The Perfection of Patience

Patience is one of the six paramitas of Buddha’s teachings.

Paramita is a Sanskrit word meaning “to cross over to the other shore.”

It also connotates the idea of perfection, perfect realization, or surpassing limitations as well as completeness. Hence, the practice of the perfection of patience is encouraged by Buddhist teachers.

The complete list of paramitas includes (1) generosity, (2) ethics, (3) patience, (4)
perseverance, (5) concentration, and (6) wisdom.

This video, while far from a Buddhist presentation, is interesting for several reasons.

  1. The concept of patience is explained in a way that a Buddhist teacher would do so.
  2. The experiment referred to by the narrator is fascinating on its own.
  3. Patience is a universal perfection taught by many religions.

Please enjoy this video with an open mind.


I had heard about the experiment with the four year old children many years ago when I read Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman.

You don’t have to be a Mormon to appreciate the message of patience.

I published this post because I love the kids and the expressions on their faces.

Would you have eaten the first marshmallow or waited to have two? Why?

Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition; Why It Can Matter More Than IQ
Old Price: $29.00
Price: $11.87
Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships
Old Price: $16.00
Price: $7.74

I highly recommend both of these books.

They were instrumental in my decision to start Mindfulness in Healing.

They provided inspiration for Mindfulness Practices and 9 Minute Meditation.

Note: This article was originally posted on August 20, 2012. It has be expanded and updated to fit into a series of articles on the paramitas. For more information, please check out the Paramita tab, below.

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