"Now is a good time to ask, 'How much is enough?'" says Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, a Kundalini Yoga teacher and the director of Golden Bridge Yoga in Los Angeles. "For too long, people have reached for happiness through money. And we've learned that the quest for more material goods has not brought happiness. In fact, it's brought conflict, greed, and war."
The antidote to this greed is aparigraha, the fifth of the ethical standards outlined in the Yoga Sutra. Aparigraha is often translated to mean "nonhoarding." At its root, it is the practice of nonattachment, of letting go of the idea that your happiness depends on what you own. "This is a time of transition," Khalsa says, "a time to ask yourself, 'What is really important? What makes me happy?' Not the instant rushes we get from shopping or titillating our taste buds with a fancy meal, but genuine, deep-down happiness." For Khalsa, this includes a return to the hearth and getting back to basics. "I'm spending more time at home and in nature. I cook more often, preparing simple, live, organic food. I focus more on my family and community. This is an opportunity to live more creatively, from the heart, and discover that simple is not only good, it might even be better."
It also means learning how to take pleasure in something without having to own it. "If you can enjoy beauty for its own sake, you change the way you relate to the world." And with that, she says, comes the power to change your destiny. ■
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