Sunday, October 15, 2006

Patience

Yesterday I had lots of opportunities to practice patience! Things just weren't happening the way they should. Doh! How come conventionally existing 'I' keeps assuming things should happen according to plan? Dumb or what?! The relationship between the belief in an inherently existing self, self-centredness, anger and attachment was, for a flashing moment, so incredibly clear! Now, once again, the clarity is gone, gone beyond, gone completely out of sight, it has ceased to be, it's an ex-clarity moment!!!

Anyway, kids are great teachers, constantly challenging us 'ignorant-but-rather-arrogant parents', arrogant in the sense that we simply assume we know what's best. But do we really? Of course not! And of course ego doesn't like being faced with it's utter cluelessness. Observing it can be quite funny, though! At least one is developing a certain ability to laugh at oneself and not take things seriously - not as often as one would wish, but one needs to start somewhere...

Anyhow, things didn't go according to expectations and there I was, observing my conventional self's old habit patterns at work and being aware of extra layers of aversion arising: not just aversion to what-is but annoyance at aversion.

Later on in the afternoon I went to Geshe Thinley's Lamrim class in Corsham. He talked about pacience - just what I was needing to remember... Pacience, pacience, pacience... such a slow process, this one of transforming unskilful habbit patterns... The talk was about pacience with suffering. Wouldn't it be wonderful indeed to spontaneously and genuinely welcome into our lives all that which we immediately reject? Can you imagine how that would feel? I mean, I'm prepared to do whatever it takes to get my fix of pleasurable feelings, even if that means accepting the unpleasant ones! - even though Geshe-la calmly explained that even neutral feelings are actually 'all-pervasive' suffering...

Accepting the unpleasant is supposed to start with recognising suffering and all it's good qualities. Why the heck should I accept suffering? is usually ego's attitude. However, if we dare to have a good look at all that is happening in our lives and at our inner subjective experiences, then - if you're really honest with yourself - you'll have to accept that "the causes of happiness sometimes occur whereas the causes of suffering occur frequently." This is the first Noble Truth, and resistance is futile - it'll only add extra layers of suffering to the original suffering. In order to develop acceptance we also need to overcome the idea that suffering is horrible and to be avoided at all costs, and eventually recognise that accepting suffering is actually appropriate. Tsongkhapa is great at demonstrating this.

Anyway, after Geshe-la's teaching I went back home, expecting a peaceful evening, unaware that yet another challenge was on my way. This time, facing another Aspie meltdown, another opportunity to practice what I preach... Eventually I went to my room and picked up Tsongkhapa's book, sat on the floor and opened the chapter on 'developing the patience of disregarding harm done to you', which includes 'stopping impatience with those who harm you, those who prevent your happiness and with those who cause you to suffer'. DJ, my lovely aspie son, walked in after a while and, while jumping around, listened to my reading outloud: we ended up having a lovely 'debate' analysing whether anger is ever justified considering whether the object has self-control, whether anger is adventitious or inherent; whether the harm is direct or indirect; and so on. All in all, another wonderful day in our fleeting lives!

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