cultivating patience

Today we ask that you cultivate patience.

This is no small matter.  Human impatience is the cause of terrible suffering.

The need for instant gratification, to have everything now, has only intensified in the age of the internet and overnight deliveries.  And while there is much to rejoice about in this great new human fluidity and interconnectedness, it is extremely important that people remain grounded.

Without grounding, without focus, without patience, energy is scattered all over the place.  There’s a flurry of movement, but very little being accomplished.

Please cultivate patience.  Please learn to stay the course.

Things of depth and substance, by and large, are not created overnight.  Good things need time to grow.

It takes time to grow a plant.

It takes time to learn to play a musical instrument, or learn a new language.

It takes time to strengthen a weak body.

It takes time to create deep and lasting change.

Without patience and steadiness, none of these things can happen.

When people are consumed by impatience, they suffer.  They think: “What is the point of doing anything, if it takes so long?”  

They cannot enjoy the process of life.  They cannot enjoy life as it is unfolding.  They cannot see the forest for the trees.

Whenever you do something new, it is like you are embarking on a journey.  You cannot expect to reach your destination instantaneously.  If you did, you would miss out on all the joys, experiences, and healthy challenges of the journey itself.  And the arrival at the destination would not be nearly as sweet.

When you have no patience, life is always unsatisfying.  You ever hungry for the next thing, the next thing, the next thing.  You are always changing the channel, looking for the better show.  Maybe if you settled into the show you are watching, you would be drawn into it.  But if you change channels, you won’t discover this.

Parents, teach your children to be patient.  It is very hard for children.  But if they do not learn patience, they will never really grow up.  There are many adults who are really quite childish, mostly because they are impatient and therefore impulsive, and compulsive.  Always wanting what they don’t have.  So-called adults who have no patience and steadiness are, of course, poor models for the children they raise.  If you worry that your children have “ADD,” look to your own habits, your own impulsivity.

Learning to slow down, ground yourself, and be patient with the unfolding process of life will utterly transform your existence, if you truly embrace it.