be free, be happy, be peaceful

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

Sunday, March 29, 2015

About death...

One of the objectives of yoga and meditation practice is to prepare the mind for confronting the moment of the end of life existence of the body and mind, or what we call 'death', with clear understanding and in peace, disregards what is the cause of death, when, where and how it happens, whether it's the 'death' of oneself, or of other beings, especially our dearest ones. There's no fear, no painful sorrow, no anger, no hatred, no clinging, no aversion.

It's normal for the common minds to mourn, to be sad, to be angry, or to be guilty and regret towards the death of the loved ones, and be disturbed by the fear of death, or the fear of separation with those whom we love very much, even when the cause of death is something natural, expected and unintentional, not to say if the cause of death is something unnatural, unexpected and intentional.

But no matter what are our mind reactions, whether in peace or not in peace, it doesn't undo the history, and won't bring back the life of the dead.

May the deceased rest in peace. May the family and friends of the deceased, and those who concern be in peace.

The depth of yoga is not measured by whether we can perform some complicated yoga asanas, or how much we studied and talked about the teachings of yoga, or how much time we have spent on yoga and meditation practice, or how much benefits we gained from yoga practice, or what is the cause of the end of life existence, but it is shown upon how our minds react towards all the perceptions of name and form that it perceives in this moment now.

Be free from ignorance, egoism, attachment, identification, desires, craving, aversion, and all sorts of impurities like anger, hatred, vengeance, ill-will, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, fear, worry, guilt, regret, and so on.

Appreciate lives, but without clinging, attachment or identification.

Om shanti.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Fitness yoga exercise classes?

Yoga practitioners who live in the big city and wish to engage more time into their personal yoga practice by teaching some fitness yoga exercise classes in the big city to make a living to support their lives that also allow them to have the free time and space to perform their own yoga practice shouldn't be bothered by what other people say about "These fitness yoga exercise classes are not about yoga and they are just a commercial 'money making' thing." or "It's wrong to modified traditional yoga asana practice into modern physical fitness exercise classes to make a living."

Even if the fitness yoga exercise classes didn't mention anything about the aspect of 'spirituality' whether intentionally or unintentionally, and it's not about letting go of the egoism, desires, attachment, identification, craving and aversion at all, they do provide excellent and efficient physical fitness workout that can benefit many people disregard their personal cultural belief and religion practice, especially those who live a busy city lifestyle with limited personal time and space.

Although many yoga practitioners and teachers try to explain that yoga is universal, but, when we apply the name and form of 'spirituality' onto something that we believe is universal, then, not everyone will agree with 'spirituality' is universal friendly to all and everyone. As different people might have belief and disbelief about 'spirituality'. Among those who believe in 'spirituality', different people or groups will have different names and forms of 'spirituality' that they think is belonged to them, and their 'spirituality' is better or purer than other forms of 'spirituality'.

If something that is truly universal, it is free from being conditioned by any names and forms. It is nameless and formless beyond qualities of names and forms.

Fitness yoga exercise classes that don't involve any aspects of 'spirituality' can bring the yoga practice to many levels and diversities of the society. As there are people do not wish to involve in the world of 'spirituality', which we can understand why, as there are many 'weird' people and 'weird' happenings going on in the world of 'spirituality' which are not necessarily what spirituality is about.

Not involving in the world of 'spirituality' doesn't determine whether one is spiritual, or not. Just like not identifies oneself as good person, nor associating with other good people, doesn't determine whether one is good, or not.

Without touching the aspect of 'spirituality', it is like any sports activities, it's universal friendly. Anyone whether with or without a particular religion belief, being spiritual or non-spiritual, can take part in any kind of sports activities, if one is interested. Although great achievements and excellency in sports activities doesn't guarantee anyone liberation from ignorance, egoism and suffering.

Living among the society, whatever people do and don't do, there will always be somebody or some group in the society reacts towards something that they don't like and don't agree with, and criticize or condemn about this and that. Why should anyone be bothered?

Every living being comes into existence as a living being by oneself alone (even if there are multiple birth) and will leave this world by oneself alone (even if the life of multiple living beings is finished at the same moment). Self-realization or liberation from ignorance is attained by oneself alone. It has nothing to do with another being or group, not even all our past and present teachers and Gurus, or family and friends.

When a peaceful being prefers to be in solitude away from the society and keeps the path of liberation to oneself, and has no intention or interest in 'teaching' or sharing' the path of liberation with any other beings, there will be criticism and condemn from somebody or some group about this being is selfish.

When a peaceful being has the intention or interest for 'sharing' the path of liberation with other beings, and tries to 'teach' or 'guide' other beings about the path of liberation, there will also be criticism and condemn from somebody or some group about one is not 'teaching' or 'guiding' other beings in the 'correct and appropriate' way according to what they think it should be.

Let them be. These minds that like to find faults in everything, and take pride and joy in criticism and condemn are restless. Most untrained minds are restless, or else there won't be any criticism or condemn from anyone or anywhere about anything. The world will be very quiet and peaceful. Be compassionate towards all these restless minds, they are so unhappy and peaceless. Those who know non-attachment and non-identification will not be influenced by the points of view, thinking and beliefs of these restless minds. One shares what one is, or not, and it's nothing to do with what others want and don't want, like and dislike.

Among many forms of fitness exercises for attaining good health and fitness level, these yoga exercises adapted and modified from traditional yoga asana practice provide huge varieties and efficient fitness workouts for all levels of different physical conditions and abilities, to cater the personal requirements, the likes and dislikes of many different types of people, can promote fitness and obtain higher energy level, to induce good mood and relaxed state of the mind, to develop positive and clear thinking, to lower risk of injuries or contracting illnesses, to improve and maintain good physical and mental health condition, to improve quality of life, relationships, self-esteem and sense of meaningfulness. Although all these qualities of names and forms are still subject to impermanence, and don't guarantee anyone liberation from ignorance and suffering.

The world will definitely be a better place with more people having a 'cool and relaxed' state of mind through performing yoga exercises regularly, there will be less conflicts and violence. It is better than taking some substances that might also can induce a momentary 'cool and relaxed' state of mind, but might bring other forms of side effects.

Eventually by obtaining and maintaining a well-balanced and 'cool and relaxed' state of mind through regular practice of some yoga exercises, naturally one can be evolving towards purity and higher consciousness, without any intention nor interest to involve in 'purity', or 'higher consciousness'.

It is absolutely fine if people are not interested at all in the teachings of yoga about the elimination of egoism, desires, attachment, identification, craving and aversion. It's definitely nothing wrong when there's no mention about these yoga teachings in the fitness yoga exercise classes, but instead it is moving away from all these yoga teachings, whether intentionally or unintentionally, such like, strengthening the attachment and identification towards self-image, physical conditions and abilities, the empowerment of likes and dislikes, craving and aversion, the judgment and expectation towards the performance, and results orientated, and etc.

It isn't being disrespectful towards the Gurus and the teachings of yoga when yoga (asana) practice in the world has been transformed into something that is very little to do with what yoga is about, which is to free the mind from egoism, attachment, identification, desires, craving, aversion and all sorts of impurities, to know the truth of names and forms, to eliminate ignorance and transcend suffering. And all these have nothing to do with whether one is spiritual, or not, whether one has a religion belief, or not, and whether one believes in the existence of an Almighty God or an individual soul, or not.

