Question: Though patience is a virtue, it is hard to see exactly what patience can accomplish. Are patience and one-pointedness ever compatible?

Sri Chinmoy: In both the spiritual life and the ordinary human life, patience is of supreme importance. Every morning we pray to God for many things. We ask Him to give us Light, Compassion and Joy, or we ask Him to remove our anxieties, worries, pride, jealousy, insecurity and so forth. But just because our prayers are not fulfilled today, or tomorrow, or even the day after tomorrow, we shall not stop praying. If we continue to pray, we know that one day our prayers have to be fulfilled — even though it may take centuries.

The mind says, "Since I am so sincere, my prayer has to be fulfilled today, or at least tomorrow." But God has His own Time. Our sincerity God is definitely recording on the tablet of His Heart, but He has fixed an hour for us. At that hour only He will remove all our negative qualities and inundate us with good qualities.

But patience, in and of itself, is not enough. Patience has to be helped by will-power and one-pointed concentration. Nothing can be accomplished if the power of concentration disappears. In proper concentration, there is not an iota of thought. If we want one-pointedness, we can get it only by concentrating on an object smaller than the smallest — like the tip of our thumbnail. The smaller the object we concentrate upon, the stronger becomes our will-power.

If patience is supported by one-pointedness, then one day this earth will be transformed into Heaven, or Heaven will descend to earth. When one-pointedness enters into patience, it expedites everything. It shortens the time we have to wait for something. Also, it strengthens and illumines patience in such a way that patience feels that it has been waiting just a short while. Even if we have been waiting for twelve or thirteen years to get something accomplished, one-pointedness makes us feel, "Oh, I just started exercising patience."

From:Sri Chinmoy,One hundred and one unanswered questions, part 1, Agni Press, 1998
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