be free, be happy, be peaceful

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

Sunday, February 28, 2010

About Self-Image And Identity

Most of us, the human beings rely or attach very much onto a self-image or identity. There is nothing wrong with this type of mentality at all. It is a very normal behavior of human beings.

We feel that we are a separate individual and are different from everybody and we need a self-image as well as an identity to represent or determine who we are and what we are. We want to justify and announce ourselves to the world that we are a special person who has certain style of personality and certain type of characteristic, belief, thinking, likes and dislikes, way of life, point of view, culture, hobbies, talents, body image, gestures, facial expressions, body language, appearance, dressing style, hair style, way of communication and socialization with others, social status, worldly achievements, academic achievements, spiritual achievements, and etc.

We also want to show-off to the world about who we are or want to please other people with our unique self-image and personal identity. We also want to be accepted and fit into a certain group identity or society that we like and want to be recognized by this group. We want to be the same as this group that we like to be but don’t want to be associated with some other groups that we don’t like to be. If other people do not accept us or do not recognize us or are disagree with our self-image and identity, we will be very unhappy and not comfortable with ourselves.

Basically our self-esteem is based on all these things and is based on self-recognization and recognization by others about ourselves as this and that. Our self-confidence are being determined by the standard and expectation that we put onto ourselves about how we should behave in front of the world, how we are being acknowledged and recognized by our own self and the world, about our ability in doing this and that, as well as about our achievements and success in whatever we do in life.

Such like we want to make sure that we will fit into a certain catergory and label ourselves as “this” and “that”. Most of us want to be good, and being recognized and labeled as “good person”, “good human being”, “good parent”, “good children”, “good husband or wife”, “good student”, “good teacher”, “good leader”, “good follower”, “good friend”, “good citizen”, “successful person”, “unselfish people”, “kind people”, “nice people”, “good yogi”, and etc. But it is not everybody also want to be good. Some of us want to be bad, and don’t want to be recognized or being labeled as all these so called “good” and “successful” labels, instead we want to be different from all these conventional ideas of being “good”. We want to be recognized and labeled as “bad and evil”, “bad person”, “bad human being”, “selfish people”, “wicked people”, “inappropriate behavior people”, “loser” and etc. But whether it is something “good” or something “bad”, we all are still looking for some kind of self-image and identity. Either we want to be “this” or we don’t want to be “that”.

We are very sensitive about how other people look at us and think of us. We will be very unhappy when other people say that we are “not good” or they didn’t say that we are “good”. Even if we don’t want to be good and want to be bad, we also want to be very “good” at being bad, and say “look, I am so bad”.

For some people, we might feel better about ourselves and feel more superior than other people or other beings when we follow a certain belief or practice that we think it is something “good for humanity”, “unselfish”, “caring for the world”, “more intelligent” or just a “better” thing to do or practice, to show that we are “good”, we are “kind”, we are “right” and we are “better”. Such like we want to promote non-harming to all living beings and getting into vegetarianism way of living, and call ourselves as “vegetarian”, and being proud of being a “vegetarian”. We will criticize other people who are “non-vegetarian” or “meat eater” or “animal killer”. We will feel guilty and bad if we ate some non-vegetarian products, and feel sick and horrible. This is nothing wrong also. It is a natural reaction for anybody especially if we want to be “good” and feel good about ourselves being “good”. But at the same time, we will be so unhappy if “vegetarian food” is not available to us, and we are not “vegetarian” due to certain reasons, because being a vegetarian will make us feel so good and proud of ourselves. And if we are out of this catergory of self-image and identity of being “vegetarian”, we will feel so bad and disgust about ourselves just like how we will feel bad and disgust about other people when we see other people eating meat and other non-vegetarian products.

If we can let go of this identity and self-image of “I am vegetarian”, and that we don’t eat meat is purely due to loving kindness and being compassionate towards all the living beings including all the “good” and “bad” insects, and not criticizing other people as non-vegetarian, and be happy with our own way of living while accepting and respecting other people with their way of living, then there will be no conflicts, guilts, disharmony, unhappiness, frustration and disappointment in ourselves for start, and then there will be no disharmony, dissatisfaction or unhappiness about other people too.

Very naturally we will catergorize everything into “good” and “bad”. We want to be the one that we want to be and like to be, and do the things that we want to do and like to do, it doesn’t matter if it is “good” or “bad”. But either we follow or do not follow the rules and standards that we applied onto everything, it will also make us very unhappy. Why? Because if I think that something is so good but I cannot do it, I will feel bad and guilty about myself. And if I can do it, I will feel proud of myself, being arrogant and unhappy about other people who do not do the same thing as I believe it is something good. I will be angry when other people do something “not good” which myself will not do. I will also be full of tensions to keep up with my own rules and standards, or else once I break my rules and cannot keep up with my standards, I will be so unhappy and guilty. It is all because I am attaching to my own certain self-image and identity, and is attaching to what I think is “good” and “not good”.

If everything goes well according to our wishes, then of course we will have no problems at all, and are happy with ourselves, feel good and confident about ourselves. But what if it doesn’t? What if everything or some of the things that we desire didn’t turn out to be the way that we expected and wished for? We will be very unhappy, feel bad and low confident about ourselves.

And so, this is not the way to real happiness. Because all these things that we think they are what we are and who we are, they all are impermanent. They are constantly changing and disappearing from time to time. If we depend on anything that will change, we will be very disappointed.

Real happiness is not something to be attained through any names and forms nor being determined by our appearance, our abilities, our achievements, our self-image or our identity, nor it is based on acknowledgement and recognization from the world.

If we want to have true happiness, we need to know how to be contented with where we are, who we are, what we are and how we are at this present moment now. This contentment is not coming from what we do and don’t do, or what we can do and cannot do, or what we like and don’t like, or what we have achieved in life.

It is about accepting ourselves as we are at this present moment now, that this is us, this is what we are, this is who we are, this is how we are, this is where we are, and this is the present condition of our body and the mind, this is what our body can do and cannot do at the present moment. And be very comfortable with ourselves and like ourselves as what we are now. If we don’t like certain things about ourselves, how can we be happy? If we are not happy with ourselves, how can we be happy with everything else in life and in the world?

We don’t need to have an identity or self-image to be recognized or acknowledged by anybody including our own self. There is no need to catergorize or label ourselves as “this” or “that”. We just need to do what we think is beneficial to ourselves and other people without forcing other people to follow what we believe and what we practice, and enjoy ourselves for everything that we do and can do at this present moment now, and we don’t have to apply any rules and standards for ourselves or for other people.

