You have to train your mind for you to learn to be content with the Life that you have.
Yesterday, I met a man who, after hearing my Fall Like A Rose Petal Talk, came up to me and said that he was very ‘lucky’. He had, according to his own submission, a lot of money, a loving family and all the comforts that he wanted in Life. Yet, he confessed, he was not happy: “I am very insecure. I feel I will lose all my money and all the people I love, I fear, they will die one day. I am never peaceful with myself.” He wanted to know what he should do.
I told him that he was right on both counts – that money and Life are impermanent. So, the only way to enjoy the money he has is to spend it wisely on himself and on the people he loves; and, if he is inclined, to use some of the money he has to make our world a better place. And the only way to enjoy the company of those people he loved, is to stop fearing their inevitable death but to live with them happily for as long as he can.
I am not sure how much he may have internalized my simple, unequivocal perspective. But his quest for inner peace offers us an important learning too.
Lack of contentment arises from the inability to rein in the mind. You are not content with the Life you have – whatever it may be, the way it is – because your mind is not in your control. In fact, only when the mind is controlling you do you live in the dead past or in the unborn future. In the past, you are clinging on to anger, grief, guilt over what has happened, what is over. In the future, which has not yet arrived, you are cooking up scenarios that don’t exist, fearing, imagining, worrying, being forever anxious and stressed out. Unless you seize control of your mind, and train it through a meditative practice, to live in the present moment, to live from moment to moment, you cannot be content with your Life.
Osho, the Master, explains it so simply, so powerfully, so beautifully: “To be contented means…don’t expect anything from Life, just live it moment to moment, and whatsoever it gives is just fantastic. Life goes on pouring infinite treasures on us. And because of this mind asking for more, we remain blind to those treasures. Once this constant noise for more stops, then this chirping of the bird is enough. There is nothing in it and there is all in it.”
When you start your journey seeking contentment you will first struggle with it. You will fall. But the key is to get up, dust yourself and keep walking. When you experience contentment for the first time it will blow you away. You will want more of it. Then nothing in Life will affect you anymore – you will not be swayed by pleasure and you will not be held hostage by pain. All you will want is for that “feeling” of contentment to be perpetual. And you will do whatever it takes to continue to experience it. This is the way to inner peace – when the past does not matter, when the future is irrelevant. What matters is that you are here, now, happy and content, with what is!