Thoughts on Contentment | iHanuman


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Thoughts on Contentment

Samtosha is the Sanskrit term for contentment - it is one of the guidelines of a Yogi seeking union with God. On a daily basis, there are a million opportunities for me to practice this, (enough to eat, enough sleep, enough this, enough that, enough). But there are some bigger feeling events happening that challenge my ability to find contentment as easily as I do when I stop eating when I am full, (instead of cleaning the plate).
Like our current political choices in leadership. Or our current political occupation in foreign lands. Actually I feel fairly content about our Democratic choices, either way, Hillary or Obama will be phenomenal, performing wholeheartedly the global janitorial chores necessary for cleaning up the current mess. But this contentment waivers occasionally... I went to see Bill Clinton while he passed through lil ole Asheville, and was reminded that despite their best intentions, it is politics, and despite the fact we think the Presidency is an independent political seat, it is not; there are many many people/offices/policies/corporations that will need to step up to meet Hillary or Obama's ideals.
And what if it is McCain? Can I be content to know that any change will be better than now. That any change will help insure my children's/grandchildren's futures - clean air, safe world, healthy planet? Can I be a conscious citizen of this planet and still find contentment? Contentment doesn't mean (to me) just sitting around going "OK, this moment is perfect, I trust in God, I don't need to do anything because everything is unfolding to God's plan..." To me, true contentment is an ideal to practice, (just like downward facing dog), but while practicing, I surely am not just sitting there (nor are we passive in down dog)! I am modeling kindness and fairness to my children, I am participating in political rallies and fundraisers to show my support for a big change, I am encouraging yoga students to lighten their grips on conditioning and beliefs and to be brave and try on other belief systems that might embrace all beings with kindness, fairness and love.
And yet, here I am, a citizen of a country that is quickly losing it's balance. So again I turn to yoga for help and find the guidelines of cause and effect: Karma is the Sanskrit translation - and it is twofold, actions whose results are occurring, and actions whose fruit is yet to come. I am trusting in the second part. I think of myself as a gardner, planting seeds of possibility - goodness, generosity, humbleness, contentment, forgiveness. I plant them in myself as I check out my thought processes all the time, and I plant them with every thing I do or say. It is my hope, well more than hope, I truly believe that these seeds will blossom, into thousands of beautiful interactions between all people of the planet, helping to turn around any negative chain of events that might seem to be taking place.
So, goodness, contentment, happiness, I think about them a lot, at the forefront of thoughts, actions and words, and know that that is my purpose/path/dharma. It's not always easy, but such is the path of the peaceful warrior. I invite all of you to practice contentment, in everyday things and global things. And remember God is everywhere, let's just be like Jesus and Buddha and make it a little more obvious... The path of the peaceful warrior/gardner takes courage and bravery, first we need to plant healthy seeds in our own minds, then into all our thoughts, speech and actions. Let the ripple effect begin!
Here are several more opportunities to practice your belief about contentment. These are films - some different/inspiring/amusing world view (45 minutes) (2 hrs) (20 min) (5 min) (19 min) (1 + hr) these are free downloadable yoga classes from asheville yoga center as well as others.
And one last link to some thought provoking art around our consumption

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