Patience: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.
1.”Bob, you were born impatient,” my father used to say.
When I first attended Quaker silent meeting, and realized I had to sit in silence and say nothing for sixty minutes, I thought, “I’m never going to be able to do this. I’m too impatient.” Nonetheless, I learnt to sit in silence for SIXTY MINUTES and not fall asleep.
It took years.
2. Basic patience training.
First, I learned the “one step at a time” mantra:
it’s possible to accomplish anything if you undertake the task one small step at a time.
I used this to lose weight by jogging
ran each day and gradually lengthened the distance
completed “Bay to Breakers”
lost 35 pounds.
At Quaker Meeting, I worked out a simple — one step at a time — strategy
First, focus on getting comfortable.
Next, pay attention to what’s up and acknowledge whatever that it is:
a Bruce Springsteen song
Then, agree to set this aside
clear the karmic path.
Finally, as a mantra, repeat the historic Quaker testimonies
As in, “This week, what did I do to further equality?”
I found this process comforting
once in awhile, I would drop into deep silence.
baptism of the spirit
3. When I finally was able to truly participate in Quaker meeting
I came to treasure the silence.
As a bonus
came a series of self-realizations.
One of them was that my karmic lesson — for this lifetime — is patience.
4. I’m better at tolerating delay than I am enduring trouble or upset.
If we’re sitting in the airport, and our plane is delayed, Kathy gets anxious.
I am stoical.
When I was in the throes of nummular dermatitis
an illness that took me several years to get over
I was able to manifest forbearance.
5. Now I am experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic
a circumstance that requires toleration of delay, trouble, and suffering.
The hard times trifecta.
Q: “Daddy, how long ’til we get there?”
A: “I don’t know. We’ve never taken this road before.”
Every problem is an opportunity
says the Aquarian.
The pandemic is an opportunity to
take it one step at a time