I will immediately claim a deficiency in this aspect of Asteya. I like MY stuff. I worked hard for MY stuff. One day though, MY stuff will move on to someone else or rot and decay.
Possessions are defined as “the state of having, owning, or controlling something.” I especially do not like the word controlling. In a Performance Yoga post, we discussed how it is frustrating when trying to control the brain. Possessions can bring that same level of frustration. Ultimately we are given or have purchased them and are now tasked with either caring for them or destroying them. There is stress here. It means that we will be careful and consider the next person to possess the item or we will allow stagnation to form and the item will be useless to future generations. We are on loan to this earth just as our possessions are on loan to us.
Stealing from the Earth
Mantra – I am on loan.
We forget that we are spirits having a human experience. We are visitors to the human experience; we are visitors in the fullest sense of the word. We are visitors to this land, to our bodies, to our minds. To fully appreciate this reality is to accept that nothing on this physical plane does or can belong to us.
We use the term “I,” “mine,” and “my” with almost everything … my house, my car, my clothes, my kids … we can even say, “I had a flat tire.” The ownership of things is steeped deep in our language and cultures and makes it hard for us to appreciate the extent to which nothing really is ours. This guideline asks us to view everything in our possession as something precious that is on loan to us. And for the time that it is on loan to us, we are asked to care for it.
The bounty of the earth is for the community, not the individual.
Book – “The Yamas and Niyamas” by Deborah Adele