be free, be happy, be peaceful

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

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Non-attachment and non-identification with qualities of names and forms is freedom...

Some people have been attending yoga (asana) classes for some time, but they said they never came across the yoga teachings about non-attachment and non-identification. They never heard about the teaching of yoga (Vedanta) about "I am not the body, the body is not me. I am not the mind, the mind is not me."

One thing that they usually hear from most yoga teachers is about positive thinking, to think and feel positively. They said even they have been practicing "positive thinking" as taught by most yoga teachers, and they have became more "positive" and cheerful than before, some even took up healthy vegetarian diet, but still it didn't help them to be free from low self-esteem, restlessness and unhappiness. It didn't really free their mind from reactions towards perception of names and forms, and continue to experience unhappiness or suffering because they are disturbed and affected by what their mind perceives through the senses, and be angry, frustrated and unhappy whenever they experience something that their mind perceives as something negative, bad and sad, or when they come in contact with qualities of names and forms that their mind doesn't like or doesn't agree with.

This is because they haven't practiced non-attachment towards qualities of names and forms, and non-identification with their body and mind. They haven't developed awareness to stand as a witness towards the activities in the mind, nor have awareness about the play of the ego yet.

They are still identifying with the impermanent body and mind as who they are, and have attachment towards the qualities of names and forms to influence and determine whether they will be happy and confident, or not. They are still influenced very much by the craving and aversion towards what the mind perceives and labels as good and bad, positive and negative, happiness and suffering. They attached strongly to the personal thinking and beliefs in their mind, and have strong disagreement and dislikes towards something that is different from what they think and believe what things are. And thus their mind constantly reacts towards the qualities of names and forms that they like and dislike, agree and disagree with. Their mind is disturbed and influenced by impurities like irritation, frustration, anger, hatred, jealousy, pride, dissatisfaction, disappointment, animosity, self-protection, fear and worry that derived from the constant reactions of craving and aversion in their mind.

Non-attachment towards the qualities of names and forms is actually freeing our mind from being disturbed, or affected, or influenced, or determined by the impermanent qualities of names and forms that our mind perceives through the senses, as the mind is able to see the truth of all these names and forms as they are, or realizing what is non-duality, that everything is just being what they are, they are neither something good nor bad, neither positive nor negative, neither happiness nor suffering. There is no more attachment or craving and aversion towards what our mind used to believe as good and bad, positive and negative, happiness and suffering.

It is the ego that reacts in accordance to the craving and aversion towards what it likes and dislikes, agrees and disagrees with. When the ego doesn't come in contact with what it likes and wants, or when it comes in contact with what it doesn't like and doesn't want, the ego will be dissatisfied, frustrated and unhappy. And there is restlessness and tension that derived from constant fear about losing something that it likes, or fear of coming in contact with something that it doesn't like and doesn't want. And hence, there is no peace.

By letting go craving and aversion, we are letting go of the ego and freeing the mind from egoism.

Non-identification is stop identifying with the impermanent body and mind as "I", nor being determined by the impermanent pleasant and unpleasant experiences through the function of the body and mind perception. As there is no "I", it's just the body and mind being here functioning, perceiving and reacting towards names and forms. And thus, there is no "I" being here to be identifying nor associating with all these impermanent perception of names and forms, to experience happiness or suffering.

And this is freedom.

Om shanti.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Yoga classes, fitness training, motivational and empowerment workshops?

Even though the means of yoga practice is supposed to be eliminating egoism, but sometimes it is not really eliminating the ego, but instead it is empowering the ego while performing the yoga asana practice.

There's no good or bad, right or wrong in whether we are eliminating the ego, or are empowering the ego through the yoga asana practice. It is fine whether people perform yoga asana practice is for transcending the identification with the body and mind, to realize unconditional peace and be free from egoism, ignorance and suffering, or it is for getting some benefits for the body and mind, to attain good condition of the physical body, to relax and release tension physically, mentally and emotionally, or it is for both, or it is for any other reasons.

