The Art of Patiently Waiting Anywhere

Reminder to self: take a deep breath, enjoy the moment, be patient. All that you want is on the way…or wasn’t necessary anyway. 

by Debra Moffitt

Patiently Waiting like a Buddha. Photo from
Patiently Waiting like a Buddha. Photo courtesy of Taschen

What’s your patience quotient? On a scale of one to ten with ten being the most patient, how would you rate yourself?

Uuuhhhh…honestly. On a good day, I’m an 8. Maybe. On a day when I have to stand in line at the post office and after six people I finally meet the person behind counter who tells me I have to use a machine for my transaction, I rate about a zero. No pretensions of being a saint here.

In Western culture we want our desires fulfilled NOW! And I get that. The practice of patiently waiting for the right timing and place for things to happen has slipped away. We’ve forgotten about the time it takes to grow the wheat or the bananas on our breakfast table. We want things at Internet speed. When our ancestors lived closer to nature, they were attuned to the rhythm of days. But now, computers, clocks and cell phones measure out the seconds of our lives. And finding enjoyment in waiting seems more harrying than restful…except at the airport.

There’s a peace and quiet that comes with being in the in-between space. At the gate, or on the plane. No need to rush any more to get anywhere because I’m consciously on the journey. In transit. Waiting. But liking it. It’s a good wait. Good because I’m where I need to be. If I move ahead before it’s time, I’ll be in the wrong place — on the tarmac without a plane. And yet I can’t go off and do anything except be in the seat at the gate or on my way on the plane…and surrender to the moment. I like this chance to relax deeply and trust and surrender to these stolen moments — not rushing anywhere or doing anything.

Sometimes, in dreams, I find myself in airports. I know it means I’m in transition — in a waiting period. During hectic days, on occasion, a sense of longing comes for airport times and the safe desire of accepting fully and completely where I am with no need to rush off anywhere else. That’s a luxury. Wishing you patience in your day.

Copyrght Debra Moffitt, 2015

No portion of this blog or any post on this site may be used, reprinted, or republished in any format including ebooks or other blog posts, without prior written permission.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of “Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life” and “Garden of Bliss.” visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute, Esalen Institute, and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at



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