be free, be happy, be peaceful

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

Friday, August 20, 2010

Join us for Intensive Yoga Retreat in Langkawi

Welcome to Langkawi, Malaysia.

Come and join us for a 5 Days / 4 Nights Intensive Yoga Retreat in the beautiful tropical island of Langkawi starts from August 31st 2:30 pm to September 4th 12:00 noon.

This retreat is suitable for anyone who has great interest in the traditional yoga practice at all levels and experiences.

5 days / 4 nights Intensive Yoga Retreat Outline

Day 1

* 14.30 Orientation
* 15.00 Juice & fruit
* 16.00 Yoga class
* 18.30 Free time
* 19.30 Dinner
* 21.00 Guided meditation

Day 2

* 7.30 Jala Neti
* 7.45 Pranayama & Guided Meditation
* 8.45 Break
* 9.00 Yoga class
* 11.30 Breakfast
* 12.30 Free time
* 13.30 Strength and flexibility workshop
* 15.15
Juice & fruit
* 16.00 Yoga class
* 18.30 Free time
* 19.30 Dinner
* 21.00 Guided meditation

Day 3

* 7.30 Jala Neti
* 7.45 Pranayama & Guided Meditation
* 8.45 Break
* 9.00 Yoga class
* 11.30 Breakfast
* 12.30 Free time
* 13.30 Advanced practice workshop
* 15.15
Juice & fruit
* 16.00 Yoga class
* 18.30 Free time
* 19.30 Dinner
* 21.00 Guided meditation

Day 4

* 7.30 Jala Neti
* 7.45 Pranayama & Guided Meditation
* 8.45 Break
* 9.00 Yoga class
* 11.30 Breakfast
* 12.30 Trip to waterfall *subject to the weather
* 15.15
Juice & fruit
* 16.00 Yoga class
* 18.30 Free time
* 19.30 Dinner
* 21.00 Guided meditation

Day 5

* 7.30 Jala Neti
* 7.45 Pranayama & Guided Meditation
* 8.45 Break
* 9.00 Yoga class
* 11.30 Breakfast
* 12.00 Check out

The course fee is Rm 2,160 per person for single room and Rm 1,960 per person for twin sharing.

Fee includes teaching, meals, snacks, beverages, trips, simple accommodation (with air-conditioning, hot shower, fridge, tea-making facilities…), a Yoga Now T-shirt, neti pot and free airport or ferry port pick up. Meals and snacks will be simple nutritious vegetarian food.

A non-refundable deposit of Rm 300 is requested upon reservation.

Looking forward to seeing you in Langkawi.

Om Shanti,

Meng Foong

Yoga Now Malaysia

yoganow@hotmail.com

+6016 2715 082

+604 9559 082

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Frequent Question About Daily Yoga Practice

People frequently ask us about do we have a fixed "yoga practice routine" on certain time during the day to do our own yoga practice beside teaching yoga classes, to maintain our physical strength and flexibility as well as to upkeep our "skill" in performing the asana poses.

This is what I tell them.

Yoga is not about the physical strength and flexibility but it's about the inner strength and inner flexibility.

Someone who is not strong and is not flexible, and who cannot perform any physical activities like asana practice or cannot perform sitting postures for meditation due to physical limitation or injuries or illnesses are still able to be practicing yoga. While someone who is very fit physically, and can perform lots of complicated movements or skillfully required kind of yoga poses may not be practicing yoga at all.

Yoga is nothing to do with the condition or the ability of the physical body to perform such and such actions. It is nothing to do with what our bodies can do and cannot do.

No doubt that yoga practices are important sequences or steps for helping us to reach to the higher state of consciousness, but they are not the guarantee of true happiness if we didn't know what is the law of impermanence, non-attachment, acceptance, letting go and surrendering the ego.

But a person who is constantly practicing non-attachment, acceptance, letting go and surrendering the ego, is the guarantee of true happiness even if this person doesn't know or cannot perform any "yoga practices", such like asana practice, pranayama and meditation.

