be free, be happy, be peaceful

May all find the teacher within to guide oneself towards unconditional love and peace

Monday, February 20, 2017

Retreat from the world?

Retreat from the world or renouncing the world is about being kind to one's mind, to allow the mind to take care of itself.

It's moving away from the so called 'normal' or 'conventional' worldly life that is subject to some particular thinking and belief that are influenced deeply by commercial and political ideas, and social or cultural or religious belief and practice. It's moving the mind away from all kinds of worldly ideas, beliefs, custom, people, affairs, politics, activities, events, movements, objects, social medias, commercials, mingling, socializing, interactions, communications, novel reading, news reading, magazine reading, TV and movies watching, entertainments, talks, debates, gossips, criticism, slander, condemn, story telling, lies, hypocrisy, passions, desires, clinging, craving, ambitions, trends and hypes, and etc, to live a life of seclusion and solitude for a prolonged period of time.

Worldly activities such like talking, mingling, social interaction and communication, novel and news reading, movies watching, political analysis and debates, ideology discussions, and etc, are the main cause of restlessness of the mind and the fuel that feeds ignorance and egoism.

When the mind is free from ignorance and egoism through taking essential care for this mind, one can mix freely in the world but won't be influenced by all the names and forms, and be undisturbed by the worldly conditions and situations.

If one truly wants to care for the world, but due to ignorance and egoism, one's mind is being influenced by all the names and forms, and be disturbed very much by the conditions and situations of the world, then one should try to take care of one's mind first. Otherwise, how can one help others when one's mind is as lost and suffer as all the others'.

"You hurt me, and hence, I hurt you too."
"You are unkind to me, and hence, I am unkind to you too."
"I want myself to be good. I want the world to be good. I want everyone to be good. I'll feel disappointed and angry if myself is not good enough, if the world is not good, if everyone is not good enough."
"I want to contribute to the world. I want to be a hero to save the world. I would do anything to hurt anyone who would get in my way to do what I want to do, to be what I want to be, to achieve the world that I want."

Be free.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The world is just what it is

The world is just what it is

It's neither good nor bad

Different minds perceive different reality

It's neither right nor wrong when different minds perceive the world differently

It's all the play of mind perception under the influence of ignorance and egoism

And lots of personal and social selfish desires, intentions and expectations

The egos expect and want to make the world to be the way that they like it to be

Different egos expect and want different world

The egos say they love the world, but they don't love the world as it is

The egos don't like the world being what it is

"I want my/our world to be like this and not like that"

The egos complain that

There is too much of what they don't like and don't want

There is too little of what they like and want

The egos get offended when other egos expect them to behave in the way that other egos want them to behave

And yet, the egos expect other egos to behave in the way that they want other egos to behave

They expect other egos to respect them as they are

And yet, they don't respect other egos to be what they are

If people

Don't like to hear this

Don't agree with this

And feel offended and insulted and disturbed and hurt by this

Then know that that's the ego's reaction out of ignorance

Let go of the ego

Silent the mind

The world is just what it is

Do what you think is good for the world

Without attachment

Without expectation

Without identification

But, know that

Different minds have different standard and idea about what is good for the world

Just do your best

If you think it's too much

If you are going to lose your sanity

If you don't want to play the games run by the egos

Then

Be kind to yourself

Retreat from the world

Let everyone take cares of themselves

Be free

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Who am I?

The self-inquiry of "WHO AM I?" is the main teaching and practice of yoga and Buddhism.

Some people might interpret it as about finding the true 'I', or the original 'I', with a permanent identity of a specific quality or state of being/consciousness. They understand it as about remembering or reconnecting with or going back to a true or original identity of who they really are. For example, if there is a man who was a happy person with good behavior when he was younger, but now he is unhappy and behaves badly, people who know him would say, "You have changed. This is not who you really are. Your true self/original nature is happy and has good behavior."

People think this is what "find out who we really are" is about, that there is a true self/original identity with a particular quality (that we prefer, that we think is better), but we have changed or have lost that original quality or have forgotten our root/true self/original identity, and we think that the inquiry of "WHO AM I?" means to find out or remember our root/original identity and to regain or reconnect with that identity. For those who believe in the soul, they take the "soul" to be the real 'I'. "I am the soul. The soul is immortal. I am immortal. The soul is purity. I am purity."

Under the influence of ignorance and egoism, most people want their identity (whom or what they think is who they are) to be associated or identified with some qualities of names and forms that their minds believe as 'pure', 'superior', 'good', 'not bad', 'right', 'positive', 'strong', 'honorable', or 'acceptable' in their culture, or religion, or society, and people don't want their identity to be associated or identified with some qualities of names and forms that their minds believe as 'impure', 'inferior', 'bad', 'not good', 'wrong', 'negative', 'weak', 'dishonorable', or 'unacceptable' in their culture, or religion, or society.

In yoga and Buddhism, the inquiry of "WHO AM I?" is about realizing the truth of selflessness or 'I'-lessness or egolessness. That there is no 'I' existing as an immortal/mortal being or permanent/impermanent being. There is no 'I' to be identifying with any quality of name and form with an immortal/mortal identity or permanent/impermanent identity of "This is I" or "This is the true I" or "This is the immortal I" or "This is the permanent I" or "This is the pure I". There's neither true nor false identity. There is neither permanent nor impermanent identity. There is neither pure nor impure I. There is neither "I am suffering" nor "I am free from suffering". It's not even "I am nothingness" or "I don't exist". There is no 'I' to be this or not this. There is no 'I' to be existing or non-existing.

