Contentment counters and overrides our constant tendency to grasp and chase after things. Contentment has the flavor of being at ease – grasping nothing, lacking nothing. It is being open and leisurely. In this state, we don't make anything into a big deal, while at the same time we engage with the freshness of each moment. Cultivating an attitude of contentment is engaging with and yet not grasping at causes and conditions.
We are swayed by causes and conditions when we feel a sense of lack and when grasping is present. We inevitably get sucked into the vortex of grasping and rejecting, having and lacking. These polarities bring up all sorts of other issues, such as trying to escape from who we are or, alternately, trying desperately to be someone we're not.
There is no formulaic way to cultivate contentment or non-grasping. We need to personally explore the flavor of contentment and digest this feeling little by little, becoming familiar with it in our lives. We can't just force this attitude on ourselves and expect to be able to plow through all of our problems. Contentment is not a mere concept. We need to appreciate the depth of what it means to be content. It is not just being disinterested or detached from everything.
When we are content, we appreciate what we have, and we are able to engage fully with whatever may arise. There's a freshness to it. With contentment, we're able to avail ourselves openly of everything, without rejecting anything. In this process, there may be pain and grief, But we are cultivating the ability to feel fully, to be present to whatever arises without judgment. Allowing such feelings to move through us will make us stronger. We are incredibly resilient. Our hearts and minds will eventually accept and release whatever comes through us.
~ Guo Gu
from Silent Illumination
Originally posted on The Beauty We Love