In the previous chapter, I stated that acceptance is a gateway virtue that enables other virtues such as patience. Patience is what I would call a lynch-pin virtue. It is the complement of so many other important virtues. A lynch-pin joins the axle of the wagon wheel to keep the wheel in position. The lynch-pin keeps the axle from sliding out of the hole in the wheel hub. Thus, the emptiness of the hub gives function to form and holds it all together so the vehicle can move forward towards its destination. In its most important role patience unifies possibility and intention to destiny. Destiny is determined by your choices. To choose wisely, you must be patient, and not be pushed by impulsive negative traits of the ego mind.
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In holding the soul and embracing oneness
Can one be steadfast without straying?
Verse 1, Chapter 10
Meditation leads to the stillness of the mind and emptiness of ego. Stillness and emptiness is the space for acceptance. Acceptance creates space for patience. Patience enables you to be steadfast without straying like the lynch pin holding the wheel to the axle. It is said that emptiness gives “functionality to form.”1The inherent power of patience is the wisdom to resist ego and avoid impulsiveness and reactionary choices. This is the inherent power of patience.
Example: Because she was so patient, the children came to love and respect her.
Patience creates the space for hope, giving you the courage to overcome fear. By the phrase ‘creating space’, I mean that you become present and self-aware. Free of the impatient ego, you can choose to be patient. In the moment of patience, you return to your true path.
Continuing with the wagon wheel metaphor, let thirty spokes of the wheel, be some of the many virtues one can practice as a sovereignty cultivator. Patience allows you to view many different perspectives and possible choices to the situations that you face. Without patience, these virtuous choices will probably not be realized. Lack of patience and impulsiveness can lead to costly stupid mistakes.
Here is a list of some important virtues, that when mindfully practiced can transform your life in a dramatic and wonderful way. Looking at the group of the virtues below, think about how well you practice them. Get a piece of paper and write each one down. Write down beside it score from 1 to 5. 1 is no patience and 5 is the patience of a Saint. You probably ought to begin with honesty and work your way down. Do you have the patience to stick with this exercise? Or are you already telling yourself you will come back later?
Now if you scored low of any of these important virtues, sit quietly and reflect on why these virtues are difficult. The answer will lie in seeing how your ego resists virtue of patience. This is really where spiritual growth if effective. Seeing your faults and then choosing the right action. With sovereignty over ego, you can be mindful and then choose patience over the ego response. Can you see how powerful it is to be able to over-ride the self-destructive reactions of the ego?
Try these powerful steps of cultivation. The following chapters on virtues require you to exercise patience and practice. Here are some actions steps for cultivation.
Mindfulness. Take a course in meditation and mindfulness. Learn how to focus the mind away from the mind-stream of incessant thinking. Pay attention in a judgmental way to how the mind lost in ego intentions/responses. Consciously choose to ignore the impulsiveness and re-activity nature of the ego.
Keep a journal. I have found that it helps to keep a journal of some sort. At the end of each day, make notes in your journal of what you experienced.
Cultivate patience for a couple of weeks before moving onto the list of other virtues to incorporate into your life. Patience empowers self-discipline. Try to spend 3 or4 weeks on cultivating patience and use your journal to chart your progress.
Cultivate A Life Path of Virtue. Start with the virtue that you scored the lowest and work your way up to your best. The following chapters are some that I find very important to work on. Take each virtue and live with it for a week. At the beginning of each day, take a moment to set the intention to follow the virtue. Work your journal. Use moderation in your efforts. Always be mindful of ego. It is the great pretender. So, avoid attachment to outcome. You will experience some set-backs with cultivating patience so do not lose patience with yourself. That is an ego response (impatience).
You do not have to become an expert at virtuous living. Even just a modest improvement will transform your life. Just do the best that you can. Remember, that your choices will initiate cause and effect (karma). The causation of virtue will result in true wisdom which will guide to true success. What you concentrate on, what you send out will return bigger, deeper and strong. The more you invest in virtuous choices, the bigger the return of Mystic Virtue2. This is the foundation for a long and successful life. This is the way of sovereignty. Begin with patience and self-honesty.
1Chapt 11, verse 2, Tao Te Ching
2Mystic Virtue; Chapter 11