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

Sunday, May 17, 2009

chapter 19 - Contentment

Contentment or desirelessness is the doctrine for happiness in this lifetime while we are having this limited physical body with the limited function of the mind, the intellect, the ego and the senses.

We will be fearless and worry-less if we can let go the idea of want and not want.

We will be disappointed and irritated if we don’t get the things that we want or are getting the things that we don’t want.

It is the attachment towards the things that we are having now, and also longing for the things that we wish to have and resisting the things that we don’t want to have, that create all those fear and worries in us.

For example, if we always wish to have children in our life and we will be so disappointed if we couldn’t conceive a child or worrying if the child will be born with deformity. And if we don’t like to have children in our life, we will be having resistance or tension and so afraid of having a child. And if the partner accidentally got pregnant, we will be so troubled and unhappy.

But if we are not craving for having children and not resisting of having children as well, then we are at peace immediately. We will accept that we need to take responsibility if we do have children (whether healthy or unhealthy) and becoming more understanding as we became parents. We will not be unhappy or feeling disappointed if we don’t have any children as well.

Take this example and applying it in everything in life, we will become fearless and worry-

Understand this and become desire-less. Let go all the expectations towards ourselves and others. We will be at peace immediately.

At the end, the result will come naturally whether we have expectation or not. And due to great expectation, we will be having tension and this will affect the quality of our performance or work, and the result will be less efficient than what we expected.

If we do not know or cannot accept the law of nature, and cannot let go when the moment comes that we need to let go, then there is only one thing we can do, which is cutting down our cravings and wants.

If we can let go and be content, we can have as many of wants and enjoyments without attachment to them and are void of suffering when impermanence strikes.

There’s nothing wrong at all in having enjoyments and be happy.

There’s also nothing wrong in wants, but it is the incorrect thinking that is causing us unhappiness if we don’t understand the law of nature and don't know what is non-attachment and detachment.

We need food and water to stay alive and have the energy to function properly. But how many of us are contented with just a basic simple meal, a few clothes to cover our body and living in simple accommodation?

Shopping has become a trend and a must for everybody even though we already have so many things in our house. Because the mind likes to have new things all the time.

Fashion and accessories have become a 'need' for many people. Trend and style has become a necessity for the modern lifestyle created by commercialism, such as many variety of household products, furniture and home decorations, personal body, hair and face care products, hand phones, i-pod, laptops, cars, holiday travelling, sports and recreational activities, fitness activities, and all other things that we can see on the market.

Even education and learning has become a commercial product. People attached very much onto the qualification and certification coming from famous schools and institutes.

Spiritual practice like Yoga, has become a commercial product as well. In order to suit the ego and the demand of those who are only interested in physical fitness and beauty, some 'Yoga teachers' and 'Yoga centres' have eliminated the authentic teaching of Yoga - the spiritual part such like right discrimination (Viveka), dispassion (Vairagya), right conducts (Yama and Niyama), truthfulness (Satyam), chastity (Brahmacharya), or chanting and meditation from their so called 'Yoga classes' and using the Yoga Asana postures to transform into something trendy and stylish fitness exercise, and make Yoga into something luxurious and indulgence. Which is completely moving away from simplicity, contentment and dispassion.

This is empowering strong attachment in people to become the slave of their ego and the senses, where these people are looking at and chasing after the appearance of the Yoga studio or centre, the luxurious decorations, the size of the yoga hall, the variety of different yoga brand and style, the trendy yoga attires and accessories, the 'recognized' certification and affiliation, the service, enjoyment and result in return for the fees, which are completely derailed from the teachings and practice of Yoga.

They are also looking at the certification, the popularity, the physical appearance and the charm of the teachers, and also whether the teachers can perform many extra ordinary acrobatic movements, or not.

These people are competing with other students and with the teachers as well. So much gossips and comparison in the studio and outside the studio. And the teachers are competing with other teachers all the time trying to get more people to like them, support them and to attend their classes.

What is the meaning of learning, practicing and teaching Yoga?

