Meditation and the search for contentment
There are many reasons to meditate. One of my reasons is the search for true contentment. Can I be content in meditation when my back feels achy or my mind starts to wander. Can I feel content in my daily life whilst engaging with others and negotiating the challenges that come in my path. Can I experience true contentment without laziness or mediocrity? Can I discern the difference?
I think we all want to be content. We should all want it. Contentment goes way beyond happiness. Contentment is not dependable on things beyond our control or external sources like happiness can be. We know that our feelings, likes and dislikes, thoughts and emotions pass through us daily like clouds in the sky. Contentment comes from within. It is the ability to feel ok regardless or our external dramas or joys.
Often life prevents this genuine contentment arising and we feel content in a relationship, in a job, in fleeting experiences but these are all unsustainable and will eventually dissolve leaving a sense of lack behind.
The Dalai lama said "Granted, external circumstances can contribute to ones happiness and wellbeing but ultimately happiness and suffering depend upon the mind and how it perceives."
Whilst meditating we can see our experience directly as it is rather then how we want it to be. We can discern where contentment arises from and what obscures it.
Contentment resides in the space between stimulation and response. It sits in the pause between the breath, the stillness between the thoughts, the quiet moment when an orchestra plays the final note and before the applause begins.
In meditation we practice resting in this moment rather then being pulled by attachment or pushed by aversion. In this quiet space lies our power to choose freedom and discover the true joy of contentment.