be free, be happy, be peaceful

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

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Taking Care Of Ourselves



Some of us are selfish. We only think of ourselves and not being thoughtful for other people at all. This is normal.

Some of us are not selfish. We think a lot for other people and being very thoughtful for other people, but we might be neglecting our own self and become exhausted, low energy and sometimes frustrated and disappointed while trying to be nice to other people or to please somebody whom we love. This is normal too.

Some of us are not selfish, are compassionate, loving and thoughtful for others but we also know how to take care of ourselves, our overall well-being of the body and mind, and know how to manage and balance our time and effort for taking care of others and our own self as well. This is what we are talking about here, taking care of ourselves and then we can take care of other people.

This is not being selfish at all as somebody might perceive it as selfishness. We need to be happy if we want to share happiness with others. We couldn’t ask people to let go attachment if we are having a lot of attachments. We can’t be cheering up others while we are full of anger and hatred, and are depressed and negative about everything. We can’t take care of others if we can’t even take care of our own self. We need to know how to accept ourselves as we are, like ourselves and love ourselves, forgive our imperfection, then only we can accept other people as they are, like others and love others, and forgive other people being imperfect. If we don’t have love in ourselves, how do we love others and give love?

The world will take care itself if we know how to take care of ourselves. We cannot change the world if we don’t change ourselves. We cannot expect the world to be positive if we are negative all the time. We cannot expect other people to be selfless if we are selfish. If we know how to take care of our own self, do our best in whatever we are doing and have no expectation at all about the result, and then everything else will come into places for us naturally. The world will change itself on its own cause through time. Our life’s experiences will be easier and happier. We couldn’t force things to happen. Everything happens due to ripened karma. If we try to force things to happen and try to interfere with the law of karma, or trying to change the world or to control other people, we will be in suffering, unhappiness, frustration, disappointment. Because we couldn’t. We can only take care of our own hearts and try our best in helping others to change themselves, by giving and sharing whatever compassion and wisdom (love and knowledge) that we can give and share. If only when we have compassion and wisdom in our own self, we can share this compassion and wisdom with others. It is all starting from ourselves then it can spread to other people naturally without us having any intentions to share and give at all. Everything happens naturally due to a reason.

We do our own practice sincerely, no need to look at what other people do and don’t do and how other people want to do their practice, whether sincerely or not. Take care of our own practice and let other people take care of their own practice. When others come to us for advice, we give and let go, not worry about the result, not having any judgments, comparisons and expectations. It doesn’t matter if other people are receiving what we give or not, or they’ll get benefited from it or not, or they appreciate it or not, or being grateful and thankful or not. It is not important at all. Give and let go.

Have patience, loving kindness, forgiveness, acceptance, tolerance, adjustment, confidence, perseverance and open mindedness. We perform selfless service for other people’s well-being, comforts and conveniences. Share love, peace, joy and happiness with all. But we cannot have expectation that the world will change or the people will change just because we want them to change. Everyone need to work on themselves to change themselves. We cannot change other people, how can we change the world?

If we try our best and do whatever is needed to be done for the well-being of the world, and at the same time we let go all the expectations without attaching to our actions, efforts and the results, and be happy and contented with our own self disregard what is happening in the world and in our own lives. We won’t see any bad or evil about this and that. We will not get any anger or frustration about this and that. We won’t get any disappointment when the world still being what it is, and the people are still being what they are. When people choose to be unhappy and want to be selfish, we can’t stop that either. Everyone has their own freedom to do what they want to do, even if their actions are causing harm to other people. We can’t even control our own mind, how can we control other people’s mind, how others think and feel?

If we don’t know how to let go of this idea of trying to change other people, we are creating tension, suffering and unhappiness for ourselves. If we are being so unhappy and frustrated with ourselves and the world while trying to be good and trying to make the world a good place to be in, we actually had lost the entire meaning of “becoming a better person”, “towards a better quality of living’, “making the world a better place” and “to live in a happier community”, because we ourselves is not happy and not healthy mentally.

We do our best to “save” or “heal” the world, but remain peaceful and happy undisturbed or unaffected by the world, that is the real meaning of approaching a better quality of life and a better world.

Save and heal ourselves first before we can save and heal others. How can we save others when we are drowning in the ocean of suffering?

This is not selfishness but the only way to help to “make” the world a better place.

It is because I love myself, I love all beings without any discriminations (compassion). “I” myself is also a being, same as all other beings, no differences at all. I am compassionate towards all beings including my own self. If I don’t like myself and cannot accept myself as I am, and dissatisfy about the condition of my body and my mind, I will also dislike other people’s this and that, and cannot accept other people as they are, and will be discontented about everything. If I don’t know how to be compassionate towards myself, how can I be compassionate towards other beings?

Taking care of ourselves, do our best for ourselves, for other beings and the world, but let go of the attachment. Let others take care of themselves. Let the world takes care of itself. Everything will come into places naturally. We need to respect the law of impermanence. Like all of us, the world cannot escape the law of impermanence too. It is going through decaying and sooner or later, disappearing. We need to let go. Or else we are creating suffering for ourselves, having lots of fears and worries, being angry, frustrated and disappointed. We need to let go of the attachment towards “bad”, and we need to let go of the attachment towards “good” also. It is not “bad” and it is not “good” either. It is just being what it is. That’s all.

Be happy.

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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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