be free, be happy, be peaceful

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

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Stop doing the things that the mind enjoys doing

Many people would prefer to hear this, "Do what you like to do. Go after what you like and desire. Life is too short and too precious." instead of, "Live a life of discipline and dispassionate. Stop doing the things that the mind enjoys doing."

Many minds don't like a disciplined life, or be disciplined. 'Disciplined life' is being perceived by the worldly passionate minds as a form of 'imprisonment'. Most minds want 'freedom'. Ironically, the path of yoga and meditation of living a discipline and dispassionate life is also about 'freedom'.

The 'freedom' for many people might be freedom of thinking, action and speech, freedom of identity and sexual orientation, freedom of culture and religion, freedom of illness-free and aging-free, freedom of war-free and violence-free, freedom of discrimination-free and prejudice-free, freedom of education and career, freedom of finance and comfortable living, freedom of movement and expression, freedom of unlimited enjoyment, freedom of unlimited happiness and pleasantness/void of unhappiness and unpleasantness, and freedom of gratifying all their desires.

The 'freedom' in yoga is about liberation from ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering through disciplining the mind to eliminate egoism and impurities by restricting the thinking, action and speech, letting go attachment, identification, expectation and desires of craving and aversion to silent the restless modification of the mind, to allow the mind to see the truth and realize selflessness.

It's normal that people would disagree with many of the teachings and practice of yoga as all these teachings and practice is indeed oppose to the worldly thinking and belief and practice. Except the part of doing the yoga asana exercises which most people like very much, and hence, many yoga teachers and yoga centres only want to conduct yoga asana exercise classes of various brands and styles, to please the members or clients, to give them what they like and want, and avoid giving them what they don't like and don't want. And hence, they don't like to give the essential teachings of yoga about discipline, dispassion and desireless, because it's not just not good for yoga business, but it's not good for any other consumer business that rely very much on the boundless passionate desires of the worldly people to be surviving. If majority people in the world renounce the worldly desires, habits, objects and enjoyments, and observe a disciplined and dispassionate life, the world will be out of business for many things. But, this won't happen because very few people are dispassionate and desireless, and very few people are interested in dispassion and desirelessness.

There are so many new and 'interesting' things keep coming into the world to keep the ever-discontented minds busy and entertained. Life is considerably comfortable for many people in the modern society even though nothing is perfect or permanent. Most minds don't feel the need to attain liberation from suffering, as they aren't suffering, but they are enjoying a rather desirable interesting life. People say, "I am strong and healthy. I have good income. I have good family and many friends. I have good community support. I enjoy lots of activities in this world. I love my joyous meaningful worldly life existence. I love being passionate towards everything." That's their freedom.

And then, unfortunately, there are those who would like to know more about yoga and are interested in transcending misery and suffering, were being scared/intimidated by the many stories of sexual misconducts related to lustful 'yoga teachers' and pseudo Gurus.

"Stop giving the mind what it likes and desires. Withdraw the mind from its worldly habits and addictions of the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind." The worldly minded might think that this is negative, going backward and life wasting.

Some minds like to chase after new things, new toys and different varieties, due to getting bored and discontentment towards the same old things, old toys and lack of variety. Because of the discontentment tendency of the mind, the mind will get bored easily with the new things or new toys after some time, and will chase after other new things and new toys to satisfy its craving for new excitement/experience, endlessly and restlessly.

Some minds feel unsettle and anxious towards new things, new toys and many varieties that it doesn't familiar with.

Some minds cling onto certain things and certain toys strongly, and couldn't let them go even when they are no longer available.

Either craving for new things/new toys/varieties or aversion towards new things/new toys/varieties will also lead the mind into restlessness. Giving the mind what it wants and not giving the mind what it doesn't want might make the mind happy for a while, but it will not give liberation to the mind. In yoga, being determined by boundless desires of craving and aversion is indeed the real 'imprisonment'.

Without discipline and dispassion, the mind will feel dissatisfied and unhappy when it doesn't get what it likes, and getting what it doesn't like, or losing something that it likes. With discipline and dispassion, the mind sees indifference between what it likes and doesn't like, then it will stop chasing after what it likes, stop pushing away what it doesn't like, and be able to let go what it likes, equanimously.

It's part of the observation in the practice of silence - Mauna.

It sounds like one is tormenting oneself, as the mind will feel frustrated, disturbed, dissatisfied, disappointed, depressed, angry and unhappy for being unable to do what it enjoys doing, or unable to enjoy what it likes to enjoy. This is similar to the withdrawal symptoms of cutting down or cutting-off coffee intake. It's very unpleasant for the body and the mind in the beginning for a period of time. Some people will give up, but some people are able to go beyond all the discomforts and unpleasantness, and develop a great mental strength.

It's a fact that many minds don't enjoy sitting quietly with minimal body movements observing the incoming and outgoing breath for a few hours a day, without stimulation, entertainment, excitement, pleasurable enjoyment for the senses, playing, talking, interacting, commenting, or seeing and touching someone or something that one loves.

Even though the impure egoistic mind might perceive the disciplined and dispassionate way of life as self-tormenting or life wasting, but it helps the mind to be free from all kinds of suffering. Just like most people don't like to take bitter medicines, it's not the enjoyable taste, but it could cure their sickness.

This practice of "Stop giving the mind what it likes and wants." to annihilate the modification of the mind requires a prolonged period of time for it to be effective.

After a few days being in a retreat away from their family and friends, some people say, "My mind is quite strong in non-attachment already because I don't feel missing my family and friends." This doesn't work because it's just for a short period of time and the mind knows that very soon it will go back to the family and friends again.

Some people might think that their minds are quite strong in their yoga practice after they went away for a long holiday or working trip being physically away from their family and friends and their daily comforts and enjoyments for a few weeks or months, but what they didn't realize is that even though they are physically apart, but somehow, they might still be having some kinds of regular communication and interaction with their family and friends throughout that few weeks or months, or they might be enjoying the company of some other new friends. And even though they are away from their usual comforts and enjoyments at home, but they might be enjoying other different kind of comforts and enjoyments. Again, this doesn't work.

If only the mind is being completely cut-off from all kinds of physical, mental and emotional contact and communication with family and friends, and cut-off from all social interactions with other people, and refrain from all kinds of worldly enjoyable stimulating physical and mental activities for a prolonged period of time, one will then can truly know thyself and 'reform' one's mind.

The worldly minds will be missing the family and friends, while restlessly thinking/wondering/worrying about what's happening to the family and friends, being unable to receive any news or updates about the family and friends for a long time. The sense of boredom, loneliness and meaninglessness bubbling up in the mind due to refraining from all kinds of worldly enjoyable stimulating physical and mental activities.

The well-trained minds that have developed the strong foundation of mental strength/non-attachment/dispassion won't be missing or worrying about anyone or anything. The mind is void of boredom, loneliness and meaninglessness. It doesn't mean that this mind doesn't love or care for the family and friends, but the mind has gone beyond attachment, identification, clinging and craving. The mind is free from suffering and painful sorrow even though being alone by oneself without the company of family and friends and other beings, being aware of the truth of impermanence and selflessness. This is true freedom for yoga and peace seekers. But, for the worldly minds, this is being perceived as 'unhealthy', 'wrong' and 'abnormal' mind behavior of 'unloving', 'uncaring', or 'unconcern'. That's their freedom of thinking and belief.

It's everyone's freedom whether they want or don't want to inquire this teaching, and be free, or not.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Learn to be alone and independent

If one wants to practice yoga and meditation, one needs to learn to be alone and independent, as well as allow others to also learn to be alone and independent, learning to look after oneself.

Somehow quite many people think and believe that 'aloneness' of solitude and seclusion is something 'wrong' and 'selfish'. Many people, including health professionals and yoga teachers, would think and believe that it's 'abnormal' and 'unhealthy' for the body and the mind if someone is being 'isolated' from other human beings for a prolonged period of time, that people would get sick and die due to loneliness and without any 'physical touch/contact' or 'mental connection/interaction' with other human beings. So they believe, and so they become. It's everyone's freedom for what they want to think and believe.

For yoga practitioners, one must inquire the truth of everything. Do not blind-agreeing, blind-believing, blind-following, or blind-sharing any information of anything coming from anyone or any source.

Look into the history, of those who had been observing serious prolonged solitude and seclusion, voluntary being isolated from other human beings in the society to cut-off social activities, communication and interaction, to minimize mind inputs of worldly ideas, habits, thinking and belief, to quiet the restless modification of the mind, they were able to conquer their minds and attained the knowledge that liberates the mind from ignorance and suffering. These liberated minds were no longer be influenced or determined by all the others in the society of all kinds of thinking and belief and behavior.

