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

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Discrimination, prejudice and hatred...

Most of us would like to live in a peaceful environment for ourselves and the people whom we love. We would like the society to be free from crime, violence, injustice, hatred, prejudice and discrimination. We want to be free from insecurity, fear and worry.

When discrimination happens to us, we would like other people to stop being discriminative towards us, as being discriminated is really not a nice experience and it promotes restlessness in us. We will feel disturbed and are not peaceful.

We want to be treated equally and respectfully by everyone. But, are we also treating everyone in the world (with different types of beliefs, behavior, characteristics and personalities) equally and respectfully?

We will be angry with some people whom are being discriminative and prejudiced towards us, but think again, most probably we are not aware that sometimes we are doing the same thing to other beings as well.
 
We need to reflect on our own actions, reactions, thinking, speech and behavior to see if we are also being discriminative and prejudiced towards other beings without us being aware of it.

Being discriminative and prejudiced towards other people based on race, skin colour, religion, political views, belief, nationality, disability, education level, family background, inheritance, ranking, social status, job, income, lifestyle, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical condition and appearance, past behavior, or anything that we can think of, is something that we all need to empty out from ourselves, before we expect the world to be free from discrimination, prejudice and hatred.

When we start to react towards other people's inappropriate behavior by criticizing or condemning their behavior as bad and evil doings, and judging them as bad and evil beings, we are starting to behave just like these people whom we criticize and condemn. As those who really live in the truth, they won't criticize nor condemn anyone, not even the most evil being in the world. As there is no need to do so. As by criticize and condemn, it won't make these people to change their behaviors to become what we think they should become. It will only intensify repulsion and hatred in people's mind.

When we criticize or condemn other people for any inappropriate behavior, because we think we are better human beings than them, not to say if we are also behaving the same, then we are not any different from those whom we criticize or condemn.

Sometimes we have discrimination among ourselves in the same race, not to say being racist towards other race that are different from us. Discrimination also exists in the same family or in the same religion, not to say discrimination exists towards those that are different from each other.

There is no doubt that discrimination and hatred promotes unrest, insecurity and fear in people's mind. But if we realize unconditional peace and love in us, all this unrest, insecurity and fear will not arise in us even though discrimination and hatred exist in our society.

Discrimination, prejudice and hatred derive from craving and aversion of the egoistic mind towards what our ego likes and dislikes, agrees and disagrees with. And out of ignorance, we have attachments towards the qualities of names and forms. We will have judgment and comparison towards the different qualities of names and forms. Fear and insecurity arise due to attachment towards these qualities of names and forms. We have great frustration and disappointment when our craving and aversion, or our expectation are not being gratified.

Because of fear and insecurity, we want to think and feel that we are more superior than other people, and we don't want to think and feel that we are inferior than other people.

When we are free from egoism and ignorance, when we realize the truth of names and forms, we don't need to be more superior than anyone nor don't want to be inferior than anyone. Beyond all the different qualities of names and forms, beyond all the different types of thinking, beliefs and behavior, we all are the same, when we see the truth in everything. There is no superiority nor inferiority. There is no good nor evil. And thus there is no fear towards "evil" beings or "evil" doings.

Being discriminative towards other people's racist behavior and speech is not any different from being a "racist" ourselves. We need to learn to accept and respect everyone as they are, even if some people are being racist, prejudiced and discriminative towards us or other people.

Everyone has the freedom to say or do whatever they want to say or do... We want to fight for freedom of speech and be free to have our own cultural beliefs, but how come we discriminate and criticize other people who say things that we disagree with and don't like to hear, and who have different cultural beliefs that we disagree with and don't like about?

If we really practice Dhamma, we will stop discrimination and hatred towards other people who behave the way that we don't agree with, or else that will make us not any different from those whom we think they are wrong or not good.

Accept and respect everyone as they are, even if they are being discriminative, prejudiced and hating towards us. It doesn't mean that we have to agree with them, or support them for their behavior, or allow ourselves to be harassed and insulted by abusive words, speech or behavior. But we don't have to be affected, or disturbed, or influenced, or determined by other people's abusive and insulting speech and behavior, neither we start to behave exactly the same like them.

When somebody makes a statement about us like this, "You are bad...", that is only his or her own point of views, it is not the truth of what we are. Why bother being determined and getting upset by somebody's subjective opinion and judgment? There is no need of justification as well. How other people want to think is their freedom, but we don't have to be determined by other people's thinking.