It's just the mind functioning under the influence of ignorance that generates the idea of 'I' or ego of the existence of an identity which attaches to certain qualities of names and forms to be existing. The mind perceives and recognizes different qualities of names and forms, and experiences different states and takes different forms due to attachment and reaction towards all the perceptions of names and forms. When there's attachment and desires arise in the mind, the mind experiences suffering when these desires are not gratified. The mind that experiences suffering wishes to be free from suffering. The mind finds a way or path to be free from the cause of suffering. If the mind realizes the truth, being free from ignorance and egoism (the cause of suffering), and that brings to the end of suffering. The mind forms and deforms (births and deaths) countlessly in different states or names and forms, ceaselessly, and all states or names and forms arising and passing away impermanently, endlessly. In one moment, the mind is calmed, loving, contented and peaceful. In another moment, the mind is disturbed, unloving, discontented and restless. But there is no 'I'. There's no 'I' am good or bad. There's no 'I' am happy or unhappy. There's no 'I' enjoy or suffer.

People might also interpret selflessness as a quality or a state of unselfishness.

In yoga and Buddhism, selflessness is beyond the quality or the state of unselfishness. There is no 'I' existing to be selfish or unselfish.

Go beyond the idea of 'I'. Go beyond all the qualities of names and forms. Go beyond mortality and immortality. Go beyond existence and non-existence.

Contemplate on this, and be free.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Silencing the restless, egoistic, prideful, impure, ignorant mind is the one and only yoga practice

If one truly cares for the world and wants to benefit the world, if one wants to free oneself and others from suffering, then one works on silencing one's restless, egoistic, prideful, impure, ignorant mind.

Keep working on silencing the mind, not stimulating the mind.

Move away from the world of worldly beings, affairs, thinking, beliefs, practices and activities.

When one has developed the firm foundation of immovable dispassion and non-attachment (disinterest in worldly objects of names and forms), one can mix freely into the world of worldly beings, affairs, thinking, beliefs, practices and activities.

Being passionate towards worldly ideas, objects and affairs, empowering worldly personal identity and worldly image, and faults finding, defaming and mocking others whom we think are faulty, are not yoga practice.

All amount of actions being performed is like preparing all kinds of good food with good intention but putting it in a dirty bowl, if one tries to change or influence the world to be the way that one thinks it should be, but one doesn't work on silencing the restless, egoistic, prideful, impure, ignorant mind.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Chanting or prayer as a form of ritual before and after the yoga practice?

One can perform some chanting or prayers before and after the yoga practice, or not, as one like. It is neither a compulsory action of respectfulness towards Gurus and the teachings of yoga nor a form of compulsory ritual before and after the yoga practice.

There's nothing wrong with people perform some chanting and prayers or rituals before and after the yoga practice, but one doesn't need to be a Hindu, or know any chanting or prayer or to perform any rituals at all to be practicing yoga, or to have peace and be compassionate. Yoga, or unconditional peace and love, is unlimited by any names and forms.

Inquire the truth of everything.

One doesn't need to perform any particular form of chanting and prayers or rituals to be free from ignorance and egoism, to be peaceful or to be compassionate.

If one thinks and believes that one must perform chanting or prayer as a compulsory ritual before and after the yoga practice, otherwise, one is being disrespectful towards the Gurus or the teachings of yoga, or there will be obstacles or problems during the yoga practice, then this is just one kind of limited worldly superstitious thinking and belief, it's not what yoga is about.

During an emergency life threatening situation, one just performs immediate action to save life. One doesn't need to perform chanting or prayer as a ritual before the action of saving life. If Gurus exists, they won't be offended. If there are Gurus would be offended when one doesn't perform chanting or prayer as a ritual before the action of saving life, these are not Gurus of yoga.

Be free from worldly superstitious thinking and belief, is part of the yoga practice.

Be determined and vigorous to free the mind from ignorance and egoism is the greatest form of respect towards all Gurus and the teachings of yoga. All the other names and forms are meaningless if one doesn't work on the annihilation of ignorance and egoism.

Be free.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

How to see the truth of everything as it is and be free

People grieve and cry for the death of someone or something that they think and believe as good and right, that they love very much, that they think it doesn't deserve to die. People feel glad and cheer for the death of someone or something that they think and believe as bad and wrong, that they hate very much, that they think it deserves to die.

Death is neither good nor bad, neither positive nor negative, neither happiness nor suffering, neither right nor wrong. It's all about what we like and don't like. When we feel grief and cry for 'death' is because we are losing something that we like. When we feel glad and cheer for 'death' is because we are getting rid of something that we don't like.

Whenever we feel angry, upset, disturbed, hurt, sad or disagree about something, it's not because people or things are being 'bad', 'wrong', 'negative', or 'suffering'. It's because we come in contact with something that we disagree with based on our thinking and belief of what is right and wrong, good and bad, or we are not getting what we like and want, we are losing what we like and want, and we are getting what we don't like and don't want.

People mourn for the death of those whom they love, that matter to them (people or animals or insects), and don't mourn for the death of those whom they have no likes or dislikes, that don't matter to them, and cheer for the death of those whom they hate and disagree with.

And hence, this allows us to understand that 'death' is neither good nor bad, neither happiness nor suffering, neither right nor wrong, neither positive nor negative. It's all subjective reactions influenced by attachment towards the likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, based on a particular personal thinking and belief.

It's the desire of craving and aversion that generates unhappiness, disturb, hurts, resentment, painful sorrow and suffering in the mind. It is ignorance that causes the mind to think and believe that unhappiness, disturb, hurts, resentment, painful sorrow and suffering are caused by something bad, wrong, horrible, inhumane, negative or suffering.

Perform this inquiry into everything that our minds perceive and judge as good and bad, positive and negative, right and wrong, happiness and suffering.

Everything is just what it is. People are just being what they are. Things are just what they are. The world is just what it is.

There's no clinging, craving, aversion, discrimination, hatred, fear, painful sorrow, or suffering.