Yoga practitioners who truly want to be free from ignorance and suffering, must inquire the truth of all those worldly thinking and belief coming from someone and somewhere, while letting go the worldly habit of minding other people's worldly affair, allowing others to learn to be independent to look after their own minds, or not.

No doubt that all living beings must depend on nature to provide the source of energy in the form of food, water and air for survival, and human beings living in the modern society are limited by necessary dependence on some others for certain things. Such as those who don't farm or cook, will have to depend on those who involve in farming, transporting, food processing, handling and cooking, to allow food to be available to them. Or, people who don't know how to build a house need to depend on house builders to build houses for them. Or, babies, toddlers and young children need the attentive care and guidance from others who are physically/mentally/emotionally matured. Or, those who have physical or mental limitation or illness, also need to depend on other people to look after their everyday living and to rehabilitate. Or, most people depend on clean treated running water, gas and electricity supply to their home for modern living convenience. Or people who are critically sick need to depend on health professionals who have the knowledge of medicines and treatments for all kinds of critical illness, and depending on the availability of the medicines or treatments to counter that particular illness.

Otherwise, most people could be physically, mentally and emotionally independent most of the time for most of the things in everyday life, but people just wouldn't, where people are either reluctant to look after themselves physically, mentally and emotionally even when they could, but they rather depending on other people to be there for them physically, mentally and emotionally, or people have fear and aversion towards the sense of lovelessness, companionlessness, loneliness, boredom and meaninglessness.

Survival instinct, love seeking, companion seeking, loneliness, boredom and meaninglessness are some of the significant reasons why people don't like or don't agree with 'aloneness' and 'independence'. Meanwhile there are selfish greedy people in the world also don't like the society to be 'independent' as that means they can no longer easily 'manipulate' or 'control' the society to get what they want.

It's common that many people want to think and believe that all human beings somehow NEEDING each other in life. People like to think and feel, "My children need me", "My family needs me", "My friends need me", "My partner needs me", "My students need me", "My pets need me", "My country needs me", and so on. Or "I need my children/my family/my friends/my partner/my students/my pets/my country being there for me, or else my life is empty, lonely, bored, joyless and meaningless."

It makes the egoistic minds feel good and meaningful about themselves when they think they are needed by other people or beings, that they can contribute something to other beings. If everyone is physically, mentally and emotionally independent and doesn't really need anyone to be there for them physically, mentally and emotionally, then this 'craving for needing one another in life' will not be gratified. People are no longer be able to attain that kind of good and meaningful feelings coming from the perception of "I am needed by some others. I am a useful being. I can contribute to the family/society/country/world/humanity." But, this is only because of ignorance and egoism.

The mind can be free from the idea of "I am needed by some others" or "I want to be there for some others" and be free from the craving for attaining good feelings and the sense of meaningfulness coming from being needed by others, but still being kind and generous and helpful to those who really need physical, mental and emotional care and support from others, unconditionally without discrimination of 'superiority or inferiority', 'people whom I know or don't know', 'people whom I like or don't like', or 'people whom I agree with or disagree with'.

And then there are those who become physically, mentally and emotionally frustrated, exhausted and restless deriving from pushing oneself beyond one's limitation to look after other people who want to or need to depend on the others physically, mentally and emotionally. This is because the egoistic mind would feel bad, guilty and regret if they think they are not always there or couldn't be there for people who want to or need to depend on them. And if their body and mind breakdown due to over exhaustion from looking after others, themselves need to be looked after by some others. If one can't even look after oneself properly, then how can one look after the others efficiently?

When the mind is free from ignorance and egoism, it can truly serve the world efficiently, selflessly and unconditionally, under a pure, calm, dispassionate, desireless and selfless mind.

In the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre/Ashram, most people see the sequence of the teachings of Swami Sivananda as SERVE, LOVE, GIVE, PURIFY, MEDITATE, REALIZE. That is also what Swami Sivananda taught and had written in most of his books.

SERVE, LOVE, GIVE is when the mind turning outward performing selfless actions in the world (Karma Yoga) to serve the purpose of purifying the mind via the elimination of egoism through selfless service. While PURIFY allows the mind be free from impurities and restlessness to meditate and realize the truth of selflessness. MEDITATE is when the mind turning inward ceased all actions or studies in the world, stands as the silent witness towards the mind perception of a world of names and forms. And REALIZE is the fruit of meditation.

SERVE, LOVE, GIVE are supposed to help in the elimination of egoism while performing karma yoga/selfless service, however, it's because most minds are not free from ignorance and egoism, that's why they need to be purified. While SERVE, LOVE, GIVE under the influence of ignorance and egoism could actually empowering ignorance and egoism, and would generate more impurities and restlessness into the mind than to purify the mind, which in fact, hindering the mind to meditate and realize.

And so, the more efficient way might be first taking care of PURIFY (by turning the mind inward via dispassion, renunciation, solitude, seclusion and silence), MEDITATE and REALIZE, and then this mind that is free from ignorance and egoism can truly SERVE, LOVE, GIVE through performing selfless actions or Karma Yoga in the world, efficiently, selflessly and unconditionally. At this point, even though the body and mind is performing actions in the world, but the mind is unmoved/unaffected/undetermined by the actions and the fruit of actions. This mind is void of restlessness or exhaustion. This is INACTION in ACTIONS that doesn't bind the mind to karma.

In fact, meditation practice being done with the correct understanding and attitude is the best mind purification, as during the time of sitting quietly by oneself, moving the body and mind away from worldly interactions and activities, turning the attention inward, withdrawing the senses from the sense objects, witnessing/observing the mind activities without association/identification with the modifications of the mind, without craving, aversion, judgment and expectation, without intention, the mind is being purified naturally and efficiently.

PURIFY, MEDITATE, REALIZE is indeed the mind SERVING, LOVING, GIVING the mind itself, and thus, purifying itself. Upon the realization of Selflessness, this mind can truly SERVE, LOVE, GIVE to others.

And hence, the importance of silence, solitude and seclusion, aloneness and independence for those who truly want to practice yoga and realize yoga.

One must look after one's mind before one can truly benefit the others.

Those who disagree with this don't have to take up this teaching. Be free.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The world of discrimination

Inquire the truth of discrimination.

Discrimination of all kinds, have always been existing in the world of names and forms from the past to the present, and will continuing to be existing endlessly, unless all existing minds are free from ignorance and egoism.

As long as the mind (actually most minds) has the desire/aspiration/intention/ambition/pride/identification to be 'somebody' who possessed certain superior qualities and void of certain inferior qualities based on their particular thinking and belief about what are superior qualities and inferior qualities, there will always be discrimination towards all the different names and forms that exist in the world.

Even a 'good person' who identifying oneself as 'good being' who performs 'good actions' and doesn't perform 'bad actions' and attached to the result of one's actions, while being influenced by particular thinking and belief to judge everything that the mind perceives through the senses, and will generate discrimination towards all the different qualities of names and forms, unwittingly. Most minds reluctant to let go the sense of superiority that they attained from possessing certain qualities that they think and believe as 'superior' and 'higher quality' than some other qualities that they think and believe as 'inferior' or 'lower quality'.

People will fight to their death to defend their superior status that they think they have in the society, being afraid of being discriminated by others once the superior status is gone, as themselves have been discriminating others just because they strongly think and believe that they are somehow more superior than all the others who are different from them.

"I want myself to be like this, and not like that."
"I want other people to be like this, and not like that."
"People should be like this, and not like that."
Free the mind from this kind of worldly egoistic habitual thinking, desire and expectation, is part of the yoga practice that will free the mind from generate discrimination towards oneself and others, and be undetermined and undisturbed by the existing discrimination generated/projected by other minds that are under the influence of ignorance and egoism.

Most people want to possess what they think and believe as 'superior qualities' to feel good, confident, proud and meaningful towards themselves, and want to be able to amaze/attract other people to gain liking and support, to be acknowledged, accepted, praised, respected, or glorified by other people for being 'somebody' with such and such 'superior qualities'. People don't want to possessed or be related to certain qualities that they and other people think and believe as 'inferior qualities', 'lower qualities', 'bad qualities', 'unattractive qualities', or 'negative qualities'.

And hence, discrimination started within oneself towards certain qualities that one doesn't like and doesn't want, and this further influences the mind to discriminate other people who possessed certain qualities that one doesn't like and doesn't want, that one thinks and believes as 'inferior qualities', 'lower qualities', 'bad qualities', 'unattractive qualities', or 'negative qualities'.

