be free, be happy, be peaceful

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

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Yoga and "certification"?

Nowadays, the system of the education and work-field is depending very much on the term ''certification''.

Of course, in most of the works that require specific knowledge and skill to perform the work, it needs people who are being trained in that particular knowledge and skill to perform that specific type of work.

There's nothing wrong at all for the requirement to have some sort of certifications to show that the person who will be doing the job knows about the work, and is being trained to do the work.

But when come to yoga practice, are we going to be given a certificate by 'God' or from an enlightened being, to certify us and for us to show it to other people telling everybody that ''we are enlightened beings'', or ''we are compassionate human beings'', or ''we are real yogis'', or ''we are yoga teachers'', or ''we are dharma teacher'', if we are free from ignorance and realize the unconditional peace and compassion, being kind to others, and share this wisdom with others?

Does an enlightened being need a piece of paper stating ''certificate of enlightenment'', and carrying it to wherever he goes and show it to other people telling them that he is enlightened?

There's nothing wrong with having a piece of paper to show that we have gone through certain training in such and such practice, but certainly it is not a statement of qualification for us to be recognized or acknowledged as a real practitioner or a genuine teacher.

Does having a certification from a famous school of yoga is a guarantee of a perfect yogi or a good and genuine yoga teacher?

Does a real yogi who had perfected in his practice and has profound knowledge of the Truth is not allowed and not qualified to teach yoga and dharma to anyone who desire to learn from him because he did not go through a recognized school or Ashram, and not having any ''yoga teachers training certifications''?

Did Buddha attain or receive a certificate from somewhere or somebody to acknowledge or enable him to teach dharma to all beings?

Did all the saints and sages, and yogis in the past before the existence of ''certification'', attain any so called ''Internationally recognized'' and ''Certified by an association of spiritual practice'' kind of certificate to prove that they were graduated from a school or Ashram and had attained ''such and such'' level of spiritual enlightenment?

Did they sit for an exam, get the passing marks and the certificate, and thus they were qualified to disseminate the teachings to other people, and the people who learned from them will be guaranteed for achieving excellent results as well? And if they did not sit for an exam, and did not have a certificate, does this mean they are not allowed to teach yoga and disseminate dharma?

Are we going to be guaranteed enlightenment after we have attended 200/500/1000 hours of courses, passed the final exam, and attained a piece of paper? It solely depends on our own practice and direct realization, but certainly it is nothing to do with passing examination, attaining certification, or how many hours of practice, study, participation and attendance in yoga courses.

Do we need a special place or classroom and a special timing to disseminate dharma or be kind to others? Not really.

Are we a ''yoga teacher'' if we are teaching a group of people doing some or all of the poses in the asana practice in a "yoga class"? Not really, unless it allows the mind to see the ignorance in itself, to remove ignorance to know the truth of names and forms, to develop non-attachment, or to realize unconditional peace and compassion, or selflessness.

Does spiritual practice, spiritual evolution or self realization has got anything to do with the knowledge of the anatomy of the physical body or sports science? What does knowledge of the bones and muscles has to do with meditation and insight? Does it mean that if people don't know anything about the anatomy and physiology or sports science, they will never be free from ignorance and suffering, or won't be peaceful, kind and compassionate? When we cut open our body, can we find where the mind is, and know how the mind looks like?

Maybe by understanding that after removing our skin, what left is some ugly smelly disgusting flesh and blood underneath the beautiful skin. And after we died, all the muscles and organs will decompose and what left is some bony structure, and this might help us to realize the truth of the physical body is nothing but bones, flesh, blood, nerves, glands, internal organs, urine and shit. And this will help us to develop strong detachment towards the physical body and detachment towards youthful, healthy, strong, beautiful, attractive, fashionable or presentable physical appearances.

A real yogi, or a dharma teacher, or an enlightened being, doesn't need this egoistic product of the worldly minded business of so called ''certification'' to acknowledge him, or to qualify him, or to allow him to share this beautiful knowledge with anyone who is sincere to realize about the Truth of selflessness and impermanence in all and everything, to practice in life what they have learned from some other peaceful and compassionate beings, to be developing right understanding, and heading towards Self-realization.

It is not the qualification or certification that allows us to be enlightened, to attain wisdom, to share unconditional love and peace with others, to know the Truth, to be peaceful, to be compassionate, to be kind, to be sincere and honest, to disseminate dharma in the world, and etc.

It is the real practice of detachment and self-control in us, in every moment in everyday life experiences, which is invisible or unknown to other people at all, that enable us to keep improving in our own practice, to realize the Truth, and thus being able to share the knowledge attained from our own practice and direct realization with other people without the notion of ''I am a teacher'', ''I am teaching yoga'', ''I am qualified and certified'', ''I am compassionate'', ''I am helping those who are in despair'', or ''I am earning money from teaching yoga''.

There is nothing wrong to receive money from the students as a form of appreciation from them and to be able to support our living and enable us to continue our own practice without worrying or struggling for living. But certainly not to greed for money making in order to attain worldly enjoyments and to satisfy our worldly desires. And the appreciation towards the teacher and the opportunity to be learning and practicing yoga, doesn't necessarily is in the form of money, but anything that is coming from the sincerity of the student to express his gratitude, that is within his ability.

Certainly we can not refuse to teach or not to share the knowledge of yoga with anybody who has no money or has nothing to give us, or even anyone who is being non-appreciative and non-thankful. Unless under certain condition and situation where we can not teach yoga to someone is due to something unavoidable, such as we need to be at somewhere else, or we need to do something else, or we are not able to teach due to sickness or injuries, or we need to focus in our own practice. It shouldn't be because of the person cannot give us some money or something in return.

It doesn't matter if there is only one student learning from a yoga teacher. A real yoga teacher is not determined by how many students he has, or whether he is famous or not, or whether he is getting high pay or not.

All beings, whether wise or ignorant, are their own dharma teacher doesn't matter if they go to a school or not, learning from a teacher or not, realized and understood dharma or not.

We don't need this piece of paper to prove that we are good or not good, qualified or not qualified. It's because dharma is already in all and everyone, whether we are aware of it, or not, whether we have a teacher, or not, and regardless of the degrees of ignorance.

If there is a real ''certificate'' approved by 'God' or the enlightened being, it will be something unconditional without names and forms coming from within. No one else can see this ''certificate'' with their eyes, but they will know what it is.

No one else but our own self, always know that whether we are sincere in our own practice, whether we are compassionate in sharing the knowledge of yoga practice with other beings (not out of the ego wants to teach other people for gaining respect and reputation, name and fame, or for getting money to fulfill our selfish worldly desires), whether we can share the wisdom of peace and compassion with those who are in painful sorrow and suffering.

