be free, be happy, be peaceful

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

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Video - Kakasan to Sirshasan (step by step practice)



This is the step by step practice for Kakasan and Sirshasan and some gradual transitions from Kakasan to Sirshasan. I will upload another version with simple instructions later on.

The key instructions are focus, concentration, letting go and non-attachment. It is not so much about physical ability to perform the exercises. It is also very important to take enough rest in between each exercise and after the exercises. And never over exert ourselves nor try to force our body to go beyond its limitations.

Yoga is not about challenging the physical body to go beyond its limitation but to practice according to the condition and capability of our body in the present moment now, and allow improvement to happen gradually and naturally... The exercises are there to help us to purify and balance the energy fields and thus the mind.

All these exercises are there to help us to develop concentration and non-attachment, and to stimulate, purify, balance, conserve and channel the energy field and energy centres in our body to remove impurities or ignorance in the mind, for realization of peace and compassion. It is not important if our body are not ready to perform certain exercises or yoga poses, or our body cannot perform certain exercises or yoga poses due to physical limitations or injuries, as peace and compassion is nothing to do with our physical condition and ability to perform the exercises. Peace and compassion does not come from whether our physical body is strong and flexible or not, but it is the practice of non-attachment and letting go of the ego that will allow us to realize peace and compassion...

Be happy.

Video - Surya Namaskar - Sun Salutation learning with simple instructions



Here is a slow version of Surya Namaskar - Traditional Sun Salutation learning with simple instructions. At the beginning just focus on the movement and breathe naturally. Once our body learn to perform the 12 movements, naturally we can perform the sun salutation in a smooth flowing manner together with each inhalation and exhalation.

Start with 3 rounds and then gradually increase the rounds day by day up to the comfort of your body, until one day you can perform about 12 rounds comfortably without stopping.

The speed is varied in different individual as long as you can comfortably co-ordinate the movements with your breath naturally.

It is okay if you do not look the same exactly like how I do it, as everyone has a different body type, different physical limitations, different strength and flexibility and stamina. No need to compare with other people. Just do your best whatever your body is capable of doing. Keep practice and your physical strength, flexibility and stamina will be improving gradually and naturally.

Let go of judgment, comparison and expectation while performing the sun salutation and any other asana practice. Not judging the exercise as easy or difficult, as the exercise itself has no quality or intention to be easy or difficult. Not judging our body performances, as it is not about how good we perform the exercises or how good we look while performing the exercises. It's about do our best in performing all our actions whether it is yoga practice or daily activities, perform all our duties and responsibilities, but letting go of attachment towards all our actions and renounce the fruit or the result of our actions...

Let go of expectation towards the result or benefits of doing the exercises, but allow improvement to happen naturally and allow the benefits to come naturally as we practice regularly, and accept the result of the exercises as it is... Even when we don't know what are the benefits of doing the exercises, the benefits will still be there, they won't decrease nor disappear when we don't know what are the benefits or not having any expectations towards the result or benefits of the exercises...

Be happy.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

"Are you selfless?" - An invalid question...

We won't get an answer when we ask someone who is truly selfless, "Are you selfless?", as there is nobody there to claim or identify as "I" am selfless...

The one who will give us an answer either "Yes, I am" or "No, I am not", is coming from the egoistic thinking mind thinks or believes itself is being selfless or not...

If somebody tells us, "I am selfless", then very obvious this "selfless" person is not really selfless...

It is pointless to ask someone who is free from suffering due to being free from the egoistic mind, "Are you free from suffering?", as there is nobody there to experience suffering, nor there is anyone there being free from suffering...

If someone claims or identifies as "I am peaceful" or "I am happy" or "I am free" or "I am good" or "I am wise" or "I am compassionate", that is the mind thinks and believes itself is peaceful, happy, free, good, wise and compassionate... Or when someone claims or identifies as "I am not peaceful" or "I am not happy" or "I am not free" or "I am not good" or "I am not wise" or "I am not compassionate", that is the mind thinks and believes itself is not peaceful, not happy, not free, not good, not wise and not compassionate...

There is nothing wrong with the mind thinks and believes about "I am this or that" or " I am not this nor that"... It is just the mind perception about itself as this and that with such and such qualities that it projects onto itself... This is just how the mind works and operates, reacts and thinks... And whatever the mind reacts, feels, thinks and believes whether it is something good or bad, positive or negative, happy or unhappy, pleasant or unpleasant, it's all impermanent and "non-self"...

Realize this, there is no "I" being there experiencing "this" or "that"...

Go beyond the mind perception about "I" am this or that with such and such qualities that the mind projects onto itself, and we will be free from fear, worry, jealousy, anxiety, judgment, comparison, competition, expectation, discontentment, disappointment, restlessness and unhappiness that derive from pride, arrogance, low self-esteem, low confidence, self-doubt, self-criticism, self-expectation, self-image, or so called "professional image"...

Om shanti.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Unconditional peace and happiness beyond good conditions of life and worldly knowledge...

It doesn't matter what is the condition and ability of this physical body and the state of this mind, as long as we are still attached to this body and this mind, and being conditioned and influenced by the selfish egoistic mind with all the impurities like attachment towards sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations and thinking, being over-powered by likes and dislikes, craving and aversion, desires, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, pride, arrogance, fear, worry, depression, agitation, restlessness, judgment, expectation, doubts, ignorance and etc, we are not free...

How could we be truly "happy and peaceful" when we are being over-powered by all these impurities even though we try to attain "peace and happiness" through practicing yoga and meditation, and learning about the anatomy and physiology about this physical body, and learning about the techniques to perform the asana poses and breathing exercises, and knowing the benefits of performing the asana poses and breathing exercises?

There is no doubt that by attaining what we like and want to attain, we will feel (momentary) good, excited and happy. But these good and happy feelings and excitement don't last long, it will change and disappear, and non-satisfying...

There is no doubt that by having a healthy, strong and flexible physical body and being knowledgeable will bring us towards a better quality of life and for us to be able to make good use of this good condition of the physical body and the knowledge that we have to serve ourselves and other beings in the world to improve. But even by having a healthy, strong and flexible physical body, and worldly knowledge cannot guarantee us peace and happiness if we are identified with the selfish egoistic impure mind, if we didn't try to let go of the ego... We will be disturbed and affected all the time by the reactions of the mind towards whatever it sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches and thinks, and be conditioned by the craving and aversion coming from the egoistic mind towards what it likes and dislikes, agrees and disagrees with...

If we know how to not identify with the body and the mind, if we know how to observe the reactions of the mind without associating with it, and let go of the craving and aversion coming from the ego, undisturbed and unconditioned by whatever the body and the mind is experiencing from moment to moment, we will know what is unconditional peace and happiness that is not conditioned by any impermanent qualities of names and forms...

Through sincere and consistent practice of yoga and meditation with the right effort and attitude, it can help us to develop non-attachment or non-identification towards the body, the egoistic mind and whatever the mind perceives through the senses, rendering it pure and calm to be free from impurities and restlessness, to be able to observe the reality of thing as it is...

When a being is free from the ego, there is no argument or justification or criticism towards anything that seems to be "different" from what it is, or what it thinks and believes, as all the dualities and qualities had disappeared from the mind perception of names and forms... There is no "agreement" nor "disagreement". Everything is just being what it is. They are not something good or bad. They are not something positive or negative. They are not something happy or suffering. They have no power or intention to be good or bad, to be positive or negative, to make us happy or suffer.

This is compassion. This compassion is nothing to do with the impermanent conditions, qualities and abilities of this physical body, whether we are being "good" or "not good", "healthy" or "not healthy", "perfect" or "imperfect", performing many "actions" or not performing any "actions", whether being "vegetarian" or "non-vegetarian", being able to perform the asana poses or not, being knowledgeable or not, knowing anatomy and physiology or not, knowing all the names and terms in Sanskrit or not, knowing all the Scriptures, Sutras, chanting and prayers or not...

