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

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Friendliness and making friends are two different things...

Being friendly to all beings is not the same as when we want to be friend with certain people whom we like and agree with, and expect some sort of friendship, accompany and social interaction in return.

A person who is an introvert, who doesn't talk much and doesn't appear to be warm nor sociable, but it's not necessarily unfriendly. Not having many friends to hang out with doesn't necessarily means that we are unfriendly beings. We might be free from negative thinking and judgment about ourselves and other people, and have no ill-thinking and ill-will towards ourselves and others.

A person can be an extrovert, who might be talkative and appear to be very warm and sociable, but it's not necessarily friendly. Having many friends to hang out with doesn't necessarily means that we are friendly beings. We might have lots of negative thinking and judgment about ourselves and other people, and have ill-thinking and ill-will towards ourselves and others.

In a casual conversation among people whether it's with somebody whom we recognize as friend or acquaintance, what we talk about usually are mostly about the past, the future, third party, judgment, comparison, expectation, likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, as well as using mocking, teasing, criticism, slandering, back-biting about someone else as an entertaining subject to talk about and laugh about. One common thing that happens naturally in human social conversation is we like to say nice things in front of other people, but then we will mock, tease and criticize about them behind their back. All these interactive conversations are actually move our mind away from the present moment, and are empowering ignorance, impurities and egoism.

One of our yoga practice is talk less, and strictly refrain from any interactive conversations that involve slandering, back-biting, condemn, mocking, teasing, flirting, lies telling, exaggeration, boasting, manipulation, conflict, discrimination, hatred and any kinds of speech that will generate or promote disharmony in ourselves and in others.

This is part of the yoga practice of eliminating the ego, pride and arrogance by filtering, restricting and controlling our thinking, actions and speech. This is the practice of silence (Mauna) which is very important in our yoga and meditation practice.

We can appear to be very 'friendly', make friendship with many people and have many social interactive friends, but it is not necessarily that we are free from ill-will, jealousy, ill-thinking, criticism, slandering, back-biting, and discrimination towards all these 'friends'. Not to say when we come in contact with the people whom we dislike and disagree with, we might criticize, or condemn, or might say and do things that will hurt the reputation and feelings of these people whom we dislike and disagree with.

This type of egoistic friendliness is conditional. We can only be friendly to those whom we like and agree with, but not to those whom we dislike and disagree with.

Cultivate universal friendliness is part our yoga practice.

This type of friendliness is free from ill-will, jealousy, ill-thinking, criticism, slandering, back-biting or discrimination of likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements towards all beings. There's no 'special' treatment towards certain people, whether they are our 'friends' whom we like or they are not our 'friends' whom we dislike.

Universal friendliness is being kind towards all and everyone without discrimination nor judgment, without superiority nor inferiority, without selfish desires nor expectation, without influenced by the likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements coming from our egoistic mind.

As long as we are still not free from discrimination, have ill-will, anger and hatred towards certain people and things that our mind dislikes and disagrees with, we are not really friendly even if we have many social friends in life.

Be truly friendly to all without discrimination.

Be happy.


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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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