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Norma Rae 12-22-2013 05:50 PM

Hello my friends. It has been some time since I've posted . . . I hope you are all well, at peace, safe, and warm . . .

In this time of great "anticipation," which stems from the Latin roots ante (before) and capere (take), and commercialism that seems to encourage us to take things before they have arrived, I have begun to meditate upon patience (or lack thereof) in our culture, in myself, and during this season. Many books I have been reading recently touch on patience--often a cornerstone in the Buddhist traditions--as a quality sorely lacking in the West to which perhaps we should all return at the end of this year and the beginning of the next?

Here are a few musings on the quality and virtue of "patience." You may recognize one or a few of the authors:

From Lao Tzu (Tao Teh Ching):

Do you have the patience to wait
until your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
until the right action arises by itself?

From Shirley MacLaine (Dancing in the Light):

"I hesitated. 'Do you mean that our karmic earth-plane lesson has to do with being patient?'
'One of our lessons is patience, yes. Impatience caused us to become seduced by the pleasure and sensuality of the material earth plane originally. But human souls are on the path back to God. It has obviously been a long and arduous process, but there is progress.' " (p. 343).

From Norman Fischer (Sailing Home: Using the Wisdom of Homer's Odyssey to Navigate Life's Perils and Pitfalls):

"Without a crisis to launch you on your journey, life simply proceeds as usual. This may be worse than suffering a crises. Day succeeds day, week succeeds week, possibly years or decades go by and there is the dawning of feeling inside us--sometimes it dawns only in our dreams, or in small barely noticeable moments at the margins of our lives--that something is not right. We are vaguely aware that we are living in a holding pattern, that we have yet to commit ourselves to our real lives. Maybe long ago we thought we had seized the day, thought we had gone forward bravely with decisions and plans, but now we see that we had been leading with our heads rather than our hearts and our guts, and our heads were too much influenced by our fears and by our conditioning. . . But every now and then, when we are alone and quiet, the restlessness comes on us. We feel like foreigners in our own lives, like refugees from some other life in some other world [planet?], but no, this couldn't be so, could it? It's an uncomfortable feeling. We don't like it. So we try to avoid being alone and quiet; we occupy ourselves with noise and gossip and, especially, stories, lots of stories, keeping ourselves plenty busy with weaving . . . eating cattle, and drinking wine, so we won't have to face the emptiness and uncertainty that's just beneath the surface . . .

The journey of return begins wit stasis, with uncertainty. Do not rush to clear this up, as much as you, like Telemachus, may want to. At this point, here and now, admit your situation, know it for what it is, and be willing to endure it. Waiting [patience] may be uncomfortable, but it is profound and necessary. Most of us are too impatient to wait. We can't sit still for it and rush forward with more plans and schemes, action of all sorts. But where does this all actually get us, but into lives that are elaborate avoidance mechanisms. . . ." (pp. 33-34).

Blessings to all of you during this time of great anticipation. May we all tap into our peace and patience with ourselves and others.

Namaste from the Midwest,

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