The Perfection of Patience - Reflection on patience



We read further on in the Commentary:

“Patience should be further fortified by reflection:

‘Those who lack patience are afflicted in this world

and apply themselves to actions which will lead to their affliction in the life to come.’

And: ‘Although this suffering arises through the wrong deeds of others,

this body of mine is the field for that suffering,

and the action which is its seed was sown by me alone.’

And: ‘This suffering will release me from the debt of that kamma.’

And: ‘If there were no wrong-doers,

how could I accomplish the perfection of patience?’ "

If someone else afflicts or harms us, we should not be angry, but we should realize that this is an opportunity further to develop the perfection of patience so that it becomes accomplished.

We read:

"Although he is a wrong-doer now, in the past he was my benefactor."

And: "A wrong-doer is also a benefactor,

for he is the basis for developing patience."

"All beings are like my own children.

Who becomes angry over the misdeeds of his own children?"

If we consider someone we are angry with as our child, can we continue to be angry with him? If we reflect on this we can see that what has been stated in the Commentary is true.

We read:

"All those phenomena by which wrong was done,

and those to whom it was done--

all those, at this very moment, have ceased.”

Whoever may have done wrong to us or may have harmed us, his deeds have ceased at that moment, and therefore we should not continue to be angry. At this moment that person does not do wrong to us; we should not think of what is past already and continue to be angry. If we reflect on the truth in the right way, we shall understand that all those phenomena by which wrong was done, and those to whom it was done--all those, at this very moment, have ceased.

We read:

“With whom, then, should you now be angry,

and by whom should anger be aroused?

When all phenomena are non-self,

who can do wrong to whom?"

 

If someone has listened to the Dhamma he has more understanding than those

who have not listened. Therefore, he should realize that it is not proper to be

angry because someone else who has no understanding does something wrong.

Why should he be angry with someone who lacks understanding? If he

remembers this he accumulates the perfection of patience, he is not angry and he

can forgive that person.

  We read:

“When the wrong-doer is endowed with noble qualities,

I should not be angry with him.

When he does not have any noble qualities,

then I should regard him with compassion.

Because of anger my fame and noble qualities diminish,

and to the pleasure of my enemies I become ugly, sleep in discomfort, etc."

When a person is angry, his good reputation and noble qualities disappear. When because of anger he displays an improper conduct we can see the disadvantage of impatience and the benefit of the perfection of patience.

We read:

"Anger is the only real enemy,

for it is the agent of all harm and the destroyer of all good."

And: "When one has patience one has no enemies."

We still have akusala, we have defilements, and these condition the arising of displeasure. However, we should know whether the person we are angry with has good qualities. If he has, we should not be angry. If he behaves in an improper way, we should have compassion with him. If kusala citta arises with sati- sampajanna, it is the condition for patience to increase.


Topic 282