This week we are paying attention to non-stealing – one of the ethical and moral subjects or guidelines for living and one of the yamas, in the Eight Limbed Path of Yoga. To truly understand the depth of yoga and how one is transformed by it, one must go to a deeper place than usually expected.
Please read the previous lesson for an explanation and the questions you might ask yourself regarding the third yama, non-stealing. Many have been surprised at the various ways of perceiving non-stealing. It is definitely “food for thought.”
In this follow-up lesson for the week, I suggest you consider whether or not you unwittingly “steal” from yourself. Does this seem impossible? We recognize that most of us function on two levels or planes while we are in the body. Even when we know there is something called the Self, that which is eternally free and based in love and perfection, we all are at risk for wavering — for finding ourselves in the clutches of the small self, the ego and that which gets tripped up in believing that we are something other than what we are and that we are separate from one another. Because of this, we are capable of “stealing” from ourselves. You will likely note that non-stealing and the previous yamas, non-violence and truthfulness will start to extend into each other.
Do you find that you “steal’ from yourself in any of these ways:
- Do you steal from yourself the opportunity to be quiet and calm when you engage in activities or mix with others who could disturb your peace?
- Do you find yourself eating foods and drinking beverages that could steal from an otherwise healthy, mindful body?
- Do you mindlessly steal from your spiritual life by letting the senses rule in ways that the culture may support but your spiritual life may not. For example, do you spend hours watching newscasts or TV, sitting in movie theaters seeing violent or demeaning (to anyone) films, or listening to angry and jarring music or speaking negatively of others, etc.
- Do you say certain words that you know are not your true thoughts, just to be accepted, and thus steal away your own truth?
Do not be mistaken by these questions. We are free to make our choices and let go of judgement. But you know, on some level, when too much is too much. Where is your “higher” self in all of this?
I thank you for considering these ideas and for taking the time to read this post. I would never want to mindlessly “steal” away your time.
With love and namaste, Deanne
For more, go to http://www.deannemincer.com