As by being "good" or "healthy" or "perfect", or performing many "actions", or being "vegetarian", or being able to perform the asana poses, or being knowledgeable, or knowing anatomy and physiology, or knowing all the names and terms in Sanskrit, or knowing all the Scriptures, Sutras, chanting and prayers, is not a guarantee of peace and happiness...

And by being "not good" or "not healthy" or "not perfect", or not performing any "actions", or not being "vegetarian", or being unable to perform the asana poses, or not being knowledgeable, or not knowing anatomy and physiology, or not knowing all the names and terms in Sanskrit, or not knowing all the Scriptures, Sutras, chanting and prayers, it doesn't mean that there will be no peace and happiness...

Even an "uneducated" or "unintelligent" or "physically disabled" person can attain peace and happiness if this person know what is non-attachment, dispassion and egolessness... It is through purifying the impure restless mind, and through this pure and calm mind, realizing the truth of thing as it is, that allows us to be free...

By knowing, hearing, seeing, reading, understanding the words about "peace and happiness" won't guarantee us peace and happiness. It is by realizing it through realizing the truth...

By knowing or having a lot of things and worldly knowledge won't guarantee us peace and happiness, but knowing the truth of things will bring us to peace and happiness.

Having the best doctor and best medicine to cure the most difficult physical illness also will not remove ignorance and suffering, nor give us peace and happiness. That's why Swami Sivananda let go of being a medical doctor and plunged into Yogic Sadhana and meditation to attain the wisdom to be a "mind doctor" to help other beings to be free from ignorance and suffering.

Throw away all our relationships and material belongings also won't guarantee us peace and happiness.

It is by realizing selflessness or compassion, being free from the attachment towards the perception of names and forms, qualities and dualities, being free from ignorance and impurities, that allow us to be in peace and happiness.

We need to "heal" ourselves when there is something that need to be "healed" as we experience "hurt" and "painful sorrow" due to ignorance and wrong identification with the body and mind. When we are free from ignorance, there is nothing that need to be "healed" as there is no "hurt" and "painful sorrow"...

The physical body and the mind will experience "suffering", restlessness and dissatisfaction from time to time, due to ignorance, desires, craving and aversion, impurities and impermanence, but there is no "I" being there to experience any "suffering"... Suffering exists when we think that we are this physical body and this thinking mind, there is "I" being here experiencing suffering. Suffering doesn't exist when we realize the truth about there is no "I" nor "me" nor "mine".

Even though when we think we know a lot about this and that, believe in what we think is "right" and "good", but as long as we are still being disturbed and affected by anger and hatred towards something that our mind couldn't accept or couldn't agree with, still want to argue and hating towards something that is different from what we think we know and believe, then we are not free yet... It means that the ego, pride and arrogance are still very strong... Then we still need to observe many rules and observations, and keep practice until we realize what is compassion, selflessness, beyond the ego, beyond the perception of names and forms, non-attachment, desire-less, dispassion, non-duality, non-separateness, unconditional peace, and end of suffering...

Realize this, and be free.

Om shanti.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Video - my daily yoga asana practice (2)

This is part of my daily yoga asana practice.


The practice of letting go and free ourselves from continue being hurt by past unhappy experiences...

There is no doubt that when somebody does something through speech or action that is hurtful to our feelings, we will feel hurt, upset and angry...

We have the rights to feel hurt, upset and angry in this very moment when somebody does or says something that is hurtful in this present moment... As that painful feeling of being hurt is a normal reaction towards some speech and action that our mind/ego recognizes as something "hurtful", or it is a consequence derives from somebody's "hurtful" speech and action.

In this very moment when the hurtful speech or action is happening, it is the responsible of that person for his or her "hurtful" speech and action that is causing us to feel hurt in this present moment... But, this is only valid in this very moment when it is happening. Afterwards, if we still continue to feel hurt, upset and angry, then it will be our own responsibility for allowing ourselves continue to be hurt and feel hurt, even though that "hurtful" incident has already gone, it doesn't exist in the reality of the present moment now, but it only exists as part of our memories...

We are the one who is responsible for allowing ourselves continue to be hurt repeatedly over and over again by our own attachment towards our past unhappy memories... This hurt is no longer the responsibility or consequences of other people's hurtful speech and action, but it is our own responsibility...

To love ourselves, to be kind and compassionate towards ourselves, it is our own choice and freedom to free ourselves from continue being hurt by past unhappy happenings or past painful experiences by forgive other people's hurtful speech and action or wrong doings, by letting go of the past instantly...

Memories will still be there, either it will get stronger or gradually fade away, depending on how much energy we feed to them, but they are just a bunch of happy and unhappy memories... We cannot erase all the unhappy memories that we don't like... But for sure, we can practice letting go of the past instantly by letting go of the attachment towards the past experiences whether they are good or bad experiences... Memories will be there coming and going in our mind, but they have no more power to influence us for how we feel in the present moment now...

And in order for us to be able to let go of the past unhappy experiences, we need to know the truth about how come we feel hurt and who is responsible for it?

By understanding the connection between the past memories and our emotions and feelings, and knowing what is going on when we felt hurt in the past and why we continue to feel hurt by the past unhappy experiences in the present moment now, and knowing what is being kind and compassionate towards all being including ourselves is also one of the beings, we need to be kind and compassionate towards ourselves, and love ourselves, we will know that the only way to heal ourselves from painful experiences is by letting go of the past instantly, by practicing forgiveness and letting go...

To forgive other people's wrong and hurtful actions and speech, is being kind and compassionate towards ourselves... Let go of anger and hatred... Free ourselves from continue being hurt by past unhappy experiences which don't exist in the reality of the present moment now, but only exist as a phantom that lives in our memories playing tricks onto our feelings in the present moment now, which is meaningless and wasting our energy to entertain it...

It is not about denying or ignoring our feelings. It is about to feel or be aware of what we are feeling now in the present moment, allow all these feelings to arise and pass away, and let them go.... It doesn't matter if they are good feelings or bad feelings, happy feelings or unhappy feelings, pleasant feelings or unpleasant feelings, feel or be aware of their presence in this very moment, and let them go...

Be happy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Video - Handstand

The last video clip is the unedited version about keep trying, never give up in whatever we want to pursue... Be happy.

It's not about doing the handstand, it's about determination and perseverance...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Observe our own mind and know how the mind works...

A man had a dream. In his dream, he felt he was in danger, and so, in the dream he screamed loudly for help. This resulted he was screaming loudly in the middle of the night.

His house-mate came to wake him up and asked him was he having a "bad" dream.

He told the friend, "It was not a "bad" dream. It was just a dream. In the dream, I screamed for help as I felt being in a danger situation in the dream, that's all..."

But the friend insisted that it must be a "bad" dream if he had screamed so loud in sleep (according to what his mind was being conditioned to believe about what things are/should be. Everything has to be labelled as either "good" or "bad"...)

This is a little life story to teach us about our mind perception about things are being conditioned by what the mind being conditioned to believe or what the mind wants to believe, even though it is not necessarily the Truth of things. In a same happening, some people perceive it as something "positive", some people perceive it as something "negative", but the happening itself, it is not something "positive" nor "negative", it has no qualities or intention to be "positive" or "negative"...

Anyway, the person who had the dream, didn't perceive the dream as something "bad", the "scream" was just a spontaneous reaction coming from him shouting for help in his dream, and he was not disturbed by the dream at all when he woke up from the dream... But the other person who has nothing to do with the dream, who had heard the "scream", had attached to his own perception about "It must be a "bad" dream..."

This friend insisted that what himself perceived is true, is right, and he also thinks that other people should be thinking the way as how he thinks... Or the mind is being conditioned by "How can there be other different ways of thinking other than this one". And even if there are different ways of thinking, then all those thinking must be "wrong", because the mind believes that its way of thinking is right, if there is something different from this one, it must be wrong. The mind is being conditioned to think, "Chillies are spicy, how can chillies be not spicy?", or "Good people should be in happiness, how can good people be in suffering?", or "He was a bad person, how can he be a good person now?", or "He was a good person, how can he be a bad person now?"....

