Recently, I came across this meditation article on *brahmaviharas*, known in buddhism as the divine abodes. There are four qualities or brahmaviharas, and they are friendliness, compassion, joy and equanimity. The article spoke about equanimity as the quality with the capacity to naturally lead us to the other divine qualities. Equanimity, or having a clear mind allows us to see things for what they are, and lets us be open in any situation, without getting caught in it. So, this morning I decided to examine my own recent experiences with equanimity. As I sat cross-legged in meditation, I observed all my thoughts coming and going, as a silent witness, without judgement and with compassion. and out of that equanimity, one thought arose as the key to reducing suffering in my own life. It can be put into a phrase as *accept what you get, kindly and graciously*.

Most of our suffering arises from expectations from others, wanting something from them, that they cannot give due to whatever reasons. When our expectations are not met, we feel hurt and upset. This has a tendency to especially manifest in our relationships with loved ones, but also with acquaintances and friends. And by expecting what we cannot get, we set ourselves up to feel bad. Instead, what if, we could let go of our expectations and simply receive graciously the gifts that others *can* give us..

We are often times caught up in our wants and actions, which has the potential to quickly develop into a full-blown drama. and yet, this only makes us miss the real picture, the real wonders that are right there for us to experience. An experience that may be different from what we expect, but has wonder in it nevertheless..When we stop wanting so much in life, we can just be, enjoy the real thing, that has been there all along. And appreciate the joy in life. This is what is called *santosha*, or contentment. By letting go, of wants, we become free and closer to experiencing santosha in our current situation and in life.

That does not mean that we ignore what we *want*. Our thoughts and longings has a capacity to reveal so much about ourselves, if only we looked deeper to find where they arise from. And this kind of a honest glimpse into our psyche has the potential to heal us, and lead us to our higher purpose in life, the wants of our heart that arise from clarity and equanimity, and not from a sense of limited self. In this higher vibration, there is no want, there is simply a slow manifestation of our deeper desires, to love and receive love, to feel one with the universe, to feel joyful, benevolent and kind, and resilient in the face of life’s struggles.

And slowly the beautiful tapestry of our lives will be revealed one step at a time. leaving us with wonder. simply because we are now ready to be and to receive what is rightfully ours.

On this beginning of the new moon, may we all practice santosha and be open to grace.

With love, S.


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