be free, be happy, be peaceful

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

Monday, July 1, 2013

"Are yoga teachers happy?"

There was this search word came to my blog, "Are yoga teachers happy?"

Not all 'yoga teachers' or 'yoga practitioners' are happy in everyday life experiences, or are happy with themselves, or are happy with the world and the environment, as it is. Not all of them are free from unhappiness. Whether we are free from unhappiness, are happy or not, is not determined by 'who we are' nor determined by 'what we do'.

We don't have to be a 'yoga teacher' to be happy, nor being a 'yoga teacher' will make us happy.

Just like a 'mother' or a 'father' can be a happy 'mother' or 'father', or can be an unhappy 'mother' or 'father'. It is very personal and vary from person to person, on how they deal with every situation and condition in life.

The 'yoga teachers' that we think we know, are normal human beings also, they are not any different from 'other human beings' who have good and bad feelings, who have certain degrees of egoism and ignorance, certain desires and attachments, certain degrees of anger, dissatisfaction, disappointment, fear and worry. Everyone is still in the process of experimenting life existence, and in search of the truth, or liberation, or real happiness, or peace.

There is nothing wrong when unhappy feelings arise in the mind due to certain unpleasant experiences, but most important is that if we are practicing yoga and meditation with the correct mentality and attitude, we should be able to be aware of all the activities in the mind, be aware of all the action and reaction of the mind towards the objects of the senses, without identification with the body and mind, without being over-powered by all these thoughts activities, feelings and emotions, and not generate attachment to them, without craving for pleasant or happy feelings, without aversion towards unpleasant or unhappy feelings.

As long as the mind is still functioning, as long as the ego is there, there will be perception of different qualities of names and forms that are pleasant and unpleasant. There will be reactions coming from the mind towards what the ego likes and doesn't likes, agrees and disagrees with. There will be pleasant and unpleasant feelings arise due to this process in the mind. But, if we have developed certain degrees or strength of awareness from our persistent yoga and meditation practice, which is going beyond all these mind perceptions and activities, we do not generate attachment, craving or aversion towards all these perceptions and activities in the mind. That itself is liberation.

There are many 'yoga teachers' and 'yoga practitioners' in the world nowadays as 'yoga' seems to be a 'trendy' thing to do, and there are so many demands for 'yoga classes' everywhere especially in the big cities, especially 'yoga classes' that are marketed, designed and catered for fitness, beauty and health. But whether the 'yoga teachers' or 'not yoga teachers' are liberated or not, is not to be judged by anyone from their appearance, behavior, action and reaction. As liberation is not a thing that can be judged by the qualities of names and forms. Attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness, is beyond the qualities of names and forms that our mind can perceive.

Only ourselves will know whether we are liberated or not. Nobody needs to justify themselves whether they are liberated or not.

We don't need a 'certificate' to certified us that we are liberated, if that is what we are.

We can pretend to be happy beings and disguise as liberated beings, in front of other people, but we can't hide the truth from ourselves, if we are not free yet, we are still affected and determined by egoism, ignorance, impurities and suffering in our mind.

Happy or not, really depends solely on the state of mind, or how pure is the mind. There are many different elements or factors influencing the state of mind from moment to moment.

It also depends on how we want to define 'happiness'? It can be anything for different people.

In yoga and meditation, one who has conquered his or her own mind and the ego is eliminated, is indeed free from unhappiness or suffering. It is not necessarily one has to be happy all the time. The moment we are free from unhappiness, that moment is peace, is liberation.

Most of us are having a mixture of happy and unhappy feelings, swaying back and forth from one extreme to the other extreme. Sometimes we have more happy feelings and less unhappy feelings. Sometimes we have more unhappy feelings and less happy feelings. Sometimes we are easy to be happy. Sometimes we are difficult to be happy.

Our behaviors, action and reaction are very much influenced by the state of our mind, which is not pure and not free yet. And our behaviors, action and reaction will bring us some happy and unhappy consequences in return.

Happy or unhappy is a pleasant or unpleasant feeling or thought that arise in the mind, that will stay for a while, and will change and disappear from the mind. It is impermanent.