When the friend heard him said that "It was not a bad dream...", the friend cannot accept that he could perceive differently from his friend's perception... The mind is being conditioned by "It was a bad dream, how can it was not a bad dream, he must have perceived it wrongly", and so, the friend told him to "correct" him, "How can it was not a bad dream? It was a bad dream since you screamed in your sleep..."

This simple happening or interaction between two minds also reflects about, the mind is not just keep imposing the qualities of "good" and "bad, "positive" and "negative", "happiness" and "suffering" onto its own perception of what things are or what the world is, but it also wants to impose its own way of thinking onto other people's thinking, or being "nosy" about how other people mind should perceive or behave or function or react, the same way as how it perceives or behaves or functions or reacts according to what it thinks it true, is right and real...

And thus, arguments, conflicts, frustration, disappointment, dissatisfaction, anger, hatred, and etc, arise in that mind itself due to it cannot accept any other way of thinking other than its own, if the mind attached strongly to what it thinks or believes is "true" and "right", and anything that is different from this one must be "wrong" and "false"...

Like wise, there will be no arguments, conflicts, frustration, disappointment, dissatisfaction, anger, hatred, and etc, arise in that mind itself due to it is ready to accept the many possibilities of different ways of thinking other than its own, if the mind is aware of the thinking process in itself and doesn't attach to its own thinking or believes about what is "true" and "right".

The mind can function as it is or think the way that it thinks, or to believe what it wants to believe, but the awareness that is knowing or being aware of what is going on in the mind, is beyond the mind's thinking process, and this awareness stands as a silent witness or the observer watching the mind, without attaching or identifying or associating with the mind perception of names and forms, without judging the mind as "good" or "bad", without expecting the mind to behave in certain ways... And this awareness will also allow other people's mind to function as they are, or think the way that they want to think, or to believe what they want to believe, without trying to argue or to control or to change something that is different from what our own mind thinks and believes.

This awareness is untouched or uncontaminated by whether the mind is thinking about something "good" or "bad", "happy" or "unhappy", "right" or "wrong"... This awareness is also untouched or uncontaminated by the "good" and "bad" actions that derived from this life existence of the body and the mind... The awareness is being what it is, it is not affected nor determined by the "good" and "bad" actions performed by the body and mind, nor will it change, increase or decrease according to the impermanent changes of the body and mind, nor being influenced by the impermanent changes of the qualities of names and forms that the mind perceives from moment to moment...

This is real freedom...

The mind is doing some thinking, while the awareness is being aware of the mind is doing some thinking without react towards the thinking. This awareness is also being called the Higher Self or the higher mind. The higher mind is observing the lower mind. Or The pure part of the mind is watching the impure part of the mind. The mind is watching itself, controlling itself, purifying itself, transforming itself through dedication of consistent "yoga and meditation" practice... This will benefit the whole universe even though when the mind has no interactions with the "world" at all... As the entire worldly experience exists when the mind starts functioning and perceiving sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touches and thinking. When the mind ceases from "moving" or "going out" through the senses, when the mind is silent, worldly experience doesn't exists...

What is "happiness", what is "suffering"?

Some people perceive the world as a "suffering" place, as the mind is being in a state of "suffering"... Some people perceive the world as a "happy" place, as the mind is being in a state of happiness... Some people perceive the world as neither a "suffering" nor "happy" place, it is just being what it is, as the mind has gone beyond the qualities of names and forms about "happiness" and "suffering"...


Be aware of how our own mind functions, and free ourselves from this conditioned way of thinking in the mind. We will stop judging anyone or arguing with anyone on different points of views, it doesn't matter if it is something what the mind strongly believes in about what is "good" and "bad", "right" and "wrong"...

This is nothing to do with whether we are being a "good" person or not...

Yoga and meditation practice are here to help us to change this habit or condition of how the mind thinks, in a gradual process... From being impatient transforming into less impatient. From being selfish transforming into less selfish. From being attached to names and forms transforming into detachments from names and forms. From being angry and hating transforming into forgiving, accepting and compassionate...

Restrict the mind from desires, wants, craving and aversion. Restrict the mind from reacts immediately towards whatever it perceives through the senses from moment to moment. Allow the mind to pause for a few moments before placing any judgment about things... At the end this few moments of pause will become longer until there is no need of reaction at all...

The thinking about "I am this or that", "I am good or bad", "I am happy or unhappy" is just a conditioned way of thinking in the mind, it is not who or what we really are... The mind also imposes the same qualities and judgments onto other people, perceiving this person or that person as "He is this or that", "He is good or bad", "He is happy or unhappy", but that is not who or what he really is...

Here's another example in life. While driving on the road, some of us "expect" the other drivers also drive according to the rules and regulations that we follow, and we get angry when other drivers didn't follow the rules and regulations like we do... And some of us know that and accept that other drivers might not be following the same rules and regulations as we do, we don't expect other drivers to drive like us, and we don't get angry when other drivers don't drive like us... We pay full attention on the road without expecting the other drivers on the road will follow all the rules and regulations like us...

We perform all our duties and responsibilities accordingly, but we do not expect other people will also be performing all their duties and responsibilities accordingly...

Love and peace to all of you. May all of you be free from the conditioned way of thinking in the mind.

Om shanti.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Asana practice - Padma bakasana, Kakasana, Titibasana

Asana practice - Padma Bakasana, Kakasana, Titibasana
Through the effort, concentration and perseverance while learning to come into any poses, it helps us to develop non-attachment towards the qualities of names and forms by letting go of judgment, comparison and expectation while practicing the asana poses.
Not identifying as the doer of actions nor the enjoyer of the fruit of actions.
Perform all our duties and renounce the fruit of actions.
Om shanti.













The practice of transition into Padma Bakasana, Kakasana and Titibasana...
 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Upcoming 2013 Yoga Retreats in Langkawi Malaysia

You are welcome to join any of the yoga retreats in Langkawi run by Marc and Meng Foong from Yoga Now Malaysia.

Here are some yoga retreats dates for 2013 in Langkawi Malaysia with Yoga Now.

January 21-24
January 26-29

February 1-4
February 6-9
February 14-17
February 19-22

March 1-4
March 6-9
March 11-14
March 16-19
March 20-23

April 5-8
April 10-13
April 15-18
April 20-23
April 25-28

May 3-6
May 8-11
May 13-16
May 18-21
May 23-26

June 1-4
June 6-9  
June 11-14
June 16-19
June 21-24
June 26-29

July 2-5
July 7-10
July 12-15
July 20-23
July 25-28

August 2-5
August 5-8
August 11-14
August 16-19
August 21-24
August 26-29

September 2-5
September 7-10
September 12-15
September 17-20
September 22-25
September 27-30

October 22-25
October 26-29

November 1-4
November 6-9
November 11-14
November 16-19
November 21-24

December 6-9
December 11-14
December 16-19
December 21-24
December 26-29

These are the standard 4 days 3 nights yoga retreats. We can arrange a longer retreat for you from 5 days 4 nights up to 14 days 13 nights.

Any other dates can be arranged to suit your holiday best. It is not necessarily has to be the dates mentioned here.

All retreats request is subject to availability.

We only receive maximum 6 people at the same time in all the retreats in Langkawi and maximum 12 people in retreats in overseas to ensure maximum attention for all participants.

Please email us at yoganow@hotmail.com for more details and booking.

YOGA NOW MALAYSIA

Friday, September 7, 2012

What does "friends" means on the path of compassion?

In the path of yoga and meditation or Buddhism or compassion, friendliness is part of our practice. But we might get confused as at the same time, we also always read or hear about the practice of seclusion or retreat from active sociable lifestyle, for any sincere Sadhakas to be able to go deeper into our yoga and meditation practice.

At some stage in our life, we will need to let go of our worldly duties and live a secluded life to concentrate on our own Sadhana.

