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

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Yoga and "certification"?


Nowadays the system of the education and work-field is depending very much on the term ''certification''.

Of course in most of the works that require specific knowledge and skill to perform the work, it needs people who are trained in that knowledge and skill to perform that specific type of work.

There's nothing wrong at all for the requirement to have some sort of certifications to show that the person who will be doing the job knows about the work,  and is being trained to do the work.

But when come to Yoga practice, are we going to be given a certificate by God or from an enlightened one, to certified us and to show it to other people telling everybody that ''we are enlightened beings'', or ''we are good human beings'', or ''we are real Yogis'', or ''we are Yoga teachers'', or ''we are Dharma teacher'', if we are free from ignorance and realize the unconditional peace and compassion, and share this wisdom with others?

Does an enlightened being need a piece of paper stating ''certificate of enlightenment'' and carrying it to wherever he goes and show it to other people telling them that he is enlightened?

There's nothing wrong of having a piece of paper to show that we have gone through some training in such and such practice but certainly it is not a statement of qualification for us to be recognized or acknowledged as a real practitioner or teacher.

Does having a certification from a famous school of Yoga is a guarantee of a fine Yogi or a good and genuine Yoga teacher?

Does a real Yogi who had perfected in his practice and have full knowledge of the Truth is not allowed and not qualified to teach Yoga and Dharma to anyone who desire to learn from him because he did not go through a recognized school or Ashram and not having any ''certifications''?

Did Buddha attained a certificate from somewhere or somebody to enable him to teach Dharma to all beings?

Did all the saints and sages, Yogis in the past before this existence of ''certification'', attained any so called ''Internationally recognized'' and ''certified by an association of spiritual practice'' kind of certificate to prove that they were graduated from a school or Ashram and were at ''such and such'' level of spiritual enlightenment?

Did they sit for an exam, got the passing marks and the certificate, and thus they are qualified to spread the teaching to other people and the people who learn from them will achieve excellent results as well? And if they did not sit for an exam, did not have a certificate, does this mean they are not allowed to teach Yoga and spread Dharma?

Are we going to be guaranteed enlightenment after we have attended many hours of courses, passed the exam and attained a piece of paper? It solely depends on our own practice and realization, but certainly it has got nothing to do with certification or how many hours of practice and attendance in yoga courses.

Do we need a special place or classroom and special timing to spread Dharma? Not really.

Are we a ''Yoga teacher'' if we are teaching a group of people doing some or all of the poses of Asana in a "yoga class"? Not really unless it allows us to see the ignorance in us, to remove ignorance to know the truth of things, to develop non-attachment, to realize unconditional peace and compassion or selflessness.

Does spiritual practice and spiritual evolution or self realization has got anything to do with the knowledge of the anatomy of the physical body or sports science? What does knowledge of the bones and muscles has to do with meditation and insight?
When we cut open our body, can we find where the mind is and know how the mind looks like?

Maybe by understanding that after taken away our skin, what left is some ugly smelly disgusting flesh underneath the beautiful skin. And after we died, the muscles and organs will decompose and what left is some bony structure, and this might help us to realize the truth of a physical body is nothing but bones, flesh, blood, nerves, glands, internal organs, urine and shit. And this will help us to develop strong detachment towards our physical body and detachment towards beautiful physical appearances.

A real Yogi, or a Dharma teacher, or an enlightened being doesn't need this product of worldly minded business of so called ''certificate'' to acknowledge him, or to qualify him, or to allow him to share this beautiful knowledge with anyone who is sincere to realize about the Truth, to practice in life what they have learned from another peaceful and compassionate being, and they are developing right understanding and moving towards Self-realization.

God, Buddha, Saints, Sages and all the Yogis are smiling at us knowing what is happening now in the world of so many so called ''Yoga schools'', ''Yoga teachers'' and ''recognized certifications''.
It is not the qualification or certification that allows us to be enlightened, to attain wisdom, to share unconditional love with others, to know the Truth, to be compassionate, to be noble, to be sincere and honest, to spread Dharma in the world, and etc.

It is the real practice of detachment and self-control in us every moment in everyday life experiences which is invisible or not knowing to other people at all, that enable us to improve in our own practice, to realize the Truth, and thus being able to share the knowledge attained from our own practice with other people out there without the notion of ''I am a teacher'', ''I am teaching'', ''I am qualified'', ''I am compassionate'', ''I am helping those who are in despair'', ''I am earning money from teaching''.