The minds that are free from this egoism of being attracted to and be proud of certain qualities and being repulsive towards and discriminating/hating certain qualities, are free from discrimination towards the qualities that come along with the existence of the body and mind, and towards others who possess different qualities from one another.

Unfortunately, this kind of egoless, selfless, desireless and dispassionate minds are very rare in this world. Look around us, most minds are influenced deeply by worldly egoistic ideas, thinking and belief, restlessly striving very hard to be 'somebody' that themselves and other people can agree with, respect, look up to and feel proud of. Most minds reluctant to let go the sense of superiority of possessing certain 'superior qualities'. There's nothing wrong with that, just that that's how discrimination started towards all the different qualities that one's mind recognizes as 'good and bad', 'right and wrong', 'positive and negative', 'superiority and inferiority'. Ironically, these are the ones who don't like to be discriminated by others and who protest against discrimination in the world, but they aren't aware of, or didn't realize that discrimination exist in their own minds towards all the different qualities that the minds perceive through the senses.

If one's mind is free from attachment and identification towards qualities of names and forms to be identifying as 'I', this mind will also naturally be free from discrimination towards any qualities of names and forms, regardless of whether one possesses some of those qualities and doesn't posses some of the other qualities. This mind won't discriminate towards itself or towards any other beings/people/objects that carry with them many different qualities of names and forms.

The world will only be free from discrimination, if all minds are free from ignorance and egoism. And hence, discrimination will always exist in this world, as it's a challenging work to annihilate ignorance and egoism from one's mind, not to say, none can remove ignorance and egoism of others. And many minds aren't interested in the annihilation of ignorance and egoism, even though they are interested in a better and peaceful world that is free from discrimination, hatred and violence.

Though discrimination of all kinds will always be existing, one's mind can still be free, if one knows how to free one's mind from craving/aversion/discrimination towards all the impermanent and selfless qualities of names and forms in oneself and in others. Whether all the other minds will be free from ignorance and egoism, and the world will be free from discrimination, or not, it's their own responsibility. This mind won't be determined or disturbed by all the many kinds of discrimination existing in the world deriving from minds under the deep influence of ignorance and egoism. This mind won't be discriminating towards all those existing discrimination, and be free from the wishful thinking/expectation towards 'the world should be free from discrimination'. This mind won't be in a state of disappointment/frustration/anger/meaninglessness/hopelessness upon being aware of so much discrimination is happening here and there, endlessly.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Retreat?

A retreat centre is a place for Sadhana, to retreat the mind from worldly habits of social interactions and activities to silent the restless mind. Live alone, sit alone, walk alone, eat alone, meditate alone. It's not an open house for community social recreation activities making social connections hanging out together busy chatting and gossiping, plotting and planning to chase away boredom and loneliness and empowering worldly attachments and identifications. Even in everyday life, one observes silence as much as possible renouncing worldly social interactions and activities, immerse in solitude and seclusion to be determined to annihilate the modification of the mind. Very few people indeed have this understanding and determination.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Worldly self-identity and group identity

As soon as one identifies with a quality of name and form, not to say, most minds identify with different qualities of names and forms simultaneously as 'This is I with such and such qualities', one generates separateness between 'I' and others who don't identify with the similar qualities of names and forms, or who identify with some other kinds of quality of names and forms that are different from oneself.

No doubt that living in the modern society, everyone need to have a personal identity that allows people to have a registered given name and identity number, to be legalized to apply for a citizenship, to open a bank account, to enroll for school education, to find a job, to purchase property, to have a passport to travel, to be monitored/controlled by 'certain organizations', and so on.

For many people, personal identity doesn't just stop at the legality purpose to be living and moving around in this world 'legally' and 'conveniently', but many people put high importance/necessity onto the self/group identification with certain qualities of names and forms to be acknowledged by oneself and others as 'I' or 'This is I with such and such qualities', to nurture/empower self-esteem and take pride in being 'somebody with such and such qualities' and to attain the recognition/respect/approval as 'somebody with such and such qualities' to feel satisfy, confident, happy and meaningful towards oneself and one's life existence, which is truly unnecessary.

Self/group identification with qualities of names and forms gives rise to the sense of separateness that generate many side-effects of unnecessary 'problems' of discrimination/prejudice/hatred/bullying/violence in the world.

In the world where most minds are functioning under the influence of ignorance and egoism, and most people deliberately teaching/encouraging/influencing everyone to develop and empower a strong self and group identity that attached onto certain qualities of names and forms from very young age to be who they are, or 'This is I' and 'This is my origin/ancestor/race/tribe/family/friends/relatives/community/social circle/culture/religion/spirituality/gender/sexuality/education/qualification/nationality/political stand, and so on, and that they should take pride for being identifying with those qualities of names and forms as 'who they are', and that they should protect/defend those qualities of names and forms AT ALL COST. And hence, all kinds of fear, discrimination, defensiveness, animosity, intimidation, offensiveness, prejudice, hatred, bullying and violence exist due to this ignorant egoistic prideful 'self/group identity'.

People don't need to discriminate, intimidate, condemn, bully and attack other beings just because one dislikes and disagrees with the others based on one's attachment and identification with certain qualities of names and forms that is different from the others. But due to ignorance and egoism of attachment and identification with the sense of pride, arrogance and superiority towards certain qualities of names and forms, there are those who feel proudness and superiority towards their particular thinking and belief, as well as there are those who want their identification with certain qualities of names and forms that are different from the others to be verified, approved, acknowledged, accepted and respected by the others who are different from them in the society, to receive understanding, equal treatment, kindness and friendliness from others, to feel satisfy, happy, confident and meaningful about themselves and their life existence, but this actually creates the opportunity for discrimination to be existing.

One can have a particular way of thinking and belief/disbelief, way of life and way of doing things, skin colour, sexual orientation, genital organ, physical appearance, physical ability/disability, action and reaction. But, all these qualities of names and forms are not 'I' or 'who I am'. One doesn't need to be verified, approved, acknowledged, accepted and respected by the others who are different from oneself in the society, and one doesn't need to rely on receiving understanding, equal treatment, kindness and friendship from others, to feel happy, satisfy, confident and meaningful about oneself and one's life existence, if one knows yoga/dharma, or namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness/selflessness.

What other people want to think, believe, feel, act and react is their freedom, even when they are discriminating others who are different from them, whom they dislike and disagree with, but one doesn't need to be determined or disturbed by other people's thinking, belief, feeling, action and reaction that are not necessarily agreeable, pleasant, friendly, nice or kind, if oneself is free from ignorance and egoism of attachment and identification, or free from expectation towards how other people should and shouldn't think and behave and treat others.

Anyone who identifies with any qualities of names and forms as 'This is who I am with such and such qualities', and expect to be verified, approved, acknowledged, accepted and respected by others, will never be free from generate discrimination towards others and perceive discrimination from others. This is a 'natural' behavior of all minds under the influence of ignorance and egoism. Most minds don't like to be discriminated and will feel angry, disrespected, insulted, bullied, attacked and hurt when being discriminated, but then they don't mind discriminating others, whether wittingly or unwittingly.

Not all who think themselves are 'yogi/yoga practitioner' or 'Buddhist' are all really practicing yoga and Buddhism. Those who truly practice yoga or Buddhism, they go beyond all the mind perception of different qualities of names and forms. They don't have identification as 'yogi' or 'Buddhist'. They only see a whole bunch of mortal beings that are subject to the suffering of ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness, and all kind of names and forms are subject to impermanence and selflessness. All beings are mere moving skeletons covered with skin, flesh, blood, organs, nerves, glands, pus, pee and shit with limited life span that is subject to changes, decay, illness, old age and death/decomposition. There's no superiority or inferiority. There's no good people or bad people. There's no black or white. There's no male or female. There's no enjoyable or non-enjoyable. There's no separateness or discrimination or fear or hatred. The physical body that comes in different qualities of names and forms is being born to change, decay and decompose from the very beginning of it's existence, regardless of what qualities of names and forms that everyone identify themselves with as 'who they are'.

All these identifications and discrimination towards different identifications are truly unnecessary, if one knows how to transcend all the different qualities of names and forms. All these different qualities of names and forms are not 'I'. Be free from any self/group identity with any qualities of names and forms. Neither this or that is 'I'. Who and what is there to receive discrimination from anybody, if there's no 'I' or 'This is I with certain qualities of names and forms'?

If people want to discriminate others, or they are being discriminated by others due to attachment and identification with the qualities of names and forms to be who they are, and they are longing for endorsement, acknowledgement, acceptance, respect, approval, understanding or friendliness from others, that's their freedom.

