be free, be happy, be peaceful

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

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Freedom?

When we do something, somebody will get offended and upset because what we do is not something that they like or can agree with. Even when we didn't do anything, somebody also will get offended and upset because they expect us to be doing something that they think we should be doing.

Human beings whose minds are not free from ignorance, egoism, dualism, attachment, impurities such like anger, hatred, jealousy, pride, arrogance, craving, aversion, animosity, offensiveness, defensiveness, feelings of hurt, disappointment, dissatisfaction, fear and worry, are their own greatest enemy, and constantly generate unrest in themselves and in others, whether intentionally or unintentionally, directly or indirectly.

For the sake of our own peace and peace in others, out of our own free will, we perform some sorts of practice or cultivation to control and purify our own minds (not about to control or to purify other people's minds), turn the outgoing mind inward, to develop self-control and self discipline, and observe certain observations, to filter or restrict or minimize the inputs and outputs of the mind, to eliminate ignorance, egoism, dualism, attachment, impurities, anger, hatred, jealousy, pride, arrogance, craving, aversion, animosity, offensiveness, defensiveness, feelings of hurt, disappointment, dissatisfaction, fear and worry. To be free.

Free the mind from ignorance, egoism, dualism, attachment and impurities, transcend this life existence that is conditioned by impermanent qualities of names and forms, have peace in oneself, is the greatest contribution to world peace.

If this is not the freedom that you are looking for, it's fine. Be happy with what you want to achieve in this life existence. It's your freedom.

Om shanti.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Be ourselves, but also be opened, let go of self-righteousness...

If we identified with and attached to certain ideology, ways of thinking, ways of living, ideas, beliefs, actions and reactions to live our life, to be who we are, about how we as "human beings" should behave, but we also expect other people or other living beings in the world to be agree with and live up to the same ideology or beliefs as we do, then we are not just generating affliction and unhappiness (Such like anger, hatred, fear, worry, dissatisfaction, disappointment, feelings of hurt, and etc) in ourselves, but also generating unnecessary conflicts with other people.

Sometimes, or, most of the time, while we are looking for freedom of thinking, action and expression to be what we want to be, we are not aware that we are "violating" other people's or other living beings' freedom of thinking, actions and expression, if ourselves is strongly attached to our own ideology and being self-righteous.

We get offended, feel insulted or humiliated, or feel hurt easily by other people or other living beings who have different ideology than us, who think, behave, act and react differently from us, which is contradicting with our own points of view and beliefs.

We'll get angry and upset easily, hurting ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally, disturbing the equilibrium of the body and mind, as well as we might be hurting other beings, if we don't have awareness and self-control over our own anger, irritation and frustration whenever our egoistic minds come in contact with something (names and forms) that our mind strongly dislike and disagree with, based on what our minds believe what things are, or how things should be like.

And that's where anger and hatred begins, where arguments and clashes begin, where wars and violence begin...

Have our own ideology, be ourselves, as we are, but also be opened, let go of self-righteousness.

Allow and respect other people or other living beings to be what they are, to be different from us... It doesn't mean that we have to agree with other people's thinking and behavior that we cannot agree with, nor are we supporting other people to behave the way that we think is "wrong" or "not right" based on what our minds believe what is right and wrong...

Have peace in ourselves, before we can "expect" or "hope for" peace in the world, if we think we are so right and so good human beings.

Be in harmony with ourselves and with others. Let go of expectation towards other people or other living beings that they should behave in certain ways that our mind can agree with, no matter how "great" we think our ideology is...

Learn how to love unconditionally before we can "expect" or "hope for" peace and harmony in our relationships with anyone.

This is yoga practice.

Om shanti.

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.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I love yoga?

We think we love yoga.

We love to do yoga asana exercises, as it makes us feel peaceful and calm for some time afterwards.

Our physical body has been gaining some benefits from the yoga asana practice regularly and becomes stronger and more flexible. We can perform some of the yoga asana poses that we couldn't perform in the beginning. We gain certain amount of self-confidence and improving tremendously in overall well-being.

It makes us feel good and look good. Our body and mind feels good.

We attend different types of yoga (asana) classes regularly, we perform our yoga asana practice either at home or at yoga centre, by ourselves or under the teacher's instructions. We also have attended some special yoga courses, or yoga retreats, or yoga festivals here and there.

We call and identify ourselves as "yogi", or "yoga practitioner", or "yoga teacher".

We tell ourselves and the world "I love yoga!"

