be free, be happy, be peaceful

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

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Watching the ego, every moment...

Sometimes we might say this, "I want my teacher to be like this with such and such "image" and "qualities" that I like and agree with... I don't want my teacher to be like that with such and such "image" and "qualities" that I don't like and don't agree with..."

And, "I want my teacher to teach me the way that I want to be taught or like to be taught..."

Or as a teacher we might say this, "I want to teach the way that I want to be taught or like to be taught..."

Can we "see" how the ego plays in these "thoughts expressions"?

It is all about "me" or "I", "What I want" and "What I like"...

A student comes to a teacher to learn something from the teacher, but the student is expecting the teacher to "meet up with" his expectation about how the teacher should teach and what to teach? Or else, he will judge and criticize about this teacher is a "bad" teacher...

Knowing that we need to learn about something from somebody whom we have not known yet, we will have an intention to look out for a teacher... But, naturally we will start judging the teacher from his "appearance", his "speech", his "character", his "background", his "lineage", his "teachers", his "experience", his "success", his "name and fame", his "qualifications", his "knowledge", his "poise", his "way" of teaching, or his "way" of doing things, before we "choose" him and "accept" him as our teacher, because we would like to have a "good" teacher... We are "judging" this person/teacher whether he is "qualified" and "good enough" to teach us or not...? We are trying to find a teacher that fit into our "imagination", "standard" or "expectation" about how a "good" teacher should be like, or "the type of teacher" that we like to have... Or maybe the teacher is also looking at the student whether this person/student is "qualified" enough to learn from him or not? The teacher is trying to find a student that fit into his "imagination", "standard" or "expectation" about how a "good" student should be like, or "the type of student" that he likes to have...

Hmmm...

It seems like we think we "know" more than what we think anybody knows (and among these people that we "judge", is the person who we will choose to be our teacher)... That's why we are so arrogant to think that we are "knowledgeable" enough to judge whether anyone is, or will be a good teacher or not... If so, how come we still need to look out for a teacher, if we think we "know" more than all these people out there when we start "judging" them?

If we are sincere and humble, we will see everyone and everything as our teachers, and we will respect all teachers without any judgment and expectation, and not "categorizing" and "labeling" them as "good" or "bad" teachers... We will take the teacher as he is and accept the teacher as he is, even if he is not the way that we think he should be...

If we truly know what is humility, it is also because we have found the greatest teacher above all, our higher Self... But not everyone has met this teacher yet, and still searching for a teacher or teachers...

There is no good or bad about the way of how the teachers teach, there is only whether the students are being humble and open-minded, or being proud and arrogant, and closed-minded...

As the one who is truly humble and open-minded will not criticize about anyone or anything, especially his teachers... And since all is his teachers, there is nobody or nothing to be criticized about...

And as a teacher, if he is humble and compassionate enough, he won't be judging the students as "good" or "bad" students, nor judging himself as "good" or "bad" teacher... And if the teacher is humble and wise, he won't be affected nor determined by how the students "judge" him, whether the judgment is "positive" or "negative", "praise" or "condemn"...

If the teacher is selfless, he is not identified with the image or identity as a "teacher", not to say the tags or labels of "good" and "bad"... He is not attached to his action of teaching, and is not attached to the fruit of his action of teaching...

Watching our ego, every moment...

Watch out, when we have this idea of "I am a good teacher" or "I am a good student" or "I am a good person", or "I want to be (acknowledged as) a good teacher" or "I don't want to be (acknowledged as) a bad teacher"... So much judgment coming from ourselves judging ourselves... When in yoga, we are supposed to be practicing letting go of all judgments and identifications to know what is selflessness...

To whom, we are good? To whom, we are bad? In whose standard, we are good? In whose standard, we are bad? Judge by what? Judge by whom? The universe doesn't judge anyone, who are we to judge ourselves or anyone, or to be judged?

Be happy.

Om shanti.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Yoga retreat and guided tour in Tamilnadu South India with Marc and Meng Foong, December 1 - 9, 2012


We will be running an intensive yoga retreat in Tamilnadu South India by the end of the year from December 1 - 9, 2012. 

Limited to maximum 12 participants only.

Anyone who is interested please contact us for more details at yoganow@hotmail.com.

Om shanti,

Marc and Meng Foong 

欢迎你们参加马克和明凤在印度南部塔米尔纳杜12月1-9日所举办的南印度瑜珈之旅。任何有兴趣的人,请与我们联络yoganow@hotmail.com以了解更多详情
只限制最多12人。


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Who is practicing yoga and meditation?

