Swami Shraddhananda wrote:Contentment is a requirement for peace of mind, yet we live in a culture that fosters discontentment. We are bombarded by advertisements that make us feel inadequate and promote a continual grasping for material wealth and sensual experience. We are taught to seek superficial gratification with no regard for future consequences for ourselves or the world. We become attached to things and people to avoid our personal discomfort. We are led to believe that satisfaction of our cravings, as well as our egos, will bring happiness.
So, what is contentment, and how do we incorporate it as an "observance" in our lives? Contentment is serenity, but not complacency. It is comfort, but not submission; reconciliation, not apathy; acknowledgment, not aloofness. Contentment is a mental decision, a moral choice, a practiced observance, a step into the reality of the cosmos. Contentment/santosha is the natural state of our humanness and our divinity and allows for our creativity and love to emerge. It is knowing our place in the universe at every moment. It is unity with the largest, most abiding, reality.
There are several ways to cultivate contentment. We can practice yoga postures, pranayama (deep breathing) and meditation to keep our energies balanced and our mind serene--qualities that lead toward contentment. We can keep a journal of things for which we are grateful. The deepest contentment comes at those moments when we feel we are in the flow of life, when we are communing with nature, when our energies are positive and when we have no desires. By being conscious of these moments, we can strengthen, expand and sustain the feeling of contentment for longer periods of time. Even when we are surrounded by chaos and disharmony, we can return to this feeling and find ourselves back in a place of peace and quietude. The state of contentment becomes a familiar place when we observe it throughout the day. The key is to bring our attention fully to it when it occurs and not hurry on to the next activity. And by affirming our place in the cosmos, our connection to others and our interface with the divine, it is harder to lose our way when disturbances arise.
Laura Baker Cole wrote:Santosha is the practice and cultivation of contentment. It is the ability to be at peace in any circumstances that we find ourselves in. That ability arises out of a knowing that every situation is an opportunity to learn and experience ourselves in ways that foster our growth. Santosha roots itself in knowing that we are always with God and are therefore truly lacking nothing.
Santosha is not synonymous with complacency where we accept or tolerate unhealthy situations. Nor does it mean that we allow our growth to lie dormant. But rather it is practicing patience and making the most of our hardships while striving to better them.
Fully practicing santosha is remaining equanimous even in difficult circumstances that have no semblance of joy. When our joy does not reside in nor depend upon lifeâ€™s obviously sweeter windfalls, then too are we practicing santosha. Maintaining hopefulness during hard times, finding balance in wonderful times, and being at peace with every stage of our growth is santosha.
It's not having what you want
It's wanting what you've got
RedRox wrote: knowing that we are always with God and are therefore truly lacking nothing.
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest