be free, be happy, be peaceful

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

Saturday, January 30, 2016

About energy conservation in yoga and meditation

There's a cause about energy conservation in the world coming from those who love and care for the mother earth or the living environment. It's about saving natural resources that are supporting all to be living and existing on this planet.

There's also energy conservation in yoga and meditation practice, which is conserving energy and channeling the energy or life force to focus on yoga and meditation practice or performing self-inquiry to attain self-realization. It's an important role in the path of transcending ignorance and suffering.

There's nothing wrong with people being passionate about worldly life, ideas and activities, and people spend most of their energy and effort into worldly ideas and activities.

There's nothing wrong with people being dispassionate towards worldly life, ideas and activities, and spending just enough energy into the maintenance of life existence, and diverting most of the energy, attention and effort into the path of self-realization to transcend ignorance and suffering.

It's just different freedom of choice for what we want to do with our own life existence.

There's nothing to be debate about which way and how we spend our energy is more meaningful or better.

It's okay if people think that they are practicing yoga, but they couldn't or are reluctant to let go of worldly passionate desires, identities, attachments, ideas, objects and activities. They just want to be able keep their head above the water from the help of some yoga and meditation practice that would provide them with some buoyancy to keep floating and keep their head up, so that they won't drown, but they are not determined enough to get out of the water, as they enjoy very much being in the water.

Just like the truth is always the truth, and it's always there, no matter we know about it, or not, whether we like it, or not, whether we agree with it, or not.

Those who don't see the truth as it is, they only see their own truth from their own perspective, conditioned by particular thinking and belief. They want to argue and debate about everything that is different from their own judgment or point of view, to prove that they are right and those who are different from them, are wrong.

Those who see the truth, they don't need agreement, or acknowledgment, or approval, or support from anyone. They allow everyone to argue and debate about different points of view. They allow everyone to think what they want to think, to express what they want to express, and allow them to be ignorant of the truth. They don't try to convince others who don't know the truth to believe that 'this' is the truth. The truth is not a belief. The truth is just what it is, it has nothing to do with what the mind being conditioned to think and believe as right and wrong. It's beyond worldly thinking about what is right or wrong. And hence, there's nothing to be argue or debate about, as everyone is conditioned to think in certain ways, to believe in certain beliefs. If people don't see the truth, no one can make them see the truth.

Om shanti.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Unhappy about something that we don't like or disagree with?

Look into our mind, and see what's really happening when we feel unhappy (about something that we don't like or disagree with).

When we think we are unhappy because of something that we experience, or what we perceive through the senses of what we see, or hear, or smell, or taste, or touch, or think, it is coming from our own mind's reaction towards the names and forms based on what the mind likes and dislikes, agrees and doesn't agree with, it is not coming from the names and forms that the mind thinks is what causing the mind to be unhappy.

This is different from people who suffer from depression. People who suffer from depression is depressed or unhappy is not because they come in contact with something that they don't like and disagree with, or aren't getting something that they like and want. They just feel down and depressed most of the time without any particular reasons, even when everything in life is good and fine. Those who don't suffer depression can never truly understand what is happening in the mind of the people who suffer from depression. We should be compassionate towards people who suffer from depression as they couldn't help themselves for how they feel, and accept them as they are.

For most people who are being unhappy because they are getting something that they don't like and don't want, or they are not getting what they like and want, that is due to ignorance, egoism, attachment, craving and aversion. We also can be compassionate towards these people who could be happy, but they chose to be unhappy because they are under the influence of ignorance.

Om shanti.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Do something that will make us happy?

We hear this "positive and motivational" message very often - "Do something that will make us happy."

There's nothing wrong about want to make ourselves (or the mind) happy by doing something that we (the mind) like to do, that will give us (the mind) some sorts of satisfaction and happy feelings, or to get rid of dissatisfaction and unhappy feelings. But know that if we need to depend on doing something that we like to do, or depend on certain qualities of names and forms to be happy, then it is not what yoga practice is about.

Yoga practice is unattached towards any qualities of names and forms, and be free from craving and aversion which is the cause of dissatisfaction and unhappiness. When the mind is free from dissatisfaction and unhappiness, when the mind is not being dissatisfied or unhappy, it doesn't need to do something to get rid of dissatisfaction and unhappiness, or depend on any qualities of names and forms to be happy.

