Aparigraha. (or my computer crashed)

It happened. My computer crashed. Just a blue screen. On it were countless photos, music, folders, esaays, and a few pie charts and spirographs. It is one of those things that is probably inevitable in the age of fast moving technology. I should have been prepared for it. I wasn’t. Although I did have a nagging feeling a few weeks ago when everything seemed to be running a little slower than usual. I thought I should back everything up, I even said it out loud, but I didn’t. How much info will be able to be retrieved and what is lost I am not sure yet, I will have to wait and see.

While waiting for the result my mind immediately turns to thoughts of one of the Yamas of Yoga: Aparigraha.
There are many interpretations and applications for Aparigraha, this being one of the more literal translations; Non grasping. I may lose all my “stuff” and if so I have to let go of it. This idea of “non-attachment” can be applied to tangible objects as well as to our thoughts and ideas. If we practice Aparigraha we must carefully consider which objects and ideas we choose to hold onto. We must prioritize how our time and energy is spent. Maybe I was spending too much time on the computer, maybe there were too many thoughts tucked into too many folders. When we practice Aparigraha by letting go of something, someone, or some idea we create space for the things that are truly important. We create a space for possibility and begin to understand all that is truly important to us. The important things are those that cannot be lost. A generous heart, a kind spirit, a quiet mind.

It is not fun when a computer crashes, but really, in the overall scheme of things what is lost? Maybe it is time to simply let go of the old to make room for the new.

Yama of Yoga: Aparigraha.

Give Love.

giveLove
I love the holiday season.  The festive decorations, the celebrations, the coming together of the community.  It brings to mind one of the Yamas of Yoga: Aparigraha.  This Yama has many translations and interpretations.  One of these is “not hoarding”.  Meaning that life should not be about all for me and none for you, life should be lived by keeping what we need and sharing the rest.  This spirit of giving is particularly apparent during the holidays and it is always a joy to see the generosity that emerges.  We somehow find the time to give in ways that would seem almost impossible during the rest of the year.  We do it because it is Christmas or Hanukah or Kwanza.  We do it in the spirit of the holiday that we celebrate and the traditions we have come to embrace.  It is a beautiful thing to watch and be a part of.  My wish is that we continue to carry this spirit of generosity with us throughout the year.  Finding those moments to give when it would be so much easier not to.  Giving financially is not always possible, but a giving of your time and spirit is always accessible.  We all have so little time anymore.  Our plates are full and we are seemingly always rushing on to the next thing.  Giving of your time is one of the most generous ways to share the holiday spirit throughout the year.   It might just be 5 minutes as you pass someone on the bike path who is obviously lost and offering directions.  It might be volunteering for one hour a month delivering meals to the elderly.  It might be watching your friends children so that she can have some much needed time for herself.  Maybe one night a month you do the cooking for a group of friends.   We can also give of the spirit.   Maybe it is speaking a kind word instead of a harsh one.  Maybe it is letting go of your next silly argument and being the first to say you are sorry.   Maybe it is just taking the time to truly listen.

Find your way, and create a new tradition of giving year round.

Wishing you a Happy Holiday and a Blissful New Year!