Sunday, August 16, 2009


"Contentment is natural wealth. Luxury is artificial poverty."

Recognizing our innate goodness, our divine nature and how we are all connected and supported by a higher power is the root of contentment. Contentment is like the bed of a river. The water flows, rises and falls, shifts happen but the bed of the river gives shape, support and constancy to the river. Contentment is part of who we are. If we are always looking for something more outside of ourselves to be happy, we will never be truly content.

Contentment does not mean sitting around and doing nothing. Although sometimes if we do sit around and do nothing, we can still be content. Challenging oneself and having goals can either lead to contentment or frustration. If our motivation is trying to be better than someone else or we feel we need to be better to be happy, we will only achieve a false contentment that will not last.

Is the glass half full or half empty? Contentment is not about seeing the glass as half full. The glass is both half empty and half full. Recognizing this and feeling good even though the glass is not completely full, is being content. Contentment is being OK with what we do have now.

In yoga when we are aware of our breath and move from our core our poses will have a feeling of steadiness and freedom. We want to express our poses from the inside. Inner contentment leads to a practice that is non-competitive and will protect us from injury. When we practice a twisting pose, if we try to force our twist to be deeper by using more muscular energy, we can hurt our backs. But if we allow our bodies to expand into the twist from within with our exhalation, we can go just as deep safely and without force. When our strength comes from contentment we do not overextend ourselves. We know when we need to rest and rejuvenate.

Practicing yoga involves testing the edges and coming back to the middle. Exploring our choices, our limitations, and our strengths helps us to find balance. Contentment comes from connecting with the bigger pulse, from energy that ebbs and flows. It is this constant pulsation that connects us to the essence of yoga.

Socrates had great wisdom and always believed that he knew nothing because the world is full of mystery. He was content with this belief. Contentment is like wisdom. It cannot be taught. It comes from how we live our life. Clinging to material wealth will lead to spiritual poverty. Be appreciative of the natural wealth you have with the gift of life. Simplicity leads to the greatest wealth of all.

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