be free, be happy, be peaceful

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

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.

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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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