‘If you can connect to the addictive quality, the urge to do something.... Patience is all about connecting to the addictive quality of anger, or whatever your addiction is. Connecting to the urge to do something. It is all about connecting with the addictive quality and sitting with that restless, painful energy. And not letting the momentum pull you under like an undertow, and cause you to do the same thing over and over, ruining your life and the life of those close to you.
‘That addictive quality.... For example, to criticise, to overeat, to abuse substances, to erupt in anger, to aggression, to jealousy, to sex, to stroke another's ego so you may feel safe. The Buddha said, the main addiction is to me myself and I. We're addicted to wanting to protect ourselves. The image for patience is ‘armour’. But, this is not the kind of armour that shields you from the world. It is armour that allows you to go anywhere with an open heart and open mind. Patience-as-armour is letting down the shields so you no longer have anything to fear. Because you don't fear fear itself. You've befriended your fear.
‘Getting in touch with the addictive quality, basically means we're getting in touch with that which we fear greatly and don't want to feel. The practice is to contact the urge. The urge to kill. The urge to erupt in anger. The urge to ‘use’ anything that will dull the underlying painful restlessness. Patience means you stand still with the restlessness of the energy, the deep uncomfortableness of it, rather than doing or saying anything. You stop feeding the storyline of whatever story is possessing you. And you just come back to the naked, raw experience of being with that addictive feeling, that uncomfortable feeling. And knowing it completely while not escalating it. This takes a lot of courage. More courage than most of us have.’
1. The entirety of the above piece is paraphrased from a talk by Pema Chodron, Dealing with difficult emotions
2. All italics are mine.
3. The title of this piece is borrowed in homage to Carlos Castaneda who coined the phrase. Castaneda's meaning was largely the same as in this piece. The true significance of ‘stopping the world’ like this is that it has the effect of opening us to awareness of ‘other realms’.
4. Image credit: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay