Being impatient for no reason whatsoever

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  • Nengyo
    • May 2012
    • 668

    Being impatient for no reason whatsoever

    So, today I went to town to run some errands. I was going to pick up some records on one of my stops and it was going to be a while until they were ready to pick up. I figured, hey I'll go kill some time at the bookstore and electronics store. I was just killing time. Nothing to do for an hour but goof off. I'm driving to the store and I'm getting aggravated because people aren't driving fast enough, there is too much traffic, someone cut me off. I had almost worked myself into a frenzy when I caught myself. I started laughing in my car. People had to think I went crazy (from weaving in and out of traffic to laughing and driving normal.) I still have no idea why I felt impatient or aggravated. It is strange how our thoughts can get us all worked up. Apparently zazen has not yet stopped me from getting impatient or aggravated, but it works really well for pointing out the silliness of it.

    TL;DR I was impatient driving for no reason. Paid attention to my thoughts and realized it was nonsense chatter.
    If I'm already enlightened why the hell is this so hard?
  • Juki
    • Dec 2012
    • 771

    These days, traffic never moves fast enough. Our internet service is never fast enough or reliable enough. So we get frustrated. People say these are modern problems. I'm not so sure. I imagine that 1000 years ago farmers used to berate their ox teams for not moving over the rutted cartpaths quickly enough. And I imagine that in another thousand years, when we have left cars behind and can teleport ourselves, people will complain that the speed of light is not fast enough. So, not modern problems. Human problems. And, as you correctly point out, patience is the answer. I recently read an articale by Zoketsu Norman Fischer where he stated that patience is by far the most important of spiritual virtues, because it makes all other virtues possible. It seems you are on to something, Catfish.


    "First you have to give up." Tyler Durden


    • Jundo
      Treeleaf Founder and Priest
      • Apr 2006
      • 39459

      Originally posted by catfish
      I had almost worked myself into a frenzy when I caught myself. I started laughing in my car. People had to think I went crazy (from weaving in and out of traffic to laughing and driving normal.)
      I cannot emphasize how important a moment like this is. You caught yourself in the "mind theatre" and let it go. Please try to recall this moment the next times it happens (and it will). You are in the driver's seat of the mind more than you know. Congratulations on your achievement!

      I just finished this book, The Cow in the Parking Lot, and while it is not perfect medicine for the serious dis-ease of anger, it is not too bad. I am thinking to add it to our recommended reading list. I thank Timo who first recommended it ...

      Road rage. Domestic violence. Professionally angry TV and radio commentators. We’re a society that is swimming in anger, always about to snap. Leonard Scheff, a trial attorney, once used anger to fuel his court persona, until he came to realize just how poisonous anger is. That and his intense study of Buddhism and meditation changed him. His transformation can be summarized in a simple parable: Imagine you are circling a crowded parking lot when, just as you spot a space, another driver races ahead and takes it. Easy to imagine the rage. But now imagine that instead of another driver, a cow has lumbered into that parking space and settled down. The anger dissolves into bemusement. What really changed? You—your perspective.

      Using simple Buddhist principles and applying them in a way that is easy for non-Buddhists to understand and put into practice, Scheff and Edmiston have created an interactive book that helps readers change perspective, step by step, so that they can replace the anger in their lives with a newfound happiness. Based on the successful anger management program Scheff created, The Cow in the Parking Lot shows how anger is based on unmet demands, and introduces the four most common types—Important and Reasonable (you want love from your partner); Reasonable but Unimportant (you didn’t get that seat in the restaurant window); Irrational (you want respect from a stranger); and the Impossible (you want someone to fix everything wrong in your life).

      Scheff and Edmiston show how, once we identify our real unmet demands we can dissolve the anger; how, once we understand our "buttons," we can change what happens when they’re pushed. He shows how to laugh at ourselves—a powerful early step in changing angry behavior. By the end, as the reader continues to observe and fill in the exercises honestly, it won’t matter who takes that parking space—only you can make yourself angry.
      I will also recommend Thich Nhat Hanh's Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames ...

      It was under the bodhi tree in India twenty-five centuries ago that Buddha achieved the insight that three states of mind were the source of all our unhappiness: wrong knowing, obsessive desire, and anger. All are difficult, but in one instant of anger—one of the most powerful emotions—lives can be ruined, and health and spiritual development can be destroyed. With exquisite simplicity, Buddhist monk and Vietnam refugee Thich Nhat Hanh gives tools and advice for transforming relationships, focusing energy, and rejuvenating those parts of ourselves that have been laid waste by anger. His extraordinary wisdom can transform your life and the lives of the people you love, and in the words of Thich Nhat Hanh, can give each reader the power to "change everything."
      Also, I am giving a listen to an audio book by Pema Chodron (I have not yet), and am considering to had that to our list as well ...

      Life has a way of provoking us with traffic jams and computer malfunctions, with emotionally distant partners and crying children—and before we know it, we're upset. We feel terrible, and then we end up saying and doing things that only make matters worse. But it doesn't have to be that way, says Pema Chödrön. It is possible to relate constructively to the inevitable shocks, losses, and frustrations of life so that we can find true happiness. The key, Pema explains, is not biting the "hook" of our habitual responses. In this recorded weekend retreat, Pema draws on Buddhist teachings from The Way of the Bodhisattva to reveal how we can:

      • stay centered in the midst of difficulty
      • improve stressful relationships
      • step out of the downward spiral of self-hatred

      • awaken compassion for ourselves and others
      Everyone seems to be teaching about the same lessons, no?

      Gassho, J
      Last edited by Jundo; 03-16-2013, 02:50 AM.