The duty or the role of yoga teachers in guiding the yoga students to be eliminating egoism and ignorance, to transcend suffering effectively, is different from the duty or the role of fitness instructors in guiding the fitness students to be performing some exercises to attain physical, mental and emotional fitness goals or to achieve positive results effectively.

In fitness training, there's attachment towards the fruit of the actions, or the practice, or the exercises to attain some benefits, or to achieve certain results or improvement. And we are very much influenced or determined by the result or achievement to be motivating or demotivating us to perform the exercises, to feel good or not, to be happy and confident or not.

In yoga practice, there's no attachment towards the fruit of the actions, or the practice, or the exercises. It is not about performing the yoga asana practice to attain some benefits or to achieve certain results in return. But to allow the fruit of the actions, or the practice, or the exercises to be what it is. There is no doership. There is no identification with the body and mind, the physical condition and appearance, the physical abilities, or the state of the mind. All the yoga exercises are preparing the body and mind for meditation to contemplate upon the truth. And the truth is nothing to do with the the physical condition and appearance, the physical abilities, or the state of the mind that are impermanent. We are not influenced nor determined by the result or achievement to be motivating or demotivating us to perform the yoga (asana) practice, to feel good or not, to be happy and confident or not.

In fitness training, there are judgment, comparison, expectation, desires of craving and aversion (coming from both the teachers and the students) to be encouraging or motivating one to be performing their fitness training. The students want to be "good" students who achieve "good" results. The teachers want to be "good" teachers who give "good" results to the students. The students have expectation towards the teacher's performance, while the teachers also have expectation towards the student's performance. It is empowering the egoism and strengthening attachment towards worldly self-image or identification with qualities of names and forms. It is looking for some pleasant sensations in the body and mind. It is about "I want to look good." or "I want to feel good." It is looking forward to achieve certain qualities that our mind likes and agrees with, and want to get rid of certain qualities that our mind doesn't like and doesn't agree with. It is living in the state of dualism.

While in yoga practice, we are letting go the usual habits of the egoistic mind that involve lots of judgment, comparison, expectation, desires of craving and aversion in order to eliminate egoism and ignorance. It is shattering the egoism and weakening the attachment towards worldly self-image or identification with qualities of names and forms. It also involves some unpleasant purification process. It is not about "I want to look good." or "I want to feel good." It's not about looking forward to achieve certain qualities that our mind likes and agrees with, nor to get rid of certain qualities that our mind doesn't like and doesn't agree with, to be motivating us to perform yoga (asana) practice. But we allow the result of the yoga (asana) practice to be there as it is. It is living in the state of non-dualism.

In yoga practice, the teacher should be guiding the students on how to identify the egoism in them, and how to eliminate the ego and remove ignorance, by stop giving the ego what it likes and wants. The teacher allows the students to find the highest teacher within themselves and it's not about following or listening to what the teacher tells them about what they should do or believe, and what they should not do nor believe. The teacher is free from egoism and attachment towards qualities of names and forms, and allows the students to be free from egoism and attachment towards qualities of names and forms. It is not about "be positive" at all. It is seeing the truth of names and forms as they are, that all these names and forms are neither positive nor negative.

In fitness classes, we will hear the teacher constantly motivates the students by using a lot of "positive", "encouraging", "uplifting" and "acknowledging" words. "Keep it up!", "That's very good!", "Well done!", "You are very good!", "You can do it!", and etc. It's the ego that needs to rely on these positive, encouraging, uplifting and acknowledging words to be motivating them to do better or to work harder. Or else the ego feels demotivated or discouraged to strive to do better or to improve. This is empowering the egoism, by giving what the ego likes and wants.

How the yoga teacher teaches the students in performing the yoga (asana) practice cannot be judged with how the fitness instructor teaches the fitness students. Out of compassion towards the students, the teacher starves the ego of the students by not giving what their ego likes and wants. This type of teaching method might be criticized by worldly minded thinking as "unmotivating", "cold" and "hard".

