be free, be happy, be peaceful

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

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Learn to take full responsibility for our own actions and inactions...

Especially when we ourselves don't like or don't agree with our own actions (things that we do) or inactions (things that we don't do), or when other people think that our actions and inactions are "bad", "inappropriate" or "unacceptable" in our tradition or culture or society... We will find any excuse or reason to not to take the responsibility for our actions and inactions.

"It's because of you, I don't do it..."
"It's because of you, I do it..."
"It's because of my imbalanced hormones, I'm behaving like this..."
"It's because of the weather..."
"It's because of my family..."
"It's because of my job..."

All these sentences sound very familiar to us, isn't it?

Most of us like to put the blame or responsibility onto something or somebody else for our own actions and inactions...

Unless those actions and inactions are something "good", "acceptable" and "appropriate", then we will say it out loud, "Yes! I am the one who is responsible for my "good" actions and inactions..."

When we start to take full responsibility for all our actions and inactions, whether it is good or bad, appropriate or inappropriate, acceptable or unacceptable, then we are on the path of yoga, practicing yoga... Or else, we are not really practicing yoga even though we have a healthy, strong and flexible physical body to perform some "beautiful" and "incredible" asana poses, going for some "yoga classes", doing some "yoga practice" and "meditation" regularly, if we keep blaming something or somebody for our "not so nice" actions and inactions...

Nobody can make us angry and upset, unless we allow ourselves to be angry and upset by something or somebody... The terms, "You make me angry..." or "This makes me angry...", are coming from incorrect understanding about the truth of things and our own self.

We are responsible for our own happiness and unhappiness.

Nothing can make us happy or unhappy, unless we allow the mind to be determined, be disturbed and be affected by all the names and forms. Happy feelings and unhappy feelings that derive from having the things that we want and don't want, are also coming from incorrect understanding about the truth of our own self and all the names and forms that our mind perceives through the senses.

We get irritated and unhappy when we see or hear the things that we don't like to see and hear. We get frustrated and unhappy when we smell and taste the things that we don't like to smell and taste. We get agitated and unhappy when we touch and think about the things that we don't like to touch and think. But all these things (all the names and forms) have no quality or intention to be pleasant or unpleasant, to irritate us or to make us unhappy. It is all coming from our own mind (the ego), when the likes and dislikes or craving and aversion of our mind (the ego) is not being attended or gratified.

But most of us, we like to blame on all the things or people out there for making us unhappy. Or we think that it is the things or people out there that will make us happy or give us happiness.

We get disappointed when we expect the things that we like and want will give us happiness, but it won't, because the truth of all these conditional things are dissatisfying in nature and are conditioned by the law of impermanence. Our likes and dislikes will change. Things will change. Mind will change. Feelings, thoughts, sensations, want and don't want, likes and dislikes, everything will change...

And we expect the things that we like won't change, and the things that we don't like will change according to what we wish them to be...

And we'll get more disappointed when we try to fight the law of impermanence, which is not possible.

This physical body is impermanent, no matter how much we try to preserve the youth and good health for this body...

Buddha and all the great saints and sages, had showed us the truth about this physical body is impermanent while they were still living in this world... They showed us that their body were still had to go through impermanence, old age, decaying, illness, discomfort, eventually stopped functioning and decomposed, even though spiritually they had transcended "suffering" and had attained eternal peace which was unconditional and unlimited by the impermanence of the physical body... Their pure existence of awareness were beyond the conditional and limited impermanent body... The body were not them, they were not the body...

The body will be affected and conditioned by impermanence, but not their true nature, the pure awareness of who they really are... No conditions of the physical body and the thinking mind could determine them... They were just the witness or the observer, witnessing or observing what their body and mind were experiencing in their life existence.

This body does not belong to us, it belongs to the nature, the elements. We don't own this body. It is constantly changing and depending on the elements to be existing and functioning. If there is no sun, no air, no water, no earth, no space, this body doesn't exist... We don't control the heartbeat and the breathing. Anytime, this heart will stop beating, this lungs will stop breathing no matter how healthy and strong this body can be...

When we stop chasing after conditional and impermanent names and forms (to give us meanings, values, completeness and happiness), true happiness and contentment is here in us, never change nor disappear, never increase nor decrease, never being affected by all the experiences that are experiencing by the body and the mind. The body doesn't experience anything if the mind doesn't exist. The eyes don't "see" if the mind is absent. The ears don't "hear" if the mind is absent. And it's the same for all the other perceptions of the senses... It is the mind experiencing all the names and forms through the body with the senses... Without the body and sense organs, the mind perceives no sights, sounds, smells, taste, touch and thinking... They work together to have this life experiences of many names and forms which don't exist at all if the mind doesn't exist...

