Niyama #2 - Santosha - Contentment

Santosha means to maintain a state of mental ease. When the mind hungers for something it is in a state of uneasiness. Upon satisfying that desire, the moment of relief and ease which the mind gets is called tosa in Sanskrit. Those people who are easily satisfied and can maintain a state of contentment are following Santosa. The achievement of Santosa is linked with Aparighraha (mentioned previously).

Santosha means a spirit of contentment, to be grateful for what is already there and not to be upset about the fact that something is missing, to accept it. And make every effort to progress in all areas of life.


--- Your choice in life --- Santosha helps us to make our choice of life. To be happy or unhappy. And right now you are making this choice. What choice we make at this moment is how we live. It doesn't matter what circumstances right now I may be happy or unhappy. Based on this, you may have a positive or negative motivation.


In any life situation, you can pay attention to some light or dark sides. Most people list what they don't have, not what they already have. They are talking about what they have lost and not about what they could keep. People themselves cultivate the habit of listing what makes them unhappy. In fact, if you think about it, each of us has enormous opportunities and resources. Perhaps sometimes they are too simple, obvious and banal. Things like having arms, legs, the ability to think and create, to read and be educated. After all, you can train your brain to see the positive sides in everything.


On the other hand, as you go deeper into your practice, you can start to lose motivation over time. Why achieve something and change if everything around is so good, life is positive! Since I stopped hating, everything suits me, why should I strain? Why should I strive somewhere? So be aware of this trap. Because even after getting rid of the discomfort, you cannot become deeply happy.

Therefore, Santoshi's formula is as follows:

  • I do all out of hate,

  • I don't like it so I try to change,

  • I like everything, everything suits me,

  • But I still keep on changing something out of love.

First of all, you need to calm down and then make every effort to develop in all areas of life.


--- In spiritual growth ---

The state of happiness and harmony is the basis for your spiritual practice. Spiritual practice from the state of hatred of oneself and the world does not bear fruit. Just like negative motivation arises from the rejection of oneself and the desire to change oneself. Or, for example, you watched a movie about veganism, changed your diet and began to hate all meat eaters. But have you ever wondered how spiritual and correct it is? Such thinking and attitude only bring discomfort in personal life and the lives of others, complicate meditation and inner peace. To avoid this and achieve success in yoga, you need to change the approach - you need to change from hatred to love.


--- In relationship ---

The stage of non-acceptance, rejection - my partner does not do something to achieve more, is engaged in creativity and not in business, while other couples have more material wealth than us, more money, real estate, and so on. These are all indicators of the lack of Santoshi. Just like trying to change a person abruptly and rudely by constantly pushing him to do something, which causes pain.

The stage of acceptance, admiration - my partner does not smoke, does not drink, is smart and talented, and so on. But don't just stay at this stage. After all, if you have become partners in life, then you have made a vow to support and contribute to the spiritual growth of each other.

The stage of assistance and effort is an attempt to raise and elevate a person for his growth, expansion, release from complexes and fears. Make a vow to myself - I will do my best to promote the physical development, psychic expansion and spiritual liberation of my partner. To do everything out of love, after all, the real sincere action is that I live for the good of others.


--- In meditation ---

The Santosha state is the state of self-acceptance. Sometimes it is hard to accept and come to terms with your stream of thoughts in meditation. But in fact, a restless mind is also a form of God. Love is all that is on earth. You, your mind with all thoughts, disharmony, lack of inspiration and everything that can arise in your head with all difficulties - all this is a form of the divine. It is important to accept it all. Accept yourself as you are at the moment.


--- How to practice? ---

- Track your conditions. If there is negativity, criticism in your thoughts, then find 3 opposite thoughts - why are you lucky in life.

- Before you criticize another person or allow this criticism in your thoughts - find 3 qualities that you admire this person.

- Cultivate positive thinking. Rejoice, be grateful for what you already have.

- Progress in your spiritual path not out of selfishness, disgust and hatred, because something does not suit you. To progress out of love, for your own good and for the good of all beings.


--- Definition --- https://www.yogapedia.com/definition/5167/santosha

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