Using Meditation to Increase Patience
Meditation is not just for relaxation, we can actually use it to transform our minds. For example, we can train to transform anger or irritation into patience. How does this meditation work?
First, pick something that makes you angry. Then start by contemplating the faults of anger—the mind we want to reduce or eliminate. Anger is bad for our immune system, leading to disease over time. When we are angry, our thinking processes are affected and we don’t react in the most beneficial ways. We aren’t pleasant to be around and we take our frustration out on others. It destroys our own happiness and peace of mind and is a serious obstacle to spiritual development.
Having contemplated these faults, we then contemplate the benefits of staying patient in this situation. They are usually the opposite—better health, better reasoning, kinder towards others, more happiness and spiritual progress for ourselves. This should give rise to a determination, “I really wish to remain patient in this situation in the future.”
At this point, we stop contemplating and just hold this determination as our object of meditation for five to 10 minutes. If our mind wanders during this time, just notice and gently bring it back to your determination. If we do this regularly, outside of meditation we will find ourselves remembering our determination. Then, it will gradually become our new way of thinking.
Gen Kelsang Lingpur is a resident teacher at Kadampa Meditation Center Arizona, 1701 E. Miles St. For more information, call 520-441-1617 or visit MeditationInTucson.org.