By Stephanie Stillman
Aparigraha is one of the yamas, the ethics of Yoga. Its literal translation is not gripping, or non-attachment. Practicing aparigraha is practicing contentment, adaptability and presence. Being able to flow with life and stay present in the moment is aparigraha. It is the opposite of being attached to a past event or a future outcome.
I’ve worked in the vegetable business for over five years, as an organic farmer and a produce stocker at an organic grocery store. Over those years I noticed a theme in customer dissatisfaction. The produce, in some manner, does not match their expectation of what it was going to be. The biggest lesson I’ve learned from this work, work that is dependent on the queen of variability, Mother Nature herself, is aparigraha. The more I can let go of what I think it’s going to be like (the weather, the pests, the harvest, the selection), the greater opportunity I have to experience the richness of what it actually is.
Here are three practical ways to shop with aparigraha:
Whether you are shopping in a grocery store, a farmer’s market or directly from a garden, see how it feels to leave your expectations behind and shop with aparigraha.
Share your experience in the comments!