Aparigrahah (bless you!)

Aparigrahah means letting go; non-grasping; greedlessness (thanks, Lorien). I’m not even sure how to pronounce it. I do know that it’s really, really hard.

I have been facing a personal, Aparigrahah challenge this week. Stanford Law still hasn’t given me a response (and by STILL I mean it has been EIGHT MONTHS and I ONLY have THREE DAYS LEFT before I have to start notifying other schools of my decision). Waiting in limbo, I have been refreshing my status page approximately every 15 minutes. I’ve started frequenting the online forums, which only contributes to the frenetic stress and impatience. I hover around my phone, praying for that phone call.

It’s time to let go.

I close my eyes and take a deep breath. Can I trust that even if I don’t go to Stanford, I can still have a productive career in law? Yes. Most of the time.  Can I have faith that in not attending Stanford, I will still be able to adequately provide for myself; find fulfillment in my career; pursue my passions and other-wise lead a perfectly good life? Yes. But then a tiny voice whispers, “but Stanford would be so much better…” I think that this is where Aprigrahah comes in. Non-grasping. Recognizing that life provides the means for happiness.

Does this mean I don’t want to go to Stanford? Of course not. If I got the call right now, I would be jumping up and down and obnoxiously posting it to Facebook, like any sane prospective 1L. But, it’s important to remind myself, in light of my practice, that I will survive rejection and move forward, even if things don’t magically happen the way I wanted them to.

Tomorrow I’m heading to NYU Law, to wander around the campus and try to decide whether or not I would be happy there.  I know I’m gearing up for another incredibly fast-paced, stressful day.  Aparigrahah (which sort of sounds like a sneeze, when I say it in my head).  Let go.

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2 thoughts on “Aparigrahah (bless you!)

  1. I think of aparigrahah as the practice of letting go of the illusion that happiness can be found in accumulation – accumulation of status, privilege, wealth, etc. This is another way of working toward the realization that true happiness is independent of circumstances. Not different than your understanding of aparigrahah. There are so many ways to see these truths that it is, I think, a good practice to work with them until the personal meaning comes through. I wish you the best in your studies, wherever you land. Namaste.

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