The one who needs to perform yoga practice and meditation is the impure restless mind... If the mind is free from impurities and restlessness, there is no need of any yoga practice or meditation to act as purification "tools" to "purify" any impurities or to "calm down" any restlessness in the mind, as there is none...

The one who has no self-control needs to develop "self-control" to control itself... But the one who is already self-controlled doesn't need any act of "self-control" to control itself...

The mind is not peaceful and is not pure, and thus it needs yoga practices and meditation to be peaceful and to remove impurities.

The mind is affected and influenced by impurities and ignorance, and thus the mind needs to be free from impurities and ignorance.

The mind is affected and influenced by energy and elements, and thus it needs to be purified and be controlled through choosing what types of inputs or influences that have certain types of energy and elements...

The mind is experiencing restlessness, dissatisfaction, low confidence, unhappiness, fear, worry and is suffering, and thus the mind needs to attain peace, contentment, confidence, happiness, to be free from fear and worry, and to be liberated from suffering...

The mind needs spiritual practice such like yoga practice and meditation to be peaceful, to be pure, to feel good and be good, to be positive, to be happy and to be liberated...

The mind is affected or disturbed or determined by whatever it perceives through the senses. It is affected or disturbed or determined by what it sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches and thinks... But our true nature is not affected nor disturbed nor determined by all the names and forms that the mind is experiencing or perceiving from moment to moment...

If there is no mind, there is no perception of names and forms, there is no world, there is no happiness and suffering, there is no good and evil, there is no positive and negative, there is no liberation and non-liberation...

Our true nature is always peaceful, unconditional, unchanging, and is beyond qualities of dualities (it is neither pure nor impure, neither good nor bad, neither positive nor negative), it doesn't need any spiritual practice like yoga practice or meditation to make it pure and good, or to make it peaceful, or to make it positive, or to make it happy, or to give it liberation...

Our true nature is unaffected nor influenced by energy and elements, and thus energy and elements have no influence power to influence or contaminate or change what it is...

The sentence about "We" need to practice yoga and meditation to attain purity, wisdom, compassion, peace, and to be liberated from unhappiness and suffering, is just the mind (As "we" are identified with the mind, and so, "we" need to practice yoga and meditation to attain liberation or peace...).

Those who realize the Truth and know their true nature, and have gone beyond the mind, they don't need to perform any yoga practice or meditation to attain "anything", as the true nature is all peace, and it is beyond all the qualities of pure and impure, good and evil, positive and negative, happiness and unhappiness... It is not tainted and not contaminated by any qualities of dualities in the mind, which is not "us", and thus it doesn't matter the mind is pure or impure, positive or negative, good or evil, happy or unhappy, it has nothing to do with our true nature...

Our true nature doesn't need to be purified... It doesn't need to be good or do good or feel good... It doesn't need to be peaceful and happy... It doesn't need to be positive or strong... It doesn't need to develop wisdom and compassion...

Our true nature is not bound by the existence of birth and death, which is subject to impermanence of the qualities of names and forms, in which suffering derives from, and thus there is no suffering, and so, it doesn't need to attain any "liberation" at all...

Our true nature is not affected, nor influenced, nor disturbed, nor determined, nor tainted by good and evil, positive and negative energy, actions and inactions that come from the body and the mind... And thus it is not bound by all these things, or objects, or experiences, or names and forms that are related to this life existence with the functions of the mind and the body...

Realize our true nature of who we really are, and we will realize that there is no need to perform any spiritual practice to be liberated... And there is no "I" in our true nature... There is no "I" am experiencing "this and that"... There is no "I" am good or evil... There is no "I" am positive or negative... There is no "I" am pure or impure... There is no "I" am happy or suffering... There is no "I" am peaceful or not peaceful... There is no "I" am performing actions or inactions... There is no "I" am enjoying the fruit of "my" actions or inactions... There is no "I" am liberated or not liberated...

This "I" is the mind, the ego... And it is not "us"...

As long as we are still identified with the body and the mind, and attached to this life existence as "I" and "All that "I" am experiencing, performing actions and inactions, and enjoying the fruit of "my" actions and inactions...", then "we" need all these spiritual practice such like yoga and meditation to be liberated from ignorance, impurities, restlessness and suffering... As this "we" is the mind.

The body and the mind will be benefited from the yoga practice and meditation, to be healthy and peaceful... But, our true nature doesn't need any benefits from the yoga practice and meditation. It is all peace, without birth, changes, growth, old age, illness and death...