There's no good death or bad death. Everything is just arising and passing away.

If one doesn't know this, one doesn't know what is compassion, even though one identifies oneself as a compassionate being, and tries to be compassionate or practice compassion or perform compassionate actions.

Allow the mind to be open and see things as they are, uninfluenced by the conditioned/limited/subjective personal thinking and belief, egoism of attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, judgment and expectation, and ceaseless autonomous reactions of impurities.

If people don't like or don't agree with this, that's their freedom of thinking, belief, actions and reactions.

Be free.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Ignorance?

Ignorance is not so much about not knowing much or knowing very little. Ignorance is not knowing the truth of what is going on in the mind. The truth is nothing to do with how much or how little the mind thinks it knows or doesn't know about this and that.

Acquiring and knowing lots of knowledge doesn't necessarily mean that one is free from ignorance. It is possible that one acquires and knows lots of knowledge but is ignorant of the truth.

Without inquiring the truth of the acquired knowledge and blind-believing in the acquired knowledge is ignorance. One who is proud and arrogant towards one's acquired and accumulated knowledge, will feel disturbed by other people who don't know what one knows which one thinks and believes it's true and correct. And hence, one wants to make other people to 'know' or to 'believe in' what one knows that one thinks and believes it's true and correct, and will again feel disturbed when other people disagree with one's knowledge, or don't blind-believe in what one knows.

No one should blind-believe in anything, but to inquire the truth of everything and realize the truth by oneself. Buddha didn't get disturbed by other people who disagreed with or didn't believe in what he knows or realized. Buddha didn't expect or didn't want people should believe in whatever he realized and said or told or taught to other people. Instead, he taught everyone to inquire the truth of everything without blind-believe in anything, including whatever he realized and said or told or taught to other people.

One can be highly knowledgeable and intelligent, but might not necessarily is happy or has peace, being restless, be disturbed, offended and hurt by the perceptions of names and forms that one dislikes and disagrees with, or doesn't desire. One doesn't know what is going on in one's mind or doesn't know the cause of restlessness and suffering.

Being proud and arrogant towards oneself being knowledgeable and be disturbed or offended or hurt by what one doesn't desire, doesn't like and disagrees with, is ignorance.

The one who is free from ignorance, doesn't expect and couldn't make other people be free from ignorance, but allowing everyone to realize the truth through self-realization and be free from ignorance, or not.

Being a 'good' and 'righteous' person who do 'good' and do the 'right' thing is not necessarily peaceful and be free from ignorance, egoism, disturbance, restlessness, impurities and suffering.

Being highly knowledgeable, knowing lots of information and facts about this and that, and have been reading many books about this and that also doesn't guarantee that one is peaceful and be free from ignorance, egoism, disturbance, restlessness, impurities and suffering. If one isn't free from ignorance and egoism, if one isn't free from anger, hatred, jealousy, feelings of hurts, pride, arrogance, desires of craving and aversion, fear and worry, one has no peace and might cause harm to oneself and others, whether intentionally or unintentionally, even if one acquired and accumulated and memorizes lots of information and facts about this and that, and can do many things with the knowledge that one has. One is not free at all.

One needs to know about one's mind, or know oneself. The highest knowledge that would bring peace and harmony to oneself is the knowledge of knowing oneself, where 'I' doesn't exist to be good or bad, to be right or wrong, to be positive or negative, to be happy or unhappy, to enjoy or suffer.

Practicing yoga is not about trying to acquire superhuman power to have all our wishes come true and changing the world to be the way that we like it to be, but it's to reform one's mind by purifying and eliminating the ignorance and impurities in one's mind to acquire the knowledge of oneself.

Teaching yoga to other people is not about trying to reform other people's mind. But allowing other people to willingly to reform their own minds, or not, with the knowledge of oneself that one shares with others.

Be free.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Egoistic minds can be hurt, offended or intimidated/threatened by anything

If the mind is not free from ignorance and egoism, it will easily feel hurt, or offended, or intimidated/threatened by anything, even when nothing is being hurtful, offensive or intimidating/threatening.

The teachings of yoga is just being what it is. It has no intention or quality to hurt, offend or intimidate anyone. But some minds who have strong attachment towards a particular personal/cultural/religious thinking and belief that is different from the teachings of yoga might feel hurt, or offended, or intimidated/threatened by some of the teachings of yoga, that is contradicted with their personal/cultural/religious thinking and belief, thinking that their thinking and belief is somehow being insulted/offended/intimidated/threatened by some of the teachings of yoga.

Minds that are not free from ignorance and egoism can be offended, or intimidated, or hurt, or upset, or disturbed by anything in anyway. It can be a particular look, or shape, or colour, or sound, or volume, or word, or smell, or sensation, or gesture, or facial expression, or action and reaction, or idea, or philosophy, or behavior, or speech, or thinking, or belief, or culture, or religion, or race, or nationality, or language, or lifestyle, or music, or story, or dance, or way of doing something, or sexual orientation, or clothing, or animal, or insect, or plant, or tree, or flower, or fruit, or car, or fish, or rock/stone, or door, or chair, or the wind, or the ocean, or the rain, or the heat, and all and everything.

No one can please another person. No one can make another person happy or to be free from unhappiness. No one can free another person from the suffering of ignorance and egoism and impurities of anger, hatred, jealousy, pride, arrogance, dissatisfaction, disappointment, feelings of hurt, fear and worry.

One needs to help oneself, be kind and compassionate towards oneself, and free oneself from the suffering that derives from ignorance, egoism and impurities.

