Impatience causes a lot of difficulties and problems in life. And the remedy for impatience is patience. Having patience can be of great value and benefit for us in our day to day lives. However, the Buddha praised patience as being one of the foremost qualities needed to attain Enlightenment. So how do we develop patience? Listen to this talk as Ajahn Brahm explains how.
This dhamma talk was originally recorded using a low quality MP3 to save on file size (because internet connections were slow back then – remember dialup?) on 5th March 2003. It has now been remastered and published by the Everyday Dhamma Network, and will be of interest to his many fans.
These talks by Ajahn Brahm have been recorded and made available for free distribution by the Buddhist Society of Western Australia under the Creative Commons licence. You can support the Buddhist Society of Western Australia by pledging your support via their Patreon page.
“Be Patient” by Ajahn Brahm
[NOTE: AI Generated transcription – expect errors!]
So as many of you know that, um, people give me suggestions for the, uh, Friday evening talks. It's got a whole heap of, uh, topics which people have asked me to talk about. So the one I'm going to talk about this evening is very appropriate. The one who actually asked for this talk asked for quite a few weeks ago. And the ones who haven't got their talk, um, on the list yet, they have to wait a bit longer. This talk is appropriate to them too, because this is a talk on patience. And is something which people ask me to talk about because it is something which is very important in your life. Impatience causes a lot of difficulties and problems in your life, in your relationships, in your own head. And the quality of patients was even praised by the Buddha. He said that patience is one of the highest of the spiritual qualities, and otherwise they're very, very important, not just for your happiness in your life, but also for the progress towards enlightenment itself. To be very, very patient, and especially Buddhism, is very strong on patience because we believe in rebirth in many lives. So you don't have to work that hard for enlightenment because you're like many, many liars who don't get it. This lifetime in the next lifetime might be okay, or 2 or 3 down the track. Whatever you want in life, you don't have to rush when you realize you got quite a few more lifetimes left. So that that gives you an impression about how you can be patient in life. But more than that, it gives you are an extension of what I was talking about last week. About last week I was mentioning, I talked about the relationship you have with whatever you're experiencing. And here patience is like relationship you have with the journey in your life. There's an old saying, it's very, very true. It's not the the destination, which is important, but the journey is more important than the destination. In fact, really, we don't have any destinations in life because whenever we get there, we want to go somewhere else. We're always journeying, journey and journey. You may have your goals in life. As soon as you get your goal, then you want another goal. Sometimes I read in the newspapers, people come. All I want is, you know this. Once I get this, I'll be happy. But of course, once you get that, you want something else. So there's never really a destination in life. It's always just a journey from one place to the next. And then keep on going and going and going and going. So when we realize that it's not the goal which are important, but actually how we approach that goal, it's not what we want in life, which is important, but the wanting and how we want, how we go about things. And this is where patience becomes so important, because a lot of times, because of impatience, we actually mess up our journey. Instead of having a happy time, we end up just causing stress to ourselves and problems to other people. So there's an old saying, the journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. But really, there's no such journey of a thousand miles. It's a million miles of billion miles. Uncountable miles is your journey. And this really? We're not looking for the steps over there. The goals are nowhere in the distance. There's a step now, which is the most important? How you're living your life in this moment. What you're doing now. And if one gets hurt, right. If one lives in a peaceful, patient, kind, loving, caring way. And everything you ever want in life will come your way. Because we're building up patience. Really, what patience is, is actually looking upon how we're doing things, rather than where we tried to get to. Your patience sees the journey. Wanting and craving to seize the goal. So it's important to learn that patience. Of course, in our material, goal driven society. So patience is usually forgotten. We want it now. We want it as soon as possible. Even actually the word and whenever you see these letters, they haven't even got the time to write as soon as possible to put ASAP. That's how impatient people are. So we wanted things straight away. And of course, that's messing up the whole journey. You know what life is like when people want it just immediately and they want gratification immediately. They want wealth immediately want you to do these things immediately because so much stress and problems in life. And a lot of times it's we need to learn that patience. Very often. Patience is the fastest way. Taking it slowly is the fastest way. Many, many occasions I have learned this as a young man. Many occasions I've taught this on retreats. I remember this one occasion where this. This monk who was staying with me in the early days in Thailand with adventure, and I, John Charles, said, I think we're going to send you to this monastery. And this monk said wend. So I'm not quite sure yet. So that and so I'll let you know the next evening. He asked again, when are you going to send me to this monastery? Oh, not quite sure. I'll let you know. And then we went about six evenings in a row to ask Agencia. And he came to talk to me. He said, I can't understand that answer. Every time I ask him, he says, well, come tomorrow then maybe I'll tell you. It was obvious to me that I was testing his patience. So the next day he never went to see Atlanta, and the following day he told him when he was going to go. He was just a