Silent Meditation Retreat in Spanish: Found in Translation
By Laura Samper G.
I am a native Spanish speaker, but I can’t find the right word to express contentment in Spanish. It resembles contento, which means happy but not overexcited. Like Mona Lisa’s smile, contentment is a subtle and deep expression of inner joy.
I heard the word for the first time during a lecture in the Hridaya Yoga Retreat: Module 1 Intensive. It is the meaning of the Sanskrit word santosha, which is the second of the niyamas (recommended habits). More than anything I could say in theoretical terms, this quote by Swami Rama eloquently expresses its meaning: Contentment is falling in love with your life.
When you are walking on a spiritual path—and especially if you are living in a spiritual community—you live by the teachings. There is a great difference in saying you are spiritual and actually practicing spirituality.
Does practicing spirituality have to do with the way you dress, the mantras you know by heart, the words you claim are the revelation of truth, the malas you own, or the candles and incense sticks you’ve lit?
Or, is it more an attitude, a constant question in your heart that pushes you to go deeper? Is it the kind of inquiry that makes you face your own fears, your not-so-pretty masks, your patterns, and all the things that you need to heal?
Aren’t both incomplete without a pure intention behind them, and without a tangible manifestation in daily life?
Love Beyond Words
The second time I heard of santosha was during Module 2. This time, however, I would live by it for a whole month as a part of my practice. The word just found me, I like to say.
I’ve felt it with my entire heart. I still had an intuition of its meaning, but I preferred leaving all books, quotes, and ideas behind. I just gave it a chance without expectations, and began to live by the vibrations of each one of its letters, as if they were the beats of a cosmic drum.
I started to smile more, as the Buddha recommends in one of his meditations. Just smiling because I was able to. In Umberto Eco’s novel The Name of The Rose, the “devil” is faith without smile.
While I consciously practiced contentment, I started to feel more peaceful and grateful. The days began to pass more easily. Each morning I waited a little longer in bed just to enjoying the way my body slowly uncurled.
I started to feel incredibly comfortable in my own skin. I made up new jokes, and even celebrated when a little something did not go as I expected. I took any obstacle as a chance to improvise and try something new.
Fear felt so unfamiliar and distant that I could only surrender to what was ahead. I did not care if something that I’d been afraid of suddenly came true. So be it, I said to myself. And then, the smile just came on its own.
A Little Kindness Can Go a Long Way
During the 30 days that I practiced contentment, I also found the power of manifestation related to having an open disposition to life. Being an open channel set me free, somehow.
And it began to become a reality. I would not call it magic, but I realized that the energies in my body have some very special qualities. Everything just flowed better, more easily. During those days, I met a special person who later became a great teacher. And, one of my friends offered to give me an airplane ticket to the destination of my choice (anywhere in the world!).
Fulfillment seemed to be around the corner, so I just kept walking in the city of my own presence.
It all happened in the relaxation that came from being content. This tantric communion with the physical world ended up in the discovery of the great potential of living with an Open Heart.
Is a Silent Meditation Retreat in Spanish Necessary?
It is not, but it is a beautiful chance to share the teachings, which go beyond any language. Today, there are 559 million Spanish speakers worldwide, a number that includes 470 million native speakers and those with some command of the language. In fact, the United States has the second largest Spanish-speaking population in the world.
More than being necessary, it is a great opportunity for those who are seeking to reveal their True Nature. Words are potent tools for sharing the teachings, but only practice can bring them to life.
I did not need the exact translation for contentment, but I found the space to actually experience it.
More and more Spanish speakers who do not know other languages are looking for a way to learn about spirituality. This is really exciting! This is the first time in humanity’s history that information can travel as fast as in real time.
It is an innovative way to strengthen the practice as a collective. As a native Spanish speaker, I am really happy to share that the Hridaya Yoga Center in Mazunte is offering Silent Meditation Retreats in Spanish October 10th-12th and December 23rd-25th.
And, although contentment lacks a direct translation in Spanish, those who want to practice loving life will have the chance to keep learning, this time en español.