Yoga practice is to free the mind from ignorance, egoism, desires, impurities and suffering. And this alone is universal. Untrained minds are influenced by ignorance, egoism, impurities and experience suffering. A well-trained mind is free from the influence of ignorance, egoism, impurities and doesn't experience suffering. An impure unrest mind creates havoc into the surrounding environment. A pure and peaceful mind doesn't generate havoc into the surrounding environment. A closed mind generates offensiveness towards everything. An opened mind embraces all and everything.

It doesn't matter where we come from, where we are now, who we are, what we are and how we are, we all have a mind and there are countless mind activities going on every moment, whether consciously or unconsciously. Without knowing this mind and its modifications, one generates disharmony in oneself and into the surrounding environment. Know thyself, is knowing this mind and its modification. There is no 'I'.

May all be free, be peaceful, be happy.

If anyone doesn't want to be free, or peaceful, or happy, let them be.

Om shanti.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Emotional imbalanced?

People, or human beings are emotional sentimental creatures. At one moment, the mind is super happy and elevated when it gets what it wants and likes. At another moment, the mind is super unhappy and depressed when it gets what it doesn't want and dislikes, or when it doesn't get what it wants and likes. And this is perfectly normal for the untrained minds.

Very often we will see some couples around us, they are full of joy and happiness being together while chatting about something that they both agree with, and then suddenly one of them or both of them turn angry and upset about something that they disagree with one another. And then, maybe, when they manage to come to a point of agreement, and they will once again show joy and happiness being together.

Emotion doesn't only manifest when there are people interacting with us, but, even when we are alone by ourselves, there are thoughts arising from here and there about this and that, and along with some passionate feelings and emotions based on all these random impermanent thoughts.

Observe, not just about other people's mind behavior, but observe our own mind's behavior.

What is the reason that we think is disturbing the mind to be emotional imbalanced, is not important, but, to know everything is impermanent, and soon, this will also pass away, is the path of liberation.

The untrained mind is irrational and nonsense most of the time. Do not take our own, or other people mind's reactions, feelings and emotions too seriously. Do not allow all these impermanent feelings and emotions to over-powered our conscience and losing self-control over our actions and speech. But learn to observe without suppressing them nor expressing them.

It's impermanent.

It's really not worth to feed these feelings and emotions, and spread them around into the surrounding environment to disturb the peace and harmony between us and everyone else who come in contact with us.

Just observe, be aware, without pushing them away nor feeding them, and allow all these feelings and emotions to be there, change and passing away, and eventually the mind will be balanced in peace and harmony again.

May all be free, be peaceful, be happy.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The restless mind

Whenever there is perception of different qualities of name and form, there will always be somebody with the thinking mind experiences restlessness, showing disagreement, or dislike, or be offended by certain names and forms.

Unless it is attributeless, nameless and formless, then nobody with the thinking mind can perceive something nameless and formless that is beyond qualities of name and form, and nobody will experience restlessness, showing disagreement, or dislike, or be offended by something that is beyond the mind perception of names and forms.

If somebody will be restless, showing disagreement, dislike and be offended by something that isn't there, then that is still within the mind perception of qualities of name and form. The mind is offended by something that it doesn't know. It's like, "I don't know what it is, but I just disagree with it and I don't like it..."

That's how restless the mind can be.

Go beyond the mind perception of names and forms, realize attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness, and be free from restlessness, agreements and disagreements, likes and dislikes, offensiveness and defensiveness.

Om shanti.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Without any intention, just do our best and allow the fruit of action to be what it is...

No need to have good intention to do good and not to do bad, although we do good and try not to do bad.

Without any intention to be sharing yoga with anyone, we are sharing yoga with someone.

Without any intention to perform action that will benefit somebody, somebody is benefited from our actions.

If the yoga school or yoga class will become bigger without any intention to make it any bigger than what it is, let it be.

If the yoga school or yoga class will become smaller without any intention to make it any smaller than what it is, let it be. 

If we are teaching yoga to many people without any intention to be teaching yoga to many people, let it be.

If we are teaching yoga to less people without any intention to be teaching yoga to less people, let it be.

If we will stop teaching yoga to anyone without any intention to stop teaching yoga to anyone, let it be.

Be free from greed, desire, longing, craving and aversion.

Be free from intention and attachment.

Without any intention, just do our best and allow the fruit of action to be what it is...

In the end, it's about - May all be free, be peaceful, be happy.

Om shanti.

Asteya and Aparigraha - Non-stealing and non-covetousness

From the surface meaning of the word Asteya or non-stealing, it's about not stealing or not taking anything that doesn't belong to us, whether those things has an owner or not, or belonged to somebody or not.

And, from the surface meaning of the word Aparigraha or non-covetousness, it's about not coveting, or not possessing, or not grasping, or not greedy towards worldly objects or material and sensual enjoyments. As well as not accepting bribe or supporting bribery.

Both of them are related to greed. Greed is one of the characteristics of egoism.

Practicing Asteya and Aparigraha, abstaining from stealing and coveting, can help to eliminate greed from one's mind and helps eliminate egoism on the path of self-inquiry.

There are some teachings beyond these literal meanings.

Before we know what is the ego and the truth of names and forms, when we are still influenced by greed, then the practice of non-stealing and non-covetousness has its importance and merits.

When one is observing the practice of Asteya and Aparigraha, one doesn't need to acknowledge others or to glorify oneself for observing Asteya and Aparigraha, one just is. There's no attachment or identification of "I am observing Asteya and Aparigraha."

When we know what is the ego and the truth of names and forms, and we are free from the influence of greed, then all these practice don't mean anything, or are useless. One who is free from egoism and ignorance doesn't need to practice Asteya or Aparigraha as one doesn't need to remind oneself or to restrain oneself not to steal or not to be greedy, as there is no greed or the desire to steal existing in this mind.

Greed exists in many places that we might not be aware of. There are many 'spiritual' aspirants fall into the trap of greed without being aware of it. Greed doesn't just apply onto attachment, craving, longing and grasping towards worldly material objects and achievements.

Longing for merits and virtues is a form of greed. Longing for accumulating good karma by performing good actions is a form of greed. Longing for spiritual achievements, entitlements and acknowledgement is a form of greed. Longing for agreement, supports and association is a form of greed. Longing for good conditions, good relationships and happiness is also a form of greed. Longing for something that we like and want may it be something good and right which doesn't exist in the present moment now is a form of greed. Longing for assistance or blessing from any external source is a form a of greed. Longing for good health and longer life span is also a form of greed. Longing for changing the world to be the way that we think it should be is also a form of greed. Longing to have bigger and more yoga centres is also a form of greed. Longing to be a great yoga teacher to teach yoga is also a form of greed.

One is free from greed when one is completely free from attachment, identification, clinging, longing, craving and aversion, whether towards spiritual or worldly objects and achievements.

One will enter into silence when all forms of gross and subtle greed, desire, attachment, clinging, longing, grasping, craving and aversion subsided.

The realization of unconditional love and peace has nothing to do with the quantity or amount of Karma yoga or selfless service that we can perform through this life existence. Performing lots of charity work or volunteering service might generate some satisfactory happy and joyful feelings, and sense of meaningfulness in the mind, but it doesn't guarantee us liberation from ignorance and suffering, if we don't know what is performing actions without the influence of egoism, without intention, without attachment, identification, craving and aversion.

