‘Learning to listen and to wait,’ writes Liz Hosken, ‘not to do, and to allow right action to emerge, is the most potent healing for our over-active, over-productive psyche. But this is the hardest thing for us to do. Our atrophied senses work on a different timing. They require the ego’s mind to wait – to ‘suspend disbelief’, in order for something new to emerge.’ (ewl, 33)
Yes, listening and waiting are so hard in our culture, tantamount to boredom. Patience is my greatest challenge. In meditation recently we were given the image of a jar of river water, a mix of silt and water. Shake it and it stays cloudy. But leave it alone, wait, let the silt settle, and it clarifies.
Sometimes I picture a hunter atop a seal hole. Impatience can mean starvation. Everything depends on doing nothing.
Consider a gathering of ents, an ent-moot. An ent takes its time. All other ents must wait, but they don’t seem to mind. In fact, an ent’s mind seem as solid as oak, as supple as wet willow.
Yet, as we learn in Lord of the Rings, comes a time for urgent action, too. Like the seal-hunter, entish action, after much deliberation, is swift and sure.