be free, be happy, be peaceful

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

Monday, April 28, 2014

Freedom of thinking, action and speech?

We want to be able to have freedom of thinking, action and speech. That's what most people fight for from ancient until now. When we want to be able to express ourselves through thinking, action and speech freely, do we also allow other people to express themselves through thinking, action and speech freely, even though we don't like and cannot agree with their thinking, action and speech? Do we easily or automatically get disturbed, angry and unhappy when we hear or see something that we cannot agree with? Do we want to be free from disturbs, anger, disappointment, dissatisfaction, restlessness and unhappiness? Do we really want to have peace? Or do we actually enjoy all these disturbs, anger, disappointment, dissatisfaction, restlessness and unhappiness, and don't really like peace (as it does "appear" to be quite boring without excitement and stimulation...)

There's nothing wrong with expressing our points of view about agreements and disagreements, about what we believe as right and wrong freely. That's the natural habit of the mind. That's what a mind does to be existing, to be acknowledged by itself and the world of its existence.

When we only allow ourselves to have freedom of thinking, action and speech, believe in what we want to believe, do what we want to do, and say what we want to say, but at the same time, we don't allow other people to have freedom of thinking, action and speech, and we want to "correct" their thinking, action and speech to be the way that we think it should be, and that is what the world is happening now - it starts with disagreements, then arguments, clashes, unrest, hatred, violence, wars, killing, torturing, and etc.

If someone needs to be "corrected", it has to come from oneself willingly to "correct" what needs to be "corrected", and it's not coming from other beings trying to "change" or "correct" another being.

When we practice yoga and meditation, we are changing the habits of the mind. We are silencing the mind. When the mind is silent, turning inward resting in the chamber of the heart, what is freedom of thinking, action and speech?

Taming and quieting the busy mind is our yoga and meditation practice. The rest are just "toys" to bring the attention of the mind into this present moment.

That's why the observance of silence is the most important practice in meditation retreat. It doesn't matter whether we are intellectual or not, it doesn't matter who we think we are, it doesn't matter how healthy, strong and flexible is our physical body and what it can do or cannot do, it doesn't matter we have been to a yoga school or not, or studied and learned under which Guru or which school, it doesn't matter how long we have been studying and practicing yoga and meditation, it doesn't matter how much we know or don't know about this and that, it doesn't matter what we believe what things are and how things should be, we all do one same practice. We silent the thought-waves, the physical body and the organ of speech (organs of expression).

When we see, or hear, or smell, or taste, or touch, or think about something that we like or dislike, agree or disagree with, we observe, be aware... Just observe and be aware, without identification, without attachment, without reacting, without judging, without anticipating, without craving, without aversion, without clinging, without rejecting... This practice might take some time to be effortless. But then our mind will taste freedom and peace. Real freedom and unconditional peace. Freedom from ignorance, egoism, attachment and impurities (in short, suffering)...

Om shanti.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Home cooked vegetarian food recipe - Chana Masala (Chickpea Curry)

Here is another new vegetarian cooking recipe for our yoga retreats guests here in Langkawi.

Chana Masala (Chickpea curry) (serve 6-8 people)
This is a recipe I learned and modified from Manjula's Kitchen

400 grams of chickpeas, soaked over night and then cooked in pressure cooker for 15 minutes after it starts to steam. Turn off the heat. Wait until the steam completely released, then drained the chickpeas.

8 tomatoes, grilled in oven for about 15 minutes, peeled and blend into a puree.

2 teaspoons cumin seeds (jeera)

3 tablespoons gram flour / chickpea flour (Besan)

3 teaspoons ginger paste

2 red or green chillies, chopped

6 teaspoons coriander powder (dhania)

1 and 1/2 teaspoons turmeric powder (haldi)

1 and 1/2 teaspoons chilly powder

2 heap teaspoons salt (adjust to taste)

1 and 1/2 teaspoons garam masala or chana masala

Cooking oil

2 cups of water



x x x x x x x x x x x x

Heat up the pot at medium high heat. Add about 4 tablespoons of cooking oil.

When the oil is hot, add cumin seeds, gram flour. Stir evenly until the gram flour turn slightly brown and fragrant.

Add ginger paste, tomato puree, chopped chillies, coriander powder, chilly powder, turmeric powder.

Stir evenly until the paste well-cooked and fragrant.

Add in the chickpeas, garam masala or chana masala and salt. Add water, cooked until boiling. Switch to low heat and cover. Cooked for 15-20 minutes.

Serve hot with rice or bread, or as a snack on its own.

Bon Appétit!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

About what is "allowed" and "disallowed" in Yoga...

Lately there was search word like "What is allowed and disallowed in yoga?" came to this blog.

Well, if by taking up "yoga practice" will generate a lot more inconveniences and problems in life, making our life and other people's life more complicated, then personally I have no interest to be practicing this yoga. As anyone also can be happy and peaceful as they are, it's not necessarily has to be coming from practicing yoga.

Most of the rules and regulations exist for those who don't have self-control and self-discipline to help them to develop these two elements to help them in their practice towards conquering their own mind.

For those whose minds are liberated, they don't need to practice yoga, nor to observe any observations, nor be bound by any rules and regulations.

Here are some of the observations to be engaging yoga practice in everyday life:-
- Have strong self-discipline.
- Do our best in whatever we do and renounce the fruit of actions.
- Accept and respect all beings as they are.
- Talk less.
- Conserve energy.
- Be moderate in food intake.
- Take up Sattvic diet that helps in calming the mind.
- Be adjustable, adaptable and accommodating.
- Be kind and forgiving.
- Be truthful and straightforward.
- Be humble and generous.
- Contemplate on the teachings of yoga.
- Live in the present moment.
- Don't give up, keep practice.
- Don't judge, compare, expect.
- Don't discriminate any beings based on our personal thinking and beliefs, likes and dislikes, agreement and disagreement.
- Don't waste time and effort in vain talk, boasting, gossiping, slandering, condemning, scheming, complaining, mourning, and etc.
- Don't waste energy in too much worldly physical and mental activities.
- Don't take too little or too much food, and don't take food that will either agitate or depress the mind.
- Don't hate or save hatred.
- Don't tell lies or be hypocrite.
- Give up the identification with the worldly self-image.
- Give up possessiveness and jealousy.
- Give up pride and arrogance.
- Give up anger and hatred.
- Give up fear and worry.
- Give up dissatisfaction and disappointment.
- Give up offensiveness, defensiveness, aggressiveness and animosity.
- Give up craving and aversion.
- Give up ill-will and ill-thinking.

By observing these observations can help in purifying, taming and controlling the mind, to help to free the mind from ignorance, egoism, distractions and passionate desires. But it is not a guarantee of liberation or enlightenment. As even by observing these observations, it still doesn't determine that we will be free from ignorance, egoism and attachment. For example, we might still have attachment towards identification of "I" am observing all these "observations", and "I" am a good yogi.

It's not that if we didn't manage to have strong self-discipline, or we like to talk a lot, or if we like to judge, compare and expect, or we spent lots of effort and energy in many worldly physical and mental activities, or if we are not vegetarian, or if we are influenced by passionate desires, anger or depression, that will determine that we are "bad" beings, or we are "evil" beings, or will be guaranteed that we won't be happy and peaceful.

There's no such thing as things or behaviors that are "only be allowed" and "strictly disallowed" if we know what is yoga. If there is something that is "allowed" and "disallowed" in yoga, does that means if we do something that we aren't allowed to do, we will be judged and punished accordingly? Or if we didn't do what we are supposed to be doing, we will also be judged and punished accordingly? And then we will not be allowed or be disqualified to practice yoga, now and forever? If this is happening in what we think is the world of "yoga", then this is not yoga at all. Even if somebody had committed some serious crimes whether intentionally or unintentionally, this person also can practice yoga, and attain liberation through one's own effort. Of course there will be consequences of actions coming from our behavior that we have to be responsible for.

As yoga and Buddhism is a practice by freedom of choice. It's not a religious practice or cult that we have to be observing certain rules and regulations. Or else if we don't follow exactly the rules and regulations, or if we fail to meet up to certain observations or expectations, then we will be judged as "sinful", "bad" and "evil", or we will be punished by some "higher authorities" and be condemned to hell. It is our own freedom of choice and our own responsibility of whether we will be peaceful or not. Maybe some people don't want to be peaceful, they enjoy being restless all the time. That's their freedom and choice. There's nothing wrong with that.

If anyone wants to be good and do good, it's everyone's freedom. If anyone doesn't want to be good or do good, it's also everyone's freedom.

Yoga is about realizing the truth of oneness, non-separateness, non-duality, fearlessness, unconditional peace, unconditional love, attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness. It is everyone's freedom whether they want to take up the practice or want to leave the practice, as they wish. There's no contract, no agreement, no punishment, no sin or condemnation if we don't practice yoga the way that some other people are practicing, or we don't observe certain rules and regulations that some other people are observing, or if we want to stop practicing yoga for any reasons.

If we are interested in yoga practice, and we practice yoga sincerely and realize the truth through our own effort, at our own pace, it's coming from our own self.

If we don't want to practice yoga and are not interested in any forms of practice, it's our own freedom. It doesn't mean that we are any less good, or less peaceful and less compassionate than those who take up some forms of spiritual or religious practice.

Or, we want to practice yoga but somehow we haven't realize the truth, and we are not free from suffering, ignorance and egoism, it's also coming from our own self.

Be free.

Om shanti.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Home baked Carrot Cake




This is a smaller size of the usual carrot cake. Serves 4 portions.

*I use mug as I don't have a cup at home.

Preheat the oven at 180 degree Celsius. Depends on your oven, you might need to increase the temperature to about 200 degree Celsius.