Non-attachment, acceptance, letting go and surrendering the ego are the real meditation in our heart from moment to moment in everyday lives.

Even if we practice a lot of asana poses and our bodies become very strong, flexible and healthy, this still won't change the truth of impermanence and the law of cause and effect. We will still be affected by our past accumulated karma and are affected by all the impermanent changes in our bodies and minds all the time, unless we are practicing non-attachment, acceptance, letting go and surrendering the ego. This body will still have to go through impermanence, changes, decaying, weakening, illnesses, pain and decomposition sooner or later, no matter how much we try to preserve it through the good and beneficial yoga practices. The mind is still going through impermanence, changes, experiencing happiness and unhappiness, having craving and aversion, and is continuing having tensions that derive from impurities like anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, arrogance, dissatisfaction, disappointment, irritation, frustration, expectation, fear and worry.

From moment to moment our bodies are going through changes. The condition of the physical body may vary from time to time. How can we have a fixed "routine" to meet the requirement of the different conditions of the physical body. Everyday we may be doing different practices at different timing to adapt to the needs of the present condition of the body and mind.

Of course all the asana poses, pranayama, concentration exercises and meditation practice are there to help us to balance up the energy in our bodies and minds, to help purifying the body and mind, so that the body and mind get relieved from physical and mental tensions and becoming calm and relax. But what is the meaning of making effort to relieve tensions, when we continue to generate tensions into the body and mind all the time if we don't know what is non-attachment, acceptance, letting go and surrendering the ego?

If we are practicing non-attachment, acceptance, letting go and surrendering the ego from moment to moment, and are at peace, free from tensions, undisturbed by all the changes that are happening in our bodies and minds, unaffected by whatever is happening in our lives and in the world, then what are the "fixed routines" that we need to "practice" everyday?

Non-attachment is not about running away from our lives, our families, our responsibilities and duties, but it is about not attaching to the body and mind, not attaching to our actions, not attaching to what the mind perceives through the senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and thinking), remain equanimous and peaceful not generating craving towards the pleasant experiences or aversion towards the unpleasant experiences.

Acceptance and letting go are not about giving up ourselves and not improving ourselves, but it's about accepting the truth or reality as it is without any dissatisfaction and yet continue to strive for improvement to become better without any tensions that derive from expectation, fear and worry. When we cannot accept the truth as it is, and are dissatisfied with the present moment now of how we are, who we are and where we are, and we are looking for changes or try to runaway from what we don't like about, then we will be full of tensions that derive from judgment, comparison, expectation, dissatisfaction, fear and worry. And so, we again try to free ourselves from tensions by doing some yogic practices but at the same time, we are continuing generating more tensions into the body and mind endlessly. The bucket that has a big hole underneath can never fill up whatever we want to put in.

Surrendering the ego is not about negating or neglecting ourselves and put ourselves in a bad condition, but it is about letting go of selfishness, fear and worry, and allowing the universal consciousness to take care of everything. We just do our best in whatever we are doing for the benefits for ourselves and for other beings, but without the identification as the doer of the actions without any judgment and expectations. Just like the sun, the air, the water, the earth and the space. They give, provide and support all and everything to be exist in the world motivelessly, intentionlessly, selflessly, endlessly, unlimitedly, unconditionally, tirelessly, without any discrimination of good and bad beings, and without any expectation for the results or rewards.

All these are great compassion and wisdom. These are the essence of yoga practice. This is the goal of yoga practice.

So, does the sun or the air or the water or the earth or the space practice any so called "yoga routines" everyday? Or are they performing nameless and formless compassionate actions all the time unceasingly?

Doing adequate of yoga exercises for maintaining the good health and the fitness level of the physical body is certainly a very good thing to do, so that we can appreciate this body and its life existence for us to continue to perform selfless service to ourselves and to other beings. We follow whatever the needs of the body and mind are, when it is needed, and practice accordingly to the present condition of the body and mind. And when the time comes for us to let go of this body, we have no clinging towards this body and the relationships with others that spring from this body and its life existence.

