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

Monday, March 25, 2013

Non-comparison, non-judgment and non-expectation?

We may hear about somebody complains about this or that teacher is not good, or this or that school is not good, or this type or that type of yoga is not good... But it is actually our mind is not pure, full of negativities, defects, likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements... That's why we see or recognize all the negativities and defects in other people or in things, as that is the reflection of what our mind is...

If there is a quality that our mind cannot perceive or recognize, that is because in our mind there is no such quality. Just like when we couldn't see or recognize the good qualities in other people, it's because there is no such good qualities in our own mind to reflect upon... It doesn't mean that these people don't have good qualities in them but we just don't see it or recognize it... And usually our mind is having a mixture of good and bad qualities, and thus we will see or recognize the same qualities in other people but not something that is beyond what our mind can perceive...

And we judge everything according to what our mind likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, as good or not good... If it is something what our mind likes and agrees with, we will say it is good... If it is something what our mind doesn't like and disagree with, we will say it is not good... But this judgment of "good" and "bad" is coming from our mind according to what our mind believes what is "good" or "bad"... It is not what things really are...

For example, we ate "particular food" for the first time, and it tastes what we don't like, and that was what our mind recognized or perceived - "That particular food is not good", "It's not tasty", "I am not happy eating it", and "I don't like it"... When other people say to us, "That particular food is so good", "It's so tasty", "I am so happy eating it" and "I like it", as it tastes what they like, and we (our mind) will disagree with that. We might even argue with people to prove that our opinion is right and their opinion is wrong... But that particular food has no intentions or qualities to be good or not, to be tasty or not, to make us feel happy eating it or not, to make us like it or not... All these judgments are coming from what our mind believes what things are, according to our likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, but it is not what things really are...

We can only be aware of all the different qualities in each person, and accept everyone as they are without comparison, judgment and expectation, as everyone is also in the process of learning and transformation... We also be aware of all the different qualities in ourselves, and accept ourselves as we are without comparison, judgment and expectation, as ourselves are also in the process of learning and transformation... And if we are already pure and perfect, there won't be any judgments towards anyone, nor comparing everyone, nor expecting everyone should be behaving, act and react in certain ways that we think that is what they suppose to behave, act and react... With the pure mind, all the qualities of names and forms disappear. The pure mind will perceive and accept everyone and everything as they are... They are not good or bad. They are not positive or negative. They are not happiness or suffering... They are just what they are.

When we see or attached to the different qualities of names and forms, we will start to have comparison and judgment about this person or that person is better or worst, and start to generate preferences and discrimination, likes and dislikes, and craving and aversion... Due to strong attachment toward all these judgments towards the different qualities of names and forms, the veil of ignorance in our mind is growing thicker and thicker... Our own evolution becomes more and more difficult, as the veil of ignorance is growing stronger than before... Why be disturbed and be bothered by other people being different from each other or being different from us, or expecting all of them to be the same, or to be like us, to determine, or to control, or to influence our own practice and evolution?

We respect and accept everyone to be free to think and believe what they want to think and believe, to behave, to act and react the way that they want to behave, act and react... And allow everyone to be different with one another, and be different from us. Why do we want to control other people or to change other people to think and believe, to behave, to act and react the same ways like us? Meanwhile we are full of aversion, rejection, anger and hatred if other people don't like us the way that we are, and they want to control us or to change us to be the way that they think we should think, believe, behave, act and react...?

When we think we are good people, we do good things and don't do bad things... We judge ourselves as "good beings". And we criticize and judge other people whom we think they are not good like us, they don't do good things like us, and they do bad things, as "bad beings"... We think we are more superior than them, and we are better human beings... We get angry and hating these people, and we don't like them and don't want them to be here in this world, or we want to control them and change them to be the way that we want them to be... We think we deserve to be here and all these "bad beings" don't deserve to be here... We want to kill them all or we want them to be killed by somebody, and we curse and condemn them into hell... CAN we see now, how evil and selfish we are? We are not any different from these people whom we think they are bad and evil...

For example, alcohol exists for some medical reasons. When somebody abuse the use of alcohol and cause damages in their physical and mental health, it is not the fault of the alcohol... It is not the alcohol being bad... It is people's own responsibility for abuse the use of alcohol and to consume it to the point that causes damages to themselves... Alcohol itself is not something good or not good... It has no quality or intention to be good or bad... It is whether we use it wisely or abusively, and reflect it as something good for medical reason, or reflect it as something not good for damaging our body and mind... It is our own intention and self-control that is responsible for our own behavior and the consequences of our behavior...

