"Listen! the teacher of the teacher, the creativity of the universe,
In the midst of his uncontrived audience,
According to this inner source of all contrived quintessential teachings,
Describes how everything appears,
When you have understood the united frame of reference of this core teaching,
All other frames of reference will be reflected within this creativity that makes everything else possible.
Thus, if you know me -- the intelligence of the universe --
You will know the inconceivable truth.
If you know me -- the majestic creativity within everything --
You will know and be at peace with the reality of everything else."
Longchenpa "You are the Eyes of the World", translated by Kennard Lipman and Merrill Petersen, Snow Lion, 2000
A few years ago, after a very crazy few weeks at work, and a particularly stressful Tuesday, I was pulling out my hair and hating my life. I went to yoga class that night and as I lay on the mat, the teacher started talking about something she had read, a yogic concept of Santosha.
I had never heard the word before, but as she explained what Santosha meant, I realized that was EXACTLY the thing I needed at that very moment in my life. From that day on, Santosha became my mantra, my way of dealing with the uncontrollable craziness all around me. I have it written on my white board at my work cubicle and occasionally, people will stop by and ask me what it means, and I will do my best to explain it to them. Then, when we meet again in a crazy moment, we can smile at each other and say, "Santosha", and be at peace.
I googled a few definitions of Santosha, because I've been feeling very much anti-santosha lately, with the holiday season approaching, the uncertainty of what my next few months will bring, and I realized that I was losing my grasp on the concept. Here are some examples of what people think Santosha means.
Santosha is a Sanskrit word meaning- living in a state of contentment
Santosha is the ability to flow in life and not struggle, contentment;
Contentment is variously described, but can be thought of as not coveting more than you have and is therefore very different to the way some modern western societies encourage the population to acquire more 'stuff' to achieve contentment.
Santosha: means contentment. It is very easy to say, 'I am happy as I am', but are we really happy as we are? If we are happy why are we fighting with ourselves, with our egos? Why are we struggling to find further happiness in life?
Santosha: Being content with what is, accept what is; make the best out of everything. The practice of gratitude and joyfulness; remaining calm with success or failure. A state of mind that is not dependent on any outer feedback or event.
I don't know that I can add too much more to what is here. I know what Santosha means, and like Yoga, it is a daily practice to make sure that we can appreciate the concept and incorporate it into our daily lives.
I know that I've been letting the 'dark side' of things take hold of me a little more lately, but as in the Chinese Yin and Yang, there is room for dark things within the concept of Santosha, as with light, both are present, and we need to bring those things into ourselves, examine them, and then let them go, ready for the next moment to present itself.
So for now, I wish you peace ~om shanti~ and santosha