February 19, 2012
Aparigraha ~ Non-greed
Our fifth Yama, or Aparigraha is non-possessiveness, non-attachment, or non-greed. By practicing aparigraha, we allow ourselves to not become attached to any thing, event, situation, practice or person but allow for immense enjoyment from these. You can enjoy life, live to the fullest, and still be able to drop everything to start anew. Every moment is being born and dying when the next one is here. We realize that our enjoyment, and happiness does not come from any external thing or situation, but rather deep within ourselves. This teaching tells us to “let go”.
We gain freedom by letting go of grasping, of trying to gain more, of trying to get ahead…for what we try to possess, possesses us.
Deborah Adele states “Like the breath when it is held too long, the things that nourish us can become toxic. Aparigraha invites us to practice divine play, experience full intimacy and contact with the moment, and then to let go so the next thing can come.”
The very nature of aparigraha is impermanence. Everything changes, and the more flexible we can become throughout change, the more at ease and happy we will remain.
Let go of an attachment to having expectations about how anything will be. Let go of the attachment that a particular material possession will bring you enjoyment, and find it in this very moment of life. Connect with this very breath, the delicious nourishment that is offered to you right now. Having attachments in any way can keep us captive, so instead, choose freedom.
Do not hoard items, or collect things because they are all “free” or on sale. They will still take up space and demand attention at some point.
Let go of your idea of how life should be like. This will keep you from learning and stagnate self-growth. Attachments to routine, plans, and expectations keep you blinded to all of the wonderful new opportunities around you! Live in the moment without a set plan. Let go of the many tasks, resentments and unforgiven moments that you may also be carrying with you from day to day.
Again, Deborah Adele has a beautiful way of explaining “Non-attachment does not mean that we don’t care or that we somehow shut ourselves off from the pleasures of joy of life and each other. In fact, non-attachment frees us up to be immersed in appreciation of life and one another.
A bird cannot hold its perch and fly. Neither can we grasp anything and be free.”