be free, be happy, be peaceful

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

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Discrimination based on qualities that we like and dislike, agree and disagree with...

While we often complain about others for being discriminative or racist, but how many of us will show special liking and interest towards people who seem to be 'nice' and 'smart', who treat us the way that we like them to treat us, who have 'pretty' face and 'well-shaped' body figure, and we will treat them differently from those who seem to be 'not very nice' and 'not very smart', who don't treat us the way that we like them to treat us, who don't have 'pretty' face or 'well-shaped' body figure?

As this is also being discriminative.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy or not, is coming from a trained mind or untrained mind...

Who we really are, or our true nature, doesn't need to practice yoga and meditation, nor to go through any trainings, nor to observe any disciplines.

The one who needs to practice yoga and meditation, or to be trained and to be purified, is the impure mind.

When we are still identifying with the egoistic thinking mind as who we are, we (the egoistic mind) need some sorts of 'training' or 'purification' to be free from egoism and ignorance, and thus be free from the suffering that derives from egoism and ignorance.

When we think 'we' are not happy, it is the mind being 'unhappy'.

When we identified ourselves with the mind, we think it is us who is not happy when the mind is unhappy. When we know how to not identify ourselves with the mind, and learn how to be aware of all the states of the mind, then we will see that it is just the mind being happy or unhappy. The awareness is neither happy nor unhappy.

If the mind is easily being in a state of unhappiness, and usually continues to stay in that state of unhappiness for quite some time, and it is unable to let go of attachment towards the perceptions of names and forms, then this indicates that the mind is untrained. The untrained mind is easily being affected, or disturbed, or influenced, or determined by the qualities of names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses. The untrained mind reacts in a habitual way towards what it likes and dislikes, agrees and disagrees with, constantly influenced by the craving and aversion from the egoism, and thus arise happy or unhappy feelings.

If the mind is well-trained, the mind won't easily being in a state of unhappiness, or the state of unhappiness doesn't last long. The well-trained mind will not easily react towards the perceptions of names and forms, and thus will not easily be affected, nor disturbed, nor influenced, nor determined by the qualities of names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses. Even if sometimes the trained mind generates attachment towards the perception of names and forms, and reacts towards them, and experiences the state of unhappiness, but the trained mind can easily free itself from this state of unhappiness, as it is able to let go of attachment towards the perceptions of names and forms quickly.

A well-trained mind has been developing a strong foundation of introspection, patience, perseverance, determination, will-power, forbearance, acceptance, tolerance, adjustment, adaptation, accommodation, forgiveness, cheerfulness, calmness, clarity, self-control, self-discipline, concentration, attentiveness, contentment, generosity, non-attachment, detachment, non-judgment, non-comparison, and non-expectation.

A well-trained mind has developed the power of letting go of any impurities, craving and aversion, the state of disturbance, or unrest, or suffering that arise in the mind due to the reaction of the mind towards the perceptions of names and forms.

A well-trained mind is free from the influence of the selfish egoism and the conditional intellectual thinking and beliefs, likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, craving and aversion, and be free from impurities like anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, feelings of hurts, pride, arrogance, agitation, depression, fear and worry.

An untrained mind attached to the qualities of names and forms to be 'somebody', or to be 'who we think we are', or 'what we want ourselves to be'.

And all these trainings in the mind are not determined by the physical conditions and abilities, the physical fitness, strength and flexibility, nor how much or what type of worldly knowledge, education level, social status, personalities, spoken languages, social interactions, personal relationships, skills of living, talents or cultural beliefs that we have. But the mind can make use of all these life experiences for itself to be trained to free from being determined by all these impermanent qualities of names and forms, and not being conditioned by all these life experiences.

The well-trained mind is not determined by all the qualities of names and forms that the body and mind possessed and not possessed. It is free from the state of unhappiness that derives from craving and aversion. It maintains a certain level of calmness and clarity under any circumstances. It might loose its balance once in a while, but very fast it will be on track again. As everything is impermanent, except our true nature, which is beyond all the impermanent qualities of names and forms, or beyond the existence and functions of the body and the mind.

