To pratice Asteya (not stealing) might seem the most easy Yama to practice, but in reality, it means much more than what we know for stealing.
It means also to not take more than we need, for example, do not eat more than we need, do not have more material things than we need, do not have debts, do not steal from yourself or from others intangible things, like happinness, joy, opportunities, do not accept a place or social position/a job/etc. that is not ours, and so on. It also means to accept a place or opportunity when it is ours (don not steal from oneself).
To practice Asteya help us to develop a healthy and strong self-steem. Next time we receive an excelent opportunity, be it a carrer opportunity, be it a relationship, for example, we’ll accept it, because we don’t want to steal from ourselves the happiness we deserve.
Asteya practice gives us safety and helps us to live in harmony with all people and beings around us. Through the Asteya practice (not stealing), we respect the order of life and the right of all the others beings.
What you can do to practice Asteya:
- It’s possible that you might have, during your life, developed the habit to take something away of other people, maybe as a way to deal with your own anxiety, maybe for other reasons. Look for the necessary help to abandon this habit.
- Pay your debts and don’t make debts you are not able to pay.
- Avoid any excess: luxury, too much food, too expensive things.
- Don’t accumulate things. If you have too many clothes and shoes in your closet you don’t use, or anything you don’t need anymore, like those old books, what about to donate them to someone who can really use and benefit from them?
- Embrace the best oportunities and want the best for yourself. This way you’ll be practicing Asteya, not stealing from yourself the opportunity to be happy. Do the same for others.
- When you see someone happy, joyful, confident, don’t say or do nothing that might take away of this person its joy, confidence or whatever good feeling in which he/she might be in.
- And remember: it is a practice! Don’t matter if you haven’t reached you “ideal” state of consciousness yet. Neither have I, neither have many. Keep practicing.