"Master the lost art of waiting, and you will make friends with time and grow less bored, irritated, or annoyed. Living in the eternal moment will exceed your greatest expectations. This is the exuberant Tao of Now, or Way of the Present.

"Here are some further practical tips on waiting that will put you — not the clock — in charge:

"1. PICK THE LONGEST LINE AT THE CHECKOUT COUNTER. That way, you won't be disappointed. And to your surprise, you may find that it moves more quickly than the lines around you. Smile at the frustrated customers (that used to be you!) who picked the shortest one. By just walking to the back of the longest line, you can transform the atmosphere in the room, slow down the pace, and change peoples' perception of time.

"2. CHANT SILENTLY. Chant 'Om mani padme hum,' the main Tibetan Buddhist mantra, or any other calm, peaceful chant, to soothe your mind and spirit and bring you back to center. Or memorize and recall your favorite poems.

"3. DISCOVER THE SPACE AROUND YOU — the rhythm of the sounds, the texture of the setting, the voices and movement of those in your midst coming and going. Don't label. Simply relax into time and take it all in.

"4. DO THE SHUNI MUDRA, HOLDING THE TIPS OF YOUR MIDDLE FINGER AND THUMB TOGETHER. This is a classic hand gesture or silent meditation for cultivating patience. These fingers are associated with the lung meridian and the heart governor meridian, respectively, and will harmonize your breathing, circulation, and Chi energy flow. This works anywhere, anytime: in line, arguing with your spouse, meeting with your boss, or jetting across the country.

"Life is full of surprises and disappointments, delays and interruptions. The mere fact that we have to wait from time to time doesn't mean we have to put our mindfulness, good humor, and kindness on hold. While you're waiting for something else to happen, your life is still your life."