Posted on October 27th, 2010
One of the most powerful elements of practicing yoga is the application of non-attachment. In Sanskrit, there is a term called Vairagya that roughly translates as detachment, or renunciation, in particular renunciation from the pains and pleasures in the material world. The observance of Vairagya is in one notion a simple concept, but in practicality is a challenging practice.
Our attachment to material things, people, and experiences is what draws us away from freedom and connection to Self. By having a grounded connection to Self, we are able to disperse the burden of materialism: desire, the need to acquire, and the false sense of existence through the association to things and others.
In this exploration of non-attachment, I have found an interesting experiment to play with. Our first experience with becoming attached to the material world and being carried into an existence of clouded truth starts from the formation of vocabulary. When we are young, the words that are often learned first are ‘my’ and ‘mine’.
In practical terms, we do become owners of things, possessors of products, and connected through relationships. However, when we choose to observe non-attachment and strip away the concept of “ownership”, we realize the irrelevance of using these two burdening words. It is true that when we take on ownership of something, we usually take on a social, moral, or civil responsibility. For example, we purchase a home, we are responsible for taxes and upkeep. But as soon as we attach the labels of ‘my’ and ‘mine’ to this element of ownership, we readily link this material possession to who we are – we allow ourselves to become vulnerable to judgment, vulnerable to the miseries of loss, overcome by the burdens of acquiring more and satisfying the desires of attainment.
By acknowledging how powerful the words ‘my’ and ‘mine’ are, I have decided to explore ways to eliminate these words of illusion from the vocabulary I use (notice how I did not say ‘my vocabulary’). Shedding my vocabulary of these words is the first process of managing the manifestations of thought.
Consider addressing how you use the words ‘my’ and ‘mine’ in your vocabulary. How do these words vibrate in your state of thought and the way you flow through life? What associations are you possibly creating when you use these words. Our words are an end-result manifestation to what vibrations are emanating from our soul and reflect the level of connection we have to Self.
Article written by Kreg Weiss – cofounder and Yoga teacher on My Yoga Online.
Tags: Kreg Weiss, Inner Peace, Awareness, Body and Mind, sanskrit