The mind that knows the truth of ignorance and egoism is free from any self/group identity. One will be free and peaceful, and allow others to be what/who they think they are, thinking and behaving as they are. None can remove or take away the ignorance and egoism in others, not even enlightened beings who were/are free from ignorance and egoism.

Those who know, some of them retreat from the worldly minded society that emphasizes on developing/empowering self/group identity, to conserve energy, to live a simple quiet life. Those who remain in the society, they are not determined or disturbed by the ignorance of others.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Be open-minded, not to be limited by any particular thinking and belief

Most of the 'unnecessary problems' in the world, of fear, animosity, hostility, discrimination, prejudice, racism, hatred, unjust, bullying, invasion, intrusion, condemn, unrest, violence, oppression, clashes, conflicts, killings, wars, and etc, is due to most minds are limited by a particular thinking and belief that influence one's judgment towards everything, way of life, way of doing things, behavior, action and reaction. It's not because there are many different kinds of thinking and belief that create the sense of separateness that is responsible for the 'problems' in the world. It's not that there will be no more 'problems' in the world if all minds have one same thinking and belief.

The sense of separateness is coming from the mind itself due to ignorance and egoism, it's not coming from the different qualities of names and forms. The minds that are free from ignorance and egoism are free from the sense of separateness even though the minds perceive all the names and forms that are different from one another.

The different kinds of thinking and belief are just what they are. They are neither good nor bad. It doesn't matter there is only one type of thinking and belief exists in the world, or there are many types of thinking and belief co-exist in the world, they are not the 'problem'.

Some people try to convert or reform everyone in their society or in the world to have only one uniform of thinking and belief to solve 'problems' in their society or in the world. It doesn't help, as even under the same family, the same culture, the same religion, the same society, the same race, the same nationality, or the same political party, there will always be different opinions/points of view/likes and dislikes/agreements and disagreements that generate conflicts/discrimination/bullying/oppression/unrest/tension among one another due to ignorance and egoism of pride and arrogance, superiority and defensiveness towards 'I'.

Even children would hurt their own parents, and vice versa, or lovers/spouse/siblings will hurt each other either intentionally or unintentionally due to ignorance and egoism. Out of ignorance, there are painful consequences onto oneself and others derived from actions being performed under the influence of passionate lustful desires, intoxicants and drugs abuse, mischievous and destructive urge, survival instinct, fear, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, jealousy, hurts, irritation, agitation, obsession, possessiveness, pride, boredom, mental illness, ill-will and ill-thinking, and all sorts of impurities.

The 'problem' is ignorance and egoism, regardless of what type of thinking and belief/disbelief.

It's when the mind attached onto and identified with any particular thinking and belief and certain qualities of names and forms as 'I' or 'my family/community/race/culture/nation/religion', and generates pride and arrogance, superiority and defensiveness towards the attachment and identification towards such thinking and belief and qualities of names and forms to judge and condemn and interfere with others whom are different from oneself, whom one dislikes and disagrees with, based on one's particular thinking and belief, that's where all the problems begin.

It's not about not thinking in certain ways or not believe in anything. Autonomously, the mind will be thinking in certain ways and believing/disbelieving in certain things. And it's fine, as long as there's no attachment or identification, the sense of pride and arrogance, superiority and defensiveness towards that particular way of thinking and the belief and disbelief about certain things in the mind. This mind won't be offended/threatened/intimidated by any other kinds of thinking and belief that are different from it's thinking and what it believes or disbelieves.

It's about being open-minded, unattached towards any particular thinking and belief to be identifying as 'I', and see things as they are, without being limited by any particular thinking and belief to judge and interfere with everyone and everything, allowing everyone and everything to be different from one another, to be what they are, as they are, without expecting everyone and everything has to be the way according to any particular kind of thinking and belief/disbelief.

Yoga and meditation practice is about freeing the mind from ignorance and egoism of attachment and identification towards any particular thinking and belief, letting go or be free from being limited or determined by any family/cultural/social/religious/spiritual/racial/national/political thinking and belief, to allow the mind to be opened to see things as they are, be free from judgment and expectation. The mind will also be free from desire of craving and aversion towards what the mind likes and dislikes, agrees with and disagrees with, that are based on particular thinking and belief.

This mind will have peace, regardless of how many kinds of thinking and belief that are different from one another are existing in the world.

More important is that, regardless of all the different kinds of thinking and belief/disbelief, whether the mind believes or disbelieves in 'God', 'spirituality', 'ghost', 'evil spirits', 'angels', 'karma', 'reincarnation', 'heaven and hell', 'black magic', 'astrology', 'auspiciousness/inauspiciousness', and so on, the truth is still the same - The existence and function of the body and mind, and all the names and forms (quality of good or bad) is subject to impermanence and selflessness.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Go beyond the sense of contentment, joy and meaningfulness

This teaching is for those who want to go beyond the limited mind perception of 'good and bad', 'right and wrong', 'meaningfulness and meaninglessness', who are interested in transcending worldly life existence of the function of an impermanent and selfless physical body and the mind perception of names and forms that is subject to the suffering of ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness, birth, hunger, thirst, ungratified desires, separation from people and things that one loves, coming in contact with people and things that one dislikes and disagrees with, impermanent changes, decay, old age, illness and death, but somehow, the mind is still being determined by the qualities of names and forms, and be disturbed by the situation in the world that is not the way that the mind would like it to be.

Those who have already gone beyond 'goodness' and 'badness', 'meaningfulness' and meaninglessness', being peaceful as they are, being undisturbed or undetermined by all the qualities of names and forms, they don't need this teaching.

Those who are aware of the truth of impermanence and selflessness, but they are not interested in silencing the modification of the mind to transcend the mind perception of a worldly life existence of restless ceaseless births and deaths, instead, they just want to enjoy life to the maximum. That's their freedom.

Those who are not interested in transcending the worldly life existence of a body and mind that is subject to suffering, who believe in positive thinking/mind power to change the world to be a better place, who attached onto the presence of 'goodness' or 'meaningfulness' and the absence of 'badness' or 'meaninglessness', to feel good, content, happy and meaningful in life, they don't need to take up this teaching and practice. Be happy.

The teaching and practice of yoga to eliminate ignorance and egoism is beyond the desire of craving and aversion towards names and forms. There's neither clinging onto pleasant/desirable worldly life experiences nor aversion towards unpleasant/undesirable worldly life experiences. But merely seeing the truth of impermanence and selflessness of the body and mind as it is, and making use of this worldly life existence as the precious platform to transcend the mind perception of a worldly life existence of an impermanent selfless body and mind that is subject to the suffering of ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness.

One can develop great tolerance and forbearance to endure suffering when suffering arise, repeatedly, without aversion, but one doesn't have to endure any suffering at all. Suffering doesn't exist upon the annihilation of the cause of suffering - The modification of the mind under the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities.

There is hidden attachment that bind the mind to worldly life existence that is unaware by the mind that attached onto 'goodness' and 'righteousness' that give rise to the sense of 'contentment, joy and meaningfulness' towards the 'achievement' of "I am living a good and meaningful life doing the good and the right things. Life is good and meaningful."

Just as the impure mind easily falls in love with or attached onto the objects of names and forms that appear to be good, pleasant, attractive, beautiful, lovable, enjoyable, fun, or cute. The mind naturally attached onto the sense of 'contentment, joy and meaningfulness' deriving from "I am doing the good and the right thing" achieving what the mind perceives as 'goodness' and 'righteousness'.

There's nothing wrong with appreciating 'goodness' and it's very good to feel 'contentment, joy and meaningfulness' due to the presence of 'goodness' and the absence of 'badness'. Just that the mind could unwittingly attached onto the presence of 'goodness' that give rise to the sense of 'contentment, joy and meaningfulness', where the mind will be disturbed/disappointed/dissatisfied when the presence of goodness is disturbed/interrupted/unavailable.

Many people like to engage in community works because the minds can easily find the sense of 'contentment, joy and meaningfulness' working or serving in a particular community, to be able to contribute to the community and seeing others getting the help/assistance that they need to achieve a similar goal. This is very good especially for those who suffer depression.

Within a particular community, even though everyone is not perfect and there might be conflicts of different opinions and personal desires of want and doesn't want, but all are following the similar values, thinking and belief, and are doing their best to work their way towards the same goal under the same vision of that particular community. For example, a Buddhist engaging in selfless service/karma yoga to serve the others in the Buddhist community, or a Muslim engaging in serving the others in the Muslim community, or a Christian engaging in serving the others in the Christian community, or someone engaging in serving a particular community in need of shelter, food, love and care.

