How many clothes do you have in your closet that you know you'll never wear again, but are still hanging there just in case? How many gadgets, decorations, books and shoes that we simply do not need?
What do we accumulate in life and what do we cling to? These are often the objects we try to fill the void ("I'm not enough"), but we can also accumulate and cling to certain thoughts, ideas, concerns, expectations, results, relationships.
The more we accumulate (material possessions, thoughts, worries, ideas, expectations), the more heavy burden we put on ourselves. We burden ourselves not only with physical, but also with energetic baggage, the more attached we are to it, the more we worry about losing it.
Aparigraha is translated as non-possession in English, in Slovenian it would mean non-possession. It is about the concept of non-hoarding, non-possessiveness, non-greed, non-attachment.
The belief that the new item we buy will bring us happiness is based on feeling of lack. In this sense, 'lack' is that feeling of 'I'm not good enough' or 'I'm not whole without this new thing', but in reality we were and will always be good enough no matter what.
Aparigraha can teach us that we don't really need a new shirt that looks exactly like the other one we have at home, that we don't need to eat so much to (survive), that let's drop the filth, the weight of which just pulls us down.
The next time you feel the need to buy something new, take a moment to think about why you need this thing so much – will it bring you lasting happiness? Will it help you find peace? Will it help you live a simpler and more self-reliant life? (Hint: it's also a great way to save money!)
If we relieve ourselves a little by selling some things we don't need, or even better, if we give them to charity, if we let go of our attachment to objects or ideas, then we are already stepping in the direction of a life with less clutter and clutter, both in our home, as in our mind.
Gluttony is just another face of greed. The fact is that modern man eats too much. Attempts to fill the emptiness of "I'm not enough" with food are not uncommon - I dare say that we all do it at least occasionally.
Many yogic texts advise that we eat in moderation so as not to interfere with our practice, especially the Hatha Yoga Pradipika states overeating as a major obstacle on the yogic path. This doesn't mean you shouldn't enjoy your favorite foods and treats, it's important for each of us to eat to stay healthy, but let's allow our body to recognize when enough is enough and listen to it.
You may have heard of the world's "blue zones" (places in the world with the highest life expectancy and healthiest quality of life) eat up to about 80% to allow the body to properly digest and absorb food. (if you are interested in learning more about a lifestyle that increases health and prolongs life in the blue zones, get started HERE)
It's not just about how much we eat, but also how much food we throw away. 30-50% of the food produced in the world ends up as waste, which it is up to 2 billion tons. Due to the growing world population, the demand for food is increasing, but still more than 8 million people in the world go hungry every day. The food we currently throw away in Europe could feed around 200 million people.
Let's start with small steps of moderation - maybe when buying food, let's try to stick to the list of things we really need, cook only as much as we will eat and as much as our body needs.
How many times in our actions do we focus and attach only to the result and do not enjoy the way to get there? How many times do we cling to certain thoughts, ideas, concepts that do not serve us? What about clinging to beautiful, positive feelings and running away from less pleasant ones?
It is of course completely human to get attached to a positive feeling or experience - but why not feel good, be happy as long as possible? But when we experience something positive, do we really allow ourselves to fully experience that experience, or do we cling to it and wish that everything would stay exactly as it is in that moment, that it would last forever?
"Happiness, joy and peace are important emotions, but so are sadness, anger and loss. To experience only the good things is to experience only half of what life has to offer. The School of Life exists to allow us to experience and learn from all aspects of our being, light and dark, and to truly live, we must not push away the things we do not want to feel, but allow them to happen, with knowing that this too shall pass.
When we let the moment be what it is, without trying to cling to it or push it away, we can truly say we live in the moment and allow things to come and go without having to own any of it.
Aparigraha offers us so much freedom - the freedom to do and do what we love without being attached to the outcome, the freedom to rely less on external and material possessions to bring us happiness, and the freedom to experience everything, whatever life has to offer, no matter what it is. See what happens when you apply this Yama in your life, what happens when you just let go?” (Emma Newlyn)
Are you ready to let go?
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