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?