Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Aparigraha and Gratitude

Aparigraha is an ancient Sanskrit word that means non-possessiveness. A word that seems so vital for thanksgiving and so important for our current times.

The yoga practice begins with 5 rules, dictating things not to do.
Ahimsa: do no harm
Satya: do not lie
Asteya: do not steal
Bramacharya: do not be excessive
Aparigraha: do not be possessive

The last one is literally translated as do not grasp tightly. In other words don't be greedy.  I find this to be the gateway to the understanding and practice of gratitude.  We must be grateful for what we have, knowing that it could be taken away at anytime. We must share what we have been given.

When we hoard our resources, our land, our talents, or energies, we drop into a feeling of not having enough and not trusting that life must flow.  In yogic philosophy it is believed that all illness and unease comes from stagnation.  So practice letting go, sharing fully, trusting and knowing that there is and will be enough. There is plenty to go around. So give thanks for what you have and hold it loosely so that it maybe shared with humanity. It is only in giving that we really receive.

And now a message from our sponsor:
You are enough!
You don't need anything else.
There is enough to share.
You are enough!

Those of you that are in Los Angeles for Thanksgiving. I will be teaching a thanksgiving class at 9:00 am at Ganesha Haus Yoga Lounge, followed by a Gratitude Council at 10:15.  Would love to see you there!