By bringing the body and the mind to perform yoga practice and meditation, is being kind and compassionate towards our body and mind... When our body and mind is in harmony in peace due to the effect of the yoga practice and meditation, this naturally will be benefiting the world as there is less a being in the world to generate disharmony into the world due to being unpeaceful and unhappy...

Om shanti.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Keep practice...

A yoga student was very excited coming into headstand after practicing regularly and told his teacher, "Teacher, I can stand on my head now!"

The teacher asked him, "Are you now free from anger, desires and worries?"

The student answered, "Not really..."

The teacher compassionately said to him, "Keep practice..."

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

This is reflecting about peace, desire-less, compassion and wisdom is nothing to do with whether we can stand on our head or not, or whether we are able to do and achieve what we want to do and achieve or not...

"Keep practice" also doesn't necessary mean keep practicing the asana poses until we manage to perform the asana poses, or we can hold the poses longer than before, but what it really means is, keep practicing non-identification and non-attachment, and even after we devote lots of time, efforts and energy into our yoga asana practice, we are not attached to the efforts nor the fruit of the efforts...

What's the point if we are now able to perform the asana poses that we were not able to perform in the past, but we are not free from continue being disturbed and conditioned by anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, ignorance, fear and worry that derive from attachment and identification with the body and mind?

When anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, ignorance, fear and worry are subjugated due to non-identification and non-attachment towards the body and mind, the yoga student doesn't even need to announce that he is now free from impurities... So as yoga asana practice. The yoga asana practice is supposed to be rendering our mind calm and pure, to prepare the mind for meditation upon the Truth... It is not about how good we look and how good we feel in performing the asana poses... it is accepting the physical ability in the present moment now as it is, and knowing that even this condition and the ability of the physical body now whether it is in good or bad condition, it is impermanent... We do not identify with this impermanent condition and ability of the physical body to perform the yoga asana poses... There is nothing to be excited about when our body is able to perform certain asana poses after some practice, and there is nothing to be frustrated about when our body is not able to perform the asana poses even after a long time of practice...

After we are able to catch our feet with our hands in the sitting forward bend, we'll ask, "What next?"

After we are able to balance on our hands in Bakasan or Kakasan, we'll ask, "What next?"

After we are able to stand on our head and our hands in headstand and handstand, we'll ask again, "What next?"

Then we try to stand on the head without hands support, and we'll ask, "What next?"

Maybe we can try to invent more challenging poses then? Such like "one finger handstand" since many yoga teachers like to say that "everything is possible", just need to keep practice... Kindly note that this physical body has its limitations and is conditioned by impermanence. We cannot force the body to go beyond its limitations or else we will be injuring the body, but what the sentence "everything is possible" means, we can go beyond the identification with the physical body and be free from being conditioned by the conditions and ability of the physical body, that we are not determined by this physical body, as we are not this body and this body is not us. It is just an instrument for us to realize this Truth...

This craving for "What next?" can keep going until the moment our body is not able to do any poses any more... Then we'll start to realize that this ceaselessly chasing after the sense of achievement that come from being able to perform the asana poses, is not what we are looking for, after spending years and years in trying to perform all the yoga asana poses...

This voice that keep asking "What next?" is coming from the never satisfied nature of the mind...

That's why even though if our physical body is capable to perform many complicated asana poses, it never bring us to real unconditional contentment, as we have wrong identification with the impermanent body and the dis-satisfactory mind... Always not satisfied, always wanting more and more, just like drug and alcohol abuse, one dose is not giving any effects anymore, we need double dose, and then triple dose, and so on....

As all these achievements in performing the asana poses are "dis-satisfactory" in its nature - impermanence".

If during and after the yoga asana practice, whether we are able to perform the yoga asana poses or not, but we are not identified with the ability of the physical body in performing the asana poses, and there is no expectation whether our body will be more flexible and strong or not after the practice, nor expecting our body will be able to perform the asana poses much better in the next or future practice, nor expecting what are the benefits from performing the asana poses, nor expecting ourselves will be more peaceful and calm... But, allowing all the benefits, strength and flexibility, skills to perform the asana poses, peacefulness and calmness to come by itself naturally as it is, not because we are expecting any of these to happen the way that we want it to be, then this will bring us towards unconditional peace...

In traditional yoga class, the teacher doesn't tell the students what are the benefits when they perform the asana poses, as yoga asana practice is supposed to help us in developing non-identification with the body and mind, and non-attachment towards our actions or efforts, not attaching to or not expecting for the fruit of our actions or efforts. And even if the students don't know what are the benefits from doing the asana poses, the benefits will still be there as it is, it won't disappear nor decrease...