test of patience. We all want to know now. We want certainty. We want to achieve things now. As a monk, you are taught patience. If you wanted it now, you would never get it. Why don't you stop wanting it? Then it will come to you. So we learn. Patience is an important part of our life. What patience is, is just. Instead of grabbing on to the thing itself, we allow it to come to us. Too often in life we go chasing things. In meditation, we do nothing and it comes to us. You know, one of my favorite stories that I went to last time I told is here. But I tell this very often in meditation retreats. The story of the donkey and the carrot. My favorite story is how people. Yeah, how donkeys in southern Europe catch the carrot. Because years ago, before they had motorized transport, they had donkey carts. And these donkey cars were like this had a donkey in front of a cart. But donkeys being stubborn, the only way you can make them move is to tie a stick on the cart, which ended about a foot in front of the donkeys head. On the end of a stick was a string, and on the end of the string was a carrot. And the idea was the donkey would see that carrot, the carrots, a foot or 18in in front of it. I would move towards that carrot. However, no matter how fast that donkey went, the carrot would also go the same speed in front of it. That's the way they made that donkey pull the cart. He went for that carrot but never quite reached it throughout life, isn't it? Sometimes we're going after the carrot of happiness, the beautiful relationship, wealth, whatever you want in life. Sometimes the harder we struggle, that carrot is just a few inches in front of us. But. We have the Buddhist donkey, and the Buddhist donkey knows how to catch carrots. And it all is about patience and letting go. Because our Buddhist donkey catches that carrot, it starts running after that carrot as fast as it can. No matter how fast it goes, the carrot goes just the same speed in front of it. And it puts on a final spurt faster than it's ever run before. The car is still going just as fast in front, but the Buddhist donkey knows how to stop. And be patient. As soon as a Buddhist donkey stops. What happens? That carrot goes even further away. But now this is where patience comes to its important part. Your patient enough to allow that carrot to go a long way from you. In fact, that carrot goes further from the donkey than it's ever been before. Not just 1ft or 1ft six, but 3 or 4 foot in front. But then, because of donkey's patent, the carrot goes to the top of its heart and then starts coming back. And soon that carrot is where it usually is, a foot or a foot and a half in front of the carrots in front of the donkey's mouth. Well, at this time that carrot is not being still. That carrot is moving towards the donkey, and all the donkey needs to do is a little bit more patience. The donkey doesn't need to move. All it needs to do is at the right moment, open his mouth and that carrot comes into the mouth of the donkey. That's why we know patience so often. We've done the work. Now all we need to do is to stop and be patient and allow the crowd of happiness to come to us. So often in life, we keep on interfering with things. We're not patient enough to allow things to happen. That is why as human beings, we need to learn patience. There is a time for action. An activity that's the donkey running hell for leather after the carrot. And there's the time for stopping, for patience and allowing things to happen. This is our life. And when we already know action, we don't know patience, then we've never achieved much in our life. So here we have the importance of patience. But actually, how do we learn that? Patience. How we learn that patience is to have some trust. Some trust, some courage based on wisdom, that sometimes the right thing to do in life is to do nothing. To be still, to be at peace for wait for things to happen. One of the other stories, one of my favorite stories, which shows the importance of patience. You've heard many of you have heard this before, but it's an important story at this junction of this talk. This was a story of an old friend when I was a school teacher. This friend was in the British Army during the Second World War. He was on a patrol in Burma, he told me. When the small group of soldiers he was in had a scout, the scout came back to tell the captain that they'd blundered in to a whole lot of Japanese soldiers. It was a trap, and they had fallen into it, and they were completely surrounded by the enemy. And this was war. He thought he was about to be killed. He thought this was his last few moments. But many people who don't know patience. They think, well, let's try and do something. Let's try and fight our way out. That was a soldierly thing to do. The manly thing to do, even though you might not escape because you're heavily outnumbered, completely surrounded at war with the Japanese. But he thought, well, at least we'll take some of the enemy with us into death as a proper thing to do. But the captain, the officer in charge, said, no, we will not try and fight our way out. Instead, he said, we'd all sit down and have a cup of tea. This is the story of the cup of tea. When you're surrounded by the enemy with no escape, even though it was a British army who liked their tea, that was still a weird thing to do. And this man told me he thought his captain had been too long in the jungles. Because it happens, you know that heat gets to your brain. He thought he was absolutely crazy. He lost his mind. Because really, if you were in that situation surrounded by the enemy at war, heavily outnumbered, could you really think of having a cup of tea? And that, captain, you patience and patience saved everybody's life. Because in the time it took to make that tea. The scout came back and whispered to the captain. The captain got all the soldiers together and said, the enemy has moved. There's a way out we can escape. And they all did. Which is why he could tell the story. They were patient. Because he was ordered to be patient, he could do it. But he learned from that experience the importance of doing nothing. When there's nothing to do. Do nothing. We have to learn that patience. That saved his life. And he told me he saved his life on many occasions when he had cancer, when he had problems with his marriage, when those