Never see ourselves as separated or different from other beings. There is no superiority or inferiority. There is no giver and receiver. There is no "teacher" and "student". There is no "I'm helping somebody" and "somebody is benefited from my action". There is no motive and expectation. Every action is out of compassion and egoless. We wish all beings be free from ignorance and be happy including "this" being. Be compassionate towards all beings including "this" being also. "This" being is also one of all beings.

Be the witness witnessing whatever the body and the mind are experiencing from moment to moment. The mind feels good or bad, it's just the mind, not us. The mind feels comfortable or discomfortable, it's just the mind, not us. The mind gets agitated, it's just the mind, not us. The mind feels peaceful and happy, it's just the mind, not us. The body is in pain and is ill, it's just the body, not us. We are the witness of all these phenomena but we are not identifying nor associating nor affected by them.

Be the witness of the body and mind, and not being overpowered by the body and mind.

This is the yoga practice that we all are practicing unceasingly from moment to moment. There's no trace of "doing yoga practice" and no one knows nor needs to know but "myself".

Be happy.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Planning For The Future? Sure...

A student is confused when we talk about letting go of the past and the future.

She said it is understandable that the past is already gone and we should let the past go, but how could we let go of the future, not planning for the future?

This is what I said to her.

Surely, we can plan about what we want to do in the future, or else we don't have a direction to head to. And of course we need to plan for the future and have a goal to head to, or else we will be lost and don't know what is the meaning of our life existence. The difference is that we plan but without attachment, expectation, fear and worry. As well as to allow changes to happen anytime that we might need to change routes but without changing the goal and continue heading to our goal on a different route, and accepting every moment as it is from moment to moment until we reach our final goal.

Most important is, by taking care of the present moment now is actually planning for the future indeed. We don't need to think too much for the future, but by focusing onto the present moment now, making sure that at this present moment now we are fine and are at peace. Then our future will take care of itself because the future is really what we are now...

By putting lots of effort and energy into thinking about the future, worry for the future, or having great expectation for the future, but then we are neglecting the present moment now about how we are, being unhappy at the present moment now, wishing that things will change and we will be happy in the future, is of no use.

Wishing for the future to turn out the way that we like it to be, doesn't really determine the future will be exactly what we want it to be.


By taking care of the present moment now, making sure that we are happy and positive at the present moment now, will certainly give birth to a happy and positive future.

Look at us now, we can tell what was our past.

Look at us now, we can also tell what is our future going to be like.

Taking care of the present moment now is indeed looking after of the future, but without projecting into the future about how we want it to be.

Be happy.

Monday, August 16, 2010

About Dhyana - Meditation

Meditation is a concentration practice that will lead us into a state of stillness or oneness. It is letting go of the identification with the body and the mind. It is going beyond the mind and stand as a witness towards the mind itself. It is non-attachment and observe the reality or the truth as it is. It is a process of slowing down the thought waves and stilling the mind, to quiet the mind. It is a purification process. It is direct experience of non-duality. When the mind is quiet and still, wisdom will arise.

Meditation is happening continuously through out every moment in us whether we are awake or asleep. We are aware of all our thoughts, actions and speech. We are aware of the present moment, from moment to moment and not lost in our own restless minds and the random thoughts.

For some people who have a subtler mind will also have a higher sensitivity in their senses reception, their minds might be able to perceive some extraordinary perception of subtler forms of sounds, colours, lights, smells, tastes, feelings and sensations while during the practice of meditation, in dreams or even at the time when they are not meditating. Their minds are also more imaginative and creative. Some unusual thoughts will appear on the surface of the conscious mind especially when they try to go deeper into their mind to explore the subtler state of the mind through the practice of meditation. This subtle state of mind is also impermanent.