The practice of intention-less which is the key to the practice of non-expectation and non-attachment, is to let go of any intentions, even if it is good intention... If there is a good intention, we attach to the idea of "we are doing something good", and will "expect" someone will be benefited from this good intention, and "expect" something good in return... Attachment is there... We are not free yet.

This is to eliminate the craving habit of the egoistic mind of "I want something good... I don't want something bad..."

And by practicing yoga asana together with the practice of non-attachment in the mental level, will definitely bring us towards freedom, or unconditional peace and real happiness that is not being conditioned by any qualities of names and forms...

This is the yoga practice while performing the asana poses or while trying to learn to perform the asana poses...

Able to accept the condition and the ability of the physical body in the present moment now as it is and allow the benefits to come and improvement to happen naturally as we practice regularly everyday few hours a day, without  identification, attachment, judgment, comparison and expectation...

This is Karma Yoga being perform onto ourselves... Being kind and compassionate towards ourselves by bringing our body and mind to concentrating in a few hours of yoga asana practice daily... As all the yoga asana poses require huge amount of concentration in the present moment now, and this will not let the mind wanders into the past or the future within the time of practice, and there is no opportunity for the body and mind to get involve in immoral or unkind thoughts, actions and speech... During the time of practice, we are controlling and restricting our thoughts, actions and speech, and this is already benefiting the world by not committing any selfish, harmful or negative thoughts, actions and speech into the surrounding environment. This is being kind and compassionate towards the world...

Beside controlling and restricting the thoughts, actions and speech as our main practice by devoting our energy, effort and time into yoga practice as many hours as possible everyday in life, another main reason to perform all the yoga practices (Not limited to Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi, Kriyas, study of the scriptures, chanting and prayers, selfless service, developing divine qualities such like patience, perseverance, will-power, determination, courage, positive thinking, cheerfulness, generosity, truthfulness, straightforwardness, sexual energy conservation and channeling for spiritual realization, acceptance, adjustment, accommodation, adaptation, forgiveness, non-judgment, non-comparison, non-expectation, non-attachment, non-identification, letting go, and etc...) is to purifying, unblocking, balancing, conserving, generating, and channeling the energy fields in the body for spiritual realization or self-realization...

But all these practice has to work with letting go of desires and attachments that come from the ego... Such like, having the idea of "I am doing this practice, so that I will gain such and such benefits or achievements..." or "I am practicing "non-attachment", so that I will be free from suffering and unhappiness..." It doesn't bring us to peace...We can be performing all these yoga practices for many hours everyday for many years, but as long as we have attachment and identification with the doer of the actions and the enjoyer of the fruit of the action, we are not free and be restless being disturbed by what we see, hear, smell, taste, touch and think...

The body and the mind will be benefited in performing the yoga practice, but... Our true nature doesn't need all these benefits to be what it is or to "make" it peaceful... It is unconditional peace... The mind needs the yoga practice to experience peace, but our true nature is always peaceful...

There is no "I". There is no practice. There is no fruit of the practice. There is no "I" am doing the practice. There is no "I" will be enjoying the fruit of the practice...

The ego gets a momentary excitement and the sense of success or achievement when it gets the benefits or results as what it was expecting while performing any actions... And the ego gets disappointment and frustration and sense of failure when it doesn't get the benefits or results as what it was expecting while performing any actions...

Such like, "I did a lot of yoga practice, and thus I am healthy, strong and flexible and I feel good..." or "I didn't practice much or didn't practice at all, and thus I am not so healthy, not strong and not flexible, and I don't feel good..." As all these identification and expression is coming from the egoistic mind - the idea of "I" and all that "I" experience and all that "I" get and don't get from "my" actions and inactions, good and bad actions... It is the mind feels good or doesn't feel good... It is not us. We are just the observer or the witness being aware of what the mind is experiencing from moment to moment through the body with the functions of the sense organs and the senses, which is being conditioned by impermanence, the qualities of names and forms, thought patterns, actions and inactions, and speech...

So, whether our body can perform all the poses level by level or not, or our body cannot perform many of the yoga poses, it really doesn't matter... As What the body capable to do and not capable to do, it is just the body... And the condition and ability of the physical body to do this or that, is nothing to do with the unconditional real peace that comes from our true nature...

A person who's body cannot perform headstand or handstand can still be selfless, peaceful, wise and compassionate...

Some people ask, "Why some people can do all the "complicated" yoga poses and some people cannot do the "simplest" yoga poses?"

