81. Paramita of Patience I — Patience with Focus
Longchen Nyingtik Meditation 81
Take refuge and arouse bodhicitta.
Transcendent patience entails cultivating the patience to bear hardships for the Dharma, the patience when wronged by others, the patience to face the profound truth without fear, and the patience to endure the anguish of our own mind. The practice we are focusing here is the patience of curbing anger when harmed by others.
That is, if you are treated with malice or wronged by others, whether intentionally or unintentionally, you don’t take offense of them. Instead, you examine the situation with insights: Sentient beings are by nature aggressive, just like fire has the nature to burn. Hence, they are excusable even when they hurt me; I must practice patience, instead of scheming about retaliation.
Moreover, they don’t attack me for no reason at all; in the past I must have inflicted similar evils onto them. If I can endure humiliation for greater purposes, I’ll accumulate excellent merits. Therefore, I must exercise patience.
My own karma is the only one to blame. No amount of others’ criticism can ennoble or downgrade my being. Hence I must train in forbearance.
If my opponents are willing to amend their misdeeds, I’ll work hard on it; but if they are utterly inflexible, why should I make a big fuss about them? I’ll only make myself miserable, which is nonsense. Moreover, I may incite others to tighten their screws on me. So, by all means I must uproot all anger and intolerance from my mind, remaining calm and peaceful.
We must often attend to patience when interacting with people from all walks of life. In the Patiencechapter of The Way of the Bodhisattva, there are extensive teachings on how to pacify anger through a stepwise examination of the nature of enemy, self, and hatred. Here, multiple analyses are done from a different angle, yielding many excellent instructions for the practice of patience.
Dedicate merit in the emptiness of the three conceptual spheres.