During a recent talk in Bangalore, India, I said that most people are “discontent to some extent.” Devi liked the catchy phrase so much that she even wryly suggested we should print it on T-shirts. Personally, I think that’s going too far, but it does make a good topic for a blog.

Poetically speaking, God sings the universe into existence by chanting AUM, the vibration of duality. One of these dualities is likes and dislikes. As Sri Yukteswar put it, “The mere existence of a physical body signifies that its existence is made possible by unfulfilled desires.” Poetically speaking, discontent is the glue that holds creation together.

One of the fastest (and happiest) paths to Self-realization is simply to accept things as they are. We spend so much time and effort pushing away things in the world that don’t fit our particular bundle of likes and dislikes. Wanting things to be other than they are drains us of our energy.

Swami Kriyananda tells of an interesting revelation in this regard. This incident took place when he was living in San Francisco. His schedule was intense, with classes in different locations every evening as well as writing, correspondence, and counseling required during the day.

One evening he was scheduled to teach a class on “Energy and Energization” in Palo Alto, California. He stopped at his parents’ house, which happened to be close to the classroom. His mother took one look at him and said, “You look exhausted. You just have to cancel that class tonight.” He knew that wasn’t possible, but compromised by taking a rest.

discontent to some extent

Instead of falling asleep, he began to think of all the obligations that were sapping his strength. He realized that the problem wasn’t the actual work itself but rather the energy drained by his mental resistance. One by one he visualized each obligation: the classes and commute time, the correspondence, the writing, the many people asking for his guidance. As each one arose, he deeply accepted it. As he did so his energy flooded back. When he emerged from the bedroom his mother remarked, “Oh, you look so much better! You must have had a good nap.”

I was working with him at the time as his assistant, and he told me about the experience the next day. He concluded the story with a twinkle in his eye and the comment, “It was the best class on energy I have ever given.”

This isn’t just an interesting story but a life lesson. Who among us hasn’t felt resentful about our responsibilities? And, who among us hasn’t felt drained because of inner resistance? This very morning in meditation I was doing what Swamiji did that evening so many years ago. I was deeply accepting that which God has given me to do. And, like Swamiji, I emerged from our meditation room with much greater energy and enthusiasm.

Let’s use this holy advent season as a chance to develop new qualities and re-energize our spiritual life. Last week Devi wrote, “I invite you to join me in this challenge for the rest of 2022: to feel God’s love flowing through you in each moment of the day. This is the greatest gift you can give to the world. And who knows? God may come in hidden form to receive it.”

This week I invite you to add this challenge. From now until the end of the year practice this: “I will willingly accept whatever is given to me as mine to do.”

If we do this we will become “more content to a great extent.”

In joy,

Nayaswami Jyotish