A real yoga practitioner who is detached from names and forms doesn't need to tell everyone that ''I am a real yogi'', ''I am perfected in yoga practice'', ''I am a good yoga teacher or dharma teacher'', or ''I am a qualified and certified yoga teacher or practitioner, certified by such and such yoga schools'', or "I have been practicing and teaching yoga for how many years", and etc.

He is what he is. He does what he need to do. He doesn't need any worldly recognition, acknowledgement and approval from any organizations to disseminate dharma.

What is yoga and dharma if it is limited by this small piece of paper produced by the worldly minded people in the world of egoism/business/commercialism?

What is enlightenment and wisdom if it is limited by the perception of dualism about qualified or non-qualified, certified or non-certified?

Everyone is a qualified yoga practitioner from the beginning of existence and is a qualified yoga teacher when they share the knowledge of unconditional peace and compassion with others out of compassion, regardless of whether they had went to a formal school or Ashram, or not, whether they had attained a so called ''recognized certificate'', or not, but they had realized the Truth through their own realization. They know the path. They are selfless and peaceful, wise and compassionate.

Without peace, wisdom and compassion, "yoga classes" are just a product of the world of business, physical fitness, physical challenging exercises, competition and empowerment for the egoism and ignorance.

May we all develop right understanding, attain unconditional peace and happiness, and true freedom, in this precious life existence.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Be happy, now...

If there is no happiness, everything else will be meaningless.

Be happy with who we are, how we are, where we are and what we are doing now at this moment, is the most important thing in life.

Not longing to be there when we are here and not longing to be here when we are there.

Eat when we feel hungry, sleep when we feel tired, play when we feel energetic, sit when we feel low energy, cry when we feel need to, laugh when we feel happy and sing when we feel like to.

Don't mind about the criticism from other people.

This is our life, not his, not hers, not theirs.

When we come to this world, when we leave this world, does it concern anyone out there?

What can they do when our present life comes to the end?

What can they do when we have so much Karma to burn off?

They don't feel pain when we are burnt by fire. We are responsible for every karma we are going through. No one can take the pain for us. Not our parents, not our children, not our friends, not anyone that love us very much.

No one can take away our happiness or stop us from being happy.

No one can take away our sadness or stop us from being sad.

It is our rights to feel happy or feel sad. So be happy always doesn't matter we are happy or we are sad.

Appreciate good health when we are having it. No need to be sad when we don't have it. A sick body cannot stop us from being happy.

It is our own self.

Not complain when we are busy, not complain when we are not busy.

Enjoy being busy and doing things when we are busy, enjoy being free and doing nothing when we are not busy.

Life is not that hard when we know how to live it.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

chapter 1 - We all want to be happy

Everyone want happiness and don’t want unhappiness. We want to have good health, good environment, good living conditions, and good relationships with family and friends. We also want freedom, success, power, abundance, long life span, forever youth, beautiful physical appearance, pleasurable enjoyment, and to enjoy life to the fullest. We want to fulfill all our dreams and desires if possible.

At the same time we also have fear towards pain, suffering, disappointment, failure, injury, disability, old age, illness, death and the unknown.

We don’t want to be with the people that we don’t like, and we don’t like the separation from our loved ones.

Even babies know the difference of comfort and discomfort. They will laugh when they feel good, and cry if they don’t feel good.

These are what the Vedanta (the philosophy or teachings of Yoga) called attachments and the desire of craving and aversion.

These are the common features of everyone, although everyone has different temperaments, personalities, beliefs, intelligence, knowledge, interests, skills and talents.

And there are some people who are also looking for spiritual evolution, seeking for enlightenment, or liberation from ignorance and suffering deriving from ignorance.

But not many people can have their lives exactly as they wish, and not having any limitation, failure, disappointment, frustration and fear at all.

We are being conditioned by all sorts of thoughts, sensations, feelings and emotions because we have the perceptive cognitive intellectual assertive thinking mind functioning under the influence of ignorance and egoism, and perceiving all kinds of names and forms through the senses, that generates the differentiation of comfort and discomfort, and we have likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, needs and wants.

As a sentient human being, it is our nature to feel good or feel bad. It is very normal and nothing wrong to have negative feelings from time to time. Never label ourselves with the term ‘weak’ or ‘bad’ when we have negative feelings. They will go away after sometimes. It is the same for good feelings as well. They will pass away too. We don’t need to attach to either one of them. And we need a lot of training to be able to detach from our feelings and emotions. This is the Yoga practice.

Negative feelings do not bring much harm unless we attached to them and generate autonomous reaction out of ignorance and egoism. Even though we might not show it on the outside through action and speech, but the actual attachment is happening in the mind, and it will create havoc sooner or later like a time-bomb waiting to blow up. It is like suppressing the anger deep inside, and the fire of anger grows so intense and finally explodes causing massive destruction to oneself and others.

The stronger the attachment towards the good and bad condition (positivity and negativity), the stronger the disappointment, fear and worries there will be.

We just need to learn how to detach ourselves from these impermanent conditions either completely or just by decreasing the level or amount of attachment will help to reduce so much unnecessary tensions or unhappiness.

In another term, the selfless thinking mind or the thinking faculty of the brains need to know how to be detached from and unattached towards the selfless modifications of the mind, or the thought activities, or the mind perception of names and forms, of agreeable and disagreeable sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations, thinking, feelings, or emotions.

Look at the people around us, how many people are really happy and content with what they already have?

Not all, but many people that we see in our neighborhood, on the street, in the society, they live well, they dress well, they look well, they eat well, they have studied well or still studying, they have a job or doing business or being supported by somebody, they talk and laugh, they have a home to go back to, they have family or friends waiting for them, they look like they are enjoying life.
Look at ourselves. Aren’t we all the same having a life like this?

But deep inside us, are we really happy and satisfied with everything that we come in contact with, of what we have or don't have and what we experience?

If we have gratitude, appreciation and contentment, we will be thankful to have a life like this and feeling happy always, not complaining about anything at all. But do we?

There is still something bothering our mind. A feeling of ‘something is missing,’ a sense of 'emptiness', but we don’t know what it is.

Out of the sense of emptiness, disturb, frustration, dissatisfaction and unhappiness, some people had chose to take alcohol or drugs, or both to get a temporally ‘getaway’ from their problems. But this will only bring further destruction to our body and mind. It doesn’t really solve our problems.

There are some other people who are struggling everyday in life just to get a place to stay and have food to eat. Even though life is hard for them, they are not any less humanity or less respect/value or less happy than people who are having a better and easier life. All and everyone have the same mind behavior pattern functioning under the influence of ignorance and egoism, except the minds that are free from ignorance and egoism.

