be free, be happy, be peaceful

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

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Do our best for ourselves and the world, but without attachment towards our actions and the fruit of actions

When we start to connect with the reality that is beyond our own mind's beliefs, habits, imaginations and expectations, we won't want to waste any efforts or energy in debates, arguments, justifications, or criticism. We will only do our best for ourselves and the world, and appreciate the present moment now as it is, without expecting or try to change the reality to be something that we think it should be.

As the ego shrinks and melts away, who is there to feel being challenged or insulted by who and what? Who is there to agree or disagree with the reality? Who is there to feel disappointed, dissatisfied, angry, hurt, fear and worry?

All the thinking patterns, beliefs, habits, reactions, expectations of the mind are conditioned by ceaseless inputs or programming from the beginning of the forming of this body and mind.

We hold on to all these 'conditioned and egoistic-based thinking and beliefs' to be who we are, and we believe 'that' is who we are, with lots of different qualities that are impermanent, and not in our control at all. We are not able to see the Truth that lies beyond all the names and forms, and the function of the body and the mind, or life existence.

Buddha never mentioned anything about 'God' or 'the creator of the universe'.

It wasn't about whether he realized there was or wasn't a 'God'. He didn't need to talk about 'God'. He didn't need to justify about the Truth, nor needed to argue with anyone as all the minds are being conditioned by different thinking, beliefs, habits, behaviors or reactions.

If someone believes there is a 'God', let him be. If someone believes there is no 'God', let him be. It is their own freedom and choice what they want to believe or not. Why want to control or change others about how they should think and believe? Everyone needs to control their own mind, not controlled by somebody else, not even 'God'. Why? Because if 'God' can control everyone's mind, and 'God' is almighty, all loving and compassionate, then there shouldn't be evil minds or suffering minds exist in the world. Right?

Buddha didn't try to influence anyone with certain ideas or beliefs, nor tried to implant any ideas or beliefs in people's mind, nor tried to convert anyone's mind to abandon their old beliefs and to take up new beliefs, but allowed everyone to explore, and to find out the Truth by themselves. And the Truth is not a belief. It is reality of what things really are, as they are.

The teacher doesn't need to tell us 'This is the Truth', nor 'make sure' that everyone will believe in 'that Truth', but the teacher only shows us the way towards realization of the Truth. There is no need arguments, judgments, expectations, or criticism about anything.

The teacher cannot purify our mind for us. The teacher cannot control our mind for us. The enlightened teacher is of no use to anyone who refuses to purify the mind, to let go of the ego and the attachment towards impermanent qualities of names and forms.

Not even the one whom we believe as a great teacher, whom we have the opportunity to come in contact with in this lifetime, can take away the ignorance in us, nor can remove the egoism in us, nor can free us from suffering that derived from ignorance, attachment, egoism, impurities like anger, hatred, jealousy, pride, arrogance, disappointment, dissatisfaction, fear and worry.

Maybe someone can comfort us for a few moments by showing us loving kindness, but not everyone will appreciate loving kindness from anyone, nor will this loving kindness can remove the root cause of suffering or ignorance from us. The moment we are free from suffering is because we have let go of our ego in that moment, we stop resisting or rejecting the reality that we don't like and don't agree with. We start to allow the reality to be what it is, not necessarily the way that we think it should be, or the way that we like it to be. Just like going for a good massage session can give us some relief of physical and mental tension, but it doesn't stop us from continue generating tension into the body and mind due to attachment in everyday life.

No one can take away our ego for us, or else everyone is already free from egoism, and there's no more unhappiness, discrimination or hatred in the world, if one can remove the ego from another being. As there were great saints and sages in the past, and there are many great beings in the world who are wise and compassionate. If they can remove the root cause of suffering, or egoism, or ignorance from other people, they already did so.

And hence, there's no difference between a 'good' or 'bad' teacher. There's no difference between having a teacher or not. All the experiences or perceptions of impermanent names and forms, or the objects of the senses, they all are our Dharma teachers. But due to deep rooted ignorance, we just don't learn anything from all these teachers. Maybe or not, we might learn about letting go of the ego and attachment when we experience extreme suffering or disappointment. But sometimes even if we experience great suffering and disappointment, we still don't learn anything.

We think we need an enlightened or perfect human being to be our teacher, and expect this teacher will help us to be liberated from suffering. But, no one can liberate us from suffering. It is the result of our own self-realization about the Truth.

The teacher can be right beside us all the time, but it is still our own effort and determination to purify our mind, to control our mind, and to be free from ignorance, attachment, egoism and impurities.

