Definition of the Week (29) – Patience

Lama Tsong Khapa:

The nature of patience is a naturally abiding mind, undisturbed by harm or suffering, and which abides on the dharma as originally aspired.

Patience as a three-fold division into:

  1. Patience unaffected by harm
  2. Patience willingly bearing suffering
  3. Patience of definitely relying on the dharma.


Unsubdued sentient beings equal space, [12]
Destroying them is impossible.
Merely destroys this mind of anger,
Equals destroying all enemies.

To cover the whole earth with leather, [13]
Where should the leather come from?
To cover one’s soles with leather
Equals covering the whole earth.

Similarly, I do not oppose [14]
External phenomena.
I should reverse this mind of mine,
Where is the need to oppose others?

Gyaltsab Je:

Patience Depends on the Mind
(Meaning; Example; Relating Meaning and Example)

  • Meaning
    Patience is completed by destroying one’s anger, which equals destroying all external enemies. It is not achieved through the extinction of the objects of one’s anger. This is conclusive because unsubdued sentient beings equal space and it is impossible to destroy them all. Therefore also patience depends on the mind.
  • The Example
    Where would one find enough leather to cover the whole earth to prevent one’s feet from being harmed by thorns and other sharp objects on the ground? Covering the soles of one’s feet with leather will do the trick and prevent the feet from being harmed by thorns, sharp stones and the like. It equals covering the whole earth.
  • Relating the Meaning and the Example
    Similar to the analogy, it is impossible to oppose all harmful external phenomena. Instead one focuses one’s mind on these objects and reverses the mind from generating anger. By meditating in such a way patience is completed. To oppose the objects of anger is impossible and unnecessary.