It's even better, as what most people would hope for, if regardless of all the different religious/cultural/spiritual/social/national/political thinking and belief, everyone has one similar universal goal of achieving the similar 'good and meaningful life', where everyone works together to maintain peace and harmony in the diverse world of different groups of communities with different thinking and belief, values and way of life, while respecting each other for being different from one another without interference/intrusion towards others who are different from 'I' or 'my thinking and belief' and 'my community of a particular values, thinking and belief'. That would be so nice, a world without fear, discrimination, prejudice, hatred, unrest, animosity, invasion, intrusion, clashes, violence, wars, killings, and etc.

But the reality is not necessarily the way that the mind would like it to be. For those who don't know yoga/dharma, this is depressing and negative. For those who know yoga/dharma, this is not depressing or negative. It's just the truth of the world of impure minds functioning under the influence of ignorance and egoism.

The different communities of different thinking and belief, values and way of life, goal and vision that are under the influence of ignorance and egoism will most likely being protective/defensive towards their own community out of survival instinct, discriminating/condemning/bullying/attacking others who are not from one's community, and treating the other communities that are different from oneself as potential enemies that might generate threats to one's community. There is always unrest, distrust, offensiveness, animosity, tension and fear towards the others might offend/intrude/invade/conquer oneself. This is truly unnecessary, but that's the way it is in this world due to ignorance and egoism.

It's not difficult to attain the sense of 'contentment, joy and meaningfulness' while serving in a particular community that has the similar goal and vision, thinking and belief, even though everyone is not perfect. But when come to the reality of a world of diversity, of different communities with different thinking and belief about what is right and wrong/good and bad, having different ways of cultural/religious/social/spiritual practice, different values and ways of life with different goals and visions that give rise to different meanings of 'good and meaningful life', where most of the minds are not free from the influence of ignorance and egoism, there will be many challenges and difficulties and frustration.

The mind would feel disappointed, tired, frustrated and depressed about the situation in the world that is under the deep influence of ignorance and egoism, that is not in the control/desire of 'I' about how 'I' would like it to be, no matter how good 'I' am, how much good actions/sacrifices 'I' have done, how positive/optimism is my mind, or how much 'I' want to help to bring peace and harmony into the world.

The mind will be in great disappointment, tiredness, frustration and depression, if one has 'wishful thinking' or expectation towards all beings in the world should put aside all the differences and work together towards living in peace and harmony among all the different communities.

If the mind can be free from attachment and 'wishful thinking' or expectation, and goes beyond that 'disappointed, tired, frustrated and depressed' reaction in the mind, and starts to see the truth of the nature of the impure minds and understand that this is the nature of the beings in the world under the influence of ignorance and egoism, it will let go the 'wishful thinking' of hoping everyone will be free from selfishness to work together to make the world a peaceful harmony place that is free from fear, discrimination, hatred, prejudice, unjust, corruption, violence, bullying, oppression, invasion, intrusion, killings, wars and all sorts of human religious/cultural/racial/national/social/political tension, clashes and conflicts.

When the mind is free from ignorance and egoistic attachment, there's no difference between 'good life' and 'not good life', or 'meaningfulness' and 'meaninglessness'. Life is just what it is. It's neither good nor not good, neither meaningful nor meaningless. This mind will be free from disappointment, tiredness, frustration and depression towards the reality of a world of diversity under the influence of ignorance and egoism that is not necessarily the way that it would like it to be based on certain thinking and belief about what is 'good and bad', 'right and wrong' and 'meaningful and meaningless'.

Once the mind is free from the attachment towards a particular thinking and belief about 'goodness or badness' and 'righteousness or wrongfulness', this mind can serve the world of different diversities, without attachment towards a particular thinking and belief, without discrimination/interference towards the different thinking and beliefs, without being disturbed by the reality that is not necessary pleasant or nice. There's neither contentment nor discontentment, neither meaningfulness nor meaninglessness. The world is just what it is. Minds are just what they are, mostly behaving under the influence of ignorance and egoism restlessly.

Even those who are highly educated are not necessary free from ignorance and egoism that generate discrimination, prejudice, hatred, violence, or intrusion towards others who are different from them whom they disagree with and dislike, as they attached onto their own thinking and belief about what is 'goodness and badness' or 'righteousness and wrongfulness' to judge and condemn everyone and everything. And that's their freedom. But they have no peace due to the egoistic reactions and impurities in their minds towards names and forms that they dislike and disagree with.

One can be doing lots of selfless service/karma yoga to serve others in a community under one similar thinking and belief (not too challenging), or serve others in the world of different communities under different thinking and belief (extremely challenging), but one is undetermined or undisturbed by one's action and the fruit of action.

Not even attached onto, "Even if I can bring joy/goodness/happiness/meaningfulness/awareness to just one person, and change this person's life, it's already good enough." Let it go.

There's no disappointment, tiredness, frustration or depression, if the world is still full of fear, discrimination, hatred, prejudice, unjust, corruption, violence, bullying, oppression, killings, wars and all sorts of human religious/cultural/racial/national/social/political tension, clashes and conflicts everywhere, even though one has done a lot to serve others in the world, to bring awareness, peace and harmony into the world.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Yoga is not determined by any qualities of names and forms

Inquire towards why yoga is unlimited by any thinking and belief, or it's nothing to do with any particular personal/family/cultural/racial/social/religious/national/political identity, or it's not determined by any qualities of names and forms.

Yoga is the realization of unconditional peace, compassion and wisdom, when the mind is free from ignorance, egoism and impurities.

Whether the mind is free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, or not, it's not determined by practicing any particular type/style of yoga practice, how many hours/years or amount of yoga practice have been done, how many yoga certificates attained, who are the yoga teachers and how many yoga teachers one has, which yoga schools that one went to, how healthy, strong and flexible is the physical body, how many yoga asana poses the body can perform and whether the body can perform the yoga asana poses perfectly and beautifully, or not, or whether one knows about the names and the benefits/effects of the yoga asana poses, or not, and etc.

Similarly, yoga is not determined/limited by any particular type of personal identity, personality, gender, sexual orientation, profession, physical health condition, physical appearance, physical ability and disability, physical strength and flexibility, physical life span, physical achievement, food option, state of the mind, cultural/social/religious/political thinking and belief, nationality, location, direction, position, speed, temperature, action and inaction, believing or disbelieving in God, educated or uneducated, knowledgeable or non-knowledgeable, intelligent or unintelligent, talented or untalented, skillful or unskillful, rich or poor, good or bad, right or wrong, positive or negative, happiness or unhappiness, day or night, east or west, young or old, and so on.

Regardless of all the different qualities of names and forms, or thinking and beliefs, the mind can be free and peaceful, when the mind is free from the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities.

Regardless of all the different qualities of names and forms, or thinking and beliefs, the mind is not free and is restless, when the mind is under the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities.

Even when some people identify themselves as 'good people' who think they do a lot of 'good actions' and are enjoying many 'consequences of good action' in return, and those who are highly knowledgeable about many things in this world, it's not necessarily that the mind is free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, or is free from disturbed, restlessness and suffering, or is peaceful, compassionate and wise.

Inquire the truth of everything by asking these questions -

Is everyone who have a particular religion and believe in their particular version of 'God' are all peaceful, compassionate and wise, and free from suffering? Not necessarily.
Is everyone who don't have a particular religion and don't believe in a particular version of 'God' are all not peaceful, compassionate and wise, and are not free from suffering? Not necessarily.

Is everyone who eat vegetarian food are all peaceful, compassionate and wise, and free from suffering? Not necessarily.
Is everyone who eat non-vegetarian food are all not peaceful, compassionate and wise, and are not free from suffering? Not necessarily.

Is everyone who practice particular type/style of yoga and possessed certain type/amount of yoga certifications are all peaceful, compassionate and wise, and free from suffering? Not necessarily.
Is everyone who don't practice particular type/style of yoga and don't possessed certain type/amount of yoga certifications are all not peaceful, compassionate and wise, and are not free from suffering? Not necessarily.

Regardless of all the different qualities of names and forms, all minds can be under the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities, or can be free from ignorance, egoism and impurities.

Whether one is peaceful, compassionate, wise and free from suffering, or not, or, whether one is free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, or not, is nothing to do with any particular quality of name and form.

By understanding this, one will know that yoga is not determined or limited by any quality of names and forms, and doesn't belong/limit to any particular being, race, gender, sexual orientation, personality, physical condition/ability/disability, culture, society, religion, politic, country, action and inaction, state of the mind, time, space, direction, position, location, and etc.

