The Perfection of Patience - Endurance with kusala



The perfection of patience, khanti parami, has a wide meaning. Patience is to be developed not merely towards an undesirable object, but also towards a desirable object. We should have patience towards a desirable object so that lobha does not arise, so that there is no attachment and delight in visible object and the other sense objects that appear.

Khanti or patience is kusala, it is a sobhana (beautiful) dhamma which does not arise with akusala citta, with the citta rooted in attachment, but which arises with kusala citta. However, people can also have a great deal of endurance in the akusala way, and this is endurance with lobha, when they want to obtain something. Someone may be able to endure everything in order to obtain what he desires, no matter whether he has to stay awake until late at night or all night. However, can one endure this in order to develop kusala? Endurance with the development of kusala is the perfection of patience, khanti paramí. With the perfection of patience one can stand heat or cold. This means, that on account of hot or cold weather akusala citta does not arise, that one has no disturbance or annoyance. We should be aware of the characteristic of the citta arising at such a moment, we should know whether it is kusala or akusala. Is there like or dislike of the weather? If we like it there is lobha, attachment, and if we dislike it there is dosa, aversion, and in both cases the perfection of patience does not arise. The perfection of patience is endurance with true calm at such moments, no attachment nor aversion.

When visible object appears, seeing-consciousness experiences it, and it can be known that there is no being, no person, no self. If we have no patience to be aware of the characteristic of the reality appearing at this moment, we cannot reach the further shore, that is, nibbana.

If we do not have endurance with regard to lobha and dosa, defilements cannot be eliminated. If we lack patience we cannot reach the further shore, nibbana, we cannot penetrate the four noble Truths. Learning about the ten perfections will help us to investigate whether we accumulate the perfections which are still deficient and if we see their value and significance there are conditions for them to grow and develop.

We should be patient while we investigate and consider realities thoroughly, so that we acquire right understanding of them and practise in the right way. Without right understanding there are no conditions for the arising of right mindfulness which is aware of the characteristics of realities that appear.


Topic 282