• Becky Morrissey

Autumnal Transition: A Practice of Aparigraha

Updated: Sep 8, 2020

The world has changed. I feel it in everything around me. Undeniable. Undefinable yet enjoining, and unavoidable. Pandemic, seasonal, life. All is in change.

I first felt a 2020-level change in January when I traveled to Chicago for a conference. People from all over the world sharing, portending the wave of change to come. Rooted in their own experiences in their countries of origin, where their families were living the wave of pandemic already. Their empathy awash in their eyes as they advised me to be cautious, be kind, be teachable.

These Changes have trained my nervous system on every level by now. Intention and attention has a more dimensional meaning. And a grieving. A mourning. A relief. A lift. A permission to let go. A necessary practice of aparigraha.

Practitioners study aparigraha as a swadhaya (swah-dye-yah), a self- study. Aparigraha is often translated as "non-clinging or non-grasping" or "active process of letting go"[1]. Aparigraha is also translated as gratitude, awareness of abundance, and interestingly enough, fulfillment. Letting go to emptiness as a practice of fulfillment [2].

Aparigraha also encourages an approach to life of non-possessiveness, an understanding of envy and feelings of jealousy as indicators and inspirations for self-growth rather than evidence of inferiority. A non-possessiveness of the past, or of the future [4]. A lens of perpetual transition; a practice of being the transition while being awash in the turbulence, at times.

A simple practice of Aparigraha I have been working with is pranayama-based, within my Life Practice as well as, meditation and Yoga Asana; noticing my preference for inhale or exhale and "letting go" of those preferences, just to see how this changes of the experience of the practice. I have found I am "inhale dominant". In this time of respiratory health focus, elongating the exhales has evidenced-based healthy practice research support [3]. Learning to let go in a conscious practice of exhaling seems to bring many truths into a collaborative practice yoga called aparigraha.

Would you like to share your experience of aparigraha? If so, please share in the comments below. I will offer response, and perhaps others will as well. As this blog is new for the Sangha Of One site, the blog will ask you to "sign in" and create a password. You are signing into the blog to make comments, that's all.

A community discussion of aparigraha at the beginning of Mother Nature's Maha-Aparigraha seems a lovely way to align ourselves with the Nature around us, in our own self-discovery, and allow us to support each other as well.

What do your resources, your favorite books, say about aparigraha?

What is your most useful definition or translation of the word?


[1] Lasater, Judith.(2000). Living Your Yoga: finding the spiritual in everyday life. Rodmell Press. Berkley, CA.

[2] Devi, Nischala. (2007). The Secret Power of Yoga. Three Rivers Press. New York.

[3] Bushell, W., Castle, R., Williams, M. A., Brouwer, K. C., Tanzi, R. E., Chopra, D., & Mills, P. J. (2020). Meditation and Yoga Practices as Potential Adjunctive Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 Infection and COVID-19: A Brief Overview of Key Subjects. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 26(7), 547-556.

[4] Morrissey, Becky (1989-2020). Personal Journal Writings.

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