The accumulation of 'yoga certifications' by attending the 200 hours/500 hours yoga teachers training courses and registration with such and such yoga association/alliance, and how many yoga classes/courses one has attended/completed/taught and the ability of holding certain yoga poses for certain length of time, or how much charity/rituals/sacrifices one has performed, it all doesn't determined whether the mind is free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, and is peaceful, compassionate and wise, or not.

Some people might mistake the positive/happy/calmed/contented state of the mind as the unconditional peace of being free from ignorance, egoism and impurities.

The different states of mind (regardless of happy or unhappy, positive or negative, calmed or disturbed, contented or discontented) are also part of the impermanent and selfless modification of the mind being conditioned/determined by different qualities of names and forms, and are subject to change. The positive/happy/calmed/contented state of the mind is not the unconditional peace of being free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, undetermined by qualities of names and forms.

Some people take substances to induce momentary calmness/happiness state of the mind, and that state of calmness/happiness disappears when the effect of the substances is gone. Similarly, performing the yoga asana poses will induce certain degree of calmness/happiness state of the mind, and this calmness/happiness state of the mind is also impermanent and will change and disappear. That is not yoga, or the realization of unconditional peace of being free from ignorance, egoism and impurities.

Yoga, or unconditional peace of oneness, non-separateness, changelessness, namelessness, formlessness, attributelessness, timelessness, beginlessness, endlessness, birthlessness and deathlessness is beyond all the modification of the mind or the different states of the mind.

Friday, August 10, 2018

The essential of seclusion and solitude in yoga

Inquiry towards why the practice of seclusion and solitude is so important in yoga.

Many people, including yoga practitioners, might think that the practice of seclusion and solitude is only limited to those who renounce worldly life completely to be a monk or nun. Even monks and nuns might not be practicing seclusion and solitude when they live in a community with other monks and nuns. Being a monk or nun doesn't mean that one is not getting in touch and mingling with the society/family/friends/relatives, or not engaging in social connections, interactions and activities.

There's nothing wrong or bad with worldly life of family, relatives, friends and community. There's nothing wrong with social connections, interactions and activities.

But for those who want to quiet/silent the restless mind, to realize/see the truth of things, to be free from ignorance and suffering, to transcend the mind perception of an impermanent selfless life existence of births and deaths and the suffering of a physical body that is subject to change, decay, aging, injury, illness and death/decomposition, then the practice of seclusion and solitude is a very important and most practical efficient way to quiet/silent the restless mind, to free the mind from restlessness and ignorance, and be free from the mind perception of suffering.

For many people who are not interested at all in transcending the impermanent selfless worldly life existence of body and mind, and are very passionate towards the worldly life existence with all the relationships and activities, constantly decorating the body and pampering the mind with sensual enjoyment through the senses, and be contented with ceaseless gratification of the desires of craving and aversion to feel good, happy, confident and meaningful, then the practice of seclusion and solitude is irrelevant to them.

The mind is receiving inputs through the senses ceaselessly, whether with awareness or without awareness, wittingly or unwittingly, remember or don't remember. There's constant input of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations and thoughts, unwittingly, not to say additional human worldly passionate egoistic conversations, interactions and activities. All these accumulated imprints from the ceaseless inputs of the senses continuously bubble up to the surface of the mind during concentration/meditation causing great distraction/hindrance to the mind to be silent, especially in the novice.

And hence, retreat from the worldly social/community/family life to cut down or cut off getting in touch/coming in contact with worldly minded people of worldly relationships and social medias, and cutting down or cutting off all kinds of physical and mental worldly social connections, communications, conversations, interactions and activities is so important for those who sincerely want to conquer the restless modification of the mind to realize yoga.

There are many good and kind and friendly intellectual people in the world, but Satsanga (the company of the wise and liberated beings) that will lead the mind towards silence is very few. Quite many yoga practitioners mistaken worldly good and kind and friendly intellectual people as Satsanga on the path of yoga. All the good, kind and friendly intellectual people will give the mind lots of suggestions, advice, encouragement and ideas of doing this and that in the world to achieve something that they believe as the meanings of life based on their cultural/social/religious/political thinking and belief, and pull the mind away from the path of yoga of silencing the mind.

Most people think and believe that this is selfishness and irresponsibility towards the family, friends and society. Many think that this is madness/abnormality. That's their freedom of thinking and belief.

Yoga enthusiasts who think the practice of seclusion and solitude is 'wrong' and 'meaningless' will say that, "This is not the yoga that I know, that I want."

What they don't know is that transcending the modification of the mind to be free from ignorance, is the greatest form of duty, compassion and contribution towards all beings and the entire life existence of this body and mind.

Siddhartha Gautama Buddha, Swami Sivananda and many other saints and sages in the past were in some kind of seclusion and solitude away from the worldly society/relationships/connections/interactions/activities for many years until they successfully attained the goal of what they were looking for.

Meanwhile some might had tried to practice seclusion and solitude, but after short period of time being cut off from seeing, talking, communicating and interacting with other human beings of family, friends and relatives, they gave up seclusion and solitude and run back into their everyday relationships and interactions with the world due to missingness, loneliness, meaninglessness, boredom and fear.

Due to passionate attachment and identification towards worldly life existence and relationships, many people including yoga practitioners and yoga teachers give themselves many justification/excuses to avoid the practice of seclusion and solitude, mostly thinking that "It's so wrong and selfish to not seeing or talking to our family, relatives and friends to care for everyone in our life, or not socializing or interacting with other human beings in the society, to show love and care for others. It's so meaningful and wonderful to have family, friends and community that care for each other." And when they experience great physical, mental and emotional suffering and painful sorrow, they would cry and seek blessing from 'God' or 'superhuman Guru'. That's everyone's freedom of thinking and belief and choice of living.

That's also why serious yoga practitioners choose to move away from such worldly life of worldly beings that might generate unnecessary interference, distraction or hindrance to those who want to take yoga and meditation practice seriously. It's indeed a journey alone on the path of transcending the mind and the suffering of ignorance.

The Guru said, "You have now received all the teachings. You are left alone now. Retreat yourself and practice and realize."

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The freedom of being free from ignorance and egoism

If the mind be opened to inquire into the cause of suffering, it will lead to the realization of the cause of suffering - Egoism of attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion and expectation.

All form of restlessness, tension, stress, unhappiness, dissatisfaction, disappointment, discrimination, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, hurts, regret, guilt, frustration, agitation, depression, sadness, grief, hostility, defensiveness, offensiveness, fear and worry, is the by-product of egoism.

- Attachment towards particular cultural/social/religious/political/commercial values thinking and belief and the mind perception of qualities of names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses.
- Identification with the impermanent selfless existence and function of the physical body and the thinking mind, as well as all the mind perceptions/experiences of a worldly life existence of different qualities of names and forms of beings, relationships and objects as 'I' and 'mine'.
- Desires of craving and aversion towards the perceived qualities of names and forms that the mind likes and dislikes, agrees with and disagrees with, wants and doesn't want, under the influence of that particular thinking and belief.
- Expectation towards the physical body, the thinking mind and all the perceived names and forms to be the way that the mind would like it to be, or the way that the mind thinks and believes how everything should be, conforming to that particular thinking and belief.

The society is a 'product' of survival instinct where the selfish minds feed the society with particular thinking and belief so that the other members of the society can be under the manipulation of themselves to gain maximum profits and higher chance of survival for themselves. The selfish minds want to be in power by keeping the others in the society as ignorant as possible and generate separation/discrimination/fear/hatred among the members of the society.

The mind is being conditioned/manipulated unwittingly by the surrounding people/society to think in certain ways, to believe in certain beliefs, to adopt certain values and to behave in certain ways. For example, in order to keep their children under their control, the parents would tell 'frightening' or 'threatening' stories of 'lies' and 'untruthfulness' to their children to create fear in the children's minds so that they won't do something that the parents don't like them to do. The children would believe all those stories are true, and then those stories will continue passing down to the next and next generations.

Parents tell untrue stories to their children to keep them under control. The children tell lies to their parents to avoid being punished and unloved. The spouse/lover tells lies to each other to manipulate the relationship to be the way that they like it to be. The politician tells lies to the community to get support to stay in power. The people tell lies to each other to get what they want from one another. That's the game most people are playing most of the time, whether they are aware or unaware of that. They justify it as 'harmless' white lies to keep things in order (to control people and things to be the way that they like it to be). But when other people being untruthful and tell lies to them, they don't like it and feel betrayed, fooled and angry. Such hypocrisy is the society and humanity.