Sometimes the mind is sharper and sometimes it is less sharp. The state of deep concentration of the mind can lead us to the subtler state of the mind and thus allow us to perceive certain subtle forms that we can’t perceive through our gross mind. When there is mind, there is perception of names and forms. When there is no mind (beyond the mind), there is no perception of names and forms (gross, subtle, and subtlest). It makes no difference if we are still within the mind perceiving either the gross forms, the subtle forms or the subtlest forms. We shouldn’t be attached to any of them.

If we are disturbed by all these subtle forms and become unhappy in daily life then there is no meaning for us to go deeper into the mind. But if we can be firm and strong, undisturbed by all these subtle forms and remain equanomous towards all gross and subtle experiences, then going deeper into the mind can help us to purify the mind and reach the higher consciousness and be liberated from the suffering that derives from birth and death.

This ability to experience subtle forms is not dangerous nor is it superhuman ability. It can be a problem or as an obstacle in the path towards self-realization if the practitioner doesn’t know how to not attach to all these subtler phenomena and is identified with whatever they perceive within the mind through the senses. If we truly know who we really are and are identified ourselves as we are, that we are not the mind and are distinct from the mind, then whatever the perceptions that come from the mind cannot affect us nor do they have any meaning at all.

Any names and forms (colours, lights, shapes, sights, sounds, smells, tastes, thoughts, feelings and sensations) that we can perceive or experience, are still something that exist within the mind and comes from the mind. Beyond the mind, there are no names, no forms, no shapes, no colours, no sights, no sounds, no smells, no tastes, no touch, no feelings, no sensations, no thoughts. There are no differences between gross forms and subtle forms because they are just different levels forms that are being perceived by the different levels consciousness of the mind, unless we can go beyond the mind perception.

And thus whatever that we experience or perceive during meditation, we should not attach to it and just be as a witness towards all these phenomena of colours, lights, sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations, feelings and thoughts. These subtle forms spring out from the subconscious mind and the unconscious mind when we stop generating reactions at the gross level or when the mind is calmed and concentrated. They derive from all the inputs and experiences that we had been receiving and went through in the past since the very beginning of the existence of the mind and life. They are our past accumulated memories, imaginations, desires, cravings, aversions, fear, worry, and all the other inputs that we received through the senses consciously and unconsciously every moment whether we are awake or asleep.

There are lots of subtle forms that are always there arising and passing away, but we cannot perceive them through our gross mind. When we do consistant regular sadhana purifying the mind, it will become more refine and subtler. And thus it begins to perceive certain subtle forms that it couldn’t perceive in the past before.

All these subtle phenomena is always there within and without our body. It is nothing special. Just by being able to perceive all these subtle forms cannot give us liberation from birth and death or be free from unhappiness. Just like being able to stand on the head or being very good at physical performances do not determine whether we will be at peace and are happy in life. That’s why no matter how incredible or extravagance are the subtle forms that we perceive or experience while we practice intense yoga sadhana or meditation, we should know that it is just another play of the mind perception and we should not attach to them at all.

But all these subtle forms that spring out from the subconscious mind and unconscious mind are the subtle forms of our existing karma that we accumulated through our past thoughts, actions and speech. When they ripen, they will manifest as gross forms in our life existence as actual events and experiences. They might be happy seeds, unhappy seeds or neutral seeds that bring us happy feelings, unhappy feelings or neutral feelings. And so, it is a good thing when we start to perceive all these subtle forms of karma manifestation before they actually ripen and manifest as real events and experiences in our lives, provided that we know how to stand as a witness towards all these subtle forms and not generate any reactions (craving and aversion) towards all these subtle forms, allowing them to arise and passing away. This will help us to burn off the karma even before they manifest in our lives as actual events. Eventually this is a very effective and good purification process for us to clean up our past accumulated karma from our thoughts, actions and speech that we generated every moment.

The key to our liberation from ignorance and all kinds of suffering is to stand as a witness towards everything that we come in contact with, all that we experience, and whatever we perceive with the mind (the practice of non-attachment, acceptance and letting go).