Many people who come for the yoga classes are not interested in the teachings and practice about self control, self discipline, self reliance, simplicity, desirelessness, dispassion, self inquiry and self realization. They want the opposite of all that. They cannot and don't want to practice all these essential teachings of yoga. They say it is impossible to live a life of truthfulness and dispassion without lust. The game of hypocrisy and lies is part of their lives in their relationships with everyone, including one's family.

There is no yoga practice of eliminating ignorance and egoism in these 'Yoga classes'. It is empowering the ignorance and egoism instead.

Although all these are nothing wrong because everyone is free to do what they want to do, and think what they like to think, but that is not about Yoga, or teaching yoga, learning yoga and practicing yoga.

Food has become an exotic, luxurious and commercial object for many people who live in the cities and in comfortable surroundings.

The food industry is flourishing and blooming everywhere due to the demand of people looking for diversity and exotic tastes, to satisfy our cravings and our discontentment and greed. Food is no longer a thing that we need to satisfy our hunger.

We always want more, bigger and better, and something different. We are never satisfied.

It doesn't matter how much enjoyment these things can give us, they will never give us lasting true happiness. They only give us a temporary sense of satisfaction and happiness.

Once this sense of satisfaction or happiness fades away, we will be feeling emptiness and meaningless. And then the ego will chase after some other things to gratify its endless craving for sensual pleasurable enjoyment.

Our ego likes to show off and compare the things that we have with other people especially among our family and friends. Such as the house, the car, the job, the knowledge, the achievements, the success, the wealth, the fame, the leisure activities and enjoyments, the physical appearance, as well as the education achievement and intelligence of our spouses or our children.

Some people want to prove to their parents that they have achieved such and such success in life in order to gain their parents' love, attention, acknowledgement or recognition. Even if without any 'pressure' or 'expectation' coming from our parents, it is our ego that wants to show off something to fulfill its craving for love, attention, acknowledgement and recognition. It has nothing to do with our parents' attitude and expectation.

If there are other siblings in the family that are getting more love and attention from our parents, our ego will have jealousy and the idea of competing with our siblings.

The sense of low self esteem is also why we want to prove to our parents or to anyone else such as our spouse, children, friends, or some other important people in our life.

Most of the time, our parents didn't mean to give us pressure or high expectations. They just want us to do the right thing and have a good life. Their intention is out of love when they advised us to build up a good foundation when we were young and to avoid us to commit any wrong doings, so that we will not go into the wrong direction. Not that the parents want to compete with other parents and to show off to other people that they have good children and that their children have successful status in the society.

Even if our parents are such narrow minded people, selfish and ignorant, it is ourselves that decide what we want in life and what we want to do and achieve.

We create our own success and happiness regardless of whether it is being acknowledged and recognized by our parents and other people, or not, if we have correct understanding and true confidence.

We don't have to prove to anybody at all. Not even to our loved ones.

It is ignorance, if we think we need to prove to somebody about we are good or good enough and deserving. We don't even need to prove anything to ourselves.

We shouldn't blame our parents about they had put pressure on us and made us work so hard in life in order to please them to gain their love and affection, or to prove to anybody that we are successful or we are deserving. It is our ego that cannot take the judgment or criticism of being an 'unsuccessful' person (in the eyes of worldly people) and wants to get recognition. The sense of low self esteem also makes us so unhappy and work so hard trying to please other people, to feel proud and deserving.

A wise person is not determined by any worldly success, or names and forms. Even all kinds of virtues and merits mean nothing to the wise one.

When we want to empower our sense of self-worth and to show off to the world that we are successful in life, our craving for food varieties, fashions, accessories, trends and styles, gadgets, leisure activities, luxurious pleasurable enjoyments or material and sensual enjoyments has created so much rubbish and pollution to the surrounding environment.

We should learn to develop contentment and self control in our lives, and learn to appreciate simplicity and simple living. The world will have less rubbish and pollution then.

May we all develop right understanding and attain true happiness.

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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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