all sorts of terrible things happening in his life, which happens in our lives, our lives have moments, days, sometimes months of crisis. And what do we do? Too often we fight. We don't know how to be still and be patient and allow life to change rather than making life change. One thing which you can be sure of that this life always being in flux, we call it impermanence, is always changing. The situation is never the change, never the same. Sorry. However it is now, I guarantee it won't be the same. It will either get worse, will get better, but it won't be the same. So we know things are always changing. So if we can wait. Sometimes it's the best thing to do with patience. The world changes and then we're ready. Because we're patient. Will also conserving our energies. We're not wasting our energies too often that when we're in crises and difficulties, we just waste all of our time, our energies, our words, our efforts, struggling against things where we cannot be effective because we don't know how to be patient. We don't know how to leave things alone and let things change. We don't know how to let the carrot, which seems to be going away from us. Eventually come to us. So we learn. Patience and patience is one of those things which we learn by example in a monastery like ours. Sometimes we just sit there. Sometimes in the time when Etienne Charles was alive. Sometimes you start to talk in the evening and you just carry on all night. You never knew when he was going to stop. Sometimes you never stop until 3 or 4:00 in the morning. That's how you learn patience. You never know what's going to happen. So instead of thinking, you know what it was really like, you think, when is he going to stop? He can't do this to me. I'm going to go and ring up Amnesty International and complain about this monkeys torturing us. He's supposed to be compassionate. Why are you doing this to me? And then after a while, you realize that your problem was your thinking. When is it going to start? When is it going to stop? When can I go back to my heart and have a nice rest? You are looking at the goal, the destination. You weren't looking upon the journey. The journey is what's happening now. It didn't really matter when I was going to go back to my heart and have a rest. What was important was what I was doing now. And you don't have to be at peace with the mummy. Don't know. Where are you going to go back to your hut. But now you can be at peace, not make war. With the experience of just sitting here hour after hour, actually hour after hour, what is hour after hour? The only moment you have is now. So when I concentrated on the part of the journey I was on, rather than worrying about the goals, all the pain and the problems disappeared. You can just sit there completely at peace, no problem at all, because you were patient. In the present moment, accepting. Just being with. Rather than hoping for something in the future. That's how we were trained. And because we were trained that way, that's how we can act now. Sometimes I go overseas quite a lot and sometimes you have to wait in airport. Sometimes your plane is delayed and sometimes you see people going crazy when their plane is delayed. I'm going to miss my appointments. I'm going to miss this and miss that. It's great. When I miss my appointments I can a bit more peace. It's a great place to meditate in the in the airports. No one bothers you. Just sit there and do nothing. Because sometimes I think I'm a bit weird on the ropes. Or they say, you know, with all these ropes, you don't know what you're hiding underneath there. You better keep clear. This guy is so wonderful. They leave you alone, which is very nice. So when you have patience, you're not worried about getting there on time because it's a journey, which is important. It's always strange whenever. Well, this is aircraft stuff again. And flying overseas, you see that people, they just can't wait to get on that plane when it's about to embark. They can't wait to get on the plane. And you know, when this other plane reaches a destination, they all get up, you know, before the the aircraft taxis to the terminal and they open all their lockers because they want to get off quickly. And I this way, let other people go on. First of all, because I always got the seat there. I was gonna pinch the seat. And doesn't matter if you get on first or you get on last, the aircraft gets the terminal the same time I let everyone else get off first of all. But I've got no luggage. So when I get off, last of all, I just pass everyone waiting at the carousel bar by. And so they will rush around. Barbers, get out first of all. I see why people rushing for it. It makes no sense, doesn't it? But this is the thing. We've got no patience in life. And one of the reasons we've got no patience is because. We're always running. We're always running away. That's why we can never stop what we're riding away from. We're running away from this moment ourselves. We're running away from life. That's why we have these trainings instead of running away from the journey. We come to this moment of the journey. You right here, sitting here in this moment. Who cares how long this talk is going to go on for this evening? Who knows? I might not hold the doors. The point is that can we be patient and just enjoy these moments, enjoy these moments, enjoy the moments of now? Because who knows, we may be running off to something in the future as soon as we. This is our life, isn't it? We want to get this over and done with, to go home and just have something to eat or see a movie, and we'll get that movie out the way so we can go to bed and get the bed out of the way so we can get up in the morning and do the shopping. You end up getting your life out of the way. Many times it's. But they're never really here. They're always looking for the next thing and the next place we're going to go. Planning their holidays, planning their trips. Planning what they're going to do next, but never really being here can. We lost the art of being patient and just being here. So often in life, you'll be waiting. Enjoy waiting. It's a time to be present. That's why one of the great Buddhist symbols of the Western world. You know, the NICU, see these beautiful temples and they have this stupid CES weather quiz, which was a sign of a Buddhist influence in a country. We