Last night we talked about shanti paramita, translated as patience or forebearance. Two parts: the first is nonreactivity, breaking the habitual reaction; the second is abiding, entering the experience. Something causes you to react - you don't have what you want, or get something you don't want - and can you see through your reaction? Dinner falls on the floor. Your mind and body react: No! You reject what is. There is usually a "should" attached to impatience, I find. Dinner should not be on the floor. (But it is.) He should not be across the country from me (but he is); the place I live should be quiet (but it's not).
Paul tells us about nonreaction, and it sounds like holding back. But I have been feeling so strongly lately that self-control is - like jealousy is, or anger - merely a flag. If I must control myself, it means I am out of touch with my true intention. At Tassajara we decided, "if you slow down enough, what's good for you tastes good." It is true for wholegrain bread and twinkies; I think it is true for everything. If I am really paying attention, I only want - really want - what is good for me. If I am paying attention, I do not have to control myself to avoid eating candy; I just have to remember that my desire to nurture my body is deeper than my desire to taste sugar. My desire to nurture my practice is deeper than my desire to see him, or to live in a quiet place. For now. I think that my desire to nurture my practice and myself will lead me to him, and to quiet places. For now it keeps me here.