Ksanti – The Perfection of Patient Endurance
Patience, endurance, equanimity: when someone thinks of Zen, these words probably come to mind. But what exactly are we referring to when we talk about the “perfection of patient endurance” in our tradition?
First is an attitude toward practice and study, taking joy in exploring dharma teachings and applying them to our lives. “However vast and difficult true teachings are, I vow to embody and master them all! “
Can we truly accept that suffering arises from our ignorance of a deeper truth? Are we willing to face the fear which comes as the ego faces the truth of who it is? Is it possible to truly rest in not knowing, and deconstructing the views which provide us stability and comfort? Can we do this in the name of true freedom and joy beyond comprehension?
Do we think this journey will be easy and over in no time?
In conjunction with this is the realization of our first vow: “However innumerable all beings are, I vow to serve and liberate them all.” We do this within our own minds. We realize the truth of selflessness in liberating ourselves from the confining dream of ego-as-a-permanent-self, and the idea that others are similarly separate and permanent beings. We find ourselves left with an insatiable and unconditionally compassionate curiosity.
What’s going on here? What are the deeper feelings beneath emotional reactivity? How can I skillfully participate in the miracle of life with compassionate wisdom?
“However deep and elusive my shadow states are, I vow to experience and enlighten them all!” Through this, we discover that our greatest interpersonal challenges are not to be avoided or feared. Instead, they become our dearest companions. We invite them in for tea, knowing that they have been sent as guides from beyond.
“Our angst is indeed our liberation.” From within this buddh-centric perspective we gladly practice understanding, transforming and transcending our negative emotional reactivity, acting instead with sympathetic joy, loving-kindness, compassion and equanimity.
“However endless my true path may be, I vow to awaken and follow forever!”