“Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself?” – The Tao Te Ching
This is one of my favorite quotations from the Tao Te Ching. The idea here, as I understand it, is that the correct action makes itself clear when we give up the inner desire to find the correct action. There is a certain faith at work, a faith in one’s own serenity. If we are calm and patient, relinquishing the need to act, then we can wait until the right action manifests itself.
I am only a beginner when it comes to patience. Like most of us, I often experience the compulsion to find the right action, right now! Good spiritual teaching, however, works on becoming aware of these compulsions, letting them pass, then acting from a place of clear-mindedness and rationality.