Monday, January 30, 2012

Santosha, contentment and your path

Book Two - verse 32.

"Sauca Samtosa Tapah svadhya Yesvarapanidhanani Niyamah"

Saucha - Purity
Samtosha (or santosha) - contentment
Tapah - Accepting pain and not causing pain
Svadhyaya - study of spiritual books
Isvarapranidhanana - self-surrender, "Let God and Let Go"
Niyamah - observances 

In yoga we are taught the Yamas (abstinence) & the Ni-yamas (observances). Ten essential elements that help us travel down our path, allowing us to be the yogis we strive to be. Some of the yamas and ni-yamas we see more of than others. Non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing - isvarapranidhana... but every one of these observances and abstinence are important.

The other day I had a brief conversation about "Santosha" or Samtosha - the ni-yama that is contentment.  To know satisfaction in life, is to be at peace. When we deny ourselves the right to be here - the first right of our chakras and then deny our right to feel, the second chakra, we set ourselves on a wobbly path filled with fear, confusion, resentment and regret.

What is your path? What is your purpose? WHY are you here? WHAT is your santosha.

We live in questionable times. Our economy is reflective of one 78 years ago, people are losing their jobs and not finding new ones. Abuse is on the rise, as is divorce, drug use and anger on every level. We find ourselves locked into certain relationships - with jobs, with spouses, friends, ideas - that were are afraid to break out of because of this chaos. We allow it to project an image on our personal lives and then close our eyes to that voice deep down inside of us that is singing a whole different song.

We begin to think we don't belong here, we don't deserve to be happy, to be successful in life and love, and we commit to the idea that this is the best it can get. But that's not true. If you're alive you belong here. If you are on this planet, you have purpose - and that voice you're ignoring because it's just "easier" to stay put - that's your path.
Being honest, caring, loving - self-sacrificing. Holding the door for someone you don't know, regardless of their age or class. Buying a coworker a cup of coffee, just because. These are all nobel things - but what's your path? Why are you here? Are you living your santosha?

To love yourself purely and greatly is a beautiful thing. To find your passion and your love is what life is about.
My conversation was brief, probably less than five minutes, but it made me think. Is this what I want? Is this life the one I deserve - and I can honestly answer that its getting there. It's scary, but change can be like that.
Tonight take five minutes to yourself and meditate on your santosha. Journey inside yourself and most of all be honest. It's okay to be scare. It's okay. And when you find your path know that soon you will find your voice and then all that's left to do is sing.

~Namaste Shanti Om

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