One can tolerate, forbear, adjust, adapt and accommodate what might 'appear' to be hurtful, offensive, intimidating, threatening, upsetting, or disturbing to the mind. The truth of everything is just what it is. It is neither hurtful nor non-hurtful, neither offensive nor non-offensive, neither intimidating nor non-intimidating, neither threatening nor non-threatening, neither disturbing nor non-disturbing. It is how the mind reacts towards all and everything that the mind perceives through the senses, based on the likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, wants and don't wants of the mind, that generates the reactions of hurt, offended, intimidated, threatened, upset, disturbed or anger.

It is coming from the mind generates aversion towards something that the mind doesn't like, doesn't agree with and doesn't want that make the mind feels hurt, offended, intimidated, threatened, upset, disturbed or angry. Such like, "I don't like this.", "I don't agree with this." and "I don't want this." or "This is not what I like.", or "This is something wrong or bad." and "This is not what I want."

How the mind wants to react towards everything that it perceives through the senses is its own responsibility. One can choose to be undetermined and undisturbed by other people's ignorant or abusive behavior. It doesn't mean that one is agreeing with, or supporting, or encouraging ignorant/abusive behavior, or allowing oneself to be treated/abused by ignorant/abusive behavior from other people if one isn't determined by it and doesn't feel hurt, or offended, or intimidated, or threatened, or disturbed, or angry with other people's ignorant/abusive behavior.

Look into this mind, and learn about the truth of what is going on in this mind and all kinds of suffering that exist in this mind. It's nothing to do with all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses (all kinds of pleasant and unpleasant, or agreeable and disagreeable life experiences). It is coming from the mind itself for being ignorant, egoistic and impure.

Even though one has been following yoga classes, learning and practicing yoga asana exercises regularly for many years, and can perform many of the yoga asana poses, and receiving lots of benefits from the yoga asana exercises, but if one doesn't know this, one isn't really practicing yoga.

Be free.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Just observe the breath as it is

Whether you think you were good or not good in the past, it's not important. Let it go.

Whether you think you will be good or not good in the future, it's not important. Let it go.

Whether you think you are good or not good in the present moment, it's not important. Let it go.

All the qualities of names and forms are impermanent, and they are not 'I'.

Just be in the moment, and observe the breath coming in and going out, as it is.

Nothing complicated.

Nothing to do with any spiritual belief, cultural belief, personal belief or religion belief.

Be free.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

No one can discipline our mind for us but the mind itself

No one can discipline our mind for us but the mind itself.

No one can purify our mind for us but the mind itself.

No one can do our practice for us but the mind itself.

No one can free the mind from ignorance and egoism for us but the mind itself.

No one can liberate the mind from suffering of anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, lust, pride, dissatisfaction, disappointment, fear and worry for us but the mind itself.

When the mind is free from ignorance and egoism and impurities, the mind will be peaceful as it is, undetermined by the good or bad condition of the body and the mind, the ups and downs of life experiences, the good and bad relationships with everyone, the good and bad condition of the world and the surrounding environment.

When one thinks and feels and says, "I am contented, happy and peaceful. I'm all good. Life is good. The part of the world where I live in is good. The people in my life are good and wonderful." Know that this mind is not necessarily free. The mind might still be affected and disturbed by what the mind thinks and believes as 'not good', 'bad', 'negative', 'suffering' and 'wrong', based on the worldly thinking and belief that has been ingraining into their minds, influenced by many influences coming from everywhere (The parents, the society, the friends circle, the social network, the education, the religious teachings, the stories told by different people from everywhere, the researchers, the scientists, the philosophers, the medias, the politicians, the world leaders, and so on.)

There's nothing abnormal or wrong for anyone to think and feel contended, happy and peaceful, when one perceives everything about oneself, as well as everything and everyone that are related to one's life, is all good, is the way that how one would like it to be. Or, one should feel grateful when things are like this, and one should feel bad, angry, guilty and shameful when things are like that. And people would hurt themselves or others, in pursuit of a life that they think is 'meaningful', 'fruitful', 'successful' and 'happy', or people might hurt themselves and/or others when they think they should be feeling bad, angry, guilty and shameful about something. People manipulate or make use of other people's feelings and emotions to be 'doing' something for them unwittingly. People stir up other people's anger, hatred and fear to create a situation in the society that will allow them to achieve something that they want.

There are many minds don't mind being 'not free', as they think and believe that that is what human life is about - achieving a life that what they think and believe as 'meaningful', 'fruitful', 'successful' and 'happy'. They are 'free' in their own world when they feel contented and happy (as long as everything and everyone is the way that they like it to be, and all their desires are being gratified). That's their freedom.

Minds that are deeply conditioned by particular thinking and belief to think, to behave, to act and react, to feel confident or not, to feel happy or not, to feel meaningful or not, and to feel good or bad, are easily being influenced by intentional manipulation from those who want to influence the people to think in certain ways and to believe in certain beliefs, so that they can get the support that they want from the people to be in power to achieve what they want to achieve in the world of selfish desires.

The yoga and meditation practice is to purify the mind, to free the mind from the pollution of conditional worldly thinking and belief, which is the product of ignorance and egoism, as well as the fuel that feeds ignorance and egoism. And all these worldly thinking and belief about what is a meaningful, fruitful, successful and happy life, how people should think and behave, act and react, and what people should believe in, are being manipulated by many impure selfish minds. If the mind is under the influence of ignorance and egoism, it is easily be manipulated and influenced by what they perceive through the senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and thinking, that are not necessarily the truth of what things are. No matter how intelligent that the mind thinks it is, it still can be manipulated and influenced by worldly conditional thinking and belief, without knowing that it has already been manipulated or influenced by them.

If one's mind starts to reason/doubt/investigate the truth of the information that has been feeding to it from here and there, it will be hammered and threatened by worldly people around and from part of itself that is being conditioned to believe that 'This is bad and evil!', 'This is wrong!', 'You are bad and evil!', 'You don't deserve love and goodness!', 'You will be condemned to hell!', 'You will be punished and suffered!', 'You will bring shame and suffering to your family!', and so on.

