It’s a difficult thing to practise contentment; not only do you have to keep reminding yourself of it but there’s a tendency for discontent to creep in everywhere; so if you’re not careful you can end up in the somewhat ridiculous situation of being discontented about the practice of contentment. (I’m too discontented. I don’t have enough contentment. I must be more contented…) And then your head explodes.
So the trick is to be contented with the degree to which you are able to practise contentment – and then, with a wave of the wand and a cry of riddikulus! you’ll be doing it anyway. Discontent really is a Boggart pretending to be a Dementor – we need to laugh at it and it will go away.
Contentment is a necessary antidote to a society where work of all kinds becomes increasingly demanding: a society where you hit one target and are immediately presented with another. This is sometimes seen as a virtue but according to Yoga philosophy* it’s anything but. Discontent is the thief of life and the destroyer of satisfaction. What is the point of achieving your goals if you never enjoy it? I could go on and on about the need to avoid end-gaining in yoga but that’s enough for today.
*and not only yoga philosophy: Buddhism also emphasises it and it is implicit in the practices of Christianity (here‘s a blog that makes the link and also has a really good quiz to test your own level of contentment).
This is a very short blog post and doesn’t say as much as I’d hoped. Nevertheless, I am contented with its contents…