In the past, our body was young, strong, flexible, fit and healthy, and could enjoy and did a lot of things. But now, due to impermanence, our body is old, weak, inflexible, unfit and unhealthy, and we cannot enjoy and do the things that we used to enjoy and used to do anymore. If we cannot accept and respect the law of impermanence, we will be very unhappy. But if we can accept the changes and be comfortable with what we can do and enjoy what we do now, we will be free from unhappiness. We still can be happy with ourselves now without comparing ourselves with ourselves in the past.

Maybe in the past I was very bad and evil, but that cannot determine that I am bad and evil now. Maybe in the past I was good and wise, but that cannot determine that I am good and wise now. If we cannot accept this reality that the condition of our body and the mind is forever changing, and cannot accept and respect that this is the condition of our body and the mind at this present moment now, then we will be in suffering, discontented and very unhappy.

There are many teachings in the world about how to transcend suffering and how to attain true happiness. They all teach one very basic and yet the most important understanding, which is impermanence. If we cannot accept impermanence and its consequences, and cannot live in harmony with impermanence, we are building up lots of tensions in our body and in the mind. It is these tensions that create the imbalanced state of mind, and cause us dissatisfaction, frustration and unhappy feeling.

All the yoga practices, the philosophy, the asana practice, the pranayama, the concentration and the meditation are to help us to release tensions from the physical body and the mind (purification), and to prevent further tensions (detachment), and to help us to achieve a balanced state of mind (tranquility), so that we can see our true Self or true nature, and reunite with the pure consciousness which is eternal peaceful silence, pure knowledge, pure existence and pure bliss.

May we all found this contentment and be happy with ourselves. If we are happy with ourselves, then we can be happy with other things, other people and the world. If we are happy, we won’t do anything to hurt other people and ourselves.

There are also some of us who don’t need a self-image or identity to be exist in this world. We are not “this”. We are not “that”. We are just what we are. We are not “good beings”. We are not “bad beings”. We are not “vegetarian”. We are not “not vegetarian”. We also don’t need to fit into any groups and no need to be recognized by anybody or any groups. And usually the people who are having this type of mentality are more calm and happy in life.

It is not about being like “this” is wrong and bad, or being like “that” is right and good. It is about being happy and content with who we are and what we are, and not worry about who and what other people are.

Free ourselves from the bondage of self-image and the need of an identity. Be self-independent not depending on any fixed ideas, rules and standards that create by ourselves or by other people. Be selfless and not attach to anything. Everything will be fine whether there are rules or no rules to follow, as long as we are responsible for all our actions and be happy for all the consequences of our actions.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Upcoming Yoga Retreats In Langkawi & Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

Langkawi Yoga Retreats

We will be having some yoga retreats in Langkawi, Malaysia.

* April 8th to 12th

* April 12th to 15th

* April 22nd to 25th

* April 29th to May 2nd

* May 6th to 9th

* May 10th to 13th

* July 25th to 31st (7 days / 6 nights Intensive yoga Retreat)

* August 11th to 14th

* August 16th to 19th

* August 21st to 31st (11 days / 10 nights Intensive Yoga Retreat)

* September 6th to 9th

* September 12th to 18th (7 days / 6 nights Intensive Yoga Retreat)

* September 22nd to 25th

* October 6th to 9th

* October 21st to 31st (11 days / 10 nights Intensive Yoga Retreat)

Other dates beside these retreats dates can be arranged to suit your holidays.

Hope to see you here if you are interested in one of these yoga retreats in the beautiful island of Langkawi, malaysia.

Cameron Highlands Yoga Retreat

Our upcoming Intensive Yoga Retreat will be held in the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia from August 4th to 7th, 2010.

This intensive retreat will be starting from August 4th Wednesday 2:30pm and finished on 7th Saturday 12 noon.

It is open to all levels. We keep our retreat in a small group to ensure that there will be maximum attention for all our participants.

The retreat venue will be at the Hillview Inn in Tanah Rata.

The retreat fees is RM 1620 for single room and RM 1470 per person for twin sharing.

Fees include meals, accommodation, teaching, a Yoga Now T-shirt and strawberries. Meals will be simple nutritious vegetarian food.

Retreat outline

Day 1
* 14.30 Tea and light snacks
* 16.30 Yoga class
* 18.30 Free time
* 19.30 Dinner
* 21.30 Guided meditation

Day 2
* 7.00 Jala Neti
* 7.30 Pranayama
* 8.00 Guided Meditation
* 8.30 Break
* 9.00 Yoga class
* 11.30 Breakfast
* 12.30 Free time
* 13.30 Strength and flexibility workshop
* 15.30 Tea and light snacks
* 16.30 Yoga class
* 18.30 Free time
* 19.30 Dinner
* 21.30 Guided meditation

Day 3
* 7.00 Jala Neti
* 7.30 Pranayama
* 8.00 Guided Meditation
* 8.30 Break
* 9.00 Yoga class
* 11.30 Breakfast
* 12.30 Free time
* 13.30 Advanced practice workshop
* 15.30 Tea and light snacks
* 16.30 Yoga class
* 18.30 Free time
* 19.30 Dinner
* 21.00 Talk
* 22.00 Guided meditation

Day 4
* 7.00 Jala Neti
* 7.30 Pranayama
* 8.00 Guided Meditation
* 8.30 Break
* 9.00 Yoga class
* 11.30 Breakfast
* 12.30 Check out / Optional walks or visits

A deposit of RM 300 per person is required upon reservation of booking. The closing date for reservation is July 14th.

Looking Forward to seeing you in Cameron Highlands.

Om Shanti,

Meng Foong

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

About Likes And Dislikes, Craving And Aversion

Likes and dislikes, craving and aversion is the basic teaching of yoga philosophy and Buddhism. It is the root cause of suffering. It is generating the chain reaction of desire >> craving >> actions and reactions >> dissatisfaction >> suffering >> loss of memories >> ignorance >> the cycle of births and deaths to reap the karma that derived from actions and reactions >> the body of suffering >> desire.

We all want to be happy and are always looking for happiness. We don’t want unhappiness and suffering.

If we truly want to be happy, we need to know what is real happiness which doesn’t fade away or which will last long. We need to know what is the cause of unhappiness and know how to transcend both happiness and unhappiness.

Even when we think that we don’t mind if the feeling of happiness is just temporary and doesn’t last long, and we still want to enjoy all these momentary happiness from attaining the things that we want and like, it still cannot remove our unhappiness and suffering. We will be unceasingly running back and forth from unhappiness to happiness, and from happiness to unhappiness until we are so tired from restlessness. At the end, we will be exhausted and feeling empty.

