So, your like “me steal?, no way!”. Well, I have some news for you, you may be doing it and not even be aware of it!
Asteya, the third of the Yamas from the 8 Limbs Of Yoga can be interpreted as “non-stealing” or “to one established in non-stealing, all wealth comes.” Non-stealing in this context can literally mean not knocking off a bottle of tequila from the liquor store, yes. But it also has to do with not taking from others that is not yours. Further on from this it can mean how we share with others what we have gained and what we choose to devote to ourselves each day.
It’s a crazy life isn’t it? In the midst of careers, family, kids, financial planning, mortgages, holidays (if you can fit one in) study and to top it off trying to put the mindfulness in where you can! That time, energy and space for you! What I love about the concept of asteya is that it teaches us to be present, to be mindful and one with our being rather then doing, doing, and doing. Have you ever felt so excited for something you look forward to every week, ie. yoga class, but as you arrive at the studio your minds so scattered because it was such a rush to get to the studio? That was your TIME, your space just for you to have a bit of mindfulness, yet all of these others things that you got distracted by and focused on to get there, took the beauty away from your practice. Or perhaps you have a moment to shine your light on something you love, its your passion and you can’t wait to share it in a group discussion but all of a sudden someone else gets in before you and ‘your time’ to shine was gone. Oh that feeling, stealing TIME!
A second example is ‘appreciating rather then conceal’ and its something we all do, so don’t think you can get out on this one “no, me stealing? never!”. Sadly, some of us tend to take on enormous pressure to meet standards about appearance, careers and expectations rather than appreciating what we have now and what makes us each unique. We tend to look at what we don’t have, the things that are in far reach and seem unattainable, seriously, doesn’t it sound ridiculous? But it’s what we do! We are human beings and it is such a beautiful thing to be, we just have to be a bit more aware and conscious in our day-today lives. Thirdly, asteya asks us to to look at where we hoard or have grieve and reminds us of the non-material richness of our lives! Our lives are so awesome, really! The Buddha says “Be where you are, otherwise you will miss most of your life”. It sounds so simple doesn’t it? In the midst of all those adventures of life, the cycles and events that arise can really get us out of whack and create an imbalance. The result of this is a more deeper and honest life that no-one can take away from you.
To wrap this up, we tend to ‘crave’ all of these ‘things’ to fill the gap, by stealing either our self or someone else’ attention, possessions, time, strength and energy. Even using others to quench the thirst of needing others around and clinging to avoid being alone and in our own space. It’s a scary thing, being alone. It can be a hard concept to get your head around but by living a more conscious life, by being mindful of what we are doing, how we are reacting in situations and to people around us, the simple principle of asteya can wake us up a bit, resulting in a more balanced life.
Love + Light,