What are santosa and samskara?

Santosa is the attitude we have towards our current state and activities. It is the acceptance and peace in the current moment. Santosa, is not wanting or desiring more, but being in the present.

Samskaras are our personal tendencies — the mental and emotional patterns we are born with. These samskaras can be positive or negative. In Western Psychology these samskaras are similar to cognitive distortions. A negative cognitive distortion is a habitual or automatic thought pattern that can cause us to feel overwhelmed and terrified even when it is not warranted.

Feelings of low-self esteem or taking everything personally are samskaras that can keep you from santosa, the feeling of contentment. Samskaras are the roadblocks, but we can learn to by pass and move beyond to reach santosa. The more we make it our everyday practice to be content the easier it will become to be at peace in the center of all the chaos. Too much of our time is spent with these samskaras or cognitive distortions of comparing ourselves to others, thinking ‘what if’, and blaming that we get lost in the mind and are unable to enjoy the wonderful life at hand.

What samskaras are playing over and over in your head and how can you change them to help find santosa?