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by Venerable Master Hsing Yun (1927 - , Fo Guang Shan)
English translation: Robert H. Smitheram

Buddhism speaks of three levels of patience. The first is patience for life, which is a form of patience that acknowledges that conditions are a part of life. For example, we must be patient with all kinds of discomforts like success and failure, love and hate, hunger and thirst, as well as joy and sorrow. In order to move on with our lives, we must have patience for life.

The next level of patience is called patience for phenomena. We must be patient with greed, anger, ignorance, and prejudice by controlling ourselves, persuading ourselves, and changing ourselves. Having patience for phenomena means recognizing that all phenomena arise and cease. With this understanding, we can allow the mind to find peace by no longer being affected by this arising and ceasing as well as as apply the wisdom of the Buddha’s teachings.

The third and final level is patience for the nonarising of phenomena. This kind of patience is the highest level of patience and the understanding that phenomena fundamentally do not arise or cease. With patience for the non-arising of phenomena, there is really nothing to be patient or impatient about, since everything is simply just as it is.

── from Bainian Fo Yuan (Buddhist Affinites Across 100 Years)