Om shanti.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The practice of silence is not just about not talking...

The practice of silence is not just about not talking or silencing the speech organ, but it is silencing the thought currents of unceasing desires of craving and aversion derived from egoism...
Speech and actions are the external reflective expression of all these egoistic thought currents.
Affirmation or assertion of a self-image with certain qualities and personalities are the ego expressing and empowering itself...
Guard our thoughts, actions and speech.
Om shanti.

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.


Friday, December 6, 2013

Impermanence...

Impermanence is the permanent truth of everything with all the qualities of names and forms.

Whenever somebody talks to me about this or that person is very nice, or this or that person is not good, usually I'll just listen, with no comment. Or my reply is, it's not necessarily. Everyone is just being what they are in the present moment. They aren't nice or not nice, good or not good, happy or unhappy. All these impermanent states of mind are not who they really are.

How we think and feel about others, is coming our own mind reacts towards what it perceives through the senses, based on what it likes and dislikes, agrees and disagrees with. Most of the time other people have no intention to be 'not nice' to us, but our own mind perceives it as a 'not nice' treatment from other people, because we expect other people to treat us in certain ways that we like other people to treat us, or we expect other people should treat us the way that we think they should treat us. When we don't receive what we think we should be receiving, our mind is not happy, or dissatisfied and angry.

I am aware that sometimes people may appear to be nice and sometimes may appear to be not so nice, and it's fine. Even if that person is a 'saint' or highly respected person, everyone is allowed to be nice or not nice, or behave differently from time to time. As I have no expectation towards other people how they should be like.

I seldom ask people who they are, where they come from, what they did in the past, what they do for living, and what they want to do in the future, as all these names and forms are not important, because I only see everyone as they are, in the present moment. And even how they are in this present moment now, is also impermanent.

I do not 'fall in love' with anyone who appears to be very nice, nor do I get unhappy with anyone who appears to be not nice, nor do I get disappointed or unhappy when the people who used to be nice, but now appear to be not nice. As I have no attachment nor expectation towards anyone or anything.

I just do my best to be friendly and nice to all and everyone without discrimination of different names and forms. I have no interest in accumulating personal social friendships. But I do my best to be a universal friend to all and everyone.

I see everyone as universal friends, even though there are people who dislike me and disagree with me. They are free to dislike and disagree with me. They are allowed to reject or ignore my friendliness. I still can be friendly and be nice to everyone even if I am not 'their' friend.

If people want to be nice and friendly to me without any expectation, I appreciate and be grateful.

Some people might get offended if they want to be friend with somebody, but that person has no interest to be friend with them. People get offended is because they expect that if they are nice to other people, then other people should also be nice to them, and they don't really want to be friend to other people, but they just want other people to be 'their' friend. And when this desire is not being gratified, they are not happy. Just like when some people fall in love with another person, and they have the desire to be with that person, hoping that person will also love them in return and have a love relationship with them. And if this desire is not being gratified, they will feel so unhappy.

If some people want to create problems, I'll just move away.

Whenever somebody told us that we are so lucky to be living in Langkawi and our yoga studio is so lovely and it's such a very nice place to practice yoga and meditation, I told them that even this lovely yoga studio that everyone loves so much is also impermanent. Someday sooner or later, this yoga studio will not be available. And it's fine. I just appreciate the present moment that it is still available for teaching yoga, for now.

It is fine whether I live in Langkawi or in Malaysia, or not. It is fine whether I am teaching yoga or not.

May all be happy.

Om shanti.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

George Town Literary Festival 2013

I went to the George Town Literary Festival 2013 in Penang recently from 29th of November till 1st of December. I was there for the book launch of my husband debut collection of short stories - Tropical Madness published by Fixi Novo.

Here are some of the photos that I took at the festival.




















































I know nothing much about literature, but I am very glad to have the chance to meet with many great-minded, humble and fun people from the world of literature at the George Town Literary Festival...

Be happy.

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About Yoga

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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