I’ve been closing the estate of my aunt, who was a hoarder, and at the same time renovating a house I’ve lived in for 20 years, giving away as much as I can. My little car has become a redistribution-of-wealth wagon – boxes for family, friends, Retails Thrift Shop. I am daily practicing Aparigraha.
This is also part of my yoga practice, to let go of mental clutter, to let my mind be clean and free.
Less is more. Less is exhilarating.
The week I read about asteya, non stealing, I had a alarm system installed in my home. It was determined that I needed to add an additional sensor than what was previously agreed upon. I was quoted an additional $100 fee for the equipment. After the installation was completed, the technician told me that there was no charge for the day’s installation and was packing up to leave. I thought about the additional sensor that was installed and could probably have remained silent and not been charged. Then I thought about asteya and smiled. I asked him about the additional sensor. He was embarrassed that he had forgotten it. He told me he would have had to pay for it himself if he had left my house without collecting for it. It was the right thing to do. The “reminder” from Judith was there at the front of my mind but my Catholic guilt reared its head as well
The yama that has the most meaning for me recently is aparigrapha, non-hoarding.
I have been teaching for over 12 years, but I have been a book lover all my life. Consequently, I have accumulated many volumes, especially on writing, literature, and using English properly. I realized that these wonderful books are something that should be shared because they are more useful as tools to help others with learning than just items to fill up my shelves. English teachers by their very natures love to surround themselves with books and reading materials. So, for one of my “breed” to give up books is often difficult, even unusual: one never knows when one may need the odd volume of whatever! Within the last month, I have given over five cartons of books to a high school that is building its library and to a thrift store. I do not miss these books at all because I know they are out there doing what books should do: educate, enlighten and bring satisfaction and joy to the minds of others. This is the meaning of aparigrapha to me.
This morning I decided to be more aware and purposeful as I face the day and think about the Yamas as they exist in every nuance of the day. I wrote down the list of Yama’s and one more time read descriptions of each. Before I even got out of bed I was already thinking of Brahmacharya…no not what you are thinking…it was about the coffee in moderation not the sex. I wondered why I downed my coffee so fast, was there any moderation or thought about it? Do I really need another cup? ‘Yes’ I said, but now I’m looking at Aparigraha-non-greed. In five minutes I’ve already thought about two Yamas. The day will be long at this rate.
Next I’m on a conference call at 7AM. The person is apologizing profusely for making us have such an early call. I tell him not to worry and I was up anyway-Already lying!! Focusing on Satya, I re-phrased it. “Its ok, I needed to get up and stop drinking coffee anyway”. No need to avoid the truth just to make someone feel better.
Now if I can only get through the next couple hours without harming -Ahimsa-or stealing- Asteya-I’ll be ok.