Basically if we don’t have any unhappiness (imbalanced state of mind – either being agitated or depressed), we are in happiness (balanced state of mind). If we know what is the cause of unhappiness, and know how to not getting into unhappiness (maintaining a balanced state of mind), we will know what is happiness. But know that even this balanced state of mind (calmness) is also impermanent. It will be disturbed and become imbalanced. And if we know how to let go of this state of calmness also, and not attached to the temporary disturbed and imbalanced state of the mind, accept the reality of everything as it is, then we will come to a state that is real happiness or peacefulness. A true and lasting peacefulness that is undisturbed and unaffected by all the happenings out there or within our body and the mind.

It is nothing to do with the things that we like or dislike, have or don’t have, do or don’t do, can do or cannot do. It is nothing about praise or condemn, success or failure, positive or negative, good or bad, comfortable or not comfortable. It is doesn’t matter if we are being praised or condemned, successful or not, positive or not, good or not, comfortable or not, doing the things that we like or not, having the things that we like or not, and we can still remain peaceful and content at what we have and don’t have, what we do and don’t do, and wherever we are. And this peacefulness is always there unchanging, no matter where we are, who we are, what we do, how we feel, what is the condition of our body and the mind, and whatever is happening within and without the world. Peacefulness is not something to be found at this place or that place. Happiness is not something to be found in what we should do and should not do.

Every beings have this peacefulness, it doesn’t matter if we realize it or not. It doesn’t matter if we have been “good” or “evil”, being “negative” or “positive”, having everything or not having anything at all, feeling “happy” or “unhappy”, this peacefulness is always there and never abandon us and never will. It is ourselves. It is our true nature. How can we move away from ourselves? We can’t. Whether we like ourselves or hate ourselves, we cannot leave ourselves. We can change another body, change another life, but we cannot leave ourselves.

What is “not happy”? It is the bad feelings or uncomfortable feelings or sad feelings that we have in our hearts. We are not happy when we have pain, anger, hatred, jealousy, dissatisfaction (greed), disappointment, irritation, frustration, depression, sadness, lost or confusion, doubts, fears and worries. We are not happy when our desires are not being satisfied. We are not happy when things are against our wish. We are not happy when we have to separate from our loved ones. We are not happy when our loved ones don’t love us or care for us. We are not happy when we cannot do what we want to do or like to do… And so on.

Ask ourselves this question – “Why am I not happy?”.

We will find out that we are not happy mainly is because thing happens not the way that we want it to be or not the way that we like it to be.

We are not happy when we are hurt, in pain physically and mentally, angry, jealous, dissatisfied, disappointed, irritated, frustrated, depressed, sad, confused, insecure, lack of confidence, lack of knowledge, lack of everything, doubting, afraid and worried.

And why do we have all these “things” that make us unhappy in our hearts? It is because of likes and dislikes. It is all derived from craving and aversion. Very simple.

Anger, hatred and jealousy happen when we have irritation or frustration about something that is against our wish, not the way that we like it to be.

We have irritation when we see or hear or smell or taste or touch or think about the things that we don’t like. We have frustration when we don’t see or hear or smell or taste or touch or think about the things that we like.

The stronger our dislike about certain sights or sounds or smells or tastes or feels or thoughts, the stronger our irritation and frustration will be. We are easily get annoyed or agitated when our senses come in contact with the things that we don’t like. We are having strong aversion or rejection towards the things that we don’t like.

At the same time, there are things that we like. We will be craving or longing for the things that we like. If we don’t see or hear or smell or taste or touch or think about the things that we like, we will be frustrated.

The stronger our like about certain things, the stronger the frustration will be when we don’t get what we want. We only want things that we want and like, and we don’t want things that we don’t want or dislike. We will be very unhappy if this craving and aversion is not being gratified.

We think that if we get the things that we want or have the things that we like or do the things that we like to do will make us feel happy or will give us happiness. We also think that if we don’t get the things that we don’t want or don’t have the things that we don’t like or not do the things that we don’t like to do, will make us happy or give us happiness.

But is it so? Not really.

They might give us temporary good feelings but they don’t last long. These happy feelings cannot stay in our hearts forever unchanging or not disappearing. We cannot be constantly happy and not having unhappiness even though we get all the things that we want, have all the things that we like, and do all the things that we like to do. Because at the same time, we will also have sadness, fears and worries accompany with this happy feeling that we are having, being afraid of losing this happy feeling due to impermanence and reluctant to let go when these things or happy feelings are fading away or not there anymore.

We also cannot avoid not coming into contact with the things that we don’t want or don’t like. And we don’t always get the things that we want or like, even though materially maybe we could get whatever we want through our wealth and power, but in real we all know that all these things that we like and have cannot guarantee us long lasting happiness. As soon as these happy feelings disappear, the feeling of emptiness or unhappy feelings will replace this momentary “happy” feeling.

Because both these happy and unhappy feelings are very momentary or transitory. They keep changing all the times and will disappear sooner or later. Even though we will get very excited at the beginning when we are having the things that we want or like. But after a while, this feeling will fade away even though we still have those things with us.

It is because in truth, all the things out there, they have no values or meanings of happiness or unhappiness. They cannot give us happiness or unhappiness. It is our own mind that is judging or catergorizing everything that we see, hear, smell, taste, touch and think into “good” or “bad”, “comfortable” or “not comfortable”. And then our ego will generate likes and dislikes towards everything. It will crave for the things that it likes and reject the things that it doesn’t like. When this craving and aversion is being gratified, we will feel momentary satisfaction, feel good and are “happy”. And when this craving and aversion is not being gratified, we will feel dissatisfaction, feel bad and are “not happy”.

Due to the fact of the truth or the law of impermanence, everything will have to go through existence, changes, decaying and disappearing. Nothing is permanent except our true Self, which is unchanging, undecaying and forever exist. It is beyond existence and non-existence, beyond all the names and forms, beyond all qualities of good and bad, beyond birth and death, beyond happiness and unhappiness, beyond comfortable and uncomfortable, beyond likes and dislikes. It is beyond the mind, the senses, the ego and the intellect. If we stop identifying ourselves with the body, the mind, the ego, the intellect, the thoughts, the feelings, the sensations, the likes and dislikes; and identifying ourselves with this true Self, we will be at peace instantly.

This peacefulness is always there with us from the very beginning of existence until now, it never left us. It is when we have impurities like anger, hatred, jealousy, doubts, fears, worries, depression, agitation, irritation, frustration and disappointment, our state of mind is being disturbed or imbalanced, we can’t see our true Self. We are disconnected with our true nature, which is peacefulness. And this peacefulness is forever there. It is the true happiness that we are looking for since we were born. It is within us already. It is us. It is not something to be gained or to be found or to be attained from outside.