And yet, in everyday life, we still feel that we need to get rid of or to get away from "something" that we think which makes us feel unhappy, hurt, insulted, humiliated, angry, fear, worry, depressed, disappointed, tired, exhausted or stressed, physically, mentally, emotionally...

We think and feel that we and other people should behave in certain ways, or else we and other people are not good human beings, or we feel dissatisfied and disappointed in ourselves or in others.

We are affected, disturbed, influenced and determined by the qualities of names and forms that possessed by the body and mind. We are affected, disturbed, influenced and determined very much by what the mind perceives through the senses of what we see, hear, smell, taste, touch and think.

It doesn't matter who we think we are and what we do in life professionally, we attached to all these qualities of names and forms to be who we are, and we don't have self-control over our thoughts, action and speech, but being over-powered by egoism, pride, arrogance, anger, hatred, jealousy, fear, worry, ill-will, animosity, offensiveness, defensiveness, craving and aversion, constantly hurting ourselves and others.

We are disturbed by how we judge about ourselves and how other people judge about us.

We swing back and forth from one extreme to the other extreme, couldn't stay on the middle path.

We read books and study subjects about this and that, and generate like or dislike, agreement or disagreement based on what our mind believes what things are and how things should be like.

Then it doesn't matter we tell ourselves and the world about how much "I love yoga", and do all the yoga things, we are just wandering left and right at the very beginning path of yoga, we haven't make any progression towards yoga...

If we truly practice yoga and love yoga, we let go of identification with qualities of names and forms, let go of the egoism and attachment towards the body and mind, let go of impurities that hurt ourselves and others, let go of the little "I" and "mine-ness", let go of pride and arrogance, let go of the fruit of actions, let go of criticism towards ourselves and others, we love and accept ourselves and others as we are, as they are... And all these have nothing to do with how strong and flexible is our body, how many yoga asana poses we can perform, how perfect is the physical alignment to perform the exercises, how many yoga classes we have been attending, how many certificates we attained, or how much knowledge or information about yoga that we attain from reading and hearing...

When we let go egoism, there’s no “I” or “I love yoga”.

Om shanti.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Selflessness?

Upon the realization of there is no "I", or selflessness (being free from egoism), there is no identification with any qualities of names and forms, to be proud of or ashame of, to feel meaningful or meaningless, to be happy or unhappy. There is no fear towards uncertainty, impermanent changes, separation from the things and people whom we love, come in contact with the objects and happenings that our minds believe as "not good", old age, weakness, sickness, death and etc...

Om shanti.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Undisturbed and uninfluenced by qualities of names and forms is different from being self-centered, stubborn, proud and arrogant...

Sometimes we confuse "what is being undisturbed and uninfluenced by qualities of names and forms" with "being self-centered, stubborn, proud and arrogant towards our own thinking, beliefs and behavior."

The difference between these two things is one is free from egoism, and the other one is derived from egoism.

One is at peace and being compassionate towards oneself and others, while the other one is not necessarily at peace, and is not necessarily being compassionate towards oneself and others.

One is being thoughtful for others without being influenced by others, and will not generate any actions that will intentionally hurt oneself or others. While the other one is being self-centered and unthoughtful for others, and might generate actions that will hurt oneself and others.

One is allowing and respecting others to be different in thinking, beliefs and behavior, while the other one might not allow nor respect others for having different thinking, beliefs and behavior.

Om shanti.

Why not?

Either it is something that is beyond the knowledge of our minds, which our minds have not experienced before, or it is something that our minds dislike and disagree with, and our minds react with "How can it be?!" or "No, It's not possible!" then we reply the mind with this mantra - "Why not?"

Train the mind to be opened towards something that is beyond the mind's knowledge and experiences, or towards names and forms that the mind dislikes and disagrees with.

This doesn't mean that we have to be agreeing with everything, or we are supporting things that our minds believe as bad or wrong. But, it is to free our minds from being disturbed or determined by things that our minds strongly dislike and disagree with, and be at peace, maintaining a balance state of mind.

Only when ourselves is at peace, or the mind is balanced, we can contribute to the world to improve with peace and compassion. Or else we will be generating lots of negativities in ourselves and into the world, when our minds are disturbed and determined by things that our minds dislike and disagree with, and react with actions and speech that will cause further disharmony in oneself and in others.

Om shanti.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Letting go of attachment towards the thinking and beliefs in the mind...

