Contentment doesn’t mean we are always happy about life events or deny the reality of pain. We cultivate contentment by cultivating the inner witness who is able to respond to life from a place of calmness, peace, and tranquility. It means we honor that what is given to us in any moment is enough. So it is the ‘still heart’ — the heart of equanimity — that can welcome everything in. Instead of always living with a sense of dissatisfaction about our lives, or anticipation over what comes next, we live in the knowledge that this moment contains everything we need to be at peace, to experience freedom, to develop compassion for ourselves and others.
Christine Valters Paintner, Lectio Divina: The Sacred Art
When you become enlightened it can come about through a very small or ordinary thing. You see, the most difficult thing for someone to accept is the plainness of their life. To discover magnificence in every moment of a simple life is truly life’s greatest reward.
Hua-Ching Ni, Entering the Tao
One of the early Fathers said that ‘there is no such thing as delay with the Holy Spirit.’
This means that everything happens at the right moment.
Laurence Freeman, Common Ground: Letters to a World Community of Meditators
Life doesn’t match our image of how it should be, and we conclude that life itself is wrong. We relate to everything from the narrow, fearful perspective of ‘I want’ — and what we want is to feel good. When our emotional distress does not feel good, we recoil from it. The resulting discomfort generates fear, then fear creates even more distress, and distress becomes our enemy, something to be rid of. Let us instead examine our basic requirement that life should be comfortable. This one assumption causes all of our endless difficulties.
Ezra Bayda, Saying Yes to Life ( Even the Hard Parts)
The urgency of seeing anew, seeing with eyes washed clear by contemplative prayer, seeing with eyes cleansed by tears, but above all seeing with delight and wonder. . . . Delight [is] a glorious word which carries a lightness about it and seems to be saying this thing is good and I am good, and I am happy with my relationship to this world around me, but above all I am happy with my relationship to myself, to my own inwardness, and also to my own outwardness.
Esther de Wall, Lost in Wonder
You should go home to your hermitage; it is inside you. Close the doors, light the fire, and make it cozy again. That is what I call ‘taking refuge in the island of self.’ If you don’t go home to yourself, you continue to lose yourself. You destroy yourself and you destroy people around you, even if you have goodwill and want to do something to help. That is why the practice of going home to the island of self is so important. No one can take your true home away.
Thich Nhat Hahn, Peace Begins Here