Being "friendly" towards all beings on the path of compassion, is different from the worldly perception of what "friends" means. In the worldly perception or understanding, "friendships" might means getting to meet up with other people, to know and interact with other people, making and accumulating "friends" with those who can share with each other, to care for each other, to support each other, to hang out with, to spend time with, to do some activities with, to eat, drink, play and chat with, to cry and laugh with, somebody to talk to, somebody whom we can count on and lean on, to help each other during difficulties, to be there for each other during good and bad times, to celebrate or to mourn together... Or we can only be "friend" with people whom we like and agree with, and we cannot be "friend" with whom we don't like and disagree with... Or "friends" means those who have similar believes, thinking, point of view that can "work" or "do things" together... And, anyone who are not in these "categories" or if they are very different from us, then they are "not friends" or they are "enemies". There are conditions in looking for "friends" or being "friendly" towards another being.

We have attachment towards "friends" or "friendships". We have so much expectation towards what a "friend" or a "good friend" or a "true friend" should be like... Such like when something not very nice happens, we would likely to say this, "You are "my" friend, why you treat me like this? You shouldn't do this to me..." We'll get disappointed by "our" friends many times, but that disappointment is coming from our own expectation towards how "our" friends should behave or treat us. It is not coming from "our" friends being not nice or not friendly to us or not being a "friend" for us... If we like "our friends" very much, we enjoy the times being together, we will generate clinging and craving towards this "friend" or this "friendship"... If we don't like "our friends", we didn't enjoy the times being together, we will generate aversion towards this "friend" or this "friendship"...

In the path of compassion, yoga, meditation or Buddhism (all these different names and forms are not different from each other - it's all about realizing egolessness or selflessness to transcend "suffering"), "friendliness" towards all beings means not having any ill-will or hatred or discrimination towards all beings whether "good or bad" beings, "human or non-human" beings, without judgment, expectation, likes and dislikes, agreement or disagreement... We are able to be kind and compassionate towards all beings...

In another terms, all are "friends" to us, we are "friends" for all beings, whether beings I like or not, whether beings I agree with or not, whether beings I know or not, whether human or non-human beings, whether "good" or "bad" beings, there is no difference... And not limited to social "friends" whom we like, whom we agree with, whom we know, whom we spend time with, share life with, do things with, hang out with, get together with, chat with, eat with, drink with, adventure with, growth with, enjoy with, suffer with and so on...

It also means, it is not necessarily that there have to be some people in our life whom we can hang out with, do things with, share life with and so on, to have "friends", to be "friendly"...

And there is a greatest friend or "being" for us to love, to share with, to be there for good and bad times, is ourselves... But, how many of us know about this friend... We keep looking out for another being as "friend" who will love and care for us... And when we try to "love" ourselves, we tend to become selfish, only think and concern about our own feelings, desires and benefits... We "love" ourselves with selfishness which is the cause of our own unhappiness...

If we know this selfless "friend" who is there with us all the time, there is no loneliness whether we have "friends" or not...

That's why being "friendly" to all beings and live in seclusion is not contradict with one another on the path of compassion...

Some people get confused with or reject towards some teachings or advice coming from some great Gurus or Yogis or saints and sages in the past telling us about practice "friendliness" and be "friendly" towards all beings, but don't "mix" with people or don't "make friends", live a secluded life concentrate on performing our own Sadhana... What it means is, treat all beings equally, respect all beings, have no ill-will or hatred towards any beings, no differences or separation between those I categorized as "my friends" or "not my friends"...

All these great saints and sages, those who were living in the world, doing a lot of karma yoga (selfless service) serving the world, being with and dealing with different types of beings, they were friends to all beings, but they "didn't" desire to make or accumulate "friends" to spend time with, to hang out with, to do things with, to chat with, to eat and drink with, to play with, to enjoy with, to share with, to practice with, and so on... And yet they are sharing with all beings all the time, they are "friendly" towards all beings, close or far away, known or unknown, be seen or unseen, in actions or in inactions...

The practice of seclusion, it doesn't mean that we have no more friends and be lonely being alone by ourselves without any friends... But there is no loneliness and all are friends, without the "necessity" of having a so called "social life" which means having some "friends" or people whom we missed without their presence in our life, whom we want to spent time with or hang out with or do things with, for us to attain some sort of excitement or to remove unhappiness or loneliness... There is no distractions of anything that can cause restlessness... There is no vain talks, gossips, slandering, back-bitting, criticisms, judgments, discriminations, complaints, hypocrisy, lies, untruthfulness, politics, exploitations, and etc that generate disharmony in ourselves and in others...

Our Guru Swami Sivanandaji told us to be "care-less" in order to succeed in our Sadhana, it doesn't mean that we don't care for other beings, but it means "Care for all beings without attachment, without being disturbed, nor distracted, nor affected, nor influenced by other beings and social activities, which derives from knowing what is real "friendliness"... He also mentioned in his books or teachings repeatedly many times, about don't make or accumulate "friends" or do not mix, as one of the important observations in order to be succeed in meditation, it is not contradictory with the practice of "friendliness" and compassion at all, as "friendliness" and compassion is not about having a social life or accumulating "friends"... It is free from ill-will or hatred towards all beings whether they are "good" or "evil", whether we like them or not, agree with them or not, or whether they like us and agree with us or not...

Evil is "evil" as it appears to be opposite to what is "good and kind" to allow us to be justified as good and kind, and so, "evil" is not really evil... And "good" is not really good when there is hatred towards "evil" as hatred is associate with "evil"...

Of course, there is nothing wrong with having a "social life" and involved with "social activities" as long as there is no attachment... As social life and activities don't give us "distractions" unless we (the mind) are being distracted and influenced by them...

As we can be having many "friends" in life, but not necessarily that we are completely be free from ill-will or hatred towards other beings... By making and accumulating many "friends" also doesn't guarantee that we will be free from "loneliness" or we are being "friendly"...

We might be "friendly" towards those whom we like and agree with, but we might not necessarily be "friendly" towards those whom we dislike and disagree with, especially those whom we "think" that they are "bad" or "evil" or "wrong", those who are not nice and not kind to us and others, and those who hurt us and others physically or emotionally... Look at ourselves, how often that we are easily being disturbed or angry with somebody that we don't know personally, nor who comes in contact with us personally, but whom we "think" or "heard" that they are "bad and evil" beings who perform "bad and evil" actions but it is not necessarily the truth as what we think it is...

Restlessness, anxieties, agitation, depression, fear, worries, disturbs, troubles, conflicts, arguments, debates, anger, dissatisfaction, disappointment, violence, ill-will, energy deprivation, jealousy, envy, desires, distractions or lack of concentration that derives from worldly "social life" and "social activities" which are the main obstacles in the path of yoga and meditation, can be reduced to minimum when we practice seclusion from "social lifestyle" and yet living in the world performing actions serving the world without attachment and distractions... Especially those of us who are still easily being distracted, or disturbed, or influenced, or affected, or determined by other beings and social activities due to lack of non-attachment or detachment, lack of wisdom and compassion... As we are still being over-powered by ignorance, desires, craving and aversion and all other impurities like anger, hatred, greed, dissatisfaction, jealousy, pride, arrogance, fear, worry, expectation, and etc...

We can try to meditate everyday but still, our mind is restless, our ego is strong... We continue to experience suffering or unhappiness, and be miserable... We keep judging ourselves and others as good or bad... We keep having expectation towards ourselves and others about this and that... We still have ceaseless desires to be fulfilled, to be satisfied... Forever restless...

Until one day, when the ego and selfish desires have completely vanished, then there is no difference at all whether having an active social lifestyle or not, as by then we are no longer being distracted or influenced by anybody or anything, and we can mix freely with anybody whether positive or negative beings, active or inactive beings, wise or ignorant beings, happy or unhappy beings... We are always full of energy and yet be in calmness... We might be performing actions in life for other beings, but we also have time and space for our own Sadhana, not neglecting ourselves nor being distracted from perfoming our own Sadhana...

