Bodhi Mind Reflection

What is Contentment?

Cara Bermen (Chuan Rui 傳瑞)

When I was younger I thought contentment meant boring, and would seek out situations and relationships that were exciting and unpredictable. Ultimately these situations would end, and I would wonder why the happiness that brought was only fleeting. I couldn’t see that I was creating drama to distract myself from truly knowing myself. In my Mid-twenties I started meditating, and it occurred to me that contentment wasn’t a bad thing, that perhaps it was a more essential way to be in the world. I began paying attention to situations and people who generated contentment in me. I don’t pretend that it was an overnight change in my desires or perception, but it did allow me to trust that contentment was the true path to happiness.

I find that meditation helps me to recognize and dwell in contentment more easily, and not be distracted by emotional highs and lows. I’m more able to notice and label these emotions as just thinking, take a deep breath, and avoid speaking or acting rashly. In turn, I spend less time regretting rash actions!