A Is for Attachment!

Written by Fergus Higgins

Quick recap: We are all connected! To each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. However, if we are all connected then why can one feel separated from this connectedness? We can feel separate because we are born with a body and a mind. It is our mind that leads us to believe we are separate!

Yoga helps this separateness by managing the 5 Klesha's: ignorance, pride, attachment, aversion and fear of death (IPAAF)

Classical yoga breaks the universe into two parts, Matter and Spirit. Matter is broken down into 3 more parts called guna's: sattva, tamas, rajas. When we are in a sattvic place we are most centered, less separate, most connected. One way we may accomplish this is through yoga asana, pranayama and meditation.

This week the first A in IPAAF, the third Klesha, is for Attachment. In sanskrit it's called 'Raga.'

"Attachment or desire is an emotional bondage to any source of pleasure, manifesting in extreme forms as an inability to let go of anything, a sort of addiction to the furniture of life rather than a celebration of the joy of life itself" - - B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Life.

People, places, things, food, drink, drugs, sex, clothes, shoes, cars, beloveds, etc.

It is very easy to get attached to someone or something too much. Ever have a horrible breakup? Felt you just simply could not live without the other person? Felt like the end of life itself and yet here you are today? Centered again, after a period of time?

How or why do we get too attached to that which may serve us or which may not serve us?

If we are going to get attached to stuff, then we may as well manage the attachments! Yes, manage the attachments!

What are you attached to? Do you choose attachments that will serve your, body, mind and spirit.

Choose attachments that serve your body such as a healthy diet? 8 hours sleep every 24? Yoga asana a few times a week? Do we really need more than one beloved at a time? How many pairs of shoes can you wear at one time, in one week? How much alcohol and nicotine and caffeine actually serves you? Are drugs serving you?

Choose attachments for your mind that serve you such as perhaps believing that the universe is a benevolent place versus not so? That perhaps getting attached to "things" or people in excess does not serve you? Is 140 pairs of shoes for a goddess enough? How many fast cars can your beloved drive at one time? How many homes can you sleep in at one time? Do the lies we get stuck in and lives we fabricate from them serve us? Healthy relationships for our mind? How would total attachment to truth look like?

How would our life manifest in that energy?

In the end what we "attach" to may define us in this world but as the old saying goes "you can't take it with you!"

"We are one impermanent entity seeking an enduring link with another impermanent entity" -- B.K.S. Iyengar

Allow yourself to see what you may be overly so and perhaps not so Attached to? In that recognition, manage your attachments so that they serve you better so that one is perhaps less separate and more connected to the universal force that flows through us all!

Remember you are a miracle after all and manifested just like everyone else for this period in time. Your manifestation has purpose and so do the things we knowingly and unknowingly attach to!

The tricky thing about getting attached is that for the most part they are impermanent in nature. So we end up getting attached to that which is impermanent and then get disappointment when it ends up being so! Understanding the impermanence of things can help when we start to get attached to things.

I love my girlfriend and I am attached to her. I realize both of us are impermanent physical beings and also that relationships can end without warning. It takes two people to make a relationship but only one person to finish it!

Realizing this allows me to love her and be attached to her in hopefully a healthy and connected way. So when one beloved moves on from this world physically, having being attached is healthy, understanding the impermanence of all physical beings.

Or if our beloved "changes his or her mind" and needs to end the relationship, having being attached is healthy, understanding the possible impermanence of relationships! This can be very hard but as most of you know, the French have a lovely saying for this: "C'est la vie" such is life!

Again, B.K.S Iyengar sums it up best:"The correct attitude to our "possessions" is gratitude, not ownership."

Give thanks for your possessions. Cherish your beloved, tell them so!

Next week the second A in IPAAF, the Klesha of Aversion... 

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