Not performing any actions for other beings doesn't mean that we didn't perform karma yoga as part of our practice. It's because by taking care of our own Sadhana is the greatest karma yoga selfless service being perform onto ourselves and will be benefiting other beings naturally, when we have peace and compassion in us.

Again, this practice is only an advice to those who are sincere to transcend "suffering", to be free from restlessness, discontentment, low self-esteem, anger, hatred, fear, worry, and etc...

Om shanti.

Be happy.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Free ourselves from anger and hatred, if we would like to contribute to world peace and harmony...

We cannot make or control or change the world to be peaceful as what we like it to be, but we can contribute to the effort for attaining/sustaining world peace and harmony, by having peace and harmony in ourselves, which means letting go of anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, pride, arrogance, agitation, depression, fear, worry and all other impurities in ourselves and stop generate impurities into the world... The world will be in peace and harmony naturally when everyone is peaceful and harmony in themselves...

It is like, we don't like the environment to be dirty with rubbish everywhere, we want a clean world, but we keep generating and throwing rubbish into the environment and we complain that the environment is dirty, full of rubbish?

How can we expect the world to be in peace and harmony when we ourselves are not in peace and harmony?

Why are we not in peace and harmony? It is because our ego has likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, craving towards what our ego likes and agrees with, aversion towards what our ego doesn't like and doesn't agree with... When this craving and aversion is not being gratified, when our ego comes in contact with the things that it doesn't like and doesn't agree with, and when our ego doesn't come in contact with the things that it likes and agrees with, it gets irritated, frustrated, disappointed, dissatisfied, unhappy and angry... The mind is in a state of restlessness... There is no peace, no compassion, no wisdom... Due to ignorance (absence of wisdom), not knowing the truth of things, we allow ourselves to be disturbed, affected, influenced and determined by our experiences in the world that our ego likes and doesn't like, agrees and disagrees with...

To help and to contribute to world peace and harmony, it is not necessarily by performing "actions" that try to "clean up" or get rid of the existing happenings that we think and judge as "bad" and "evil", but most important it is, we ourselves purifying the impurities in our own mind, have self-control over our own thoughts, actions and speech, and stop generating "impure" thoughts, actions and speech through our own body and mind... It is not about try to stop other people from performing "bad" and "evil" thoughts, actions and speech, or try to control and change other people to behave the way that we think they should be behaving, or to be the people that we want them to be...

When we ourselves are full of impurities, are being over-powered by our own impure thoughts, actions and speech, how can we expect or try to change the world to be free from impurities?

It is like, we don't like it when our clean shirt is spilled with some curry sauce, we'll get frustrated and upset, and we'll react by try to get rid of the curry sauce by wiping it with a clean cloth, with the intention to remove the stain... But, what happens is, the curry sauce on the clean shirt spreads out to a wider surface makes it more messy, as well as the clean cloth that is being used to "remove" the curry sauce is also stained by the curry sauce...

To avoid this, either we eat the curry with full attention and carefully to avoid spilling onto ourselves or other people (concentration and mindfulness), or we can enjoy eating curry with an apron over our clean shirt or wear a shirt that we don't mind if it will be stained (wisdom), or we don't mind at all if the clean shirt will be stained by some curry sauce, it doesn't matter if the shirt will be stained or not (accepting the reality as it is and non-attachment), or we can eat something else that doesn't stain or wash the shirt later on without getting frustrated by it (adjustment, accommodation, adaptation)...

There's another situation is like, we didn't eat curry, but the person beside us ate curry and spilled some curry sauce over our "favorite" shirt whether intentionally or unintentionally, and that's the time for us to practice accepting the reality as it is, forgiveness, letting go and compassion... We cannot undo something that had happened... Even if we express our dissatisfaction and frustration with anger and hatred, it won't undo what had happened, it won't help to make the situation to become better, it won't benefit anyone, not us, not the shirt, not the one who had spilled the curry sauce over our "favorite" shirt...

What we can do is, without frustration and unhappiness, we can see if the stain can be remove by some washing liquids... If it is possible, good, we can continue enjoy wearing our favorite shirt... If it is not possible, either we can let go of the stained shirt or we can continue to wear it even if there's a stain on it, treat it as a special design... Or donate the shirt to many countries where people don't even have a proper shirt to wear... Why bother getting upset about it, harming our own body and mind, for somebody's ignorant action whether intentionally or unintentionally?

If we continue to be angry and unhappy about it, know that this anger and unhappiness is not coming from the action of that person, nor it is coming from the incident about the shirt is stained by some curry sauce... It is coming from our own ego attached strongly to that shirt, it is the attachment towards this is "my favorite shirt", that has caused that anger and unhappiness in us... Imagine if that shirt is just a shirt that we don't mind so much, we won't be as angry as the one which is "my favorite shirt"... It is our own attachment towards the things that we like, that causes us unhappiness, it is not what is happening, or what other people do...

If somebody's things are being damaged by accident or by carelessness or by natural disaster, we won't be reacting the same way as if it is "my" things that are being damaged... It is the attachment towards "I", "my" and "mine" that has caused us unhappiness, anger and hatred...

"This is my world, my country, my people, my family, my friends, my partner, my children, my house, my car, my shirts, my things, my jobs, my reputation, my feelings, my money, my effort, my intention, my students, my teacher, my practice, my achievements, my thinking, my opinions, my believe, my rights, my freedom, my success, my failure, my sadness, my happiness, my way of doing things, it's all about my, my, my..." But when come to something happens and we are not happy about it, it will become "You this... you that... he this... he that...they this... they that..."

Yoga and meditation practice is to allow us to realize the truth of what causes us unhappiness and suffering, and start to take full responsibility for our own happiness and unhappiness... It is not the world making us unhappy or unpeaceful... It is our own selves, our attachment, our ego, our pride and arrogance, our ignorance that cause us unhappiness and unpeacefulness...

The world is not a suffering place nor a happy place... The world is just being what it is... It is our own mind being in a state of suffering due to ignorance, and we project the world as a suffering place...

If everyone can look within ourselves and work on removing ignorance in ourselves, purifying our own thoughts, actions and speech, and stop trying to control other people's good and bad actions (you should do this and you should not do this), naturally the world will be benefited and be peaceful and harmony...

By stop generating impure vibrations into the world, the world will be free from impurities, and there is no need actions of "cleaning up"... As actions of "cleaning up" are not necessarily helping the world to be peaceful but it might be generating more unrest, anger and hatred... Especially "actions" that derived or motivated from anger and hatred towards the happenings and people that we think they are the cause for our suffering and unhappiness, will not help the world to be better but it generates more tensions and clashes into the world causing more anger, hatred and disharmony...

How can we expect the world to be a happy peaceful place if we ourselves are not happy and not peaceful, being over-powered and occupied by resentment, anger, hatred, dissatisfaction and disappointment?

We think and judge ourselves as "good people". We think and judge those who are different from us, who don't think and behave like us are "bad people". We have strong aversion towards all these "bad people" and "bad happenings". We are angry and hating these "bad people" and "bad happenings". We think we "own" this world, that this world "belongs" to us (the "good people") and we want "our" world to be free from all these "bad people" and "bad happenings"... And we try to perform some actions that can get rid of all these "bad people" and "bad happenings"... With the expectations that the world will become as "clean" and "nice" as what we want it to be...

We think that it is the world being not peaceful that makes or causes us disharmony and unpeacefulness, that our suffering and unhappiness is contributed by the "bad happenings" and "bad people" in the world. We think that we are "good people" who "do" many "good actions", "don't do" any "bad actions" and we deserve to be happy and peaceful, but those (the "bad people") who are different from us don't deserve to be happy and don't deserve to be in this world...

We felt disappointed, mistreated, betrayed, hurt, disturbed and threatened by "bad" people and happenings that we don't like, don't want and don't agree with... We think they (the bad people) should be punished or disappeared from "our" world, so that we can be peaceful and happy, or "our" world will be peaceful and harmony...?