Beat 2 eggs, 1 block melted palm sugar - gula melaka (or 1/2 mug brown sugar), 65 gm melted butter until all mixed well.

Shift 1 mug cake flour, 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder, 2 teaspoons nutmeg powder, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Mix the flour mixture, I mug grated carrot, 1/2 mug raisins, 1/2 mug walnuts and some grated orange zest into the eggs batter.

Pour the mixture into a medium sized greased baking mould, and bake for about 45 minutes. Take out from the oven.

Stand for 10 minutes. Remove from the baking mould.

Serve warm.



Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Control other people's mind?

Quite often this search word "how to control other people's mind" came to this blog.

If we really want to control other people's mind, well, we need to know how to control our own mind first.
And when we are able to control our own mind, then naturally we won't have this desire of want to control other people's mind.

Om shanti.

Monday, April 21, 2014

We are annoyed and disgusted by our own annoying and disgusting mind...

Whenever we feel annoyed, or disgusted, or bad, or unhappy with something that we see, or hear, or smell, or taste, or touch, or think, as those things are something that our mind perceives and believes as "bad", "disgusting", "dirty", "ugly", or "inappropriate", then know that, this is because our mind is full of qualities or stuffs that are bad, disgust, dirty, ugly and inappropriate.

A positive mind perceives all the names and forms positively.

A negative mind perceives all the names and forms negatively.

A pure mind perceives all the names and forms as something pure.

An impure mind perceives all the names and forms as something impure.

A liberated mind that is free from qualities, perceives all the names and forms as they are. They are neither pure nor impure, neither good nor bad, neither positive nor negative, neither happiness nor suffering, neither appropriate nor inappropriate.

All the names and forms have no power nor quality to make us feel annoyed, disgusted, bad or unhappy, but it is the thinking and beliefs in our own mind that cause us to feel annoyed, disgusted, bad or unhappy.

Be free.

Om shanti.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Yoga practice is not a tool to satisfy our personal desires of wants and don't wants...

Yoga practice is a tool for transcending ignorance and egoism, so that we are able to know the truth, and be at peace unconditionally being unaffected, undisturbed, uninfluenced, and undetermined by qualities of names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses from moment to moment.

When we realize the truth, there's no good and bad, positive and negative, happiness and suffering, right and wrong. Everything is just being what it is. And hence we are able to be at peace, whether the reality is something pleasant or unpleasant, something that we like or dislike, agree or disagree with. We will allow the reality to be what it is. We do our best for the best interest of all beings, but we do not attach to our actions and we renounce the fruit of actions, unaffected, undisturbed, uninfluenced, and undetermined by the fruit of actions, or how others perceive and react towards our actions and the fruit of our actions.

Yoga practice is not a tool to attain some sort of "wishing power" so that we can attain all that we desire and don't get what we don't desire in life. It is not about wish that we will only experience something that is pleasant, enjoyable, good and happy for us, and will not experience anything that is unpleasant, suffering, bad and unhappy for us. It is not about looking forward to change the world to be the way that we like it to be, or to be the way that we think it should be, but it is to go beyond the world of names and forms that is full of good and bad happenings, happy and unhappy happenings, positive and negative happenings, right and wrong doings, that is subject to impermanence, and is limited and conditioned by time, space and causation. It's not about desire or hope everything to be all good as what we believe what "good" is, and desire or hope all the things that we believe as bad, negative, suffering and wrong to be disappearing from the world. We cannot change the world to be the way that we like it to be. The world will change by itself when each and everyone changes themselves, whether towards better or worst.

This doesn't mean that we are agreeing and supporting all the things that we believe as bad, negative, suffering and wrong, but we don't have to be disturbed, nor influenced, nor determined by all these things in order to show love and care for the world. We are dissatisfied, angry and unhappy is because we can't have the world the way that we like it to be. It is about our desire is not being gratified. It's not really about there are bad people and bad things existing in the world. We can't really help the world to be better or improve if ourselves is being disturbed, influenced and determined by what is happening in the world, being angry, hating or depressed.

Yoga practice allows us to see the truth of things as they are, and be free from being conditioned by duality, where the intellect categorizes all the names and forms into different qualities of good and bad, positive and negative, happiness and suffering, right and wrong. Then the ego asserts likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, and generates craving and aversion towards what our mind believes as good and bad, positive and negative, happiness and suffering, right and wrong, and be affected, disturbed, influenced and determined by these perceptions of dualities, and the ego reacts towards all these qualities of names and forms upon coming in contact, or not coming in contact with all these objects of names and forms, and generates satisfaction and dissatisfaction, happy and unhappy feelings, and be disturbed, influenced and over-powered by impurities of anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, pride, arrogance, feelings of hurts, depression, aggressiveness, offensiveness, defensiveness, animosity, fear and worry, and etc that arise to act and react.

When we practice yoga in most yoga classes, we often hear some resolutions in the yoga classes about may our yoga practice brings us good health, success, strength, youthfulness, wealth, happiness and things that we desire, and to be free from sickness, failure, weakness, aging, poverty, unhappiness or things that we don't desire. There's nothing wrong with this, but this is not really why yoga practice exists in the world.

Yoga practice exists for us to realize yoga, or realize the truth of oneness, non-separateness, non-duality, attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness, birthlessness and deathlessness. There's no suffering. There's no fear towards suffering. There's no aversion towards suffering or unhappiness, nor craving towards sensual enjoyment and happiness. All the happiness and suffering that the mind experiences in this world via the existence and function of the body and the mind, is subject to impermanence and is conditioned by time, space and causation, karma, cause and effect, birth and death. We allow all the pleasant and unpleasant experiences to be there as they are, without attachment.

We think we are good people, and other people who are not the same as us are bad, we think we are right and other people who are different from us is wrong. And this happen the other way round as well. Those whom we think are bad and wrong, they think we are the one who is bad and wrong, and they are good and right. The things that we want, are something that they don't want. The things that we don't want, are something that they want. And hence argument, frustration, anger, hatred, animosity, war, fear, worry, unhappiness, suffering, restlessness arise among all the different thinking and beliefs, because each one try to interfere with, or try to control, or try to change one another.

We all share the space of the universe. We don't own this space of the universe we are existing in. We are being "selfish" when we only want to allow beings whom we like and agree with to be sharing this space with us, and we try to change all the beings whom we dislike and disagree with to be the way that we like and can agree with, or else, we want to get rid of them from the world that we are living in. Even if we think we are good and righteous beings, and we want to protect the world from being destroyed by all these bad and unrighteous beings, but we behave not any different from those whom we think are bad and wrong. We cannot allow nor accept other beings who are different from us to be who they are, what they are. We think we are so good and right to have the right to judge other beings, to control and change them to be the way that we think they should be. And when we behave like this, we are not any different from these beings whom we judged as bad and wrong.

When we practice yoga, or any other type of spiritual or religious practice, we like to say we practice love, unconditional love, that we are loving and kind human beings, but how come most of the time, we only can love those whom we like and agree with, but we are angry with and hate those whom we dislike and disagree with, we want them to be punished, to suffer for what they've done, or be condemned to hell? It doesn't sound "right", isn't it? If we are able to love unconditionally without discrimination or hatred, there's no dissatisfaction, disappointment, unhappiness or suffering in us. There is less a being in the world being unhappy and generate disturbing vibrations into the world.

How can we expect a peaceful world when ourselves are not peaceful? How can we spread peace, if ourselves have no peace?

Be free.

Om shanti.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Let go of I, my, mine...

Let go of all these identifications and qualities of I, my and mine,

I am good.

I perform my good actions.

I'll receive my good rewards in return.

I am a yoga teacher.

I am teaching yoga to my yoga students.

My yoga students will be benefited from my teachings.

This is my body.

My body is healthy and strong.

My body will stay healthy and strong.

This is my family.

My family is good and happy.

My family will stay good and happy.

In the kitchen,

In my garden, I collect my vegetables, and then back in my kitchen of my house, I use my hand to cut my vegetables with my knife on my chopping board, and put them into my pot, mix them with my salt and pepper, and my favorite olive oil and my homegrown organic herbs, and stir them with my spatula, and put them into my oven. I hope my guests will enjoy eating my cooking.

In truth, none of these things belong to me, they belong to their own cause and effect, belong to the elements that formed them to be what they are. They are subject to impermanence. They will change and disappear at their own cause. They are not mine, and I don't even exist.

Be free.

Om shanti.

Go beyond the ego and its good and bad intention, and be free...

The ego is neither good nor bad. It's just being what it is, constantly acts and reacts upon the perception of names and forms of what the mind sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches and thinks.

Both good and bad intention that leads to good and bad actions is coming from the ego.

To go beyond the ego and its plays, we free the mind from both good and bad intention.

Contemplate what is intentionless. As when the ego is eradicated, there's no intention to be the cause of action. Actions are being performed out of compassion.

Actions that derived from good or bad intention bind us to good and bad karma.

Actions that are free from intentions, are not different from inaction, they do not generate good or bad karma.

Contemplate on this :-

Does the water bound by good karma, when we enjoy and consume the water for survival, drinking, cooking, washing, cleaning, gardening, and etc? Does the water bound by bad karma, when properties and lives are lost or damaged by flood, or tsunami?

Does the air bound by good karma, when we utilize the wind for generating electricity, and breathe in oxygen for survival? Does the air bound by bad karma, when properties and lives are lost or damaged by hurricane or tornado?

Does the earth bound by good karma, when we live on it, build home on it, and harvest minerals out of it? Does the earth bound by bad karma, when properties and lives are lost or damaged by earthquake or land slide?

