinds of patience. My partner Alicia once described me as a really patient person and I don’t really see myself that way. That tells me a lot about this word and what it really means.
In some situations I have a lot of patience and in others I have very little. I have a whole lot of patience for dealing with people, especially kids. But when it comes to things like waiting in line, being stuck in traffic, waiting for an elevator, etc. I struggle to remain patient.
So we’re using this word to represent things that are sort of different. I have more patience for people than I do for circumstances. I think many people are the opposite but I don’t know for sure.
I want to suggest we can think of patience in a broad way. We’re talking about how we get through the storms of life. How we can go through our struggles and not fall apart. This is a broader way to think about patience. I want to suggest we can start thinking of patience in this broad way, rather than making it so narrow that it only includes waiting around for things that should have happened by now.
Impatience takes all of our attention, so cultivating patience is important. Meditation helps a lot with that. How? Because I’m making time to do something boring that I don’t really want to do. When we sit still and do nothing for a while, we are training in patience. We may think we’re just training in attention, but we’re training in patience too. So let’s sit.
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