It is nothing to do with all the things out there, things that we think are good or not good, things that we want or don’t want, things that we like or don’t like, or things that make us feel comfortable or not comfortable. It is all in our mind. When the mind is not balanced, everything will make us uncomfortable, feel bad and unhappy. Everything is not nice and not peaceful. When our mind is balanced, everything will seem to be okay and fine, and we will feel good and happy. But know that this feeling of “good” and “bad” are both transitory too. We cannot attach to them.

If we attached to “good” feelings, we will be sad and unhappy when this good feeling is disappearing or when we couldn’t get it. If we attached to “bad” feelings, we will be sad and unhappy when this bad feeling is existing in our mind or when we couldn’t get rid of it.

All we need to do is to purify our mind. Remove all the impurities. Let go all the thoughts, feelings and sensations. Allow all these “things” to arise and passing away in our body and mind, watch them come and watch them go, just be aware of them but not identify with them nor react to them. Stop catergorizing them (thoughts, feelings and sensations) into “good” or “bad”, “comfortable” and “not comfortable”. They have no intention to be good or bad, or being comfortable or uncomfortable. They are just being what they are. They are not “good” nor “not good”. It is the habit of the mind that want to labeled things into this and that. Know that all these thoughts, feelings and sensations are very temporary and will change and disappear. We don’t have to give any values or meanings to them at all. Once we know how to do this, we will stop generating likes and dislikes, cravings and aversions towards everything that we see, hear, smell, taste, touch and think. We will remain equanomous, undisturbed or unaffected by all these things that we perceive in the mind through our senses. When our mind is balanced and calmed, we can see our true Self again, and reunite with it, which is peacefulness.

Nothing can give us happiness and unhappiness nor make us happy or unhappy. It is our own mind that is creating the temporary or false state of happiness and unhappiness.

It’s all come back to the practice of non-attachment, acceptance and letting go.

Know the truth of things. Accept everything as it is. Accept the truth as it is. And let go. Not holding on to the “bad” things. Not holding on to the “good” things either. Happy and unhappy feelings are caused by imbalanced energy, imbalanced hormones and imbalanced state of mind. Nothing to do with “things” and “happenings”. Even when we have the entire world for ourselves and do whatever we want to do, we will still be dissatisfied. Even if we are being surrounded by lots of people, family and friends, we will still feel loneliness or emptiness. Even if we are being oneself alone in the solitude, we are still not peaceful.

Know this truth, and we can transcend unhappiness and suffering. True happiness is beyond all names and forms, beyond happiness and unhappiness, beyond our likes and dislikes, beyond what we want and don’t want, beyond this body and mind, beyond existence and non-existence. Let go of our craving and aversion, let go of all the attachments towards “good” and “bad”, true happiness is here instantly.

By understanding the truth of happiness and unhappiness, we gain control over our own mind and the ego. We will not be disturbed by the things that we like and don’t like. We can enjoy everything and not upset when these things change or disappear.

All the relationships that we are having now are temporary too. If we cannot accept this truth, we will be in suffering when we are separated from our loved ones due to impermanence out of natural or unnatural cause, willingly or reluctantly, acceptable or unacceptable reason. Although they are just temporary, but we can appreciate and be happy while we are having all these relationships with everyone whom we love, at this present moment now.

May we all be happy. Truly happy.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Taking Care Of Ourselves

Some of us are selfish. We only think of ourselves and not being thoughtful for other people at all. This is normal.

Some of us are not selfish. We think a lot for other people and being very thoughtful for other people, but we might be neglecting our own self and become exhausted, low energy and sometimes frustrated and disappointed while trying to be nice to other people or to please somebody whom we love. This is normal too.

Some of us are not selfish, are compassionate, loving and thoughtful for others but we also know how to take care of ourselves, our overall well-being of the body and mind, and know how to manage and balance our time and effort for taking care of others and our own self as well. This is what we are talking about here, taking care of ourselves and then we can take care of other people.

This is not being selfish at all as somebody might perceive it as selfishness. We need to be happy if we want to share happiness with others. We couldn’t ask people to let go attachment if we are having a lot of attachments. We can’t be cheering up others while we are full of anger and hatred, and are depressed and negative about everything. We can’t take care of others if we can’t even take care of our own self. We need to know how to accept ourselves as we are, like ourselves and love ourselves, forgive our imperfection, then only we can accept other people as they are, like others and love others, and forgive other people being imperfect. If we don’t have love in ourselves, how do we love others and give love?

The world will take care itself if we know how to take care of ourselves. We cannot change the world if we don’t change ourselves. We cannot expect the world to be positive if we are negative all the time. We cannot expect other people to be selfless if we are selfish. If we know how to take care of our own self, do our best in whatever we are doing and have no expectation at all about the result, and then everything else will come into places for us naturally. The world will change itself on its own cause through time. Our life’s experiences will be easier and happier. We couldn’t force things to happen. Everything happens due to ripened karma. If we try to force things to happen and try to interfere with the law of karma, or trying to change the world or to control other people, we will be in suffering, unhappiness, frustration, disappointment. Because we couldn’t. We can only take care of our own hearts and try our best in helping others to change themselves, by giving and sharing whatever compassion and wisdom (love and knowledge) that we can give and share. If only when we have compassion and wisdom in our own self, we can share this compassion and wisdom with others. It is all starting from ourselves then it can spread to other people naturally without us having any intentions to share and give at all. Everything happens naturally due to a reason.

We do our own practice sincerely, no need to look at what other people do and don’t do and how other people want to do their practice, whether sincerely or not. Take care of our own practice and let other people take care of their own practice. When others come to us for advice, we give and let go, not worry about the result, not having any judgments, comparisons and expectations. It doesn’t matter if other people are receiving what we give or not, or they’ll get benefited from it or not, or they appreciate it or not, or being grateful and thankful or not. It is not important at all. Give and let go.

Have patience, loving kindness, forgiveness, acceptance, tolerance, adjustment, confidence, perseverance and open mindedness. We perform selfless service for other people’s well-being, comforts and conveniences. Share love, peace, joy and happiness with all. But we cannot have expectation that the world will change or the people will change just because we want them to change. Everyone need to work on themselves to change themselves. We cannot change other people, how can we change the world?

If we try our best and do whatever is needed to be done for the well-being of the world, and at the same time we let go all the expectations without attaching to our actions, efforts and the results, and be happy and contented with our own self disregard what is happening in the world and in our own lives. We won’t see any bad or evil about this and that. We will not get any anger or frustration about this and that. We won’t get any disappointment when the world still being what it is, and the people are still being what they are. When people choose to be unhappy and want to be selfish, we can’t stop that either. Everyone has their own freedom to do what they want to do, even if their actions are causing harm to other people. We can’t even control our own mind, how can we control other people’s mind, how others think and feel?

