Patience is the ability to respond to negative emotions and situations with a calm mind. As simple as it may seem, it requires a great deal of mental and emotional strength to overcome a challenging day at work, an unhappy marriage or live with a lifelong illness.
Here, its importance, benefits of understanding patience and how to practice it is explained.
Patience and anger are closely related. Patience dissipates anger and is therefore its direct opposite emotion and state of mind. We need to learn to practise patience in our daily lives as any amount of goodwill, good deeds and reputation amassed can be wiped out in one single moment of anger.
To practise patience, we must first understand the root of anger. Anger is fueled by not having complete information on the situation, misunderstanding and miscommunication or simply put – ignorance. Once fueled, it does not resolve the matter but instead brings about more suffering to ourselves Bouncy Castle and the person we are perpetuating this anger towards. We are all losers in the equation of this scenario. Hence, there is a need to acquire the skill to manage anger through practising patience.
“My mind will not experience peace if it fosters painful thoughts of hatred. I shall ?nd no joy or happiness. Unable to sleep, I shall feel unsettled.”
In a world of high speed wireless communication and fast paced lifestyle, patience can reduce stress and an improved emotional health for all.
Anger and a lack of patience can create stress, unhappiness and pain in our lives. Over a prolonged period of experiencing such suffering, the mind accumulates emotional layers of hatred and deep-rooted anger. At an elevated level, anger can blind one to take lives of their own and the life of others. It is a powerful emotion not to be ignored.
When we choose to harbour anger against people who have harmed us, we need to be aware that we are causing ourselves more harm than good because anger has a powerful and sustainable effect on us. In the end, the equation measures up to more pain than gain! As such, there are reasons to practise patience with these reasoning.
Life throws a lot of difficult situations and surprises at us. More often than not, it is easier to put the blame on the other people involved or the external factors that gave rise to the incident. Here, the text shares that there is in act no one to blame but ourselves.
“Previously, I must have caused similar harm to other beings. Therefore, it is right for this harm to be returned to me, who caused injury to others. With whom should I be angry?”
Karma literally means “actions”. What we have brought upon others will eventually be brought upon us because in life, all our relationships and situations are interrelated and therefore a direct result of our actions. In the end, we have no one to blame or be angry at except ourselves. There is also no point in being angry when it is us that first gave rise to this destructive weapon.
For example, if you have an affair and cheat on your spouse, you would have caused him/her anger and pain. You may ?le for a divorce and remarry a few years later. In your second marriage, your spouse cheats on you, do you get angry at your spouse? You have in the past also caused similar anger and pain to another person.
When we truly and explicitly understand that there is no one to blame, we will see that anger is “pointless”. When we fully comprehend that by creating anger, we are embedding more time bombs to erupt in the future, we must stop being angry now.
When we are presented an opportunity or situation that would justify anger, for example, when someone harm us intentionally for no reason.
This should be seen as an Opportunity but not a Threat. We are being presented with an opportunity to practise patience. Our enemies, the presenter of the situation is our teacher provided we have the wisdom and willingness to learn from it. And it is because of them that we are able to practise patience. Hence, do not get angry with your enemies, instead, develop patience towards your enemies.
Last reason but not least, practising patience makes one calmer and less frustrated. Being happy, stress free and sleeping peacefully over time allow us to experience the physical beauty of life, have less wrinkles and better skin, have good mental health and in turn, we all may live longer as a result of this.
As stated without alternation from the last part of this chapter:
“While in cyclic existence, patience causes Beauty, Health and renown. Because of these, I shall live for a very long time.”
Source: Shantideva’s – A Guide to the Boddisattva’s Way of Life, Chapter 6, Patience.