Yoga practice is to free the mind from the influence of any conditioned and limited thinking, beliefs and values, and to see things as they are. One is free and peaceful as one is, without hanging onto any particular thinking, belief and values to be identified as 'I', or to live life and behave in accordance to a particular limited thinking, belief and values.

The entire worldly life existence only exists in the mind, perceiving a world of names and forms through the senses. A good/bad or happy/unhappy worldly life existence is coming from the mind itself reacting towards all the perceptions/experiences of names and forms. Once the mind is free from ignorance and sees things as they are, the world is just what it is. It's neither good nor bad, neither happy nor unhappy.

A well-trained mind knows how to be poised under chaos, undesirable condition or challenging situation and knows how to divert the excess energy for performing wholesome activities through the physical body while refraining from unwholesome activities.

An untrained mind is restless and be disturbed unwittingly under chaos, undesirable condition or challenging situation and doesn't know how to deal with excess energy to channel the energy into performing wholesome activities through the physical body and doesn't have self-control to refrain from engaging in unwholesome activities. Random selfish actions are being performed under the influence of instinctive passionate desire that generate consequences of action.

The ignorant minds think and believe that the cause of suffering lies in the qualities of names and forms that the minds perceive and believe as 'bad', 'wrong', 'negative', 'hurtful', 'sorrowful' and 'suffering' based on the cultural/social/religious/political thinking and belief in the mind. And hence, the ignorant minds think that in order to have peace and happiness in the world that they perceive/live in, or to be free from unhappiness or suffering in themselves is by either 'deleting' or 'eliminating' the qualities of names and forms that they dislike, disagree with and don't want, that they believe as 'bad', 'wrong', 'negative', 'hurtful', 'sorrowful' and 'suffering', or, by 'converting' or 'changing' the qualities of names and forms into what they believe as 'good', 'right', 'positive', 'soothing', 'joyful' and 'pleasurable'. And thus, unrest, discrimination, prejudice, hatred, violence, oppression, wars and killings were/are happening everywhere.

Suffering only exists in the mind via the mind perception of names and forms through the senses. The ignorant egoistic mind reacts and feels disturbed and suffer by the mind perceptions/experiences of the presence of certain names and forms that the mind dislikes, disagrees with and doesn't want, and the absence of certain names and forms that the mind likes, agrees with and wants.

There's ceaseless restlessness due to fear towards coming in contact with the qualities of names and forms that the mind dislikes, disagrees with and doesn't want, and fear of losing the qualities of names and forms that the mind likes, agrees with and wants.

The mind is restless or peaceless or in suffering is due to the ignorant egoistic mind reaction towards the gratification and non-gratification of its desires of craving and aversion. Restlessness, peacelessness or suffering doesn't come from the objects of names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses.

Do not blind-following, or blind-believing, or blind-agreeing in anything the mind perceives/comes in contact with/sees/reads/hears/learns from somewhere or someone, including all the teachings of yoga.

Even if someone who is peaceful being free from suffering, ignorance and egoism tells us the truth of something, we will never know whether it's true, or not, unless it's coming from direct experience of self-realization.

Inquire the cause of suffering through self-effort and self-realization.

Free the mind from the cause of suffering.

Absence of the cause of suffering, there's no suffering.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Go beyond the impermanent selfless physical body

It's normal and nothing wrong that many people are being determined by everything that is related to their physical body to be who they are, being determined by the condition, ability/disability and appearance of the physical body to feel satisfy, confident, meaningful, good and happy, or not.

There is expectation towards the physical body to be the way that they desire it to be. And if their physical body doesn't turn out to be the way that they expect it to be, they feel disturbed, disappointed, dissatisfied, unhappy, frustrated or depressed about themselves and their life. This is truly unnecessary if one practices yoga and knows what is yoga.

For those who truly want to practice yoga and realize unconditional peace, the non-attachment and non-identification with the impermanent selfless physical body is one of the important teaching and practice of yoga, alongside the non-attachment and non-identification with the thinking mind, the cultural and social thinking and belief, the feelings and emotions, the desires and all the perceptions/experiences of names and forms.

Go beyond the impermanent selfless physical body and realize unconditional peace.

The mind that perceives all the names and forms through the senses via the physical body won't be determined or disturbed by the impermanent changes of health condition/strength/flexibility/ability/performance/energy level/appearance/aging/decaying/mortality of the physical body.

The youthfulness, good health, great strength, super flexibility, skillful abilities, high performance, high energy level and desirable appearance of the physical body cannot avoid/defeat/conquer impermanent selfless changes, decay, sickness, injuries and mortality. The strongest and healthiest person in the world would also breakdown instantly if being hit by a strong impact, or poisoned, or infected by life threatening viruses.

The world greatest super talented, fit and skillful sportsmen/sportswomen and incredibly strong and flexible acrobatic performers and world class gymnasts also would suffer from disappointment, depression, hurts, painful sorrow, sickness, injuries, degeneration, old age and death.

Seek not identity, satisfaction, confidence, sense of meaningfulness and happiness in the existence and function of this impermanent selfless physical body.

For the yoga or peace seekers, this life existence of the impermanent selfless physical body is just a momentary transition to allow the selfless restless mind under the influence of ignorance and egoism to be liberated from the suffering of ignorance, egoism and restlessness through transcending/silencing the modification of the mind.

Non-attachment and non-identification with the physical body and the thinking mind as 'who I am' doesn't mean that one shouldn't appreciate the existence and function of the physical body and the thinking mind, or does not maintain the well-being of the physical body and the thinking mind, but out of compassion, one appreciates and maintains the good condition of the physical body and the clarity/sanity of the thinking mind for performing yoga and meditation practice without attachment, identification and expectation towards the existence and function/the ability and disability of the physical body and the thinking mind.

This is the basic practical yoga practice that would bring the mind towards the realization of unconditional peace, not by performing lots of physical yoga asana exercises. By performing/practicing/teaching lots of yoga asana exercises regularly for many years, possessing the knowledge of the yoga asana exercises and gaining the maximum benefits from doing the yoga asana exercises doesn't guarantee that the mind will have peace, if one has attachment, identification and expectation towards the existence and function of the physical body and the thinking mind as 'who I am', to feel good, happy, satisfy, meaningful and confident, or not.

Those who couldn't or don't do any yoga asana exercises for some reasons, they will have peace if they know what is non-attachment, non-identification and non-expectation towards the impermanent selfless physical body and thinking mind, being undetermined and undisturbed by the selfless impermanent changes of the body and mind.

When the mind knows how to be undetermined and undisturbed by the impermanent changes of the body and mind, the mind would also know how to be undetermined or undisturbed by the mind perception of all the different qualities of names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, of what it sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches/feels/senses and thinks.

That is what yoga is about, resting in peace in the NOW while experiencing all the ups and downs, pleasantness and unpleasantness, agreeable and disagreeable life experiences, or happy and unhappy relationships through this selfless impermanent mortal life existence of the function of the body and mind perception of a worldly life of impermanent names and forms of beings, relationships and things.

One doesn't need to momentarily escape unhappiness or tension by taking any substances of drugs or intoxicants that could give many damaging side-effects to the function of the body and the thinking mind. One doesn't need to rely on attaining/possessing 'good and positive' qualities and the gratification of desires of craving and aversion to feel good, happy, meaningful and confident, or not. That is real freedom or liberation.

Yoga is not about possessing great virtues and merits from performing good actions and accumulating good karma to have a better rebirth to a better/easier/less suffering next life experience, or self-punishing to inflict physical pain/injury to remove sins, or to be 'migrating' to a place called 'heaven' after death. Though that is people's freedom if that is what they believe in and that's what they want.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Looking for 'Guru' in this era?

Is it important to have a Guru? Yes. But not looking out. Look within.

The one and only real and reliable 'Guru' is the mind itself through persist mind purification and self-inquiry/reasoning the truth of everything to attain self-realization, not someone puts on a 'Guru/Yogi appearance' in the public who claimed to be enlightened 'Guru' with 'supernatural healing power' that can take away your doubt and ignorance to give you 'shortcut' to enlightenment, or heal your pain and suffering. This one and only 'Guru' is with you all the time, you (the mind) just didn't/haven't realize it yet.

There are plenty of 'Dharma teachers' and so called 'certified yoga teachers' in the world nowadays to give people some kind of guidance towards the path of transcending the mind perception of names and forms/births and deaths, but this mind itself is the only real and reliable 'Guru'.