don't have much Buddhist statues in the public places of Perth. We've got one Buddhist symbol which you have hundreds of. We call those traffic lights. Traffic lights are the greatest Buddhist invention for the Western world. They're beautiful. They're wonderful. Why is that? Because they make you stop. They teach you patience because you're getting somewhere and a red traffic light comes. You can't move. You can't go anywhere. They're saying stop. Wouldn't it be wonderful if when your car stopped, you stopped to. What I mean by that is you come to beautiful red traffic lights. Your car has to stop and you just patiently enjoy the present moment. Some years ago, coming up here for a Friday evening, there was a huge traffic jam on the Kwinana Freeway just south of the the Narrows Bridge, and we were stuck in that traffic jam and people were getting upset and angry. I thought, it's a wonderful place to get stuck in a traffic jam. You got the beautiful nose where the Swan, the Canning River meet together on one side, and you got sort of the, uh, the golf course, I think the Royal Perth Golf Course in South Perth and the other beautiful views on either side. Well, if you're going to get stuck in the traffic jam, this is a wonderful place to get stuck. That's how I was really enjoying it, and I was a bit disappointed when the traffic starts to move again. It's a little like being patient. You can always enjoy these moments when you can't go forward. You can't go back when there's nothing to do. The great traffic lights of life. You know that story? I said, I been to India a couple of times and been to Delhi. I heard this, but I never seen it myself. I hope it's true. It should be true. It deserves to be true. And if it isn't true, we should talk to the Indian government to make it true. Because they said that the traffic lights in India, in Delhi, they don't have the word stop on the traffic lights. When the traffic light turns to red. They got these words on the lights. Relax. Relax. One of a wonderful thing we did in person. Notice the red traffic lights? As soon as it said red, you had this big word come out relaxed. You know, I was reading the paper about this this health crisis. It was solve the health crisis because people would actually relax. They wouldn't get all these terrible ailments. We would need to build more hospitals just to relax. I talked to Jeff Gallup about that next time I see him. I said, well, I actually said, okay, you have to be patient. Now. These are opportunities in your life. You know you can't do anything. You've got to stop. So why not enjoy those moments? Those stopping. Will you turn around to enjoy the journey? It's the time. We don't have to worry about the traffic. The time when you can just take your hands off the wheel, the hands off the steering wheel and stop driving your life so fast. You're coming to a stop. Where we learn how to appreciate those moments in life, of stopping, of doing nothing. You can't do anything. You can't get anywhere. Let me know the importance of patience. We can give ourselves time. Too often. We have no time. Why is that? Because we never give ourselves time. We don't go around blaming others. This was a little interview this afternoon, and for the Sunday Times, you know, there was that, um, TV program I mentioned at the end of the meditation there, uh, a few days ago about, uh, Buddhist monks being the happiest, happiest people in the world. I hadn't. Huh? You know, part of that is actually learning sort of how to be happy, how to be patient, how to let go, how to just enjoy the moment, how to be present. And too often we're running away from that present moment. We don't know how to embrace it. We don't know how to stop and be at peace now and again. And because we don't know how to stop and be patient, be at peace. That's why all our energies of life just get used up. When you get to the red traffic lights of life times, you can stop and be at peace. It's also a time of filling up. The energies of your mind is stressful to drive. Is stressful. To be at work is stressful. To have relationships. Too much of life is stressful. Wouldn't it be wonderful to give yourself a break every now and again? It's what patience does, gives you a break. But you're giving yourself time. Her. Not a thing about happiness. Because, uh, that was on a TV a few days ago this afternoon. A reporter came from the Sunday Times, that article asking me some of the secrets of happiness. And that was basically what I was talking about. Enjoying the moment. Giving yourself happiness because you can't go around blaming other people. You know what the Buddha said about all other attention said about blaming other people or blaming life? You haven't got any time because of your family, or because of your job, or because of this and because of that. Don't go around blaming others. If you really wanted to, you can give yourself that time. It's up to you because they all put this saying, I don't say blaming other people. You know that saying. But when you blame other people for your problems, it's like having an itch on the head and scratching your bottom. That's going to be in the Sunday Times in a couple of weeks. She'd like that. And leverage on your head in your scratch your bottom. Then you end up with two itches where there's only one, you don't get rid of the itch. And this is what we mean by blaming others. Now, of course, too often we play mothers, don't we? It's our parents fault. Then I'm like this. Well, it's my husband's fault that I'm suffering on my wife's thought. Why is my kids full? Well, it's a man's thought. It's somebody full. You try that blaming others for your happiness or your sadness, whatever it is in your life. If you blame others, it's just the pain never goes away. Scratching your bottom when you've got it on your head. Please scratch in the right place. Take responsibility. If you are unhappy, it's because of you. If you're happy, you deserve it because of you is taking responsibility. When you learn how to take responsibility. You can give yourself time rather than expecting someone else to give you time. Giving yourself time to do things. Being patient. It's the way it's done is important. Not whether you achieve the goal or not, but whether you get things done because things are never done. We've been building our monastery and serving