Buddhist teacher Lama Surya Das in “Buddha Is As Buddha Does; The Ten Original Practices for Enlightened Living,” writes: “Patience means not retaliating with anger for anger, or harm for harm, and voluntarily bearing up under difficulties in order to progress on the path of spiritual awakening … How do we broaden the gap between stimulus and response so that we have time to give the situation a proper amount of consideration? This takes clarity, resolve, meditation, and practice.
[He] call[s] this gap the Sacred Pause, because it is the only possible source of peace and harmony in our interactions with people or events. By consciously minding and utilizing the Sacred Pause, we can master ourselves and assert leverage over our clumsy, semiconscious, often unwarranted conditioned reactions. Begin the process by taking a deep breath, smiling, and relaxing.
… The gift of patience is truly the gift of yourself, but not in any way that diminishes you, the giver. Instead, you share your strength with someone and become stronger yourself in the process. “
During this last year (2011), I had the good fortune to meet Lama Das and hear him speak about the “Sacred Pause.” This touched me profoundly. I plan to dedicate 2012 to the “Sacred Pause.”