Simply it’s because whether their body can do or cannot do these poses, depends on their individual physical condition and abilities, as well as the state of their mind. Everyone has very different physical condition and physical abilities from one another. Everyone has a different state of mind from one another… And through constant practice, their body will gain physical and mental strength, flexibility, stamina, confidence, faith and courage, and might be or will be able to perform some or all of the asana poses, simple or complicated… But whether their body can do or cannot do these poses, is nothing to do with whether they will be peaceful or not…
Another effect that comes from holding the body being in the yoga poses for a period of time, can help to influence the energy fields in the body effectively, either activating, stimulating, energizing or calming and balancing… And this will make the body and mind feel good during and after the practice, but again this is just the body and mind experiencing some impermanent conditional good feelings… And if the mind is rendered calm and still during or after the asana practice, that is the moment to meditate and contemplate on the Truth, and not getting lost in attachment of craving and clinging towards that good feelings and pleasant effects of the asana practice…

And to render the mind calm and still doesn't need to have a strong and flexible body to perform the most complicated asana poses, but just by performing some very simple poses that even a sick person with weak bones and muscles also can perform will give the same effects of calming and stilling the mind... It is through will-power and breath control...

People who are flexible and strong can be peaceful if they know non-identification and non-attachment... People who are inflexible and not strong can also be peaceful if they know non-identification and non-attachment...

People who are flexible and strong can be not peaceful if they don't know non-identification and non-attachment... People who are inflexible and not strong can also be not peaceful if they don't  know non-identification and non-attachment...

At the end, no need to compare or compete with anybody in the yoga asana practice, as liberation or peace is not attain through comparison or competition... It is not like, "I am better than you in performing the asana poses, and I can do more asana poses than you can, and so, I should be more peaceful, selfless, wise and compassionate than you..."

This is the test - If now everything happened is all good and according to what we wished for, and so we are peaceful and happy... But if one day, we experience some "bad" things that we don't want and don't like in our life, and we will be disturbed or determined by it, and are not peaceful and not happy anymore, then know that we still need to keep practice...

Om shanti.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Yoga is about eliminating the ego to realize selflessness, but how?

Teaching yoga, not about teaching some yoga asana poses or exercises as fitness exercise class, but teaching and guiding the beings on how to develop non-attachment, non-identification, letting go of the ego, and how to transcend the mind and the body, transcend “suffering”, “restlessness”, “dissatisfaction”, “unhappiness”, “fear”, “worry”, and etc via yoga practice (not limited to yoga asana and pranayama practice), to realize the one nature of all beings – real peace that is unconditional, is not like doing a business selling a “product” or “service” to the people as like in the fitness, health and beauty industry, or in the modern “yoga” industry where there are so many varieties of “yoga classes” and “yoga accessories” on the “yoga market” to suit different types of mind interests or desires… But yoga is only one…

It is not a religion that trying to convert other people to believe and to follow its teachings, or else “God” will punish anyone who does not believe in its teachings and does not follow the practice accordingly… Every beings has the choice or freedom whether to follow the path and take up the practice, or not… Some people take up the complete practice, but many people only want to take up certain parts of the teachings and practice that they like and agree with… And there is nothing wrong with either choice…

It is our freedom whether we want to be selfish and ignorant, or if we want to be selfless and be free from ignorance… It is our freedom whether we want to be in peace, or we don’t mind at all if we are not in peace…

We cannot make anyone to believe, or to practice, or to realize according to what we believe and practice and realized.. It is everyone’s freedom… It is like, “I am peaceful, and if you are peaceful too, that’s good. But if you are not peaceful and are interested to know why I am peaceful and would like to follow the way of how to be peaceful, you are welcome to practice and realize yoga. But if you are not interested, then be happy with what you want and don’t want… I am peaceful as I am, anyway…”

If someone doesn’t enjoy food that is not the taste that he likes it to be, then even if somebody want to be nice to him and give him “very good” food for free everyday, it is not going to make him satisfied and happy… Because it is not something that he wants and likes… Some people like to live in restlessness, or else they’ll feel like fish out of water… Let them be.

Yoga (selflessness) is not a thing that we can “pay” with some “money” to buy and possess… But it is realizing the Truth by letting go of the ego (giving up pride, arrogance, desires, identities, attachments, likes and dislikes, craving and aversion, and etc). This truth is here, in this present moment… We don’t need to “buy” it from somebody or from some organizations who claim that they can “make” us “become” anything that we want to be… We are who we are, why do we need somebody else to make us to become “us”?

