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Hindrances to Happiness

In seeking out practices and actions that make me happier, I have given much thought to what gets in the way of my happiness.

~ Non attachment or aparigraha as it is known in yoga philosophy, is the last yama (moral guideline) in Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga. Practicing non attachment can free us from possessiveness and dependence and can also cultivate trust and self reliance. When we attach to an outcome or even a belief we tend to cut ourselves off from knowledge and at the same time increase our anxiety. Our attachment to things and possessions can imprison us and rob us of our freedom and joy of the moment. Simply put, if we can’t let go of anything, how can we let anything in?

~“Comparison is the thief of joy.”~Theodore Roosevelt

This is a quote I remind myself of very often. Comparing ourselves to anything or anyone only produces more suffering. More suffering means less happiness. If change is always constant and it is then what’s the point of comparison anyway when the metric is always changing?

~Non-judgment or ahimsa, the first of the yamas, also meaning kindness and compassion is one of my daily practices as well. Through meditation I am able to gain some space and perspective around my thoughts. Quite literally I have found I can detach from my thoughts for at least a brief period of time. And the more consistent I am with my meditation practice the less judgmental I find myself in regard to myself and others.

Non attachment, Not comparing and Non judgment are key elements in my practice of living a happier, healthier life. The awareness and clarity that come from a dedicated meditation practice has absolutely led me on the path of less suffering.

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