Niyama- Santosha

It states in the YTT training manual that Santosha means contentment, not being happy or sad and enjoying every moment in being in consciousness. This particular Niyama spoke to me most.
Contentment itself and the ways about achieving it are both relatively subjective. The following are how I interpret them.
Contentment is a product of gratitude and it develops from within. Gratitude is a virtue and like any other virtue, it comes with diligence and practice. Let me try to illustrate this with an example. For instance, the virtue of punctuality. It is something that needs to be constantly practiced. Over time, it would be cultivated in you. It is not a once-off decision to make and then subsequently forgetting about that commitment you promised yourself to- it would not last. It has to be practiced for a sufficiently long period of time before that virtue of gratitude is nurtured in you. After being accustomed to gratitude, the magic happens and contentment will flow in naturally.
The second part of Santosha talks about being in consciousness and enjoying every moment of it. Simply put, to be present in the moment. Often, we fall prey to relishing nostalgic moments and feeling overly sentimental about the past. (If this feeling of being sentimental is too extreme it might even translate to one being semi-mental. Please excuse me for my poor attempt at a bad joke.) Other times, we planned too far ahead and we chose to sacrifice the present to sow seeds for harvest in the future. While it is good to plan for the near future, we do not want to think too far ahead because this breeds unnecessary anxiety in ourselves. After all, the future is uncertain. The trick is to have the majority of you staying present in the moment and focus on the current happenings. When the mind wanders and drifts off, think- focus on now and the rest will come.
What Santosha represents for each individual may alter with time as we go through different seasons of life. Nonetheless, practicing gratitude and being present in the moment is what Santosha stands for me at current time.
Clover/ YTTJan2016 (Weekend)

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