If we don’t know how to let go of this idea of trying to change other people, we are creating tension, suffering and unhappiness for ourselves. If we are being so unhappy and frustrated with ourselves and the world while trying to be good and trying to make the world a good place to be in, we actually had lost the entire meaning of “becoming a better person”, “towards a better quality of living’, “making the world a better place” and “to live in a happier community”, because we ourselves is not happy and not healthy mentally.

We do our best to “save” or “heal” the world, but remain peaceful and happy undisturbed or unaffected by the world, that is the real meaning of approaching a better quality of life and a better world.

Save and heal ourselves first before we can save and heal others. How can we save others when we are drowning in the ocean of suffering?

This is not selfishness but the only way to help to “make” the world a better place.

It is because I love myself, I love all beings without any discriminations (compassion). “I” myself is also a being, same as all other beings, no differences at all. I am compassionate towards all beings including my own self. If I don’t like myself and cannot accept myself as I am, and dissatisfy about the condition of my body and my mind, I will also dislike other people’s this and that, and cannot accept other people as they are, and will be discontented about everything. If I don’t know how to be compassionate towards myself, how can I be compassionate towards other beings?

Taking care of ourselves, do our best for ourselves, for other beings and the world, but let go of the attachment. Let others take care of themselves. Let the world takes care of itself. Everything will come into places naturally. We need to respect the law of impermanence. Like all of us, the world cannot escape the law of impermanence too. It is going through decaying and sooner or later, disappearing. We need to let go. Or else we are creating suffering for ourselves, having lots of fears and worries, being angry, frustrated and disappointed. We need to let go of the attachment towards “bad”, and we need to let go of the attachment towards “good” also. It is not “bad” and it is not “good” either. It is just being what it is. That’s all.

Be happy.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Not Good At Anything?

It doesn’t matter if it is something “good” or “not good”, we all are good at something…

Everyone must be good at at least one thing…

Good at talking, good at not talking, good at sleeping, good at awaking, good at eating, smiling, laughing, remembering the good things, forgetting the bad things, playing, giving… Even can be good at complaining, gossiping, mocking, lying, or good at being negative about everything…

Some people are good at many things…

Some are good at a few things…

Some are good at one thing…

Some are good at doing nothing, while some are good at doing many things at one time...

Some think that they are not good at anything at all…

But it is still good at “I am not good at anything”, and so, be happy…

There is nothing wrong about being “not good at anything”…

Who says that we have to be good at something? (maybe our ego)…

One thing for sure…

No one is good at everything. There will be something that we are not so good at…

But more important it is not whether we are good at anything or not…

It is about doing everything without judgment, comparison and expectation towards ourselves and others…

Be comfortable with ourselves and enjoy what we are doing whether we are good at it or not…

Because it is really not necessary that we have to be good at what we like to do…

Everyone can sing happily loudly or softly or soundlessly even though we might be out of tune and rhythm or cannot pronounce the lyrics precisely or just mumbling or humming…

But sing and dance responsibly so that we are not disturbing other people’s peace of mind during middle of the night when people need to rest or sleep…

We don’t have to be a well-trained good dancer to dance when we feel like dancing…

Anyone can dance with the feet, with the body, with the hands, with the fingers, with the head or in the heart…

It doesn’t need to comply to any guidelines at all about how to dance…

It doesn’t matter if some people say that we are not “good” at dancing or say that we have no talent and we cannot dance…

It doesn’t matter if people want to get unhappy because they don’t like the way that we sing or dance… It is everyone’s freedom to be unhappy about anything as long as they want, as much as they want…

We can’t please everyone and we can’t stop other people from being unhappy just because they don’t like to hear or see other people sing or dance not according to the way that they want it to be…

But never let our own self judge ourselves or determine that we cannot do this or cannot do that, or we are not good at this or not good at that…

We are not free being bound by all the guidelines or standards that we create for ourselves or create by some other people…

Throw away all these meaningless “guidelines” and “standards”…

We can sing, we can dance, if we like to…

Unless we don’t like to sing nor like to dance, then don’t sing and don’t dance, be happy…

No one can force us to sing and dance if we don’t want to…

Like walking…

We can walk whatever the way that we like to walk…

Back way, side way, upside down, feet turn in, feet turn out, slowly, quickly, not slow not quickly, or John Travolta’s way…

There is no such thing about specific measurement of how far is the foot should be away from each other, nor how fast or how slow that we should walk…

Just walk…

We might trip and fall down from not being “walking properly”, and so? I don’t mind. Since I don’t mind, why do I mind about others mind or not? I fell on my own, I don’t blame anyone nor did I cause anybody to fall due to my improper way of walking…

If some others don’t like the way we walk, let them be…

I am free to walk the way that I want to walk…

Even if I have no feet, I still can walk with my hands…

Even if I have no feet and no hands, I can still manage to “walk” with just my body with some helps or without any helps… I can “roll” my body to where I want to be, or use a machine to help me to move around…

Even if I have only one square foot of space for me to move around, it still can’t stop me from “walking” within that space…

Even if my physical body doesn’t permit me to move at all, I still can “walk” to many places with my mind…

I still “walk” but not necessary comply to the definition of how other people perceive as “walking”…

Let's put it in simple term...

Some people are good at walking slowly, some are good at walking quickly. No matters what is the speed that we are walking, we all are still good at walking...

Who says that I am "not good" at yoga if I cannot touch my toes or cannot balance on one foot?

Who says that I am "good" at yoga if I can stand on my head or my feet can touch my head from behind?

It is not about our ability in doing the things…

It is not about whether we are skillfully good at doing the things…

It is about we accept ourselves as we are, and this is what we are…

This is what my body can do and cannot do...

This is what I am good at and not so good at, and so?

I am not perfect, no one is perfect, and no body can be perfect, but we can be happy even though we are not perfect…

I don’t have to do things or live my life according to the expectations from anybody…

Anyway, everyone came alone when we were born into this world, and will leave alone when our body meets death…

Who will mind after many years we had left the world about who we were and what we did?

