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Patanjali

As good yogis we are meant to practice the precepts set forth by Patanjali in the Yama and Niyama. One of the “thou shalts” that I needed to work with today is called Aparigraha – the practice of non-greed.

I’ll just say that I fall from yoga grace not infrequently. When I do, I try to remember two things.

1. The reason it’s called yoga practice is because I’m still working on it.

2. Every time I miss the mark, it’s an opportunity to be compassionate toward myself.

Today I got upset with my friend who took something I deemed to be mine, even though, strictly speaking, it’s a shared household item. The real reason I got upset was that I was tired and then I tried to cover that up, and I just ended up being grumpy.

I got a hold of myself pretty quickly when I realised that maintaining a loving relationship with my friend is more important to me than any thing, especially an old cleaning rag.

Another way I like to think about Aparigraha, rather than my trying to be not-greedy, is to be generous. I made a choice for generosity today, and that is an excellent yoga practice.

I made the choice but you’ve got to admit that Patanjali is a pretty cool dude.

 

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