There is something in common among all of us, that is, we all have fear and worries inside us whether we show it, or not, there are planning/anticipation/expectation towards the future, there are some complaints about something, there is certain anger and dissatisfaction inside us. We all had experienced some kind of disappointments or hurts before, we have things that we like and don’t like, and we all want to be loved by somebody or everybody.

How often that we ourselves have gone through or have seen or heard people shouting at each other, parents shout at the children and vice versa, husband shouts at the wife and vice versa, friends and lovers shout at each other, teachers shout at the students and vice versa, youngster shouts at old people, boss shouts at the employees, or even some people are shouting at God or at themselves, so many arguments and conflicts here and there, and so on. Why? What is happening? Where did all these tension, affliction, conflict or unhappiness come from? Why are we feeling disturbed, upset and angry?

chapter 2 - Why are we not happy?

We are not happy generally is because we are not happy about ourselves; not happy with our lives, with other people and the happenings in the world. We are discontented about something or everything. We have lots of fears and worries. We want to appreciate and enjoy life, but we don’t really know how?

We cannot even please our own self because our mood and wants are changing all the time, and thus, it is impossible to please everybody in this world of diversity.

Most of the time, we don’t know what we really want and don’t want.

We are afraid of losing "this" if we decide to choose "that", and vice versa. Indecisive is a common reason why people are not at peace, being troubled and unhappy in life.

And egoism deriving from ignorance, is the main cause for all the unhappiness in us. Anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, pride, arrogance, attachment, craving, aversion, low confidence, low self-esteem, loneliness, meaninglessness, fears and worries are derived from the ego and egoism under the veil of ignorance.

We are not happy because we don't have wisdom or right understanding at the moment. It doesn't matter if we had went through higher education or had read a lot of books, and had attained lots of various knowledge, qualifications and certificates, or have many skills and talents and achievements.

Mainly it's because the knowledge that we attained from school education did not teach us how to be happy. Or, it has given us a huge wrong idea that our happiness is to be achieved through worldly success, wealth, title, fame, physical and mental abilities and achievements, material enjoyments and sensual pleasures.

All the knowledge that we could get from this world is conditioned and limited. These knowledge, skills and talents that we have cannot and do not guarantee us happiness. In fact they have empowered the pride and arrogance in us, empowering our ego, and thus make us more unhappy and discontented in life.

The more that we learn, the more that we realize that we are so ignorant and don't know much actually. This will make us become slightly more humble, which is good. But if we attached to the ego strongly, this will make us feel low self-esteem, low confident, dissatisfaction and also will generate envy or jealousy towards other people who are better than us or know more than us.

And hence, we are unhappy and dissatisfied with ourselves. We will try to remove this dissatisfaction by trying to acquire more worldly knowledge and achievement in life. Again, this further empowers our ego, pride and arrogance, and makes us more unhappy.

It is like a snowball that rolls down a hill full of snow and attached itself with more and more snow, and become bigger and heavier.

The knowledge that we learn from school education certainly will benefit us to a certain extent; for us to be able to read and write; to communicate with others; and to have some living skills for finding jobs or doing business to make some living.

But this worldly knowledge cannot give us salvation, or remove our ignorance. It doesn't take away the pain; the suffering; the unhappy feelings; the negative thinking; the anger; the hatred; the jealousy; the greed; the fears and worries; the illness; the old age and death that everyone has to go through at one stage in life.

Look at so many people who are unhappy and even have gone crazy losing their mind. Many of them are well educated and some of them are highly intelligent and materialistically successful and wealthy people.

They may be educated, smart and intelligent, knowledgeable and wealthy, but it doesn't help them to transcend ignorance, egoism, greed, discontentment, painful sorrow, fear and suffering. The more that they know and the more wealth that they have, the more emptiness and meaninglessness that they feel, because they know that we all are going to leave all these knowledge and wealth behind due to impermanence. We cannot forever own this success and wealth that we have now and we cannot forever be with the people and objects that we love very much. And also, knowledge and wealth cannot buy us true love or give us permanent true happiness.

Because of lack of wisdom, we all don't know how to be unattached, or detached and let go.

And wisdom is entirely different from worldly knowledge.

It allows us to realize the Truth of all the things in this world that we perceive under the function of the mind through the senses, and enabling us to understand what is happening in us that is making us unhappy and suffer.

Wisdom gives us the true confidence that has nothing to do with the knowledge in the world and how much that we know about everything, and true confidence is not determined or affected by the ever changing phenomena of impermanence, or the judgment, praise and criticism from other people.

It helps us to be able to detach from worldly objects and the suffering caused by attachment. It also let us to be able to detach from duality that gives rise to likes and dislikes, cravings and aversions, which is the cause for irritation, frustration, dissatisfaction, disappointment, painful sorrow and suffering.

It helps us to be able to let go our likes and dislikes, the past and the future.
It helps us to deal with the impermanent feelings and emotions; the anger; the hatred; the jealousy; the negative thinking and evil thoughts.

It gives us the courage and strength to withstand all the discomforts that arise due to the selfless function of our physical body, our thinking mind, the ego, the intellect and the senses.

It gives us unconditional peace and true happiness. It removes painful sorrow, hurts, fear and worries.

It is the key to our salvation and self-realization.

When there is wisdom, there is no unhappiness or suffering.

When there is wisdom, there is no fear.

May we all attain wisdom in this life, and be happy.

chapter 3 - What is Yoga

Yoga, is about being happy in life and being happy about ourselves at the present moment NOW, not about wishing tomorrow will be better, or a happier next life, or migrating to a place free from suffering or unhappiness called 'Heaven'. It's unconditional contentment and peace beyond happy and positive feelings that are selfless and impermanent. There's no attachment and identification, or desire of craving and aversion towards the manifestation of pleasant and unpleasant thoughts/feelings/sensations, or the perception of agreeable and disagreeable names and forms being perceived through the senses, or the desirable and undesirable life experiences, conditions and situations in the world. This unconditional contentment and peace is always there as it is, never increase no decrease, upon the annihilation of ignorance and egoism.

Yoga is a basic way of life that leads us to become a happier person upon liberation from ignorance and egoism, and seeing the truth of things as it is, being undetermined or undisturbed by all kinds of names and forms or experiences that are selfless and impermanent.

Life is just being what it is. It has no intention to make us happy or unhappy. Being happy or unhappy about life, doesn't change life being what it is, and it's constantly changing selflessly. Easy life or difficult life, we can choose to live life happily or unhappily. It is all up to ourselves.

We are limited and conditioned by the law of nature, or cause and effect, but we can set ourselves free from feeling unhappy, and transcend suffering through the practice of Yoga and other teachings such as Buddhism.

