Parking Lot Contentment
Like a well-tended field, a life of happiness grows from the careful work of cultivating contentment.
~Yogacharya Ellen Grace O'Brian
This past year I have been working on cultivating contentment, meaning that I am trying to be consciously aware of all that I have and all that I am grateful for, and that I don't need more. Recently I had a moment of deep peace and contentment, in of all places, a busy shopping center parking lot. I had just had a nice visit with my aging aunt and I was on my way to a bookstore where Yogacharya O'Brian was going to be speaking. I stopped in a shopping center to get a quick bite of dinner. As I was going back to my car I had a moment of feeling that everything was right with the world. I was happy that I live in such a beautiful area of the world, that I am close to family and friends and that I have opportunities to learn and grow from learned teachers. It was just a moment, but I noticed it and let it sink in. We all have these moments in our lives. In this busy holiday season, it is easy to get overwhelmed and stressed. It is easy to think about what we don't have or how we would like things to be. It is easy to focus on the negative. Our meditation practice gives us moments of peacefulness, where we let go of all desire and can just be in the moment. Notice how that feels and then notice those peaceful moments that reappear throughout the day. The more we are aware of those grateful moments, the more we will experience them and the more we will feel alright with the world. It is a peaceful, happy place to be. May you have many moments of "parking lot contentment."