When we know the truth of names and forms, we will realize there is nothing in this life existence that the mind perceives through the senses that really belongs to 'us', or who we think is 'I', including the existence of the body and the mind, and their functions.

We can be in a relationship with someone. But, this relationship and the person in the relationship with us don't belong to us. We will generate 'problems and unhappiness' for ourselves and the person in the relationship with us, if we think we own this relationship and the person in the relationship with us, or we think they belong to 'I'.

If there is nothing belongs to anyone in this worldly existence of names and forms, there's no such accusation of somebody 'steals' or 'takes' something that 'belongs' to somebody else. It's the same as the teachings of yoga about oneness or non-separateness, and selflessness or I-lessness. The idea of something being stolen from someone by someone (objects and subjects) doesn't exist when we realize oneness or non-separateness.

This doesn't mean that one can take advantage of this teaching to 'take' or 'steal' anything that we like and want, thinking that "I am not stealing anything from anyone, as everything doesn't belong to anyone anyway." This is corrupted thinking influenced by ignorance.

Just like someone might take advantage of the teachings of yoga about "everything is just what it is, it is neither good nor bad" to be doing bad actions, while thinking that "I didn't do anything bad as there is no bad." It is the desires, intention, attachment and identification that makes the difference. While being 'aware' of such actions are 'bad' and still intentionally doing 'bad', while thinking and believing that there is no 'bad', doesn't free one from the consequences of actions, or the bondage of cause and effect.

It also doesn't mean that one can 'take' or 'steal' other people's spouse or children freely, or one can 'take' or 'steal' other people's 'belongings' or 'properties' influenced by some egoistic selfish desires and greed, and thinking 'I' am not committing any violation or intrusion towards anyone's existing life and property. Taking anything that doesn't 'belong' to us is 'stealing', even when there are no owners for anything. Everything and anything is not just doesn't belong to anyone, but also doesn't belong to 'I'.

When one is free from ignorance, egoism, attachment, identification, craving, aversion, and all sorts of impurities, when one is beyond all the perceptions of name and form, one won't be 'taking' or 'stealing' anything or anyone from anybody or anywhere.

When we are living on the earth, being in this space, and consuming the sunlight, the water and the air to be existing, did we ever ask permission from them, or did they give us any permission? The elements of fire, water, wind, earth and ether pervade the entire body and mind, did they ask the permission of this body and mind, or did the body and mind give permission to them?

The elements of fire, water, wind, earth and ether don't exist if the universe doesn't exist. And vice versa.

The universe exists because of the elements, and the elements exist because of the universe.

But out of compassion, everyone and everything co-existing and depending on one another to be existing. The sun, the water, the air, the earth and the space have no intention to be involved in actions of 'giving' and 'taking'. They have no intention to allow or disallow anything to be existing or not. They have no identification of 'I' am 'giving' something from 'I' to someone or something for everything to be existing, or 'I' am 'taking' something from someone or something for everything to cease existing, it doesn't matter who they are, what they are, how they are, where they are.

And above all, there's no 'I' involved in all these 'gives and takes' that is happening from moment to moment.

Before the realization of selflessness or I-lessness, all actions are bound by the idea of give and take, and are not free from the bondage of cause and effect.

Upon the realization of selflessness or I-lessness, all actions are neither give nor take, or are beyond giving and taking, and are free from the bondage of cause and effect.

Om shanti.

Friday, March 13, 2015

8 Days / 8 nights Silent Intensive Yoga Sadhana Course with Meng Foong in Langkawi


Silent Intensive Yoga Sadhana Course with Meng Foong in Langkawi

This is an opportunity for those who already have some experience in yoga practice and want to practice yoga and meditation in a conducive space with retreat facilities.

Our yoga studio will be closed for a few weeks from running yoga retreats in June (8 days 8 nights) and July (7 days 7 nights) 2015 to allow this practice space to be reserved for sincere yoga practitioners to participate in one of the Intensive Yoga Sadhana Course with Meng Foong.

There are only 6 places available for each course - (4 female participants and 2 male participants due to limited accommodation)

If you have been learning and practicing yoga for some time, but you are not sure whether you know what to do when you are by yourself without a teacher's instructions, that's okay. Meng Foong will give you a simple guideline for you to follow, and will supervise your practice from time to time. That's one of the objective of this Intensive Sadhana Course - To be able to develop independence on self-practice, as well as to develop self-discipline. Without self-discipline, even if there's a great teacher in front of us is also useless.

Fitness level is not important and it's not an issue at all in this Sadhana Course, as yoga and yoga practice is nothing to do with fitness level, or how many yoga asana poses we can perform. Everyone perform the yoga practice according to their own temperament and capability.

It's definitely not a stage for competition among the yoga practitioners, to compare and judge one's practice and abilities. Neither it is to admire somebody's practice, abilities and achievement, or aspire to become the one whom we admire. Peace and compassion has nothing to do with all these names and forms.

Everyone learn to focus on their own practice without looking at others, without comparing with others who are being different from one another, without judging others and oneself, without expectation towards the fruit of action. Just practice, without attachment towards the practice, and allow the fruit of the practice to be there as it is.

The course is to help the practitioner to learn how to let go of the egoism, attachment, identification, craving and aversion, to purify and quiet the mind, which is what yoga practice is about. All the other physical or mental benefits derived from the yoga practice are just some side effects.



About the course:-

Silent Intensive Yoga Sadhana Course Outline

Please arrive on the eve of the first day of the Intensive Yoga Sadhana Course before the orientation and dinner (anytime before 6.00 pm)

Day 1 Day 6 or Day 7 – Observe Silence full day
Day 7 or Day 8 – Silence ends at 10.30 am
Departure day – Departure after Karma yoga

Arrival Day
6.00 pm – Orientation
7.30 pm – Dinner
9.30 pm – Meditation (Observation of silence starts)
10.00 pm – Rest (Lights off by 11.00 pm)


Day 1 – Day 6 or Day 7
6.00 am – Wake up
6.30 am – Neti kriyas (Self-practice)
6.45 am – Pranayama & meditation (Self-practice)
7.45 am - Tea break
8.30 am – Yoga asana practice (*with Meng Foong / Self-practice)
10.30 am – Break
11.00 am – Brunch
12.00 am – Washing / cleaning / Karma Yoga
1.00 pm – Rest / self-study / free time
3.00 pm - Tea break with fruit served (optional)
4.00 pm – Yoga asana practice (Self-practice)
6.00 pm – Break
7.30 pm – Dinner
9.00 pm – Chanting & Meditation (*with Meng Foong / Self-practice)
10.00 pm – Rest (Lights off by 11.00 pm)

Day 7 or Day 8
6.00 am – Wake up
6.30 am – Neti kriyas
(Self-practice)
6.45 am – Pranayama & meditation
(Self-practice)
8.30 am – Yoga asana practice
(*with Meng Foong / Self-practice)
10.30 am – Break
(Silence ends)
11.00 am – Brunch
12.00 pm – Washing / cleaning / Karma Yoga
1.00 pm – Rest / free time
7.30 pm – Dinner
9.00 pm – Chanting & Meditation
(*with Meng Foong / Self-practice)
10.00 pm – Rest
(Lights off by 11.00 pm)

Departure day
6.00 am – Wake up
6.30 am – Neti kriyas
(Self-practice)
6.45 am – Pranayama & meditation
(Self-practice)
7.45 am - Tea break
8.30 am – Yoga asana practice (*with Meng Foong / Self-practice)
10.30 am – Break
11.00 am – Brunch
12.00 pm – Washing / cleaning / Karma Yoga

Intensive Yoga Sadhana ends

During the self-practice session, you may practice any types/styles of yoga asana practice that you prefer. The entire course is to strengthen one's self-discipline in self-practice, it doesn't matter what types/styles of yoga, or yoga asana practice that you are practicing now.