Suffering is a state of the mind. We cannot change the state of decay and mortality of the limited and conditional physical body with the perceptive thinking faculty, or control the world to be what we like it to be, but we can change the state of our mind and have certain degrees of control and influence towards how we think, feel, behave, act and react.

There are some similarities in Yoga and Buddhism, and their goal is the same, which is about self-awareness, self-inquiry, and self-realization, or enlightenment.

It is just the names and forms generating the differences, but within all the saints and sages are the same selfless consciousness, the same wisdom and compassion.

In all living beings, regardless of the different qualities of names and forms in everyone, we all are the same consciousness, selfless, nameless, formless, and attributeless. We all are the same when we feel happy or sad. We might speak different languages from one another and have different cultural way of living, thinking, belief, values and practice, but we all have the same feelings, expressions and reactions when we have hunger, thirst, anger, hatred, jealousy, hurt, disappointment, fear, greed, passion, pain, tiredness, craving, aversion, and attachment.

We are not different from all the peaceful saints and sages when all the impurities are purified and the veil of ignorance and egoism is eradicated from our mind, what left is only unlimited wisdom and selfless compassion of the selfless consciousness (the higher self). At the moment, when our mind is still functioning under the influence of impurities (ignorance, the idea of 'I', and egoism), we are still the same selfless consciousness but it's hidden under the veil of ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness (the lower self). The selfless consciousness is still the same consciousness regardless of whether there is the presence or absence of the veil of ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness in the mind. It is uncontaminated and unchanged by the purity or impurity in the function of the thinking mind, or the different states of the mind, or the good and bad condition of the physical body.

The consciousness before the mind purification process and after the mind purification process is the same one. The difference is just whether the selfless consciousness is being veiled or unveiled under the presence and absence of restlessness, impurities, ignorance and egoism.

That’s why on the outside of our physical and mental appearance, we have different looks, personalities, thinking, beliefs and behaviors, speaking different languages, and have different likes and dislikes, but inside us, how the bodily systems work, and how the mind, the senses, the ego, and the intellect work, are the same, no differences at all, unless if there's some dysfunction in certain functions of the physical body, or there's the presence or absence of ignorance, egoism and impurities in the thinking faculty.

In the teachings of Yoga and Buddhism, all living beings are entitled to be liberated from ignorance, be free from suffering or unhappiness, and all are equal.

The only thing that stops us from being liberated, is the impurities and restlessness deriving from the ignorance and egoism in the mind.

Only a calm and peaceful mind can lead us to enlightenment or liberation. Due to ignorance, we are always trapped in fears and worries, and we are disturbed, restless, and not at peace. Without a calm and peaceful mind, we find it so difficult to get a glimpse of wisdom, or the Truth of names and forms. And so, we continue being trapped in fears and worries.

But it is not hopeless.

The practice of Yoga can help us to come out from this whirlpool of ignorance, through the practice of restraints (Yama), observances (Niyama), steady posture (Asana), control of the breath (Pranayama), withdrawal of the senses from the objects (Pratyahara), concentration (Dharana), meditation (Dhyana), and silence - the annihilation of the restless modification of the mind (Samadhi).

Yama and Niyama are the foundation for all other practices. They are – truthfulness – non telling lies (Satyam), non-injury (Ahimsa), non-stealing (Asteya), chaste – celibacy/controlling of sexual desire (Brahmacharya), non-covertness – non accepting bribe or gift (Aparigraha), cleanliness of body and mind – internal and external purity (Saucha), contentment (Santosha), austerity (Tapas), self-study (Swadhyaya) and surrendering the ego (Ishwara Pranidhana).

In short, they are the disciplines for mind purification and to develop self-control and will power to keep practicing until the practice comes to an end upon self-realization.

Without self-control, just by eating vegetarian food especially if we are chasing after the taste of the dishes (due to the salt, sugar, and flavoring that are added to the dishes) and to satisfy the craving for meat by eating the fake meat with the similar texture and taste of real meat, are not the true practice of Ahimsa and desire-less because we eat with the craving for particular food choice and taste, as well as if we have no control over our thoughts, actions and speech.

Of course, there is nothing wrong to enjoy eating the food that we prefer, and appreciate the taste of it.

We need to be able to check our out going thoughts, actions and speech so that we won’t intentionally hurt other people physically or mentally, is the real practice of Ahimsa, even though how everyone reacts towards other people's thinking, actions and speech is everyone's own responsibility, and along with the control over the craving towards all the sensual pleasurable enjoyments, is the real practice of desire-less.

Yoga is the wisdom of life and the compassion of existence.

Yoga is realizing selflessness and compassion that leads towards unconditional love and peace.

In the end, there's nothing wrong or bad with the perception of unhappiness, as upon the realization of selflessness, there's no 'I' existing to be attaching towards or identifying with the impermanent states of happiness or unhappiness. One won't be performing actions out of unhappiness that would hurt oneself and others. It's only when the mind is under the influence of ignorance, one could be constantly hurting oneself and others out of unhappiness, unwittingly. All is impermanent.

chapter 4 - Limitation of our perception

Words are very limited, so is our mind perception and limited conditional knowledge and understanding. This physical body with the thinking mind and all kinds of existence in the world are limited by time, space, causation, selflessness and impermanence (selfless existence).

We cannot describe through words in speech or writing, for something that is beyond our mind to perceive. There will be confusions, arguments, debates and misinterpretations from the original meaning of what is written or spoken. It’s because every single mind is functioning under the different level of consciousness and the different perception under the influence of different degrees of ignorance, even though all minds might have the same selfless attributeless consciousness, and are under going the same selfless impermanent changes.

What we can do is to try our best to present something that is close enough to the definite description or to be reflecting the meaning of the teachings and the practice, that our limited mind can perceive and understand, and we can learn something from it, to perform self-inquiry or contemplation reflecting towards the truth of all kinds of teachings.

So are all the books that are talking about the many different ways to achieve peacefulness and to unfold the wisdom within us and describing the ultimate truth towards self awakening and self realization. Not everyone will have the same understanding after reading the same book. 

Some people may induce confuse in their mind when they come in contact with too many different types of teachings, they don’t know which one to follow, or they try to follow everyone of them which is not really working in that way.

We need to find a path that suits ourselves the most, and then concentrate on that path until the end. Of course, at the same time we can keep an open mind towards some other teachings and practice, and respect the teachings and practice of some others.

The perception of our mind is very much being influenced by knowledge and understanding, and knowledge and understanding is related to or being accumulated through education, learning and experiencing. Right education is so important for our younger generations because they are our future leaders of the world. If they have right understanding that leads to right conduct, if they are selfless and wise, then there will be positive changes in the world later, socially, environmentally, or politically, and so on.