We can understand why many religious people or organizations or politicians or capitalists or business people don't like it if people are being exposed to the teachings of BUDDHISM, YOGA and MEDITATION about SELF-INQUIRY to investigate the truth of everything and be free from worldly conditioned thinking and belief. When yoga is being commercialized with lots of 'yoga products' and 'organic health and beauty related yogic products', and there are many of the 'yoga practitioners', 'yoga teachers', or 'yoga lovers' are being influenced by it without knowing that they have become the 'slaves' of particular people or groups or organizations who are playing the mind games.

Yoga and meditation practice is to free the mind that has been conditioning by all these worldly thinking and belief. And thus, there is a very important part of the yoga and meditation practice that is being ignored or criticized by many worldly people, including those who think they love yoga and practice yoga, which is the practice of SILENCE, to be in solitude and seclusion for a sustained period of time (at least 5-6 years), to move away from the society, stop mixing with worldly people, stop engaging in worldly interactions and conversations, stop reading newspapers, novels and magazines, stop watching TV programs, advertisements and movies, stop all kinds of worldly contact and communication. It doesn't matter whether the mind thinks these 'inputs' of the mind are true, or not true. By allowing the mind to be in silence and cleared out of all the worldly thinking and belief, be free from conditional judgment and expectation based on the worldly thinking and belief, the mind will be able to see the truth of things as it is. This sounds extreme or horrible for many people, but it is the most effective way to free the mind from being manipulated or influenced by ceaseless 'inputs' that are not the truth of what things are. Only those who are determined and are fearless to let go all the worldly thinking and belief as well as worldly identity with qualities of names and forms can truly practice yoga and meditation. Or else, everyone is just doing some forms of different styles and brands of 'yoga exercises' to feel good and look good.

Be free.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Pride and arrogance

One of the significant characteristics of the ego is pride and arrogance.

The ego is being proud and arrogant about one's worldly identity, personal thinking and belief, cultural practice, spiritual practice, religion, family background, origin, nationality, race, standard of living, lifestyle, conducts, way of doing things, social circle, social status, profession, career, special talent or skill, position held in a community or company or organization, intelligence, accumulated knowledge and experience, qualifications and achievements, social image, physical appearance and condition, physical and mental ability, relationships, contributions, self-righteousness, and etc, thinking that 'I' am better and more superior than other people, as well as this ego has the urge to interfere with other people's thinking and belief, way of doing things, lifestyle, conducts and everything thing else that are different from oneself, that the ego thinks they are less good and more inferior than all the qualities that it possessed and identified with.

The ego thinks that it is better, more intelligent and experienced, and more successful than other people, that it has a 'duty' or 'responsibility' to interfere with other people's choice of way of living and conduct that is different from its own. It thinks that it is instilled with some kind of 'authority' or 'aspiration' from 'something higher above all human beings' to 'guide' or 'inspire' other people's life by 'helping' them to 'change' everything about them that the ego thinks is less good and inferior than itself.

If other people don't agree with, or follow, or show interest in the 'kind' advice or suggestion from this ego, it will feel disturbed, offended, disappointed, disrespected, or humiliated. "I am giving you 'something very good', how come you don't appreciate?"

Meanwhile, this prideful and arrogant ego doesn't like it when other people try to interfere with it's thinking and belief, way of life and conduct, or giving advice, suggestion or opinion to this ego that they think is 'better' or 'more superior'.

Those who are free from pride and arrogance will allow other people to be prideful and arrogant, to give their advice, suggestion or opinion, but one is undetermined by it. One will consider the advice that is useful, but ignore the advice that is irrelevant.

'Yoga practitioners' and those who identifies themselves as 'yoga teachers' who are sincere in the path of yoga, are not being here to 'interfere' or 'change' or 'influence' or 'advise' everyone to also practice yoga and follow the way of life of yoga, it doesn't matter it's out of loving kindness or goodwill or good intention. 'Yoga teachers' or 'yoga practitioners' are just being here to sincerely perform their own practice to be free from ignorance and egoism and realize selflessness and unconditional peace. At the same time, 'yoga practitioners' or 'yoga teachers' who have the opportunity to 'share' their own practice and realization or insights with other people can disseminate the teachings of yoga without the sense of 'duty', attachment, identification and expectation, and selflessly guide those who are interested in yoga onto the path of yoga, without pride and arrogance of oneself being a 'yoga practitioner' or 'yoga teacher', and towards one's actions and the fruit of one's actions.

It's everyone's freedom whether one performs actions out of egoism, pride and arrogance, or being free from egoism, pride and arrogance.

Beware of the characteristics of the ego. Such like, "I am doing something good and meaningful.", "I am contributing to the society or the world.", "I am a good being and I 'want' other people also to be good beings.", "Yoga is so good, everyone should also practice yoga.", and so on.

Be free.

Friday, December 30, 2016

The advantage of silent meditation in stillness immediately after the yoga asana practice

All the different yoga practices exist to allow the living beings that function under the limited and conditioned mind perception of names and forms to be free from ignorance and all its by-products of egoism, attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison, expectation, and impurities of lust, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurts, agitation, depression, defensiveness, offensiveness, possessiveness, frustration, irritation, fear, worry, sorrow, grief and restlessness. All these defilement are not separated from suffering.

Whether the beings will be liberated from suffering, or not, it's up to the beings themselves whether they are determined to be free from suffering, and whether they are persistent to purify and quiet the mind to inquire into the truth of names and forms, to be free from ignorance and all the by-products of ignorance.