time for 20 years now, and it's still not built and never will be built. There's always something else to do. Have you done all your housework yet? How many, how many years are we doing doing housework? I just read the newspaper that people think they're going to retire. But Mr. Costello's got other ideas. You're going to keep on going. It's true. Even the people who say they retire, if they keep on working, they keep on doing things. So when does it ever stop? It stops now. When your patient. So we're not here to try and get things out of the way and done. And we're not running. Gradually learning how to be patient. When we learn how to be patient, we can give ourselves time. When you give us your self time, you give yourself happiness. You give yourself peace, you give yourself fun. And isn't that really what you want in life? We're always running to try and get happiness. But when you try, when you stop, when your patient happiness comes to you. He was there all the time. But you're running away from it. You're going in the wrong direction. Something nice. We can actually learn to be patient, and a lot of times we become much more successful that way. We're more successful because when someone's talking to us, we're patiently listening. Which means that we hear what's being said. Rather than rushing off to something else when we're doing a job, we're doing it patiently. Rather trying to get it done quickly. That's where we make all of the mistakes. What we're saying here is when you go slowly and carefully, you find you don't have to spend so much time fixing up the mess which comes about through rushing. I don't just mean the material mess, but the mess you make with your lives never having time for one another. No re listening to one another, never really caring for one another. They've been giving time for one another. So what? You get done or you get done. His his divorces, separation, loneliness, stress, heart attacks and all these terrible things of our life. Is that really what you working for while you're doing all of this? You can get much more done when your patient. We have more time. Because you spend less time going to see the psychiatrist, going to see the doctor, going to see the lawyer. That takes a lot of time. So when we're really patient, we can usually get more things done. Patience is the fastest way. That's why one of the great monks of our time, a man called Nathan, said there's not much time. Therefore, we must go slowly. It's beautiful if we're saying there's not much time. Therefore, we must go slowly. Because usually if we say there's not much time, therefore we must rush. Have you tried that rushing? And what happens if you get everything done? No. You just get stressed out, tired, you get angry. And all of the people who get angry at you is because they're rushing so fast. Try the other way. There's not much time. Therefore go slowly. We can't meet there because there's not much time. You couldn't afford to make mistakes. You couldn't afford to upset people. You can't afford to have to waste all of that time just mending relationship problems, social problems, personal problems, which take so much time. So there's not much time. Please go carefully. If you've got lots and lots of time, you can make mistakes. You got a tire to fix it all up afterwards, but there's not much time. You got to be efficient, so be patient. Go slowly and go carefully. And that's the way that things are achieved. Again, one of my other lovely stories, favorite stories about patients. We always want to get things out of the way. We forget that. Why are we doing these things anyway? Was a very famous mark in the south of Thailand. It was actually a man called Buddha Dossa who passed away some years ago, and he was building his main hall. And his monastery. When it came to the rains retreat. Even here. Uh, this year it's from August, September, October. That three months of the rainy season, when the monsoons come, all the building work stops and all the monks go off and do their meditation. So this big whole. Was left at the beginning of the retreat. He sent all the builders home. We don't want, don't want any noise in the monastery. Now's the time for meditation. And a couple of days after starting the rainy season retreat, a visitor came to his monastery, brought to this hall and asked this monk, when is your hall going to be finished? And this man replied without missing a beat. The horde is finished. And a visitor said, what do you mean? Your hall is finished, right? There's not any windows. There's no, I've never moved there. There's cement bags all over the place. What do you mean? Your hall is finished? Are you crazy? You're gonna leave it like that? And this mark, what he said was very important. He said, what's done is finished. Then the mark went back to meditate. Beautiful attitude to life. What's done is finished. So when it gets time to come to the Buddhist Center on a Friday night. Doesn't matter if you or the dishes are clean. This was done and finished. When you get home and it wasn't part of cleaning, the dishes didn't get dirty again afterwards. But you can see the point that we want to get everything out of the way. We want to get everything clean, everything done and finish with. And then we just get stressed out. Instead of just being patient. However, with that story, I've got to be very careful because I told that story here many years ago. About what's done is finished. And on the following Sunday it was through Lincoln. Man came to complain to me. Because what he said had happened on Saturday night. His son was going out to a party and he asked his son said, son, have you finished your homework? You know you promised to finish your homework before you go to the party. And the son said, as I said last night, father, what's done is finished. See you tomorrow morning. But the big trouble because of that. What's true? I mean, what's done is finished. That's how we can learn some patience in life. Otherwise, we're always trying to get things out of the way. And we're very impatient with others. We always want other people to get things out of the way. What's important in life? Things or people. I always tell this to my monks in serpentine. So if the most important thing about the monastery in serpentine is not the buildings, it's the people. They're more important. So when