All these "judgments" and "thinkings" coming from our own minds, make us not any different from the "bad people" who we think and judge that they are "bad"... What make us qualified to judge them as "bad people" when we are not different from them? And if we are perfect and qualified to judge anyone, we won't be judging anyone anymore...

We cannot change the world to be the way that we want it to be, but we can contribute to help the world to be a better place by changing ourselves...

Stop having anger and hatred, but fill ourselves and the environment with peace and compassion... Real peace and compassion is free from anger and hatred, free from discrimination, likes and dislikes, agreement and disagreement... If we think that we are compassionate people who try to make the world a better place, but we are angry and hating the "bad" people and happenings that we think they are the cause of the world's suffering and unpeacefulness, then that is not compassion at all...

Compassion is when we are aware of what is good and what is bad, we do good and don't do bad, but we accept that there are other beings that are different from us, who might not do good and might do bad... This doesn't mean that we agree with them or support them... But we don't have to be affected or disturbed by them... We don't have to get angry and have hatred towards them as this is only harming our own body and mind, but doesn't help to improve anything nor will stop them from doing what they are doing...

Out of wisdom, we know that some beings don't do good and do bad, are due to ignorance, and they are in suffering. They are not peaceful and not happy, that's why they reluctant to do good, and they do bad to try to attain some sort of excitement, happy sensations or satisfaction, to get rid of suffering, dissatisfaction and unhappiness...

Out of compassion, we are compassionate towards these beings that are over-powered by ignorance and who are in suffering...

We cannot change other people or control them to be the way that we want them to be, or to behave the way that we want them to behave... Everyone has to realize peace and compassion within themselves, remove ignorance and change themselves...

Ask ourselves, how do we feel and react, when somebody doesn't like us the way that we are, doesn't agree with what we think and do, and this person try to control or change us to be the way that he/she wants us to be? We won't be happy... Especially if this person is full of anger and hatred towards us, shouting at us, beating us, just because he/she wants us to be the way that he/she wants... We will fight back with resentment...

We can only change ourselves... When we ourselves changed and have love, peace, wisdom and compassion, then only we can help the world with this unconditional peace and compassion to help other beings to realize the unconditional love, peace, wisdom and compassion in themselves through their own effort and own will to change themselves, to free themselves from ignorance and suffering... When they are free from ignorance and suffering, when they are in peace and harmony, they will be naturally not doing any actions that will cause harm and disharmony into the world...

If we are peaceful and truly compassionate, we won't be affected nor disturbed nor influenced by other people's ignorance and suffering, and out of compassion and with wisdom, we can help them, by helping them to realize their own ignorance and be free from suffering... Without the expectation that they will be benefited by our "actions of helping", nor they will change due to our "actions of helping", nor they will be grateful or thankful for our "actions of helping"... Just perform our "actions of helping" and let go... Perform all our actions out of compassion, and not attach to our actions, not attach to the result or the fruit of our actions...

If we are being affected or disturbed or influenced by other people's ignorance and suffering, we cannot help anyone, as we ourselves are over-powered by ignorance and are in suffering... We cannot help the world to be free from anger and hatred when we ourselves is full of anger and hatred... We cannot help the world to be peaceful when we ourselves is not in peace...

When we are angry and unhappy, it is our own responsibility allowing ourselves to be over-powered by anger and unhappiness that derive from our own ignorance - not knowing the truth of things. It is not the people or the happenings out there that cause us anger and unhappiness... It is our ego, our pride and arrogance, our attachment towards the qualities of good and bad, our ignorance that cause us being miserable, upset, disappointed, frustrated, angry, hating, agitated, disturbed, depressed and so on... We were being conditioned and controlled by our own craving and aversion... It is this craving and aversion coming from our ego that causes us suffering, disappointment, unpeacefulness and unhappiness...

If we ever feel disrespected or insulted or intimidated by somebody's speech, actions, reactions, opinions, behavior, conducts, believes, performance or personality, it is coming from our own ego, pride and arrogance which exists side by side with low self-esteem...

For example, if i hear or read about some opinions that my ego doesn't like or doesn't agree with, there will be some reactions coming from my ego...
Either my ego will choose to :
- Attach to it and try to do something about it, but being unpeaceful, full of frustration and anger, be disturbed and affected by it...
- Or attach to it and try to do something about it, but peacefully without being disturbed by it...
- Or not attach to it and let it go, be in peace undisturbed by it, as everyone has their freedom to express their opinions which are different from or contradict with my opinions...

It is up to myself, my own choice and responsibility, if the ego choose to be disturbed and be unhappy or frustrated about something that it doesn't like and cannot agree with, and make a huge debate or drama out of it, trying to convince and prove that my opinions are superior, better and "right", and any other opinions that are contradicted and different from mine are inferior, less good and "wrong"...

Or I can be aware that my ego doesn't like it and cannot agree with it, I don't have to force myself to like it or agree with it, but I can respect and allow any other opinions that are different from mine to be co-exist with my opinions in this universe... I don't own or possess this universe, I respect and allow all and everything that is different from my way of thinking, opinions, speech, actions, reactions, behavior, conducts, believes, performance or personality to be exist in this same space of the universe along with "me" and "my" way of everything...

Or I can be aware that my ego doesn't like it and cannot agree with it, I don't have to force myself to like it or agree with it, but out of compassion, without getting unhappy or frustrated, I can do my best to share my opinions with the world, as I believe my opinions might can help the world to improve, to be better, but without the expectation that the world will be improved or changed to be the way that I think it should be...

Why upset ourselves, hurting and harming our own body and mind by somebody's opinions and behaviors that my ego doesn't like or doesn't agree with? I did the "good' and "right" thing and didn't do anything "bad" or "wrong" according to what I believe is good or bad, right or wrong, but why do I allow myself to be hurt and harmed by other people's opinions and behaviors that are according to what my mind believes is bad or wrong?

We cannot force anyone to be the same like us... We cannot expect other people to behave the same way like us... We cannot change or control other people to think, speak, act and react the same way like us...

If we ever felt angry and disappointed by somebody's behavior, we are actually being angry and disappointed by our own expectation towards other people, that we expect them to be behaving like this or like that... When they don't behave the way according to what we think they should be behaving, we get angry and unhappy... It is not the behavior of the people that has disappointed us or made us angry... We are selfish... We want to control everything to be the way that we like it to be...

We were hurt, upset and disappointed by our own selfishness and ignorance, when we try to control or change other people to think, to speak, to behave, to act, to react the way that we would like or want them to think, to speak, to behave, to act, to react... And if they don't, we will feel hurt, upset and disappointed... And this turn into frustration and anger... We get frustrated and angry, being agitated and unhappy, thinking that it is other people's "misbehavior" that is disturbing us and is causing us unhappiness and unpeacefulness, and want to make or change or control other people to behave the way that we like and agree with... And we'll get more frustrated and unhappy as we cannot control or change anyone other than changing ourselves...

We are hurt and disappointed by our own selfishness as we cannot allow other people to be different from us... We want "our" world to be the way that we want it to be... We "expect" other people also will have the same ideas and desires for the world to be "the way that we like it to be"... When other people don't show co-operation to make the world the way that we want it to be, we get frustrated, angry and hating towards these people that we think they are "selfish" because they don't want to give support to our "mission", or they don't go along with our "brilliant" ideas and believes... We ourselves is being selfish but we judge other people who are different from us and disagree with us as selfish beings...

Do our best for what we think is "good" and "right", and let it go... Have peace, be in peace and share this peace without expecting the world will become peaceful... Allow the result of our "good" and "right" action to come by itself and to be what it is... Stop being angry and hating towards what we think is "not good" and "not right"... Peace will be there when we stop generating resentment and restlessness into the world... The world will be in peace by itself naturally, when we have peace in ourselves...