*If you prefer to perform your own self-practice during the session with Meng Foong, you may do so in your room.

*There's no minimum or maximum time for performing your yoga asana practice during the yoga asana session. It depends on that present moment. You may perform some other types of yoga practice other than yoga asana practice, if you prefer. Be your own teacher, and be responsible for taking care of your mind. Be vigilant and self-initiative to perform your Sadhana. Make good use of the opportunity provided here.

Hari Om Tat Sat




Accommodation

You will be staying at the yoga studio with the other yoga practitioners.

Male participants will be staying in a temporary bedroom with fan converted from the store room at the yoga studio with outside bathroom and toilet. If there is no male participant, this room will be available for other female participants.

Female participants will be staying in a studio apartment with en-suite bathroom.


– Simple basic accommodation.
– Please look after your personal hygiene.
– Observe the rules and time table.
– Do your own laundry by hand. There will be washing powder and buckets available at the washing area. No laundry washing or shower is allowed during yoga and meditation practice and between 11.00 pm and 6.00 am.
– To ensure everyone to have a good night rest, we suggest everyone to keep noise volume to the minimum after 11.00 pm.
– If you want to stay up or to do some reading after 11.00 pm, you may do so at the terrace or at the garden quietly so that you may not disturb your housemates or the neighbours.
– Take care of your personal belongings and please do not bring unnecessary ‘valuable things’.
– Everyone should stay within the living area and compound area between 10.00 pm and 6.30 am. Strictly no outing during this period of time.
– No strenuous physical activities are allowed before morning sitting meditation.
– No chanting between 10.00 pm and 8.30 am as it might disturb the neighbours.

Facilities in the studio apartment:-
– 4 single mattresses
– Terrace for sitting out
– Laundry washing area
– Sharing en-suite bathroom with shower and toilet
– Water heater for hot shower
– Fan and air-conditioning in the room. Please save electricity by turning off all the lights, fans and air-conditioning in the rooms when leaving the room
– Drinking water
– Tea making facilities
– Hair-dryer (not to be used in the bathroom)
– Desk
– Shelves

Please bring along your own personal toiletries and bath towels.

Please bring along your own neti pot and neti sutra if you have, or else you can borrow a neti pot from us.

Everyone will be assigned with Karma Yoga everyday, maintaining the cleanliness and tidiness of the yoga hall, the library, the studio apartment, the bathroom and toilet, the terrace, the garden area and the kitchen.

Karma Yoga (selfless service) will be distributed among the participants.

One should not exert too much energy in physical activities to conserve energy.

You may keep some light snacks with you, but, please keep them in airtight containers to avoid attracting ants and insects.

You may keep your food in airtight containers in the studio apartment, or in the fridge in the kitchen. Please ask for a container if you need one.

Throughout the entire stay, everyone takes care the well-being of oneself.

This is a great opportunity for practicing tolerance, patience, adaptation, adjustment, accommodation, acceptance, forgiveness, selflessness and compassion while staying with other yoga practitioners under the same roof.

If you have any problems, or special requirements you may talk to the teacher privately during free time (between 3.00 – 4.00 pm).

Meals will be simple nutritious vegetarian food.

Please bear in mind that this is a place for Yoga Sadhana, it’s not a luxury holiday resort.

Om shanti





Observations

Observe Mauna/Silence from Day 1 to Day 8

Activities that are not allowed during the entire stay:-

– No smoking
– No illegal drugs
– Certain herbal based medicine for illness or skin irritation, or daily medications prescribed by your doctor are allowed
– No alcohol
– No sexual misconduct
– No strong smelling and stimulating body spray, or fragrances, or mosquito repellent spray, or moisturizers, or lotions – except oil free and fragrance free products
– No novels, or magazines, or newspaper reading – except yoga and meditation books that are provided in the library
– No movie watching or radio listening
– No gossiping or slandering
– No socializing or mingling
– No Internet
– No phone calls or communication with the social world – except in case of emergency
– Not leaving the studio compound between 10.00 pm and 6.30 am
You are here to quiet the mind and not stimulate the mind.

Activities that are allowed during your free time:-

– Keeping a spiritual diary about your yoga and meditation practice. This is not obligatory.
– Reading and writing – only about yoga and meditation
– Self-practice in the yoga hall

Om shanti


Meal Times

Meals provided will be simple nutritious vegetarian food.

We do not cater for raw food diet.

We can cater for gluten-free or dairy-free diet.

Please inform us before hand if you have any food allergies or food that you don’t eat.

Everyone will be given one set of dining utensil consists of a plate, a bowl, a mug, a glass, spoon, knife and fork. You will keep the same dining utensil for your own use for the entire course. Please take care of them and wash them after meals.

Chopsticks are available upon request.

There is a refrigerator in the kitchen for the course participants to keep some food or drinks, or medications.

Tea and coffee will be provided. There are different types of tea bags on the shelf in the kitchen, please feel free to take any. There are coffee plungers to make coffee.

Lemon will be provided everyday. Please feel free to make lemon water for yourself.

Fresh fruit will be provided during brunch and tea break.

Please observe moderation in food intake. Extreme fasting is not advisable during the course.

You may take your time to come into the dining hall for meals, but please finish your meal within the meal time given.

If you prefer to be on your own when taking your meal, you may bring your food and eat at the terrace or at the garden.

Please inform the teacher in-charge of the course earlier if you want to skip a particular meal.

Please take the same seat at the dining table for all meals. And after finished eating, please wash and dry your dining utensil and put it back onto your place on the dining table for your next meal.

Please observe silence through out the entire course until the observation of silence ends on the 8th day after the morning yoga asana practice session.

Please close the kitchen door every time you come in and out from the kitchen to keep animals and insects out of the kitchen. Please do not lock the kitchen door as other people might want to come into the kitchen.

Please maintain the cleanliness of the kitchen by cleaning up immediately after meal.

Morning tea break will be served at the terrace between 7.45 am – 8.15 am.
Brunch will be served at the dining hall between 11.00 am – 12.00 noon.
Afternoon tea break will be served at the terrace between 3.00 pm – 3.30 pm.
Dinner will be served at the dining hall between 7.30 pm – 8.30 pm.
Kitchen will be closed from 11.00 pm – 7.45 am.

Be happy.

Mauna – Silence





The observation of silence – Mauna, is not just limited to the restriction of speech but it’s also about reducing and restricting the senses inputs and stimulations of the mind. It is calming down the thought current and free the mind from restlessness. It is not merely practicing silence of speech, but also silence of the mind.

This will help to purify the mind to a deeper level.

It is like emptying and cleaning the rubbish bin. Stop putting in more rubbish and bringing out the existing rubbish from the bin and give it a good clean up. It is stopped stimulating the mind and allow it to have a moment of stillness.

It is about changing the habit of the mind that likes to react towards all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses every moment. It is restricting the mind to react whenever it wants to react towards whatever it perceives.