Same as the sun and the space. Do they bound by good and bad karma while performing ceaseless contributions or actions of giving, providing and supporting everything to be existing, while somebody or something is damaged or destroyed by all these elements?

Nope.

Why? It's because they have no intention to be good or bad, they have no intention to be doing something good or bad.

They exist for everything to be exist. Everything will also cease existing because of them. It's just the law of impermanence of existence.

There's no good or bad karma.

And why are we, human beings with the thinking mind, with the egoism, are bound by good and bad karma coming from our actions? It's because we perform all our actions out of intention, or actions are being performed out of good or bad intention, to be getting something that we desire, or do not want to get something that we don't desire.

No one can give us an answer that will clear our doubts or ignorance, and free us from the binding of karma.

Contemplate and find the answer from our own self-realization.

Realize the truth, perform all actions out of compassion, without attachment towards the actions and the fruit of actions.

Be free.

Om shanti.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Truth?

Truth is always there as it is, whether we are aware of it or know about it or not, whether we like and agree with the truth or not, whether we believe in the truth or not. It never increase nor decrease, it never change.

The truth is not necessary something that we like or can agree with. Whether we like it or not, can agree with it or not, it is still the truth and won't change into something else.

The truth is not a belief. A belief will be influenced by time, space and causation. But the truth will never change, uninfluenced by time, space and causation. And hence it means nothing when we say "I believe in the Truth."

Even when we want to believe in something that we believe is the truth, this believing in "something" itself is what binds us. We are not free.

If we know the truth, we don't have to believe in it, but we will live in the truth even though the truth, or by knowing the truth won't give us what the ego desires, or what it wants. But by knowing the truth will free us from suffering or unhappiness that derived from ignorance and egoism.

The Truth doesn't need anyone to acknowledge it or believe in it, nor does the Truth need to justify itself. It is still the Truth as it is.

If we think we know something about "the truth" by knowing lots of knowledge or scientific facts about this and that, but then we are still influenced very much by ignorance and egoism, and be disturbed, affected, influenced and determined by impurities like anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, feelings of hurts, pride, arrogance, fear, worry, craving and aversion, then that "truth" is not really the truth that we are searching for through yoga and meditation practice to transcend suffering.

Liberation is not coming from anybody or teachers telling us about the truth, it's not coming from books talking about the truth, but it's coming from self-realization of the truth from within ourselves.

And hence, it's pointless to ask somebody "What is the truth?" But ask ourselves and find the answer from within.

One simple universal truth that everything is subject to impermanence and non-self (there is no "I" existing) that some people might hear or read from somebody and somewhere at some time, but it doesn't liberate us not until we realize it from our own realization.

Om shanti.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Yoga asana practice?

When we perform the yoga asana practice:-
  • Take full responsibility for our own well-being. No one can force us to be doing something that we don't want to do. No one can stop us from doing something that we want to do. We don't have to agree nor disagree with anyone or anything. No one but our own self knows what is going on in our body and in our mind. It is our own responsibility to entrust "somebody", or "teachers", or "philosophy", or "teachings", or "practice", and bring ourselves to be performing some "practice".
  • Let go of the past experiences. Be open-minded for what our body can do and cannot do in the present moment now. Let go of the future anticipation, speculation or expectation. Be open-minded for whatever possibilities that may or may not occur during and after the yoga asana practice, no matter it is something that we desire or don't desire. Be in the present moment now. Be aware of the reality in the present moment now, and allow the reality to be what it is.
  • Let go of the ego. Let go of try to control or interfere with the reality that our ego doesn't like and doesn't agree with, to change it to be the way that the ego likes it to be. As what our ego likes and dislikes, agrees and disagrees with, is not necessary the truth of what things really are, or how things should be.
  • Let go of craving and aversion. Do not generate craving or clinging onto the pleasant sensations that arise from certain positions or movements. Do not generate aversion towards unpleasant sensations that arise from certain positions or movements.
  • Let go of attachment and identification with the physical body and the mind. The body is not me, I am not the body. The mind is not me, I am not the mind.
  • Let go of judgment towards the yoga asana practice or the exercises, as the yoga asana exercises or poses are just being what they are, they are neither easy nor difficult, neither beginner nor advance, neither safe nor unsafe. They have no intention nor quality to be something easy or difficult, beginner or advance, safe or unsafe. It is how our body and our mind approach and react towards all these exercises or poses. If an exercise is being labeled as "difficult", or "advance", or "unsafe", it is not the truth. If it is the truth, then everyone who is doing this same exercise will be encountering difficulty and injury, as well as only "advance" yoga practitioner will be able to do it. But it's not. Some people may find this exercise is not difficult at all and they are not suffering any injuries from doing it, as well as a complete "beginner" yoga practitioner can be performing this exercise comfortably or effortlessly.
  • Let go of judgment towards the physical performance or the ability of the physical body to perform the exercises. As selflessness, unconditional peace and compassion has nothing to do with how fit, or strong and flexible is the physical body to be performing the yoga asana exercises "nicely" and "perfectly", or not.
  • Let go of comparison with other people or with oneself. We cannot expect ourselves to be having exactly the same physical condition and ability, and the state of the mind as somebody else whom we admire or look up to. As yoga teacher, we don't say to the yoga students, "If I can do this, you can do this as well." as everyone has different physical limitation that cannot be denied or ignored. And yoga, peace and compassion is not being attained by imitating the teacher physically or mentally. It's coming from self-realization of the truth when the egoism and ignorance is eradicated. We can't compare ourselves in the present moment now with ourselves in the past experiences, as every moment the conditions and abilities of the physical body and the states of the mind are constantly changing. They are different from moment to moment. What our body can do and cannot do is constantly changing. How we feel and the reactions from the body and the mind towards the exercises while performing the same exercises in different practice also will change. It is not about what our body could do or couldn't do in the past, nor it is about what our body can do or cannot do in the future. It is about what our body can do or cannot do in the present moment now, according to the condition and abilities of the physical body in the present moment now. We learn about impermanence and allow all the impermanent changes to be what they are from moment to moment.
  • Let go of expectation towards the physical performance and the expectation towards the result, or the benefits, or the effects of the yoga asana practice or the exercises. Allow the result, or the benefits, or the effects of the yoga asana practice or the exercises to be what it is. The objective of performing the yoga asana poses is not determined by how strong and flexible is our physical body. We don't have to be super strong and super flexible to balance the mind, to calm down the mind, and to purify the mind. Even though we don't know what are the names of the yoga poses, or we don't know about the history and scientific facts about the yoga asana practice, or we don't know what is the anatomy and physiology of the physical body, or we don't know what are the benefits of the exercises, or we don't expect any of the benefits, the benefits or the fruit will still be there as they are, as we practice. They won't increase nor decrease, or change into something else, or disappear.
  • Let go of anticipation or speculation about possibility of injuries. Be free from fear and worry. Fear and worry won't stop injury from happening, but it will increase the risk of injury. We perform the exercises with care and attention, but without fear and worry.
  • Learn to relax while performing the exercises, while coming into yoga poses and while holding the yoga poses. Let go of timing ourselves about how long we need to perform the yoga asana practice, or how many yoga asana poses we need to perform, or how long we need to hold the yoga poses. Allow the yoga asana practice to be natural being performed according to the condition and abilities of the physical body in the present moment now, not according to what we would like it to be.
  • Allow the breathing to be natural. The body will know when to inhale and when to exhale, if we allow the breathing to be natural.
  • Learn to be patient, be persevere, be determine to gradually develop the skill, stamina, strength and flexibility for coming into and holding the yoga asana poses. Forbear or withstand any discomforts or difficulties that may arise during and after the yoga asana practice. Be able to adjust, adapt and accommodate the yoga asana practice that the body and mind is not familiar with.
  • Do our best. Do what the body can do in the present moment now and not pushing the body to go beyond its limitation. Let go of pre-judgment about what the body can do or cannot do. Be open-minded towards what the body can do and cannot do in the present moment now, as the condition and abilities of the physical body is subject to impermanence.
  • Be ourselves. No need to imitate anyone else, nor try to be like someone else, not even our yoga teachers. What other people can do with their body is their capability. What talents and knowledge other people have, is their capability. We don't have to be able to do everything that other people can do with their body or their mind. How other people think, believe, behave, act and react is their freedom and responsibility. We don't have to think, believe, behave, act and react like how other people think, believe, behave, act and react, not even the yoga teachers whether they are perfect or not perfect.
  • Accept ourselves as we are. Let go of dissatisfaction towards ourselves nor expect ourselves to be somebody else that we are not. Perform actions that we think will bring improvement, and allow changes or improvement to be happening as it is. Accept all the changes in us or in other people as they are, not necessary the way that we like it to be.
  • Perform the yoga asana practice out of compassion, renounce the fruit of action or the result of the practice. Allow the result or the effect of the yoga asana practice to be there as it is, not expecting it to be the way that we like it to be, or the way that we think it should be.
  • The practice of relaxation is to relax the body and the mind, to release tension physically, mentally, emotionally. If somebody believes in the existence of the soul, then the soul also will be benefited from the practice of relaxation. As anything that is subject to existence, and has a name and a form, they will be affected or influenced by ignorance, egoism, and the qualities of names and forms, and thus it needs to be purified, or to be healed. If the body, the mind, or the soul has some "damages" or "pain" that need to be healed, then naturally they will be healed eventually, even without any awareness nor intention coming from the ego. As all the "damages" and "pain" are caused by ignorance and the ego itself, and nothing else. If we truly want to heal the body, the mind, and the soul effectively, all we need to do is stop hurting ourselves, or stop causing damages and pain onto the body, the mind, and the soul, by eradicate egoism and ignorance, be free from impurities like craving, aversion, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, feelings of hurts, pride, arrogance, animosity, fear and worry.
  • We don't need to have any intention to balance the both sides of the body, the body will be balanced by itself as we perform our practice. We don't need to have intention to be healing anything, everything will be healed by itself as we perform our practice. All these intentions whether good or bad, they are coming from the ego. If we let go of the ego, there is no intention. Allow everything to be what it is. We just do our best. Perform actions, give and let go.
  • Our true nature is beyond existence and qualities of names and forms, beyond name and form, beyond birth and death. It doesn't need to be purified nor be healed, nor be benefited from the practice of relaxation. It is untouched by good or bad Karma. It is not important whether the physical body can perform the yoga asana poses perfectly or not. Realize our true nature and be free.

