One of my favorite quotes attributed to Buddha is “At the end of the way is freedom. Until then, patience”. This seemingly simple quote speaks volumes in terms of guiding us in the direction of a much happier existence. Whether your preference is toward Buddhism and achieving enlightenment which in this case would equate to freedom, or if you are a Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or maybe not a follower of any formal doctrine the intention of this quote should provide some guidance on how to live your life. I know this may sound a bit over the top, and you may feel advocating patience is little solace during times of duress, but let me make a case for the value of patience in your life. Here are a few ways that patience will enrich your existence:
- Long term goals require action, but they also require patience. Many of us give up on a goal or dream simply because we do not have the patience that would allow us the time to achieve them. Name a major goal that did not require a fair amount of patience, and I’ll show you a goal that was far too easy to achieve.
- Patience is the cornerstone of practices like meditation and yoga, which will enrich your life, but without patience neither of these practices are possible.
- You may never attain a state of complete freedom, but your ability to be patient makes it much more possible, and provides a means to cope with everyday stresses and desires.
- In the context of this quote the word patience takes on additional meanings implying kindness, compassion, and determination. If freedom, enlightenment, or some form of happiness is your end goal, then you will need all the patience you can muster to achieve it.
- One constant in our lives is everything changes, and sometimes we go through a cycle or event that can be measured in months or even years, but because everything changes we know that patience is an asset in coping with this cycle until it inevitably ends.
- Let’s face it no matter what you do, both good and bad things will be part of your life, and your ability to be patient will greatly affect how you react to what happens to you. Patience is the tool that when applied has a smoothing effect on both the highs and the lows of life. Those people that survive great tragedy in their lives use patience to ride out the storm.
- Patience and the other things it implies acts to counteract destructive thoughts like comparing yourself to others, envy, frustration, fear, embarrassment, disappointment and anger.
I ran across this quote a couple weeks ago and I wrote it down on an index card, pinning it to my cork board in my office. I often look at it when I am in my office, and recite it when I meditate. My journey is probably much like yours, filled with suffering, happiness, and all the emotions in between, but this little quote has brought me great personal relief.
May you seek freedom at the end of the way, but until then use patience to guide your thoughts.