It is not important whether the thinking and beliefs in our minds is true or not true. Or whether other people's thinking and beliefs that is different from our thinking and beliefs, is true or not true. We don't have to attach to any thinking and beliefs to be somebody with certain qualities of names and forms which we think that is who we are.

As the Truth is nothing to do with what type of thinking and beliefs in the mind. The Truth is always there as it is, whether we can see it or not. We see the Truth when the mind is free from attachment towards the qualities of names and forms, and is not influenced by dualism and egoism. We can't see the Truth when the mind is attaching towards the qualities of names and forms, and our thinking and beliefs is being influenced by dualism and egoism.

It is about letting go of attachment towards what our minds or other people's minds think and believe what things are. Allow all the different thinking and beliefs to be existing as they are, without clinging onto any of them to be who we are.

Allow the mind to be opened, to allow all the different thinking and beliefs to be what they are, allow everyone to have different thinking and beliefs from one another, without generate attachment of craving and aversion towards certain type of thinking and beliefs that our minds like and dislike, agree and disagree with.

This will lead to non-judgment, non-comparison and non-expectation. Not comparing ours and others thinking and beliefs that are different from one another. Nor judging other people's thinking and beliefs that are different from us as good or bad. Nor expect other people to change their thinking and beliefs that our minds dislike and disagree with into what our minds like and can agree with.

This is part of the purification process to free the mind from dualism and egoism which is the cause of separateness and afflictions.

Once we realize the Truth, we don't have to play the worldly game of egoism that attached to qualities of names and forms to be who we are, and be free.

Om shanti.

Non-attachment or non-expectation towards the fruit of actions?

Letting go of expectation towards the fruit of actions, is about performing all actions without attachment towards the actions and the fruit of actions, but allowing the fruit of actions to be what it is. This is different from the idea of "After I performed some (good or bad) actions, I do not want to receive anything (good or bad) in return", or "I do not expect something in return that is beyond my expectation."

As all actions will definitely bring some pleasant or unpleasant consequences in return, whether we want to receive something in return or not, whether we have attachment and expectation towards the fruit of actions or not, or whether the fruit of actions is the way that we think it should be or not. The fruit of actions will be there as it is. It won't become more or less, nor disappear.

Om shanti.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

All paths lead to liberation when egoism and ignorance is eliminated...

Whether it is Karma Yoga, or Bhakti Yoga, or Jnana Yoga, or Raja Yoga, or any other forms of Yoga, or any types of practice, as long as it leads to the elimination of egoism and ignorance, it will lead to liberation...

Om shanti.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Yoga and world peace...

Yoga exists in the world is for the sake of world peace, as world peace has to start with individual peace and liberation in all beings.

This liberation is not about only come in contact with what we like and want, and not coming in contact with anything that we don't like and don't want. It's liberation from egoism and ignorance.

The world is just being what it is, it is neither peaceful nor not peaceful. It is "us", who we think we are, that are responsible for generating all sorts of impure thoughts, actions and speech through the function of the body and mind, whether intentionally and unintentionally upon oneself and into the world, and thus the world appears as not peaceful. Impure thoughts, actions and speech are being generated into the world is due to our impure minds are not at peace due to egoism and ignorance, and generate attachment towards the qualities of names and forms, and reacts towards names and forms that the it likes and dislikes, agrees and disagrees with. And thus the mind is constantly under the influence of impurities such like anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, pride, arrogance, intolerance, animosity, offensiveness, defensiveness, craving, aversion, fear and worry, to act and react.

We cannot make the world peaceful, but with everyone attaining purity and peace in oneself, it will bring peace into the world.

Yoga practice if being practiced sincerely and persistently with correct attitude can allow beings (whether we think we, or other beings are good or evil) to purify the mind, to allow the mind to be free from ignorance and egoism, to transcend birth and death, or suffering, by realizing the truth of its own true nature, or realizing the truth of the worldly identification of "I", which doesn't exist at all.

The existence of yoga, its teachings and practice in the world doesn't guarantee peace or liberation to anyone. Just by hearing, reading, memorizing, studying and discussing about yoga, its teachings and practice also doesn't bring peace and liberation to anyone.

We have to practically practice yoga by applying the teachings of yoga which is eliminating the egoism from our minds in every moment in everyday life, where the perception of names and forms begins, or whenever the mind comes in contact with the objects of names and forms, and having the awareness to stand as a witness towards all these activities in the mind, training the mind not to attach and not to identify with all these perceptions of names and forms, to allow the mind to be free from restlessness, being unaffected, undisturbed, uninfluenced, and undetermined by all these perceptions of names and forms, and thus allowing the mind to be able to perceive the truth of everything as it is, not being contaminated by impurities and ignorance. If the mind is still under the influence of egoism and ignorance, then whatever the mind perceives through the senses will be contaminated by impurities that derived from egoism and ignorance. This hinders the mind to perceive the truth of things as they are.

It is through our own effort and realization of the truth by letting go of egoism and ignorance (the attachment towards the qualities of names and forms) that will bring peace and liberation to the mind.

There is no "I" existing, nor experiencing happiness or suffering.

It is just the body and mind existing, functioning, perceiving, acting and reacting.

If "I" exists, then "I" should be the master of "myself" (who "I" think "I am"), as well as being the master of this body and mind which allows "I" to be experiencing all these names and forms. They should belong to "I", and they should be in my control on how "I" want them to be. But, this body and this mind is not in the control of "I" at all, as they don't belong to "I" who "I" think "I am existing". Every moment this body and mind is subject to impermanence, changing, reacting, unceasingly. The existence and the function of the body and mind is solely dependent on energy and elements of fire, water, wind, earth and space to be existing and functioning. Without all these supports, there is no mind. There's no perception of names and forms, no thinking, no acting and reacting. There is no existence of who "I" think "I am".

This "I" whom "I" think is existing as who am "I", who is somebody or an individual that has certain qualities of names and forms, personality, thinking, beliefs and behavior, who perceives "I" is an individual who is different and separated from other beings, who is either superior or inferior than other beings, who "I" think "I" am the one that thinks, feels, expresses, acts and reacts, enjoys and suffers, is just the mind being functioning powered by energy and elements.

This body and mind will stop functioning and stop existing at its own causation, time and space. "I" who "I" think "I am existing" has no control at all of the existence and non-existence of this body and mind. As even when the mind "decides" to "kill" itself, and the body stops functioning, that is also the causation for the body and mind to be stop existing. "I" who think "I am existing", who should be "the master of my body and mind", doesn't have anything to do with this causation for both the existence and non-existence (Or birth and death) of this body and mind.

Practice yoga, not just about getting some physical, mental and emotional benefits for the body and mind from performing the yoga practice, but practice the means of yoga about transcending egoism and ignorance. When the mind is free from egoism and ignorance, and is at peace, there is less a being contributing restlessness or unpeacefulness into the world. That is a huge contribution to world peace.

As just by attaining some physical, mental and emotional benefits from yoga practice, feeling good about oneself by achieving the qualities that the mind likes and not coming in contact with the qualities that the mind doesn't like, doesn't guarantee peace and liberation for the mind, to be free from suffering that derived from egoism and ignorance.

For example, when we think we are happy because our physical body is having certain qualities that we like, and we will be unhappy when our body is having certain qualities that we don't like, then we don't really know how to love ourselves, as when we are over-powered by intense "love" towards the qualities of this physical body, we actually love our self-image that built on identification with the qualities of the physical body, but we don't really love our physical body as it is. It's because if we have the desire of "want" to have a good condition and good looking physical body the way that we like it to be, and we have aversion towards the qualities or conditions that we don't like, we are doing more harm to the body, as this desire of craving and aversion will generate unnecessary tension into the system, or when we feed the body with some unnatural "stuffs" internally and externally, and straining the body by performing some over-loading physical activities, to achieve certain results that we want, or trying to make it to be the way that we like it to be.

If our mind is being influenced by egoism and ignorance, and has strong attachment and identification towards its own perceptions, points of view, thinking and beliefs, it will constantly react with dissatisfaction, anger and hatred towards names and forms that it doesn't like and disagrees with based on its own perceptions, points of view, thinking and beliefs.

By reacting towards what our minds believe as "bad" and "evil" happenings in the world with anger and hatred, and act out of anger and hatred, cannot make the world to become peaceful, but will only generating more reactions of anger and hatred in the world. Unconditional love or compassion is the means for world peace, by having peace in oneself when we realize compassion, which is the true nature of all beings.

Discrimination of the real and the unreal (Realizing wisdom, or knowing the truth, or be free from ignorance) brings non-discrimination towards qualities of names and forms of what our minds believe as "good and bad", "positive and negative", "happiness and suffering", "right and wrong". Compassion will also manifests itself upon the the realization of non-dualism. And this is liberation, being free from craving and aversion towards what our minds believe as "good and bad", "positive and negative", "happiness and suffering", "right and wrong" upon realization of non-duality.

Om shanti.

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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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