“I am neither the ripples at the surface of the sea, nor yet the crashing waves: I am the vast ocean deeps, unaffected by mighty surface storms, untouched by any superficial change.”
(Affirmations for Self-Healing by Swami Kriyananda)
“Patience,” it has been well said, “is the shortest path to God”. Patience means adjusting to whatever is in life, rather than wishing it were something else. Patience is a prerequisite for every type of success—relationships, career, wellness and most importantly spiritual. Practicing patience is necessary to receive clear spiritual guidance. We get impatient if we don’t get an immediate response to our question or prayer, and then we have a tendency to second guess the answer. In Chapter 13 of the book Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda was impatient to find God and ignored his guru, Sri Yukteswar’s guidance. Yogananda took off for the Himalayas regardless and consequently encountered hardships and got misdirected and lost!
The following three-step formula can help us stay attuned to inner wisdom. Step one: sincerely pray for guidance; step two: listen patiently and intently for God‘s response; step three: take action on that guidance. Then keep repeating steps one through three.
The process is like using a GPS to reach a destination. In our case our destination is self-realization. The GPS knows every turn of the journey, however it only shares one instruction at a time. So, we need to listen for any change in direction. We wouldn’t dream of setting out on a long journey, listen to the first direction and then turn off the GPS. If we get impatient and stop listening for updated instructions we may get lost and it may take us many lifetimes to find our way again. We need to repeat the three steps over and over—listening patiently and intently for any change in direction, no matter how subtle, until we reach our destination.
In divine friendship,
Nayaswami Pushpa for Thank you, God!
Saint Teresa's Admonition
Let nothing disturb you, nothing affright you,
All things will pass, but God changes not.
Patient endurance, brings you to victory
Once you have God, you’ll want nothing more.
God alone! God alone!
God alone’s all we ever need.
Enjoy this chant composed by Swami Kriyananda to the words of Saint Teresa of Avila
Patience Endurance Brings You to Victory
Personal Reflection by Nayaswami Pushpa
My present for my seventh birthday from my parents, was a half-hour riding lesson each week. They couldn’t afford a one hour lesson, but I didn’t care. I was going to learn to ride! I had been hanging out at the local stables for nearly a year, grooming the ponies, mucking out their stalls and envying the kids who got to ride.
I came home after my first lesson very excited and told my parents I wanted my own pony. I was told we couldn’t afford it. My father, trying to be helpful, said that they had an endowment policy on me which came out when I was 21, and I could buy a pony then. I cried, “but I’m only seven, that’s forever away!” But that was the best they could do. I realized that if I wanted a pony I would need to somehow make it happen.
One idea that came to me was that, instead of presents for my birthday and Christmas, I would ask my parents and relatives—who usually gave me small presents—to give me money instead. My relatives were all blue-collar workers, so it was slow going. Another idea that came to me was to start my first business, breeding and selling mice, to bring in additional income. I put a sign in our living room window saying, “Mice for Sale”. I had over 100 mice at one time.
For four years I saved every penny—I didn’t buy any ice cream, sweets, toys. I was now eleven and I’d managed to save £40 ($60) in four years. It was taking longer than I had anticipated—still, I was getting closer and I never had a doubt that I would get a pony.
Then divine grace started flowing. I spent a lot of time at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Manby. They had two children, four and six years old, who I watched over and a horse that I exercised for them. They also had a German Pointer dog called Dido, named after Queen Dido of Greek mythology.
One day Mr. Manby was trying to get Dido to sit on command. He said “she’s too old to learn” and I, not one to turn down a challenge, said “I can teach her!”. He said if I could teach her to sit on command by that weekend, without him needing to use treats he would give me £20 towards my pony. It had taken me two years to save £20! He went off to the city for the week. Mrs. Manby told me that Dido had a penchant for cheese and kindly kept me well supplied.
I worked daily with Dido from dawn to dusk, repeating over, and over, “Sit” and “Down”. Dido got caught up in my enthusiasm and by the weekend a rather plumper Dido sat and lay down on command without cheese. And I won the challenge! The Manby’s had friends visiting that same weekend—a couple who I knew well, and the wife’s kindly and jovial father, Mr. Llewellen. Mr. Llewellen asked me what I was going to do with the £20. I told him I was saving for a pony. He took a great interest in finding out all the details. Then he turned to Mrs. Manby and asked her if she would help me find a suitable pony and he would cover whatever money we were short—which turned out to be £20. Miraculously, in just one evening I received the equivalent of what it had taken me four years to save. Patient endurance had led me to victory. I got my pony!
Interestingly, when I got my pony friends would say I was lucky. But I didn’t think it was luck. I was practicing the spiritual principle of patient endurance.
Step one: realizing that my parents couldn’t buy me a pony, I asked myself how I could still achieve my goal.
Step two: I listened for ideas to come.
Step three: I took action on those ideas.
I repeated steps one through three until I got my pony.