March 5, 2012
Santosha ~ Contentment
I mentioned in classes last week that the teaching of Santosa, or contentment is one of the easiest yogic teachings to remember, and at the same time, one of the most difficult to master.
Truly being content with every thing, event, situation, person or experience in life takes daily practice. We need to learn to feel gratitude for every thing that has ever been presented to us. We need to feel gratitude for what we do have, instead of seeking for what’s next, or what we may be able to have.
There is a Chinese Proverb which states “People in the West are always getting ready to live.” We are always looking forward to what the next stage of life is, to where the future will bring us, to what’s next. We forget to live now! This continual looking outward for something that will fulfill us always keeps contentment out of reach.
Let’s live in this very moment, be grateful for every event or action that has led you here. Let’s truly be grateful for where we are in our lives, and all of the abundance that we are blessed with. Let’s recognize that people, things and experiences are not good or bad, right or wrong, but rather they are neutral. We choose to label them, or categorize them as something to make things easier for us to understand. We can practice Santosha, by getting out of our own way and seeing reality as neutral…as just simply being. Understand that nothing can be different in this moment, but rather it is complete, as it is.
Remember the wisdom of a 116 year old man, who, when asked the secret to his longevity, replied, “When it rains, I let it.” We can learn that when we hear noise, it does not disturb us, but rather we disturb the noise. It will be there regardless, but we have the personal power to decide how we will perceive it.
When we learn to let things be as they are, neutral, we also learn how to let others be as they are, and to let experiences be as they are. We resist the urge to try to manipulate them to our preferences. From this practice of Santosha, we allow freedom in our lives.
As Deborah Adele finely states; “Being content with our discontentment is itself a gateway to the calm depths within.”