No doubt that the body and the mind will feel good after doing some forms of yoga practice (yoga asana, pranayama, chanting, kirtan, japa, concentration, relaxation, and etc) that serve the purpose of influencing the energy field or the states of the mind, mainly to balance and calming the restless mind, and to divert the mind away from worldly ideas, affairs and activities, to allow the mind to have a few moments of concentration and quietness. These precious few moments of the concentration and quietness of the mind is the best opportunity for further meditation in stillness.

The good feelings of the body and mind after doing some forms of yoga practice is impermanent and is not the goal of the yoga practice. People might mistake the concentration of the mind while doing some forms of physical movements and yoga poses as meditation. No doubt that concentration is the key that leads to meditation, but it is not meditation. In meditation, the mind goes beyond the body consciousness of pleasantness and unpleasantness. Time and space and causation doesn't exist in meditation. There is no physical or mental interaction with the world. That is beyond the mind is being in a state of concentration and being aware of the pleasantness or unpleasantness while doing the yoga asana poses.

Yoga asana and pranayama practice serves the purpose of influencing the mind to render the mind calm and quiet and focus to prepare the mind for meditation, but in meditation practice, it doesn't involve any actions to influence the mind, but it is to allow the mind to stand as a witness being aware of the reality and allowing the reality in the present moment to be what it is and allowing it to change as it is, without trying to interfere with the different states of the mind, without trying to change the reality into something different from what it is, without attachment, identification, judgment, expectation, craving and aversion. There's not even an existence of 'I' to be identifying as "I am meditating."

People are too busy with worldly life affairs and social activities. Many people devote some time to attend 'yoga classes' to do some yoga asana exercises, and their body and mind might feel good after that, but not many people would take the advantage or make use of the calmed and concentrated state of the mind derived from the yoga asana practice to meditate in stillness of thought, action and speech immediately after the yoga asana practice. People would give themselves reasonable excuse that there is something else that is more important that they need to attend or do immediately after the yoga class. Some said that "I like to meditate in motion while doing the yoga exercises or while being in the yoga asana poses, and meditation is not just limited to sitting quietly, and so, I don't need to sit quietly for further meditation."

It is true that meditation is not just about sitting quietly, it's about the ability of being aware of the reality in the present moment, without being disturbed or determined by the reality, and going beyond the impermanent changes of the body and the function of the mind, going beyond all the perceptions of names and forms through the senses, without attachment, identification, craving and aversion, being free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, being free from fear and worry with the mind resting in its nature of unconditional peace, no matter the body is in motion or in stillness. But, what people don't realize is that the main reason why they don't want to sit quietly for meditation is because their restless minds don't enjoy or don't like to sit quietly without any physical movements and mental stimulation and interaction with the world of names and forms. The minds are impatience and will be in agitation or irritation for holding still and be quiet without any stimulation of inputs and outputs even just for a few moments. The minds are not free from aversion towards stillness and the unpleasantness that arise in the body and the mind from restricting the body and mind in stillness.

Even though people can attain some pleasant sensations or good feelings after the yoga practice especially the asana practice as they are getting a momentary relieve from stress or tension or soreness by stretching their body, improving blood circulation, energizing the entire system and relaxing the mind, but their minds might not be free from craving and aversion, which is the main part for the yoga practice, to free the mind from craving and aversion. This is also why there are people have been 'practicing yoga' for quite a long time, gaining all the benefits from doing the yoga asana practice, but they are not free from being disturbed by constant reaction of craving and aversion towards the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses.

The yoga studios or centres might not have the 'time' and 'space' to extend the duration of the yoga class to allow the students to have a meditation session immediately after the yoga class. Some classes don't even have enough time for final relaxation, not to say reserve extra time for meditation.

If the yoga studios or centres understand the importance of meditation, and they don't mind giving the extra time and space for meditation for at least another half an hour, and people could devote their precious time to just sit quietly after the yoga class, there will be a great difference in their mind of silencing the mind without any inputs and outputs. But, it's everyone own choice for what they want to do with their minds and their life. If people are just contented with momentary good feelings from doing some forms of yoga practice, but not interested in further into meditation to allow the mind to be silent, being away from worldly ideas, affairs and activities, that is their freedom.

Some people might have particular 'idea' about meditation, either they see 'meditation' as a way to 'attain' superpower so that they can have all their wishes come true, or they see 'meditation' as something 'evil' that against their religion belief or might pull them away from their religion belief. In that case, don't call it 'meditation', but it's just 'sitting quietly observing the natural breath', without expecting the fruit of the action of 'sitting quietly observing the breath'. One will self-realize what 'meditation' is about if one is free from expectation towards the fruit of the action of 'sitting quietly observing the breath' and allowing the breath to be what it is.

Some people might say that their minds are not quiet or calmed for meditation after the yoga asana practice. If the yoga asana practice doesn't serve the purpose of calming and quieting the mind for meditation, but stimulating the mind not allowing the mind to be quiet and calmed, then that is not really yoga practice, but just a form of worldly physical and mental activity.

Be free.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Feel disturbed by other people's behavior that the mind thinks as 'inappropriate' or 'wrong'?

There's nothing wrong with people feel disturbed by and be unhappy about other people's behavior that the minds think as 'inappropriate' or 'wrong', that are different from one's cultural practice and belief.

Those who practice yoga are aware of the different types of behavior that the minds think as 'inappropriate' or 'wrong', that are different from one's cultural practice and belief, but they will not be disturbed by it or be unhappy about it.

Go beyond the conditioned worldly thinking and belief. Allow all the worldly thinking and beliefs to be there and to be what they are, but without attachment or identification, craving or aversion towards any of these worldly thinking and belief, no matter how 'good' or 'bad' the mind think they are.

The truth is always here as it is, when the mind is free from being conditioned by worldly thinking and belief.

See how the ego reacts, and tame this ego, not other people's thinking, belief and behavior.

