The precepts can be understood in the context of illuminated heart-mind. We are guided not by “do’s” and “don’t’s” but by the interconnected nature of being. This is not so much to be understood by the mind, but by the heart.
Not taking what is not offered is the second of the five precepts that we undertake as practice in the life of intentional integrity. We are mindful in thought, word and deed about our relationship to desire and contentment. We are mindful when grasping arises, when desire or covetousness overtakes our sense of care, not taking more than agreed. It works in large and small ways— “borrowing” without returning, taking supplies from the office, we rationalize that it’s a perk; advantageously rounding off numbers on an expense account, we figure no one will know—habits that condition the mind to grasp. Exploitatively, we take more than needed.
Content, we no longer glance sideways at what others have, or grasp at more, better, different.
Instead, can we open to the mind/heart free from craving? Not taking more than our fair share evolves into letting go, letting be, simplifying, to use less and share more.
In integrity, we are mindful of the tendency to grasp and let it go—we are generous and use resources wisely. Letting go, generosity and nonattachment, at the heart of this precept, are worthy of cultivation.
Know and enjoy every moment of the open heart of non-grasping, contentment, gratitude.