Developing Patience


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zardoz's picture

Hello Allan
I am enjoying your on-line retreat. Thank you. I started meditating in the seventies, but had to give it up due to the onset of tinnitus. It is only in the last 18 months that I have managed to work my way through this, and now meditate deeply with the sound of water via a sound machine. I am aware that up to 10% of people have tinnitus, and imagine many of them would love to sit but find it quite difficult.

moonglow20's picture

I am new to the Tricyle online experience and want to thank you, Allan, for a very useful first experience.  Learning to better cope with daily stress in my life is one of the most important skills I need at this time, so this was a very fortunate beginning, and I plan to spend the next few days practicing before I move on to the next part of your retreat. 

reval's picture


Welcome to the Tricycle Community.

On some level learning to deal with daily stress is the issue for all sentient beings. The Buddha called it Dukkha. With practice, perhaps over numerous lifetimes, we learn to see its cause, its cessation, and the Path leading to its cessation. 

May you be happy on your journey.


Richard Fidler's picture



Who is it that is experiencing life within a body?



reval's picture

Dear Richard,

     From one perspective, there is only the experience of thoughts, feelings, and sensations. They arise and they fade away. There is no "owner" of the experience, no one to whom the experience is happening. The teaching is called Anatta or no-self. 


Richard Fidler's picture


When you say "from one perspective", does that mean there are others?  I'm a secular person who thinks science approaches an accurate description of the world, but never quite gets there because of the need to simplify.  In answer to my own question, I would say, "there is only the experience of thoughts, feelings, and sensations...."  Not only Buddhism but science would say that is an accurate description.  Anatta is consistent with what we know about the mind as of right now.  Is that the way you see it?


reval's picture

Hello again Richard,

     I said "from one perspective" because there are many perspectives. Because the Buddha chose not to directly answer the question of whether or not there is a self, commentators, authors, teachers, and laypeople have debated for centuries about what he actually believed. I don't think personal views, including mine, add much to a teaching that has to be experienced to be understood. 


dmearly's picture


I find is so fitting that the first topic of your retreat is Developing Patience.  Last night when I decided to become a sustaining member and I was trying to follow all the instructions for joining, I was becoming quite impatience and almost quit.  But instead of bagging it I chose for my user name Patience (with a few numbers and characters).  I finally got through the membership process and tonight I was eager to begin your retreat.  And there is was topic number one,"Devloping Patience."  I have been struggling with patience lately and your talk about realizing that we can control our peace, by not letting outside influeces affect our minds to the point of disturbing out peace of mind was the perfect message for me tonight.  Thank you!  I have found that whenever I attend a Dharma group or talk, or now do an online retreat, invaribly the topic of the day is exactly what I need to hear at that particular time.  I wonder why that happens?   

Thanks again and I look forward to the rest of your talks.



reval's picture

Dear David,
     Thank you for your kind comments. I am well familiar with the trials and tribulations of online activities.
     It is amazing, isn't it, that the dharma is always there with what we need.


sharmila2's picture

Thank you for the teaching. While i understand the concept of peace being internal and that we do not have to respond to outside stimuli in destructive ways, it feels as though this practice may re-inforce the "self" idea; that there is "someone" who is in charge of thoughts, perceptions and reactions. Could this be counter-productive? I wonder if using "peace is never truly destroyed" as a less personal form of the meditation would work, or if the ego needs to be more strongly involved for the practice to work - any thoughts? thank you again for the teaching

reval's picture

Dear SD,
     I like your suggestion of "peace is never destroyed." I also like "only I can destroy my peace" because we live with the illusion of "I" and it is powerful. That which destroys peace in a given moment can feel very personal, as if there is a self that is not at peace. As one restores inner peace it might be a wonderful time for the realization, "Ah, peace is never destroyed."
     What is most beneficial so often depends on the causes and conditions.
     Thank you for the insight and teaching.

ehoffserf's picture

I really enjoyed this short but beneficial teaching. Thank you.

I recently had an experience with a family member where I responded to an attack in a fashion that is similar to what you have described--that only I could have decided to engage in an angry and unproductive conflict, and I chose not to, and to said that. My question is: if we have an ongoing relationship with family, work colleagues, friends, it is true that we need to choose whether to allow an incident to destroy our peace, and we can choose not to.  But what about managing the conflicts that continue to arise and reoccur in important relationships? What is the next step? (I see your next talk is about pausing....hmmm!)

