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

Sunday, May 17, 2009

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.

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