Waiting is a skill we often ignore. It may seem to have as little value as nothingness, but in Zen, nothingness is a profound state of Being. When we focus on thinking, we tend to aspire to conclusions. This could be attempting to achieve a goal, attaining a desire or simply ending what we are doing, but the art of waiting has a different focus.
With the focus on thoughts, we are much more aware of time. When our awareness goes beyond thinking, we enter a timeless moment where the Wisdom of the Body choreographs our life. The frustration of waiting is our resistance to letting go of our habitual habit of focusing on thinking. Imagine if waiting opened the door to creativity and spirituality. If that happened, waiting would be a gift that was not resisted.
We often say “wait a minute” as a subconscious way of entering that state of mind, but when it comes to us without choice, frustration often arises. Just think, if a simple breath transported your awareness to that beyond thought inner reality. Waiting could easily become the break your deepest wisdom desires. In fact, in a way that inner wisdom is always striving for completion, if you are ready to accept it with openness, waiting is a gift.
So let “wait a minute” be the trigger that stops you focusing on thoughts and connects you to the Wisdom of your Body. Then, when your daily flow is interrupted, you could create the habit of completion. When you stop at a red light or wait for a doctor, instead of ego being suspended in nothingness causing frustration, wisdom embraces the moment to complete you.
Now let us look at impatience. That is when your awareness has no comfortable place to land. Maybe you were expecting something, but there is nothing comforting to land your awareness on. Let me propose an alternative; you do not have to look to thoughts to comfort you.
If you developed a habit of having your awareness and breath entering the silence beyond your thoughts, your wait would find a comfortable place to land. You do not have to be a philosopher to appreciate the silence beyond your thoughts; you need a habit that is associated to no understanding. If you just create the habit of breathing into silence, that simple comfort justifies your effort. To many, understanding justifies our actions, but sometimes understanding limits you. When you want to go beyond thinking, understanding that justifies your actions limits you to focusing on your thoughts.
It takes faith to develop a habit free from understanding, but it is possible. To the person who habitually focuses on their thoughts, being aware of this inner silence seems impossible, but when you look at the highlights of your life, you are naturally aware of this reality. We do not remember the beyond thought reality because there were no words there to capture our memory.
True love exists there. For why does a parent love their child so much or do lovers bond together? Logic doesn’t answer that question, but we accept it when it happens. Why cannot simply waiting trigger that depth? If neural pathways were developed to connect you to the silence beyond your thinking mind and you accepted that, waiting could be a profound moment.
Of course, these neural pathways are not the easiest to develop, but is that a reason to ignore the art of waiting? If we developed habits that celebrate silence and felt comfortable there, waiting would automatically take us there. Unfortunately, for most of us, the thoughts in our mind are more valuable than the comfort of silence and waiting frustrates us.
In the same way waiting does not attract modern man and silence seems like nothing, our thoughts have the power to cover silence and exclude us from inner wisdom. A simple breath has the power to change that. What are you waiting for?
In Life Skills Inc., I develop the skills that embrace silence. There inner wisdom finds the comfort we all need. Go to http://ahealthywaytobesick.org to download an e-book that teaches you this simple skill.
© Marc Lerner and Life Skills 2010

Author's Bio: 

Marc Lerner is the President of Life Skills Institute and has been working with people in a health crisis since 1982. Learning to discover oneself in difficult times is the theme of A Healthy Way to be Sick, the e-book Marc Lerner wrote. Go to http://ahealthyway.org to read a mini-version. Learn this same technique to deal with any difficult time with the e-book, A Light Shines Brighter in Darkness, at the same website. Marc Lerner is available for public speaking and tele-seminars. When you learn to master inner resources and avoid negative thinking, you automatically tap powerful inner resources to become an active partner with medical professionals. Patient participation can influence the results of the doctor’s treatment. The doctor’s relationship with the patient can also influence how the patient participates in healing. Marc’s work is dedicated to establishing this partnership.