Waiting is a Virtue

Action oriented or Goal oriented

Today, I shared a memory on my personal facebook wall, with title-Waiting is a virtue:

We have forgotten how to wait; it is almost an abandoned space. And it is our greatest treasure to be able to wait for the right moment. The whole existence waits for the right moment. Even trees know it–when it is time to bring the flowers and when it is time to let go of all the leaves and stand naked against the sky. They are still beautiful in that nakedness, waiting for the new foliage with a great trust that the old has gone, and the new will soon be coming, and the new leaves will start growing. We have forgotten to wait, we want everything in a hurry. It is a great loss to humanity…. In silence and waiting something inside you goes on growing–your authentic being. And one day it jumps and becomes a flame, and your whole personality is shattered; you are a new man. And this new man knows what ceremony is, this new man knows life’s eternal juices.

Osho Zen: The Diamond Thunderbolt Chapter 10

And two friends commented on it, both wanted to know:

  • If waiting is same as patience?
  • If waiting is same as persistence?

Normally, I would have answered there itself, but I felt that the answer to this may be beneficial to others in the path. And so I decided to do a blog post on it.

In this world, where from childhood, we are told to follow goal- “You have to come first in the class”; “You have to win this competition”- A world where achievers are celebrated. It is easy to misunderstand waiting as patience, or even persistence.

We patiently bide for our time… with some goal in our mind.

We persistently work, despite hardships… with some goal in our mind.

Action oriented or Goal Oriented

Words often fail us, so when an enlightened mind like Osho, talks of waiting- we still misunderstand it- due to flaw in our understanding and think that – the trees are waiting for the flower… Yet the “trees waiting” is a perfect example- but trees are not waiting for flowers to come, for fruits to pop up. Trees are purely waiting… If flowers or fruits come, trees share them, and still continue to wait.

Yes, I can hear waiting for what? The true waiting is not goal oriented… it is a pure action… not aimed to reach anywhere.

Trees do not become sad, if flowers do not come. They do not think their life is wasted because they could not flower. They do not remorse that despite so much hard-work they could not succeed.

I say, waiting is a virtue, because, when you are truly waiting- you are truly open for the existence. You continue being what you are, fully accepting everything. If existence gives you fame, it is good. If existence gives you obstacles, even they are accepted. Whatever happens I am waiting. I am being.

Waiting is not ‘penance’ – the existence is not giving you any punishment. Waiting is a virtue, it is state of being… and when the waiting is full– you become completely empty- empty like a bamboo- and then the real music flows from you.

This is how I understand waiting, this is the waiting I call virtue, I know that your understanding of the word waiting maybe different, we associate words based on our life experience. But whichever word that you know resonate with this “pure action of waiting” without an aim to reach anywhere or achieve anything – replace “waiting” with that. That is virtue.

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