Words of Wisdom, Yoga

Asteya


Snowy forested sceneAsteya often translates as “Non-Stealing,” but I prefer the translation “Non-Devaluing.”  Have you ever considered that you might be a “thief,” even if you never touch another person’s things?  Imagine this:  You are at work, diligently focused on the task at hand.  Suddenly, a difficult co-worker approaches with the boss, who is praising something that employee has done.  What is the first thing you think?  Is it a supportive appreciation for that difficult co-worker’s accomplishment?  Or is it something critical?  If you answered the latter, can you see how devaluing another person deprives them (and you!) of the appreciation they deserve?  Even if you were to keep that appreciation silent, would the “vibrations” of positive thoughts have affected you and others around you differently than seething jealousy?  In my opinion, there is a very good chance it would have.   The practice of Asteya invites us to hold a skillful mindset — so that eventually we are able to approach even critical assessment while holding space for a diverse view of ourselves and others.

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