"A" meaning not
"PARI" meaning on all sides
"GRAHA" meaning to grab
This yama encourages us to practice non-attachment. Before we get into non-attachment, let's talk about attachment and detachment.
Attachment is described as a clinging to something or someone. Because we exist in the material world, often we cling to material things around us. When we begin to attach to things outside of ourselves, we start to define our worth in relation to our job, our relationships, the material objects we acquire or our physical appearance. We may find ourselves stuck in the past or longing for things to stay the same. It can also manifest as a fixation on the future.
Detachment is a complete separation, even a rejection, from something or someone in our lives. Sometimes, we detach as a means to survive in challenging environments. Detachment can move us away from listening to our true feelings and can stunt authentic expression. We begin to simply go through the motions, or maybe we even start to experience a complete lack of interest in life.
Non-attachment, or Aparigraha, is the last of the Yamas (moral restraints). It exists somewhere between attachment and detachment. Non-attachment invites us into the present moment with gratitude and compassion.
When we bring ourselves into presence and find gratitude there, there is no more grasping and we cultivate contentment. When we practice Aparigraha, we live harmoniously with the rhythms of life and accept every outcome, every experience, every feeling for what it is without overly self identifying or pretending it doesn't exist. Think of the saying, "it's not about the destination, but the journey." Appreciate being right where you are now - it is EXACTLY where you are meant to be.
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