Our true nature is not affected, nor disturbed, nor influenced, nor determined, nor contaminated by the condition and ability of the physical body and the states of the mind, and the actions and inactions derived from the egoism. Our true nature is not affected nor influenced by ignorance, egoism, and qualities of names and forms. It doesn't need to be benefited from the yoga asana practice. It's the body and the mind that experience suffering, that needs to be purified through the yoga asana practice, to prepare the mind for meditation to know the truth of suffering, and be liberated from suffering that derived from ignorance and egoism.

Yoga asana practice is meant to be releasing tension and not generating more tension into the system. It is meant to be weakening the egoism and not strengthening the egoism.

Relaxed, and not stressed out physically and mentally by trying to perform the exercises perfectly, or try to perform the exercises just like everyone else. We can be doing the same exercises but we might not look the same due to the different physical conditions and limitations that we have individually. Not everyone can do what other people can do with their body. It's okay, because we don't have to be able to do what other people can do, to be free from ignorance and egoism. Being able to do what other people can do with their body, doesn't guarantee us to be free from ignorance and egoism, nor will give us liberation, peace and compassion.

Yoga asana practice is a tool for the mind to attain liberation, be free from suffering that derived from ignorance and egoism. It is about elimination of the egoism and ignorance. It is not so much about being a fitness training or physical exercise to achieve physical and mental benefits, and the body and the mind will feel good after the practice, although there is nothing wrong with all these by products or side effects coming from the yoga asana practice.

It doesn't mean anything if our body can perform all the yoga asana poses perfectly, but our mind is still influenced and determined by ignorance and egoism, being attached to the qualities of names and forms possessed by the body and the mind to be who we are, being attached to the worldly image, egoistic desires, thinking and beliefs, likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements in the mind, being restless and disturbed by impurities like craving, aversion, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, feelings of hurts, pride, arrogance, agitation, depression, fear and worry.

Om shanti.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Feel uncomfortable or have difficulty with breathing while performing the yoga asana exercises?

During the yoga asana classes, most of the teachers or instructors might tell us to "Be comfortable or be at ease while holding the yoga asana poses." or "Perform the movements coordinating with the breathing." or "Breathe in coordination with the physical movements." or "Inhale.... Exhale...." or "Stay in the position for X minutes...." and etc.

Actually, it's because of these common instructions or cueing in the yoga asana class, that there are some people "struggle" to "be comfortable" in doing the exercises and have difficulty with breathing, such like feeling out of breath, or couldn't breathe comfortably while performing the exercises, or find it very discomfortable or difficult to coordinate the breathing and the movements, or feel very uncomfortable or difficult to perform yoga asana practice.

There might be many reasons why we feel uncomfortable while performing the yoga exercises or being in certain yoga poses, as well as why we feel uncomfortable or difficult to coordinate the breathing and the movements. Here are a few of them.

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Without any particular order, all these points are equally important to understand a bit about what is going on in the body and mind while performing the yoga asana exercises or poses.
  • Whether we will feel comfortable or be at ease while doing the yoga exercises or holding the yoga asana poses, or how long we want to maintain the comfortable sensations being in a certain position, or when will the discomfortable sensations will go away, it's not in our wish or control at all about how we like it to be, or expect it to be. All the pleasant and unpleasant physical sensations come and go, arising and passing away at their own cause and pace. We can try to put ourselves in a position that will make us feel comfortable, but after being in that "comfortable" position for some time, this comfortable sensation will change and disappear, and uncomfortable sensation will arise. This is the truth about everything is impermanent. And so, we can't really expect to be at ease completely through out the entire yoga asana practice.

  • Yoga asana practice is supposed to be a self-practice practice, it is not so much about practicing in a group class or private class following some cueing or instructions from somebody else to be doing the yoga asana practice, and everyone is doing the same movements at a particular pace and breathing rhythm following the cueing of the teacher. Before we know how to perform the yoga asana exercises, we have no idea what we are supposed to be doing, then we need to approach some teachers to learn about the yoga asana practice. In the group or private yoga classes, we learn from the teacher how to perform the yoga asana practice, but afterwards we will be doing the yoga asana practice on our own, at our own pace.

  • Everyone has a different physical body with different types of limitations, stamina, strength and flexibility, and different breathing patterns and rhythm, as well as different states of the mind. When we try to follow the instructions or cueing from the teacher or instructor in the yoga class (may it be in a private or group session), the pace or the cueing of the teacher might not be able to suit every individual natural physical rhythm. We are moving our body and breathing in an unnatural rhythm when we try to follow the instruction or cueing from the teacher to be doing the exercises or holding the yoga poses. Not everyone can hold the position for the same length of time comfortably, and it will be different experience in different practice. Sometimes we can hold comfortably for certain length of time, but during some other time, we can't. Those who cannot move their body at the same pace as the teacher, or cannot breathe at the rhythm in accordance to the cueing of the teacher, of course they will feel very uncomfortable and struggle, trying to either slow down their pace or fasten their pace of the physical movements, and try to prolong or cut short their inhalation or exhalation, which is not in accordance to their own pace and natural rhythm at all. How can they be at ease or breathe comfortably under such unnatural circumstances? Their natural breathing pattern is obviously disrupted.

  • In terms of breathing exercises, it takes time for the unhealthy breathing pattern to be adjusted and to adapt a new breathing pattern, to enhance the breathing pattern to be more healthy. But during the process of changing the breathing pattern, we will feel uncomfortable. It doesn't mean that we have done something wrong, or didn't do it correctly.

  • It's not so much about whether the physical movement is following the breath, or the breath is following the physical movement. The two of them will come together naturally (without which one should come first) when we are able to perform the exercises without "thinking" or "worry" about how we should breathe (when to inhale or exhale), and how long is the inhalation or the exhalation, or try to control the breathing while performing the exercises according to the way/rhythm/pace that the teacher cues us. The best way is to allow the breath to be natural.

  • When we feel "struggle" while performing the yoga asana exercises or holding the yoga asana poses, is mainly because the physical body has not yet developed the basic skill, stamina, strength and flexibility to come into the pose, and to hold the pose at ease for a period of time. The mind is also responsible for whether we are able to be relaxed and at ease in holding the yoga asana poses, especially if the mind is untrained yet. There are lots of mental activities in the untrained mind consisting of attachment, judgment, comparison, expectation, anticipation, doubts, insecurity, anxieties, protectiveness, fear, worry, dissatisfaction, disappointment, frustration, craving, aversion, distraction, and etc, while performing the yoga asana exercises or poses. And all these mental activities are influencing the physical body to be holding certain tension in the physical body, affecting the body being unable to be relaxed and be at ease while performing the yoga exercises or poses.

  • Yoga asana practice is not about challenging the physical body to go beyond its limitations, or pushing the physical body to go beyond its limitations to make it more strong and flexible than what it is now. It is to do our best in accordance to the needs of the body and the mind based on the condition and abilities of the physical body and the state of the mind in the present moment now. It is when we push the body to go beyond its limitation, we will start to feel uncomfortable. But this is not the practice of yoga, as peace and compassion has nothing to do with the physical conditions and abilities. It is not that if our body is strong and flexible, we will be peaceful and compassionate. Nor if our body is not strong nor flexible, we will not be peaceful and compassionate.

  • It is very normal that (especially) in the beginning of our yoga asana practice that we will experience certain degrees of discomforts physically, mentally and emotionally. It is part of the purification process that will trigger certain physical, mental and emotional discomforts. It's also part of the learning process especially when the body and mind is still unfamiliar with the yoga asana practice yet. It takes some time of regular and persistent practice to allow the physical body to develop the basic skill, stamina, strength and flexibility, to be performing the yoga asana comfortably. It also takes time for the body and mind to be familiar with the yoga asana practice.

  • It also takes time for the mind to be able to be free from anxiety, tension or fear while performing the yoga asana poses. As these anxiety, tension or fear are part of the reasons why we couldn't be relaxed in the yoga asana poses, or we couldn't be at ease while performing the yoga asana exercises, or we will encounter difficulty with the breathing, as breathing is inter-related with the state of the mind. It is also normal that our breathing will be different while being in different positions, such like the breathing is shallow and short while holding a twist, as the position restricts the movements of the ribcage and the abdomen. It doesn't mean that we are doing the exercises wrongly, or breathing incorrectly.

  • When the yoga teacher or instructor tries to insist that everyone should perform the exercises or yoga poses in accordance to the guideline of "proper physical alignment", this makes many people who have different types of physical flexibility and limitations being very uncomfortable and stressed, when they try to perform the exercises to meet the guideline of "proper physical alignment" that their body is unable or limited to do so. And when the yoga teachers emphasize about "improper physical alignment" will result in injuries, the yoga students accumulate so much tension of "fear and worry" that if their physical alignment is "incorrect", it will bring "damages" or "harmful effects" onto the body. Whether before or during the yoga exercises or yoga poses, they are full of tension coming from "fear of injuries".

