These were two of my favorite sections, Purity & Contentment, and the ones I have been quoting A LOT lately if you take my yoga classes. I’ve also just been thinking a lot about the idea of expectations being the main reason for discontentment and so many other negative things. Having expectations of other people, of situations out of your control, etc can be a dangerous thing because when our expectations aren’t met we experience sadness, pain, anger and so on. It’s good to have certain expectations sure, but having the ability to let go of them if they aren’t met is the most important of all.
1.) “The difference between being pure with something rather than trying to make something pure is a subtle and tricky distinction. We can easily find ourselves in an arrogant position, sitting on our high horse thinking we are bringing something better to the moment, or perhaps thinking that the moment isn’t worth out attention, or maybe even finding ourselves feeling that the moment owes us something. When our thoughts or actions are presumptive like this we actually stain the purity of the moment. We are not to bring our idea of purity to the moment; we are simply to be with that moment as it is.”
2.) “Purity asks that we make full and honest contact with the moment so there is nothing lost and no regrets.”
3.) On contentment there is a Chinese proverb that goes “People it the West are always getting ready to live.” In Yamas and Niyamas she explains “When we are little we can’t wait to get big, when we are big we can’t wait to get out of the house, when we can’t wait to get through college and get a job, then we can’t wait until our vacations, and finally, we can’t wait until retirement. As the Chines proverb states, we never really live, we just get ready.”
4.) “We are responsible for our own disturbances: Think of how often you feel upset, hurt, left out, not appreciated, put upon, etc. It is easy to give the power of our emotional state to someone or something outside of ourselves. When we give away our emotional well being to what others are saying or not saying or how the day is unfolding, we are at the mercy of things beyond our control; we have allowed our own contentment to be determined by what other people say or do; we have made ourselves helpless.”
5.) THIS IS EV EVERYTHING!!! “Discontentment is the illusion that there can be something else in the moment. There isn’t and there can’t be. The moment is complete. That means if I am bored or sad, I will only be discontented if I am not content to be bored and sad.”
6.)I referenced something my mom said in this blog post from Mother’s Day, but the below quote really brings it all full circle for me. My mom said, when answering the question of what she hopes for her children: “The most important thing that I wish for my children is an “inner strength” to be self-fulfilled, strong, happy, kind and peaceful.” From the Yamas & Niyamas I’m learning that the only way to find that inner strength is finding contentment just as this quote says: “Building contentment with boredom, sadness, impatience, depression, disappointment, and loss builds our ability to be that tall tree so rooted in the earth that great winds cannot topple it. Being content with our discontentment is itself a gateway to the calm depths within.”