All the "pleasant" and "unpleasant" experiences are coming from the mind, not from the things (all the names and forms) out there... What we think is "good" and "bad", "happy" and "suffering", "positive" and "negative", "respectful" and "dis-respectful", "auspicious" and "inauspicious" are all coming from our own mind, judging this and that as "good" and "bad" and etc... We (the mind or the ego) will feel good when we get the things that are being labeled as "good", "happy", "positive", "respectful", "auspicious" and "pleasant" by our own mind perception... And we (the mind or the ego) will feel bad when we get the things that are being labeled as "bad", "unhappy", "negative", "dis-respectful", "inauspicious" and "unpleasant" by our own mind perception...

We are being conditioned and limited by our own mind. It is not the things out there conditioning and limiting us of whether we should be happy or unhappy...

Single people think that if they have a partner, have some children to build a family, have someone to be there to share and to support and care for each other, and they will be happy. But once they have all these "things" that they want, they feel like want to runaway from all these "things" that they have which can't really "give" them happiness...

Married people think that if they are single, don't have a partner or children or a family, and no need to take care of some other people, and they will be happy. But once they manage to get rid of all these "things", they'll still be unhappy even though all these "things" that "gave" them unhappiness are already gone...

Fear, worry, anger, hatred, dissatisfaction, disappointment, frustration, emptiness, meaninglessness, loneliness, pride, arrogance, low self-esteem, ignorance and all sorts of impurities still following them in their mind whether they are single or not, no matter where they go and what they can do and cannot do...

We thought of by doing and having all the "good" and "positive" things, and not doing or not having any "bad" and "negative" things, will "give" us happiness or "make" us happy, but it doesn't...

It is because all these things (all the names and forms) have no quality or intention to be "good" or "bad", to be "pleasant" or "unpleasant", to "give" us happiness or unhappiness, to "make" us happy or unhappy...

If we have no love, peace and happiness in our own self, then no matter we have or don't have any "things", we'll be unhappy and keep looking out for something to fill up the emptiness, meaninglessness, loneliness and dissatisfaction in us.

If we have love, peace and happiness in our own self, then no matter we have or don't have any "things", no matter where we are, how we are, and what we can do or cannot do, we will be happy and satisfy. And we don't need to look out for something to give us sense of self-worth, meanings, completeness, fullness and satisfaction. There is no loneliness or emptiness in those who have love, peace and happiness in them.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

When we know what is non-attachment towards this body and this mind, not being determined by the judgment coming from the mind, and not being determined by the likes and dislikes, craving and aversion coming from the ego, and not being affected nor disturbed by what we see, hear, smell, taste, touch and think, then we are practicing yoga "sincerely"... We are meditating (unceasingly - nameless and formless meditation)...

Every moment in our heart, in our life, we are aware of the present moment now and are observing whatever the body and the mind is experiencing at this present moment now, without the identification or association with the body and the mind, and are not generating any craving or aversion towards all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses...

If we perform a lot of yoga asana and meditation practice everyday regularly, but we don't know what is non-attachment, we are identifying strongly with the body and the mind, and constantly being over-powered by our craving and aversion, what we like and dislike, constantly being affected, disturbed, determined and influenced by what we (the mind) see, hear, smell, taste, touch and think, then we are not really practicing yoga... We are not meditating...


If we really are practicing yoga, then no matter what is the condition of this physical body, or the state of this mind, or the condition of our life and the world, we are always peaceful and live in this impermanent world without fear and worry... We are not determine by all these names and forms that the body and the mind is experiencing from moment to moment. There is nothing or nobody else can be blamed or to be responsible for the peacefulness or unpeacefulness in us...

True confident and true happiness doesn't determine by what we have and don't have, what we can do and cannot do, what we do and don't do, where we are and are not... It is unconditional...

It is up to our own self to realize the truth of things as it is, and not trying to control things to be the way that we want it to be...

It is up to our own self to know who we really are and who we are not, and realize the unlimited and unconditional love and peace in us, that will free us from the suffering that is coming from our own mind and the wrong identification with the ego, which generates the dualism of different qualities in all the names and forms in this experience of life existence, having likes and dislikes, craving and aversion, which generates all the fear and worry, dissatisfaction, disappointment, irritation, frustration, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, ignorance, agitation, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, pride and arrogance, and etc...