  • If we are able to perform all the yoga asana poses in a relaxed manner without forcing the body to go beyond its limitations, do what the body can do, and not forcing the body to be doing something that it cannot do yet, follow our own pace and rhythm, and perform the exercises according to the needs, the condition and ability of the physical body in the present moment now, without tension of "fear of injury", without the influence of egoism, without attachment and identification with the body and mind, without judgment, comparison, competition or expectation, without craving or aversion, then there is no need to be worry about "injury" at all while performing the yoga asana poses. And hence, we are able to be relaxed while performing the yoga asana practice. And we will be able to be at ease while performing the yoga asana exercises or being in the yoga poses.

  • In fact, there are countless micro "injuries" throughout the physical body that we are not aware of and it's not in our control at all. Every single movement that we make, will generate some sort of tiny damages in the body, and the body is constantly repairing itself every moment, even when we are asleep, without our intention to heal anything. The word "injury" and "healing" is being over-rated in yoga or fitness classes. And by having fear towards injury will not stop injury from happening if it is meant to happen even when we take full precautions to avoid injuries, but instead it will generate the unnecessary tension that will increase the risk of injuries.

  • Ease comes naturally as it is at it's own cause. It's not something that we can make it happen, or expect our body and mind to be at ease at anytime. We cannot make our body and mind to "be at ease" or "feel comfortable" while performing the yoga exercises or poses, when the teacher tells us "Be comfortable and be at ease while performing the exercises or while holding the position." We can try to relax the body and the mind as much as we can while performing the yoga exercises or poses, but it is not in our control at all whether the body will be at ease or not. It occurs in the body and the mind naturally as it is when the tension in the body and the mind is absent.

  • Whether we feel comfortable being in certain positions or poses, or we don't feel any discomforts in the beginning of the yoga exercises or holding the poses, know that this is impermanent. No matter how comfortable we feel being in certain positions/poses or doing some movements, it is very normal to feel uncomfortable after holding the same position/pose for some time, or after continuously doing the same movements.

  • Yoga, selflessness/egolessness, or unconditional peace and compassion, has nothing to do with what yoga asana poses or how many yoga asana poses we can perform, nor whether we can perform the yoga asana poses nicely or not, in a perfect correct physical alignment or not, nor how long we have been practicing yoga asana exercises, nor what type or style of yoga asana we are practicing, nor which school and teacher that we learn from, nor how much knowledge we know about the anatomy and physiology of the physical body, nor whether we know about the names of the yoga asana poses in Sanskrit or in any form of languages, nor about how we feel and how we look during and after performing the yoga asana exercises or poses, nor what type of benefits we are going to get from performing the yoga asana poses.

  • Sometimes we feel uncomfortable to do any physical activities simply because our body needs to take a break from any physical activities. Sometimes it's because we didn't have a good night sleep. Sometimes it's because anxiety attack. Sometimes it's because we have some breathing problems that we are not aware of. Sometimes it's because we have indigestion. Sometimes it's because our mind is disturbed by something. Sometimes it's because of low energy level. Sometimes it's because of intense rejection from the ego does not want to go through the purification process.

Teaching yoga is about allowing the yoga students to experience personally what they are experiencing in the present moment now, be aware of the reality in the present moment now, and not expecting the reality to be something that they think it should be, or the way that they like it to be. And how they feel or react in the present moment now, is impermanent. They might feel differently performing the same exercises or poses in the next practice. It is not about telling them how they should feel being in certain postures or poses, or what will the positions make us feel, nor telling everyone to anticipate or expect the same type of reactions in the body and mind towards particular exercises or yoga poses. Some people might feel very uncomfortable, while some other might feel very comfortable being in the same position. And this is due to different states of the mind and different reactions coming from different types of physical body with different limitations towards the same position.

While teaching yoga asana exercises, we can say, "Try to relax in this position... If you can't relaxed, it's okay. The reality is not necessary the way that we like it to be. Be aware of the reality in the present moment now, and allow the reality to be what it is... And be aware of the impermanent changes..." but we can't really say, "You should relax in this position..." or "You should feel this or that in this position..." or "This position will make you feel like this or like that..." As how the people feel or what they experience being in the position, is not in our or their control at all. The exercises, the movements or the poses have no intention nor quality to be something comfortable or not. It cannot make us feel comfortable or uncomfortable. It is our each individual physical and mental reactions towards the exercises, the movements or the poses, that makes us feel comfortable or not. Some people might experience calmness or stimulation being in certain position, but for some other people might be experiencing something different being in the same position.

We can't expect everyone to be comfortable in all the exercises or poses, at all time. We can't expect ourselves to be comfortable in all the exercises or poses, at all time. There's nothing wrong and it's normal to experience discomforts from time to time physically, mentally and emotionally. This body and mind, this life existence is subject to impermanence.

When we feel uncomfortable is due to the unpleasant sensations that arise in the physical body. Yoga practice is not about only want to experience pleasant sensations and do not want to experience unpleasant sensations, or only want to be comfortable and don't want to be uncomfortable. Yoga practice is about being aware of all these impermanent pleasant and unpleasant sensations that arise in the body from moment to moment, and not generate attachment, identification, craving or aversion towards all these impermanent sensations, and allow the reality in the present moment now as it is, not necessary it's comfortable or the way that we like it to be.

In our own self-practice, we perform the yoga asana practice at our own pace, at our own natural breathing rhythm, within the physical limitation, and perform the yoga asana exercises and poses in accordance to the needs, the condition and abilities of the physical body and the state of the mind in the present moment now. It is not so much about following some instructions or cueing of a teacher or instructor in a class to be doing some yoga exercises in a particular style or pace.

It doesn't matter the body will be at ease or not, being in any positions or poses, or during any physical movements. We take responsibility towards the well-being of ourselves, know when we should continue the exercises or when we should take a break, not straining the physical body to go beyond its limitation and cause unnecessary injury to the body. Allow the physical body to develop skill, stamina, strength and flexibility gradually and naturally. Most important is the mind is at ease, remain equanimous, being free from ceaseless egoistic mental activities, undisturbed and undetermined by the impermanent condition and abilities of the physical body.

Om shanti.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Home cooked vegetarian food recipe - Vegetarian Thai Red, Green & Yellow Curry Paste

Basic ingredients for curry paste -

According to your taste, you may alter each ingredient more or less.

2-3 inches ginger, 2-3 inches galangal, 4 stalks lemon grass (use only 3 inches long from the root), 3-4 cloves garlic, 8 shallots, a bunch of Thai basil leaves, 1 heap teaspoon coriander seeds (toasted), 1 heap teaspoon black pepper

Salt to taste

For Red Curry Paste

Add a few fresh small red chillies or dried chillies (soaked and deseed), 1 teaspoon red chilly powder, half teaspoon cumin seeds (toasted) into the basic ingredients

For Green Curry Paste

Add a few fresh small green chillies, a few lime leaves, a bunch of fresh coriander, half teaspoon cumin seeds (toasted) into the basic ingredients

For Yellow Curry Paste

Add a few fresh small red or green chillies, a few lime leaves, 1 heap teaspoon turmeric powder into the basic ingredients

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Grind everything into a paste.

Add about 2 tablespoons oil in the wok at low-medium heat, add in the paste with 1 heap teaspoon salt. Stir well for about 10-15 minutes until fragrant and thickens.

Let it cool down and keep in an airtight jar, either use them fresh, or keep in the fridge for about 1 week, or freeze them for later use.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Home cooked vegetarian food recipe - Aubergines & tofu stew

Here is another new vegetarian cooking recipe for our yoga retreats guests here in Langkawi.

Aubergines & Tofu Stew (serve 2-3 people)

2 medium size or 1 large long eggplants or aubergines, rinse and cut into about 3 cm length width way, and then cut into 1-2 cm thick strips. Soak in water for 5-10 minutes, and drained.

2 blocks of firm tofu, cut into 2 cm strips, season with a bit of salt

4-5 tomatoes, chopped coarsely

1 medium size onion, chopped finely

2 small red chillies, remove seeds and sliced

2 cloves of garlic, chopped coarsely

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

A pinch of dried herbs - Rosemary & Thyme

Salt & black pepper to taste

A bit of cooking oil


x x x x x x x x x x x x

Heat up the non-stick wok in medium heat. Add about 1 tablespoon of cooking oil.

When the oil is hot, sauté the aubergines until soft. Put aside.

Add another tablespoon of cooking oil into the hot wok, sauté the tofu until lightly browned. Put aside.

Add tiny bit of oil and add in chopped garlic, small red chillies and onion. Stir evenly until the onion well-cooked and fragrant.

Add in the chopped tomatoes in low heat and cover. Stir occasionally until the tomatoes melted. This takes about 10-15 minutes.

Turn the heat to medium and add in the eggplants or aubergines and tofu. Stir evenly. Add a little bit more water if needed, but not too much.

Add salt, black pepper, dried herbs and balsamic vinegar. Stir well and remove from the heat.

Serve hot with rice or bread, or as a snack on its own.

Bon Appétit!

Why create unnecessary conditions or standards to limit ourselves?

Whether intentionally or unintentionally, we create some standards or conditions for ourselves to live up to, for achieving the type of life that we desire, or to be what we want to be.

If we have no attachment towards these standards or conditions that we create for ourselves, then there's no harm for having these conditions or standards as a guideline to live the type of life that we desire, or try to be what we want to be. We do our best to live up to the standard or quality that we want for our life, and be what we want to be. But we are not determined by any of these conditions or standards of living to be who we are, to be confident, happy, meaningful and peaceful, or not.

