Friday, January 22, 2010


Before I write my blogs I would normally spend a few days thinking about things to write about.  This time on the subject of non-attachment it was no different.  Especially since I am constantly trying to link the philosophies of yoga to real life.  As I was pondering the subject of non-attachment I was of course drawn to my children and their view of the world.  We have consciously raised our children to be attached to people and not to things and I think if we were to measure our success as parents in this one aspect we have succeeded.  When my children hurt either physically or emotionally they reach out to people in their lives that they are bonded to.  They don't scream for a favorite toy in the middle of the night nor do they have a special thing that they carry around every where they go.  Don't get me wrong, occasionally they like to bring a toy with them when we go somewhere but it is not the same - I will die without this item - type of toy, more of the special toy of the day kind of thing.  Last night a dinner the boys were asking us why we don't live with our mommy's and daddy's anymore, this became a discussion of, when you get older you might...  My eldest son became very distraught and started to cry, he said "mommy I want to live with you forever".  As much as I love my children and it would be great if they stayed with me forever, it is still my hope that they find their wings one day and fly out of the nest and maybe have baby birdies of their own.

This discussion with my children and realization that no they are not attached to things but they are still attached to us.  As we are to them.  Can the practice of non-attachment be %100, I don't think so.  Physiologically it is built into mothers to be attached to their babies, this is true of most mammals, if I didn't feel a sense of attachment to my children at birth would I have breastfed them, cleaned them, cared for them?  I thought that this was my aha moment and then I read another blog, belonging to one of my teachers and she said basically the same thing. 

In this process of thinking about aparigraha and practicing it I had to really sit down and think about what I am really attached to, what I think is a necessity and what I just keep because it is pretty or I like it.  Could I live without some of these items that I hold dear - yes.  Am I ready to give up all my worldly possessions - no.  I think I am a person who is more attached to expectations and what is coming next.  I am a planner and I follow plans, not always to a t!  But I like to know what is coming next, for example when this training is done what will I learn next, instead of just finishing what I have started and sitting with it for a while, enjoying and putting to practice what I have learned.  I have expectations of certain people in my life and am always disappointed when it doesn't happen and this is a pattern that needs to be broken - I need to stop putting all of my eggs in one basket and learn that I have several people in my life whom I can rely on for various things and they on me.

So I remain attached to my children and to my husband.  I carry a healthy attachment for some of the items I possess knowing that if they were gone tomorrow I would not die.  Sticking with the rule that for every new thing that comes into my house at least one has to go.  My items will be here long after I am gone and will it matter because at that point no attachment is necessary - we leave the world with what we entered it with!!!

Hari Om,


  1. This is a really interesting idea, practicing non attachment. While I think that it is pretty unlikely in a normal person's life to be fully achieved at the same time it is healthy to be aware of what is useful and necessary as opposed to what we are being conditioned to think of as important. I actually think that children are happier the less they are surrounded by material stuff. We have so many toys in our house and yet they spend most of their time in boxes! I hope to be able to get rid of things over time without anyone really noticing....; )

  2. Emma - I have over the past few months been slowly selling toys that have been long forgotten. They never notice and you are right, they still prefer to play in the boxes from the grocery store that they get to colour themselves!