A person who knows the truth, will be aware of all these pleasant and unpleasant feelings, without generate craving, clinging or aversion, and allow all these feelings to come and go in the mind, without judgment, without expectation. As we don't own the mind, or any activities in the mind.

The one who knows the truth doesn't need to be happy, or to be positive, as there is nothing that can induce unhappiness or negativity in his or her mind.

Everything is just what they are. All the names and forms has no intention or power to make us happy or not happy, to give us happiness or unhappiness. It is all coming from our own mind, depends on how much we attached to the mind, the thinking, the beliefs and the feelings, and how much the mind attached to the qualities of names and forms, and be affected and determined by them.

There is nobody being there feeling happy or unhappy. There is no 'I' being there to feel happy or unhappy. It's just some happy or unhappy feelings arising and passing away in the mind.

It depends on how much our mind is being affected, or disturbed, or influenced, or determined by all the names and forms that it perceives through the senses.

It depends on how efficient is the practice of non-attachment in the mind towards all the pleasant and unpleasant feelings, without generating craving, clinging and aversion.

It depends on how fast or how easy for the mind to be able to let go of unpleasant or unhappy feelings. The mind can be happy or unhappy for a few years, or months, or weeks, or days, or hours, or minutes, or seconds, or a moment, or not at all.

Anyone, whether 'yoga teachers' or not, human or non-human beings, if they know the truth of this mind or themselves, and are being compassionate as they are (not about try to be compassionate), then naturally there will be no unhappiness or suffering can exist in them. Their mind is free from all sorts of impurities that arise due to the absence of compassion. And absence of compassion is due to egoism and ignorance. If the mind is free from egoism and ignorance, and realize compassion, peace is there. Peace is nothing to do with the existence of pleasant and happy feelings.

We want to think and believe that all 'yoga teachers' are supposed to be enlightened beings who have transcended suffering and life existence, to be here to guide us (the unliberated or ignorant ones) to be liberated from suffering or unhappiness. If so, we will be very disappointed. As there are not many 'yoga teachers' are in such level of pure consciousness.

The 'yoga teachers' that we see, who are giving instructions in 'yoga classes' for performing some forms of yoga asana exercises or yoga practice with different types of brands and names, are not necessarily as perfect as what we think they should be. And it's okay.

There are many people who 'teach' yoga classes after attended some 'yoga teachers training course' and attained a few 'certificates' and 'qualifications', but not all are already completely be free from impurities, egoism, ignorance, attachment, craving and aversion, or had transcended life existence, the body and mind, suffering and ignorance. And there's nothing wrong with that.

If we expect all 'qualified yoga teachers' should be enlightened and liberated before they give yoga classes or teach yoga to other people, then there will be very few such 'yoga teachers' in the world. As those who are enlightened and liberated are not necessarily 'yoga teachers' or are giving 'yoga classes' in the yoga studios, or yoga centres, or yoga fitness clubs. But that doesn't mean that they do not share their wisdom and compassion with other beings.

Do not criticize nor look down on these 'yoga teachers' who seem to be not perfect nor liberated yet, as all and everyone are the same consciousness without qualities, without name and form, beyond birth and death, but in the moment we are veiled by egoism and ignorance about who we really are.

As yoga students, we are not looking forward to be like our 'yoga teachers'. We don't have to find a perfect liberated 'yoga teacher' for us to imitate and become like him or her. Even if a liberated teacher is here guiding us, it is up to our own realization about the truth of ourselves. The liberated teacher cannot give us liberation.

Open our mind and be patient, and wait, if we really want to find a real 'yoga teacher' that we can't recognize from his or her behavior, appearance or certificates. As 'yoga teachers' are not defined by their personalities, behaviors, appearances, actions and reactions, nor are being stamped on their forehead with the tag 'yoga teacher', nor whether they were graduated from an internationally recognized and affiliated yoga school of yoga teacher training courses.

The universe will bring the teacher and the student together at the right time and the right place. And this yoga teacher is not necessarily in a form of human beings. It can be right in front of us, or it is within us already. In fact, it is our own Self. As all the other 'yoga teachers' are also a manifestation from our own mind.

Om shanti.

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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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