The Culture of Contentment :: October 19, 2014

Swami Kamalananda 
Speaks on "The Culture of Contentment"
Sunday, October 19, 2014 at 11:00am


No one can master the circumstances of his material life. To pray that life should come to us with propitious mundane experiences according to our desires is both naive and selfish. Yet peace and contentment is possible for us, and if we are willing to put our hearts and minds to it we will realize a transformation, an ease and a power that is enduring.



From the Gurus and Swamis: AUM


The light of wisdom cannot illumine a mind that is drenched in attachments, even though it has acquired merit by the performance of righteous duties to family and society.  Only a non-attached mind can witness the success of self-realization.

—Swami Shankaracharya

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With folded hands, bowed head,
and heart laden with the myrrh of reverence,
I come to Thee.

Thou art my parents;
I am Thy child.
Thou art the Master;
I am ready to obey the silent command of Thy Voice.

I conjured the fragrant devotion of all hearts
and mixed it with my tears:
Now I am ready to wash Thy Feet in silence.

A river of my ardent crystal tears
of craving will rush to meet Thee.
Wilt Thou see
that my boisterous flood of devotion
is not lost in the desert of disappointment?
Wilt Thou see that my mad flood of devotion follows the right course,
which leads to Thee?


—Swami Yogananda, “Whispers from Eternity”


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It is true that one must be very careful as to the method of his meditation, so in selecting a method he should seek the guidance of a competent teacher.

Spiritual life must never be approached without suitable meditation.  Meditation is not scriptural reading, nor is it congregational worship, though these are of valuable assistance in the stabilization of spiritual life.  Meditation is purely subjective and decidedly individualistic.

Certain it is that each must enter the silent sanctuary to meditate alone.  Meditation is not an attitude of passive expectancy of mind. 

On the contrary, meditation is the self-conscious direction of the mind towards the ideal and holding the mind thereon; it is the conscious, dynamic and determined guidance of the mind.

—Swami Premananda, from the Introduction to the “Dhammapada”


* * * * * * * * * * *


Noble Thoughts: ("Let Noble Thoughts come to us from all sides." —Rigveda)


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Nine Requisites for Contented Living:

Health enough to make work a pleasure.

Wealth enough to support your needs.

Strength to battle with difficulties and overcome them.

Grace enough to confess your sins and forsake them.

Patience enough to toil until some good is accomplished.

Charity enough to see some good in your neighbor.

Love enough to move you to be useful and helpful to others.

Faith enough to make real the things of God.

Hope enough to remove all anxious fears concerning the future.


—Johann Wolfgang Goethe


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Whether or not objects of enjoyment give rise to happiness, satisfaction, and contentment, or, conversely, give rise to suffering and dissatisfaction depends very much on how you apply your faculty of intelligence.

...Our behavior in our daily lives is the key factor in determining whether all...facilities and relations really produce genuine, long-lasting satisfaction or not. Much depends on our attitude. And for this mental factor, motivation is the key.


—The Dalai Lama, "The Art of Living"


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Empty your mind of all thoughts.

Let your heart be at peace.

Watch the turmoil of beings,

but contemplate their return.

Each separate being in the universe

returns to the common source.

Returning to the source is serenity.

When you realize where you come from,

You  naturally become tolerant,

disinterested, amused,

kindhearted as a grandmother,  

dignified as a king.

Immersed in the wonder of the Tao,

you can deal with whatever life brings you,

and when death comes, you are ready.


 —“Tao Te Ching,” translated by Stephen Mitchell