This is the path of yoga, the path of Self-inquiry.

And "this" (realizing the Truth, love, peace and happiness which is always and already within us) is nothing to do with whether our body is healthy or not, flexible and strong or not, can do what we wanted to do or not, can touch our toes or not, can stand on one foot or not, can stand on our head or not, can speak many languages fluently or not, having a lot of qualifications and certifications or not, or can attain a longer life span and live longer or not...

It doesn't matter how is our personality and the condition of our life, whether we are sociable or not sociable, interactive or not, being strong or weak physically or mentally, being healthy or not, able to do what we want to do or not, talk a lots or speak a little... and it doesn't matter what is our background of nationality, education, race, culture, religion, believes, spoken languages, financial status, lifestyle, interests and activities... Because we are not this body nor this mind... This is the most important teaching of yoga... Realize this and be free.

But if we know the essence of yoga, we'll know that we all are the same spiritual beings experiencing different types of experiences in this world of impermanence... Everything, good and bad things, all will pass away...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Fearless, worry-less, peaceful, forgiving, compassionate, self-controlled, confident, truthful, selfless, desire-less, patient, accommodating, adjusting, adapting, accepting (self-acceptance of who we are, where we are and how we are, and accepting the truth and the present moment now as it is)...

Not attaching towards all the names and forms (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and thinking)...

Not identifying with the body and the mind...

Being at the present moment now, not living in the past or the future, not being disturbed by the past experiences or the future imaginations...

Free from dualism (qualities of good and bad, positive and negative, auspiciousness and inauspiciousness, respectfulness or dis-respectfulness, pleasant and unpleasant, happiness and unhappiness)...

Free from the influence of the impurities in the mind...

Free from the ego...

Free from craving and aversion...

Free from the condition of our own body and the mind, not being determined by all the good and bad, pleasant and unpleasant experiences of this life existence...

Able to observe and accept the reality of things as it is, and able to accept the law of impermanence, allow changes and impermanence to happen...

Not trying to change the Truth that we (the one whom we think who we are and who is identifying with the mind and the ego) don't like and disagree with, and not trying to control things to be the way that we want them to be, but able to perform all our duties and responsibilities in the world without attaching to our actions and the fruit of the actions... Without expectation... Just give and let go.

Letting go of unnecessary and meaningless judgments, comparisons, arguments, criticism, mocking, slandering, gossiping and etc...

Withstand or forbear any dis-comfortable or undesirable situations and conditions...

All these are the "characteristics" of a being who is practicing yoga and meditation, and not just doing some "yoga exercises" or "yoga practices" regularly because it makes "us" (whom is identified with the body and the mind) feel good, and that's why we like to do "yoga". Or else when "we" didn't do "yoga", "we" don't feel good anymore... Even so, there is nothing wrong with just doing some "yoga" to feel good... But it couldn't bring us to the real peacefulness and happiness which is beyond all these good feelings that are conditional and are being craved by the body and the mind.

If we don't know how to go beyond the mind, we will still be disturbed by all the impurities and ignorance in our own mind, and are not peaceful, being discontented, unhappy and being disturbed by all the names and forms, and always complain about this and that, generate disharmony in ourselves and in the environment, and generate disharmony in our relationship with other beings who come in contact with us...

Contemplate on this and be free...

Buddha was peaceful but he couldn't make other people to become peaceful.

If he could, this entire world will be peaceful and no more unhappiness...

But he could teach and guide other people about how to realize peacefulness within ourselves. He didn't responsible for the peacefulness that was already within us.

Everyone has to realize peace and happiness that is coming from within ourselves and be peaceful and happy...

Be kind and compassionate towards our own self, love ourselves and have love in ourselves... And not by expecting nor waiting for other people to be kind and compassionate towards us, and to love us, to give us love... Once we have love in ourselves, we can share this unlimited and unconditional love (without passionate lust) with other beings whether intentionally or unintentionally, and without attaching to the action of giving and sharing. It doesn't matter whether other beings accept our loving kindness or not, being grateful or not, appreciate or not... If we are really compassionate, we will just give and let go... There is no disappointment at all.

Make good use of this physical body and the thinking mind that are still available for us to be here to experience, to learn and to share what is compassion and selflessness.

Realize our true nature which is compassionate and selfless (ego-less)...

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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