If we have attachment towards certain conditions and standard of living that we desire, then this will not just generate unnecessary limitation to ourselves, we might also generate unnecessary inconvenience or tension to other people in order to fulfill our demands towards certain conditions or supports to achieve the life that we desire. We'll get unhappy, dissatisfied, disappointed and frustrated towards certain obstacles that obstruct us to achieve the type of life that we desire (the way that we like it to be), and we'll have fear and worry towards losing the conditions or supports that provide the type of life that we desire.

When we generate a demand for achieving certain conditions, or standards, or qualities that we like to have, it does not just depending on oneself to make it available or be practical. It requires many other elements or cooperation from many other people to make the condition to be available.

There are many people in the world who don't have a choice of what type of life and living condition that they would like to have. When we live in an area that is free from war, unrest, violence, hunger, thirst, major natural disasters, and etc, we want to have something more than what the universe has been providing us. We don't just need food, but we want food the way that we like and want. We don't just live life, but we want to live life the way that we like it to be. We don't just wear clothing, we want to wear clothing with particular quality, material, design, colour, style, or brand. We don't just be as we are, we want to be somebody with certain qualities of names and forms, and we want to have certain image and appearance.

We'll get upset and frustrated when we don't get "the type of life" that we desire (the way that we like it to be), if we attached to or are determined by "the type of life" that we desire to be who we are, to be confident, happy, meaningful and peaceful, or not.

Sometimes we think we are simple minded, and we want to live a simple life. But, if we look at ourselves and our behavior, there are many demands about this and that to support "the simple life" that we would like to have. We "desire" a simple lifestyle, but when this simple lifestyle is unavailable the way that we think it should be, we'll get frustrated, unhappy, dissatisfied and disappointed. As we are restricted by our demand towards certain conditions, or standards, or qualities that we want for our lives (It doesn't matter whether it is something simple, or yogic, or organic, or exciting, or adventurous, or luxurious, or spiritual, or peaceful, or happy, or healthy, or quiet, or materialistic, or sensual, or compassionate, and etc.)

Real simplicity is not even about "want to live a simple life", but be free from being conditioned by any desires of wants and don't wants.

We can just live life the best that we can, as we are, in accordance to the reality in the present moment now, without attachment towards the desire of "must have" particular type of lifestyle or living condition the way that we would like it to be.

Be free.

Om shanti.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Introduction, briefing, or orientation before the yoga classes or yoga courses?

Generally, it is normal that in most occasions or courses, whether it is yoga practice, or fitness training, or educational and corporate training, there will be some sorts of introduction, or briefing, or orientation before the course starts, mostly it's about what the course is all about, what to expect from the course, whether it's the course format or structure, or the type of practice or training, or the qualification or affiliation that is related to the course, and the possible results or benefits that they are going to achieve at the end of the course.

If we truly know what yoga practice is about, then all these introduction, briefing or orientation (derived from the worldly idea of names and forms) are irrelevant to what yoga practice is.

Yoga is about training the mind to be free from ignorance and egoism to know the truth of the mind and the perception of names and forms, and be free from identification and attachment. It's about living in the present moment now, be free from the past experiences and future anticipation or speculation. It's about realizing the only existence is in the present moment now, that is full of uncertainties or impermanent changes that are not in the control of "I". It's about training the mind to be in the present moment now confronting with all the uncertainties of life existence, and to rise above the qualities of names and forms that is subject to impermanence.

If we believe in the existence of God, or the creator of the universe, God or the creator of the universe didn't brief us, nor explained to us about life before we came into this world of life existence, to give us some ideas or anticipation towards life experiences. God or the creator of the universe didn't tell us nor inform us about what is going to happen in our life, what are we going to become, how we should act and react, what type of life experience we are going to have, what to expect from this life existence, what are we going to achieve from this life existence, and so on.

We came to this world as we are. We learn as we are. We confront every uncertainty as it is in the present moment now. We learn from our own direct experience of coming in contact with suffering that derived from ignorance, egoism, attachment and expectation, for us to to let go of egoism, attachment, expectation, and to purify and control the mind, to know about the truth and to attain liberation.

As yoga practice is in the present moment now, it's not being prepared before hand in the past, it's not anticipation of the future. Confront every moment of existence that is impermanent and non-self, within this present moment with a calm mind that is free from being influenced or determined by the past and the future, free from identification and attachment, free from anticipation, speculation and projection, free from judgment, comparison and expectation.

It's training the mind to let go of the egoism, and perform all actions, practice, duties and responsibilities without attachment towards all these actions and renounce the fruit of actions. It is letting go of expectation towards the result or the fruit of actions or yoga practice, and allow the result or the fruit of actions or yoga practice to be what it is, without attachment, per-conception, projection, or anticipation.

It's training the mind to be in the present moment now, and allow all the uncertainties in the present moment now to be what they are with a calm and liberated mind.

If we apply the similar type of worldly commercial training procedure or technique into conducting any yoga courses, then this is actually going to the opposite direction against the means of yoga practice. It is empowering the ignorance and egoism by strengthening the worldly ideas and attachment, instead of eliminating ignorance and egoism by letting go worldly ideas and attachment.

Om shanti.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The impermanent world and "I"

It doesn't matter whether we realize the truth or not, it makes no difference to the reality. As by realizing the truth doesn't and won't change the reality that the ego doesn't like or doesn't want into something that it likes or wants. The reality will change at its own cause.

Realization of the truth will free our mind from ignorance and be at peace, and change how the mind reacts upon the perception of names and forms, and stop generating impure thoughts, actions and speech that will hurt oneself or others, but it doesn't make other beings in the world to be free from ignorance or be at peace, nor stop other beings from generating impure thoughts, actions and speech that will hurt themselves and others.

The liberated mind is free from suffering upon realization of the truth, but this realization of the truth cannot change the world to be free from the law of impermanence, nor make other beings be free from suffering and the cause of suffering, ignorance and egoism. Nor by knowing the truth will make the mortal physical body to become immortal and not having to experience changes, decay, old age, sickness and decomposition, or death.

All the liberated beings in the past showed us the truth about this physical body is subject to impermanence even after the mind is liberated. But there was no identification nor attachment towards the impermanent physical body, and hence, the liberated beings were not affected nor determined by the mortal physical body that is subject to impermanence.

As realization of the truth is not about fulfilling the desire that comes from the ego to attain some "supernatural power" to be able to control or change the reality of names and forms to be the way that it likes it to be, nor to be getting something that it likes and wants which will make it feels happy, meaningful, or powerful. If this is possible, all the beings in the world are already free from suffering being influenced, or controlled, or changed by all the past liberated beings with their "supernatural power".

Just by being at peace in oneself, being liberated from ignorance and egoism, is the greatest contribution to the world.

Upon realization of the truth, the mind perceives everything as it is. The perception of names and forms is not contaminated nor influenced by any impurities, egoism, ignorance or incorrect thinking and beliefs in the mind. The mind is free from being conditioned or limited by duality. Everything is just being what it is. All the names and forms are neither good nor bad, neither positive nor negative, neither happiness nor suffering.

The egoism has faded away, and thus there's no identification as an individual being who attached to certain qualities of names and forms to be somebody who identifies itself as the doer of actions and the enjoyer of the fruit of actions. There's no "I", nor "I am", nor "I am this or that".

The mind is free from attachment towards the qualities of names and forms. There's no craving or clinging onto qualities that the mind used to perceive as "good", "positive", or "happiness". There's no aversion towards qualities that the mind used to perceive as "bad", "negative", or "suffering".

Everything that the mind and the body is experiencing about all the perceptions of names and forms, the states of mind, the thinking process, the physical conditions and abilities are merely impermanent transformation of birth and death, unceasingly arising and passing away.

The selfless or egoless mind stands as a witness towards all these transformations of names and forms, without attachment, without association, without identification, without craving nor aversion. There's no dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurts, anger, hatred, jealousy, animosity, pride, arrogance, fear and worry.

There's no judgment, comparison, nor expectation towards oneself or others.

The selfless mind is being aware of the reality, and allows the reality to be what it is, not necessary the reality has to be what "the egoistic mind" used to like it to be. Without interference nor try to control or change the reality that "the egoistic mind" didn't like or disagreed with to become something that "the egoistic mind" liked and could agree with.

The selfless mind is aware of the different qualities of names and forms of everything and every being, and allows everything and every being to be what they are, as they are.

The selfless mind is not affected, nor disturbed, nor influenced, nor determined by all the qualities of names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses.

The liberated beings live in the world as they are (or not, being undetermined by names and forms), being at peace and perform all their duties and responsibilities towards themselves and others, without attachment nor identification towards the actions nor the fruit of the actions.

Om shanti.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Transcend egoism, identification, intention, attachment, actions and inactions...

The ultimate liberation is free from suffering that accompany the phenomenal of birth and death, forming and deforming, or names and forms that are subject to impermanence, perceived by the egoistic mind through the function of the physical body, sense organs, and the senses.

Suffering (Of birth, impermanent changes, hunger, thirst, dissatisfaction, separation from the things and beings that we like, come in contact with the things and beings that we don't like, pain, injury, old age, sickness, death) is the natural process of the existence of life, or the function of the body and egoistic mind. When the mind is liberated, free from ignorance and egoism, all these physical impermanent experiences are no longer being perceived as "suffering". There are just being what they are. All these phenomena is neither suffering nor not suffering.

It is when the egoistic mind generates aversion towards names and forms that the mind perceives as "suffering" that actually is what generating suffering. When the mind is free from ignorance and egoism, and realize the truth of names and forms, seeing everything as they are, then the mind will no longer generates aversion towards names and forms that the mind used to perceived as "suffering", and this itself is liberation.

