be free, be happy, be peaceful

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

Monday, June 1, 2009

unconditional love

What is love if we have no patience and compassion?

Without patience and compassion, we will so easily be agitated when our loved ones don't do things that we like or agree with, and instead they do things that we don't like and don't agree with. We will be so irritated if they can't do what they have been asked to do on time or in the way that we wanted them to do it.

If we are selfish, and have no detachment from our likes and dislikes, we will be so unhappy if our loved ones are sick and not feeling well, and they need us to feed them, clean them and serve them, sacrificing our personal free time and to put aside the things that we are doing in order to take care of them.

We will also be unhappy if they are not as intelligent as we are and they are slow in learning and slow in motion. If we don't have patience, understanding, tolerance, acceptance, detachment and compassion then we will easily become angry if they do not meet our expectations.

Unconditional love consists of patience, forbearance, tolerance, forgive, selflessness, humility, generosity, perseverance, independence, equality, respect, trust, courage, faith, compassion, cheerfulness and not giving up.

A person without patience cannot be a good learner, good parent, good son or daughter, good husband or wife, good lover, good employer, good leader, good friend or good teacher.

We need to be able to forgive and be patient when our loved ones make mistakes (anyway who doesn't make mistakes, including our own selves) or when they haven't delivered what they promised.

When our loved ones fall sick we should be able to withstand discomfort and be tolerant and selfless. They depend on our love and cares; they need special attention throughout the day and night. We need to sacrifice our own free time, withstand tiredness and give our love and care without expecting any reward in return.

We should not be annoyed or frustrated (although it is normal to have feelings like these) when the sick person complains due to the extreme discomfort of sickness and when after taking so much medicine (drugs) they become very weak physically and emotionally. They might not have the same personality that they usually have. They may not be as cheerful and confident as they were.

We should be compassionate towards the fact that they are suffering pain and discomfort.

In extreme cases, we need to deal with shit, urine, blood, pus, bad smells, vomit and other difficult and challenging situations.

We should never forget our parents and should not abandon them to old folk's home when they are old and sick. That's the time we should give special attention to them no matter how hard it is and to repay their love and care for us when we were young and depended on their nurturing and guidance.

They are the people to whom we owe the greatest debt, and it doesn't matter if they scolded us often or spanked us in the past, or had high expectations of us, or we thought that they didn't love us at all - from our memories of the past when we were young.

But how can we remember everything that had happened so long ago? Usually we will only remember something that was very traumatic such like the pain and hatred that we had when we were being scolded, spanked, and were being restricted from doing things that we like. But we may have forgotten all the affections that our parents had gave us at other time beside all those "tortures", and forgot about their loving cares for us especially when we were sick.

Our parents had brought us up and take care of us when we were young and needed supervision. They had feed us, cleaned us, warmed our body when it was cold, cooled down our body when it was too hot. They had supported us, guided us, and encouraged us when we were growing into adulthood. They gave us extra love and care when we were sick. They even sucked the snot or phlegm out from our nose and mouth so that we would not choked or suffocated.

How could we show disgust and not care for them now, when they are old and sick, and need our love, special care and attention?

No wonder why many people always say that once we became parents having our own child then only we will know the love that our parents had gave us and we can understand the hardships that our parents had went through while having us as their children.

Only then we will be grateful and appreciate what our parents did for us in the past along with all the scoldings and spankings.

There's no meaning at all if we are kind and do a lot of good to other people, show love and care to our lover and friends, or show sympathy to the people that we don't know at all, but we cannot even forgive our own parents for those memories that they had hurt us, made us unhappy and suffered, and thus we are reluctant to show love to them and not want to care for them when they are old and sick.

A person who doesn't love and care for his own parents but doing lots of charity in the world and kind to others is not a noble person at all.

Indeed, when we renounce the world to concentrate on the spiritual path to attain enlightenment is the greatest gift and best repay for our parents' love and care. But that doesn't mean that we should ignore our parents and neglect them when they need care taking, while at the same time we are doing selfless karma Yoga in caring for others especially the old people and the sick people out there.

It doesn't matter if our parents had did something terribly wrong to us and had hurt our feelings deeply, we should be able to forgive them for whatever they did to us.

And we should show them love instead of continuous hatred. Because at the end they are just some other human beings that had did some mistakes in life.

If compassion and forgiveness are our motto and we are learning to forgive many other people out there who had intentionally or unintentionally hurt us, then why can't we forgive our parents as well?

We will not be regret if we can forgive the people (whom we felt angry and upset about in the past) at this present moment now and set ourselves free from the burden of anger, hatred and guilt.

We will get instant relief and have peace and love filling up our heart.

We can now move on in life without being disturbed by those unhappy old memories. They cannot affect our emotion anymore and we will be full of confidence to do what we want to do now.

But definitely we will be regret one day later when we realized that this is such a stupid ignorant action that we had hold on tightly for so long, making ourselves and the people who had hurt us feel so unhappy and not at peace in most of our life time for something that doesn't exist anymore.

And the people who we didn't forgive while they were still alive, will die without peace of mind because they didn't get forgiveness from us, unless they can't even remember or know that they had ever hurt us in the past.

