The Buddha offered us this teaching on patience: If you put a handful of salt in a small bowl of water, it will be too salty to drink. But if you pour it into a river, the river can accept it without harm and flow on. If we are small-minded and shut off from others, a small word can enrage us, because we are trapped in a small prison of defended self-interest. But if we can widen our hearts and think bigger, if we have compassion and understanding for the suffering of others, we aren’t so easily harmed by them. We can widen our circle of patience and compassion, even for those with whom we might be in conflict.

From The Zen Way of Recovery: An Illuminated Path Out of the Darkness of Addiction by Laura Burges © 2023 by Laura Burges. Reprinted in arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc.

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