An Excerpt from Renewal: A Little Book of Courage & Hope by Eknath Easwaran

Meditation teacher Eknath Easwaran discusses a wide variety of spiritual practices that accompany a process of transformation. Here's an excerpt on patience, which we include in the spiritual practice of hope.

"Patience is one of the most valuable allies in the difficult journey of self-transformation. . . . When you are able to be patient with others, you can be patient with yourself, and that will give you all the inner support you need to persevere and make the changes you want to make in your life. But patience can't be acquired overnight. It's just like building up a muscle. Every day you need to work on it, to push its limits. When people tell me they don't have any patience, I always say, 'that's only because you've never pushed it.'

"Every day I push my patience. Whenever people provoke me or cause me difficulties (which is seldom, but it does happen), I don't get agitated or give up on them or try to be critical. I say to myself, 'Here's a chance to extend my patience. Let me bear with him until he falls down, and then help him get up. Let me bear with her until she comes around, and then work with her in harmony.' That kind of gritting your teeth and bearing it, establishing your roots deeper and deeper in your consciousness, can bring you, as Gandhi proved, an endurance that no government or corporation or institution can shake.

"In Sanskrit, God is called kshamasagara, an ocean of patience. Look at all that we are doing to the earth, yet because God is an ocean of patience, when we learn to be patient with ourselves and others, we become humble instruments in his hands, bringing harmony and peace to the world."