After sitting in the office today, I reflected on the past several days as a flurry of anticipations. Rarely do I realize how inundated my day-to-day life is with waiting. I am always in waiting—relentlessly—for the next thing—whatever it might be. These anticipations take all the colors of the rainbow—from desire for a new thing, stress about an upcoming interview, up to the noblest aspirations of helping another or cultivating my own positive qualities. Whatever it is that I’m waiting for, by the time it arrives (if it ever does), there is already another thing for which I sit in waiting.

When I sit, my body continues to anticipate the future in an obscure language of twitches and incipient sensations. After a minute or two, my body settles, giving way to a far more unsettled mind. And that’s where most of the waiting occurs. Now I am waiting for my better nature—my Buddha-nature—to emerge. I often am. Not passively waiting, as if for a train, but doing what I can, what I can manage, to speed its arrival. Where is it? I feel as though if I could just catch a glimpse of it—even the most distant glimpse—I would feel supremely content, and utterly at home. Just to see it.

After my body has been settled for some time, my mind finally follows suit. Now I no longer wait, and any boredom I felt evaporates without a trace. But for some reason this isn’t satisfactory, and again I am in waiting.

Thank you for subscribing to Tricycle! As a nonprofit, to keep Buddhist teachings and practices widely available.

This article is only for Subscribers!

Subscribe now to read this article and get immediate access to everything else.

Subscribe Now

Already a subscriber? .