This is compassion... Just like the sun, the air, the water, the earth and the space... They are always performing the action of giving, providing and supporting to all beings to be exits in the universe... But they have no intention to be giving, no discriminations, no likes and dislikes, no craving and aversion, no anger and hatred, no judgments, no comparisons, no expectations, no identification as the doer of the actions and the enjoyer of the actions, no attachment towards all actions and the fruit of actions...


Real compassion is unconditional...

There's no anger or hatred, no disappointment or unhappiness, if we are truly compassionate...

We will be compassionate towards all beings whether wise or ignorant, rich or poor, good or evil, young or old, happy or unhappy, pure or impure, beings that we agree or disagree with, beings that we like or dislike, no differences...

Be kind and compassionate towards all beings including ourselves is also one of the beings...

Be free from anger and hatred is being kind and compassionate towards ourselves... If we can't even be kind and compassionate towards ourselves, how can we be kind and compassionate towards other beings, and how can we expect other beings to be kind and compassionate towards us?

Forgive ourselves and accept ourselves for being imperfect... Forgive others and accept others for being imperfect... This is compassion towards all beings...

We don't have to agree with "evil and wrong" doings... We are not supporting "evil and wrong" doings... But we don't have to be angry and hating towards evil doings...

Anger and hatred cannot dissolve anger and hatred... Anger and hatred can only be dissolved in compassion... Without compassion, there's no real peace and happiness as we will always be disturbed by what we don't like and disagree with...

Be happy.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Living in the present moment...

There were many times we were being asked this question, "What will you be doing when you are not teaching (yoga retreats or yoga classes)?"

I have no specific answer for that question. As I (the mind/the ego) am living in the present from moment to moment and allowing everything to flow naturally as it comes.

Ever since I practice being in the present moment until it becomes a natural way of life for me, I never think about what I "will" do "if" I am not doing what I am doing "now".

I let go of expectations or anticipations of what is coming, nor do I have to be doing "something" when I am not doing what I am doing now...

Once someone asked me out of care and curiosity, "What are you going to do when you don't or can't teach yoga anymore?" I said to her, "I never think about it. I don't have to think about it. But surely I will know what to do when that happens... One thing for sure, is that everything is impermanent..."

Our guests also liked to ask us out of care and curiosity, "What are you doing when you are not teaching?" I said to them, "I don't know. But surely there is always something to do when we are not teaching and it is not necessarily that we have to be doing "something" all the time..."

It is not like I can only do my own practice when I am not teaching classes, as teaching classes is also part of the yoga practice...

Some people asked, "What do you do when you are not practicing yoga?" For me, there is no separation of life and yoga... Everything that the mind perceives through the senses of what it sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches and thinks, is part of the yoga practice... Whenever the mind comes in contact with the objects of the senses, there is yoga practice... Letting go of craving and aversion, being at peace not being affected, nor disturbed, nor influenced, nor determined by all the experiences that the body and the mind is experiencing from moment to moment...

There is not a single moment that I am separated from yoga. Maybe I spent a few specific hours a day doing some asana and meditation practice, but there is no difference at all when I am not doing asana and meditation practice in the other hours... I am practicing yoga when I am driving, when I am walking, when I am eating, when I am resting, when I am playing, being in the present moment, accepting the reality of the present moment now as it is, from moment to moment...

Maybe I do have other things to do other than "teaching yoga" when my body and mind is not engaging in running and teaching yoga retreats and classes, but it all depends on that present moment what it will likely to be... There were times we wanted to do something but it was not possible at that moment, and so, we had to try again some other time... There were many times that we didn't plan to do anything special, but things happened accordingly and we ended up doing something unexpectedly... And we were enjoying every moment of it.

Ever since practicing awareness of being in the present moment, I stopped projecting or anticipating what I "will be" doing when I am not doing what I am doing "now"... Or what I "will be" experiencing, or what I "will" become... I am what I am, and every moment is changing... I don't even need to expect myself to be better than what I am now, or be more peaceful than what I am now, or be more strong and flexible than what I am now, as I accept myself as I am in the present moment now as it is, and I allow impermanence or changes to happen, and I accept all the changes as it is from moment to moment... I am not determined by the condition of my body or the state of my mind... I do not identify with the impermanent changing good and bad qualities of the body and mind... I am what I am. I don't have to look for peacefulness, as I am peaceful. I don't have to get rid of suffering, as suffering doesn't exist by knowing the truth of "suffering". I don't have to be good or bad, as I am neither good nor bad...

For me, "teaching yoga" is not separated from everyday life routines. It is like everything else that my body and mind might be experiencing in life from moment to moment, like seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling and thinking, it is not a "thing" that I do or don't do. Sometimes certain experiences are there and in other time these experiences are not there. And all these experiences are impermanent, constantly changing, including "teaching yoga" or myself "practicing yoga"...

It is like, the awareness is aware of the mind is now seeing and enjoying a beautiful scenery in front of it, and of course this will change, either the mind perception or position will change, or the scenery will change even if the perception or position still the same... And the mind is being in the present, it doesn't project what it is going to experience in the next moment when it is finished seeing and enjoying this scenery... If that is happening, it means that the mind is no longer being in the present, nor seeing or enjoying the beautiful scenery that is in front of it now, but being busy anticipating and imagining what is going to be its other "experiences" other than this one in the present moment.

And so, surely I can give any answers that I want to give, and don't mind at all if that is not really what I want to do, or whether it will be exactly what I am going to do or not... As I know about the law of impermanence. There is nothing wrong with giving an answer about "what next" with the perception of the present moment now and what I think that is going to be, and at the same time, allowing the reality to be what it is even though it is not what we thought it could be... This way, there will be no disappointment at all when things don't turn out the way that we would like it to be...

Whether I am "busy" with teaching yoga, or having the "free time" not teaching yoga retreats or classes, I still live life the same, and being what I am, how I am and where I am... Whether I am here or somewhere else, doing the same things or something different, I am what I am...

The point is, when we (the mind/the ego) stop project into the future and stop limiting what we should be doing and not doing, the opportunity for doing anything is so unlimited, it can be anything beyond our knowledge, imagination and expectation... Why do we limit ourselves by restricting ourselves to some fixed "ideas", "plannings", "schemings", "anticipations" and "expectations"?

I am not a different person or am I doing something different whether I am being busy with teaching yoga retreats and classes, or not. Every moment, I am practicing yoga. I am teaching yoga, I am sharing yoga, whether I am teaching yoga retreats or classes, or not. Peace and compassion is not just exists in certain conditions or time and space. Peace and compassion exists everywhere and every moment. Whether towards other beings or towards my own self (this body and this mind)... Peace and compassion is here every moment...

I (the mind/the ego) don't think or feel that I need to do something different or special when I am not teaching, nor I can do certain things only when I am not teaching. Maybe the body and the mind can only be engaged with certain activities at one time, but I am appreciating every moment that the body and mind is doing and not doing at that moment... Such like, I am not able to be in another place when I am being here. But I accept that in this present moment now, I am here and not somewhere else...

And this is yoga. This is meditation. Training the mind to be in the present moment. Accepting the reality of the present moment now as it is, not necessarily the way that we want or like it to be, or the way that we think it should be... And not attach to this present moment either as even this present moment now, is impermanent, it is changing, and we allow impermanence or changes to happen, and accept all the changes as they are, accept the reality of everything as it is... And without the identification as the doer of the actions or the enjoyer of the fruit of the actions. It is just the body and the mind experiencing all these experiences. But "I" (the observer or the witness) am aware of the body and the mind is experiencing impermanent qualities of names and forms from moment to moment, and this awareness of being the observer or the witness is not being affected nor contaminated by all these impermanent experiences...

It is not about being a superhuman that have superpower to control things or to change things to be the way that we want or like it to be...

Even the enlightened beings didn't try to change the world... If they did, the world would be free from suffering and be in peace now...

I don't need to be intentionally plan to teach anybody at what time and what place... But it will come into an organized time and place naturally, without expectations, if that is suppose to happen, it will happen...

