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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

About Selflessness And Compassion

The center of Buddhism and Yoga teachings is selflessness and compassion. They are the two sides of a coin.

Suffering arise from ignorance and egoism, or being ignorant towards the truth of names and forms under the presence of an idea of 'I' in the mind. Suffering exists only when there is the delusive existence of the idea of 'I' or
the non-existing selfish ego in the mind deriving from ignorance as well as feeding ignorance. Suffering ceased existing in the selfless modification of the mind upon the annihilation of ignorance and egoism, and the idea of 'I'.

Suffering, or unhappiness, or dissatisfaction manifests in the mind when we have impurities like anger, hatred, jealousy, lust, pride, greed, hostility, grief, sorrow, fear, worry, disappointment, hurt, cravings and aversions reacting towards names and forms ceaselessly out of ignorance and egoism under the presence of the idea of 'I'. Ignorance is empowering the ego and egoism, while the ego and egoism is feeding the ignorance at the same time.

To be free from suffering, all we need to do is realizing what is selflessness and learn how to attain the realization towards selflessness, or non-separateness, or oneness. We all think and believe that the opposite of selflessness is selfishness. So, we thought that selflessness can also mean unselfishness. We thought that it means we shouldn't be thinking about looking after our owns benefits, well-being and happiness, but only to be thoughtful for others and serve others who are in need of helps. But there is a deeper meaning than just being unselfish and be thoughtful for others and helping others.
Selflessness is beyond unselfishness. There's no 'I' being there to be attaching and identifying towards the intention or the quality of unselfishness or selfishness.

Without knowing what is compassion, it is not easy for us to understand what is selflessness and very difficult for us to be really selfless. Without realizing selflessness, it is not easy for us to know what is compassion.
If we realized compassion, naturally we will realize selflessness also. Being compassionate towards all beings also include being compassionate towards our own self. This “self” is also a being. Without compassion, it is not easy for us to understand and forgive others and not easy to let go of unhappiness and difficult conditions and unpleasant experiences (all kind of physical, mental and emotional problems).

Compassion and selflessness are together not separated from each other. When we are compassionate, we are selfless. When we are selfless, we are compassionate too. It is like the mind experiencing everything through the senses. Without the mind, there is no use of the senses. Without the senses, the mind cannot perceive anything – names and forms (sights, colours, sounds, tastes, smells, sensations, feelings and thoughts).

When we are truly selfless and compassionate, we will also becoming fearless. When we are compassionate towards all living beings, we will not have any fear at all, not even death or painful injury towards this physical body of us. When we are not afraid of death (the unknown), what else that we can be afraid of? We will only be kind and forgiving. When we are truly compassionate, we will not have hatred or ill-will towards any beings who had inflicted pain or injury unto us physically, mentally or emotionally. We will forgive whoever or whatever that have been being unkind to us or hurt us, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

When we are selfless, we don’t see any differentiation or separateness between us and others. It doesn’t mean that we are not existing anymore, but we have realized oneness with all. We are not separated from everything and all beings. Good is us, bad is also us. Ignorance is us, wisdom is also us. Birth and death is the same thing and have no differences, as well as between God consciousness/universal consciousness and this consciousness.

Take away all the names and forms, what do we have? What are the differences? Where are the boundaries? What are the limitations? What is good? what is bad? What is happiness? what is suffering? What is real? What is unreal? What is beautiful? What is ugliness? What is praise? What is censure? What is big? what is small? What is fast? What is slow? Who are you? Who am I?

It doesn’t matter who we think we are, what we are, where we are, how we look, what we do, what we like and dislike – we all are the same when we are happy or unhappy, angry or jealous, laugh or cry, compassionate or wicked. And we all are the same when we have fears and worries, hurts, dissatisfaction, frustration, disappointment, greed, doubts and confusions. Without any of the elements – fire, water, air, earth and space, we all are nothing, we won’t be existing and being here.
What is the meaning about having lots of money, accumulation of wealth and taking care of the health, having sensual enjoyments, material comforts, or accumulating the knowledge of the world, if the nature didn’t or couldn’t provide us with the basic essentials for life existence?
The nature doesn’t have differentiation of likes and dislikes, good and evil, when they provide everything to every beings and everything for being here. It is us having the ignorant egoistic thinking mind which has the differentiation of likes and dislikes, good and evil, love and hatred. We will pray for more water when it is not enough for our needs, but we will condemn the water when the water is too much and causing damages and inconvenience for us. We complain about the sun and dry weather when we feel too hot, and we complain about the rainfalls and cold weather and wish for the sun when we feel too cold. The mind is never satisfied, and forever changing of likes and dislikes. But the nature continues to provide without asking any rewards or repay, and never have hatred even though we have caused so much damages onto the nature. The nature is never tired nor having any intention to give or take, but just provide without limits and unconditionally, and there's no attachment towards its actions and the fruit of actions. And this is selflessness and compassion.