When our body is old, sick, and in pain, who can substitute us or take away our old age, illness and pain? No body. Not our loved ones. Not any doctors. Not any medicines. Not Buddha. Not God…

Jesus and Buddha and some other saints and sages in the past were being criticized during their existence and even after their existence…

But that won’t change or affect who they were or what they did or what they had achieved…

Many people still benefit from their teachings whether a little or a lot…

Most important is to be happy in whatever we do…

And do it without any judgments or comparisons or expectations…

And do things that are wholesome and not harmful to ourselves and other beings…

Be happy…

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

About Non-identification With The Body And Mind

Non-identification with the body and the mind – I am not this body, this body is not mine. I am not this mind, this mind is not mine. I am not the body, the body is not I. I am not the mind, the mind is not I. It also means the realization of the attributeless, nameless, formless, birthless and deathless eternal unchanging Self, or selflessness - the selfless/I-less/ego-less nature of all kind of impermanent names and forms.

This is the essential teaching of yoga. All the other practices are to help us to attain this realization of the Self.

It doesn’t mean that we should neglect our body and the mind, torturing them and not respect them. Instead we should be appreciating our lives, be grateful to have this life existence to be here to experience so many things and to learn what is selflessness and to return to our original state of consciousness which is beyond existence and non-existence, beyond birth and death, beyond good and evil, and beyond names and forms. We should take good care of this body and the mind, and make them strong and healthy for us to walk the path towards self-realization. But at the same time we do not attach to the impermanent condition and limitation of this physical body and the mind. They are great instruments for us to evolve spiritually. By doing wholesome acts with this body and the mind that are beneficial to all beings including our own self, and by attaining self-realization, is the best way to show appreciation and respect towards our body and the mind.

By having this mortal physical body and unrest mind, it allows us to experience what is suffering and how does worldly life existence being limited and conditioned by impermanence. Suffering is a great experience for us to start searching for the real meanings of life. Once we know the real meanings of life, we won’t see or feel that the world and life existence as something suffering nor not suffering. It is just being what it is.

And by having this unrest mind, limited intellect and forever dissatisfied ego, they allow us to realize the defects or imperfection of the functions of this conditioned body and mind which give us all the experiences of different names and forms, which creates all the suffering and discontentment in us.

We are sure to be thankful to this body and mind, and all the experiences of this life existence that act as the pathway for us to go back “home”. And with all the practices of purification, detachment, observances, refrains and restrains, self-control, concentration, meditation and immovable faith which will unleash the wisdom and compassion in us that act as the bright lights that shine on the entire path for us to see the direction and to avoid or remove any obstacles on our way “home”. While positive thinking, cheerfulness, letting go, humility, forgiveness, adjustment, fearlessness, contentment, patience, determination and perseverance are the fuels for us to reach “home” – the eternal peace.

Yoga and Buddhism never condemn this mortal and changeable body and mind as something bad. But the compassionate teachings of yoga and Buddhism tell us about the defects of this life existence of body and mind, because they want us to realize the deficiency and dissatisfaction of having this temporary body and mind, and to know how to not attach to everything that is related with this body and mind, and we will not get lost in the indulgence of momentary worldly pleasure and enjoyment, or get lost in painful suffering and unhappiness, cravings and aversions, and totally forget about the real meanings of life. They want us to realize that all the good and bad experiences that we are having in this life existence are the same, no differences at all. Both good and bad experiences, likes and dislikes, happiness and unhappiness/suffering are very temporary and not the real us. They do not and cannot determine us as good or bad beings. They are just some products of the mind under the functions of the mind, the intellect, the ego and the senses.

The wisdom of yoga and Buddhism allows us to develop right view and right understanding about the worldly life existence, about all the phenomena that we are experiencing under the functions of the mind and the senses.

By having wisdom and compassion, we will know that we all are the same no differences at all, beyond all the names and forms, beyond good and evil, beyond happiness and unhappiness, beyond living beings and non-living beings. We all have to go through impermanence and we all depend on the elements to be exist here. Without these elements, we all are nothing, no body. And hence what is “good” beings and “bad” beings? What is “superiority” and “inferiority”? What is “living beings” and “non-living beings”? What is “happiness” and “suffering”?

When we are hungry and thirsty, we all are the same. When we have anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, lustful desires, arrogance, selfishness, irritation, frustration, depression, aggression, disappointment, we all are the same. When we are happy or sad, we all are the same. When we are selfless, compassionate and wise, we all are the same. When we were born and when we die, we all are the same. We all have the same functions and habits of the body and the mind. It is just the level of understanding and self-control is different from each being and creates the different behaviors and different personalities among all beings. And we all have different appearances, sexes, beliefs, cultures, characters, languages, skin colours, likes and dislikes, and interests, but after take away all these changeable and temporary names and forms, we all are the same deep inside us.

The sun, the water, the air, the earth and the space treat all and everything equally without any differences of good beings or bad beings, modern beings or ancient beings. In fact we all are ancient beings from the very beginning of existence going through many times of births and deaths, and manifestations of different names and forms. The elements of nature act selflessly and have no expectations at all and just give and provide unceasingly. And this is selflessness. In fact we all are the same selfless consciousness as all these elements of nature.

But having the impure and unrest mind, we don’t see or can’t see our true nature at the moment. We think we are this and that. We think we are “sick” when our body experiencing illness and pain. We think we are “weak”, “ugly” and “old” when our body is experiencing decaying and old age. We think we are “not good” when our mind is having negative and bad thoughts and feelings. We think we are “incapable” and “bad beings” when our body couldn’t perform the things that we wanted to do. We think we are “good being” when our body did some good actions and our mind felt good. We think we are “suffering” and “sad” when our body and the mind is experiencing uncomfortable and bad conditions. But we are not. It is just the body and the mind experiencing some good and bad conditions, comfortable and discomfortable sensations, happy and unhappy feelings. It is not us. The body and the mind is going through unceasing changes under the law of impermanence, from good to bad, from bad to good, but our true nature is not being affected by this at all.

We think we all are different from all and everything. We have discrimination of all the dualities, attach strongly to everything with all the names and forms, have likes and dislikes, and have great expectations for all our actions. We think we own the body, the mind and our lives existence. But it is not really so. All the thoughts, feelings and sensations that we are experiencing from moment to moment unceasingly, they all are very momentary and don’t belong to us at all. They come and go as they like. They don’t need to ask for our permission to stay and change and disappear. We have no control at all when all these thoughts, feelings and sensations crop up in our body and the mind. We have no choice but to witness all these phenomena that is happening in our body and the mind, and have awareness of what is going on and not attach nor react to all these thoughts, feelings and sensations, if possible. We can have self-control over the thoughts by being aware of them and let them go, not attach to them. And we can have control over the actions and speech so that our actions and speech is not harmful to other beings and ourselves. But we can’t have control of our thoughts anymore if the mind gone mad. We will be having imaginations and illusions all the time, don’t know what is real and unreal anymore. And we can’t have control over the ability of our body anymore when the nerves, or the brains, or any of the internal organs, or the glands, or any of the body systems doesn’t function properly. And thus how can we say we own the body and the mind?

