by Bruce Linton
Thinking about Father’s Day this year, 2016
When I became a lay Buddhist monk 37 years ago I never imagined becoming a father or that I my children would teach me the life truths I had been trying to understand through meditation and dharma study.
There is a story about a Zen monk who wants to become an archer. He seeks out the finest Zen archery teacher in all of Japan. He asks to become his student and how long his training will last. The teacher says, “It will take your whole life.” The monk says “What if I really apply myself very diligently?” The teacher says, “Then it will take you only 30 years.” But says the monk, “What if I double my efforts, how long would it take me then?” The teacher says, “Then it will take you 70 years.” But says the monk “How could it take me 70 years if I am redoubling my efforts!” The teacher says “Because you are so impatient, it will take you longer.”
Patients and Fatherhood:
The fast paced world of today’s society addicts us to get more done in less time. It is a trap we all fall prey to. There is a great force pushing us towards moving faster and faster. As I became aware of this, I let my son and daughter teach me the value of patience, not rushing when my daughter needed time to tie her shoes when she was five, or sitting in my son’s room with him when he was seven and listening to the adventures of his days. These are dear moments now in retrospect. By taking time to follow their pace I became much more connected with them and with the world around me. We often took leisurely walks together just to enjoy the “beauty of the moment” as we perused our neighborhood gardens. My whole life has been calmer because my children needed me to be patient. It is the number one tool I teach new dads. “The five most important tools in your parenting tool box— patience, patience, patience patience and patience.” Read more