Napa Valley Insight Meditation Message Board › Facilitation: Lori Stelling, Reading for May 27th NVMG meeting
Following Art Jolly's talk on the four ways of establishing awareness, this week (May 27) I thought it might be of benefit to explore an area rich with opportunity for practice: ways of supporting our capacity to cultivate patience in our daily lives.
We will read from an article by vipassana teacher Tara Brach entitled, "Blessings of a Patient Heart" (originally published in Awakening Mind, Dec. 2003).
You may download a copy of the reading by clicking on the link below. Please bring a copy with you on Tuesday:
Tara speaks of the amount of time we spend living from the perspective of being "on our way to the next thing" and shares practices that can support us in softening this pattern. The patience she describes doesn't take away our strong emotions or the fact that impatience can register in us as "unpleasant" but holds patience as "the capacity to feel at home, to be accepting in the face of the tension and anxiety of stress." Tara highlights how, in this modern world of instant communication, intolerance of having to wait, and constant pressure to be productive in every moment, each drop of patience we add to our inner waters can be a gift to ourselves and others -- a moment of soothing; a moment of grace.
My invitation to the sangha this week is to explore your direct experience of patience and impatience in their many flavors. Where do you experience these qualities in your body? What sensations, tension or ease arise? How do they change from moment to moment? What thoughts or actions feed the fires of impatience or patience? What thoughts or actions help you to let go? What have you found to be some of the benefits of letting go? in your body? mind? heart? in the hearts of others?
In my own life, working with impatience is a daily practice. I cultivate patience by noting "impatience" (often outloud when I can), noticing any judgment that arises, remembering that impatience is an energy, not mine. I often take a deep breath, feel into and soften my body, and notice the experience as it arises. Though I often forget, I hold the intention to really take in how it feels when impatience passes away, catch the moments when patience is "just here" and drink those in. I hold the intention:
"May I meet this moment fully. May I meet it as a friend." ~ Sylvia Boorstein (Happiness Is an Inside Job, p. 124)
What supports you in your practice?
Looking forward to our time together...