Ellen from Jerusalem

reval's picture

You bring up an important and challenging issue. Our ongoing important relationships can harbor old dukkha (suffering). The difficult part is that the other party may still be able to push our buttons as they have been doing for years, perhaps decades. Somehow, we have to be able to disconnect those buttons while they are still hot. 
     We can not expect those around us to change, we must be the instrument of change. The first practice offered in this retreat can help. Offering metta also can be helpful. The people pushing our buttons want to be happy just as we want to be happy. They don't want to suffer just as we don't want to suffer. Their actions may be unskillful, but in a given moment they are probably doing the best they can.
     You are the only one who can destroy your peace. Remind yourself of that often. Then make the choice not to destroy your peace no matter what the actions of others.
     Be patient and stay determined in your practice. 

MarkG's picture

I have just begun this retreat. I want to comment on Allan's reply to Ellen from Jerusalem. The point that Allan made "We can not expect those around us to change, we must be the instrument of change" is to me the entire purpose of my practice (10 years).  As I understand one aspect of the Dharma, it is that nothing is absolute and that everything is interdependent. Resultingly, if I work to change myself -- being patient, being caring, loving, helpful -- then my way of experiencing the world is also changed and the way that others experience me may change as well, thus affecting how they actually behave.

Thank you Allan for your pithy and clear first session. Thank you Ellen for your question, which led to Allan's wonderful response. 


swastan's picture

This is really a wonderful teaching. Sounds simple but very effective. It helps one to take responsibility for one's happiness and unhappiness. When we stop to point fingers outside, we begin to recognise the causes and conditions contributing to our states of mind. It helps us to let go of all the blames (including ourselves) and allow ourselves to receive these energies inside us mindfully and sensitively. Thank you Allan for giving us such clear and easy to follow instructions in getting "there."

reval's picture

Thank you for your kind comments and thank you for the beautiful way in which you expanded the teaching. The dharma is indeed boundless.

nancy p's picture

Hello. I have a comment for Allan: thank you for this retreat. I feel more at peace already, and I look forward to next week.

And a question for Monty-I tried installing the updated flash player, but my computer says that I do not have administrative priviliges. I purchased it used, from a school. No one seems to know a way around this. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

frees0ngz's picture


It may be too late for you to see this post but you need to log on as the administrator. If you cannot do this with normal startup you may try going into SafeMode by pressing F8 during startup of computer. If the administrator has a password then you will need that but you may be lucky and get in with no password as many computers are not set up for that.

Install the Flash update but make sure it is for your browser correct version and for the  version of Windows you have.

Hope you are finding joy in this program. The other option is the library. You may have to bring your own headphones.

May peace be your constant companion.



reval's picture

I'm glad you are experiencing greater peace. 
I would think there would be a way to change the administrator's name in your computer. Monty seems to be experienced at such things. I hope he can help.
Peace and happiness,


Christine Alderton's picture

Thank you for your clarity and though I know it is true, how seems impossible at times....not to destroy my peace when my frightening mind is so insistent. Really struggling at the moment with one of my biggest dreads possibly going to happen and how strong are the old conditioned patterns of reacting. I can stay with the choice 'not to do so' for some time and then wham....back into the hole of fear and catastrophe. Scarey place to be.

reval's picture

Yes, there is the Noble Truth of Dukkha. 
You said that one of your "biggest dreads is possibly going to happen." That suggests that it might not happen. Notice how your fear is about something that might happen in the future. Fear always seems to be about something that hasn't happened yet. You could try bringing your focus to something that you are experiencing right now. If it is fear, you could become intimately familiar with the sensations of that fear within your body. You might find the experience of fear to be quite fascinating. Often, our aversion to unpleasant feelings causes us to miss the experience of what are perfectly natural sensations.
     Also, for a practice such as the one offered in the retreat today to be of benefit, we must practice the practice, just as we must walk our talk if it is to be meaningful. Try sitting for five minutes a day this week and say to yourself "Only I can destroy my peace, and I choose not to do so." In the early stages the practice might not be strong, but remember that a practice is something we do. We keep practicing. We don't perfect a practice, we just get better at it.
     I wish you joy and may there be nothing "dreadful in your future.