It doesn't matter how much teachings coming from the teacher through actions and speech, or how much teachings we have read from many books, it still depends on our own effort, self-discipline and determination in letting go of attachment and the ego. Reading many thousands of books, and attending many yoga and meditation courses doesn't remove the egoism in us, in fact it might empowered our ego, pride and arrogance for being so knowledgeable and have read so many books. Nor being knowledgeable will free us from anger, hatred, jealousy, pride, arrogance, disappointment, dissatisfaction, fear and worry.

We can be very 'knowledgeable' and know about lots of things about this and that, by hearing, seeing, reading and experiencing, still it doesn't guarantee us peace and happiness. As knowing the Truth is different from knowing many things. We are constantly disturbed by our own egoism reacts towards what we experience through the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind. We attached strongly onto what our mind believes what things are and have agreements and disagreements, and generate strong aversion towards what our mind disagrees with, and thus, generate anger and hatred towards people, ideas, beliefs and things that our mind disagrees with. We are not peaceful, even though we are very knowledgeable, as we have strong attachment towards all these knowledge to be who we are.

It's because peace and compassion is not attained through all these activities, or experiences, or knowledge. A person can be illiterate, not knowing how to read and write, but still can develop insights through introspection, and it won't determine this person cannot be peaceful and compassionate. Being literate doesn't guarantee peace and compassion. If being literate can give us peace and compassion, then there won't be unhappiness and suffering in the people who can read and write.

It is non-attachment towards all these mind activities or perception of names and forms, and allowing the reality to be what it is, whether it is something very pleasant and agreeable to us, or it is something very unpleasant or disagreeable to us. We are not disturbed, nor determined by all the pleasant and unpleasant experiences. There's no craving or clinging onto the pleasant experiences. There's no aversion towards the unpleasant experiences. And allow everything to go through impermanent changes.

While living in the world as we are, we do our best in performing all our duties and responsibilities, appreciating everyone and everything that come in contact with us, without attachment towards all these relationships and things. Make good use of the knowledge that we have, without being determined by these knowledge to be who we are. Make good use of the good conditions that we have, our talents, physical and mental abilities to perform actions to benefit ourselves and the world, but without attachment towards all the actions and the fruit of actions. Being free, undetermined by all the impermanent qualities of names and forms.

Many people paid lots of money going here and there, attending many yoga classes, courses and retreats, but that doesn't guarantee them liberation, or peace. We can give the teachers some fees, it doesn't matter 'a little' or 'a lot', but the teacher cannot sell us 'the Truth', liberation, peace and happiness.

To have a yoga studio, or a centre, or a classroom, to be conducting or to run classes or courses, there will be some costs involved to maintain the place, and to run any courses or classes. There will be some fees or donations involved to support and to maintain a place that provides some convenient facilities for everyone to get together for a class or a course.

Yoga and meditation is not a business that we can buy or sell. But to organize a course to allow the teacher and the students to come together in a place with certain facilities cannot avoid some costing. To 'transport' a teacher from a place to another place to give courses, there will be some expenses involved. But the fees that we paid to attend any yoga courses doesn't buy us liberation, peace and happiness.

The Truth, peace and happiness is always here. It is the nature of everyone. No one can give us peace and happiness. No one can take away that peace and happiness from us. It cannot be destroyed or damaged. It never increase nor decrease. It doesn't have a beginning nor an end. It is beyond birth and death, existence and non-existence.

Some people don't mind paying money for buying the particular brand of bags, shoes, accessories and clothings that they like, paying for attending parties or social functions once every few days, enjoy eating and drinking, paying for dopes, paying for holidays once in a while, paying for buying the latest phone or camera, paying for furnitures in their home, paying for their higher education, but they reluctant to pay a yoga teacher certain amount of fees for attending yoga classes or courses to support the teacher's living and to maintain the yoga school, as they think yoga should be free to everyone, or should not be paying 'that much' to learn yoga, and no one should get profits out of teaching yoga practice to other people. They think yoga teachers should get a paid job, or beg for charity on the streets to support their living and to maintain the yoga school, and should not take money from teaching yoga classes for living.

Anyway, yoga and Dharma can be shared at anywhere and anytime. It's not necessarily has to be in a yoga school, or centre, or classroom that requires manpower and financial support and maintenance.

If we have strong self-discipline and determination, we don't need a yoga teacher and we don't need to attend yoga classes or courses at yoga school or yoga centre, to learn about yoga, or to be practicing yoga. As when the time is right, we will meet the teacher, and this teacher can be anything. If we think we need to have a teacher, then find the one and only greatest teacher who resides in us all the time. There's no 'fees' involved.

Here is something to be contemplating upon -
Those who have lots of money and strength are not necessarily rich and strong, nor should they be the one who gives, and don't receive anything. Those who have very little or no money and have no strength are not necessarily poor and weak, nor should they be the one who receives, and can give nothing.

If we think the rich and strong people should be the one who gives, and receives nothing, and the poor and weak people should be the one who receives, and gives nothing.

Think again...

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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