How to realize selflessness and compassion?
Through letting go the ego, or the idea of 'I', and egoism of attachment, identification, craving, aversion, judgment and expectation.

We need to begin with the practice of patience, forgiveness and forgetting (not holding onto what had happened). At the same time, we also practice giving and sharing without expecting any form of rewards in return, while allowing the fruit of actions to be there as it is and what it is. And then, we learn how to go beyond all the qualities of names and forms, and practice detachment and indifference towards duality, treating all and everyone equally without the sense of priority or non-priority, superiority or inferiority. 
Slowly we will be able to not attached onto our body and mind, the intellect, the ego and all the senses. Our mind will always be having unceasing thoughts (negative and positive), feelings (good and bad), judgment, comparison, criticism, competition and expectation. It is the habit and characteristic of the untrained or undisciplined egoistic mind to be like that. All minds are having this same autonomous thinking habit or behavior upon the senses coming in contact with the object of the senses. But if we, the perceptive, cognitive, intellectual and assertive thinking mind, does not have an idea of 'I' attaching towards the phenomena of the selfless modifications of the mind, all these thought activities cannot affect and influence us/the mind to do good or bad, and it doesn’t disturb or contaminate the unconditional peace that is always there.

When we/the mind can detach from comforts and discomforts, we will be free from likes and dislikes. When we are free from likes and dislikes, we will be free from cravings and aversions. And so, we will be free from disturb, discontentment, disappointment, hurts, anger, hatred, irritation and frustration that derived from ungratified desires of craving and aversion. We will be free from happiness and unhappiness. We don’t crave for happiness nor rejecting unhappiness. We watch all the feelings and thoughts passing by in our mind and not being contaminated or disturbed by them.
All the feelings and thoughts are very temporary. They arise, stay for a while, they change and they will disappear. We can practice concentration and meditation to help us stilling the mind or slowing down the thought waves. But even that stillness state of the mind is not permanent. We will have to come back to daily life, and the senses are continuing receiving inputs selflessly, and the mind is continuing generating thoughts and outputs selflessly. We have to come back to life because there are still some cause and effect, or what many people interpret as Karma, for us to work on until the annihilation of ignorance and egoism, or the realization towards selflessness takes place. And we, this mind will be resting in the complete stillness, desirelessness or silence of selflessness, non-separateness, timelessness, birthlessness, deathlessness, attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness.

Because of the unchanging law of impermanence in everything, and thus it is the same impermanence in birth and death. It is a continuous cycle of births (arising) and deaths (passing away) of names and forms governed by the nature's law of cause and effect. By knowing this, we will know that the selfless attributeless nameless formless limitless consciousness that resides within and without all kinds of names and forms exist eternally, infinitely. And we will find that having the impermanent existence of this selfless conditional limited physical body and the selfless restless modifications of the mind is not a suffering anymore upon the annihilation of the ego, egoism and ignorance. Without an idea of 'I' attaching towards the body and the mind (without identification with them as 'I'), the body and the mind have become merely an instrument for the acting manifestation of the universal consciousness (Maya) to be perceiving everything and acting within and without, and for this ignorant suffering selfless mind to realize what is selflessness (compassion and wisdom), selfless unconditional limitless consciousness (beginningless and endless), selfless compassion, selfless wisdom, and unconditional peace (without names and forms, attributes, limitations and conditions) - Satchidananda.

When we realize selflessness, there is no anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, lust, good, bad, insult, humiliation, compliment, censure, success, failure, pride, self-esteem, irritation, disappointment, fears, worries, happiness and unhappiness, meaningfulness and meaninglessness. When all kinds of impurities and duality vanished, there's no separateness or distinction from the selfless compassion that manifests throughout the universal consciousness that allows all and everything being there as they are, arising, changing, and passing away, selflessly and impermanently.

May all beings be happy.

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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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