It's about knowing how to be happy as we are, undetermined by any qualities of names and forms, impermanent changes, what we do or don't do, and what we have or don't have, to be happy, or not.

Om shanti.


Rest(ing) in peace?

Rest in peace (R.I.P) technically means peace after death.

In yoga, one doesn't need to wait until after death to be resting in peace. The mind can be resting in peace when the outgoing tendency of the mind turns inward and resting in the chamber of the heart.

The mind can be resting in peace in the present, when it is free from ignorance, egoism, attachment, craving and aversion, judgment, comparison, expectation and all sorts of impurities.

The outgoing mind doesn't really want to rest in peace. Sometimes the mind might feel tired of restlessness and it thinks it needs to have some rest being free from restlessness and be in peace, but when the mind starts to slow down and has some moments of restfulness and peace, it starts to become impatient and agitated. It wants to runaway from quietness and calmness. The mind gets use to be in actions most of the time to feel itself being existing and alive, and it loves and enjoys restlessness, excitement, stimulation, attention, drama, accumulating worldly credits, merits, acknowledgment, relationships and possessions, interacting, expressing, exchanging, judging, criticizing, expecting, anticipating, scheming, plotting, boasting, gossiping, slandering, argument, conflict and so on.

Turning the outgoing mind inward, and quieting the busy and noisy mind is the major part of yoga and meditation practice.

Om shanti.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Positive thinking is not the goal of yoga practice or the end of suffering

We don't teach positive thinking in our yoga classes and retreats, although for those who are under the influence of 'negative thinking', whom are being very negative towards everything that they perceive, we would encourage them to develop 'positive thinking' to counter the 'negative thinking'. But that is not the goal of yoga practice.

In the beginning of yoga practice, when the mind is still influenced or over-powered by what the mind believes or recognizes as negative names and forms, we need to develop positive thinking to counter any negative thinking, but that is not what yoga is about - liberation from ignorance or the end of suffering.

When people try to be positive, think positive and stay positive, it's because these minds are not free from ignorance and are being ignorant of the truth of names and forms. The mind perceives or recognizes quality of 'negative' in the objects of names and forms projected from the mind based on what the mind believes as something 'negative'. The perception of negativity is still existing in the mind, but the mind tries to push away or deny the perception of names and forms that it believes as 'negative', and tries to convince itself that everything is 'positive' and good. It's denying and running away from the reality that it perceives and believes as 'negative' that it doesn't like and doesn't want.

The mind is not free constantly trying to 'turn' everything that it recognizes as 'negative' into something that the mind believes as 'positive'. But as long as the mind still thinks and believes that there's quality of 'negative' and 'positive', and it doesn't want something 'negative', but it wants everything 'positive', the mind will be forever restless as it tries to maintain 'positive'.

Everything is just what it is, it is neither positive nor negative. But the mind projects the qualities of 'positive' and 'negative' onto everything that it perceives based on what the mind thinks and believes as 'positive' and 'negative'.

Trying to stay positive is not freedom at all. The mind is not free, constantly being in a state of craving towards quality of 'positive' and aversion towards quality of 'negative'.

In the end, we will see that be positive, think positive and stay positive is not the end of suffering.

Yoga is going beyond what the mind believes and recognizes as 'positive' and 'negative'. It is awareness being aware of the perception of names and forms without projecting qualities of 'positive' or 'negative' onto all the objects of names and forms, and allows everything to be what it is - neither positive nor negative.

The realization of non-duality, or attributelessness, or non-separateness, or oneness is real freedom that allows the mind to be in peace, being free from restlessness.

There's no need to generate clinging or craving towards what the mind used to believe as 'positive', and there's no need to generate aversion towards what the mind used to believe as 'negative'. The mind will be free from restlessness coming from aversion towards quality of 'negative', or fear of being negative, and be free from clinging or craving towards quality of 'positive'.

There's no need to think and stay positive to counter negativity as 'negative' and 'positive' doesn't exist in the objects of names and forms. They only exist in the mind when the mind is under the influence of ignorance. There's no need to turn 'negative' into 'positive', when the mind is free.