But unfortunately, lots of selfish and ignorant people have taken advantage of the schooling education and public social media networks to manipulate and corrupt the minds of these young people, implanting selfishness, racism, separateness, anger, hatred, violence and untruthfulness into these naive young minds.

May we all develop correct understanding and perform beneficial actions to be looking after ourselves and the future generations, and also to be looking after the general welfare of the environment, out of wisdom and compassion, void of ignorance and egoism.

chapter 5 - Where is Yoga?

Yoga is in our life every moment. In fact it is life itself.
Life is not outside us. It is the perceptive cognitive intellectual thinking mind within us. Without the perceptive cognitive intellectual thinking mind powered by the life force Prana, or energy, life does not exist. Existence of life comes from the function of the physical body and the selfless impermanent modification of the mind.

Yoga is not just within the two hours session that we are attending for performing some Yoga Asana and Pranayama and relaxation practice.

It is how we think, understand, feel, act and react, and how we deal with the agreeable and disagreeable thoughts, sensations, feelings and emotions every moment in everyday life.

Being in the present moment, letting go of the past, and letting go of the anticipations/expectations towards the future, constantly self purifying and becoming self independent.

Being the master of the body and mind and the senses, being the conqueror of our own limited impermanent selfless life existence, developing openness of the mind, and keep purifying the mind constantly.

Learn to be equanimous and be happy regardless of the impermanent conditions of the physical body and the impermanent conditions and situations in the surrounding environment, free from impurities, detached from duality, and having unconditional calmness and peacefulness in the mind, is Yoga.

To be in peace is not necessarily has to be secluded from other living beings, running away from the world, or changing/escaping the law of nature. The hard or challenging condition and situation that we are facing every moment in life, dealing with selfless impermanent changes, is where we can practice letting go, purify ourselves and unfold the wisdom in us. However, dispassion and renunciation is highly important for the minds to be purifying the mind to be free from the influence of egoism effectively.

Wisdom is always there, unchanging and ever existing. It is currently being hidden by impurities (the veil of ignorance). Once the mind is purified, the veil of ignorance will be gone, and wisdom is unveiled. We will see the world differently because the way how the mind perceives and understands everything has changed.

When there is wisdom, there will be no fear at all.

Learn to live in harmony with the world of diversity, and learn to live in peace along with all the undesirable and unpleasant frustrations, difficulties and obstacles in life.

Knowing the nature of selflessness and impermanence in all and everything, and accepting ourselves as we are from moment to moment by understanding the law of nature and respecting the ever-changing phenomena.

The fundamental practice of Yoga is the cultivation of self control, self-discipline and the internal and external purification of the body and mind (Yama and Niyama), where within the modifications of the mind is the place for self transformation to be happening.

We are living in a routine of getting up everyday, go to school or work place, study, work or play, feeling happy or unhappy, laugh and cry, eat and drink, going to the toilet, seeing, hearing, talking, interacting, having fears and worries most of the time, having some dreams, ambitions, aspirations and desires waiting to be achieved, and go to sleep at the end of the day, and repeating all these until the moment our body and mind stop functioning, and life comes to an end.

Although all these habitual routines looked like small little things, or seemed like normal in life, these are the places where we can learn about our true nature, what we really are or what is 'I' (what the mind thinks and believes as 'I'), and to transcend the inevitable suffering existing along with the existence of a selfless impermanent life existence.

But this is not the end of selfless impermanent existence of names and forms because all kinds of names and forms that are selfless continuously arising, changing and passing away even after the disintegration of this particular selfless physical body or any particular selfless name and form, where
countless names and forms continuously arising, changing and passing away, powered by the selfless supportive elements and energy, governed by the nature's law of cause and effect. Realize selflessness, where there's no 'I' or any particular individual permanent identity existing in any names and forms of sentient living beings or non-sentient objects to be going through impermanent changes, but merely all kinds of selfless names and forms arising, changing and passing away impermanently under the influence of cause and effect.

Inquire towards the truth of everything under an open, quiet and pure mind, including all the teachings of yoga and/or other kinds of teachings and beliefs, without blind-believing, blind-following, blind-practicing, blind-propagating, blind-agreeing/disagreeing.

All these are the practice of Yoga, and will lead us towards the realization of Yoga.

chapter 6 - How to become fearless

Everyone has certain type of fear, it doesn’t matter whether they are the fear towards pain, or responsibility, or relationships, or the fear of not being loved/wanted, or losing the beloved people and objects, or not having anything, or the fear towards darkness, failure, loneliness, weakness, disability, injury, sickness, old age, death, or bad things that might happen to us.
Above all is the fear towards the unknown.

If we have fear, we won’t have peace in our heart.

People living in the forest have their own fears. People living in the city or rural villages also have their own kind of fear. Rich people, poor people, everyone has fear. There are different fears everywhere.

What is fear?

Generally it is just a feeling of insecurity that arises in our mind due to the imagination or anticipation in the mind projecting towards the future or the unknown. We are actually afraid of something that has not yet happened. It is a bunch of fearful thoughts and imagination of ‘what if this happens?’ and ‘what if that happens?’

If someone goes into the jungle, he is afraid that he might see a tiger. Maybe he will, maybe he won’t. If he does see a big tiger in front of him, he will be afraid that the tiger might attack him, hurt him and kill him (imagination), but at this stage it hasn’t happened yet. Maybe the tiger will attack him, maybe not. And if the tiger really attacks him, at this stage, with his body full of adrenaline, he will forget his feeling of fear and try to save himself by running away or fighting the tiger. Maybe he will die of a heart attack caused by extreme fear even before the tiger actually attacks him or anyone.

Fear is neither good nor bad. It exists for us to keep away from trouble and act as a life minder. Fear exists so that we will be cautious in our actions and speech. Fear is not a negative thing until it goes beyond being an alarm to save our lives from a real dangerous situation. Fear consumes so much of our vital energy (Prana).

Fear of doing bad is not something negative at all. Fear of telling lies and harming others is not something negative as well.

We don’t want to do bad is because we have self control. We avoid hurting others is due to compassion and loving kindness - not because we are afraid of being punished, nor afraid of being condemned and having bad reputation.

If the mind can be unattached towards all the names and forms in the world, if the mind can be detached from the ego and the modification of the mind that is still functioning under the influence of ignorance and egoism, this mind will become fearless.

If we developed wisdom and courage, they will chase away the fear in us.

