Tuesday, October 6, 2009


At this point in Meditations from the mat, I'm reading about Aparigraha, which is the final yama, and means nonpossesiveness and nonhoarding.

I think I'm somewhere in the middle of the road with this yama. I'm really good about cleaning about my possessions. I'm quite the opposite of a hoarder. And I think I'm OK in the mental aspect of Aparigraha too. I can let go of preconceived notions in a lot of ways, and I think I'm very open minded.

But I know there are areas that need work. I don't keep a lot of things for sentimental purposes, but what I do keep, I have a fierce grip on, and can't imagine letting it go. Pictures, tokens from my Grandfather, old letters... these are the only things I truly hoard. If I lost them, I would be devastated. I realize that an attachment like that to material possessions is a waste of energy, but yet I still cling to it.

I also know that I have beliefs about myself and the way things *should* be that I hold on to, even when they present challenges in my daily life. And here's where things get complicated. I don't know if I believe that I should necessarily let them go. What dictates which beliefs are worth holding onto and fighting for, and which are holding you back? In a previous section of the book, the author asks, "What are we defending, and why are we defending it?" He was speaking of National Defense, but I think that is an appropriate mediation for figuring out which of our beliefs are worthwhile.

The most interesting aspect of today's entry in Meditations from the Mat was this statement about the effect of practicing Aparigraha: Yesterday's definition of a man or a woman, a race or a religion, a blessing or a curse no longer has any power over us. We can begin to trust our perceptions of the truth in the moment.

Trust your perceptions of the truth of the moment - that is a very appealing concept, and makes the practice of Aparigraha appear very worthy of the effort.


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