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Santosha: the practice of contentment

Updated: Feb 15

Are you aware of all the magical things happening around you? Do you stop to check your surroundings, are you grateful for your life, for your health, for your family, for your friends, for the nice house you live in, for the comfortable clothes you wear, for the air you breathe, for the job you have? To see the wonder in children’s eyes, to watch people interacting and laughing, or maybe kissing and hugging, to see a cute dog walking on the street, to sit in nature or feel the fresh breeze of a forest, to watch a sunrise or sunset or, even better, both. To see the beauty and the colors in flowers, to notice the changing colors of autumn leaves, to admire the lightnings and sounds of a storm, to sit under the sun and feel yourself being filled with life’s energy, with prana. Are you aware of the beautiful blue sky? Can you notice how much beauty and wonder surround you? Even when in traffic, can you look out the window and find a beautiful tree to look at? Can you pause right now exactly where you are to count your blessings? Can you be grateful for what you see?

Gratitude is a practice that helps us not only to connect to our present moment but also to generate joy, energy and thus improve our lives. 

Everyday before I sleep I list to myself 5 things I’ve most enjoyed during my day. I also try to find time to go to nature, or to the river, have a walk with my dog, go to the garden or whilst cycling feeling the soft air on my skin and taking in what I see.

Even in the worst moment there is always something that can light up your day, even if little.

This past weekend I thought about Santoṣha (contentment) and I gave an exercise to the teacher training group: to sit in pairs and tell each other 5 things that they are grateful for in their lives. It was amazing how the energy of the room lifted. And for the next month they should list everyday 5 things they are grateful for.

The sutra related to Santosha is 2:42

saṃtoṣāt-anuttamaḥ sukha-lābhaḥ

“Contentment brings supreme happiness”  - translation by Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati

So I invite you too for the next month to list 5 things that you are grateful for. Do it everyday and watch how your life changes. And if you would like to share your experience with me, I would love to hear that!

Much love <3


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