Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Nadi Yoga Part 7 - Preliminaries - Asteya

 Asteya – non stealing of the life force, proper boundary

            This next yama is a little unusual but very important. At its grossest level it involves not stealing. Most yogis are not thieves of gross things but of course it is possible to steal on many levels. With nadi yoga, we have to take a closer deeper examination of how it is that not only we steal from others but how others steal from us. This brings up the importance of proper energetic boundaries and the idea of boundary is vital in the understanding of this level of asteya.
            When we understand how our boundaries function healthily through brahmacarya and aparigraha, we recognize more clearly how our system is meant to be when it is functioning in a healthy way. The next place we have to examine is how we function with these boundaries in our relationships with others. To have healthy relationship with others, there must be equal give and take. You choose consciously what you give to others and you choose consciously what you take from others.
            Many relationships in our modern world are parasitic and even vampiric. In other words we take from others psychically and energetically, most of the time completely unconsciously. This builds psychic and energetic dependence on others. It can go both ways: we can take from others and they can take from us. It is one thing if this exchange is a gift, another if it is unconscious and/or trying to fulfill some lack within oneself.
            There are a couple things to consider when we first examine whether or not we are feeding vampires in our life. The first is to remember the old phrase which tells us that vampires cannot come into our house unless we first invite them in. Second, we have to do something about the vampires that are already in our house. The first thing is most important. It reminds us that we are in charge of who we let in. It is important to see where we do let others in, where we give our power away. The second is more difficult and may involve some hard choices regarding family, friends, and co-workers or bosses. We have to understand that we are not going to be really free unless all of the vampires are out of our house.
            It gets even more complicated when we consider that this problem extends beyond the grave. We can be and most of us are affected by our ancestry. Our ancestral “curses” rob and deplete us psychically and energetically, most frequently beneath our radar. This work is even more tricky to negotiate but can be done with specific practices of the tantra and deep inner process work. How many of us are “haunted” by the shades of the past? 
           In addition to seeing where we are giving our life blood to the vampires, we have to see where it is that we are vampiric with others. Are we truly dependent on others like children, parents, friends, co-workers, and bosses for praise, fulfillment, “love”, and other things? This will be very difficult for some to face as they work to get farther along the road of self dependence. This work forces us to get out of “other’s houses” and to learn to truly feed ourselves.
             It is important to recognize with this and other yamas that we are in charge of our lives. Unless we come to terms with this, and find freedom and independence and security with ourselves, we will allow ourselves to be violated and allow ourselves to violate out of insecurity, the need to please, fear, guilt, and a whole host of other negative energies. It is important to learn to first see these qualities in ourselves. Then we can ask our different selves what it is that they truly are needing in an attempt to heal them and to heal our own internal relationships. Then we will find the external relationships and our boundaries changing in response.
            For more on this topic of internal relationships see the blog - Union and Internal Alchemy. Also see the 2 blogs on Kavaca/Armour for techniques on dealing with the Psychic Vampires.