Let everyone take responsibility for the consequences of their own thinking, speech, actions or behavior... We don't have to react towards other people inappropriate thinking, speech, actions or behavior. It doesn't mean that we don't care for what is happening in the world. We can act wisely, out of compassion, without attachment towards our actions and the fruit of our actions, without being affected nor influenced by other people's wrong doings.

Just like keeping the house clean everyday. No matter how many times we try to clean the house everyday, dust and dirt keeps coming back. If we want to live in the house, we have to keep cleaning it without getting frustrated, or disappointed, or exhausted. Until the house, or the dust and dirt stop existing, then there is no need of cleaning anymore.

We cannot expect everyone to act and react the same way that we act and react, as everyone has very different types of beliefs, thinking, behavior, personalities and values or meanings of life. We cannot expect other people to be pure and endowed with perfect morality and ethical values, without any defilements or unrighteous behavior...

We, ourselves are not perfectly pure nor completely be free from defilements yet, how can we judge and criticize, or discriminate those whom we think they are bad and evil?

If we really want to improve our society or the world that we are living in, we must change ourselves and purify ourselves, remove ignorance, impurities and egoism in us. We must endowed with unconditional peace and compassion, able to be kind and compassionate towards all beings without discrimination, prejudice or hatred, including those who are promoting discrimination, prejudice or hatred in the society.

It doesn't matter how unfair, or injustice, or insulting is other people treating us, we can still be nice and kind to everyone without being disturbed, nor affected, nor influenced, nor determined by their respective behavior.

It is certainly not about, "You are nice to me, and I will be nice to you...", or "If you are not supporting me, I will not be nice to you...", or "You disagree with me, and so you are not my friend...", or "I am nice to you, so you have to be nice to me...", or "You are not nice to me, so why do I have to be nice to you...", or "You hate me, I hate you too..."

All these are ideas come of petty-mindedness and out of ignorance and egoism.

It all has to start with ourselves. Fill ourselves with peace, love, compassion and wisdom or correct understanding. Radiate peace, love, compassion and wisdom into the surroundings. Smile and be friendly to everyone without any selfish intentions or desires, without discrimination, prejudice or hatred, without expectation towards other people's reactions and behavior. Respect all beings as they are...

Develop magnanimity, kind wishes, forgiveness, courage, faith, loving kindness, calmness, generosity, nobility, patience, tolerance, adjustment, adaptation, accommodation and acceptance, which help to eliminate egoism and ignorance. Let go of petty-mindedness, ill will, discrimination, prejudice, selfish intentions or desires, expectation, anger, hatred, fear, jealousy, greed, disappointment, and all sorts of impurities that derive from ignorance and egoism.

Every moment in our hearts, we wish the world, "May all beings be happy, be free" including those beings whom we think they are bad and evil. As they are the one who needed to be free from ignorance, to be free from suffering, and then there will be less a being in the world that generates harmful effects and negativities into the world.

We cannot change or control other people to think and behave the way that we think they should think and behave, but we can change ourselves, and develop the noble qualities that can influence other people to reflect upon themselves or their behavior, and touching people's heart with great compassionate love and wisdom, so that other people can also develop the awareness of seeing the ignorance in themselves, and out of their own free will, they want to change themselves, to let go of egoism, to remove ignorance, and have control over their own thoughts, speech and actions.

Keep purifying our mind, remove egoism and ignorance, and realize unconditional peace, love, compassion and wisdom in ourselves.

Do our best. Perform all our duties and responsibilities, out of compassion towards ourselves and other beings, and let go of the result of our actions.

It is not through anger, hatred, discrimination, violence, oppression or control, to change the society, or to make the world to be a better place. But it is through peace, love, compassion and wisdom in ourselves, that can help to bring awareness and reflection in other people, to allow them to see themselves, to be aware of their own ignorance and ignorant behaviors, and they willingly to change themselves on their own free will. This is how the world will change, when everyone starts to change themselves.

It takes great amount of love, peace, patience, forbearance, perseverance, determination, will power, courage and faith to help the world to evolve, to eliminate evilness, and to promote goodness. Most importantly, it starts with ourselves. We shine as an embodiment of unconditional love and peace, if we wish the best for the world.

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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