Although greed is considered one of the Seven Deadly Sins, throughout Western culture, greed is considered good, is encouraged, and admired. How many commercials try to get you to want something you don’t need? Or consider the portion sizes in restaurants. Think of your collections, closets, attics, sheds, and storage units.
Aparigraha, one of the teachings from the ancient writings of Pantanjali in the Yoga Sutras, means non-attachment, or non-grasping, turning away from greed to be more self-sufficient. Non-attachment is not the same as detachment. We are letting go of the expectation that these external factors are not the source of our happiness. Letting go of our attachments to the narratives and labels we have created for ourselves. In letting go of these things, we create space for new ideas, new relationships, and new self-awareness.
You can combat the impulse to want more and more in a few simple ways. Consider a gratitude journal or donate from your stashes to charities. Avoid impulse buying – especially after wine, late at night;) You can practice the “I am enough” mantra that follows too.
Take a moment to settle in to your favorite mediation chair, making sure your are comfortable and relaxed from your toes to your face. Once your are ready, try the sinking breath, allowing your exhale to get a little longer than your inhale. Letting go of more air allows us to breathe in more deeply.
On your exhale, move each of your four fingers to contact your thumb, repeating the mantra below, either in your head, or aloud. You might try to repeat it several times.
I have enough
I do enough
I am enough
I live with plenty
Return to simple sitting and breathing, bringing the phrase “I am” to mind whenever you notice that your mind has wandered.