With so many distractions happening over the course of a lifetime and so many ways to lose a sense of true self, all one can hope is that we continually learn from the experiences that life reveals. Not without the challenges of staying focused and free from delusions of the ego, going through life is like leaving footprints behind that make an impression on others.The importance of the practice of Yoga and the Eight fold path is the guidance it offers so our footprints we leave behind disappear with the waves of the changing tides.
“Whether one is rich or poor, whether the goddess of fortune smiles on one or not, or whether honor or dishonor comes to one, one should not feel dejected. Keeping the mind directed in a single direction, always being happy and never feeling regret for any reason, this is the contentment known as Santosha. If Santosha is practiced, unsurpassed joy comes.” Jois
Santosha or true contentment is part of Patanjali’s Eight Limb Path to “transcend the ego and to reach self-realization.” As pure beings we are referred to as Parusha. This is a state of divine essence, perfection or infinite love, in this state there is no suffering.
As Parusha creates the state of being that is referred to as Prakruti, we become aware of everything we know and understand. Once we have forgotten that our essence is Parusha and we are pure beings, we move into the evolution of consciousness, this process is called Chitta. In the remembering state of Chitta, we can choose to gather mind, body, spirit, & soul emotions. If and when this happens the knowing of pure awareness again is more likely, thus returning us to the beginning of the circle.
The Eight limb path was created as a life guide to bring one closer to the source of true self, stripping away the ego in order to eliminate suffering. The eight limbs are made up of Yamas, Niyamas, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, And Samadhi. Yamas are controls dedicated to guiding social behavior, Niyamas are controls or code for proper personal behavior. The Niyamas consist of purity, contentment, discipline, spiritual studies, and devotion. Santosha or Contentment is the second Niyama and encourages us to “relinquish patterns of trying to control other people and outcomes, and instead, to settle into a place of centered awareness.”
Remembering that the world is made up of practicing individuals on individual paths. Practice forgiveness, non-judgement, non-attachment, and patience on the quest toward contentment, these are reminders to let go of control and stay centered.