This will lead our mind to stop reacting towards what it likes and dislikes, what it agrees and disagrees with, and allow the mind to develop inner qualities, such like patience, forbearance, non-attachment, letting go, tolerance, adjustment, adaptation, accommodation, acceptance, forgiveness, self-introspection and self-control over the thoughts, actions and speech. All these inner divine qualities will lead the mind to realize God consciousness or the universal consciousness – Selflessness and compassion.

It is not just about not talking.

By controlling the speech organ not to talk or speak whenever the mind wants to express itself through speech or verbal expression, it is actually controlling the mind from its egoistic habitual reaction towards all the objects of the senses or whatever it perceives through the body and mind.
It is about being the master of the mind and be “the one” in control of ourselves, instead of being the slave of the mind and being controlled by the mind. It’s about stop generating craving towards what the mind likes and agrees with, and stop generating aversion towards what the mind dislikes and disagrees with. Through this practice, the ego will be annihilated.

Beside stopping the mind from reacting towards the sense objects by refraining the mind to express itself through speech by observing non-talking, non-justification, non-arguing, non-interacting and non-communicating with the social world, and just stand as a witness or the observer, witnessing or observing all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, we also refrain the mind from reacting or expressing through physical gestures, body language and facial expression, during the practice of silence – Mauna.

It is a total restrain over the thoughts, actions and speech. The mind becomes quiet.

The practice of reducing or purifying senses inputs – sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations (touch) and thoughts, and letting go of craving and aversion towards all these names and forms, is observing Mauna. When we stop generate new reactions of craving and aversion towards all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, the old accumulated tensions or karma that derived from past cravings and aversions, will appear to the surface of the mind to be purified, or to be letting go. And hence, there might be physical, mental and emotional discomforts arise during the course and after the course. Some people may experience purification process even before the start of the Sadhana. Be tolerant, be persevere, be determine to finish the course equanimously.

The practice of Mauna is a very efficient and important way for us to realize the Truth of ourselves and about suffering.

The practice includes but is not limited to:-

- No verbal or written communication and interaction with other people.

- No eye contact, or body contact with other people. Not looking at other people nor take interest in other people’s affairs.

- No body language or facial expression to make any communication or interaction with other people.

- Reduce and limit the inputs (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and thinking) and outputs (ideas, communications and interactions) of the mind. Such like not reading novels, magazines and newspaper, not watching movies and TV programs, not listening to music, not playing sports games, not writing (except keeping a spiritual diary), not doing intense physical activities, not sleeping on soft bed, not using perfumes or fragrances, and divert the mind to contemplate on Dharma whenever the mind thinks of any worldly objects, and etc.

- Control and minimize the habit of self-talking in the mind (talking to ourself in the mind). The speech organ maybe not performing any talking verbally, but the mind continues to talk to itself in the mind. This is very common for many people. It shows that how restless the mind is, and it doesn’t like to be in silence for a single moment, even though from the appearance the body is silent and stilled, not performing any speech and actions.

- Controlling sexual desire. Transform or channel the sexual energy for spiritual practice and spiritual realization.

- Conserve energy by limiting worldly mental, physical and speech activities, and use the energy for spiritual practice and to perform selfless service for ourselves and for other beings.

- Reduce wants and worldly desires and sensual enjoyments.

- Restricting the usual daily habits of the body and mind. Such like dependent on “taking” certain “substances” or “doing” certain “things” to feel good.

- Restricting the usual reactions of the body and mind towards all the names and forms. Such like when we hear something that we don’t agree with, we would like to argue about it.

- By limiting and reducing verbal, physical and mental activities. This will stop any stimulations of the mind. Allowing the whirlpool of the restless mind to have the opportunity to “settle down”. When the mind is pure and calm, we will be able to “see” the Truth of everything as it is, not being contaminated by the impurities and restlessness in our mind.

- Restrict the mind from trying to express itself at anytime through verbal speech, facial expression and body language/sign. Such like learn to observe anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, arrogance, anxiety, agitation, depression, fear and worry, and let them go without react towards any of these impurities.

- Observe the thoughts (thinking) and not identify nor associate with the thoughts.

- Make the outgoing mind turns inwards concentrating and resting in the chamber of the heart.

Above all, observe all these observations without judgment, comparison and expectation. Just do our best.

May all aspirants be determined to observe Mauna – Silence of thoughts, actions and speech for some period of time in the path of yoga and meditation for self-realization to know the Truth.

Om shanti





Course Dates

8 Days / 8 nights Silent Intensive Yoga Sadhana Course

June 20th to 28th, 2015 – Arrival on June 19th before 6.00 pm. Departure on June 28th after 3.00 pm.







Course Fees

2000 RM per person

Course fees are inclusive of – airport pick up and drop off, accommodation, meals, and facilities.

300 rm deposit is required to confirm a place for the course when your application is accepted. It is refundable if cancellation is made one month before the start of the course. Please inform us as soon as possible if you want to cancel your reservation to allow other people on the waiting list to take your place.

Full payment (the outstanding balance) must be paid one month before the start of the course.

All payments shall be made via bank transfer. Bank details will be provided when your application is accepted.





Where

The space for Intensive Yoga Sadhana Course:-

Yoga Now Malaysia
LangkawiKedah
Malaysia





Application


Please bear in mind that the Intensive Yoga Sadhana Courses are for serious Yoga practitioners (Sadhaka). If you cannot commit to the timetable and are not very serious in performing yoga practice, please allow other yoga practitioners who take seriously of their yoga practice to have the opportunity to get a place in the Intensive Yoga Sadhana Course.

Please read through the Observations before applying for the course. Do not apply if you are not capable to observe the observations.



Please send us an email with the following details:-

1.) Name
2.) Current home address, phone number and contact details of person to contact in case of emergency
3.) Which course dates do you wish to participate
4.) Any medical history – physical injuries or illnesses
5.) Any food allergies
6.) Why you wish to participate

Email – yogalangkawi@gmail.com

Om shanti
 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Yoga, the teachings, the practice and teaching yoga...

There were some people suggested to us that we should be teaching 'yoga teachers training course'.

There were some people asked us whether our yoga studio issues any 'Internationally recognized certification', if they participated in our yoga retreats and workshops.

There was 'Yoga Alliance' wrote to us whether we want to pay them some member fees so that we can put some 'logos' on our website and be affiliated and registered with their organization.

I don't disagree nor criticize anyone or any organization to think and do what they want to think and do.  Everyone has the rights and freedom to think and act the way that they want to think and act.

There's nothing wrong with all these worldly qualities of names and forms.

Most people are conditioned to think in certain ways, to believe in certain 'commercial' or 'worldly' values and qualities of names and forms. There's nothing wrong with that. And it's okay if some people cannot go beyond those conditioned thinking and beliefs, no matter how hard they try to understand what is beyond their thinking and beliefs.

Just that, Yoga and teaching yoga, or self-inquiry and self-realization, or to develop mindfulness, insight, self-awareness and self-control, or the practice of non-attachment and non-identification, or the truth of names and forms, or transcending qualities of names and forms, or the elimination of the egoism, or selflessness, or be free from ignorance and suffering, or the realization of unconditional peace and compassion, or sharing wisdom, love and peace with other beings, or be compassionate towards other beings, or be free from anger and hatred, greed and jealousy, dissatisfaction and disappointment, craving and aversion, fear and worry, really has nothing to do with all these organization, certification and qualification.