No doubts that by practicing yoga asana exercises everyday will make our mind feels good, make our body strong and healthy, and be able to enjoy a higher quality of life, but there is no guarantee that all beings who are learning and practicing “yoga” will be liberated and be free from ignorance, impurities, unhappiness or “suffering”, and is peaceful being undisturbed or undetermined by qualities of names and forms… It depends on our non-attachment towards the mind and whatever the mind is experiencing from moment to moment, and not attach to any names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, that will lead us to peace…

It is just the body and mind experiencing some momentary conditional good feelings and good condition as part of the effects of the yoga exercises, but we are not the body, we are not the mind… The body is not “I”, the mind is not “I”. As long as we are still identified with the body and mind (which are impermanent and constantly changing) and are subject to conditional circumstances to feel good and happy, being over-powered by the craving for “good condition” and aversion towards “bad condition”, then we will never be free… Our sense of well-being swaying up and down according to the conditional changes of qualities… Forever restless… Maybe some people just want to keep working on satisfying the cravings of the body and mind, and enjoying that momentary satisfaction or sense of achievement when they get what they want, and are not interested to go beyond that, it is not wrong. Be happy.

It doesn’t guaranteed that after how long and how much we had performed the “yoga practice” that we will be free from ignorance… But it doesn’t matter, because whether we’ll realize the one nature of all beings, or not, it doesn’t change the Truth about who we really are… Even if we don’t believe in the nature of all beings is unconditional peace, and we are not peaceful in the present moment now, this nature of peace is always there… We can deny the body and the mind and everything else that we perceive in this life existence, but we cannot deny that which is denying everything…

Some beings never done any “yoga practice” before but they are liberated and are free from ignorance… I’ve seen people who do not practice “yoga” at all but they are selfless, peaceful and compassionate beings… Some beings did a lot of yoga practice everyday for years but still not free from ignorance yet… Even if they are learning from “famous” yoga gurus or teachers… It is not the responsibility of the teachers for any being’s liberation… Teachers are just being there to show the way… Liberation is coming from the beings themselves and through their own effort (how much they are ready to give up or let go of attachment towards worldly attachments, identities, possessions, desires, craving and aversion)…

As the real yoga practice is dealing with purifying and controlling the mind, and many impurities will arise in the process of purification, it is really not a “nice” and “comfortable” experience in the journey towards true freedom… We’ll start to see the “ugly” side of our personality or thinking or behavior or reaction, when we are not getting what we want and are getting what we don’t want… The ego doesn’t like to know or admit about its own selfishness and foolishness… Most “minds” will try to runaway or avoid this uncomfortable experience and give in to the desires, craving and aversion (always looking for pleasant experiences, and rejecting unpleasant experiences, to gratified all its desires of likes and dislikes, wants and don’t wants)…

There is nothing wrong if a real yogi who knows the Truth and what is yoga, but does not “interested” or “desired” to “teach” yoga to the public. That doesn’t mean that they are selfish and not want to share the greatness of yoga with other beings… They don’t “have to” share yoga with other beings intentionally, but that won’t stop them from radiate love, peace, wisdom and compassion into the universe… Even if they are interested to share and “teach” yoga to the public out of compassion, it is really depending on the beings themselves whether they will be willingly to let go of their ego, pride and arrogance, and letting go of the identification with the body and mind and worldly self-image, to be open-minded and be really humble to practice “yoga” sincerely, or not, and realize yoga by themselves…

There might be many so called "yoga practitioners" and "yoga teachers" nowadays worldwide on the yoga "market" or "industry", but how many of us are really a "yogi"? Many who call ourselves "yogis", "yoga practitioners", "yoga teachers" and talk about the teachings and practice of yoga and teach other people to perform the yoga poses, but how many of us are sincerely practicing non-identification with the body and mind, letting go of the ego, practicing non-attachment towards all the qualities of names and forms, realizing the Truth of non-duality, and are desire-less and selfless? How many are truly practicing "yoga" or are just doing some "yoga exercises" for many hours everyday, but not knowing how to be free from being conditioned by qualities of names and forms, craving and aversion, and ignorance? How many are so called "in love" with "yoga" but continue to indulge in worldly desires, gossiping. slandering, boasting, telling lies, hypocrisy, mocking, back-biting, complaining, and condemning the yoga teachings that they don't agree with? Some people only fell in love with certain parts of the yoga practice that they like but criticizing the others practice or teachings that their "ego" doesn't agree with and doesn't like...

Even not all the "experienced" yoga practitioners are already transcended names and forms, and are still being over-powered by the ego, still have attachment towards spiritual attainment, physical and mental achievements, attached to their actions and inactions, and the fruit of their actions, not to say those who are still struggling in the ocean of ignorance... Even a well-trained in spirituality great being like Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita was once deluded by ignorance and needed the guidance of Krishna...

