The Six Perfections – What Is Patience?

What is Patience?

Patience is the best ornament of real heroes,
A supreme self-mortification to overcome delusions,
The garuda bird to destroy the snake of anger,
Armour to protect one from arrows of criticism.
Knowing this, in every way familiarize yourself.
With the armour of patience supreme.
I, a yogi, did that myself;
You, O liberation seeker, should do likewise.

Je Tsongkhapa, Song of the Stages in Spiritual Practice [Lamrim Dudon], vs. 17

(From Lines of Experience Transcript) Patience is the antidote for hatred. Love/compassion, too, are antidotes of hatred. The patience builds a bridge between compassion, love, and the individual’s restlessness from that. Patience will build a bridge. Actually, what this verse is really telling us is that patience is a power that protects us from falling down, from giving up, burning out, being unable to continue. So, it is a great ornament, the best ornament for the fortunate ones. Maybe it is a diamond necklace, or something. You know, Buddha himself said,

There is no difficulty like patience, there is no powerful negativity like hatred.

So here you go. Patience is anti-hatred. Hatred is just like a snake. Patience is just like that powerful eagle bird that picks up the snake and eats it. So this is one of the best armors you can wear to protect yourself from the harsh words of other persons. Harsh words are very powerful. Patience is a very powerful weapon.

~ Gelek Rimpoche, The Six Perfections, 2013, p. 34

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