Aparigraha: Don’t be Beholden

Freedom is the goal of yoga. This freedom is liberation from the bondage of egotism and desire. To be free is to be conscious…

0

Freedom is the goal of yoga. This freedom is liberation from the bondage of egotism and desire. To be free is to be conscious and grateful for being part of the unconditional joy and brilliance of existence.

Through our interactions with others we often ensnare ourselves in unnecessary and unsatisfying obligations and expectations. This does not free us – it binds us. One of the yamas: aparigraha directly speaks to this.

Expectation

One of the ways that we bind ourselves is by accepting things from others knowing that in their giving there are also expectations. They might expect certain reactions from us or expect specific things in return. Think of the politician who accepts donations knowing he will be called on to do the bidding of the donor.

At times, people do things for you with the expectation that you will do something for them. They come to your party and expect you to go to theirs. They feel a certain way and expect you to feel the same. Unconditional love and giving is a wonderful thing in life. It liberates us. Conditional love and giving ensnares us.

Vivekananda

For this reason aparigraha can be thought of as the “non-receiving of gifts.”* Isn’t the joy and beauty of life found in giving and receiving? Yes, but not when by receiving we enter the world of expectation. In those cases it is better not to take or give but to remain out of the situation. Won’t we just end up isolated and alone in life? Far from it! By identifying unhealthy situations and circumstances you also learn to identity healthy ones. Moving into realms of pure and unconditional emotion will lift you into the blissful freedom of yogic living.

*Raja Yoga by Swami Vivekananda

View
The Science of Meditation

Based on Why God Won’t Go Away by Dr. Andrew Newberg – Millions of people are learning to meditate. Stress-reduction, more…

0

Based on Why God Won’t Go Away by Dr. Andrew Newberg

Millions of people are learning to meditate. Stress-reduction, more happiness, and a deep sense of calm: all of these benefits are well documented by the scientific community. * Meditation is being taught everywhere: from schools to the military and everywhere in between. But how does it work?

The Science

New medical technology allows scientists to view the workings of the brain in real time. We can now look at a brain in the state of deep meditation and a brain writhing in anxiety and see many differences. These differences in blood flow to specific areas of the brain, coupled with what we know about different functions of specific areas of the brain, coupled with the subjective experiences of those participating has allowed for a very accurate and scientific understanding of meditation and mystical experience.

Letting Go

An area of the brain called the ‘posterior superior parietal lobe’ creates our sense of the physical space around us and draws the distinction between the individual and the environment. Essential, it creates our sense of ‘I.’

This part of the brain relies on a steady stream of nerve impulses from the body’s senses. When practicing meditation we calm and relax our senses lessening the data stream to this part of the brain; the boundaries of self begin to shift and widen, we feel expansive, and less confined, more a part of a bigger picture.

And, possibly most significantly, when coming out of the meditative experience we carry a memory of these feelings that can influence our actions in our day-to-day lives.

Evolution into Oneness

We, in our evolution, learn to use parts of our bodies forever more expansive and consciousness expanding abilities. Our eyes, which once were used exclusively for survival, are now the vehicles through which we can read and enjoy art. The holds true for our brains. The part of our brain which gives rise to seperativity and egocentricity is also the part, which can allow us, to experience universal oneness.

Evolution is luminous process when form and function evolve together!

View