So, why not we relax, let go the imagination or anticipation, be free from fear and worries when there is nothing actually happening? Unless something is really happening now, then we can think of how we should deal with the situation under a calm and peaceful mind.

chapter 7 - Become truly confident

We will also have true confidence about our own selves if we have wisdom, correct understanding and equanimity, free from lustful desire, greed, cravings and aversions, fear and worries.

Real confidence is when we know exactly what we want and what we are doing, what we can do or cannot do, what we can achieve and cannot achieve, without the attachment towards the actions and the fruit of actions, and without pride and arrogance. It is not affected by judgment of agreements or disagreements, compliments or criticism from other people.

It has nothing to do with our external appearance, our social status in the society, our achievements, our study and accumulation of the knowledge in the world, our qualifications and certifications, our talents and abilities, our wealth or health, or any qualities of names and forms at all.

It is the correct understanding in ourselves that enabling us to keep going in life and keep doing what we are doing with sincerity and determination, whether we are getting any support and encouragement from others, or not, whether other people acknowledge our work, or not, recognize us, or not, praise us, or not, condemn and criticize us, or not.

And we don't do things that we don't really want to do and without sincerity, but then we are doing it in order to get the attention from other people, or to please other people.

There is no harm to do things to please other people and make people happy if we are sincere, and the actions are non-harming towards oneself and others or the environment, even if we don't enjoy doing it.
But it is doing more harm for everyone if we do things that are harmful to oneself and others or the environment in order to please other people to get their attention, support, acknowledgement, praise and compliment or love and affection, or out of any selfish intention and desire.

That is true confidence. It doesn’t change even though everything else is under going changes. It is the ego feeling good or not good if a person self-esteem is based on the judgment from oneself and other people towards the things/actions/the fruit of actions that one does/achieves or doesn't do/achieve.

Of course there is nothing wrong to feel good if we are being kind to others and have attained certain achievements, but not to become proud and arrogant, and always remain humble. Let this sense of happiness come from doing good to be one of the motivations for us to do more good then. Although that is not liberation.

At the beginning we might be not good at doing what we are doing or what we want to do, but determination, perseverance and true confidence will enable us to keep going until one day we are good at it, despite discouragement or criticism coming from some others, especially from the people who we think they are highly important to us, who we love, respect and look up to.

It doesn’t matter what type of judgment and expectation from other people, it is us, ourselves that doing the work, not those people. Be happy even though we have not yet successful in all our pursues.

We might not be successful in what we are doing in the present moment, it doesn’t mean that we will not be successful in the future. Most important is that we keep on trying until the end of the journey, it doesn’t matter how many times we fall down throughout the journey.

So what, if we are not successful according to the worldly standard or point of view, but we had did our best? That is already a great achievement.

At the end, if we can detached from the term ''success'' and ''failure'', give no value to these names and forms, then we will be free from the craving towards success and the aversion towards failure.

We don't need any names and forms to define us as successful or failure in life, but it's to go beyond success and failure.

It is the universal wisdom that free us from being determined by all the duality in this world, free us from the ignorance towards the selfless impermanent modification of the mind, the impure intellect and the selfish ego, remove all kinds of impurities and doubts, that gives us the true confidence.

chapter 8 - Free from duality

Every existence has a cause to be here.

If there's no mind perception of suffering, there's no cause for yoga to be existing. When there is mind perception of suffering, there is yoga. Wisdom exists because there is ignorance. When there is no ignorance, there is no need for us to look for wisdom. We are not separated from wisdom if there is no ignorance.

We are looking to become enlightened because we perceive suffering under the selfless impermanent existence of this selfless body and the restless modification of the mind, we feel being not free in this worldly life existence. We want to be free from suffering, or to be in a state where there is only peace and happiness.

When the mind realizes non-separateness or oneness, being free from duality, it will not perceive the limited body and the world of selfless impermanent names and forms as a form of suffering. This mind has transcended the term of suffering, and hence, there is no longer a need for this mind to look for a way out from suffering.

This mind will observe the world as it is without interfering with the law of nature. It remains calm even though the world is chaotic.

There is no difference between something so called positive and negative because both positive and negative are also selfless and impermanent. Something that we called ‘good’ exist only if there is something ‘bad’, to show that ‘this is something good’ and ‘that is something bad’, and vice versa.

Everything, regardless of good or bad quality, has to go through the same process of formation, changes and disintegration. Thus everything is the same, no difference and non-dualism. If we understood this, we will have no sense of superiority or inferiority, and we will let go all the judgments, criticisms and comparisons, which are the common habits of everyone under the influence of ignorance.

All these egoistic habits and other impurities are determining what type of mentality each individual has. It is all in our mind, molding what type of personality that we have, and influencing our behavior, actions and reactions that bring along the consequences of action and reaction.

Such as auspiciousness and inauspiciousness. They only exist in our mind if we acknowledge them and give them their respective meaning. There's neither auspiciousness nor inauspiciousness in all kinds of names and forms or activities.

If we believe that there is the presence and absence of auspiciousness, of course there will be the absence and presence of inauspiciousness following it like a shadow. Every moment we will be so cautious when we do something or having something that is related to auspiciousness, and we will try to avoid doing something or not having anything that is related to inauspiciousness. We will become so tensed and exhausted all the time.

If we can let go labeling things as something auspicious or inauspicious, then life will be so much easier and tension-free. We can have more energy and attention to do many other things in life.

When the mind sees no difference between birth and death, praise and censure, poverty and abundance, enjoyment and suffering, gain and lost, happiness and unhappiness, or all type of duality are the same, all are selfless and impermanent, then this mind is dwelling in the state of non-duality, it found unconditional peace and rest.

There are no more arguments and searching.

This person can have wealth, health, wants, relationships and responsibilities, but is free from attachment, identification and the desire of craving and aversion, and thus, void of suffering.

To be in peace is not necessarily has to be secluded from other living beings, run away from the world, or changing/escaping the law of nature. The hard condition and situation in life that we are facing every moment is where the mind can practice letting go, purifying itself, and unfold the wisdom within. But when the chaos and distractions in the world is too over-whelming for the mind, then renunciation is highly important for the mind to progress on the path.

Learn to be okay, regardless of the impermanent conditions of the physical body, the different impermanent states of the mind and the different impermanent conditions of the surrounding environment, free from ignorance, egoism, impurities and duality, and resting in calmness and peacefulness, is the heart of yoga.

chapter 9 - Detachment

Detachment doesn’t mean irresponsible or non-caring as some people may perceive the meaning of it.

It is being fully responsible in one’s duty or responsibility but staying detached from the actions and the fruit of actions, and free from expectations, without judgment and criticism towards oneself or other people, the duty and the outcome.

