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Some Words on Patience.

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Some Words on Patience I am choosing to write about patience because recently I have met with many a situation that demanded this of me; it's been a particularly relevant topic for these hard and troubled times. Through the difficulties I have encountered, I've come to realize just how important it is to not to give in to anger when adverse situations arise. There is no question as to whether bad things are going to happen in this life; the only question is how we are to respond when they do happen. If an important situation is not working in my favor or I feel like I'm getting "shit on" by the world or by another person, anger is the response I might be inclined to take. Even if the circumstances are beyond my control, in the heat of the moment, anger sits on my shoulder and promises to help me out by giving me the strength of rage. Anger's voice may be loud and boisterous, but his words are devoid of meaning; he is a big, fat liar. On the other shoulder sits patience with a much softer voice. Patience doesn't claim to solve the problem immediately as anger does, however it does promise to do no further harm. Patience is like your virtuous friend, he only wants to help you and he never lies to you like anger does. ...read more.


It is to be sick of these negative actions and their harmful effects. The second is the power of your decision to improve. Realize that you were blind to the harmful effects of your past actions committed in anger, but from this day forth, vow to refrain from committing actions of anger at all costs. The third power is your support which, as a Buddhist, is the Three Jewels (Buddha, Buddha's teaching, and the spiritual community). Because the Three Jewels are ever pure, free from negativity, this is where we get our support. We take refuge from our suffering in the Three Jewels from the depths of our heart, so this is where we take our confession of actions committed in anger. The fourth power is that of the antidote. For actions of anger, the antidote is the cultivation of patience. The perfection of patience can only be achieved by first developing an attitude of equanimity, or even-mindedness toward all persons: friends, neutral persons, and enemies. (To explain very briefly...) In life, one tends to relate to everyone as either a friend, a neutral person, or an enemy; this means you see them as someone who helps you in this life, someone you either have no opinion of or just don't know, or someone who does you harm in this life. All persons are perceived to fall into one of these categories, without exception. ...read more.


This story illustrates just how important it is have patience in adverse situations. The extremity of Ksantivadin's test is meant to show that true patience is meant to be preserved even at the cost of one's own limbs. In the story, Ksantivadin shows that he has truly perfected all three types of patience. The first type is the patience of not taking revenge when someone harms you. Not only did he take no revenge, Ksantivadin bore absolutely no ill-will on the king who harmed him or the servants who passively watched his limbs being hacked off. The second type is the patience of willingly taking on hardships when practicing the dharma. The third type is the patience of distinguishing right understanding from wrong understanding. The Bodhisattva must have the patience to understand that all things and occurrences result from causes and conditions and those that do us harm are just a part of this "causal network." Enemies are neither inherently good nor inherently evil in themselves. Enemies are simply lack understanding and bring harm because of past and present desire, hatred, and ignorance. So John Powers explains, "Thus the bodhisattva realizes that it makes no more sense to hate a person who harms one than it would to hold a branch responsible for falling on one's head." Sources: Dilgo Khyentse. Enlightened Courage His Holiness the Dalai Lama with Frederique Hatier. The Spirit of Peace John Powers. Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism ...read more.

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