Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Non-Greed, or Non-hoarding. This fifth Yama violates the basic tenets of the American National Religion: Capitalism. That does not mean you need to become a dreaded Socialist or, God-Forbid, Communist, but this Yama does force us to take a good, hard look at our consumption habits. Tread easy with this one - it can be painful. Let's face it, Ladies: just how many pairs of shoes do we really need? I'm sure you can see where I am going with this. Practicing aparigraha requires a good foundation in satya (truth) or we won't be making any progress. How much do we eat, sleep, shop or otherwise indulge in both material and sensual pleasures? This is the question we want to keep at the back of our minds and explore over a period of time. The more awareness we bring to our consumption habits the better able we are to make some better decisions, perhaps spend a little less, or at least only indulge in the best quality we can afford (see Chocolate of the Week box to your right). We should aim to make our lives less cluttered, not more so. It is easier said than done, and this topic will come up again when we take a good look at Pratyahara. In the meantime, think about the dread you feel when your parents or in-laws try to unload thirty years worth of junk from their attic into the back of your car. If you have not reached that point in your life yet, believe me you will soon enough and you might want to get your parents started on aparigraha right away! My husband is a master of aparigraha and I have a long way to go to catch up. For some of us, this yama may be easy and for others, it may take many years of patient practice to learn to take a little less and give a lot more. Good luck!