Awakened Living Study Program, Lesson 15: PATIENCE

Dear brothers and sisters: Good morning and thank you for attending our weekly Awakened Living Study Program. My name is Alaye Soteme and I will be your host. Our topic for today’s Study is PATIENCE. May we focus our full attention on this study for the lessons of life because knowledge is POWER, knowledge is SUCCESS, knowledge is FORGIVENESS, knowledge is WISDOM, knowledge is ENLIGHTENMENT and knowledge is AWAKENED LIVING.

All quotes relating to GOD are interpreted in a Universal sense; in other words our use of the word GOD does not refer to any religion, cultural Gods, saviors, or created Gods. GOD is the underlying ESSENCE of the Universe. GOD has no chosen people, GOD has no Sacred Text and GOD has no Sacred Place! The Universe is the Sacred Text, the Universe is the Sacred Place and all creatures are Testaments of GOD! 

Further you are here to look at life from a different angle. You are not here to follow what others have put in place be it their religion, their Gods, their sacred texts, their beliefs or their way of thinking. You are here to share your LIGHT with the world.  The beliefs of our ancestors are our liabilities. Our challenge is to look at life in ways that promote interdependence and destroy all forms of discrimination including racism, tribalism, nationalism, nepotism, fundamentalism, fanaticism, favoritism, exclusivism, chosen people and racial superiority. 

Lastly, none of the quotes here is absolute or written in blood. They are all human thoughts and ideas based on their experiences and according to their levels of consciousness. The Awakened Living Study Program is a platform to study what others have said and improve on them. Do not for any reason use the quotes as mantra for life because you are the LIGHT!

Opening Meditation
You may offer an appropriate prayer before reading, discussing and reflecting on the famous quotes and the Sacred Texts verses. You may use the following prayer:

O LOVE who pervades the universe, we thank you for this opportunity to learn. We pray for LOVE to manifest amongst us to guide our readings, discussions and reflections. We specially pray for peace of mind and save us from all distractions and concerns of mind and body so that we may learn the lessons of life for our guidance and the transformation of our lives. In the name of Love, the Earth and the Universe, Amen.

The Study Leader may make announcements at this time. Welcome new members, recognize birthdays or anniversaries; make an award or recognize a contribution; announce Circle of Life successes. This is also an opportunity for anyone to share an experience, give thanks or make a request for special prayers.


Opening Thoughts
The leader or an appointed person will stand and read the opening thoughts. The opening thoughts explain the topic of discussion. You may use the information below or explain it in your own words.

What do you remember when I say the word ‘patience? If you’ve ever learned about the similes; you would probably remember “as patient as Job”. Why was Job so patient? Job is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible, or the Tanakh. The book tells of the story of a prosperous righteous man who lost everything he had including children, oxen, donkeys, sheep and real estate. All he said in reaction to his crippling loss was, “Naked I came out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return: “Lord has given, and Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." But that was not the end of his suffering. Later he had boils all over his body and was in the most miserable physical condition anyone could ever be. In reaction to his suffering his wife advised him to fire his God and Job said:

 "You speak as one of the foolish speaks. Moreover, shall we receive good from God and shall not receive evil?" Later Job’s friends came to console him. They sat with Job on the ground for seven days without saying anything because they saw that he was in too much pain. Meanwhile Job tried to figure out the mystery behind his suffering but he could not see any reason and cried out to God to deliver him. I cry to you for help and you do not answer me; I stand, and you only look at me. You have turned cruel to me; with the might of your hand you persecute me. You lift me up on the wind; you make me ride on it, and you toss me about in the roar of the storm. For I know that you will bring me to death and to the house appointed for all living. Job: 30:20-23.

Job cried and cried but no answer so he assumed that God was punishing him for his sins in this passage:

“If I have sinned, what have I done to you, you who see everything we do? Why have you made me your target? Have I become a burden to you”? Job 7:20.

Later Job recognizes his lack of understanding and affirms the supremacy of God:

 “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. Job 42:2

The story ends with Job restored to health, with a new family and twice as much livestock.

Famous Quotes
Take turns to read the famous quotes and discuss what you have learned from each quote.  Please give credit to the author of the quote and as an assignment for presentations each person may choose an author and find out more about the author to share with the group during the next session.

1 Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. Ralph Waldo Emerson
2 He that can have patience can have what he will. Benjamin Franklin
3 How poor are they that have not patience. What wound did ever heal but by degrees? William Shakespeare
4 If I have made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention than to any other talent. Sir Isaac Newton
5 Like farmers we need to learn that we cannot sow and reap the same day. Anonymous
6 My son, observe the postage stamp! Its usefulness depends upon its ability to stick to one thing until it gets there. Henry Wheeler Shaw
7 One moment of patience may ward off great disaster.  One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life. Chinese Proverb
8 "All things pass ... Patience attains all it strives for." St. Theresa of Avila
9 "He who hurries cannot walk with dignity." Chinese Proverb
10 Patience is the companion of wisdom. Saint Augustine

Sacred Texts Quotes
Take turns to read all the sacred text quotes and discuss what you have learned from each quote. In your discussion compare and contrast the quotes. What did you learn from the similarities and differences? What quote inspires you? What life lessons did you learn from the quote? Please give credit to the sacred text during your reading by mentioning the name of the text and where the quote could be found. 