Om shanti.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Want to practice yoga? (9)

Yoga is the unconditional peace beyond all the qualities of names and forms, where ignorance is absent when one realizes the truth of impermanent names and forms - the worldly life existence of the body and mind, that there is no 'I' existing as an individual being to be in control of any impermanent changes of names and forms - The realization of selflessness, or ego-lessness, or 'I'-lessness.

This self-realization of selflessness seems impossible or non-logical for the impure mind. Due to ignorance, the impure mind cannot perceive or comprehend the wisdom or the truth of selflessness. The mind thinks that if there's no 'I', then who is the one who realizes selflessness? Just like the impure mind is being conditioned to think and believe in certain ways that how life should be lived, or how things should be done, or how humans should behave, or how to think and what to believe, or how to be happy. There's nothing wrong when the intellect questions the logic of everything, including the wisdom of self-realization of selflessness. That is the beginning of self-inquiry - to find out who 'I' am, or who is this 'I' that the mind thinks and believes as 'I'.

The existence of 'I' is when the mind thinks itself has a solid existence who is in control of its existence and function. And thus, the mind would think and judge itself as a 'good' or 'bad' being according to certain qualities of names and forms that it possesses or doesn't possess, and has satisfaction or dissatisfaction, pride and arrogance or low self-esteem about itself. As well as the mind constantly generates ceaseless reactions towards all the names and forms that it perceives through the senses based on the conditioned thinking and belief in the mind that is conditioning it's personality and behavior.

Due to ignorance towards the truth of its own existence and function, the mind experiences or feels separateness, boredom, loneliness, fear, discontentment, defect, imperfection, and etc, and generates attachment, identification, pride, clinging, craving and aversion towards names and forms that it likes and dislikes. And when all its craving and aversion is not being gratified, the mind reacts with unhappiness, dissatisfaction and disappointment. In order to get rid of unhappiness, dissatisfaction and disappointment, the mind keeps looking for attaining some qualities of names and forms that it thinks that will bring the mind satisfaction and happiness, to feel good, confident and meaningful. The mind is forever restless, as it keeps chasing after qualities of names and forms that are impermanent to feel satisfy and happy.

But the truth of all the impermanent names and forms is there is no such solid existence of 'I' in control of one's own existence or function. It's merely a process of forming and deforming of elements. And there's no 'I' existing in all these elements that allow and support the body and mind to be existing and functioning. There's no 'I' existing in all the cells, physical structure, organs and senses that are performing action ceaselessly to be supporting one another to be existing and functioning. There are countless births and deaths is happening within the body and mind from moment to moment. There are countless sensations and thoughts arising and passing away from moment to moment that are not in the control of 'I', if 'I' exist.

There is no ownership to be claimed by 'I' towards the existence and function of this body and mind, and all the impermanent changes that is going on in the body and mind, not to say, there is no valid possession towards all the worldly objects of names and forms that the mind comes in contact with, such like personal relationships with everyone and everything. Through the ceaseless selfless actions of all these cells, organs and senses being supported by energy and elements, the mind perceives names and forms, knows or doesn't know, acts and doesn't act, but it isn't 'I' perceive names and forms, know or don't know, act and don't act.

When the mind realizes the truth of names and forms, or is being free from ignorance, when the idea of 'I' is annihilated, all sorts of defilements like egoism, attachment, identification, desire, craving and aversion, judgment and expectation, pride and arrogance, confidence and low self-esteem, fear and worry will also be absent from the mind, naturally.

To realize the truth of names and forms or be free from ignorance, the mind needs to have a pause from restlessness, or a moment of being free from impurities. To be free from impurities or restlessness, one can practice yoga, which is letting go of the ego, attachment, identification, desire, craving and aversion, judgment and expectation, as well as limit or minimize stimulation of the mind by restricting inputs and outputs of the mind, as impurities or restlessness are the by-products of all these defilements.

There is persistent effort to maintain self-awareness, self-restraint, self-discipline and self-control to free the mind from all these defilements - the purification process of the impure mind. The moment the mind is being free from all these defilements and being free from impurities or restlessness, the mind will be able to see or reflect the truth of names and forms, as they are, uninfluenced by any conditioned thinking and belief that is existing in the mind that is influencing the mind's behavior pattern and reaction towards all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses. Following the annihilation of ignorance, the mind will also be free from all sorts of defilements naturally and effortlessly, without the need of the persistent practice of letting go. Yoga practice is unnecessary. There's no 'I' being there that needs to practice yoga to be free from ignorance, to let go of the ego, attachment, identification, desire, craving and aversion, judgment and expectation, as there is none.