actually you get your priorities right, people are more important than things. That's when we can be patient. We can give people time. We can also give people time to change as well. We give people time to learn. We're not have this great demand. So you have to become a great meditator straight away. You don't give people demands. You have to get into jhana within seven days. Be patient. Teaching that patients on meditation retreats is even more effective. When I teach retreats, I say it's not trying to get something who's important. It's trying to be at peace, which is important. Be patient. And so when people go on retreats with me very often, the first few days, they sleep. They pay all this money just to sleep. One lady, I was very proud of her and one of the retreats I did in Sydney. She was coming from a very, very busy job in in the CBD of Sydney, and I told her how you should be patient during your retreat. So she was sharing a room with three other ladies. You're supposed to get up at 4:00, but when the bell went for 4:00, that was just a sign to turn over on our other side and carry on sleeping. The breakfast and breakfast was at seven, so 5 to 7. She crawled out of bed, had her breakfast and after breakfast went back to bed again. And she did that for a couple of days. And during the interview she told me that she was getting all of these fives of anger from the other three ladies in the room because they were getting up at 4:00 and go into all the meditations and see this lady here just sleeping all the time. And I said, that's just jealousy. They just haven't got the courage, the guts to do what you're doing. Carry on. And I really praised her. And because she was patient, she needed her sleep. She was kind to herself. She realized what needs to be done at the moment. Who cares about making progress? Because of her gentleness. After 2 or 3 days, she got rid of her sleepiness. Then she next 2 or 3 days she caught up with the others. By the end of the retreat, she was the star of the meditation retreat. She got some very nice meditation. This is what? Me. My patience. Take it slowly. Take it easy. Those people were going hell for leather to get somewhere. All they ever got was what we call samadhi, headache, meditation, headache. And this got all stressed and tight. And that's what happens in life as well. How many of you are just chasing, just so chasing the carrot so fast? And do you ever get that carrot? Isn't it time now and again to stop, to be patient and allow the carrot to come to you? Try it out when we actually learn and practice patience. We notice how to wait and to enjoy waiting. We give ourselves that time, we give ourselves that break. And we can. Once we can do that to ourselves, we can give other people time as well. We can be patient, say, with our children. Too often. We all want our children to do well at school, to do well at university. We wanted to become doctors or nurses or successful business people. All of you have got children. Is that what you're one of your children. How many of you want your children, instead of becoming doctors, lawyers or businessmen, want them to become monks and nuns? So do you really want to become monks and nuns when they start sort of being patient and doing nothing? You say, oh, wonderful son, you're doing nothing marvelous. You're just sitting there doing nothing. You become a great monk or a great nun. Well, well, this. Is it? Sometimes that even as kids, we're not patient with, we don't give them time. We don't give them time to grow. This story was told to me by my first meditation teacher. When I was still a layperson because he told me that when he was. This was a time man. When he was a young boy, his father gave him some seeds to plant in the garden. And being a young boy, that's the first time he grew anything. He was so excited. He put the little seeds in the garden, dug them in as he was told by his father, who had walked them every day. And after a week he started to lose his patience because he couldn't see anything happening. So waste of time with watering them and nothing was working. And his father patiently explained, look, the seeds are growing underneath the ground. They're probably germinating, but you can't see them because they're underneath the soil. Just wait a few more days and you probably see the little shoots coming up. And the words of his father was enough for him to keep on watering. And sure enough, after a few more days, he saw these tiny little seeds coming up, a tiny little shoots coming up out of the ground. It was working that made him even more excited. So watered the little seedlings twice a day. In the morning, in the evening. Now for another week or two. They were about two inches high and that's when he lost his patience. He decided to stretch them more, to let them go quicker. And he killed everyone. You can't stretch plants, you just kill them. So start trying to stretch your children, to make them grow faster or become cleverer, or to become sort of live up to your expectations when you try and stretch your children. If you don't kill them, you kill your relationship with them. We have to learn how to grow. Our job is to protect and nurture, to encourage but not to force. Hussein with your relationship. Relationship is growing as well with your partner in life. But you've got to do that patiently to allow each other to grow. If you force it with impatience, you'll never get anywhere. The same with actually getting on in life. Getting wealth. We have to be patient. It takes a long time to build a monastery. It takes a long time to build a house. It takes a long time to build a life. Be patient. Little by little. One week at a time. Your house is built. But instead of looking at the whole house. All I need to do is look at the brick one is laying now. Margaret is building a relationship. Look at the words you're saying now to your partner. When you're building happiness inside of yourself. Look at this moment, how you're treating yourself. Have each moment, a moment of peace, a moment of kindness, a moment of gentleness. And then you know that you are looking after the the beautiful seed inside of yourself. Be patient. It will happen. However, similarly in Buddhism told by the Buddha. He said it's like having a big water jar taller than you. And you can see that drops of water are going