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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Contentment?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Contentment

Being Fulfilled and Concerned About the Fulfillment of Others

Usually, the man of spirit, because of his experience of personality, is unable to conceive the possibility of a person who is real, who is a person of Being. But this is exactly the experience of the Personal Essence. One is a person, who is Being and not a mental structure. One is not self-centered, although one is unique. One is completely selfless, loving, compassionate, real, generous and human. How else can one be? His nature is Being. He is pure consciousness. He is an integration of love, kindness, joy and all aspects of Being. And he is fully aware of all these aspects and dimensions, without much preoccupation with them. He is fulfilled but is concerned with the fulfillment of others. He is satisfied and contented, and he is concerned with the satisfaction and contentment of others. He is personally fulfilled, satisfied, contented and happy, living a personal life that is completely and unselfconsciously devoted to the service of humanity. He does not think of helping. He does not plan to serve. He does not feel a desire to help, serve or enlighten. He just does what is personally fulfilling to him. And this spontaneously, and completely unintentionally, always happens to be the best he can do to help, serve, and enlighten others. He is himself. He just needs to be himself, does what comes naturally and spontaneously to him, and this is always what is most fulfilling to him and most useful for others.

Contentment is an Aspect of Love

Contentment is an aspect of love, as is satisfaction. You don’t experience the satisfaction. You are the satisfaction, a deep contentment. When you experience your heart or your essence as gratitude, you are not grateful for anything, you are the gratitude itself. Fluffy love has a feeling of lightness and of liking someone or something; merging love has a feeling of giving and sharing with another person; passionate love has the feeling of whole-hearted participation in the world. Other kinds of love, such as fulfillment, satisfaction and gratitude, are different in that they have nothing to do with relationship, with other. Not only are the heart qualities aspects of love, all essential aspects include love. There is no part of essence that is not loving. The action of any aspect of essence is always loving or in the service of love. Your strength is loving, your will is a loving will, the peace you experience is a loving peace, your joy is a loving joy, your intelligence is a loving intelligence. Love is a quality of all essence, although it is not always experienced as sweet.

Ridhwan is the Actual Essential Aspect of Contentment

Ridhwan is a kind of contentment which arises when you’re liberated. Your personality becomes contented when you’re free. Your personality itself is free from its suffering and conflict. Christ said you need to become like little children in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. Ridhwan, contentment, is the entrance into the kingdom of heaven. It is an aspect of essence. Liberation is really nothing but the personality becoming free in the moment; the personality loosens its grip, lets itself just relax. When your personality hangs loose you become like a child and you enter paradise. In Arabic, Ridhwan is the name for the angel guardian of paradise. But it is also the condition, the actual essential aspect of contentment, satisfaction and fulfillment.

The Contentment of Melting Love

There are many different kinds of love. One is an aspect of love which has a melting quality, which we call merging love. It has to do with the loss of the boundaries between you and your environment; you experience merging with your environment. Your boundaries melt away, and you have no shields around you. You experience yourself as a delicateness, an exquisiteness that does not feel itself separate from anything else. This experience brings about a sense of contentment, and a deep letting go, a deep satisfaction. It feels like you are your own nourishment, and actually that you and the nourishment are the same. This is the kind of love people want when they desire closeness or oneness with someone else. Dreams about togetherness, about community, about being One, about being inseparable lovers, are actually desires and hopes for this kind of love. This kind of love makes you feel merged with yourself and with everything else. There is an innate feeling of togetherness with everything in a sweet way. The sweetness of the feeling is like honey, but lighter and more delicate.

The Sense of Subtle Contentment as Presence Arises

What we call true acceptance is more of a contented awareness—an awareness that’s content with itself. It’s not busy judging and rejecting what’s arising in it. True acceptance is not invested. It is not attached to any desire or need for things to be different from how they are. Over time and with practice, we become more skilled at seeing, recognizing, and understanding these reactions to our experience—the rejection, the resigned acceptance, and the grasping acceptance. This makes us more and more able to be with our experience as it is. That’s why we say that our practice is just presence with awareness. Presence with awareness doesn’t reject, but it doesn’t grasp either. When we are simply present and aware in our experiencing, we can begin to recognize the true condition that is arising. We notice our inner attitude becoming simpler and more subtle as we are being with our experience. We begin to feel an openness, a vulnerability, an allowing that has a sense of subtle contentment and satisfaction. The fact that our presence is arising in this way reveals the experience to be an expression of our True Nature. This quality in our consciousness does not arise because something specific is happening that is to our liking. True acceptance arises on its own as a result of our being present with our reactions—our tendencies to reject or grasp—without being run by them.

There is No Need to Conceptualize Contentment

Yes. When I say valuing presence, I mean being content with being a presence without thinking you’re being present. It’s a very simple thing, really. When you’re content with anything, you’re not thinking you’re content, see? You think you’re content only when you’re going into the contentment or going out of it, since at those times there’s a contrast. When you’re completely content with being present, you’re just present. However, if you are simply present, a person observing you from outside might say, “Oh, this person’s content being present.” Now, you’re the one who’s present. You’re not thinking or feeling that you’re present, you just are. It’s very simple. You’re just present. So, that’s it. But, if you think of it in your mind, or someone else looks at it from outside, then there is an evaluation or conclusion about your state. The notion of being content is a concept that the mind creates to explain why the person is not doing something else. For the person who’s complete and present, there is no need to conceptualize contentment. You conceptualize contentment only if you’re not content. If human beings were always content, we’d have no idea or concept called contentment. If it’s always present, you never conceptualize it. You don’t need to separate it out from the rest of experience. Only when it’s absent, can you become aware of it. The same applies to completeness. If it is always there, you don’t feel its absence, so you never conceptualize it.

Where Beauty and Fulfillment is Beyond Human Imagination

People actually think they can achieve contentment, love, happiness, by getting this or that; they want the right kind of body, the right kind of lover, the right house. When you see what you can experience in the realm of Essence, you see that these things are peanuts. Absolutely nothing. It’s a degradation of human life to prefer these things over what is possible for Essence. When you align yourself with the truth, then beauty, majesty, nobility, fullness, pleasure, joy, love are all available to you. The more you see your Essence, the more you see that what you wanted before was nothing, completely nothing. When you get deeper and deeper into your Essence, you enter into the universal levels of essential reality, where the beauty and the fulfillment and the possibility is beyond the human imagination. There is no way for the mind to grasp it.

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