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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Patience?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Patience

Falling Into One’s Nature Takes Perseverance, Patience, Sincerity and Compassion for Oneself

You will see that your very nature is that grace, pure, unoriginated preciousness, which you don’t see by looking but by being. There is no sense of separateness between the looking and the being; they are one act. To be yourself means you are Essence, you are Being, you are the significance, you are the meaning. We have seen that we are always looking for the preciousness that was lost, thinking we can get it from the outside. But it is the innermost. It is so private, so deep, so inner, that there is nothing more inner than this. Who you are is so inner, so private, so precious, that when it is experienced at its depth it is felt as an absolute sacredness. To really be oneself is to eliminate the chasm, to unify the two sides of oneself, to fully become one. It is not as if you are someone who has a body, someone who does this or that, someone who has an Essence. You are it! You are the whole thing. Meaning is not something we can get to with our minds; it is not an answer found in the mind. It is not an ideal or an image we’re fulfilling. It is not a result of anything. It is just falling into one’s nature. To be able to simply fall into one’s nature, is, however, not easy. It is the most difficult thing there is. It takes perseverance, patience, sincerity, and compassion for oneself. And it may take a long time. 

Locating Yourself Requires Discipline, Patience, Gentleness and Attunement

This process of locating yourself is a profoundly personal one, a subtle and sensitive unfolding of inner awareness that does not use obvious external signposts to tell you where you are at any given time. It requires discipline and patience, gentleness and attunement, because the only one who can know where your consciousness is is you. To truly be where you are requires a capacity for listening, a willingness to be open, and a curiosity about your own experience that most likely few people have ever shown toward you. What this calls for is the development of your ability to truly witness yourself, to be a pure and undistorted mirror for where and how you are appearing in the moment. Ultimately, this means seeing yourself without the aid of anyone else’s perspective, anyone else’s experience, or anyone else’s beliefs and judgments. It means not seeing yourself from the outside or locating yourself by where you are relative to external criteria. It is by seeing yourself from inside, from the center of your own experience, that you can discover your own truth, the untouched True Nature of what you are. 

Moving from One Stage to Another, Back and Forth, Takes Patience and Compassion for Yourself

The kinds of understanding, the kinds of perceptions, the kinds of experiences, and the kinds of realizations you have to go through are many, and involve many levels and dimensions. You move from one stage to another, back and forth, and that takes patience, and compassion for yourself. It takes the generous, realistic, and mature attitude towards life that if you want something, you have to work for it. Nobody can do it for you and nobody can give it to you, because it is you. We should consider ourselves lucky if we find someone who knows something about how to go about this process, and who is genuinely interested in the development of our human potential. Such a person is rare in human society, and should be looked upon with the utmost appreciation and gratitude. Any work that helps you with this process should be held with the deepest respect and value, because to do so is to respect and value your own potential and the potential of humanity in general. Such work should be held above everything else because it is ultimately above everything. It should first of all be put above one’s childish values, principles, and influences. That is what it takes. This is not a moralistic point of view, but a practical one. The Work must be done this way because otherwise it will not work.

Patience is of the Utmost Importance

If you consider yourself as you were three years ago, for example, and see a difference compared to now, that might encourage you. In the shorter term there are always ups and downs; you might be in a difficulty or a hole for weeks or even months at a time. To consider the way changes happen over a long period of time is to be compassionate and loving towards yourself. You need to encourage yourself, instead of discouraging yourself. You need all the encouragement you can get. So patience is of the utmost importance. Enjoy your life as you go. You are not just working towards a goal and forgetting about what you are doing in your life now. This work is going to take a long time. This Work is not something you can do as a seminar or a workshop; it is not something you can do for a year or so and that’s it. To look at it that way is to not understand the nature of the task. The nature of the task is not to achieve a particular goal or a certain state. It is about growing up, becoming more of a human being, and actualizing your potential. It is not useful to think that you should be able to attend one weekend class and then be able to actualize your potential, and beat yourself up if that’s not happening.  

Real Patience Implies an Openness to the Situation and a Trust in the Process

Steadfastness appears externally as patience. The more one embodies the White quality, the more one is patient. But patience doesn’t mean that you are just tolerating things. Most people think that being patient means you don’t like a situation but you stick around anyway, feeling frustrated. That is not what patience is. Patience means commitment. It means staying the course. It means that you are really interested in continuing to be there, regardless of the feelings that may arise. When you are truly being patient, you don’t feel that you’re being patient; you only know that you’re doing what you’re doing. If you feel that you are being patient, then you are most likely tolerating the situation, just waiting for things to get better. Though the ordinary notion of patience is the willingness to continue waiting one hundred years without complaining, this kind of patience is nevertheless limited because it is dependent upon a certain attitude toward the situation: that the outcome should be some kind of change. This is the patience of the ego, not essential patience. Real patience implies an openness to the situation and trust in the process. It is not an attitude of waiting—for waiting implies a desire for a particular kind of change to occur. Many people think I am very patient but, in fact, I never feel patient. I just don’t abandon the task—it is as simple as that.

Revelation of Human Potential Requires Patience and Steadfastness

True will displays an intelligent responsiveness to the truth of our situation, including our limitations in dealing with what arises in our experience. Because human beings have inherent limitations, the revelation of human potential is an ongoing process. And as such, it requires patience and steadfastness. This steadfastness, however, is an intelligent expression of the White Essence. How solid, how soft, how hard, or how flexible this expression is depends on the particular situation. Sometimes you may need to pay intense attention for many hours in order to explore your experience. That could include talking with people, reading books, investigating your own history, perspectives, and patterns of behavior—doing everything you can to inquire into your current situation. But after all this activity, the process may require that you relax and let your mind settle. This doesn’t necessarily mean disengaging the inquiry; resting or taking a break for a while is just another part of the process. You have been committed to finding out whatever you can, and for the moment, you know all that you can know. Now it’s time to be quiet, to watch and see what arises in your experience. That is frequently when new insights arise.

The Process of Maturation Takes a Lot of Work, Effort, Dedication and Patience

The Work we do here is the kind of work that must be done by any human being in order to truly grow up. It is difficult, it takes a long time, it is complex, and it involves much more than you imagine at the beginning. When you come here initially, you arrive with many ideas and beliefs about what the Work is going to do for you. If you stay in it, you will realize that the Work will not do just the things you expected, but a thousand more things. You will also see that to be engaged in the Work in a genuine way, so that you can grow to be a mature human being, you have to do a lot more than you thought. This is because there is a lot more to a human being than you originally believed. The process of maturation takes a lot of work, a lot of effort, a lot of dedication, and a lot of patience. 

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