into that water jar, but you don't know how much is hidden there, how full or how empty is. For your patient or you can do is just add one more drop and one more drop and one more trough. Because, you know, if you keep adding one more trial, that's all you can do. You know for sure that one day, who knows when that water jar will be full? This was a simile for enlightenment. All you can do is one more act of peace, one more moment of kindness, one more intention of gentleness. And you're fitting the water tower of enlightenment, of happiness, of peace. You're growing. Patiently. But sometimes people want to find out how much water is in the jar. So take a hammer and break it. The water jar never gets full that way. So this is actually where we need to have that courage, that trust so we can be patient in our life and with others. And so, because our Western world is very weak on patience, because we want to sink so quickly. Even people come to our monastery. There's one person came on Thursday. Unfortunately, the fellow had emphysema. So he was having a hard time breathing, so he was waiting in his car. So I said, look, I had a compassion. Don't try and get out of your car. I pulled a chair, sat next to the car and gave him some driving Buddhist advice. He didn't need to get out of his car and he could talk to a monk. We can make that a regular thing in our monastery just to have a window. And people can drive in their cars. You can't. Get a rise. Yeah. It's amazing how impatient people are and how they want things straight away. Even just this afternoon, somebody rang up and they're in such a mess. I said, can you give me some chanting? So just before the mon, the the meal is today holding the phone about three inches in front of my face. I did some Buddhist chanting over the phone. And that's what we call dial a monk service. Many people haven't got the time to come to the monastery. They're so impatient. The least. You want to give time to others. If you give time to yourself, you can give time to others and eventually you can fit everything in. This is actually how we learned patience. At least be patient with the people you love and care for your children. Your parents know your partner in life. Be patient enough to hear them out whenever they want to say something to you. I think each one of us has experience that you really want to say something to others, but the other one doesn't give us a time to say what we really need to say. And that's where relationships break down. So at the very, very least, be patient with the people who want to talk with you for very close to you in life. And even more than that. Be patient with yourself. Give yourself time. Give yourself peace and give yourself time to grow. Whatever problems you have in life, be patient. If you have, say, suffering from grief because of the loss of a loved one, to be patient, give yourself time that you to deal with the problem, to grow out of it. If we try to get out too quickly, trying to get rid of the problem, it lasts even longer than it should to. So be patient with yourself. Give yourself the gift of time. Out of caring, out of love for yourself. This is what we really mean by patience, the gift of time. You can do that to others. You can do that to yourself. However, many people forget that and they create so much problems and turmoil in their life. So if one learns about patience, there's so much I can do in life, so much what can get achieved. And the most important thing? The journey becomes a happy one. They say the Buddhist monks are the happiest people in the world. Sometimes this is why their patience. They can give you time and they give time to themselves. So that's the toll today on patience. And thank you for patiently listening. Does anyone got any questions on what I've said this evening on patience? Yes. Come on. Thank you. Okay. You're asking the question of sometimes in life whether it's people you're working for. They're very demanding. You have to get things done very quickly. But this is what I meant if you have to. In that sort of pressure situation, sometimes going carefully, going slowly as the fastest way. I remember many years ago when we starting a monastery, we had to do some, um, explosives work to get rid of some rocks. And I remember the first piece of advice I was told by the explosives expert is that when an explosion is about to be done, even if you're in problem, in trouble, do not run. It's when people run, they fall over, they break their legs, and that's when they really get into trouble. In bushfires is when people flee at the last moment. Going too fast is where the accidents happened. They say in crisis. Going fast is where the problems begin. And that's, I think, for many of you who've been in crisis situations, you know, this is what happens. Let's say this explosion happening, walk slowly. There's a bushfire. Go carefully. Don't run. That's where you get into trouble. And I think that goes for much of life as well. Because if you have to perform. So you have to be very careful. The same Buddhism like mindful alert. And if you're rushing. You make too many mistakes. I have to go back again and fix up those mistakes. You may get a solo project done, but it's a really ratty old project which you've just done. You haven't given it the time it's needed. So it's good. If you haven't got time. You want to go slowly. You get the job done quicker. And also you don't get so stressed out and other people don't get stressed out either. When is stress? Your performance level goes down. And that's why you just make a mess of your job. Make sense? Be patient. Anyone? Any other questions about patience? I'm giving you lots of time. Yes, Eddie. Patience, tolerance and understanding. Remember that patience is the first of those three. Yeah, they are coming, but I think it all starts with patience, which is perhaps the most important because patience is giving us time. Time to be tolerant and time to understand. It takes time to understand another person. You've got to give them time. You know what it's like when you have a relationship. When you get married, you really learn about the other person. You're living with it. You have to be patient with them to actually to learn and to tolerate all this sort of little things which which they do. It takes a time for that. So. And it's the same