Swamiji, how do we develop patience in our lives?
Part 1 - Read here..
How do we develop patience?
Amma says that the easiest way to develop patience is to wait as we are sitting and ready to eat our meal.
In the past in Amritapuri, Amma would always make us wait to eat until the end of Darshan, around 3:30 in the afternoon. We would be very hungry and that is the time when Amma would come and sit and start talking to us. Since we cannot eat in front of Her while She is talking, we waited. After some time, She would say, “Okay, you can all eat but chant the 15th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita before you eat.” We had to chant the Gita for about 15 – 20 minutes. After the Gita, Amma would again start talking and, finally, She would say, “Okay chant the Brahmarpana and eat.” Amma was doing this purposefully for us to develop patience.
When we feel the urge to react to things immediately, we should stop for a moment, consider the consequences, and then decide whether we should do it or not. This is not procrastination but rather having the patience to do the right thing.
Another way to develop patience is when circumstances are not favorable and are not going our way. By enduring such situations, we develop patience. Patience gives us the perspective to see these situations as prasad or a gift from God.
We can also develop patience by being around young children or the elderly. They tend to be stubborn. For example, a child might throw a crying fit in the middle of the night, demanding a toy. That toy might not even be available in any store for us to buy. The elderly tend to want things to be done "in this particular way or that particular way." If we do not abide by their wishes, they will get irritated or angry. Amma says that spending time with them will make us develop patience.
The best way to develop patience is to spend time with the Guru. Even if we don’t have patience, the Guru will create situations for us to develop patience. Nowadays when I go up to Amma with a question, She answers me immediately. But in the past, even for simple yes or no questions, She would ask me to wait there. If I asked Her why, She would say “What is your hurry? Are you going to catch a plane or a train? Just wait.” Many times, I have stood next to Amma for 3 hours just to ask a simple Yes or No question. That is how She developed patience in me.
Amma shows us through Her actions that, if we have the love for anything that we do, we will naturally develop patience.
Read Part 3 of the article here..