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February 27, 2014

Contentment–Samtosha

Posted by Petra Lindros
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Yoga – Dharma In yoga there are ten golden guidelines (Yamas and the Niyamas), and they are basically instructions on how to find, maintain and share your peace. They are not in any specific order or preference; preferably they are worked and considered simultaneously as we go through life and its ups and downs.

I simply love those guidelines, I do not have to understand why they work, I just need to follow the instructions and Ta-Daa…there is peace. Just like I do not have to understand how I can print from my telephone, via Wi-Fi to my printer on the second floor and Ta-daa there is the document. I simply see it as magic, since it takes way less energy than to REALLY understanding it. For me the importance is in printing the document, nothing else. And the importance for me is PEACE, nothing else.

One of my favorite guidelines is Samtosha (can also be written Santosha), the act of being content and satisfied with what is and not wishing anything/anyone to be different. And I choose the word ACT carefully, since for me it is a choice to be content, not something that just happens naturally. Especially since I live in a house where there is TV, cable, magazines, radio and internet and through these channels I get constantly reminded on how much happier, prettier, sexier and even calmer I would be IF I ONLY either had something or did something additional in my life. Depending on what I watch and read, I can easily feel that I need a new partner, a new body, a wrinkle free face, a new fragrance, “stuff”. Yes, the list can go on and on. And it does not even end with that materialistic stuff I need to get. I also need to be in a different certain way. I can cook better, sleep better, have more students and be more compassionate. I should home school my child, get a career and finally volunteer my time to the needy. All at the same time preferably. THEN, maybe if I am lucky I will feel happy and content. For like one minute. And then it is back to the same race again.

So I need to ACT, to make a conscious choice that I do see the fullness and variety in my closet (or fridge) before I go shopping. That by cooking that same boring meal over and over again is OK too, even though of course it is fresh to try something new. As long as I remind myself that I will not find peace and long term happiness just because I add something new to my life, may it be either a fancy car, my new Mac, that trip to Mallorca in March or that new kitchen we constantly talk and dream about. Do not misunderstand me. I like all of the above. But with your feet grounded, in whatever it is that grounds you (yoga, exercise, breathing, dancing, reading, nature, helping), you will always look at those things as an extra. Great if you have it. And great if you don´t.

Trust me, this attitude of being content, can be minunderstood by the loved ones in your surrounding. They may feel that you simply do not care. That you do not ”need” them to be happy. That you are ”rootless” and have no value for what has been and for what it can be. All we can do is respecting that we all are trying our best to find our peace. And for some, it is really important to collect, store and find excitment in new stuff, clothes and travels. The good news is we can do all of that. As long as we do not get ATTACHED to it, and believe that we need that in order to be happy. So find what contentment means to you. How is the gut feeling when you know you have enough. That you are enough. And that it will always be like that. For me that is a very warming and comforting feeling. And that is what I choose. Peace.

Namaste,

Petra

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