Contentment Gone Crazy!

Christina Sarich, Contributing Writer
Waking Times

The path of a yogi includes the practice of Santosha, a Niyama, or observation outlined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. It is one of the fastest ways to raise your thought-vibration to a higher level. Instead of focusing on what is lacking in your life, or a perceived absence of good, you focus on giving thanks, and cultivating true contentment for all that you do have. It’s a bit like Newton’s law of motion in the beginning. Imagine pushing a heavy truck up a hill in San Francisco that has run out of gas, and that no longer has a parking brake. When you first begin the practice, it seems as if you can’t even get the truck to move an inch, let alone develop enough momentum to push it all the way up that hill. With practice; however, and by taking your mind away from covetousness, pretty soon the truck is at the apex of the hill, and ready to roll down without an ounce of effort.

Covetousness is a form of dualistic thinking. It automatically puts you outside of the flow of the good you want, because it makes something ‘out there’ the only means to your happiness. You can have the perfect job, the perfect house, and the perfect partner, but unless you are consciously cultivating a sense of gratitude for all that you have, you will always get tricked into thinking there is something bigger and better.  The kick in the pants is that the minute you start just appreciating what you’ve got, all those things ‘out there’ start rushing into meet you, because you are carrying the vibration of gratitude within your own self.  People can’t help but want to give more to a gracious and thankful person. They will go out of their way to give to you, because whether they are consciously doing it or not, they are responding to your vibration of contentment.

Most of the world’s religions, at their core, and stripped from dogma, teach gratitude. The reason for this is that is changes your interaction with the world. The Dalai Lama once said,”If you have a particular faith or religion, that is good. But you can survive without it.” What we can’t survive without is a sense of awe and wonder about all the beauty that is abundant in our world – even amidst the crazy times we are living in. It is imperative that we don’t get tricked into focusing on lack, or negativity, because then we start to shrink. We don’t extend ourselves. We don’t help others because we are waiting for our own good, instead of creating a cycle that makes it absolutely positive and inevitable that it will come back around to us.  Like a mobius strip, what we think, feel and react to comes back around. The minute we feel small, poor, or angry, we set the same emotions in motion to come back with the gusto of a boomerang throw.

Instead of moping, or getting caught up in pain, we don’t have to deny it, but we can feel it completely and then let it go, and start to focus on a different feeling. From a Tibetan Buddhist Monk, it is described as Bhuta Thera, a greater contentment:

When the thundering storm cloud roars out in the mist

And torrents of rain fill the paths of the birds,

Nestled in a mountain cave, the monk meditates.

No greater contentment than this can be found. When along the rivers tumbling flowers bloom

in winding wreaths adorned with verdant color,

Seated on the bank, glad-minded, he meditates.

No greater contentment than this can be found.

When in the depths of night, in a lonely forest

The rain-deva drizzles and the fanged beast cry

Nestled in a mountain cave, the monk meditates.

No greater contentment than this can be found.

When restraining his discursive thoughts

(Dwelling in a hollow in the mountain’s mist)

Devoid of fear and barrenness, he meditates.

No greater contentment than this can be found.

When he is happy – expunged of stain, waste and grief,

Unobstructed, unencumbered, unassailed

Unobstructed, he meditates.

Having ended all defilements, he meditates.

No greater contentment than this can be found.


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About the Author

Christina Sarich is a musician, yogi, humanitarian and freelance writer who channels many hours of studying Lao Tzu, Paramahansa Yogananda, Rob Brezny,  Miles Davis, and Tom Robbins into interesting tidbits to help you Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

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