And then there are other mental suffering of impurities that derived from ignorance and egoism, that generates identification and attachment towards qualities of names and forms, such like irritation, frustration, anger, hatred, greed, jealousy, fear, worry, disappointment, doubts, restlessness, possessiveness, pride, arrogance, aggressiveness, animosity, offensiveness, defensiveness, depression, feelings of hurt, and etc. When the mind is liberated, free from ignorance and egoism, all these mental defilement will be disappearing from the mind.

When the mind is still influenced by ignorance and egoism, the circle of birth and death with the existence and function of the body and mind that is subject to impermanence is being perceived as "suffering". When the mind is free from ignorance and egoism, the circle of birth and death or the existence and function of the body and mind is just being what it is. It is neither suffering nor not suffering.

If the mind is not free from ignorance and egoism, the egoistic mind will feel that there is suffering, and it wants to be free from suffering. Then there is the path to transcend suffering.

Life existence of the body and the mind is the product of the elements of fire, wind, water, earth and space, and life experience is fueled or powered by Karma.

Karma derived from actions that are being performed under the influence of egoism with identification, attachment, intention and expectation.

We cannot avoid actions in this life existence for the body and mind to be functioning and surviving, or to maintain the basic needs of this physical body, not to say there are many other things in life that are beyond the basic needs for survival that motivate us to be performing actions, such like, desires of wants and don't wants. One of the characteristics of the egoistic mind is restlessness. It can't sit still in silence, or inaction. It wants to create and express, act and react. It wants to perform actions, or else it gets bored.

Even when we intentionally don't want to perform any actions, don't want to do or say anything, that itself is also an action of "do not want to perform any actions."

Actions bring along the consequences of actions, or in another term, all actions bear the fruit of actions.

Actions and the fruit of actions, or Karma (Which produces the seeds of life) is the fuel that keeps the circle of birth and death going.

If we know how to transcend all actions and the fruit of actions, know what is inaction in actions, we will be free from being bound by actions and the fruit of actions, or Karma, and this will stop fueling the circle of birth and death. The circle of birth and death will come to an end when the existing fuel (Karma) is exhausted.

When there are good or bad actions being generated, it will generate some pleasant or/and unpleasant consequences. And due to the reactions of the egoistic mind towards the pleasant or unpleasant consequences, there will be more actions being generated. And thus good and bad karma are continuously being generated, and the wheel of birth and death keeps rolling.

Whether we will be bound by our actions and the fruit of actions or not, it depends on whether the actions are free from egoism, identification, intention and attachment, or not.

Actions that are free from the influence of egoism, identification, attachment, intention and expectation, are not different from inaction, where there is no Karma (seeds of life) being generated.

When the mind realizes selflessness, there is no "I" perform actions, there is no "fruit of action" to be reaped by "I". All actions are being performed out of compassion without egoism, identification nor attachment.

Just like the elements of fire, wind, water, earth and space. They are performing "actions" ceaselessly, giving, providing and supporting everything in the world to be existing, but these "actions" are not bound by (good or bad) Karma. These actions are not different from inaction, as there's no Karma being generated although there are "actions" being performed. There are pleasant and unpleasant consequences being produced. But the elements are untouched or undetermined by the actions and the consequences of actions.

Everything is enjoying and benefiting from the contribution of the elements to be existing, as well as experiencing decay, destruction, deformation, also resulting from the same elements. But all these actions that brought some constructive and destructive consequences derived from all these elements are free from egoism, identification, intention or attachment.

The sun won't get good karma because everyone is benefiting from the sunlight to be existing, nor will the sun get bad karma because some people suffer skin burnt or skin cancer from excessive sunlight exposure. Nor does the water receives good karma from being one of the essential elements for life existence, nor does the water receives bad karma, when some people lost their lives or belongings through the element of water. All these elements exist for everything else to be existing, without egoism, intention, attachment, identification, discrimination, judgment, comparison, expectation, craving or aversion.

There's no such identification of "I am the doer of actions." nor  "I am giving something." nor "Someone is receiving something from I or being benefited by my actions." nor "I am the enjoyer of the fruit of actions."

And hence in the traditional yoga practice, there is this basic yet most essential teaching about "Eliminate the egoism, be free from identification, attachment, intention, expectation, and renounce the fruit of actions." is the way to ultimate liberation.

And this practice of "Eliminate the egoism, be free from identification, attachment, intention, expectation, and renounce the fruit of actions." has nothing to do with the impermanent and limited physical functions, conditions and abilities to be performing the yoga asana exercises (or not performing any yoga asana exercises at all), nor has anything to do with the impermanent states of the mind, the functions of the mind to perceive, to act and react, the thoughts activities, the intellectual thinking, the behavior patterns, the knowledge, the information, the beliefs, or the impurities that arise and passing away unceasingly in the mind. Above all, all these activities in the mind do not contaminate the true nature of the mind. The mind is just being what it is, it is neither good nor bad, neither pure nor impure.

It is being aware of the actions and reactions of the ego towards all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, observe and witness all the egoistic activities in the mind without attachment, without association, without identification.

Upon the annihilation of egoism, the mind is free, or liberated. Free from being conditioned by egoism and ignorance, as well as impurities that arise due to egoism and ignorance. As egoism and ignorance is the cause of suffering. It is the ego who acts and reacts, and generates Karma. Due to ignorance, there is wrong identification with the ego as an individual being who is the doer of actions and the enjoyer of the fruit of actions.

When the body is in "good" condition and perform some "good" actions, and the mind is at peace, free from the influence of impurities, it won't make the true nature of the mind become "good", "pure" and "peaceful". When the body is in a "bad" condition and perform some "bad" actions, and the mind is not at peace, being influenced by impurities, it won't make the true nature of the mind become "bad", "impure" and "not peaceful". The true nature of the mind is unaffected, undisturbed, uncontaminated, uninfluenced, or undetermined by all these impermanent qualities of names and forms that is experiencing by the mind through the function of the body, the sense organs and the senses.

The body and the egoistic mind is influenced and determined by the pleasant and unpleasant consequences of the actions of good and bad, but the true nature of the mind is not determined nor contaminated by the good and bad actions as well as the consequences of actions.

When we (the mind) realize our true nature, and stop identifying with the body and the egoism which is not who we really are, we are as free as we are.

When we say, "I am more or less peaceful..." or "I feel or don't feel peace..." by doing or not doing something, or by eating or not eating something, or by experience or not experience something, that is just the impermanent conditional peaceful/peaceless state of the mind that is influenced by the qualities of names and forms. This is not the unconditional peace of the true nature of the mind upon the realization of the truth of who "we" really are, being free from ignorance, egoism, attachment and impurities.

As real peace or unconditional peace is never increase nor decrease. It is beyond the impermanent and limited existence, conditions and functions of the body and the egoistic mind, beyond the thinking and beliefs, beyond the qualities of names and forms, beyond impermanence...

The mind is purifying itself to go beyond the identification with the existence, functions, conditions and abilities of the body and the egoism, go beyond the thinking and beliefs in the mind, go beyond intention and expectation, go beyond attachment towards actions and the fruit of actions. And be free.

We take full responsibility for the consequences of actions, whether pleasant or unpleasant. Without expecting the result either to be the way that we think it should be, or expecting the result not to be something that we think it shouldn't be.

Allow the result, or the fruit of actions to be what it is.

It is the attachment towards the qualities of names and forms, where the egoistic mind generates craving and clinging onto what the mind perceives as "good', "positive", "happiness", and generates aversion towards what the mind perceives as "bad", "negative", "unhappiness" that makes the mind experience restlessness, unpeacefulness, or suffering.

When the mind is free from attachment, there's no craving and aversion, there's no restlessness, unpeacefulness, or suffering.

This is liberation within this present moment through this life existence.

Every single moment there are countless circles of birth and death happening in the body and the mind. All the cells are regenerating and dropping off the body. All the thought waves, thinking and feelings, arising and passing away. At one moment, the body is in certain condition, in another moment it changes to a different condition. At one moment the mind is peaceful and kind, in another moment the mind is disturbed and evil. Which part of the body is "I"? And which state of the mind is "I"? One moment we are in the realm of heaven, and another moment we are in the realm of hell. Countless circles of birth and earth in this present moment. And the stillness beyond the body and the mind, untouched by these circles of birth and death that is conditioned by Karma, is liberation.

If this is not the liberation that you are looking for, then continue in your pursue for what you think is liberation. It's your freedom.

Om shanti.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Worldly knowledge doesn't guarantee peace and compassion, wisdom will...

If worldly knowledge can guarantee us peace and compassion, then all the knowledgeable people on this planet will be peaceful and compassionate. But, it's not necessarily.

It doesn't matter who we think we are, or we think we know about the scientific facts about this and that, or how much knowledge that we attain from reading books and hearing from other people's research and their personal experience, it still doesn't guarantee us peace and compassion, be free from suffering and unhappiness that derived from ignorance, egoism, attachment, and impurities.

Or else, all the geniuses, scientists, mathematicians, doctors, lawyers, psychologists, physiologists, teachers, historians, geographers, engineers, economists, artists, architects, social activists, social workers, philosophers, yoga teachers, religious teachers, environmentalists, ecologists, or any fields that we think we expertise in, will be free from suffering of ignorance, hunger, thirst, changes, old age, decay, sickness, weakness, injuries, pain, death, separation from things and people that we like, come in contact with the things and people that we don't like, anger, hatred, jealousy, fear, worry, doubts, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, agitation, depression, feelings of hurts, pride, arrogance, animosity, offensiveness, defensiveness, insult, humiliation, craving and aversion, and so on.

The stronger we attached to the egoism and qualities of names and forms, the more we think we are smarter or better than other beings, and the more suffering and unhappy we will be, as we will get very impatient, dissatisfied, disappointed, frustrated, irritated, or angry with other beings whom we think and believe as less smart and less good than us.

