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

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Forgetting and remembering...

We remember the body and the mind. We remember both the pleasant and unpleasant thoughts, feelings and emotions. We remember the good and bad experiences that we have been through. We remember who is nice to us and who is not nice to us. We try to remember faces that we saw and their names, who they are, and what they do. We remember the good and bad actions that we have done. We remember the good and bad actions that other people have done. We remember the insults and hurts that came from somewhere and someone. We remember the fearful or tearful or joyful experiences that we experienced in the past.

We remember the stories of the movies that we watched, and the stories of the books that we read. We remember the conversation that we had with somebody. We remember the incidents that we saw on the streets or images that we saw here and there through out the day. We remember our name, different relationships with everyone, our culture, our pride, arrogance, anger, hatred, jealousy, what we like and dislike, what we want and don't want, and so on.

There is nothing wrong with this function of the mind to remember all these perceptions of names and forms (inputs). It is very normal. And for most people in this world of interaction, socialization, communication and business, we try to remember all these things. We need to digest, analyze and remember our conversation with somebody either in personal affair or business affair, or else we will be defined as suffering from memory loss, or not paying attention to our surroundings and the people that we come in contact with, or we do not show appreciation or respect to the people that we are interacting with, or we are not good in socializing or doing business.

It is part of human's culture to sharpen our memory power to remember everything if possible, to remember what we have learned, and to make use of the memory of the accumulated information of what we have learned to be doing something in life. And people who have a sharp mind and good concentration would also have a good memory power. This is part of the effect of developing awareness and concentration.

Somehow this very normal behavior of us to remember everything that we come in contact with everyone and with the surrounding environment, generates strong imprint of ceaseless inputs into our mind. During our sleep, the mind will release all these imprints and generate dreams that are made up of partials of this and that which we perceived in the day, where we might remember some of these dreams and they also become part of the memory.

If we can maintain awareness of being aware of everything that we come in contact with, but being unattached towards all the perceptions of names and forms, without clinging, craving or aversion, and be undisturbed by all these inputs, then this is a progression in our yoga practice. But if we don't know how to stay unattached to all these inputs of the senses, and being affected or disturbed by all these inputs, and generate lots of reactions of likes and dislikes, craving and aversion, and generate strong impressions of all these names and forms into the mind, then this is not conducive for quieting the mind for meditation.

As soon as we sit down for meditation, restricting the inputs of the senses, all these impressions will start to bubbling up to the surface of the mind. For the experienced meditator who has developed strong detachment, they won't be disturbed nor affected by this thoughts currents. But for the less experienced meditator who still hasn't developed firm detachment yet, they will be distracted and disturbed very much by these bubbling thoughts currents that might need days/weeks/months/years to subside. During this period of calming the thoughts currents, irritation and frustration may arise in the mind.

That's why if we really want to do serious Sadhana (intense practice), like participating in a long course of silent retreat, we will be told to cut off any contacts, communications or interactions with the world and people (care less). We are also being restricted in action and speech, reducing and limiting the mind activities and expressions by observe silence in thoughts, actions and speech; and focus within ourselves, and refraining the mind from going out to the objects of the senses to reduce all kinds of inputs. Keep watching our own mind, and stop minding about other people's affairs. This will help us to quiet the mind and to contemplate on the Truth.

We know/remember everything in the worldly life experiences, but we don't know/remember who we really are, or who am 'I'.

When we start to go beyond the body, the mind, the self-image, the worldly-identity, the past worldly experiences, the future imaginations, all the perceptions of names and forms, all the objects of the senses, all the dualities, all the good and bad, all the happiness and unhappiness, all the positive and negative, and the idea of worldly existence of 'I'. We will start to know/remember who we really are (by removing all impurities from the mind, we will know who am 'I' or what we think is myself.)

Forget what we should be forgetting, remembering what we need to remember.

We think that we are "this" or "that", we are "good" or "bad", we are "happy" or "unhappy", we are "smart" or "stupid". We also think that "this" is mine or "that" is mine. We also think about my family, my career, my future, my feelings, my thinking, my knowledge, my study, my friends, my enemies, my partner, my children, my country, my pride, my reputation, my ability, my limitation, my rights, my religion, my culture, my believes, and so on.

Forget everything about "I", "my", "mine". There will be no more separateness. All are equal including this being whom we think is 'I' is also one of the beings, no superiority or inferiority. This will allow us to know what is selflessness and compassion.

We start to ask ourselves, "Who am I?" (not by asking other people, our teacher or God), and in the end we'll realize we are not all these names and forms that are impermanent.

This is the beginning of our search or quest for the real meaning of life existence.

Knowing who am 'I', will remove all the doubts, ignorance, attachments, wrong identifications, fear, worry, discontentment, disappointment, anger, hatred, greed, pride, arrogance, hurts, guilt, superiority, inferiority, separateness, loneliness, emptiness, painful sorrow, and etc.

There's only selfless compassion, peace and silence.

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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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