This will continue to haunt us for the rest of our life if we cannot forgive and continue carrying the anger and hatred deep inside our heart, even though the people that we hate so much and angry about had passed away a long long time ago.

We ourselves are not at peace if we cannot forgive and let go the anger and hatred towards somebody. It doesn't matter whether those people know that they had hurt us or not.

And so, while these people are still around and we are still here, why not we forgive them and let them know by showing love and compassion towards them and everybody will be at peace instantly.

What is love when a person only wants to share happiness of others and cannot share their unhappiness?

It doesn't matter if it is a friendship, or a love relationship, or between parents and children, or between siblings.

Such like the parents will only like the children when they are well behave, happy without crying and do what the parents wanted them to do. But the parents will be angry and unhappy and don't like the children when they are naughty (normal behaviour - children cannot sit still and like to explore things and learn unless they are sick or having some kind of mental difficulty). Parents also don't like it when they are unhappy and crying (due to sickness and discomfort) and don't do the things that the parents wanted them to do (very normal and common).

Parents should understand that they don't own the children. Children have their own life and thinking. They have their own likes and dislikes, needs and wants.

Parents should take the responsibility to raise the children, give love and care, guide them and support them until they are independent in life. But not by restricting them to do what we want them to do and mould them into what we want them to be. And when the time comes, we have to let them go to live their own life.

If a person will only want to be with us while we are at good health, strong and in good mood to enjoy everything in life together but don't want to be with us when we are sick, need care taking and in bad mood, then this person is not a true friend at all because he or she is a selfish person and is not sincere.

A person has to be a true friend to the other person before he or she takes the commitment as the spouse or partner to that person, or being a parent, or being a son or a daughter, or being a good friend.

A friend who will try to avoid us or don't care for us while we are in distressed and need help, is not a true friend.

We should forgive these people also if one day we found out that they are not true friend and not being there for us when we needed them. Because we shouldn't have any expectation towards anybody or asking for love in return when we share and give love and care to someone.

In a love relationship, what is love if we are attracted to the beautiful appearance and sexuality of the other person and have intense desire to be with that person but we will not like to be with this person anymore when this external beauty changed and the sexuality is not there anymore due to illness, injury or old age?

If we fall in love with the personality, the look, the smell, the touch, the voice, and the thinking of a person, which are impermanent and always changing from time to time, and what will happen to this feeling of love when all these things or qualities that we loved so much about that person had changed and not the same anymore?

If we love someone when he or she is happy, charming and nice to us, but what happen to this feeling of love when he or she is unhappy, grumpy, not charming and don't have the mood and time to be nice to us?

Most of us will be feeling upset and don't like these changes very much, and will start generate hatred instead of love.

This type of love comes from the ego. It changes according to the likes and dislikes of the ego. Unfortunately the likes and dislikes of the ego is changing all the time. Today it likes someone with the qualities like this, and tomorrow it likes someone with the qualities like that. Or when the qualities that the ego likes very much about another person are not there anymore, the ego will be unhappy and doesn't like that.

That's why lots of people start to feel bored and not in love with their lover anymore after being together for some times. Because their ego is getting bored and want something else.

If we identified with our ego, we will be changing partner all the time, or into so many relationships and breaking up so many times.

If the love relationship is based on this type of love, it will not last long and will end up in painful sorrow.

How can we say we love someone if we only love that person when he or she is looking good, feeling good, and fulfill all our needs and wants, but we don't love he or she anymore and feeling disgust when he or she is not good looking, not feeling good and cannot fulfill our needs and wants anymore due to sickness or injury and instead we have to take care of his or her needs and wants? Or we don't like he or she anymore is merely because the change of his or her personality, which is very normal and common to all?

True love is unconditioned by the likes and dislikes of the ego.

It is selfless, ego-less, passionless and boundless.

This type of true love will only bring happiness to ourselves and others, and we shall be able to let go when the time comes and not generate any painful sorrow.

Because everything including good and happy relationship will have to come to an end in this temporary life time.

May we all enjoy and appreciate the good and happy relationships with our parents, children, spouse or partner, friends and anyone else. As well as our relationship with nature and the environment, including plants and animals.

We always take from nature but how often that we realize this, feel grateful and give back something nice to nature and care for the environment?

But before that, we must enjoy and appreciate being with our own self, and love ourselves and our life but remain humble and selfless towards other people.

Our knowledge in the world, skill in doing business and some other talents are not the factors that contribute to our true happiness and a good life.

A good life doesn't mean it has to be very comfortable or luxurious type of living, but having good friends, good relationships with everyone, good relationship with the environment and all the things in it, meeting nice people and feeling meaningful in life, fully utilise our knowledge and talent to help others and share joy and happiness.

It is our pure heart, sincerity, truthfulness, selflessness, wisdom, love and compassion that bring us true happiness and a good life. When we are kind to others, when we are generous to share with others, when we don't have bad thoughts or bad intentions towards others, when we don't have fear and worries, and then all the people that we meet and all the things that happen in our life will be kind to us and lead us to a meaningful and happy life.

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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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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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