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Asteya (non-stealing)

Asteya (non-stealing)

This piece was originally published in the OWY newsletter in October of 2013.

In the previous newsletter I touched on the second Yama, Satya (truthfulness).  As a quick review the 8 limbs of yoga are:

  1. Yamas (external restraints)
  2. Niyamas (internal observances)
  3. Asana (postures)
  4. Pranayama (breath control)
  5. Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses)
  6. Dharana (concentration)
  7. Dhyana (meditation)
  8. Samadhi (absorption)

The first limb, Yamas, include:

  1. Ahimsa (non-violence)
  2. Satya (truthfulness)
  3. Asteya (non-stealing)
  4. Brahmacharya (moderation or abstinence)
  5. Aparigraha (non-greed, non-attachment)

This time around I’d like to invite you to think about what non-stealing (Asteya) means to you.

My first reaction to this was simply “I got this one, I’ve never stolen from anyone.”  Unfortunately stealing can be much more subtle than simply taking a material thing from someone else.  If you’ve ever talked over someone, or waited for them to be done talking about their stuff so you can get on with talking about what’s going on with you that can be a form of stealing.  I honestly do this more often than I’d like to admit.  But it’s all about seeing these things in ourselves so we can work to change them, if we like.  Stealing attention or time from others can be a form of violence too.

This can go to more and more subtle levels.  So what does non-stealing mean for you?  How deep can it go?  Are you stealing attention, or time from those around you?  Are you giving just as much as you expect?

Remember to take a few minutes each day for yourself.  To just breathe and be.

Continue with Brahmacharya.

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