And so, it doesn’t matter if we can only perceive gross forms or if we can perceive subtle forms, it makes no differences if we attach to them and generate more reactions of craving and aversion.

A person who knows what is non-attachment is free from all forms of irritations and frustrations, being free from fear and worry, while enjoying everything in his life as it comes and as it is. While a person who doesn’t know what is non-attachment is always being disturbed and affected by all the happenings in his life and getting excited and upset most of the time, swaying from happiness to unhappiness and vice versa, being over-powered by his own craving and aversion endlessly and helplessly. Even though if we try to be good and do good, and want to attain true happiness in life and are looking for a way out from miseries, we will still be caught up in whatever we perceive in the mind if we do not know what is non-attachment and letting go.

Simplicity, appreciation, gratitude, adjustment, adaptation, accommodation, acceptance, patience, forgiveness, courage, self-control, self-independence, self-discipline, cheerfulness, positive thinking, loving kindness, selflessness, purity of thoughts; actions and speech, non-attachment and letting go (compassion and wisdom is the essence in all these qualities) are the qualities that will bring us true happiness disregard how is the situation and condition in our lives and in the world that we live in.

If we are endowed with all these qualities and are transcended all the names and forms of good and bad, happiness and unhappiness, it really doesn’t matter if we can liberate ourselves from the world of birth and death, names and forms in this life existence, because the world is not a suffering place nor a happy place when we had gone beyond craving and aversion, gone beyond the mind and the body, gone beyond happiness and unhappiness, become ego-less and are at peace in our hearts while being in this world. This peacefulness is due to we can accept the reality as it is, and not being affected or disturbed by all the experiences being in the world. We don’t need to getaway from suffering or unhappiness if we know non-attachment, because there is no suffering or unhappiness if we know non-attachment. When there is no suffering, unhappiness or misery, there is no need to look for a way out.

The truth will reveal itself to us if we can accept the reality as it is without any craving and aversion. When we have pain in the body or in the mind, just being aware of it without generating aversion and this pain will disappear sooner or later. When we have good feeling or pleasant sensation in the body or in the mind, just being aware of it without generating craving and this good feeling will disappear sooner or later. And if we are not being affected by these changes of impermanence, we will be at peace. Pain, decaying, weakening, aging and death will always be there. Suffering occurs only when we cannot accept this reality of impermanence as it is and trying to runaway or to escape from all these natural phenomena. If we can accept the reality as it is, then there is no suffering.

There’s no meaning if we say that we sit still for many hours practicing meditation everyday, but in daily life, we have no control over our own minds, actions and speech, and are in misery all the time.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Wise Act Quietly And Perform Their Duties Silently

The animals move quietly and disguise themselves to avoid attracting attention from the predators...

Keeping quiet and acting silently doesn't mean being weak or being afraid of the enemy like a coward... But indeed it is being wise and brave, unaffected by any disturbance whether spiritual, emotional, mental or physical...

There is no use of alarming the enemies and provoking the enemies to aim their weapons towards us on exposed empty ground...

The wise warrior acts and moves quietly in the midst of the enemies without being recognised and remain firm and concentrated on his duty undisturbed by any distractions...

And thus, the wise warrior keeps meaningless troubles away, passes through the city of the enemy, performs his duty accordingly, and arrives soundlessly and victoriously at the destination without alarming anybody, without wasting any energy in dreadful and meaningless collisions...

Be wise...

Be happy...


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Join Us For A Relaxed Yoga Retreat In Langkawi!

Yoga Now Malaysia in Pantai Cenang Langkawi is holding a few Relaxed Yoga Retreats in August 2010.