1 The mind is indeed restless, Arjuna: it is indeed hard to train. But by contant practice and by freedom from passions the mind in truth can be trained. Hinduism: Bhagavad Gita 6:35
2  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Christianity: New Testament, Galatians 6.9
3 Patience is the Sannyasin’s carry-bag. Indifference is his loincloth. Conscious thought is his staff. Hinduism: Nirvana Upnishad
4 Simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures. Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being. Patient with both friends and enemies, you accord with the way things are. Compassionate toward yourself, you reconcile all beings in the world. Taoism: Tao Te Ching 67
5 By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone. Judaism: Tanakh, Proverbs 25:15
6 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. Christianity: New Testament 1 Thessalonians 5:14
Though he be ever so tired by repeated failure, let him begin his operations again and again; for fortune greatly favors the man who perseveres in his undertakings. Hinduism: Laws of Manu 9.300
Prosperity forsakes those who always dream of fate and favors those who persevere.  One should therefore always be active and alert. Hinduism: Matsya Purana 221.2
9  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Christianity: New Testament Galatians 6.9
10 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Christianity: New Testament Galatians 5:22-23

Teaching Story
The teaching story is a story, a parable or thoughts related to the topic of discussion. An appointed person will read each story and the group will take turns and discuss. What does the story mean to you? What did you learn from the story? Did the story add anything new to the topic of discussion? How has this study enriched your life?

The Reward of Patience
Once upon a time, the Great God Olodumare ruled the Heavens with his angels the Orishas. After the creation of the Earth some of the Orishas including Orunmila descended onto the earth and founded the City of Ile-Ife and lived there. Orunmila was the High Priest and custodian of Ifa Divination. Meanwhile one of the remaining Orishas in heaven, Igun, fell ill and sought the advice of Olodumare, the Great God. Igun told Olodumare that his stomach, legs and arms were paining him and that he is very uncomfortable with his life. Olodumare observed Igun with utmost interest and advised him to descent onto the earth and that he would be healed as soon as he sets his feet on the land of Ile Ife.

Meanwhile Orunmila had two wives but they were very poor and childless. The family was so poor that they could hardly afford a regular meal, wear nice clothes or live in a good house.  Concerned about his condition on earth Orunmila decided to consult Ifa to find out what he needed to do to change his life? Ifa is a system of divination practiced in Orisha and similar religions. The divination assured Orunmila that he would be successful in life as long as he chose properly and performed his duties well. One of the duties suggested by Ifa was for Orunmila to take half of the family food to the Temple of Esu for five days. After the food is cooked for each day he would take half of the food and deliver it to the Temple of Esu in a plate and place the plate on the sacred corner of the Temple. Half of the food taken would only leave half for him and his two wives but believing on the truth of Ifa Orunmila chose to remain hungry in order to satisfy the demands of Ifa.

As soon as Orunmila left the temple of Esu after placing the food for the first day at the sacred place of the temple Igun descended on Earth and went straight to the Temple of Esu. Esu welcomed Igun and invited him to dinner. As soon as Igun ate the dinner his stomach pain healed. The next day Orunmila took half of their food for the day to the temple of Esu for the second day. Esu invited Igun for dinner at the proper time and Igun ate again and his right leg was healed. On the third day Igun was invited to dinner again and as he ate his right arm became healed. On the fourth day his left leg healed after he ate the dinner and on the fifth day his left arm healed after he ate the dinner. In this way Igun became completely healed but he did not want to walk away without knowing the identity of the person who provided the dinner that healed him from his illness. Esu told Igun that it was Orunmila, the High Priest. Igun thanked Esu for his hospitality and returned to the heavens.

Igun appeared before the Great God Olodumare and shared his experiences on earth but most importantly how he feels better and how he wanted to repay the high priest, Orunmila for his faith and generosity. Olodumare was very pleased and gave Igun four gifts to present before Orunmila. Olodumare gave Igun Wealth, Children, Longevity and Patience but added that Orunmila can only choose one gift only and the remaining gifts would be returned to the heavens. After hearing from Olodumare Igun descended to the City of Ile Ife and went straight to the house of Orunmila with the four gifts.  Igun thanked Orunmila for his faith and generosity and told him that he had found favor in heaven for his deeds and that as a blessing for his faith and generosity he may choose from the four gifts.