It means nothing if a 'wandering yogi' hangs a few certificates issued by some yoga schools around his neck, going around with a statement of his personal profile about how many years, months and days he has been practicing yoga, where he has been learning and practicing yoga, who are his Gurus and teachers, what he has achieved from his practice and self-inquiry, since when he has started sharing his wisdom and unconditional love and peace with other beings, how many people have been learning and practicing yoga under his guidance, or what sorts of certifications he will issue to those who practice yoga under his guidance, and etc.

We don't even display our 'Internationally recognized yoga teachers training certifications' anywhere in the yoga studio or at home. We respect everyone for their personal freedom of thinking, speech and actions, and we are really grateful and thankful for all the teachers and the Ashrams to provide us with the opportunity to learn and practice yoga, as well as the 'Internationally recognized' certifications. But whether by attaining and displaying these certifications, or not, really doesn't determine anything about 'who we are' and 'what we do', and it has nothing to do with the teachings of yoga about transcending the body and mind, the modifications of the mind, the worldly existence, all the qualities of names and forms, be free from egoism, ignorance and suffering, realize unconditional love and peace, and rest in ones nature as it is.

We don't mention about what type of certification or qualification that we have in our website, as it doesn't determine anything.

If some people are looking for all these qualities of names and forms to find a teacher or a school to learn and practice yoga, then let them be.

If people didn't find what they are looking for in our website or in our classes, retreats or workshops, and are not interested in what we share, let them be.

May all find their own way, their own path, their own realization.

May all be free, be peaceful, be happy.

Be happy...




I have just found out that an old photo of me has been used as the front cover of a Malaysian yoga magazine in one of their issues in year 2013 without my knowledge.

I don't mind if any contents or photos that I shared online might be used by anyone for sharing yoga with others, but, just to be clear that I have no interest at all in being associated with any 'Yoga Alliance' or 'Yoga Teachers Association' whether they are from Malaysia or International organization.

Yoga is beyond qualities of name and form. It’s not about a great and beautiful yoga pose. It cannot be represented by some forms of image or photo. People are mislead about yoga by some images of ‘beautiful’ yoga poses, or images of ‘yogi’, or images of some forms of ritual, or images of doing some forms of yoga practice, or even images of someone in a meditation posture. Yoga poses is only a small part of the yoga practice to help to prepare the mind for meditation. Not being able to do any yoga poses doesn’t mean that one cannot or doesn’t practice yoga. Not being able to put the body in a particular meditation posture doesn’t determine that one is not meditating, or one is not peaceful and compassionate. We neither agree nor disagree with how other people want to promote ‘yoga’. That is their freedom. But we do not associate with what people want to do or don’t do.

Be happy.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Have I fully accepted and love myself as I am?

"Have I fully accepted and love myself as I am?"

If there's something that we don't like or 'hate' about ourselves, may it be the physical condition and appearance, or the state of mind, or the personality, or the physical and mental abilities and achievements, or the relationships with everyone, or anything that we think we feel dissatisfied and disappointed about ourselves, and we want or expect ourselves to be a human being, or a person, or something whom we are not, then we haven't know how to accept and love ourselves as we are, and we will also don't know how to accept and love others as they are.

We will always expect everyone and the surrounding environment to be exactly the way how we want it to be and how we believe it should be, or else we won't be satisfied or happy. And we will never be. It is not because there's something wrong or bad about everyone and everything, or they are not good enough, but, it is our own ignorance and the play of the egoism that make ourselves to be in the state of dissatisfaction and unhappiness.

If we don't know how to love ourselves, we also don't know the real meanings of compassion.

We might think we know what is compassion, and we want to be compassionate beings, and we want to perform compassionate actions, but we aren't really compassionate, if we don't even know how to fully accept and love ourselves as we are.

Be happy.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Compassion and yoga practice

"It's not easy to be free from the ego and the side products of the egoism like anger, hatred, jealousy, dissatisfaction, disappointment, feelings of hurt, fear and worry... But, keep practice. Keep letting go as much as we can. Try our best. No judgment. No expectation. Just keep practice and keep trying... And from time to time, without any expectation, we will see that our mind has changed its thinking pattern and reactions towards all the names and forms that it perceives through the senses due to the enhanced self-awareness, self-control and self-discipline... All our practice and efforts are not wasted."

In the beginning, the ego might be very hard and stubborn. Through ceaseless practice, this ego will be soften and less stubborn. Eventually this ego will 'dissolve' completely, and the mind will be free from egoism, and just being what it is.

Anger is a by-product of the egoism. They exist together. Unless the egoism is completely gone, there will always be anger manifests in the mind from time to time whenever the mind experiences or perceives something that the ego doesn't like, doesn't want and disagrees with. Same as all the other impurities like hatred, greed, jealousy, stinginess, fear, worry, pride, arrogance, feelings of hurt, feelings of guilt, agitation, depression, dissatisfaction, disappointment, and so on, are all the by-products of the egoism.

Anger is not a negative or bad thing. It is neither good nor bad.

We were often being told by some other people that anger is not good, that we should not express anger as it will hurt ourselves and others. There is some truth in this saying, but, we were not told how to deal with anger, or how to be free from anger. We tend to suppress anger, and this doesn’t help at all, but instead it may cause further damage to ourselves (mental and physical health) and eventually it will become the main cause of conflict in our relationships with others.

The existence of anger allows us to know what is compassion.

If we don't have self-awareness and self-control, then when our mind is over-powered by anger, we might be doing or saying something violent and hurtful that might hurt ourselves and others under the influence of this anger, which we might regret afterwards when our mind calms down.

If we have self-awareness and self-control, we will know how to be aware of anger when it manifests in the mind, acknowledge it and observe it with compassion towards ourselves and others so that we don't generate actions and speech that will hurt ourselves and others. Be acknowledged that this mind is disturbed and upset in this present moment, and it's okay. Knowing that this is impermanent. Without pushing away or suppressing this anger or agitation. Without identification with this anger. Without feeding or strengthening this anger with further negative thinking. Without judgment about this mind or this anger is not good, or it's bad. Without expectation towards this mind that it has to be good and calm all the time, and anger shouldn't exist in the mind at all. We allow this anger to be there, change and pass away, without being over-powered or influenced by it. Without hurting ourselves and others. In this way, we won't be generating and accumulating tension into the body and mind.

Compassion is yoga practice. It's the entire yoga practice.

For example, when someone is unhappy, dissatisfied and agitated, is showing anger to us, and blames us for his/her unhappiness, dissatisfaction and frustration. There might be two reactions coming from our minds -

1.) This being (I), the ego feels being victimized, attacked and hurt, and will react like this - 'I' did nothing wrong. 'I' don't deserve to be treated like this. Why are you angry with me? It's not my fault. Do not be angry with me. Angry is evil behavior. You shouldn't be angry. You shouldn't express your anger. And now, I am disturbed by your bad behavior, I am really 'angry' and 'upset' with you for you being angry and upset with me.

This is selfish thinking and reaction of self-protection without correct understanding of the mind and its modifications.

There's no compassion in this being (I). Only selfish thinking and concerns about 'I' and 'my feelings'.

This doesn't help the person who is angry and unhappy to stop being angry and unhappy, and it doesn't help this person to come out from the suffering of anger and unhappiness. As ourselves, are also influenced by ignorance and egoism, we are not free.

