Patience is the ability to train the mind to be non-reactive enough over a period of time for effective, mindful investigation to function well.  Most often, impatience is driven by urgency and attachment to an expected outcome, and is experienced as reactive impulsiveness.  During this talk, using the Four Noble Truths model, Peter suggested different focal areas that might stimulate impatience along with how the cultivation of stable, serene attention (samadhi/passadhi) through mindfulness of breathing cultivates patience.  The simple act of becoming mindful of the craving and clinging that accompanies an itch and learning to be patient with the experience of discomfort and urgency can provide the capability to be patient with other circumstances, such as being patient with a person’s behaviors or an unexpected turn of events that counter one’s plans.

During the discussion, the participants were invited to fill out a worksheet regarding how to recognize impatience and how to address the urgency of craving and clinging effectively.  The insights derived from this exercise might inspire a person using the worksheet to contemplate for a period of time how often impatience affects daily experience and how to use mindfulness and renunciation strategies during the day to cultivate patience.  Here is the worksheet:  Patience Worksheet

Here are the notes prepared for this discussion:  The Benefits Of Perfecting Patience

Next week’s meeting will involve a guest speaker, Dr. Armando Garcia, a practicing Buddhist who has written a book entitled “Buddhism And Existentialism-Not Self, Nothingness, and Being”.  Existentialism is a philosophy developed during the 20th century that emphasizes the fabricated nature of human experience and the responsibilities that emerge from that creative process.  Buddhism has strong elements of existential considerations that predate by many centuries this philosophy.  Dr. Garcia will talk about the congruence between Buddhist insights into reality and existential philosophy.