If one doesn't know this, and is constantly reacting with craving or aversion towards all the perceptions of names and forms whether wittingly or unwittingly, be disturbed by what the mind doesn't like and doesn't agree with, and trying to 'influence' or 'control' or 'change' other people's thinking, belief and behavior, then even though one might thinks one loves yoga and is practicing yoga for a period of time by doing some form of yoga practice, but one is not practicing yoga at all.

Everyone is free to think, believe and behave about how they want to think, believe and behave, whether they practice yoga, or not. Or whether those who practice yoga are truly practicing yoga, or not. If people think they rather be disturbed by things that they don't like and don't agree with than to have peace, and that they prefer not to practice yoga, but be happy with the restless mind of dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, bitterness, hatred, envy, defensiveness, offensiveness, fear and worry, that is their freedom.

There's no intention to 'influence' or to 'inspire' anyone to improve, or to be better, or to do good and be good, or to be free from suffering, the teachings of selflessness and compassion are being disseminated without attachment and identification, but allowing everyone whether to develop their own awareness and realization of selflessness and compassion, or not.

Be free.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Yoga practice - why and how?

The practice of yoga is about the realization of unconditional peace which is the nature of all beings beyond the mind perception of all the different qualities of names and forms that generate separateness and discrimination among all beings which lead to restlessness or peacelessness and suffering.

The root cause of restlessness or peacelessness and suffering is ignorance and egoism.

The unconditional peace is unconditioned/undetermined by the impermanent qualities of names and forms (the law of birth and death), and is realized upon the annihilation of ignorance and egoism.

The annihilation of egoism is the realization of selflessness.

Compassion is the active force of selflessness that allow actions being performed without egoism of attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, and expectation. Just like the sun, the water, the wind, the earth and the space, or like all the internal organs in the physical body. There are specific functions in their existence to support one another, but there is no egoism in them to influence or to control or to identify with their functions/actions and the fruit of their functions/actions.

Ignorance is not knowing the truth of names and forms, and egoism is born out of ignorance. Egoism is the idea of 'I' exist as an individual being attached to certain qualities of names and forms to be identified as 'I', where all sorts of desires of craving and aversions arise due to this false identity of 'I'. And all kinds of impurities of anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, frustration, agitation, depression, hurts, offensiveness, defensiveness, fear and worry are born out of ungratified desires of craving and aversion. And hence, the mind is being in a state of restlessness or peacelessness and suffering. The mind appears to be not peaceful.

The ego, or who/what the mind thinks is 'I', is nothing but made up of mere pieces of BROKEN MEMORIES of all the perceptions of names and forms, life experiences, actions and reactions, feelings and emotions, imaginations, expectations, dreams and relationships with everyone and everything. What is not found in the memories, or beyond what the mind can recollect, there's no 'I'. People say, "This is not who you really are, you need to find/go back to your true identity of who you really are" or "This person is not what he/she appears to be, you need to find our his/her true identity of what he/she really is." Everyone can 'appear' or 'pretend' to be what they are or what they want to be and they are being different on different timing and condition, whether intentionally or unintentionally, with their appearance, personality, mentality, vision, mood and behavior are changing from time to time, but there is not a permanent 'I' being there as "this is who I really am."

There is no 'existence of an individual identity of who you really are' or 'who I think is the real I'. When one realized the true nature of oneself beyond the existence of the body and the mind and the worldly identity that attached onto certain qualities of names and forms, it's not about realizing my original self or a personal nature. It's the limitless/non-separate/egoless/selfless/nameless/formless/attributeless nature in all and everyone. The mind will be free from separateness and discrimination, and all the impurities of anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, offensiveness, defensiveness, hurts, fear and worry that come along with the existence of separateness and discrimination.

When a person lost all his/her memories, all the relationships with everyone with all the past painful and uplifting life experiences, and the past accumulated knowledge have no impact on this person's mind perception of himself/herself or his/her identity in the present. What is pride and arrogance about 'I' am knowledgeable or 'I' have great achievements? Subconsciously, this person might still be able to perform certain habitual actions without the memory of 'how did I know how to do this' and unwittingly react towards all the pleasant and unpleasant sensations that keep arising and passing away.

When a person feels bitter or hurt or angry about something unpleasant/painful that has happened on them, it is because of the attachment and identification towards all these memories of experiences that generates the reaction of bitterness or hurt or anger towards these experiences. The experiences and the memories of the experiences has no power to cause bitterness, hurt or anger. For example, if 'I' have no recollection/remembrance about something unpleasant or hurtful that has just happened, 'I' won't feel 'bitter' or 'hurt' or 'angry'. It is the continuous remembering what had happened that the mind recognizes as 'unpleasant' or 'hurtful' that causes the ego, or 'I', to continue to feel 'disturbed', and continuously react with 'bitterness', 'hurt' and 'anger'.

All the past reactions of pleasant and unpleasant feelings and emotions towards all kinds of pleasant and unpleasant sensations arising and passing away that has been storing in the subconscious mind might come up to the surface of the mind without remembrance/recollection of when and how did these feelings and emotions exist in the first place, the mind can be trained to just observe and be aware of them without attachment or identification, without reaction of craving or aversion, and allowing them to pass away. This is what deep mind purification is about.

Yoga practice is to purify and quiet the mind, to allow the mind to be open, unconditioned by any conditional worldly thinking and belief, to allow the mind to see the truth of names and forms as it is, to be free from ignorance and egoism and all kinds of impurities that lead to restlessness or peacelessness and suffering.

The realization of unconditional peace of selflessness is beyond the different states of the mind. Different states of the mind conditioned by cause and effect are being projected in the mind and all states of the mind are impermanent, and it is not 'I'. The mind projects restlessness. It is not 'I' am restless. The mind projects dullness. It is not 'I' am dull. The mind projects calmness. It is not 'I' am calm. The mind projects peacefulness. It is not 'I' am peaceful. The mind projects kindness. It is not 'I' am kind. The mind projects evilness. It is not 'I' am evil.