A sincere "yoga seeker" who is interested in looking for a yoga teacher to learn and practicing yoga will come to a "teacher" with a humble heart and opened mind, and learn and "serve" under the teacher for purifying the mind and eliminating the ego... During the time of being with the teacher or learning from the teacher, he will be asked to do a lot of Karma Yoga - selfless service, performing all duties and responsibilities without attaching to the actions and the fruit of the actions... This will help the student to let go of judgment, expectation, desire and attachment... And when the student's mind is matured enough, when his mind is free from impurities, desires and restlessness, when his ego is eliminated through performing selfless service without attaching to the action and the fruit of the action, without expecting anything in return for all his actions, the teachings or the Truth will arise in the his pure and serene mind naturally.

The teacher need not to say anything or to teach him anything, but only guides him in daily life performing selfless service for many years to purify his mind and eliminating his ego. As the truth is already there in him "waiting" to be realized, it is not coming from nor attaining from the outside. All he needs to do is remove all impurities and eliminating the ego... Yoga practice like Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi is not leading to "freedom" when the student's mind is full of passionate desires and attachments... If a yoga student's mind is full of impurities, desires and being over-powered by the ego, then no matter how much yoga practice and teachings that the teacher tries to teach him or give to him, it is meaningless... It is like a dirty bowl and we want to put the best clean and tasty food inside it... The food will be contaminated by all the dirts...

The basic qualities in a yoga "seeker" are -

1.) Viveka (discrimination of real and unreal)
2.) Vairagya (dispassion or detachment)
3.) Mumukshutva (intense yearning for liberation)
4.) Shat-sampat (consists of the six virtues as below)
   a.) Sama - tranquility of the mind
   b.) Dama - self-restraint or control of the senses
   c.) Uparati - cessation from worldly activities
   d.) Titiksha - forbearance or power of endurance
   e.) Sraddha - faith in God, Scripture and Self
   f.) Samadhana - concentration or one-pointedness of mind

If a being doesn't have or doesn't develop all these qualities while performing the yoga practice, then by performing the yoga practice doesn't really bring them to peace, but instead it will be empowering the ego, pride and arrogance, craving and aversion, which lead to more restlessness (opposite of peace) - Such like "I am a "lovely princess" after I practiced yoga, and I am an "evil monster" when I didn't practice yoga..." That is the state of mind changing according to the momentary conditional influence from the yoga practice. It is not the unconditional real peace...

When the yoga students perform selfless service in the Ashram, nobody will come and tell them, "Hey, you did a good job." nor "Thank you." nor "You are a good yogi." nor "Well done, keep it up." and etc... This is to starve the ego, not feeding the ego with what it wants... As the one who is longing for or depending on all these response or reaction of appreciation, acknowledgment, compliment, thankfulness, encouragement, agreement and etc, to make him feels good about what he did and to motivate him to perform actions, is the ego... The ego will grow stronger if we keep feeding the ego with what it wants...

Without anyone showing appreciation and thankfulness in names sand forms, or even if there is criticism or condemnation for their efforts and contributions, it doesn't mean that all efforts and actions are "meaningless"... The sun is always there shining ceaselessly providing light, heat and energy to the universe, whether the beings acknowledge or not acknowledge about the contribution of the sun... Same as water, air, earth and space... It doesn't matter human beings are grateful or are ungrateful for their intention-less contribution to the universe or not, they are always there providing and supporting all beings to be exist in the universe... They exist for all other beings to be exist without the intention to be there, to exist and to give, nor there is expectation about everything will be exist and be grateful because of their existence for all other beings to be exist... And they don't need to be exist at all if there is nothing to exist...

The real appreciation and gratefulness is nameless and formless beyond thoughts, speech and actions... When anyone knows how to perform all actions selflessly, compassionately without attaching to the actions or the fruit of the actions, without expecting any response of appreciation, acknowledgment, compliment, thankfulness, encouragement coming from anybody to feel good about what he did and to be motivated to perform actions, then this person is free from being conditioned by the ego... His mind is one-pointed in the present moment, and radiates peace and compassion without any intentions, and will not be disturbed by the qualities of names and forms perceived in the mind through the senses...

This practice of renouncing from the fruit of action is being practiced when we are performing all the yoga practice such like yama, niyama, yoga asana, pranayama, concentration, meditation, studying the scriptures, and etc.. We do not expect any benefits or rewards in return from our efforts and actions... Because "we" don't need any benefits or rewards at all... But we allow all the benefits to come naturally by itself as it is, not because we expect the benefits to be there as what we want it to be... There is no identification as the doer of the actions and the enjoyer of the fruit of the actions... The ego needs some kind of benefits or rewards to motivate him to perform actions, but the nature of all beings doesn't need any motivations to be what it is...

