Yep, last and by no means least of the Yama’s (First Limb of Yoga) is Aparigraha, or non-attachment. The art of letting shit go!
The sutras state that:
‘When one is steadfast in non-possessiveness or non-grasping with the senses (aparigraha), there arises knowledge of the why and wherefore of past and future incarnations.
(aparigraha sthairye janma kathanta sambodhah)’
STUFF. We want stuff, all the stuff. But stuff is just stuff. It’s definitely not the important stuff.
We don’t ‘own’ anything, yet our western culture and society insists that the more you have of ‘it’ (it being that stuff again) the better/happier/more successful you are.
None of the stuff is going to make you happy long term, like a sugar fix it only gives you a temporary high, and then your crashing again and searching for the next fix.
Aparigraha teaches us not only do we not need so many material possessions but that we need to practice non-attachment from the things that we perceive we have…it’s about letting go and not holding on to things that we act possessive towards or hoard (erm, hello my trainer/yoga pants/bikini collections). Try living out of a backpack/suitcase for a couple of months, you’ll see just how much you actually need.
What about the non material? We should be letting go of all the negative parts of our past – we can’t do anything about that, it’s been and gone, so let that shit go.
How about social status? Ever feel the need to ‘keep up with the Joneses’? or thought to yourself ‘my life should look like this right now’ – seriously, let that shit go RIGHT NOW. You will be your happiest and most content when you don’t compare or judge yourself.
How about toxic friends/family, you know your ‘frenemies’ yep…they can go too – no need to have people in your life who bring you down (by the way it’s YOU who are allowing them to do so). So surround yourself with people who love you for you – let all the others go.
Take stock! Have a look around you and just imagine how much simpler and carefree life would be if you JUST LET ALL THAT SHIT GO. The physical, non physical, mental and material. Let it go and feel at peace.
In Buddhism, more specifically in buddhist meditation, the art of detachment (from all things) is the path to self realisation. It’s a method I learnt in my Vippasana training (more on that here) nothing is permanent, so don’t attach yourself to anything as it won’t last, everything is constantly changing.
The Dalai Lama says:
‘Attachment is the origin, the root of suffering; hence it is the cause of suffering’
I urge you to begin to practice this Yama, along with all the other Yama’s and you will start to feel a lighter version of yourself. A more content and happy person. And who doesn’t want that?
Let that shit go – a useful mantra for your mala meditation!!!!!