Maybe for a temporary time we own the body and the mind, and do what we want to do and think what we want to think. But can we have a forever young, strong, flexible, healthy and undecaying body? Can we avoid old age, illness and death to this physical body? Can we be at our best state of body and mind forever and not having any changes, or declines, or damages to our “perfect” state of the body and the mind, being healthy and strong, young and fit, beautiful and attractive, feel happy and contented for this “perfection”? Can we just feel good, positive and happy all the times and not having bad feelings, negativity and unhappiness? Can we move our limbs or see with our eyes when the nervous system breaks down? Can we just experience pleasant and comfortable sensations and not having unpleasant and discomfortable sensations at all? Can we go back to the past and undo things that were unhappy and not good or preserve those happy and good things? We can’t. Not even an enlightened being can avoid all these changes or impermanence that is happening in the body and the mind. But the enlightened beings do not identify with the body and the mind, and know how to not attach to them and stand as a witness towards all the changing phenomena in the body and the mind and not react to them, and remain equanomous and peaceful all the time.

And we all are the attributeless unchanging Self. Our hearts can remain selfless, compassionate, wise and peaceful, unaffected, uninfluenced and undisturbed by all the phenomena that is happening in our body and the mind, as well as all the phenomena that is happening surrounding the body in our lives in the world.

This body and the mind is just being temporary with us and they function on their own. Even when we are asleep have no awareness of the physical body and the mind, they still continue to function unceasingly without the need of our control. When the breath stops coming, when the heart stops beating, do we still own this body and the mind? They don’t really belong to us and they are not us. They are just the body and the mind. We are who we are, the awareness that is aware of all the phenomena that is experiencing through the functions of the body and the mind.

We are not “good”, we are not “not good”, we are not “good” nor not “not good”. We are not anything. We are what we are, and being what we are. It is true that sometimes the mind feels good and sometimes it feels bad. While sometimes the mind is positive and behaving in “good ways”, and sometimes it is negative and behaving in “bad ways”. But know that these are not our true self. It is not us. It is an action and reaction of the body and the mind while experiencing different names and forms of happiness and unhappiness in the world of perception.

We need to be responsible for all our thoughts, actions and speech, but know that all these do not affect our true self at all. Our true self is untainted by good and evil, positive and negative, happiness and unhappiness, action and non-action.

Once we realize that we are not this body and not this mind, we will be fully responsible for all our thoughts, actions and speech, very carefully we will control all our thoughts, actions and speech. Because we know that it is these three things that are generating all the good and bad karma that will give us the good and bad experiences in worldly life existence, which means we will not be free and being bound by the limitations and conditions of worldly life existence that has the differentiation of happiness and unhappiness, births and deaths, good and bad, likes and dislikes, and lots of impurities of the mind.

It doesn’t mean that we can do whatever we want and don’t have to be responsible for our actions. We need to have positivity (good, kind and wholesome acts) to eradicate negativity (evil, unkind and unwholesome acts) in us. But once there is no more negativity, there is no need to have positivity. Everything and every act is becoming pure. And thus we will be free from both dualities. When there is no more dualities, there is no likes and dislikes, happiness and unhappiness, craving and aversion, good and evil, positive and negative, birth and death.

May all beings be free and go back home to eternal peace.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Be Happy

I wish all of you love and peace…

No need to look at other people’s do or don’t do, good or not good…

Just take good care of our own hearts and be happy…

This is the one thing that will benefit other people and ourselves…

Monday, February 8, 2010

About Simplicity

Simplicity comes along with contentment, humility, gratitude and appreciation. When we are endowed with such qualities in us, life is definitely happier even though it might not be easy. Life can be not as easy as how we would like it to be, but our mind can be happy, if we want.

For people who find that any philosophies of yoga and Buddhism is too complicated and difficult to understand or to practice in life, know that we just need to be simple. We simplify everything that seems to be complicated, and from simplification of things will eventually lead to zero problem in everything. We don’t see any problems in things anymore, even though things can be unpleasant or difficult.

For example, many people couldn’t grasp what is the attributeless Self, namelessness and formlessness, non-self and who we really are of what is the 'I' that we think and believe as "This is I". If we can’t understand these few things, we can’t really know how to not attach towards things, impermanent changes, our life existence, our bodies and the mind. It is also very difficult for us to accept everything as it is without any judgments, comparisons, criticism and expectations. We also don’t know how to not having likes and dislikes towards everything that we come in contact with and perceived through our senses. Because we will be attached strongly towards this physical body, its functions, conditions, abilities, disabilities and life experiences, and identify ourselves with it and thinking that this is who we are and whatever related to this physical body and its life is what we are. We attached strongly towards “our” mind, “our” senses, “our” thoughts and “our” feelings. We will also attach strongly towards “our” wealth, properties, health, ability, appearance, self-image, individual identification, pride and arrogance, knowledge, experiences, social status, achievements, culture, relationships, and what we like and dislike, agree and disagree with.

We will also attach towards all the “ideas” that are being planted deep into our minds from “somebody” and “somewhere” and “who knows where it really comes from”, that telling us life should be like this or like that, and we should or shouldn't be behaving in such and such way. And if we don’t comply to those ideas, we will be defined by the people who live life according to these ideas as weird, crazy, sinful and bad.

It is very difficult for us to understand the terms “we are not this body” and “we are not this mind”, and to let go all these attachments that we already have since we were small and still continue to create and accumulate more and more new attachments into our lives, and it’s very difficult for us to stop believe that this is what we are and life should be like this.

To simplify this philosophy of finding out who we really are or what is 'I', we just need to know what we are not. We might be temporary being this and that, sometimes happy, sometimes sad, sometimes positive, sometimes negative, sometimes healthy, sometimes sick, from a baby to a young person to an old person to a dead body. But what is beyond this momentary appearances or transitory conditions of the body and the mind, is something that is unchangeable and eternal.

So, if anyone wants to know who we really are, or what is this 'I', and still couldn’t find a true identity of ourselves, and start to give up searching or else we will become mad and lost our mind, then try to look at the other option – not searching for who we are, but searching for who we are not. Very soon our minds will be wide opened and we can understand many things that we couldn’t understand in the past.

Apply this “the other option” philosophy in other things that we couldn’t solve the problems. We might find out the right answer to our long time stubborn problems that have been bothering us in our mind and in our life.

The more simple we are, the less problems we will have, or the problems will resolve by themselves once we let go of them. When there is no problem, what is doubt, fear and worry?

