“Oh, I am satisfied with what I have now.”
“Well, I don’t need much to live on these days. I’m contented with what I have now.”
You commonly hear the people around us, especially those advancing in age mentioning such statements. At a glance, you would have thought these people are contented but in actual fact, many people fail to realise the true essence of contentment.
We discuss what contentment is about and the factors that prevent us from achieving that status here.
What is Contentment?
The moment we are brought into this world, we are constantly propounded by the doctrine of superiority in status, position, wealth and rank. Some people go overboard to the point of treating the people around without any ounce of sincerity to achieve their personal motives. Never has there been anyone being told that the greatest achievement on this earth is mastering the Art of contentment in life.
Contentment is the condition of satisfying oneself without the necessity of possessing anything materialistic in living. One can do with any form of simple living in hand while most people cannot satisfy in anything they want except according to their demands and desires.
This is the great difference between those who is suffice to what one has over others who are never satisfy with all their possessions they acquired in their life.
The Main Factors that Lead Us to Discontentment in Life
The Case of Carbonated Drinks and Cravings
Take for example – when one is in the midst of thirst, one would always yearn for cold carbonated drinks which will never quench our problem of thirst. Consequently, the more we drink this wonderful carbonated drinks to satisfy our thirst, the more we feel our throat is dry and we end up yearning for more drinks to drown our thirst away. The fact is, this unending cycle will never solve our problem of thirst unless we replaced our carbonated drinks with simple plain water.
Sounds like a familiar scene to you?
Here, carbonated drinks represent our craving needs in terms of abundance wealth, high class and good status in living, which one will never cope up with all these sophisticated needs unendingly. On the other hand, plain water represents our simple, down to earth way of living that one could easily adapt the simple living daily with a calm and comfortable mind.
This is the common situation happening all over us where our quest for personal gains and fortunes never die off, thus arousing our eternal craving for more possessions over what we have already owned in our life. Unfortunately, all these feelings of insecurity are all illusionary and impermanent. This will lead to eternal attachment which is the number one cause of suffering and woes arising from our constant discontentment of greed, jealousy and dissatisfaction.
Final Affection Is A Form of Attachment
In another instance, we often hear of dying people seeking to see their last remaining loved one dwelling in faraway land before passing away from this earth. This is due to the eagerness of fulfilling one’s desire to witness the last affectionate ones before satisfying oneself from this remaining attachment, a scene that is common in our society since the beginning of time.
Sadly, anyone who has this affectionate desires with their loved ones will never easily able to depart from this world until one has finally met his desire of affinity with the loved ones. This is one of the common attachment of mankind which leads to discontentment.
Discontentment will lead to unbecoming.
Unbecoming will creates a source of an entity waiting to be born into the mother’s womb.
This phenomena is the cycle of Samsara, the vicious circle of rebirth and death.
The Main Hurdle of Contentment: Attachment
Attachment are our great bindings towards all our earthly affairs and activities which will never meet our satisfying heart and this will build our seeds of discontentment. Any ordinary humans will find life too interesting in pursuing all these earthly gadgets and electronic devices to be forever deluded by all these materialistic pleasures.
After years of these illusionary living, we become conditioned and regarded all these shadow of wealth and fame as true reality of living. Delusions set in and we forever dwell into attachments till death.
So, How Do We Break Away From Discontentment and Embrace the Essence of Contentment Within Us?
No matter what, anyone who keeps on chasing after all the earthly material gains will realise the seed of discontentment. Our realisation to explore contentment comes in only when we have undergone tremendous exposures and wide experiences. Only then will our thoughts broaden and acknowledge there is a need to seek the light of contentment in ourselves.
When that happens, gradually, we will come to a sudden awareness of the world is full of impermanence. Our consciousness of delusion due to impermanency will arouse our search for a more viable reality of living, which is contentment.
It’s A Matter of Training Our Mind to Live Simple and Practical
Everyone knows that the contentment is the sacred jewel of our inner satisfaction in life. Yet, no one could achieve satisfaction in anything we do unless we can train our mind to comprehend the life of simplicity and down to earth way of living.
A simple mind radiates a simple heart without seeking any unnecessary desires except merely to sustain our survival of basic needs. After decades of conditioning our mind of living simple, we will slowly evolved into a spirit of contentment.
Sadly, not everyone is able to perceive this conspicuous concept unless one has been living in bare simple needs from day one on this earth. After years of simple living along with the informal education of instilling discipline and humility in our character as well as patience and determination, then only we evolve our mind to emanate contentment in our heart.
Unfortunately, in this modern generation where many people are spoonfed from infancy till adolescence it is not possible for anyone to understand this concept of simple living. Today, these sophisticated and advance modern way of living make mankind alienated to any thought of conceiving contentment into our mind.
A Look At Animal vs Human Way of Living
If we were to take careful look at all the animals living in this world, we will come to a distinctive knowledge that all animals live barely and meagerly just for survival only. It is because of this simple mind way of living that all animals possess instinct which help to protect themselves from all kind of impending danger such as fire or disaster.
Animals kill their preys only to feed their hunger and does not salvage all other animals meats for extra storage. With this kind of simple mind, these animals live harmoniously and peacefully in their surrounding existence.
The same cannot be said for us humans though. Unlike animals, humans who have enough to eat and spend still yearn for more because of their discontentment due to their greed, jealousy and wrong views in life. Naturally, this will corrupt one’s mind and lost the natural human instinct that once possessed.
When one has obliterated his human instinct, one will also erase the power of intuition. Without intuition then one will act without justification and reasoning power which will impure our mind, heart and body. One will never feel contented in life.
As long as humans do not realise the futility of earthly attachments due to our greed, jealousy and wrong view in our thought, we will never able to realise the unbeneficial life of dissatisfaction and discontentment in our living on this earth. After a duration of time, one would have completely oblivious of our unfruitful living and lost the ray of contentment in our sight.
Many of us are unaware that the greatest reward in our life is the prize of gaining contentment.
And it is this contentment that is the jewel of our existence, where its value is limitless and priceless.