Every moment, "I" observe or witness what the body and the mind is experiencing, whether it is seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling, thinking, teaching, practicing, eating, drinking, driving, cleaning, writing, reading, organizing, sleeping, walking, sitting, standing, playing, bathing, shitting, and etc... "I" am not looking forward for the body and the mind to experience something that it is not experiencing now... But "I" allow all the experiences to come naturally by itself as it is... "I" am not associate with the body and mind, nor controlling what the body and mind is experiencing from moment to moment....

Even if I (the body and the mind) have the time to go to the toilet now, but I still have to wait for the body to be ready to pee or pass motion naturally... If there is dis-functioning of the elimination system, even if I want to pee, it won't happen...

If I planned to do something next week or next month, bought a ticket to go somewhere, but if there is some changes in the present moment now that the plan needs to be changed, I allow that change to be what it is according to the present moment now. Maybe it will change back into the original plan or change into something else or it won't happen at all... I just let it be...

Maybe in certain moments my body and my mind is engaged in certain activities, and in some other moments there are no activities at all, but there is no differences whether my body and mind is being busy with many activities or being free without any activities... I appreciate when there are activities as well as when there are no activities. I don't have to be "doing" something when I am free, and I am not looking forward to be free by not doing anything when I am busy...

I don't complain when I am busy nor when I am not busy...

I don't need to wait until holidays to enjoy my life nor I cannot enjoy life without having any holidays... I don't need to do something special or go somewhere special to enjoy life... Everything that I do or don't do, wherever I am or am not, I enjoy every moment of it...

I am content and at peace wherever I am and whatever I am doing and not doing.

Maybe in this present moment now, I might need to organize some activities for the upcoming retreats. But that "action" of organizing something for the upcoming retreats, is in the present moment now... I am still living in the present moment, from moment to moment.

If my mind starts to think about "What I am going to do next if I am not doing what I am doing now", then my mind will be projecting into the future, imagining and anticipating what I shall be doing or not doing in the next moment... The mind is wandering to the future projecting "things" or "actions" that don't exist at all. If I have no awareness of what is happening, and if I identified with the thinking process in the mind, then I am no longer being in the present moment anymore. I will be lost in the projections, imaginations and anticipations of something that is not existing at all.

It is the same when our mind is thinking about something that had happened in the past... If I identified with the thinking process in the mind, I am no longer being in the present moment, but I am lost in the past memories, and continue being affected, influenced, disturbed or determined by something that had happened in the past but doesn't exist in the present moment now... For example I might be thinking about somebody's hurtful actions in the past, and start to feel angry and upset for that past experience that doesn't exist in the present moment now, and making myself miserable and unpeaceful in the present moment... Merely wasting energy drowning ourselves in past experiences or memories...

That's why if we (the mind/the ego) are able to live in the present moment now, nothing can continue to upset us or make us unhappy. It is our own responsibility if we allow the past memories or experiences to continue to affect us, disturb us, influence us or determine us...

By having the awareness that is being aware of the mind is wandering to the future, projecting, imagining and anticipating about this and that, that awareness is in the very present moment. This awareness is different from the thinking process. It is observing or witnessing the thinking process... It is observing or witnessing the mind is thinking about something in the past or the future. The objects of the thinking process might be something coming from the past or the future, but, this awareness of being aware of the mind is thinking about something in the past or the future, it is not in the past nor in the future, it is in the very present moment now. Unless I haven't developed or connected with this awareness yet, then I am not being in the present moment whenever my mind starts projecting into the next moment, being in the future, or has gone to the past memories, being in the past... Constantly being determined, affected, disturbed or influenced by something that doesn't exist in the present moment now, and full of fear and worry...

Living in the present moment, I am allowing everything to be existing and non-existing whether it is something that my mind agrees or disagrees with, likes or doesn't like. I am allowing everything to come and go naturally...

Just like watching the sky, allowing all the changes in the sky to happen from moment to moment, without craving or aversion towards something that is not existing in the present moment, nor clinging or aversion towards something that is existing in the present moment. If it is sunny, let it be sunny... If it is cloudy, let it be cloudy... If it is rainy, let it be rainy... And not try to control or change sunny day to be cloudy day, nor change rainy day to be sunny day... As we (the mind/the ego) are never satisfied with what it is... We are always looking for something that is different from what it is...

I stop saying to people, "How did you feel?", "How was the class?", "This will be what you are going to become...", "This will be how you are going to experience and feel...", "This will be where you are going to be..." but in most conversations, I am more likely to say, "This is what we are doing now...", "This is how we are now...", "This is where we are now...".

Just take a look at our usual conversations with anybody that we come in contact with. Except for the first universal greeting sentence, "How are you?" which is being in the present, and the rest of the conversations are about the past or the future...

It seems like our mind is being conditioned by what the world has been "teaching" us. Whether it is to show interests or care towards other people, or mainly being busybody, it has became a social interaction, politeness or culture to ask anybody about "What have been happening to you, what have you done, where have you been, how did you feel, how and where did both of you meet, when did you start practicing yoga, when did you start teaching yoga, or what you are going to do, where you are going to, what you are going to become in the future, what is your future planning... and etc", to show that "I care about you", "I want to know about you", or else if we don't ask these questions when we meet somebody, it is being perceived as "impoliteness or rude or unfriendly or insociable" or "I don't care about you", "I don't want to know about you"...

But all these conversations are nothing but talking about the past or the future, empowering the past experiences or memories which are not the reality of the present moment now, clinging onto the past experiences, and projecting, imagining and anticipating about the future, which they both don't exist at all in the present moment. There is not a moment that we are being in the present moment, enjoying what is here in the present moment... The action of the conversation is in the present moment, but the subjects of the conversations are always from the past or the future... And the more we involve with such conversations, the harder it is for us to be in the present moment, to be free from anxiety, fear and worry that arise when the mind wanders to the past memories and future projections, anticipations and imaginations...

It seems like there is nothing to talk about without talking about the past and the future... That's why silence is the ultimate truth... Meditation is the mind entering silence. There is no past, no future, no dualities, no perception of names and forms...

If we had a strong heated conversation in the day, then at night when we want to take rest, all the contents of the conversation will bubble up on the surface of the mind making the mind restless and difficult to fall asleep...

Thank you for those who care and ask us this question as this inspires me to reflect upon the teaching about "living in the present moment"... And share this blog post with you who are reading this now.

In most time, there is nothing more to say, just being in the present moment... Whatever we are seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and thinking are just being what they are... There is no judgment, no comparison, no expectation, no craving, no aversion... Peace in ourselves and peace to all...

This might seems to be "anti-socialism" in the eyes or the perception of the society, but take a look at the truth in most conversations, which mostly generating most of the restlessness, misunderstanding, complications, gossips, slandering, criticisms, judgments, comparisons, expectations, exploitations, disappointment, anxiety, fear, worry, depression, anger, agitation, hatred, jealousy, back-bitting, and etc..."

Speak less if possible, conserving energy for contemplating upon the truth and higher realization... If we need to speak, may it be speech that leads towards the truth, peace and harmony. Even though most of the time, truthfulness is not welcome, and the truth is not something that our mind or ego can agree with, nor something that our mind or ego likes and wants it to be...

Sometimes we are exhausting ourselves by engaging in too many activities that we think we should be doing for the sake of yoga, humanity or compassion. But by the end of the day, we are exhausted by too much worldly activities and neglecting our own over-all well-being... Even Buddha also would have his own time, not going out on the street to spread Dharma all the time, not meeting anyone, not talking, not performing any worldly activities or so called duties and responsibilities, and take rest... Even Guruji also will have time to play and rest... Who says playing and resting is not part of yoga and meditation practice? Being present while playing, being present while resting... Those who don't know about this, they are always "doing" something to keep themselves busy, but not necessarily being in the present...

Again, this practice of living in the present moment (non-attachment, letting go of the past and the future) is only an advice for those who are sincerely in search for peace... Anybody can do what they want to do, say what they like to say and be happy with the way that they are...

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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