I decided to focus on these two areas of asteya that challenge me most, gathering things that I don’t need (non-accumulation) and misappropriation of my time. This brought me to two different hypotheses. First, by being present and considering my buying motives I’ll accumulate fewer things. Second, by training my mind to focus I’ll be able to commit myself to fully and better serving one thing and/or person at a time.
For non-accumulation of unneeded items I came up with some criteria to consider before making a purchase.
- Is it a basic need? (e.g. food, clothing, shelter)
- Will it make a positive difference in my availability of time? (e.g. convenience items)
- Will it make a difference in quality of life? (e.g. medications)
- Will it help strengthen relationships? (e.g. babysitter for a night out with my husband)
For misappropriation of time I committed to practicing daily sadhana in an effort to train my mind to focus. My daily sadhana practice consisted of meditation, pranayama and/or asana. To measure the progress of my experiment, I wrote daily journal entries. In these entries I took note of the changes in my abilities and behavior and my reaction to these changes.