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Every one has conflicting priorities in their life. For instance we want to meditate more so that we can wake up to our own Real-Nature .This we find is not possible as we have to spend more time at work to earn required amount of money. Similarly we would like to spend more time reading spiritual books but we don't want to miss our favorite TV show or movie. We want to do some spiritual work so that we can help others in the real sense but our friends and relatives say that is non productive and we can as well spend that time for earning some more money.

We should have clear idea as to what we want and this may be another way of looking at the goal of our life. We should know what we want out of life. If we find that we are stuck with lots of conflicting priorities in our life we need to seriously contemplate on what can make our life meaningful. In such contemplation we can discover what we want to get in our life.

We should not bother about what our friends and relatives think our priorities should be. There is no harm in considering them in such contemplation on merits; but the priorities simply because it was stated by some one important should not be accepted. The priorities should not be the ones that the images on TV say we should become.

I know too many people who suffer through their days at work, doing what they dislike only for their paycheck. That's where the expression, "Thank God tomorrow is a holiday", came from. People suffer through their weeks only to find relief on the weekends or when they go on vacation. It is bare truth that we spend the majority of our lives living in ways that we don't want to live and doing things that we don't want to do.

I strongly believe the feeling of Santushti or being satisfied with what we have is the first step in becoming happy. This is the secret of happiness. If this is not there any amount of comfort or riches or fame will not give happiness. Real Santushti feeling is a by product of the awareness of transitoriness of things and events in life. There is every reason to look into our images in the mirror every day and feel happy at being what we are. We should note however that our image has been changing and we have always been happy at it.

The first part of our contemplation is to just to remember where we can find happiness. It is no secret that every of us know that happiness comes from inside, where we actually experience it. If this is remembered we can save us lots of suffering. Remember even an expensive car or house can not give us the happiness that we already have on the inside. An image of happiness that we see on TV or in the movies is not nearly as good as experiencing the real thing.

If our contemplation is steady on this first aspect we can start the second part of the contemplation: The nature of jara or old age. The very idea disturbs most of us. I suggest that we imagine that we are much older. Imagine also that the family doctor has told that we have only a few days left to live. Think that the members of family, who usually are constantly by our bedside, have gone away to get some dinner. We are left alone to look back on our past. As we look back at our life what do we see? Do we have lots of regrets: that we never did what we wanted to? That we never meditated the way that we wanted to, and we never realized the universal truth about our own real nature that we hoped to realize.

Instead we spent our life doing some engineering or computer soft ware all the time which seemed like eternal drudgery. Or when we really wanted to help others we did not or that we did not give love to the people who we really wanted to give love.

Now it is our task to think about what would make us feel that our life is worthwhile. For this we need to examine things around and notice what would have made our life fascinating. What would have filled it with joy so that we could have full time happiness instead of part time happiness? How could we look back and say, "I lived a worthwhile life." Even if it takes us several days or several weeks to find this out, the time that we spend in this contemplation will be the most worthwhile time that we ever spent.

Finally our contemplation should be as to how to align our life with that we have discovered as worthwhile. This contemplation till this moment is living in the past in a sense. Now we need to return to the present and align our life with that. It is necessary to remember that as long as we are alive, we are never too old to change. When we have a choice of what to do with our time, it is wisdom to pick that which will help us to get what we really want.

There is no use in wailing over the past and getting distracted. We should remember that "contentment is the greatest form of wealth." Contentment and acceptance of the situation should never be confused with complacence and indifference. Cultivating contentment means learning to appreciate what is given rather than focusing on what may be missing. "I am satisfied" is not the same as "I do not mind even if I do not have." The commandments 5 and 7 of the Master requires us to develop the attitude of 'radical acceptance' which implies unconditional Maitri (friendliness) where openness and love are such as that we are prepared always to receive with gratitude all that happens to us. Such a life of contentment has no barriers to the being and any and every one finds a place in our heart even if we do not like what they may think or do. Contentment really means that we have the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, having the courage to change the things that can be changed and the wisdom to know the difference between these two.

The practice of embracing between intimate persons is an acknowledgement of the acceptance of each other which shaking hands cannot accomplish. Unconditional acceptance is an ecstatic embrace with Reality and it is not static: it is dynamic and vibrant.

As Master put it we should learn to Live. I only add let us live the life that we really want to live. Then we will be doing exactly what we want to do, living in the joy that we want, and the outcome of our life will be just what we wish - and for me a life in Master. Perhaps that is so with all of us also.