Beginner’s Tip of the Week: Practice not Stealing

Following up with last week’s tip, I offer you the second precept this week. The second precept says to not take that which is not freely given. On the surface, this points to not stealing from others. I’ve heard it said that if a hundred dollar bill is dropped on the ground in a meditation hall, it should remain there until its owner claims it. If it isn’t offered to you, don’t take it. Digging a little deeper, we can see how we sometimes take time or attention that is not freely offered to us. We do this, and we probably know others that do this.

You can practice with this precept by bringing awareness to when you speak and what you do. Do you interrupt people? Do you speak too long or control the conversation? As you look at this, you may discover times in which you are taking things that are not freely offered. Again, this practice helps us to create a healthy community and healthy relationships. It also is beneficial in that it helps us behave in a way that creates harmony and compassion rather than chaos.

I also offer Beginner’s Tips on my podcast “Dharma Talk.” Listen to a friend and me talk about these tips in more depth at

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