As a good husband Orunmila met with his two wives to consider the gifts. First he asked the second wife what she thought was a better choice and her reasons for that choice. The second wife chose wealth and said that wealth would help them to improve their material well being including eating well, wearing nice clothes and living in a better house. Orunmila thanked his second wife for her contribution and asked the same question to the first wife. The first wife chose children for the experience of giving birth and for someone to give them a good burial when they die. Again Orunmila thanked his first wife and invited one of his friends to advise him on which of the four gifts to choose. The friend advised Orunmila to choose longevity so that he could live longer than any human being on earth and he will be the most respected person because of his age. Finally Orunmila decided to consult Ifa. Ifa divination advised him to choose patience because one who has patience gets everything. Orunmila considered all the suggestions but decided on patience and Igun returned to the heavens with the three remaining gifts.

The two wives were disappointed with their husband’s choice to say the least and complained about how their lives could have changed if he sided with them to which he always told them that he who is patient gets everything. Meanwhile wealth got tired of living in heaven without patience and sought permission from Ologumare to descend to the earth and live with patience which Olodumare freely granted. As soon as wealth joined patience on earth Orunmila and his family became wealthy. Later Children went to Olodumare to seek permission to descend to the the earth and live with Patience and Wealth to which Olodumare freely granted and Children went to live with wealth and patience. At that moment the two wives became pregnant and gave birth to healthy babies. Finally longevity felt so lonesome without her friends so she also went to obtain permission from Olodumare to descend to the earth and live with patience, wealth and children. Olodumare granted the request making Orunmila and his family the happiest people on earth. (Retold by Dr. Sonari)

Closing Meditation
The closing meditation presents the highlights of the Study.  The highlights should include among others what you have learned and what aspects of the study are worth noting. The leader or an appointed person may share the closing meditation. You may use the thoughts and information provided below but I encourage you to use the contributions of the participants and current relevant information.

We have learned that “He that can have patience can have what he will” But the most important aspect of our journey is that we are not alone irrespective of what happens to us or the choices we make. Universal Love is with us without conditions. However, sometimes our circumstances could be devastating and leave us with no other options but let us have the wisdom to know that we are not stuck to circumstances and have the courage to pick up the pieces and move on.

You may accept gifts and donations at this time for the work you are doing. It takes effort, time and money to put the Study Program together so I encourage attendants to give. An appointed person may now pass the donation bag. The leader may bless the gifts after the donations.

Closing Prayer
Always close your Study Program with a prayer or an affirmation. Pray for guidance and direction during the week. Pray for everyone present. The leader or an appointed person may offer the closing prayer. You may use the sample prayer if needed.

 A Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226)
LORD, make me an instrument of THY peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine MASTER, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying (to self) that we are born to eternal life.
In the name of Love, the Earth and the Universe, Amen

You may serve refreshments after the Study. This is a time to relax and socialize. Get to know the people in the Program with you and I mean really know them well. One of the secrets of success is connection so I encourage you to know the people around you. The host may decide what to serve or he or she may ask the attendants what they want for refreshments before each Awakened Living Study Program.

Talent Contribution
You may now entertain the group with your talent in music, songs, dance and poetry including playing musical instruments. This is also a time to share your Awakened Living Tips for the benefit of the group.

Circle of Life
The Circle of Life depicts different aspects of your life. You are at the center and the different aspects radiate outwards to form a circle as long as they are in harmony. You can pinpoint an aspect of your life at any given time and find out if you are in harmony with the rest of the circle. If an aspect needs improvement you may have an uneven circle. Your challenge then is to work on the area that needs improvement in order to keep it in harmony with the rest of the circle.

There are 12 aspects in this version of the Wheel of Life including Health, Spirituality, Family, Relationships, Education, Mission, Finances, Work, Play, Personal Development, Environment, and creativity. Take time to answer the following questions and begin to work on the areas that need improvement.

1. Are you healthy?
2. Do you have any bad habits like drinking, smoking, pornography, fast foods and doing drugs?

1. Are you spiritual?
2. When was the last time you meditated, chanted, affirmed or prayed?

1. Do you have a family?
2. Are you happy with your spouse, children, and parents?

1. Do you have friends?
2. Are you happy with your friends, co-workers, boss?

1. Do you have a degree?
2. When was the last time you read a book?

1. Do you have a mission statement?
2. What is your life mission?

1 Are you financially stable?
2. Do you have any debts?

1. Do you have a job, career?
2. Are you happy with your job, career?

1. Do you play regularly?
2. When was the last time you played with your friends, children, spouse, parents or pet?

Personal Development
1. Do you lose your temper often?
2. When was the last time you took a class on human development?

1 Are you happy with your environment?
2. How are you reducing pollution?

1. Are you sharing your creativity?
2. When was the last time you wrote a poem, painted, sang, danced, or played a musical instrument?

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