Awake in the World

Awake in the World

The Art of Patiently Waiting

“Patient and regular practice is the whole secret of spiritual realization. Do not be in a hurry in spiritual life. Do your utmost, and leave the rest to God.” – Swami Shivananda

In American culture we want our desires fulfilled NOW! The practice of patiently waiting for the right timing and place for things to happen has slipped away. When our ancestors lived closer to nature, we were attuned to the rhythm of days and seasons without computers, clocks and cell phones measuring out the seconds. We were better able to understand the power in the process of waiting.

In nature seeds are planted in fall or early spring. Soil is tended and the seeds are watered and labored over long before the first shoots poke through the earth. An impatient gardener will want to dig down to the seeds and see what’s going on beneath the surface. But if he gives into that desire, he’ll disturb the growth and possibly kill the sprouting seedlings. The wise gardener plants the seeds and has faith that they are growing out of sight in the darkness. While he patiently tends to weeds and waters the surface, the seeds will take root and grow into potatoes, a pear tree or whatever he has planted.


Consider the seeds you’ve planted or are planting.  This is like karma. What we plant today in thoughts words and actions will grow into events in our lives tomorrow. To make the waiting process easier, it’s possible to tend to the details. What can you do to fertilize the space and make it ready for the seedlings? Can you bring more positive energy into today? What do you need to do to tend to the seedlings wisely so that the good seeds will grow? Good thoughts, good words and good actions will bring about a good harvest in the right time.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at and

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