When the ego is eliminated, there is no good or bad, happiness or suffering, positive or negative, success or failure, praise or condemn, appropriateness or inappropriateness, auspiciousness or inauspiciousness, pleasantness or unpleasantness, action or inaction, birth or death, gain or loss...

When a being is free from the ego, there is no hypocrisy in him... Pretentiousness and untruthfulness is completely vanished and absent in him...

Although there are not many real yogis are interested in "teaching" yoga to the public, this doesn't mean that there are no real yogis sharing the wisdom of peace and compassion in the world... Real yogis are not necessarily to be recognized through "fit and strong and flexible" physics, nor to be recognized through the skill in performing some yoga asana and meditation poses or teaching some "yoga classes", nor to be recognized by how much charity works with names and forms that they had performed... They might not be doing any yoga poses nor talk about anything about "yoga"... But they are not separated from yoga and meditation every moment... They are meditating without name and form, ceaselessly from moment to moment and already in one with the universal consciousness - Selflessness, which we name it as Yoga... And without intention, they radiate love and peace to all beings unlimited by names and forms, time and space, without discrimination or judgment or expectation...

Anyone who is completely selfless and compassionate is a real yogi... They do not need to perform "yoga practice" in certain name and form to purifying and calming the mind, as their mind is already pure and calmed... Anyone who can perform a lot of yoga asana poses but is not free from the ego yet, still being over-powered by impurities, desires, craving, aversion, pride, arrogance, attachments, judgment and expectation, and has not realized his real nature of unconditional peace and compassion, is not necessary a yogi... They are just striving to be a "yogi"... And real yogis don't need to call or tag themselves "yogis" either... There is no identification with names and forms...

Selflessness and compassion is nothing to do with physical appearances or the physical conditions and the abilities to perform the asana poses. It is not defined by actions and inactions. As real yogi is already beyond actions and inactions... A perfected Yogi is also a Jnani, there's no separation between a yogi and a Jnani, they both are selfless, peaceful, wise and compassionate, and they both can be a chronic disease or cancer patient, but they are not touched by the sickness or weakness of the physical body, nor are they suffer due to the impermanent condition of the physical body that is decaying from moment to moment...

Once a being realized selflessness in performing Karma Yoga - renouncing the fruit of actions, naturally he is devoting to the universal consciousness (Bhakti Yoga), he is radiating wisdom (Jnana Yoga), he is the master of his own mind (Raja Yoga)... All these paths are not separated from each other when a being realized selflessness...

In fact, there are plenty of these "yogis" out there disseminating love and peace into the world without posing as "Jnani", "yogis" or "yoga teachers"... They don't make "noise" or "advertise". They don't intentionally show an "image" of "Jnani" or "yogis" or "yoga practitioners" or "yoga teachers" to the world. They might not mix with the "yoga community" or the "yoga association" or the "yoga affiliation" or the "yoga organization" or the "yoga movement"... They might not announce themselves as "yogis". They might not announce themselves as "yoga teachers". They might not give "yoga classes". They might not take "yoga students"... They might not possess recognized "certifications" and "qualifications"... But they are ego-less liberated compassionate wise beings who transmit the vibration of unconditional love and peace into the universe every moment unceasingly, just by being presence, without any intentions nor expectations to benefit the world nor try to change the world to be a "better" place, nor try to control anyone to behave "accordingly", nor "hope" or "expect" the world will change into something that they want it to be...

In traditional lineage of yoga, the teacher doesn't really "give" the students what they "want" or "desire" or "expect", but will give them what they need to be free from the ego and ignorance, allowing them to deal with their egos whenever they are not getting what they want or desire or expect... Even if they'll get angry or frustrated because the teacher does not "please" them by giving them what their egos want to see, or hear, or experience, but those are the great moments for them to recognize and root out their egos and to free themselves from the ego... Until their ego is eliminated, their mind is tamed, and is free from craving and aversion... Meanwhile, the universe will provide all beings with what is necessary without their expectation or without them "wanting" anything...

In traditional yoga lineage, the teacher seems like is "very hard" on the students (more precisely - hard on their egos), but it is all out of love and compassion... At the end, without the teacher showing us anything in names and forms, our ego melts away, without the veil of ignorance, the Truth reveals itself to us... It is not easy to be a real yoga teacher... But the real yoga teacher doesn't mind. Those "yoga teachers" who do mind, are not really free from the ego yet...

Om shanti.

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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

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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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