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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.

1 comment:

  1. That's what i believe so and thanks to you, teacher. For me, i have been given this great opportunity in the life time of being able to share this wonderful things-Yoga with others.

    This is what i have been searching for ages. How can i be so sure that this is what i want? I am certainly not sure about that either but i realized that my wondering mind disappeared when i started to practice Yoga and moreover my doubt of the purpose of my human life seems to put to an end after i started to teach yoga. I learn to be grateful of being able to breath in and out as i started to focus on my breathing and not take it for granted. I am so grateful of being able to have the opportunity to share my happiness and the greatest of yoga with others. I learn to realize the Asana/postures are just merely a posture and the greatest part of it is the level of ur understanding towards ur body and the most important is the level of ur acceptance towards ur body.

    Most of the motivation books tell us what to do or what to be or what not to do or what not to be, but it is just a reminder for a short time. Being able to share yoga with others has given me the opportunity to let others know that they can be more and beyond than what they thought by their own experience and learn to accept who they are. It is what we called self recognization, confident and inner happy.

    I have no certificate as well, but my teacher tell me, IT's DOESN'T MATTER, and believe what she said. Not because she is my teacher, but i experienced that greatest of it.

    I am not sure i am going to teach yoga for how long, but i am grateful.

    Thank You Meng Foong!


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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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