A little slower.
I sometimes move too fast through life, but I realize now that it pays to move a little slower. The three things a young Samana must do are to wait, think, and fast.
When we move slower, we resist our impulse to act. We wait, and we survey the field so that we know exactly what we are going up against. It becomes very difficult to move without knowing exactly what direction we are moving in, nor why. So waiting a little bit becomes very valuable.
Then we think. What are the benefits, and what are the acceptable risks? Thinking also requires time and consideration, seeing things from different perspectives. Thinking is also the only way that we will be able to identify, isolate, and deal with our mistaken beliefs about the world. If we don’t think, it becomes very hard to be self-aware.
Fast. To go without. This is the hard part. If you go without a partner, you will soon experience terrible loneliness and you’ll be forced to learn how to live alone. If you go without food, you will soon experience a terrible hunger and you’ll be forced to learn how to survive on smaller portions. Fasting often involves a terrible feeling, but on the other side of fasting is a discovery of spiritual proportions.
So these three tools, are tools with which we can navigate desire. Let us turn to them more often before we turn to action.