for. Tolerating yourself. You have to be patient and understand yourself. I think that patience is the first bit. You give yourself time and then that time is where you learn. I think really it should be patience, understanding and tolerance. The tolerance comes through wisdom. Learning how to be at peace with other people. Yes. Yes. Very nice. I heard that the Harrier I go to behind her. I get it's not good English, but it makes her. But it makes the point. So try that when you go home this evening. Don't rush and see if you get there earlier. Yeah. How do you balance action and patience when there's nothing to do? Then you do nothing when it's something to do. You go carefully. Give everything you've got full attention for mindfulness. When the traffic lights are a good example, there's no point for any action. You might go and shout at the traffic lights and try and use your will. Come on, turn green, turn green, turn green. But isn't it? All you do is actually make yourself tense. So instead of actually fighting things, I use a simile of traffic lights. Because no matter what you think, no matter how much you shout and how much you want those traffic lights to change, they're on automatic and they're going to take their time. And whatever you do or think or say, whatever action. It's not going to help the situation, but only going to make things worse. That's where we're patients when we can't do anything. And a lot of life. We can't do anything as best is to be patient. These things alone. When it's something to do, then we do it. A good example of that is my predecessor and. He was the abbot of our monastery, the western monastery in Thailand, when I was a young monk there for a couple of years. And one morning while we're having our meal. One of our disciples came in in the middle of our meal. This is not really done. We wondered why she was doing this for. It was against the Thai etiquette, and she came in and she was shouting and throwing her arms around because one of her best friend had been found. That morning, she committed suicide and shot herself in this lady and founder, and she came to tell the monks, this Lady Suitin had shot herself that morning. And then I was really concerned. Someone has committed suicide. This is important. But I saw a change. Yeah, but he looked up to hear what she said. Now put his head down and carried on eating. He didn't pay any attention to one of his close disciples who just killed herself. When I was really figure out, what's he doing? This is really weird. And this lady was shouting, look, so teens killed herself. She shot herself this morning, I found her. And this marketing tracker just carried on eating. And it did. Listen to this lady. After about five minutes, the lady had calmed down. And then Angelo put his spoon down. I interrupted his meal and I said, what's happened? As brilliant. Because she was so upset. She was so excited. If you'd have asked her, she wouldn't probably understood anything she was saying. He gave. He was patient enough to allow her to calm down and become still. And then he talked to her and gave her all the attention she needed. I think very brilliant psychology and a brilliant way of dealing with a person who was very, very emotionally disturbed at that time. To be patient. There was a time to do nothing. He did that? Nothing. And when it was a time to speak, he interrupted his meal and he talked to her. That's a very, very effective way. Sometimes when it's a crisis, we become part of the crisis by running up and down. Getting upset. Even when we had a big fire in a monastery with 12, 13 years ago, we had to abandon the monastery. We had to be patient because one of our underwriters at the time, don't ask me why I decide to do this at this time when we're about to flee. He decided to change his trousers. Right. He was literally caught with his trousers there, and we had to wait for him as it was big for him. And honestly, he's running after a monster vehicle to putting up his trousers at the same time. Yeah, if it can happen, it does happen. But we were told at the time and I remember just drive slowly, even those fire and it was a big bushfire and it was dangerous because if you drive fast you're going to crash. And when you crash, you got no vehicle to get you out of the difficulties. And that happens. Ask anyone in the fire service. That's where the problem start. And people don't know how to go patiently in an emergency. I've seen people doing that in the greatest emergency go so patiently. I remember one occasion there was this. It's a bit of a. Uh, well, I'll tell the story anyway. There was a, uh, a series of bus fires in Thailand, and it was in the newspapers, many, uh, buses, because they were badly maintained, were bursting into flame. Some people were killed and many people lost their their belongings. And because there's any news at this particular time I was traveling on a bus and sure enough, there was smoke coming from the back. So everybody sort of screamed at the driver to stop, and they all just crashed to try and get out of the out of the, um, the bus. But that time, even I knew Someti I wasn't actually all that fluent, so I didn't know what was going on. So I just sat there and wonder, what are they trying to get out of the bus for? So I just sat there patiently and calmly, and then one of the men found it was only just a cigarette, but it started a bit of smoke. It wasn't serious. But then all the people, as they came back in the bus again, they were bowing down to me and said, oh, you're such a brave man. You're such a wonderful, you're so patient. And I never let on, and I didn't know what was going on. A really good sad. And sometimes that happens. So I feel sometimes patience is because of stupidity. This. It works anyway, but no. So the important thing actually to know the time actually to give everything you've got by giving everything you've got doesn't always mean rushing. Giving everything you've got means being careful, being mindful. Sometimes it means being patient. It means giving yourself time and giving the job time, giving the moment time, giving it all the time that it needs. And that's all the time which you've got today. So I've given you an hour and an extra four minutes because this was a talk on patience. So thank you for listening. Thank you for listening today. I hope you enjoyed.