Excerpt from Dharma Talk 4/28
Samtosha has got to come from the inside out- not the other way around. It is something that we cultivate. It’s not necessarily adding things to our lives that brings us contentment. It’s more about what we are peeling away- it’s about eliminating want. Eliminating want has to happen in the heart before we can feel true contentment. When we find our inner selves wanting, it is hard to be content. Sometimes what we need is not more- but less distractions and band-aides in order to quiet ourselves enough to remove ourselves from our distractions in order to really see who we are, and what we have inside. And it doesn’t mean that we don’t strive to change our world. We need to discover what we truly have first. This is what I consider to be living an authentic life- to realize first who we truly are, striving then to honor our authentic self and as a side effect we find contentment. If we strive from a place of contentment we lose our attachment to the outcome of our striving. If our big plans succeed or fall through, it doesn’t matter- that’s not going to change our essential Self. Our essential Self does not rely on outcome- it transcends outcome. Working from this knowing cultivates Samtosha.