Even though there are many people practice yoga and meditation in the world, but everyone evolves on different levels and speeds. We cannot expect everyone has the same understanding and practice, and having the same way of thinking and behavior, actions and reactions, even though everyone is practicing "yoga and meditation", or is practicing different types of "yoga and meditation" practice. Everyone has different degrees of ignorance and realization, different degrees of attachment, craving and aversion, and different strength of the egoism... Even though in the same Ashram or school of yoga, not everyone who involves in the teaching, administrative and management will be having the same characteristic and personality, actions and reactions...

Our practice is our own effort and for our own transformation, it is nothing to do with other people's practice and transformation... It doesn't matter if the teacher is not perfect nor completely pure yet, but it should not be an obstacle or distraction to influence or affect our own practice, nor stop us from performing our own practice and evolves on own level and speed. As the path of realization of truth is very personal. It is nothing to do with the quality of the teacher or the school...

Just like some people look at some "yogis" who are behaving "badly" in the world, and they judge and criticize "yoga" or "yoga practice" as something not good or evil, that it will make people behaving badly like all these "bad yogis"... Or they blame and judge the teacher of the "bad yogis" as bad teacher and is responsible for the "bad yogis" bad behavior... Or they judge the yoga schools where these "bad yogis" went to as bad schools... But this is complete ignorant way of seeing things and judging things... The "bad yogis" themselves is responsible for their own behavior...

People who learn under the same teacher or same school, also will have different levels of understanding, different degrees of ignorance and realization, different types of characteristic and personality, different degrees of attachment, different speed of evolution and etc... And all these different levels and degrees of transformation is nothing to do with the teacher or the school... Our own understanding, perception of things, degrees of ignorance and attachment, actions and reactions, characteristics and personalities, and speed of transformation is our own responsibility, it's not the responsibility of the teacher or the school...

Even if we are aware of the imperfect or impure qualities in the teachers, that should not become obstacles or distractions in our own evolution... At the same time we ourselves accept the teacher as he is or as she is, without expecting the teacher should be perfect or should be on a higher level of understanding or transformation than us... As real teachers can be anyone and anything, not necessarily has to be a perfect saint or sage who is completely free from the ego, or who is completely selfless... The teacher or the happening is there to allow us to see or recognize the ignorance, impurities or selfishness in ourselves, and it's not about seeing and recognizing the ignorance, impurities or selfishness in the teacher or in the happening, and be disturbed and affected by them...

A very good teacher or good school cannot guarantee all the students will be having the same degree of ignorance and realization, and evolve at the same speed of transformation... Buddha couldn't make everyone be enlightened and be free from ignorance, nor could he give peace to anyone, nor could he remove suffering from anyone... As well as the ignorance, restlessness and suffering of everyone could not affect Buddha's enlightenment, liberation and peace...

Everyone has the opportunity and should be given the opportunity to experience what they need to experience for them to learn and evolve in their own way and speed... Even though if they have to repeatedly go through many unnecessary meaningless unpleasant experiences... They have to learn from themselves and realize the truth by themselves. And through out the journey of transformation, there's no judgment, comparison and expectation towards ourselves and other people even if they are our teachers... The teachers have their own evolution, and we have our own evolution...

If we haven't realize the truth by ourselves, then no matter how many books talking about the truth that we have read, how many yoga classes and courses that we have attended, and how many good teachers that we have, we will still be influenced by the veil of ignorance in us and be disturbed by the impurities in our own mind, and be in miseries...

We read or heard about the terms about "being in the present moment" and the ways to be in the present moment, but it won't liberate us until we know how to be in the present moment...

When we think we are disappointed by the teachers who are not as perfect as what we think they should be, actually we are disappointed by our own expectation towards the teachers, we expect them to be perfect... The disappointment is not coming from the teachers being imperfect... They and their imperfection didn't disappoint us.

Mind our own mind, not other people's mind, not even our teacher's mind...

Om shanti.

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Know thyself. There is no existence of 'I'. Everything is impermanent. Be free, be peaceful, be happy.

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Pantai Cenang, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
My husband and I run ongoing yoga retreats in Langkawi Malaysia. We teach traditional Hatha Yoga - a combination of Asanas (postures) and Pranayama (breathing techniques) and relaxation, that has given benefit to millions of practitioners over thousands of years. Our yoga studio is situated in Langkawi. We also run yoga retreats in Europe and India.

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