#351: A Buddhist Approach to Patience | Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche
These are not hospitable times for the mental skill of patience. Instant gratification has never been more thoroughly scaled. You can order food, taxis, and shampoo from your phone. Streaming services autoplay the next episode of whatever show you’re binging. You can ask Siri or Alexa for the weather, the latest sports scores, or the dating history of Paul Rudd. And on a deeper level, of course, global tumult is trying our patience -- with the pandemic, political polarization, climate disruption, and cultural divides over race, gender, and more.
My guest today comes armed with great tools we can all use to exercise a muscle that, for many, is badly atrophied. As you’ll hear him explain, the Buddhist approach to patience goes way beyond grin and bear it; instead it’s about developing a mind that can work positively with whatever is bothering us.
Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche grew up in a monastic environment in Northern India. His father was said to be the third incarnation of a great Tibetan master. His mother was his first teacher -- a renowned practitioner who completed thirteen years of solitary retreat before she got married. Rinpoche now lives in the U.S. -- in southern Colorado, where he has a mountain retreat center called Longchen Jigme Samten Ling. His students include former guests on this show, such as Pema Chödrön, the best-selling Buddhist author, and Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel, a teacher and author who is also his wife.
Rinpoche has a new book out called Peaceful Heart: The Buddhist Practice of Patience. In this interview we talk about: how to define patience from the Buddhist lens; what practices he suggests for getting better at patience; the difference between patience and passivity; the challenges he still faces in the patience arena; and the role of patience in eating and in enduring physical pain.
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