The true meaning of APARIGRAHA ( letting go)
This week has been troublesome. My father has COPD and was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday for breathing issues. He could not catch his breath which is life, and all I could think about was he was losing his. I wanted him to try harder because I know when the breath is held too long that what nourishes us can turn toxic. The hospital room was full of chaos that Wednesday evening before a nurse took my dad’s hand while he was grasping and began to pray for breath. There was a calm that came over the room, and at that moment there was peace. The nature of aparigraha is impermanence – everything changes. Falling back to the breath and watch the rise and fall of each inhalation and exhalation, we can feel the truth of the transience of all things. My dad’s fear was gone as he returned to his breath. Dad told me later he felt he had only a few breaths left that night. In my heart, I knew he was right.
APARIGRAHA means nonpossessiveness and can also be interrupted as nonattachment, nongreedy, clinging, better said “letting go.” Our journey in this life should be light while caring and enjoying thoroughly.
Why is aparigraha so hard to practice? Still unable to shake the worry and stress, so I then decided to dive deep into trying to understand better what practicing Aparigraha meant. Is it just letting go, detaching yourself? Or is there more to it. I wonder how many suitcases of expectations, plans, resentments, and unforgiven moments I carry around with me on a daily basis. “Aparigraha is taking what we need: taking what serves us and letting go when the time is right. Aparigraha allows us to become more present by letting go of expectations.” I remembered this quote from a yoga tape I once watched, and I wrote it down for moments like these. I sat for a long time in silence, contemplating these two sentences. I dropped into a place of mental stillness that had been evading me for days. My faith in God and art of the practice is finding space to think clearly enough to discern what needs to be held closely and what needs to be let go. “Aparigraha isn’t about letting go of all things – it’s about letting go of the right things at the right time.” Practicing trust will keep us in check and keep us open to life’s unfolding.