If we haven't realized unconditional peace, if we still rely on either possessing or not possessing certain qualities of names and forms to feel good, happy, satisfy, confident, meaningful and peaceful, then no matter how many yoga poses we can perform, or how long we think we have been practicing yoga, or how strong and flexible is our physical body, we will always be determined by the impermanent qualities of names and forms to be who 'I' am. We are not free and won't have peace.

If the mind knows how to practice non-attachment, non-identification, desireless, non-judgement, non-expectation, non-craving and non-aversion, the mind will have peace under any circumstances, or undesirable conditions and difficult situations. The mind will be free, being undetermined by any qualities of names and forms and impermanent changes that are not in the control of 'I', if 'I' exist, not to say, when this 'I' doesn't exist at all.

Liberation is not about having everything the way that we like it to be, but it is being liberated from the idea of 'I', and all the by-products derived from the ignorance of there is an existence of 'I' to be in control to make everything the way that how 'I' like it to be.

Om shanti.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Go beyond what the mind believes as good and bad, and be free...

There's nothing wrong when we would like to think and believe that we are intelligent, good and kind people, while we would criticize and condemn other people whom we think and believe as ignorant, bad and unkind people. We would like to be acknowledged by other people that we are good beings, while some of us might want to be acknowledged as bad beings. There's nothing wrong also when people want to make everything become 'good', and don't want anything to become 'bad'. When we think we are not good enough, or didn't achieve the standard of good, or didn't possess the good qualities, we will identified ourselves as 'bad' beings, and we dislike and criticize ourselves. We like to show the good qualities that we think we have and hide the bad qualities that we think we have. We would be hypocrite and tell stories to convince ourselves and others to think that we are good beings. But this is not the teachings and practice of yoga.

As long as our minds still attached toward all the qualities of good and bad, and have clinging or craving towards some qualities that our minds think and believe as 'good' and have aversion towards some qualities that our minds think and believe as 'bad', and have identification as 'good' or 'bad' beings, our minds are not free.

Go beyond the conditioned and limited thinking and beliefs in our minds that generate the qualities of good and bad, positive and negative, pleasantness and unpleasantness, happiness and suffering, right and wrong, that based on what the minds believe what things are, which is not the truth of what things really are.

Be free.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Death

For some people, death is a bad or horrible thing to be happening on self or others, especially when life is good and people don't expect death will be happening so soon or sudden to self or those who are close to us in life. There are still lots of things we 'think' we need to do or want to do. We are not ready to face separation with family and friends, or are not ready to let go of worldly life existence. There's resistance or aversion towards death and craving towards longer life span or existence.

For some others, death is a good thing, especially when everything in life or in the world seems to be difficult, depressing or negative, especially when oneself or those whom are close to us in life are suffering from chronic physical or mental illness and are under intensive care of care-takers for everyday life routine for many years. For them, death is a great relief from physical and mental pain and suffering. There's resistance or aversion towards difficult life condition, and physical, or emotional, or mental pain and suffering. There's craving towards death or non-existence.

But, both of these perception of death is due to ignorance and attachment towards the physical body and life existence.

In yoga and Buddhism, death is neither good nor bad. It is just a natural process of the impermanent life existence. The physical body has been forming, growing, changing, decaying and disintegrating from the moment of conception. It is a process of forming and deforming of any names and forms that are subject to the law of nature - the law of impermanence.

Realize this and let go of attachment towards the physical body and the worldly life existence, and be fearless towards 'death' or end of life existence, whether it's happening on self or those who are close to us in life. There's neither craving nor aversion towards existence or non-existence.

Om shanti.

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

Om shanti

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Pantai Cenang, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
My husband and I run ongoing yoga retreats in Langkawi Malaysia. We teach traditional Hatha Yoga - a combination of Asanas (postures) and Pranayama (breathing techniques) and relaxation, that has given benefit to millions of practitioners over thousands of years. Our yoga studio is situated in Langkawi. We also run yoga retreats in Europe and India.

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