There's nothing wrong with different types of "motivational" and "empowerment" workshops or classes in this world to bring "positive changes" and "motivations" to many people to bring out the best in us, to find the meanings of life, to live a more meaningful life, to have better relationship with anyone, and be successful and happy in life. It will help to boost up the self-confidence and strengthen one's ability to think and act, so that people can enjoy a better quality of life. But this doesn't really help to remove the root cause of affliction or suffering. As it is the ego that needs all these "motivational" training to improve "self-confidence", to be "better", "to be "good" and "to be successful", so that the ego will feel good and happy about itself and about life, when its desires are fulfilled, when condition is good, when things are the way that it likes it to be.

In motivational and empowerment workshops, many of them are about strengthening the self-image and empowering the identification with certain qualities of names and forms, and what we think we know and have, to be who we are. It's about empowering our intention and desires to bring out the best in us to achieve what we like and want. There's totally nothing wrong about this. Since not many people are interested in ultimate freedom that is free from being conditioned by qualities of names and forms due to egoism, ignorance and attachment, but rather interested in chasing after qualities of names and forms that they like and want, that will give them the sense of achievement, satisfaction and happiness that they want.

If we are interested to attain ultimate freedom or unconditional peace and happiness, we need to be free from egoism, ignorance and attachment. Be free from being disturbed, affected, influenced and determined by all the qualities of names and forms that our mind perceives through the senses from moment to moment, and thus be free from restlessness or unhappiness that derived from impurities that arise due to reactions of the ego towards what it likes and dislikes, agrees and disagrees with. We do our best to perform actions but not attach to the actions and the fruit of actions, and allow the reality to be what it is, as it is.

Om shanti.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A story of egoism, possessiveness, pride, authority, sacredness, language

Language is originally existing as a convenient tool for communication. We should have just leave it as simple as that.

But our ego is always greedy for authority. It takes up a particular language that it hears, learns it, speaks it, becomes familiar with it and calls it "my language", and takes pride in that language.

And then the ego has this idea and belief that no one should insult "my language" as "my language" is something sacred, and it's only entitled for sacred people like me to speak it. "My language" cannot be polluted or contaminated by some other languages that are not as sacred as "my language".

The ego identifies with this language as who "I" am. If anyone insults "my language" is insulting "I". And thus "I" get very upset and angry if anyone tries to insult or pollute "my language". Those who are not sacred beings like me, they cannot speak in "my language" as this will be polluting "my language"...

And then this ego has this idea that other languages are not as sacred as "my language". "My language" is the one and only sacred language in the world. "I" should only speak "my language" and no other languages, as by speaking those languages will contaminate my sacredness...

In the end, the ego believes itself is the most sacred being in the world and allows no one but itself to speak this language. The ego also doesn't want to speak other languages that it believes as not sacred. And thus verbal communication comes to an end for this proud ego with other people. This language has lost its simple purpose to serve as a convenient tool for communication.


In the beginning, nothing belongs to anyone. Everything exists for the convenience of everyone to be existing in this form, until the moment we start to take possession of any names and forms that we experience in this life existence and possess it as ours, such like "my body", "my mind", "my thinking", "my feelings", "my ideas", "my creations", "my achievements", "my belongings", "my family", "my parents", "my children", "my friends", "my partner", "my lover", "my pets", "my country", "my health", "my strength", "my religion", "my culture", "my race", "my language", "my pride", "my contribution", "my Guru", "my school", "my yoga", "my teachers", "my students", or anything that we think it's coming from "I" and it's "mine", we create inconvenience, restlessness, afflictions, unhappiness, disharmony, anger, hatred, fear and worry for ourselves and others.

End of story.

Om shanti.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Don't want to hurt other people's feelings?

