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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Egoism and the identification with qualities of names and forms...

All beings, except those who have gone beyond the egoism and the qualities of names and forms, attach to certain qualities of names and forms to be who we are, or who "I" am.

The one who think "I" am existing, is the ego, which is part of the function of the mind.

Just like all other "normal" human beings, the ego identifies itself with certain qualities of names and forms, such like birth place, family tree, nationality, ethnicity, language, culture, education, talents, career, profession, social status, financial status, relationships, social groups, living area, religion, beliefs, personality, thinking, physical appearance, physical condition, mental condition, and etc as who "I" am.

Because of this worldly identity or worldly self-image being deep rooted with the identification with all these qualities of names and forms as who we are, we are easily being disturbed, determined, upset and angry out of the "normal" reaction of the egoism when some people have some ideas, actions and speech that are being perceived or understood by our egoistic mind as "disrespectful", "disagreeable", "humiliation", "hurtful", "condemn", or "insult" towards these qualities that the ego identifies itself with. The ego feels being disrespected, disagreed, humiliated, hurt, condemned, or insulted by what it perceives or understood as something "negative" and "wrong" about "I", and reacts with anger and hatred.

If we identify ourselves as a "good Chinese woman" or a "Pious Buddhist", or anything that we attach onto to be identified as who we are, then we will be determined or restricted by all these qualities, and be disturbed or influenced by how other people perceive and judge about all these qualities, whether it is about us, or some other Chinese women or Buddhists. If somebody said something not nice about Chinese women or Buddhists, or about anything that we identify ourselves with, the ego will naturally feel so intimidated or offended. Even though what other people think and say is not about us, and it has nothing to do with "who we really are". The proud ego will also get upset and angry with some others who are also identifying with the same qualities as us, who are Chinese women or Buddhists, but they don't behave the way that we think they should be behaving just like us, "good Chinese women" or "Pious Buddhists". The proud ego thinks these "bad Chinese women" or "bad Buddhists" have humiliated or damaged the reputation of "Chinese women" or "Buddhists".

As a "Chinese woman" or "Buddhist", if "I" don't behave like what other people think a "good" Chinese woman or a "pious" Buddhist should behave, we "create" a cause for others to participate in criticism and condemn towards "Chinese women" or "Buddhists". Just like when some people who identify themselves as "Buddhists", but their behavior is being perceived by others as offensive, or disturbing, or disagreeable, or wrong for some other people, then a lot of condemn and criticism from those who feel offended or disagreed with this type of behavior will be directed towards these "Buddhists" and all other "Buddhists". Not to say when we don't think there is anything wrong, or offensive, or disturbing, or disagreeable with our own behavior, but out of different points of view and beliefs, other people are offended, disturbed or disagree with our behavior, and this will irritate, or annoy, or upset our ego as well.

We don't have to attach to the egoistic mind to be who we are, nor the mind should be over-powered by egoism, and attached to certain qualities of names and forms to be somebody or who "I" am.

If "I" identify myself as a writer, "I" will be restricted by all these qualities of names and forms that "I" am identifying with to write. Other people whose minds are restricted by certain qualities of names and forms will also judge about whether I am qualified to write about specific topics or subjects that has very little relation to the qualities that "I" identifying with, as well as restricting what I can write or should write based on what they think "I" am. There is no freedom of idea and expression, as the mind is being restricted to think, to believe, to behave, to act and react in certain ways based on all these qualities of names and forms.

There might be an action of "writing", but there is no "I", no "writer", no "writing"... There will be consequences of the action of "writing", maybe pleasant, maybe unpleasant, or both, but there is no "doer" of action nor "receiver" of the fruit of action.

Be free. This is real freedom of thinking, action and speech, not being limited nor restricted by any qualities of names and forms to think, to act and to express...

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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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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