Asteya is the practice of not taking anything that has not been freely given to us. And that may be something obvious such as steeling a TV set, or something more subtle, as stealing someone's time when they would prefer to do something else, depriving them of the freedom to act in a certain way due to fear of being judged by us or downloading music without the author's consent.

Our constant desire to have more is rooted in the fact that we place the source of our happiness outside of ourselves, meaning we have an external locus of control. We associate buying a new phone with joy, and therefore we long for the next phone. But when two days have passed, that moment is already in the past so the satisfaction starts to fade away, and we therefore start thinking about the next one.

Our ego can sometimes cause us to fail to see the abundance that life offers us, and so we can start to ambition more, to be sure it doesn't run out. It gives us the illusion that things are finite and we need to look after ourselves otherwise we may miss out. It is a constant feeling of lack, which can fill our lives and blind us to the abundance that the universe offers us. And when we relate to others from the vantage point of kindness and generosity, we bring out those highest qualities in them because they realise that, like us, they have a lot to give. In short, we make space for their Essence to shine forth.

Asteya also implies a level of consciousness regarding how much we are taking from the Earth itself, in terms of its natural resources. Are we spending more water than we need to? More petrol or perhaps electricity? It may be that by taking more than we need, we are also stealing from others in the present or future. 

There are 3 types of stealing:

• The actual physical or emotional theft.

• The intention to commit the theft. The act itself may never happen, but sometimes we may consider how convenient it would be if we just bended the rules a little. We may not even go ahead with it, due to social anxiety or fear of getting caught, but the intention to take ownership of something that was not ours could have been there nevertheless.

• The theft without intention, which may be due to unawareness that we are actually stealing (e.g. stealing someone's peace of mind).

With awareness, we can start to identify the grey areas in our life that we may have been stealing, and start resonating with kindness and abundance instead.