August 9th – 12th (4 days 3 nights)

August 13th – 16th (4 days 3 nights)

August 17th – 20th (4 days 3 nights)

August 21th – 28th (8 days 7 nights)


Yoga Now Malaysia

4 Day 3 Night Relaxed Yoga Retreat Outline

Day 1
* 14.30 Orientation – Juice & fresh fruit
* 16.00 Yoga class
* 19.00 Dinner
* 20.00 Free time
* 21.00 Guided meditation

Day 2
* 7.45 Neti Kriya
* 8.00 Pranayama & Guided Meditation
* 8.45 Break
* 9.00 Yoga class
* 11.30 Brunch
* 12.30 Free time
* 15.00 Juice & fresh fruit
* 16.00 Yoga class
* 19.00 Dinner
* 20.00 Free time
* 21.00 Guided meditation

Day 3
* 7.45 Neti Kriya
* 8.00 Pranayama & Guided Meditation
* 8.45 Break
* 9.00 Yoga class
* 11.30 Brunch
* 12.30 Trip to waterfall
* 15.00 Juice & fresh fruit
* 16.00 Yoga class
* 19.00 Dinner
* 20.00 Free time
* 21.00 Guided meditation

Day 4
* 7.45 Neti Kriya
* 8.00 Pranayama & Guided Meditation
* 8.45 Break
* 9.00 Yoga class
* 11.30 Brunch
* 12.30 Check out

* For the 8 days 7 nights retreat, there will be a trip on every second day.

All levels are welcome.

Retreat fee for 4 days 3 nights is Rm 1,470 per person for single room and Rm 1,320 per person for twin sharing.

Retreat fee for 8 days 7 nights is Rm 3,430 per person for single room and Rm 3,080 per person for twin sharing.

Food (vegetarian meals, fruit and snacks) and accommodation (air-conditioning, hot & cold shower, fridge, tea making facility etc…) are included with a free Yoga Now T-shirt, neti pot and free airport or ferry port pick-up and drop-off.

Our yoga retreats are for anyone who wants to practice yoga and meditation while having some free time visiting to some nature attractions on the island.

Please contact us at yoganow@hotmail.com or give us a call @ +6016 2715 082 / +604 9559 082 for more information.

Be happy,

Meng Foong

Be Happy No Matter What

Money is not evil. Earning money will not make us suffer. It is the way of getting the money as well as the greed and discontentment that make us suffer.

Money doesn’t make us happy or unhappy. It is whether our minds are contented and accepting what we have and don’t have that will bring us happiness or suffering.

Healthy or not, can eat or not, can walk or not, can see or not, can hear or not, can move or not, does not determine our happiness. Some people have money and good health, but not necessary that they are happy with themselves or with their lives. Some people don’t have much money and are suffering illness, but not necessary that they are unhappy and in suffering. While some people are very rich and are happy, while some people are very poor and are not happy.

Whether we have money or don’t have money, but if we are free from fear and worry, not being controlled by the greed and desire that comes from the ego, then it doesn’t matter having a lot of money or having not enough money or have no money at all, is not a “problem” or issue that will make us happy or suffer.

If anyone wants to earn big money all the time, be happy. If anyone doesn’t like to earn too much money, be happy also.

Be happy with what we want and don’t want. Be happy with what we do and don't do.

Wisdom and true happiness is everywhere and in everything. Happiness does not lie on the object that we are dealing with, but it is determined by our own type of mentality and conception about what is good and not good.

Be happy no matter what. Life is always changing and will come to an end. So, enjoy whatever we have now whether it is abundance or insufficient.

What's the meaning of life if we are not happy?

To be happy also means to be free from unhappiness. Being a "good person" or a "bad person" cannot stop the law of impermanence nor does it gives us liberation from unhappiness. Take a look around us, there are many "good people" who don't hurt other beings are still having some unhappiness in life too. Unhappiness is derived from the impurities in our mind, not from the things out there. It is by letting go of all the impurities, being free from anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, arrogance, craving, aversion, irritation, frustration, disappointment, expectation, fear and worry, that will free us from unhappiness and being undisturbed by the ever changing phenomena of good and bad in life.

Be happy.

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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

About Me

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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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