kateoneil73's picture

I really enjoyed the first segment of this retreat.  However, the streaming video freezes briefly every few seconds, making it difficult for me to stay focused. Does anyone know if this is caused by my computer or inherent to streaming video?

reval's picture

I'm happy that you enjoyed part one of the retreat.
     I mentioned the issue you are having with the video to Tricycle's web editor and, hopefully, he will be able to assist.
     Continue to enjoy,

Monty's picture

Hi Kate,

My recommendation is to make sure that you have the most up-to-date flash player installed on your computer (download can be found here: ) and to download and use Mozilla Firefox as your primary internet browser (can be found here: ).  Firefox is quicker than most standard browsers that come with computers like Safari, Explorer, or Netscape.  Both downloads are free.



derek_a's picture

Thank you for a relaxing recording. I have practiced daily zazen now for around 30 years - yet still found value in your pocket meditation.Yes, I am still challenged, but whilst there is desire, it will continue - even desire for non-desire! Don't you just love Zen!? :-)   Derek

reval's picture

Dear Derek, 
     I just noticed that I didn't reply to your comment. Sorry. All I can say is, yes, I do love Zen. 


deveny's picture

Hi Allan,

This is my first Triangle retreat.

This reflection was just what I needed today.

Please accept my heartfelt thanks.




reval's picture

Welcome to Tricycle. I'm sure you will enjoy both the print and online offerings.
May your practice flourish.


jet4221's picture

I noticed that the title of your first talk is "Developing Patience". How does taking ownership of our peacefulness relate to developing patience?

Best wishes,


reval's picture

I think that the development of one's spiritual self requires a corresponding development of patience. Our practice is likely to be tested on any given day, be it by an abusive boss in the workplace, an endless wait in the doctor's office, or our two-year-old's tantrum in the supermarket.
     It usually seems as if our dukkha (stress, misery, suffering) is being caused by someone or something outside of ourselves. While it is true that there is unfairness, unkindness, and abusiveness in the world, our peace and our happiness are determined not by the events and conditions around us, but by how we experience those events and conditions. Learning to accept and act on that reality rather than reacting in our usual conditioned way, or with our usual knee-jerk reactions requires, for most of us, a balance of determination and patience. 
     I think that taking time each day to remember that "I am the only one who can destroy my peace" can be an effective reminder to not do so. It is a form of mind training that we practice with patience.
     Thank you for your question and may you enjoy your practice.


Broadway's picture

thank you!

waltsh's picture

Very satisfying. Thanks.

reval's picture

Thank you for your comment and may you continue your practice with great satisfaction.

deepurple's picture

I just joined Tricycle.  I am new to meditation practice although I have meditated on my own while practicing hatha yoga and at times when I need to be centered.  I found this first lesson very relaxing and straight forward.  I plan to practice daily.  Thank you for your insight.  


reval's picture

Welcome to Tricycle.
May you enjoy your practice.

peaches's picture

I've already had to use "Only I can destroy my peace and I choose not to do so" today.  What I find is that the stubborn side of me steps in and says "But you are right!  Why should they get away with that?" 

It's fighting that inner voice that I realize I am eventually able to find my soft spot. By repeating "Only I can destroy..."  I saw a glimpse, today, how this will help me learn to let go. 

Thank you for this teaching :)


reval's picture

In my book, Pocket Peace, I suggest sitting for five minutes a day for one week and repeating the phrase, "Only I can destroy my peace, and I choose not to do so." Notice that there are two parts to this practice, the first is a realization and the second, a commitment to yourself. After awhile you may find that the strength of that commitment has weakened and then you can practice again for a week. Over time, as we begin to own this practice, it becomes very powerful and we find our selves enjoying longer periods of inner peace.
     As to being "right" sometimes we have to decide if we'd rather be right or be happy.
     I hope the teachings continue to be of benefit and you enjoy even greater peace.
Allan's picture

Oh, i like this guy...really looking forward to the rest of this retreat....

clear, concise and uncluttered.


reval's picture


Thank you for your kind words. We want this retreat to be pragmatic and so we'll offer specific practices in each session. I hope you continue to find it of benefit.