Poised Patience

The discomfort of waiting you describe is a member of the Paradox family. Waiting is not hesitating or wasting time. In the story Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, the hero mentions that he can do only three things well; waiting is one of these. It is obvious in how he engages the waiting that it is an act of faith —prepared, accepting, content. Otherwise known as the virtue of poised patience. We can still breathe with impeccable posture while waiting. We can still be enthusiastically attentive, engage our rituals, and train our intent. While it may look like not much is happening, we are creating opportunity through quality of presence.

Painting by Diego Rivera

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Raphael says:

    I love the new blog and that we are able to respond again, it is nice to feel that blood injected in my veins from time to time without me having to look for it (not that I have become lazy or wouldn’t look for it). It will hopefully help our tribe to cope better.
    The poised patience quote is the one that found most deep resonance with me in the last few months so was happy to reread it here- still practicing!

  2. Karen Strassman says:

    Thank you for this elegant invitation to receive these notifications and be part of your world wide community. I have never seen this piece by Rivera before, and your words and the energy/intention behind them beckoned me into sitting with his vision of this old soul in the little body much longer than I normally would, giving me an opportunity to drop into his and her world like music, enjoying the red beads in her tiny hands, her skirt so pleasing and settling, the intelligence in her eyes, almost seeing and understanding too much, choosing to endure the ridiculousness of the world around her…Her gaze shifting from slight irritation to determined presence to even almost slightly amused as I continue to stay with her… And then, Diego’s seemingly affectionate gesture of her tiny bare foot peeking out the corner of her dress. What a treat this morning to be nourished by all these details and the music of this offering…

    1. That’s an excellent example, Karen, of imaginative association (there’s a post on that somewhere on this blog), immersing oneself more completely by choice, and discovering (even experiencing) subtle, personally relevant details that would otherwise go unnoticed. Henrik Ibsen’s “A picture is worth a thousand words” may very well be true, but one would need to take the time and care to hear those. I appreciate your investment that way, and your gesture to share it.

  3. julia says:

    Waiting — That’s become all too familiar these past months of lockdown. I love the concept of “poised patience,” which suggests there is a vast range of types of waiting. There’s a wonderful interplay between this concept and its seemingly perfectly illustration in this Rivera painting — the vibrancy of her expression, her soft contentment, the colors.

    These qualities of faith in waiting you mention have often felt illusive, although this challenging time has given me the chance to put many tools to use I’ve gained over the years from shared events. Thank you for this image of a more evolved patience.

  4. Mihai Tudorascu says:

    Reading this paragraph comes at a time of questioning about what creates more meaningful moments while engaging usual activities, about self-importance and death. Is there a way to relate to it now? How? This image seems to point that way. Waiting, neutrally, as if life’s temptations have no grip on her, brings a visceral temporary end.

  5. judithjecmen says:

    “Poised patience” resonates true and beautiful to me also. I have a close friend who is dying, dying with courage, calm acceptance, grace, gratitude and waiting with perfect poised patience. To be a witness is an inspiration and a precious gift.

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