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

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Go Beyond The Ego And The Mind, Be Free

When we say "I feel good when I do this", or "I feel good when others agree with me, praise me, thank me, like me as a person and for what I do", know that it is our ego and the mind is feeling good. It is still within the mind under the influence of the ego. It is not beyond the ego yet. The ego feels good and like to be praised, be thanked, be noticed, be knowned, be the giver, be the good person, be the lovely person, be the good child, good friend, good parent... The ego will not feel good anymore or it will feel bad when all these things are not happening.

And so, the craving for good feelings is there to encourage us to do those things that will make us feel good. The craving for good feelings is the main motivation for us to do this and that.

The point is, the things that we do to make us feel good can be something very good or can be something not very nice. It is not necessary that all egos are feeding on the good feelings that come from doing good. It can be good feelings that come from doing bad.

If doing good and be kind to others will make our ego and the mind feel good, and become a strong motivation for us to do more good and be kind to others, then this is very good indeed. Such like doing yoga asana stretching the body and calming the mind will make us feel good, give helps to others, making other people laugh, taking care of other people, share food with others, be friendly to everyone, show love and care to our family and friends, will make us feel very good. And most of the time, we like to and want to do all these acts is mainly because it makes us feel good about ourselves. There is nothing wrong to feel good, but we are still under the influence of the ego and the mind. We are still being subject to the things that we do and don't do to make us feel good or feel bad about ourselves. We are not free yet. We are being conditioned by the ego and the mind.

What if the things that we do to make us feel good are harmful for ourselves and for others? Such like some people might enjoy hurting other people's feelings or stealing or telling lies or making fun of other people or gossipping or excitement from peeking at other people's privacy or taking drugs and alcohol. This is not so nice then.

The best is if we can go beyond the ego and the mind. Go beyond the craving for good feelings. Go beyond the ego that always wants to feel good about itself. And do everything that is good for others and ourselves without the craving for good feelings or pleasure sensations, without the identification as the doer of the action, without the attachment to the fruit of the action, and without the influence from the mind and the ego.

If no one appreciate what we do, no one notice what we do, no one is there to thank us, no one is there to tell us that we are good, no one is there to encourage us, and even if others reject our kind acts, being ungrateful and say bad things about us and what we do, and we still be happy to give and share, then this is going beyond the ego and the mind. The true Self doesn't need all these things to motivate or demotivate it to act or not to act.

It is the ego that feeds on others reactions towards its actions. The ego needs all these things to motivate or demotivate it to act or not to act.

After a good yoga asana class, we will like to say that "my body feels so good now", "I feel so good now" or "yoga makes me feel so good", know that it is the body and the mind that are feeling good. And this good feeling that comes from doing yoga asana is temporary also. It will disappear after a while. We will miss that good feeling and will crave to have that good feeling again. This will definitely encourage us to come back for more yoga asana classes. This is totally nothing wrong or bad. This is very good. It is still one of the beneficial things to do for ourselves.

But if we attach to that good feeling and pleasure sensation that come from doing some yoga asanas and let it be the motivation for us to practice yoga asana, very soon we will feel not so good if we are not able to practice yoga asana the way that we usually like it to be, or when we are restricted by some physical injuries or restricted by weakness that comes from aging. We will also be demotivated if we attended a yoga asana class that is taught by another teacher with different styles. We might feel bad if the yoga asana practice is not agreeable with our body and the mind. We might be demotivated if the yoga teacher always teach the same asanas over and over again (this is due to the mind doesn't like to do the same repeated actions, it gets bored). All these are because the mind and the ego is craving for the good feelings and pleasure sensations that come from doing the things that they like only, but not doing the things that they don't like.

Such like certain people attach to certain asanas and only like to do those asanas. If we are being told not to do the asanas that we usually like to do for the next few months, and being told to do only the asanas that we usually don't like to do, we will be very demotivated and don't feel good at all. We want to choose to do certain asanas that we like and reject some other asanas that we don't like, especially those asanas that will make us confront with our inner fear. We also don't like to do the asanas that we think that we are not so good at, because the ego doesn't like to show off its weakness. It doesn't like to feel not good enough. It doesn't like to feel not so good at something. It wants to make sure that it is good at everything in front of other people. It will runaway from the things that it is not so good at.

We are still being subject to and influenced very much by the body and the mind.

Beyond the body and the mind, there is no feel, no feelings of good or bad.

Beyond the body and the mind, is freedom. Free from the conditions of the body and the mind. Free from what the body can do and cannot do. Free from the good and bad sensations that come from the body and the mind. Free from good and bad feelings. Free from craving and aversion. Free from judgment, comparison, competition and expectation.

What is the meaning trying so hard to maintain the ability of the physical body to perform many complicated asanas but if we are not free, still being conditioned by the good and bad feelings and sensations that come from the body and the mind?

Some people think that going beyond the body and the mind means trying to go beyond the ability of the physical body, challenging the body to go beyond its physical limitation. They would torture the body and ignore its condition and limitation. But in truth is, we need to accept the condition of our physical body from moment to moment. Accept the law of impermanence. Accept the changes of the physical body from moment to moment. Accept its condition and limitation that is also impermanent. Accept that this physical body has its limitation and is subject to impermanence, old age, illness, pain and soon it will die. Be happy and appreciate the body that we have now to do good for ourselves and for others.

We thought that we are not free being conditioned by the condition of the body and its ability to do this and that, but it is not.

We are not free being conditioned by the ego and the mind, and it's nothing to do with the ability of our physical body to do this and that.

The body can be paralyzed and full of pain, but we still can be free.

If we feel bad, know that it is the ego and the mind feel bad, not us. When we feel good, it is also the ego and the mind feel good, not us.


Go beyond the ego and the mind. Be free.

Om Shanti.

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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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