If there is an external 'Guru' of yours, the 'Guru' will come to you when the cause is ripen, without the Guru's intention to be coming to you and without your intention to be looking for someone to be your 'Guru'. If someone comes to you and try very hard to persuade you to believe that "I am your Guru", then you should runaway from this person/being as far/soon as possible. Because real 'Guru' doesn't need to do anything to persuade anyone that this is your Guru. One will know that "This is the Guru", when the time has come. If you still don't know and have doubt, that means the time hasn't come yet.

If people still think and believe that there's somebody who 'looks' and 'acts' like a 'Guru' with some kind of 'supernatural healing power' is a great 'Guru' somewhere in this world, and hoping that this 'Guru' will free them from suffering, or lead them towards enlightenment, that's their freedom of thinking and belief.

Some desperate suffering minds take those with dreadlocks on the head and tattoos all over the body and either be naked or wear orange robes while put themselves in a particular 'yoga pose' or perform some sort of ritual and dance, who are stoned smoking ganja most of the time as 'Gurus'. While some others take those who are the leader of a particular 'yoga community' or 'yoga organization' or 'yoga school' as 'Gurus'. That's their freedom of thinking and belief and action.

Seek the 'Guru' within by developing the basic foundation of self-discipline, self-control, self-inquiry, right discrimination and self-independence, and contemplate upon the instructions from the ancient Scriptures to guide one's mind onto the path of yoga, refrain from misconducts, drugs and intoxicants, practice dispassion and renunciation, retreat into solitude and seclusion, to silent the restless modification of the mind, to move the mind away from worldliness, to annihilate egoism, to contemplate upon the truth of everything and attain self-realization of the truth of Dharma, to realize the one and only 'Guru' which is the mind itself.

It's only those who reluctant to let go worldly ideas, activities, objects, desires, enjoyments, comforts and all kind of relationships will try to find an external superhuman 'Guru' with 'supernatural healing power' in the world in this era.

Those who are passionate, who don't like 'unpleasantness' or 'hard work', and always looking for 'miracles' or 'easy way out' or 'shortcuts' or 'magic pill' to solve all their 'problems', while still indulging in their everyday life worldly activities without letting go their worldly enjoyments, relationships, comforts, desires, habits and ideas, will try to look for an external 'superhuman Guru' to show them 'miracles'. And that's how people are easily be manipulated and exploited in this world that is full of ignorance, greed and lust.

Inquire the ancient teachings and practice of yoga - "NO PHYSICAL TOUCHING", "OBSERVE CELIBACY", "DISPASSION", "RENUNCIATION", "DESIRELESSNESS", "SECLUSION", "SOLITUDE" and "SILENCE".

Take a look at the world of yoga nowadays, is all about 'hugging' to show love and care, and 'touching' especially in the yoga asana class to make 'physical adjustments/corrections' for the students, and then continuing 'hugging' and 'touching' each other outside the yoga class as a form of love sharing and healing process, or even giving and receiving 'special healing touch' or 'special healing massage'.

People say, "All beings need love, touches and hugs. All beings will be sick and die out of touchlessness, huglessness, lovelessness and loneliness." That is part of the worldly idea, belief and practice. It's not what yoga teaching and practice is about.

When the mind is pure and free from lustful desire, there's nothing wrong with physical 'hugging and touching', but how many minds in this world are pure and free from lustful desire? Very few indeed.

How many desperate suffering confused minds were/are being taken advantage or being exploited and abused physically/mentally/psychologically/sexually/financially by greedy lustful people because all these desperate suffering confused minds try to look for and depend on a 'superhuman Guru' to 'guide' them onto the path of enlightenment, to liberate them from pain and suffering, or to 'heal' them from something that they think it has to be 'healed' by a 'Guru' with 'supernatural healing power'?

Everyone was/is looking forward to be 'touched' or 'healed' by a 'superhuman Guru'. And they got/get what they want, in a different way - Some people were/are physically 'touched/molested/raped' by lustful people who claimed themselves as 'Gurus' with 'spiritual enlightenment', where people are being sexually taken for granted/assaulted, wittingly or unwittingly. This is pure ignorance of both parties - People who are looking forward to be 'touched' or 'healed' by someone who claimed to be a 'Guru' with 'supernatural healing power', and those lustful people who claimed to be 'Gurus' who can 'touch' or 'heal' what people believe that need to be 'touched' or 'healed'.

Knowing that all desperate suffering confused minds that are under the influence of ignorance want to be someone 'special' in the world, to be loved by 'someone special', to be treated/healed with 'special love and care' and 'miracles', these 'superhuman Gurus' manipulate and take advantage of the desperate suffering confused minds to satisfy their lustful desire and greed.

When people have the intention to go to a 'superhuman Guru', they have something that they want/expect from the 'superhuman Guru'. "Oh Guru, please bless me this and that." While pseudo 'Gurus' also want/expect something from them, as well.

Those who are peaceful being free from suffering, ignorance and egoism of attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion and expectation, who are desireless, who don't need to see/experience 'miracles', there's no need to go to a 'superhuman Guru'. 'Miracles' and 'superhuman Guru' are useless to them.

For those who have intense yearning for liberation, all and everything that the mind comes in contact with will naturally become 'the Guru' that allows the mind to see/reflect upon itself (knowing thyself) and seeing the Dharma/the truth of impermanence and selflessness in all the names and forms. 'The Guru' manifests in all and everything, when the mind is ready to 'see'. Be patient, be persevered, while keep purifying and disciplining the mind. Without intention/expectation to find a 'Guru', the Guru is (already) here.

Your own mind and all your mind perception/experiences of everything, your perception/experience of painful sorrow and suffering, your actions and the consequences of your actions, and the self-realization of the selfless impermanent changes within the body and mind through self-inquiry, is your greatest Guru, your real Guru. None other than this mind and the realization of the truth from within, is your 'Guru'.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Seeing the truth of all relationships with beings and things

All kinds of relationship with beings and things don't exist to the minds that are free from ignorance and egoism.

All kinds of relationship/connection between 'I' and other beings and things exist due to the perception of separateness out of ignorance and egoism.

Upon the realization of non-separateness/oneness, being free from ignorance and egoism, there's neither 'I' nor 'I' am being separated/different from something that is not 'I', and hence, there's no 'I' and something that is separated/different from 'I' being connected in a form of relationship.

There's neither being in certain relationships nor not being in any relationship.

There's neither good relationship nor bad relationship.

There's neither craving towards 'good relationships' nor aversion towards 'bad relationships'.

Upon seeing the truth of all kinds of 'relationship' with all beings and things, the mind is free from all kinds of suffering/affliction/painful sorrow/fear/worry derived from attachment/identification/clinging/craving/aversion towards all kinds of beings and things.

'Relationship' and the attachment/identification/values/meaningfulness/gratefulness/appreciation towards good relationships with family, friends and relatives, and other form of beings and things exist in the minds that are under the influence of ignorance and egoism.

It's very difficult for the minds to see the truth when there is intense attachment/identification/clinging/craving/aversion towards the existence or absence of all kinds of good and bad relationship with different form of beings and things that the mind likes and dislikes, agrees with and disagrees with, and desires and doesn't desire. These minds sway restlessly and ceaselessly between happiness/joy/meaningfulness and unhappiness/painful sorrow/meaninglessness, being determined by the existence or absence of desirable and undesirable 'relationships' with all beings and things.

The body and mind that was born into a 'family' and a living environment with many kinds of difficulty, challenge and suffering, and be surrounded by 'friends' and 'relatives' that are under the influence of ignorance and egoism, is considered 'a good and auspicious transition' on the path of yoga, that helps this mind to be determined and undistracted towards transcending the mind perception/modification of impermanent and selfless worldly life existence of names and forms.

When the mind is still under the influence of ignorance and egoism, this kind of difficult/challenging/disharmony 'relationships' with 'family', 'friends' and 'relatives' are being perceived as the cause of 'suffering' for this mind. The mind falls into a state of bitterness/dissatisfaction/disappointment/meaninglessness/depression/anger.

When this mind is free from ignorance and egoism, this kind of difficult/challenging/disharmony 'relationships' with 'family', 'friends' and 'relatives' are indeed 'the teachings', 'the Dharma', 'the teacher' and 'the stepping stones' that lead the mind towards liberation. There's no bitterness/dissatisfaction/disappointment/meaninglessness/depression/anger exists in this mind.

Most minds forgo the path of dispassion and renunciation to silent/annihilate the modification of the mind to transcend impermanent and selfless worldly life existence due to attachment/identification/clinging onto and appreciating/indulging in good/harmonious/desirable 'relationships' with 'family', 'friends' and 'relatives' as well as other beings and things that are impermanent. And that's their freedom for what they think and feel and desire.

The dispassionate minds see the truth of all kind of 'good or bad relationships', and be free.

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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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