Even the state of calmness and peacefulness is impermanent, because it is an impermanent quality of the state of mind. It will be disturbed by our feelings and emotions that are also impermanent. We should not be attached to this state of calmness or peacefulness induced by performing or not performing certain actions as well. As long as we are aware of the changes in our mind, as soon as the state of calmness is being disturbed and we are able to observe this change, and let go instantly and not being frustrated about it, then very soon the state of calmness will reappear again.

Calmness and peacefulness are always there. It is only when we have fears and worries or excitements, it will be disturbed and we are not in the state of equilibrium for temporary. When fears and worries or excitements subsided, this state of equilibrium will be restored. It is a constant changing process of being calmed and being disturbed.

Every moment is detach, detach and detach… until one day there is no need to detach from any impermanent sensation/feeling/state/condition when all the impurities are eradicated from our mind, when the senses, the mind, the intellect and the ego ceased functioning withdraw from going out chasing after the objects of the senses, or are resting in the chamber of the heart. There's no fear and worry, even though the surroundings are always disturbing.

Real detachment is detaching from the ego, the intellect and the senses, detached from the body and the modification of the mind.

Detached from dualism - likes and dislikes, craving and aversion, comfort and discomfort, heat and cold, praise and censure, strength and weakness.

Detached from names and forms, lustful desires and sensual enjoyments and also detached from our knowledge and abilities/disabilities.

Detached from what we can do and cannot do, and also what we have done and have not done.

Detached from anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, selfishness, pride, caste, social status, fame, wealth, success, failure, health, illness, happiness and unhappiness, virtues and merits, clinging, longing, fear, worries, excitements and all sorts of good and evil intentions.

Detached from the past experiences and memories, and detached from the future's expectations and plannings.

Detached from our practice and spiritual achievements.

Detached from our worldly qualifications and certifications.

Detached from criticism, comparison and judgment towards ourselves and towards other people.

Detached from all our good and bad feelings and emotions.

Detached from ceaseless birth and death, and our life existence.

Detached from all the affairs and happenings in the world.

Most important is to detach from the actions and the fruit of actions.

chapter 10 - Actual practice

Knowing our true nature and accepting ourselves as we are from moment to moment by understanding the law of nature and respecting the ever-changing phenomena of impermanence.

All these are the practice of yoga.

Although these philosophies seemed like just a theory, but there will be no practice available without a theory set as the guideline.

Practice means carry out the theory of a teaching practically.

We often say ‘I know this and that’ and ‘I had learnt this and that’. But it doesn’t mean anything unless we actually practicing it. It is like we know lots of theory from the books, but what we think, act and speak is not the same as what we know.

It is like we know what is patience and the importance of patience, but we have no patience at all.

It is like if we ask people to be truthful but we ourselves are not being truthful.

It is like when we expect other people to have awareness and be unselfish, but we ourselves have no awareness and are selfish.

chapter 11 - Truthfulness

If we want to know the Truth, we ourselves need to be able to be truthful to ourselves and to others at all time. Only then the Truth will reveal itself to us. There shouldn’t be any hypocrisy and dishonesty in our daily conducts and during our conversations and dealings with others.

But how many of us are afraid of being true and honest in front of others?
We are afraid of letting others know about our little secrets and weaknesses. We are afraid of being honest and straightforward. We like to hide and boast a little about everything.
It is the ego that is doing all of these actions if there is attachment towards the ego and identified ourselves with it under the influence of ignorance.

There is no sincerity at all in any relationship or dealing, if there is trace of untruthfulness in it. Everyone is wearing a mask or a few masks designed by own self to suit the people out there in order to gain their agreement, support, liking, friendship and money. There’s nothing wrong but it's lack of sincerity. It is just a deal to get what we want from other people. And since we are untruthful to others, we can never develop trust in others because we have the notion that others will not be truthful to us too.

What friendship is there if we cannot be truthful to each other? It is just a game of hypocrisy that people like to play nowadays.

True friends are not many and if we have one, we are very lucky and grateful. It is difficult to preserve a long term and good friendship, but it is so easy to break one up.

Anyway friends are real friend if they lift us up in developing our conscience and self-control, and becoming a better person. And if they don’t, but pull us down, they are our enemy instead.

Nowadays, many people see this noble act (truthfulness) as a weakness in the world of business and competition, as well as in any form of relationship. This is because people have selfishness and want to protect their own benefits and selfish desires.

There is nothing wrong to protect ourselves. But our untruthfulness and lies will be hurting the people who believe in our words and trust us with their sincere heart.

When there is no truthfulness, there will be no trust. If there is no trust, we will have no peace in the mind at all whether in a relationship, or friendship, or partnership in business.
It will be very unhappy for ourselves, if others don’t have trust in us, or if we don’t have trust in anyone that we are dealing with. We will be troubled by doubt every moment. It’s so exhausting for our mind.

Once we told a lie or didn't deliver our words, our trustworthy will be destroyed for a very long time. We need to make sure that we mean what we say and we can deliver what we have promised other people.

In order to cover up a lie, we need to make up so many lies after that. Even others won’t know about it, but we will always know the truth and it will torment our mind forever.

chapter 12 - Be independent

At the beginning of our practice, we need a good teacher and guidelines to show us the way, but as we march forward, upon developing certain degrees of mind purification and correct understanding, we will soon become our own teacher and be able to walk on the path independently.

Everything will become our teacher of yoga or dharma. All we need is to have self discipline and determination. The senses, the modification of the mind, the ego, or the intellect are no longer the mischievous ‘friends’ that contaminate and misguide us, but they have became our teachers in the end.

If we truly understand Dharma, we will know that the one and only real teacher is ourselves, this selfless awareness or consciousness that is aware or conscious of all these selfless impermanent mind perception of names and forms.

This teacher lives in us. It is us. It is all and everything. We will not need many teachers if we find or realize this one. This teacher has never left us from the very beginning and is with us until the very end of worldly life's existence until we realize that we are one and identical with this teacher, upon the annihilation of the idea of 'I' and ignorance. We don't know and can't see ourselves due to the idea of 'I' and ignorance. This selfless teacher is always there, watching us, guiding us, teaching us and blessing us, selflessly.

It is the nature of all and everything - selflessness, or the selfless Self.

Know this teacher, and we will stop searching for a teacher with a name and form to guide us in the path towards liberation.

Pay respect to this very up close and personal teacher, listen to its guidance and inquire its teachings.

Even when we were mischievous and engaged in wrong doings under the influence of ignorance and egoism, this teacher never condemned us, judged us, punished us, or left us. It is always there looking after our well-being in silence, selflessly and intentionlessly, whether we know this teacher, or not.

