I had coffee with a dear friend yesterday and purposefully sat with my back to the door. Knowing myself I was sure that I would be distracted by every person that walked in the cafe and would not have been listening to my friend. My distraction would been noticeable. I would have been stealing my attention away from her and to the other people in the cafe.
The third yama is Asetya or non-stealing. At first glance this yama is not far from the commandment in the Bible that says “thou shall not steal.” We see it as not taking something that is not ours, not shoplifting at a store, not sneaking into a parking space that someone is waiting for and not taking someone else’s significant other. The literal not stealing of tangible things is an easy way to understand Asetya.
But this yama is far more complex than just not putting your hands on an item that does not belong to you.
There are many different ways to look at Asetya off the mat. When you are with other people are you listening attently to their words or are you thinking about your own thing? When you read a book are you actually seeing the words or are you wondering about what you are going to do tomorrow? When you have a meal are you enjoying the food or rehashing a conversation from hours earlier? Remember that you have the option to NOT steal from yourself and others by making your focus on the moment.
Keeping your ears open, your mind focused and your gaze steady is a great way to practice Asetya.
How are you living your yoga? Let me know, I’m all ears.
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