Same as, being vegetarian or non-vegetarian, or what we eat and don't eat, also doesn't guarantee peace and compassion. Nor does being a yogi, a yoga teacher, a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Christian or any names and forms that we identify ourselves with, will guarantee peace and compassion. Nor does a healthy, fit, strong and flexible physical body will guarantee peace and compassion.

As long as we attach to the egoism and all the qualities of names and forms to be who we are; We think we are good and compassionate people; We think we do many good actions; We think we don't do any bad actions (not intentionally); We attach to our actions and the result, or the fruit of our actions; We expect the world will be the way that we like it to be, or how we think it should be; We expect other people also will be as good as us; We expect cooperation and support from other human beings on this planet to make the world a better place; Then our minds won't be able to be at peace, nor are we compassionate beings as what we think we are.

Unless, our minds are free from ignorance, egoism, attachment and impurities through our personal direct realization of the truth. Being aware of the reality as it is, and able to allow the reality to be what it is, not necessary the way that we like it to be, or the way that we think it should be, based on what our minds believe what things are.

We can do our best. Make good use of the knowledge and talents that we have to be serving ourselves and others, contributing our service to the world, but be free from egoism, identification and attachment towards our actions and renounce the fruit of actions. This will allow us to have peace in oneself, and be truly compassionate towards all beings, including oneself.

Om shanti.

Quote by His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama

"The key to happiness has nothing to do with belief in God, heaven or spirituality. It has to be contentment and affection within oneself."
 - His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama


This is why many religious leaders and fundamentalists (Especially in this country) are fear of their followers to come in contact with the teachings of Buddhism or yoga (In this country, books on Buddhism teachings are not allowed to be sold to, or read by Muslims, and there's Fatwa on yoga), as it contradicts with their teachings about believe in God and go to heaven for attaining Salvation.

But now, on the Internet, everyone can easily come in contact with the teachings of yoga or Buddhism being shared freely and widely on the Internet, which is fantastic and liberating for many who have the chance to come in contact with the teachings of yoga or Buddhism.

Just a simple quote on the teachings of Buddhism can be so liberating for many people.

And it's nothing to do with whether you have a religion or not, nor what type of religion you have, nor what you eat and don't eat, nor what you practice or don't practice, nor what political party that you support, nor any qualities of names and forms that you have and don't have.

Just by being content, accept and love unconditionally towards oneself and others.

Be free from hatred.

May all beings be happy.

If anyone will be hating and angry upon seeing or hearing the teachings that support and promote love and peace in oneself and others, just because those teachings are different from or contradicting with what their mind is being "told" to believe in and what they practice, then obviously there's something "missing" in that "belief" or in what they practice, as it promotes anger and hatred, making oneself so agitated and unhappy.

Om shanti.

Friday, April 4, 2014

The mind is not "I", "I" am not the mind...

When we have doubts about life existence, when we are dissatisfied with the limited knowledge about who we are, and we feel tired and disgusted towards the suffering that exists along with the existence of "I" in this world, we might want to find out who we really are, to know about the truth of life existence.

In the present moment, we think and believe that the mind is "I", "I" am this mind, who is perceiving and experiencing all the names and forms through the senses, who thinks, who feels, who believes, who acts and reacts, who sees, who hears, who smells, who tastes, who enjoys or suffers, who behaves good or bad, who is pure or impure, who is positive or negative, who is right or wrong, who is intelligent or unintelligent, who is knowledgeable or not knowledgeable, who desires this or doesn't desire that, who is kind or unkind, who is happy or unhappy, who is peaceful or unpeaceful, who likes this or dislikes that, who agrees or disagrees, who has this or doesn't have that, who feels honored or insulted, who feels grateful or ungrateful, who is high self-esteem or low self-esteem, who looks good or not good, who knows this or doesn't know that, who performs actions and reaps the fruit of actions, and etc.

And the mind, who we think is "I", also identifies with the qualities (the condition, the functions, the abilities and the appearance) of this physical body as "I".

If this mind is "I", then this mind should belonged to "I", and should be in "my" control of how "I" want it to be.

Same as, if this body is also "I", then this body should also belonged to "I', and should also be in "my" control of how "I" want it to be.

"I", who identifies as the mind, only want to experience something that is good, positive and happy, something that I like and agree with, and I don't want to experience anything that is not good, negative and unhappy, or something that I dislike and disagree with. "I", who also identifies as the body, only want to experience something that is good, pleasant and comfortable, something that I like and agree with, and I don't want to experience anything that is not good, unpleasant and discomfortable, or something that I dislike and disagree with.

But, (if "I" do exists) the existence and the functions of this mind and this body is not in the control of "I" at all. As they don't belong to "I". They belong to the nature that provides the energy and elements for this body and this mind to be existing and to be functioning. Without energy, without fire, water, wind, earth and space, this body and this mind cannot and doesn't exist. Same as all the experiences of the mind and the body are also not in the control of "I" at all.

All the mind experiences are not in the control of "I" at all. Good or bad feelings, positive or negative thoughts, happy or unhappy sensations, they all just come and go as they like. They don't ask for the permission from "I" to come into the mind, or for how long they are going to stay in the mind, or when and how they change, or when they leave the mind. When should the mind takes rest or when should it stays awake, is not in the control of "I" at all. All the thoughts, the feelings, the impurities that arising and passing away in the mind are not in the control of "I" at all. All the egoistic reactions of attachment towards the qualities of names and forms, craving and aversion, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, feelings of hurts, pride, arrogance, agitation, depression, anxiety, fear, worry, and etc, are not in the control of "I" at all.

All the physical body experiences are also not in the control of "I" at all. "I" cannot control this physical body or the mind not to experience impermanent changes, nor stop them from experiencing something that "I" don't like and don't want. Every single cell in this physical body and the state of the mind constantly experiencing impermanence, changes, birth and death, arising and passing away, forming and deforming, completely not in the control of "I" at all.

If for prolonged period, there is no food or energy to continue feeding the body and the mind (energy depletion), the body and the mind cannot function properly, and eventually they will stop functioning, and stop existing. There's no live, no thinking, no feelings, no perception of names and forms.

This body is subject to impermanence, it will experience changes, growth, decay, old age, weakness, stiffness, injuries, pain, sickness and decomposition (death), it doesn't matter how much we try to maintain the good condition of this physical body. This mind is subject to impermanence, it will experience changes, and cannot choose nor control what it wants and doesn't want to perceive or experience, of what it sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches, and thinks.

If this mind and this body (Initially who "I" think "I" am) are not in the control of "I", they don't belong to "I", they are not "I", who am "I" then?

In the beginning, when we inquire "Who am I?", we might be looking at some other "qualities" or "names and forms" (other than the body and the mind), to see or to find out who is the real "I", but this will end up in great disappointment or conclusion-less, as there is no "I" that can be found in any qualities of names and forms.

As long as we think there is an existence of "I" as an individual being, or "I" exists as an individual being in this universe to be perceiving and experiencing all the names and forms, and we think we found a "quality" or a "name and form" that we can identify with as who "I" am, thinking and believing that "that" is "I", then this is still an ignorance coming from the egoistic mind identifies with a "quality" that it thinks "that" is who it really is. We are not free yet.

Then we realize we were looking at the wrong place, and we start to inquire who we are not (Negate the "qualities' that are not "I").

In the end when we realize who is this "I" (after negating all that who we are not), we will know that it is not important at all who we think we are in the present moment, or who is the real "I", as there is no "I".

All these life experiences are just a product of the function of the body and the mind which has no controlling power at all towards its own existence and functions.

There's no "I" as an individual being existing here to perceive or to experience good or bad qualities, happiness or unhappiness, enjoyment or suffering.

Upon realization of there's no "I", what else in this world belonged to "I"? What is gain and loss? What is happiness and suffering? What is success and failure? What is praise and condemn? What is there to be fear and worry about? What is there to be angry, hate, jealous, upset, unhappy about? What is there to be proud and arrogant about? What is there to be shameful about? Who is there to feel insulted, humiliated, disappointed, dissatisfied, and hurt?

If "I" exists, "I" can only be aware of all these activities and phenomenon in the body and the mind. "I" am beyond existence and non-existence, birth and death, names and forms, qualities, time, space and causation.

And this is liberation, being free from false identifications with "qualities" or "names and forms" that are not "I". Free from the sense of separateness that derived from the existence of "I".

If we still identify with certain names and forms such like "I" am "human or non-human being", "spiritual or non-spiritual being", "good or bad being", "confident or non-confident being", "wise or ignorant being", "compassionate or incompassionate being", "good or bad yogi", "vegetarian or non-vegetarian", "pure or impure being", "happy or unhappy being", "self-exist or selfless being", "enlightened or unenlightened being", "liberated or non-liberated being", then we are still within the influence of ignorance of who we really are.

The mind is not me. I am not the mind.
The body is not me. I am not the body.
The energy is not me. I am not the energy.
The elements are not me. I am not the elements.
The thinking, the beliefs, the feelings, the emotions, the sensations are not me. I am not the thinking, the beliefs, the feelings, the emotions, nor the sensations.
The cardiorespiratory system, the digestive system, the glands, the hormones, the immune system, the elimination system, the nervous system, the reproductive system, the brains, the memories, the bones, the muscles, the tendons, the ligaments, the connective tissues, the blood, the skin, the hair, the limbs, the sense organs, the senses are not me. I am not the cardiorespiratory system, the digestive system, the glands, the hormones, the immune system, the elimination system, the nervous system, the reproductive system, the brains, the memories, the bones, the muscles, the tendons, the ligaments, the connective tissues, the blood, the skin, the hair, the limbs, the sense organs, nor the senses.

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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