All we need is just a little patience.
- Guns N' Roses (Patience)
Patience is the first step toward living in the moment. It's the hand brake that slows down our focus on the future. It's the dipped toe in the cold waters of unattachment. It's the training wheels on our Zen bike.
Patience allows us to loosen our grip on our need to control a situation. To have patience is to accept that we can't control when something is going to happen. We can still fool ourselves into believing we have control over the outcome...it's just a matter of time. Patience, in that case, is misused as a stall tactic.
Patience is not about waiting for a particular outcome to occur. A better use of patience is to wait for a natural moment to act (note that I didn't say the perfect moment to act - there is no such thing). A master has the patience to not force a situation or an outcome but to sit back and watch as the right opportunity unfolds naturally before him or her.
This doesn't mean to just sit around and wait for life to drop in your laugh for snuggle time. It means to have the patience to trust your instincts and act based on the right action (in the present moment), not to force and action to grab at a desired outcome.
In other words, patience is not just about the timing of an outcome. It's also about waiting for the right outcome to present itself. It's about not forcing a situation to achieve a particular outcome.
Of course, who has time for that these days? ;)
Do you have the patience to wait
Til the mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
Til the right action arises by itself? (v. 15)