If we don't know this great teacher, we will keep on looking for teachers from the outside with different names and forms, and still find that we are not truly satisfied because we don't really comprehend or grasp the real meaning of yoga or Dharma. Even if we sort of understand the meaning of yoga or Dharma, but we still do not know how to apply it in life, inquire and realize the truth by ourselves, to prove that it is the Truth.

It is like saying ''being detached from the ego'' and ''being desireless'' is very easy, but to become really detached from the ego and become desireless is not that easy. Many people have been struggling for many years and still find that these two elements continue to trouble them on and off. We might go to either one of the two extremities, and not finding the balance point of the middle path, or we might be defeated by the strong ego and desires, and distance ourselves from the practice.

Always bear in mind that if we are becoming more self-controlled, patient, forgiving, positive thinking, cheerful, humble, calm, confident and compassionate, while having less fear, worries, selfishness, pride, arrogance, anger, hatred, jealousy, evil and lustful thoughts, then know that we are advancing in the path of yoga. But, if it is the other way round, then know that we are not really practicing yoga, and whatever we are doing is actually empowering the ego and ignorance and generating lots of negativity in us and around us.

When we start to realize and respect the Truth about the law of impermanence, the root cause of suffering or misery, and the way to come out of suffering or misery, then we will become confident in the path of yoga, and be confident to share this supreme knowledge with other people who are in suffering or misery due to ignorance. It doesn't matter if we do not label ourselves with a name and form, such as ''yoga practitioner'' or ''yoga teacher'', or whether we have any intention to teach or to help others. We appreciate this great opportunity for us to attain liberation from ignorance, and to share the path with many others who are also looking for liberation.

Even if we have a great teacher beside us, or in our lives, if we don't have awareness towards our thoughts, actions and speech, then it makes no difference whether we have one or many teachers, or not. Having a teacher who keeps telling us what to do and what not to do, is useless to us if we still don't realize the teachings, and are not applying the teachings in real life after having listened to all the instructions from the teacher. It is not because the teacher is not good enough or not teaching us, it's because we are so ignorant that we cannot perceive or grasp what the teacher tried to teach us.

If we are independent and have self discipline, we don't need a teacher to give us instructions all the time. A very good teacher also cannot be there for us all the time.

After practicing Dharma for some time, we should find that our emotions are more stable, we can have stronger control over anger, hatred, jealousy, arrogance and lust. We can forgive the people who hurt us with their ignorant actions and speech. We can forgive ourselves for our imperfection. We stop judging and criticizing ourselves and other people. We stop comparing ourselves with our own selves for our performance in the past and also stop having any expectations towards our future performance. We accept ourselves as we are now in the present moment, whether we feel good or don't feel good, or if we are improving or declining in our practice. None of it matters, it is not important. All these are also impermanent.

In the past, we might have needed a few months or a few years to let go of certain anger and hatred, but as we practice Dharma or yoga, we can let them go within a few weeks, or a few days. And then the more we continue to practice, we can let them go within just a few hours or a few minutes until one day we can let go any of uncomfortable thoughts/feelings just within one breath. But this is still not the end of practice, although we may have gained very strong self control over our thoughts/feelings.

It is when everything that we experience does not affect us any more, and we do not generate any ill thoughts/feelings towards undesirable, unpleasant and disagreeable experiences. Success and failure cannot affect our self confidence, make us become proud and arrogant or suffer from low self esteem.

Then there is nothing to be letting go. There will be no more causes for us to get angry, to be disturbed, or to feel unhappy about. There will be no more random egoistic reactions being generated, because we stopped generating likes and dislikes, craving and aversion. We stop giving values of goodness or badness, positiveness or negativeness and meaningfulness or meaninglessness to all kinds of names and forms. This is the goal of our practice.

This practice is invisible inside us. No one can see us practicing detachment every moment, or judge us for our understanding towards Dharma. We are our own witness and are the one and only real teacher who is with us all the time even when we are sleeping or going to the toilet.

So what if out of ignorance, we make some mistakes or many mistakes or become evil and selfish at some stage in our life or during our practice? All we can do is be aware of our mistakes, forgive ourselves, let them go and move on with greater understanding and self-control without carrying all this rubbish and burden from the past.

Even this very moment is becoming the past or history. We cannot deny the existence of the past but it is not real anymore, it is gone and we cannot go back to the past or undo anything. The future is only a continuation of what we are now. The only reality that is real is only this present moment now. If we are full of negativity now - not in the past, the next moment that is coming will continuously be negative. If we are full of positivity now, for sure the next moment will continuously be positive.

It is us who determine what we are now, and what we are becoming. We cannot blame anything or anyone for our actions and reactions and the results of our actions and reactions - happiness and unhappiness. We cannot rely or depend on anyone, not even our teachers, to save us from suffering. We attain our own salvation by ourselves through our own effort.

Neither wealth, nor health, nor studies, nor various certificates and qualifications, nor good looking physical appearance, nor good friends, nor loving spouse, nor parents, nor children can prevent us from decay, old age, sickness, injury and death to this limited conditional physical body. No one can gives us happiness or unhappiness. It is our own self.

If our own energy field is not strong enough, and we are not firmed in our own practice, we will be very easily be affected or disturbed by other people's energy field or their thinking and behavior. In this case we should be wise in choosing who we are mixing with in social life. We need good Satsanga - good company with positive elements that can uplift us in our practice. If there is no good Satsanga, it is better to stay in seclusion and solitude than to mix with people with negative influential elements. Because we might decline in our practice due to distractions or bad influences.

If our own energy field is very strong and we have a very firmed practice in ourselves, then we will not be affected or disturbed by other people's energy field - negativity or positivity. And we can mix with anybody in society and be at any place in the world and be unaffected or undisturbed by the good or bad elements. We can help other people by uplifting those who are suffering under the influence of ignorance, and those who need some positive influence.

It is very important for us to remain cheerful most of the time - the practice of Santosha. If we are calm and cheerful most of the time, we can help to cheer up and uplift other people who are in distress.

May we all develop the true practice of Dharma or yoga, and become independent and attain salvation within this precious lifetime. We just need to keep practicing and keep letting go of the past from moment to moment, until we have emptied or silenced what we think is ourselves (the restless selfless modification of the mind), void of ignorance and egoism, and realize selflessness, oneness, non-separateness, attributelessness, namelessness, and formlessness.

Inquire the truth of everything.

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About Yoga

Know thyself. Everything is impermanent and selfless. There is no 'I'. There is no 'I am selfless'/'I am not selfless'. There is no 'I am hurt'/'I need to be healed from hurt'. Non-blind believing, non-blind following, non-blind practicing and non-blind propagating, but be open-minded to inquire the truth of everything. Be free. Be peaceful. Be happy.

About Meng Foong

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