2.) The egoless and compassionate mind of this being (I) is aware of this person is suffering, is disturbed, unhappy and upset. Even though it is not the fault of this being (I), it is okay for this person to express his/her anger and unhappiness onto this being (I). He/she might get some reliefs from the tension of anger and unhappiness to a certain extend. Allow this person to express and behave as he/she is. This egoless mind is undisturbed, unaffected, undetermined, unhurt by this person's expression and behavior out of anger and unhappiness. Without judgment towards this person as bad person, or judging this behavior as wrong or bad. Without expectation that this person should not be angry or unhappy, or shouldn't express anger and unhappiness. Without identification as a victim of other people's anger and unhappiness. Allow this person to express freely what is disturbing or upsetting him/her. Embrace him/her as he/she is, especially when his/her mind is disturbed, unhappy and frustrated. Being compassionate towards this being who is in suffering.

When this person starts to calm down as the anger and unhappiness fade away, this person might be able to see the truth of what is really happening, and be aware of the unconditional love coming from this being (I), and starts to be compassionate towards oneself and others, by seeing the truth of anger and unhappiness is coming from our own egoism, it's not coming from anyone or anything that we dislike and disagree with. This person might start to be aware of the mind and the reactions of the mind, to develop self-awareness and self-control, and stop hurting oneself and others out of any impurities that manifest in the mind from time to time, due to the reactions of the ego towards the objects of names and forms that it doesn't like, doesn't want and disagrees with.

This might help someone who is suffering to come out from suffering.

Even if this person doesn't come out from suffering after we showed compassion towards him/her, it's okay. There's no attachment, no judgment, no expectation. Let it be.

This is compassion. This is our yoga practice.

Keep trying and keep practicing. Soften the ego, and there will be less such reactions and impurities to arise in the mind. And upon the annihilation of the ego, there will be no such egoistic reactions in the mind for any impurities to arise in the mind, to influence the mind to behave violently and hurtfully towards oneself and others.

Om shanti.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Home cooked vegetarian food recipe - Pasta with fresh button mushrooms in home made tomato sauce

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

Pasta with fresh button mushrooms in home made tomato sauce (serve 2-3 people)

500 grams of fresh button mushrooms, sliced

3-4 ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks

About 20 cherry tomatoes

4-5 tablespoons home made tomato sauce (Click here for the recipe)

1 medium size onion, chopped finely

1 small red or green chilly, remove seeds and chopped coarsely (optional)

3 cloves of garlic, chopped coarsely

Some dried herbs - Italian Mixed Herbs or Basil

Black pepper & salt to taste

A bit of cooking oil

A bit of butter

A bit of olive oil

Pasta - Penne or Spaghetti

Boiling water to cook pasta


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

Cook the pasta in hot boiling water with a bit of cooking oil and salt until the preferred texture. Drained and keep warm.

Heat up the pot or the non-stick wok in medium heat.

Add some cooking oil and butter. Add in onion, stir well until slightly soften, and then add chopped garlic and chillies. Stir evenly until the onion browned and fragrant.

Add sliced button mushrooms, black pepper and a bit of salt. Stir well until fragrant and slightly changed colour.

Add the tomatoes chunks. Cooked for about 1 minute.

Add 4-5 tablespoons of homemade tomato sauce, a bit of water, dried herbs, salt and black pepper to taste.

Add the cherry tomatoes and some olive oil.

Stir evenly until the sauce thicken.

Remove from the heat.

You can either serve the pasta and the sauce separately, or mix the pasta into the sauce just before removing the sauce from the heat.

Bon Appétit!

Yoga as it is...

The means of Buddhism teachings and yoga teachings are not different from one another. It's about purification of the mind, control of the mind, self-awareness, self-control, self-discipline, purification of thoughts, actions and speech, non-blind-faith, non-follower, non-duality, non-separateness, wisdom, compassion, selflessness/ego-lessness/I-lessness, non-identification, non-attachment, desireless, namelessness, formlessness, self-inquiry and self-realization of the truth, and be free from ignorance, egoism, attachment, identification, craving, aversion, and all sorts of impurities, and transcend suffering.

Some people think yoga and Buddhism practice is a form of religious practice belongs to a particular religion and culture, as they often see some yoga and Buddhism practitioners perform some sorts of rituals here and there, where all these rituals are coming from a form of religious and cultural practice.

There's nothing wrong with some/most of the yoga practitioners perform rituals and religious ceremonies as part of the yoga practice, but yoga is undetermined by whether there is any rituals and religious ceremonies as part of our yoga practice, or not. As by performing rituals and religious ceremonies doesn't determine that one is practicing yoga, or not. And by not performing any rituals or religious ceremonies, it doesn't determine that one is not practicing yoga, and it doesn't stop one from practicing yoga.

Beyond all the influence of personal cultural practice or religious practice that was mixed into the yoga practice in different parts of the world, yoga is beyond all the cultural practice and religious beliefs and rituals. It's the same for Buddhism practice.

Yoga is right here, in this moment, when the mind is free from the influence of any qualities of names and forms, egoism, identification, attachment, conditioned thinking and beliefs, dualities, desires, longing, craving, speculation, anticipation, expectation, judgment, and impurities.

When the mind is free from ignorance, egoism, attachment, identification, craving, aversion, desires, intentions, expectations, qualities of names and forms, one doesn't need to perform any rituals with any intentions. Although one still can be performing rituals and religious ceremonies selflessly, without attachment, identification, intention or expectation.

Go beyond all the names and forms, and rest in silence.

Saraswati Namastubhyam

Saraswati Namastubhyam

Varade Kaama Roopini

Vidyaa Rambham Karishyaami

siddhir Bhavatu Me Sadaa


Saraswati represents wisdom, or the knowledge of knowing the truth of names and forms as they are.

Worldly knowledge about this and that doesn't guarantee us peace and compassion, or be free from ignorance and suffering.

Wisdom, or knowing the truth of things as they are, will allow us to be peaceful and compassionate, be free from ignorance and suffering.

It doesn't mean that worldly knowledge is useless or meaningless. Knowledge is just what it is. It is neither good nor bad. When we use it wisely, the knowledge can be used to benefit all and everyone, to have a better quality of life, to improve personally and globally. When we use it under the influence of ignorance and egoism, the same knowledge might be used to generate harmful effects, disharmony or unhappiness in oneself and others.

Wisdom is not about knowing everything, but knowing the truth of things as they are.

Peace and compassion is undetermined by any qualities of names and forms, including all the worldly knowledge about everything that we can know about this world.

Beyond all the qualities of names and forms, one rests in its own nature of unconditional love and peace.

Om shanti.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A simple life?

Sometimes when we think we live a simple life, and we like things to be simple, we might not be aware of the desire, or intention, or expectation to live a healthy and good life, clinging onto what we think is good and healthy, and have aversion towards what we think is not good and unhealthy, is not really that simple.

We don't just live life as it is. We have desires of want and don't want.

We don't just appreciate food and eat food as it is, but we have some demands and conditions about what type of food, where they come from, how they were produced and prepared, how does it taste, and etc.

We don't just live in a place with a roof as it is, but we have some demands and conditions about what type of building, where is the location, how it was built, what are the extras, how is the surrounding environment and neighbourhood, and etc.