There is nothing wrong to receive money from the students as an appreciation from them and to be able to support our living and enable us to continue our own practice without worrying of livelihood. But certainly not to greed for money in order to attain worldly enjoyments and to satisfy our worldly desires. And the appreciation is not necessary to be money, but anything that is coming from the heart of the student to show his gratitude and is affordable in his ability.

Certainly we can not refuse to teach or not to share Yoga with anybody who has no money or has nothing to give us. Unless the reason that we can not teach Yoga to someone is due to something unavoidable, such like we need to be at somewhere else, or we need to do something else, or we are not able to teach due to sickness or injuries, or we need to concentrate on our own practice. It should not be because of the person cannot give us some money in return.

Doesn't matter if there is only one student learning from a Yoga teacher. A real Yoga teacher is not determined by how many students he has, or he is famous or not, or he is getting high pay or not.

Every beings whether wise or ignorant, are their own Dharma teacher doesn't matter if they go to a school or not, learning from a teacher or not, understood Dharma or not.

We don't need this piece of paper to prove that we are good or not good, qualified or not qualified. It's because Dharma is already in us, whether we are aware of it or not, whether we have a teacher or not.

If there is a real ''certificate'' approved by God or the enlightened one, it will be something unconditional without names and forms coming from our true nature. No one else can see this ''certificate'' with their eyes but they will know it in their hearts.

No one else but our own self, always know that whether we are sincere in our own practice, whether we are compassionate in sharing the knowledge of Yoga practice with other beings (not out of the ego wants to teach other people for gaining respect and reputation, name and fame, or for getting money to fulfill our selfish worldly desires), whether we can share the wisdom of peace and compassion with those who are in painful sorrow and suffering.

A real Yoga practitioner who is detached from names and forms doesn't need to tell everyone that ''I am a real Yogi'', ''I am perfected in Yoga practice'', ''I am a good Yoga teacher or Dharma teacher'', or ''I am a qualified and certified Yoga teacher or practitioner, certified by such and such yoga schools'', or "I have been practicing yoga for how many years", and etc.

He is what he is. He does what he needs to do. He doesn't need any worldly recognition and approval from any organizations to share Dharma.

What is Yoga and Dharma if it is limited by this small piece of paper produced by the worldly minded people in the world of business?

What is enlightenment and wisdom if it is limited by the perception of dualism about qualified or disqualified, certified or non-certified?

Everyone is qualified Yoga practitioner from the beginning of existence and is qualified Yoga teacher when they share the knowledge of unconditional peace and compassion with others out of compassion, whether they had went to a formal school or Ashram or not, whether they had attained a so called ''recognized certificate'' or not, but they had realized the Truth through their own realization. They know the path. They are selfless and peaceful, wise and compassionate.

Without peace, wisdom and compassion, Yoga classes are just a product of the world of business, physical fitness, physical challenging exercises, competition and empowering the egoism and ignorance.

May we all develop right understanding and attain unconditional peace and happiness, and true freedom in this precious life existence.

1 comment:

  1. That's what i believe so and thanks to you, teacher. For me, i have been given this great opportunity in the life time of being able to share this wonderful things-Yoga with others.

    This is what i have been searching for ages. How can i be so sure that this is what i want? I am certainly not sure about that either but i realized that my wondering mind disappeared when i started to practice Yoga and moreover my doubt of the purpose of my human life seems to put to an end after i started to teach yoga. I learn to be grateful of being able to breath in and out as i started to focus on my breathing and not take it for granted. I am so grateful of being able to have the opportunity to share my happiness and the greatest of yoga with others. I learn to realize the Asana/postures are just merely a posture and the greatest part of it is the level of ur understanding towards ur body and the most important is the level of ur acceptance towards ur body.

    Most of the motivation books tell us what to do or what to be or what not to do or what not to be, but it is just a reminder for a short time. Being able to share yoga with others has given me the opportunity to let others know that they can be more and beyond than what they thought by their own experience and learn to accept who they are. It is what we called self recognization, confident and inner happy.

    I have no certificate as well, but my teacher tell me, IT's DOESN'T MATTER, and believe what she said. Not because she is my teacher, but i experienced that greatest of it.

    I am not sure i am going to teach yoga for how long, but i am grateful.

    Thank You Meng Foong!

    ReplyDelete

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

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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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