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Patience (Skt. kṣānti; Tib. བཟོད་པ་, zöpa; Wyl. bzod pa), the third of the six paramitas, is defined as the ability not to be perturbed by anything. It is the subject of the sixth chapter of the Bodhicharyavatara.

Opportunities for Patience

Patrul Rinpoche says:[1]

"There are various situations that require our patience, beginning with the following four:
  • When someone treats us with contempt,
  • Addresses us with harsh words,
  • Slanders us behind our back,
  • Or causes us pain.
And similarly, when these four are done to our teachers, or our friends and relatives.
  • When our enemies and those who oppose us find pleasure and wellbeing,
  • When they receive honours and rewards,
  • When they are offered praise,
  • Or when people speak well of them.
In addition, there are also those situations in which their opposites, the twelve desirable circumstances, are prevented from occurring, making a total of twenty-four opportunities for us to practise patience.
When any of these occur, we must avoid becoming disheartened by the events themselves or the suffering they bring, and instead accept the suffering. We must not become angry with those involved, but disregard the harm they do to us, and settle the mind in meditation upon the reality of profound emptiness.
In this way, by multiplying each instance a further three times, we arrive at seventy-two types of patience in which to train."
--From The Brightly Shining Sun


Chökyi Drakpa says:

"Patience consists of being patient when wronged; the patience to bear hardships for the Dharma; and the patience to bear the profound truth without fear."

Alternative Translations

  • Endurance
  • Forbearance
  • Tolerance


Further Reading

  • The Dalai Lama, Healing Anger: The Power of Patience from a Buddhist Perspective, Snow Lion, 1997
  • Robert A. F. Thurman, Anger: The Seven Deadly Sins, Oxford University Press, 2006
  • Patrul Rinpoche, The Words of My Perfect Teacher (Yale University Press, Revised edition, 2010). ISBN 978-0300165326, pages 240-245
  • Khenpo Ngawang Pelzang, A Guide to the Words of My Perfect Teacher, translated by Padmakara Translation Group (Boston & London: Shambhala, 2004), ISBN 978-1590300732 pages 192-193

External Links