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

Monday, November 7, 2011

Reactions of the ego when we hear something that we don't agree with...

Have you ever experienced irritation and anger when you heard something (ideas, stories, concepts, believes, behaviors or philosophies) that you (the ego or the mind) don't agree with? We (the ego or the mind) think that our thinkings are right and other thinkings that are different from ours, or thinkings that are contradicted with our thinkings are wrong. And we would want to argue about it to prove that, or to emphasize that we are right and they are wrong.

This is a normal reaction of the ego or one of the habits of the mind.

In yoga and meditation, at the beginning we learn to observe all these reactions in the mind and do not identify nor associate with them, and keep practicing non-attachment towards all the names and forms until one day we are able to control the mind to stop reacting towards any thing that is different from us, that our mind doesn't agree with. We learn to accept and respect anything that our mind doesn't like or doesn't agree with. We don't have to upset ourselves over something that are different from our ideas and believes. We don't have to generate disharmony or conflicts with anyone and anything... Be at peace... This will prevent the mind from being agitated or disturbing the equanimity or tranquility of the mind for meditation.

There is nothing wrong with anyone who like to argue or enjoy arguing with other people over something that they don't like to hear or cannot accept or don't agree with. Be happy arguing...

At the end, we will realize that it is not what other people say or do that generate disharmony and unhappiness in us. It is ourselves attached to our own mind, and attached to whatever the mind like and doesn't like, and attach to all the names and forms that the mind come in contact with through the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and thinking, and being disturbed or affected or influenced or determined by all the names and forms that either our mind likes or doesn't like, and generate craving and aversion. And when this craving and aversion is not being gratified or satisfied, the mind or the ego get agitated or irritated or angry...

It is meaningless to waste our energy in vain arguments for a few minutes to prove that "we are right" or "we are good", and disturb the equilibrium of the mind for a few days depending on how fast or how efficient that we can let it go. It will take many days for the mind to calm down and return to tranquility and peace...

Without tranquility or peace in the mind, it is not possible to meditate...

Note that this practice of letting go of arguments or to prove that we are right, only apply to those who are really interested and sincere in the path of yoga and meditation for Self-realization. This is part of the practice to annihilate the ego and purify the mind which is the main practice of yoga and Buddhism. It is not possible for us to attain real peace as long as we are still attached strongly to the ego, identifying with the ego, and being influenced by the ego, the pride and arrogance, the cravings and aversions in the mind. We might be enjoying momentary peace and happiness that come from doing the things or getting the things that we like and want. But we might be getting upset and become restless with all the impurities that arise in the mind whenever the mind come in contact with all the names and forms and generates countless and endless cravings and aversions. There is restlessness, doubt, fear and worry. There is no peace.

Anyone who are not really interested to tread the path of yoga and meditation to control the mind, or to know the Truth, or to attain eternal unconditional and unchangeable peace and happiness, they can choose to do whatever they like to do and don't do, and react in whatever ways that they like... Be happy.

Anyone who really wants to learn about yoga must first let go of pride and arrogance, be very humble, to put down what we have learned in the past, to let go of what we think we know and who we think we are, to be open-minded to receive the teachings of yoga and try to practice the teachings sincerely. And then slowly we will realize whether the teachings of yoga is true or not true, whether it can help us to attain real peace and happiness or not...

If a person with so much pride and arrogance about what he or she knows in the past, goes to a yoga teacher to hear about the teachings of yoga, he or she will have strong rejection and arguments with the teacher when the teacher talks about the teachings of yoga that are contradicted with what he or she used to believe in. He or she will get very irritated hearing what they don't like to hear or don't agree with. There is nothing wrong with that. We don't have to agree with everything that we hear. Even the Buddha didn't want anyone to believe in what he taught but everyone has to practice and find out the Truth by themselves through their own effort. And it doesn't matter whether the people get the benefits from the teachings or not. It is up to the people themselves to realize the Truth. Just by hearing the teachings will not make a person transcends suffering. But we do need to be open-minded to try to practice the teachings accordingly to find out whether it is true or not true.

If we (the ego) get angry when hearing the teacher says something that we cannot accept or cannot agree with, that is nothing to do with whether what the teacher says is right or wrong. It is the attachment towards what we know and what we believe in and the ego doesn't like it and gets irritated or feels being challenged when we hear something that are different from what we know or what we agree with. In hearing the same teachings, somebody will generate irritation, while some other people will generate contentment and gratefulness. But the teachings itself has no quality or intention to make anyone irritated or contented. It is up to our own mind on how it reacts towards something that it perceives...

And this is what we are practicing, learn to observe whatever the mind comes in contact with and stop generate cravings or aversions towards all the different names and forms whether our mind agree or disagree with. Learn to know who is getting irritated, angry or upset when we hear something that we don't like to hear or don't agree with. And find out actually what makes us getting angry? Is it the objects out there or is it coming from the pride and arrogance from our own ego, and the attachment and disagreement from our own mind (being attached to our own ideas, believes, thinkings)?

If we are being arrogant about what we believe in and have strong rejection towards some other things that are different from what we believe in, and argue with other people, and try to change other people to be like us, to think like us, to behave like us, then we are only creating more disturbance and disharmony in our mind.

And yet, whether we can understand the teachings or not, whether we can practice the teachings or not, and whether we agree with the teachings or have strong rejection and disagreement with the teachings, we all already have the opportunity to come in contact with the grace of Yoga. We will start to contemplate on higher thinking eventually. Disagreement arise due to the intellect comes in contact with something that it doesn't recognize or doesn't familiar with, and the ego rejects whatever the intellect cannot perceive or comprehend. But this also means, the teachings of yoga has already went into the mind... One day, when the time is right, when the body and the mind is ready, all these teachings will bubble up to the surface of the mind and help the person to transcend the egoistic mind... And be free.

Om shanti.

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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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