(Sharing from Lin Lu Hong as part of the 30hr Yoga Discovery Programme)

For me, aparigraha is about being mindful about what it means to possess. I used to find it hard to let go of things in life; things that I have seen others hold and let go, yet I can only hold on to them with hands like claws.

I believed in the necessity of grieving a loss, but I couldn’t tell the difference between grieving and holding on. There was one day where my mind felt particularly cluttered, and I arrived in class feeling a little confused. The opening sequence that day felt a little longer than usual, but maybe it was just because of my distracted state of mind. I remember Angie said, “if there are thoughts that come to disturb your mind, let them come, then let them go.”

I think that was dear to me because a lot of times, I get stuck between blocking thoughts out and being too affected by them. I didn’t know what to do with them when they come. But now what I have to figure out, is how to let go of them when they come.

So I turned to painting; I materialised thoughts into tangible things that I can hold in my hands. It is also a meditative process, to just sit there and observe these thoughts passing through. It feels like I am watching a girl wandering in a desert, with a storm inside, and I am the girl herself.

Everything that has happened has led me to where I am today, and aparigraha for me, is to, in the words of Nietzsche, see as beautiful what is necessary in things, so that I shall be one of those that make things beautiful. And this is how I can hold and let go at the same time.

But this has never been and will never be easy, because it is not something that I can “achieve.” It is something that I work hard at with every breath. It’s an open sea and it’s not always going to be peaceful, but I want my purpose to journey with me. So that I will remember that it is the world that has been patient with me, and that it is not the end of the voyage that counts, because I shall be at home every part of the way.