We don't just have a physical body as it is, but we have some demands and conditions about how does it look, what type of body shape and body composition, how is the condition and abilities, and etc.

We don't just take shower, but we have some demands and conditions about what type or brand of shower products, where they come from, how they were produced, and etc.

We don't just wear clothes and shoes, but we have some demands and conditions about what is the style, texture and colour, what brand, where they come from, how they were made, what are they made from, what are the compliment accessories, and etc.

We don't just live life as it is, but we want to have certain type of lifestyle and social life, involve in activities that we like to do, being in relationships that how we would like it to be, and there are some unfulfilled desires or ambitions waiting to be fulfilled, and etc.

Above all,

We don't just practice yoga as it is, but we have some demands and conditions about what type of yoga or yoga classes, what types of benefits it gives to us, who is the Guru or teacher, what is the level or intensity, what are the qualifications and certifications that the teacher has or we can get, what type and brand of yoga mat and yoga clothing, and etc.

It's not simple at all.

When the mind is completely free from the desires of want and don't want, free from craving towards something that we like and aversion towards something that we don't like; when we know how to live life as it is in the present, free from attachment, fear and worry; when we know how to appreciate when good things are there, but without clinging and craving towards the good things; when we know how to let go when good things changed and disappeared; and we are okay when good things are not there, or when bad things are there, without aversion towards losing the good things, or getting the bad things; then we do live a simple life.

Om shanti.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Compassion is free from anger and hatred in oneself, or towards any names and forms that we dislike and disagree with...

Compassion is free from anger and hatred in oneself. If we think having anger and hatred towards those whom we think are bad and evil is showing compassion towards those who are suffering because of these 'bad and evil' people, then we haven't realized what is compassion.

Free from anger and hatred doesn't mean that we are supporting and agreeing with 'bad and evil' beings or happenings.

To be compassionate towards other people's suffering is not necessarily has to be angry and hating the cause of their suffering. How can we say we are compassionate when ourselves is being affected and determined by other people's wrong doings, and we hurt our body and mind by generate anger and hatred towards those whom we think are 'bad and evil'?

If we think we are 'good and kind' beings, and don't do anything wrong, while we think some others are 'bad and evil', why are we suffering from anger and hatred for other people's wrong doings? It is the ego that gets angry and hating. It is not other people's wrong doing that is hurting us, it is the reactions of the ego that is hurting ourselves.

Have peace in oneself, be free from anger and hatred is compassion towards oneself and all other beings unconditionally.

All the names and forms have no intention, or quality, or power to hurt or insult anyone. It is the ignorance, egoism, attachment, identification, craving, aversion, pride and arrogance in us that generate such reactions towards the qualities of names and forms that we think is hurtful and insulting towards something that we identify ourselves as who 'I' am, that is hurting ourselves. Whenever we get angry and hating something that we disagree with, that we think is bad and wrong, it's not coming from other people's wrong doings, but it is coming from our own mind reactions.

Om shanti.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Yoga asana practice is just a very small part of the yoga practice...

Those who enjoy doing the yoga asana exercises but don't like the practice about letting go of the egoism, attachment, identification, craving and aversion, say that yoga asana practice is the most important part of the yoga practice, and that is what they are learning from the 'yoga classes' that they have been attending for months and years.

If they have done a yoga asana practice that day, they will tell themselves and others that they have done their yoga practice that day. And if they didn't practice yoga asana for a few days or a few months, they will tell themselves and others that they haven't been practicing yoga for a few days or a few months.

But yoga practice exists in every moment in everything that we do and don't do. All actions, including inactions, are free from egoism, attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion.

Well, everyone can think and believe what they want to think and believe. If some people insist that yoga is all about the yoga asana practice, and how to make their yoga asana poses to be 'perfect' is the goal of their yoga practice, and to make the physical body super strong and flexible will make them a perfect 'yogi', then let it be.

Yoga asana practice is just a very small part of the yoga practice to help the yoga practitioners to balance and calm the mind, to prepare the mind for meditation. But, if we don’t want to let go of the egoism, attachment, identification, craving and aversion, and there are countless impurities constantly arise in the mind influencing our thinking and behavior, then no matter how much yoga asana exercises we have been practicing, and how much health and fitness benefits we are getting from performing the yoga asana practice, and the physical body becomes super strong and flexible, we are not free.

People who can't or don't perform yoga asana practice due to any reasons, can also attain the means of yoga, to be free from ignorance and suffering, if they know how to free the mind from egoism, attachment, identification, craving, aversion, and all sorts of impurities.

Sometimes how some of the yoga teachers training courses train the 'yoga teachers-to-be' for what they will be teaching to the others who will learn yoga from them after they are 'graduated' from the yoga teachers training courses, will make their yoga students misunderstand about yoga, the teachings and the yoga practice. There's nothing wrong with that either, as the students will be getting some health and fitness benefits from doing the yoga asana exercises regularly, just that they might not be practicing yoga.

Om shanti.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Ignorance and be free from ignorance...

There are people who read a lot, and some may read a little, while some don't read at all, but it doesn't determine whether they will be happier, or more unhappy than one another. As whether reading a lot, or a little, or not reading at all, doesn't determine whether our mind will be free from ignorance, egoism, attachment, identification, craving, aversion and all sorts of impurities, like anger, hatred, dissatisfaction, disappointment, depression, jealousy, fear, worry, feelings of hurts, and etc.

Knowing a lot of things through reading a lot, doesn't determine that one will be free from unhappiness and suffering.

It's the same as, what we believe and don't believe, what we eat and don't eat, what we like to eat and don't like to eat, what we do and don't do, what we can do and cannot do, whether we think we are good or not good, whether we think we did a lot of good actions or not, whether we have good intentions or bad intentions, whether we think we are spiritual or non-spiritual, whether we think we are intelligent or unintelligent, also don't determine whether one will be free from ignorance, egoism and suffering.

Those who think they are not good enough, or they are not spiritual, or they don't know much about this or that about science, mathematics, geography, history, politics, sociology, biology, chemistry, physics, phycology, anatomy, physiology, religion and culture, and etc, they still can be free from ignorance and suffering, if they know how to free the mind from egoism, attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion.

Those who think they are good beings, or they are spiritual, or they know a lot about this and that about science, mathematics, geography, history, politics, sociology, biology, chemistry, physics, phycology, anatomy, physiology, religion and culture, and etc, they still can be not free from ignorance and suffering, if they don't know how to free the mind from egoism, attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion.

It doesn't matter who we are, how we are, where we are, what we do or don't do, what we believe or don't believe, religious or non-religious, spiritual or non-spiritual, good or not good enough, feel good or don't feel good, it is through ceaseless effort to restrain the activities of the mind and quieting the mind, to keep the mind in the present, to eliminate the egoism, to free the mind from both worldly and spiritual attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison, expectation, and all sorts of impurities, to know the truth of things as they are, to realize attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness, and thus realize unconditional love and peace, and hence be free from ignorance and suffering.

If people have different point of views about what is freedom and happiness to them, that is their freedom of thinking and understanding, and freedom to strive for what they believe in.

Be happy.

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About Yoga

Know thyself. There is no existence of 'I'. Everything is impermanent. Be free, be peaceful, be happy.

Om shanti

About Me

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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.

Link to Yoga Now Malaysia website

Link to Yoga Now Malaysia website
Yoga retreats and yoga workshops in Malaysia

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