Some people say that "hurting other people's feelings" is not their culture. They will not want to hurt anyone's feelings. They don't really appreciate straightforwardness, honesty and truthfulness. They prefer not to express how they feel or what they think (especially it's some negative comments, thinking and feelings,) in front of people, and they will always say nice things like, "You're very good. Thank you." even when they don't think or feel like that at all, but they will complain behind people's backs about they are not good.

They think and believe that by that way, they are free from hurting anyone's feelings at all.

The point is, if we truly don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, we should not have any negative or bad thinking, feelings, actions and speech at all (even behind other people's back or knowledge). Then we won't need to be untruthful or dishonest, nor have to be hypocrite and tell lies in front of anyone, nor will we say or do anything that will hurt anyone, whether directly or indirectly, whether in front of people or behind people's back.

Unless our mind is completely be free from impurities such like craving and aversion, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, pride, arrogance, animosity and fear that arise from egoism and attachment towards certain personal beliefs and cultural practice, or attachment towards the qualities of names and forms that we like and dislike, agree and disagree with. Or else we won't be free from hurting somebody's feelings at some points.

If we are aware of our mind is not pure and is being over-powered by some bad and negative thoughts or feelings about other people, but we can have self-control not to do or say anything that will hurt them whether directly or indirectly, whether in front of them or behind their backs, then we can say that we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings even though there are some negative thoughts and feelings arising and passing away in our mind. We observe these thoughts and let them go, without attachment nor judgment, without reaction nor expression through actions and speech.

How can we say "I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings... Hurting other living beings is not my culture." when we are over-powered by anger and hatred towards certain people's personality, behavior and actions that we strongly disagree with, and we criticize them and condemn these people to hell, and wish that they will suffer for what they have done?

As well as whether what kind of actions and speech that will hurt other people's feelings or not, has no particular standards that fit all. It depends on individual personality, perception about things, and how they react towards what they perceive. Some people easily get offended and feel hurt by what they perceive as 'not right', 'not nice', 'not good', offensive, or insult, even though nobody say or do anything that seems to be offensive or hurtful.

Those who have transcended egoism and names and forms will not be hurt by any forms of thoughts, actions and speech.

It depends on ourselves, our perception of things, our reactions towards what we perceive, the purity of our mind, to determine whether our feelings will be hurt by anybody's actions or speech. Usually when our feeling is hurt by certain actions or speech, is because those actions and speech is something that we (the ego) dislike and disagree with. Those actions and speech has no quality or power to hurt us unless we perceive them as something 'hurtful', and give them the quality and power to hurt us.

Om shanti.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Seeking for love, attention, support, agreement, companionship, interactions, authority, name and fame?

Seeking for love, attention, support, agreement, companionship, interactions, success, authority, name and fame from the world of names and forms, are the plays of the ego.

All these desires derived from egoism, to get rid of the feelings of emptiness, meaninglessness, deficiency, loneliness and dissatisfaction.

Get rid of the ego, be free from egoism, realize selflessness, and all these defilements will disappear.

The one and only 'problem' that we 'have' if we think we have problems in this life existence, is the ego.

Once the ego is eliminated, we perform actions without being influenced by craving and aversion, selfish intentions, desires and expectation of wants and don't wants, nor being determined by the result of actions.

Om shanti.

May your / our wishes come true?

On certain occasions or celebration days, such like birthday or new year, it's very common that we'll wish somebody or ourselves that "May all your/our wishes come true..."

Wishes (desires or goals) that are under the influence of an impure mind that is not completely be free from egoism, ignorance and impurities can be harmful. As in the process of making the wishes come true, as well as the end result might generate consequences that will hurt ourselves and others.

Be humble, especially when we think we are pure (enough), or we think we are humble (enough), or we think we are somehow purer than some other beings, or we think we are evolving on a higher level of consciousness than others... As if we are truly be free from egoism, there's nobody being there to be identifying with such different qualities of names and forms. As well as there's no criticism towards those whom we think they are inferior or less pure than us. There's no judgment nor comparison.

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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