The mind is just what it is. It is neither good nor bad. It is neither perfect nor imperfect. It is neither pure nor impure. It is neither positive nor negative. It is neither wise nor unwise. Out of ignorance, the idea of 'I', 'my' and 'mine', and all kinds of ignorant thinking, attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion arise in the mind that leads to the countless births and deaths of different states of the mind with all kinds of actions and reactions and the result/consequences/fruit of actions and reactions.

The big picture of the yoga and meditation practice is about purifying the mind to free the mind from the pollution of conditional worldly thinking and belief, which is the product of ignorance and egoism, as well as the fuel that feeds ignorance and egoism. And all these worldly thinking and belief about what is a meaningful life, how people should think and behave, act and react, and what people should believe in, are manipulated by many impure selfish minds. If the mind is under the influence of ignorance and egoism, it is easily be manipulated and influenced by what they perceive through the senses of seeing, reading, hearing, smelling, touching and thinking, that are not necessarily the truth of what things are. No matter how intelligent that the mind thinks it is, it still can be manipulated and influenced by worldly conditional thinking and belief, without knowing that it has already been manipulated or influenced by them.

Yoga and meditation practice is to free the mind that has been conditioning by all these worldly thinking and belief. And thus, there is a very important part of the yoga and meditation practice that is being ignored or criticized by many worldly people, including those who think they love yoga and practice yoga, which is the practice of SILENCE, to be in solitude and seclusion for a sustained period of time (at least 5-6 years), to move away from the society, stop mixing with worldly people, stop engaging in worldly interactions and conversations, stop reading newspapers, novels and magazines, stop watching TV programs, advertisements and movies, stop all kinds of worldly contact and communication. It doesn't matter whether the mind thinks these 'inputs' of the mind are true, or not true. By allowing the mind to be in silence and cleared out of all the worldly thinking and belief, be free from conditional judgment and expectation based on the worldly thinking and belief, the mind will be able to see the truth of things as it is. This sounds extreme or horrible for many people, but it is the most effective way to free the mind from being manipulated or influenced by ceaseless 'inputs' that are not the truth of what things are. Only those who are determined and are fearless to let go all the worldly thinking and belief as well as worldly identity with qualities of names and forms can truly practice yoga and meditation. Or else, everyone is just doing some forms of different styles and brands of 'yoga exercises' to feel good and look good.

There are many different practices exist to help in the purification of the mind, and to quiet the restless mind. The process of the mind purification and quieting the restless mind via intense disciplines and restrictions (mainly of renunciation from worldly ideas, affairs and activities) can be very unpleasant and prolonged. And hence, the qualities or the abilities of non-attachment, non-identification, non-expectation, desireless, self-introspection, self-discipline, self-control, self-reliance, faith, determination, perseverance, acceptance, tolerance, forbearance, adjustment, adaptation and accommodation play an important role to allow the peace seekers to keep practicing/purifying the mind disregards all kinds of obstacles and difficulties, until the mind is completely be free from ignorance and egoism, and realize selflessness and compassion, and unconditional peace.

The realization of yoga, or unconditional peace, is not possible if the peace seekers are reluctant to let go conditional worldly thinking and beliefs, and all kinds of worldly and personal identifications. The mind is not opened to just seeing everything as it is, but it's closed or limited by conditional worldly thinking and belief that influence how the mind perceives/understands everything. Whenever there's judgment and expectation from the mind towards everything that it perceives through the senses of what it sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches and thinks, it is based on what the mind thinks and believes what things are and how everything should be. And the ego or the false identification of 'I' generates craving and aversion based on the likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements of the egoism towards all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, ceaselessly and restlessly. There's no peace.

The realization of yoga, or unconditional peace, is nothing to do with what are the physical conditions, abilities and limitations, the thinking and belief, the intelligence, the talents, the skills of doing something, the creativity, the personality, the good and bad life experiences, the happy and unhappy feelings and emotions, whether one believes or disbelieves in God, religion or spirituality, and how much knowledge the mind knows or doesn't know about this and that in this worldly life existence about humanity, spirituality, culture, religion, arts, music, fitness, health, technology, engineering, science, geology, history, mathematics, chemistry, physiology, biology, anatomy, psychology, and etc.

It is nothing to do with whether the mind thinks the world is a good or bad place, whether there are good things or bad things happening in the world, whether the world is full of happiness or unhappiness.

It is nothing to do with how much information about yoga, the teachings of yoga and the practice of yoga that people have been accumulating from reading, watching, hearing and 'doing'.

People like to know/ask what type of yoga or yoga practice and their benefits, or how much and how long one has been 'doing' yoga, but all these doesn't correlate with the realization of yoga or the liberation from suffering. One can be trying hard to clean up a dirty floor, but in the process of cleaning the floor, one can be creating more dirt onto the floor at the same time. One thinks that "Oh, I cleaned the floor already. The floor should be clean now after my effort of cleaning the floor." but doesn't aware that the floor is still dirty. The action of cleaning the floor doesn't correlate with the cleanliness of the floor.

Be free.

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About Yoga

Know thyself. There is no existence of 'I'. Everything is impermanent. Be free, be peaceful, be happy.

Om shanti

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Pantai Cenang, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
My husband and I run ongoing yoga retreats in Langkawi Malaysia. We teach traditional Hatha Yoga - a combination of Asanas (postures) and Pranayama (breathing techniques) and relaxation, that has given benefit to millions of practitioners over thousands of years. Our yoga studio is situated in Langkawi. We also run yoga retreats in Europe and India.

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