May all beings be happy.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

About Acceptance

Some people are confused about acceptance and letting go means giving up and not striving our best effort in anything. This is a huge confusion. It is normal for the arising of confusion towards many words and terms for their original or true meanings. Because many people have different interpretation of words and terms. And also different levels of understanding and different mentality will bring different translations for many things in life.

People who are negative will interprete almost everything negatively. While positive mind people will interprete the same things positively. Everything has both negative side and positive side. It depends on us which side that we want to see it and take it. Either it will make us feel better or worst.

But yoga and Buddhism teach us to let go both negative and positive qualities, see beyond all the names and forms, and accept everything as it is. Not having any judgments, comparisons, criticism and expectations. Not trying to interfere with the law of karma and impermanence. Accept the Truth as it is provided if we know the Truth of things. We can’t say anything to those who can’t see the Truth of things and ask them to accept things as it is. This will cause them more confusion, irritation and frustration.

The acceptance that we want to practice here is about give our best effort in any pursues but do not attach to the result. It also means renounce the fruit of our actions.

When we sincerely and honestly want to do something, we do our best without any expectations. It is like when we build the road for the convenience of other people to use the road, we don’t mind if people are grateful or not, showing appreciation or not, and it is not our responsibility if the road is damaged or some accidents happen due to the cause of nature or man’s fault.

We accept ourselves as we are, accept the forever changing condition of the physical body and the mind. Know that any feelings whether they are good or bad, they are very momentary, transitory and will disappear sooner or later. If we attached to any of these feelings that keep arising and passing away in our mind, we will be mad – sometimes getting very excited and sometimes getting very depressed. And from one mood can change to another mood very regularly – mood swing. But know that this is something very normal and common that is happening to almost everyone except those who know how to not attach to all these feelings and do not react to them. For this is a normal habit of all the minds of everyone, we need to accept this phenomena as it is, and not generating more negativity. But if we have the awareness of what is going on in the mind, we practice non-attachment and self-control to avoid doing something stupid that will hurt other people and ourselves. For those who have no awareness of what is going on in the mind and identify with the mind, and react towards the condition of the mind, then there is nothing we can do about it but to accept them as they are. Be compassionate towards all beings especially the beings that are suffering due to unaware of their own mind and forgive their reactions that are hurtful and selfish.

We need to accept the imperfection in us and in everyone as living beings being limited and conditioned by the impermanence and law of karma. We stop judging ourselves and others. We stop comparing ourselves with others or with our own self in the past. We stop having expectation towards others and our own self. Because we know that the condition of the body and the mind is forever changing not the same anymore. We can’t even judge ourselves and compare ourselves now with the past experience, how can we judge others and compare with other people?

We accept other people as they are and accept everyone for being imperfect as well under the circumstances of life existence.

We can’t please everybody in this world of many individuals with different types of understanding and mentality.

If we can’t let go the past and can’t accept what had already happened, and keep holding on to the past experiences and feelings, we are creating suffering for ourselves. It is not the unhappy happenings or the people that involved in the happenings that make us suffer. It is our own self had attached to all the happenings and couldn’t let go, and couldn’t accept the truth about something that had already happened and we can’t go back to the past to undo what had happened, nor can we preserve something that was very happy and beautiful, that is making us suffer now and will continue to suffer.

Acceptance is not separated from letting go. Letting go is acceptance. Acceptance and letting go is something that happens at the present moment now. We are letting go all the good and bad thoughts, feelings and sensations at this present moment now, from moment to moment. We do not attach to the past memories that come up to the surface. It is very good that these old supressed feelings come up to the surface. If we can stay detached and let them go, it is a very good purification process. It clears up a lot of “rubbish” and “burden” in our heart. We will become lighter and lighter.

Maybe yesterday I felt sad when I thought about something in the past, but that was already the past also. Now, at this present moment, all the thoughts and feelings (whether they are arising from the past memories or from what is happening now), we just be aware, watch them arising and passing away without paying any attention to them, not giving any values or meanings to them, not generating any reactions towards them and let them go.

If we can let go whatever that is happening from moment to moment and accept everything as it is, not resisting or fighting against the law of karma and impermanence, surrender ourselves for the nature to take care of everything, we will not have any fears and worries anymore. We will not have irritation, frustration, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, arrogance, disappointment and unhappiness.

To accept that at this present moment now, this is what my body can do and cannot do. Accept that this is the ability of my physical body, and this is the condition of my body and the mind at this present moment now, without any judgments or expectations, and not to compare with others or with our own past experience. Be very comfortable with our own self, the body and the mind. If we cannot be comfortable with our own self and are very unhappy with the body and the mind, we are creating suffering for ourselves.

To accept that all my past experiences and happenings in life (whether happy or unhappy, right or wrong, good or bad) had already gone, it is the past already.

To accept that I have done my very best in all my pursues but whatever the results are, is not in my control. I can aim my bow and arrow towards the target, and shoot the arrow with full attention and effort, but whatever happens after that, either the arrow hits the target or a bird just happen to fly by and being hit by the arrow, it is not my responsibility anymore. Or maybe the strong wind blew the arrow to the side and missed the target, or the target fell onto the ground before the arrow hits it. We can feel sorry and compassionate towards that poor bird, but we cannot blame ourselves for that accident. It is nobody’s fault. Not the shooter, not the arrow, not the wind and not the bird. It is not our intention at all and it just happens due to a karmic reason why it happens during that time and at that place.

To accept that we all are imperfect and we cannot please everyone at the same time.

To accept that we all have to go through impermanence – birth, growth, decay, old age, illness, pain and death towards this physical body. But our true nature is not affected by impermanence and is forever exist without any qualities of name and form, and is beyond birth and death.

To accept that all minds are changing all the time, we cannot have judgment or expectation towards our own self or towards other people. Because our body and the mind will not be the same anymore from time to time.

To accept that whatever in the past had already gone and the future doesn’t really exist at all in this present moment now. We cannot hold on to the past or the future. We can only be at the present moment now, from moment to moment. Or else we will be creating lots of tensions, unhappiness, disharmony, disappoinment, frustration, fears and worries in ourselves.

To accept that there is no body in this world of life existence including all the saints and sages can avoid impermanence. We have no choice but to let go when impermanence strikes, and be grateful and happy while we are still here able to enjoy and experience so many things and to learn what is selflessness and non-attachment with this conditioned body, the mind and the senses.

To accept the truth as it is, accept everything as it is, accept everyone as they are, accept ourselves as we are. We can do our best for the benefits of everyone and the world, but we need to accept the law of karma and impermanence which is governing all the happenings in the world and in other people’s lives. We can only control and change our own karma but we cannot interfere or change other people’s karma.

Since we only have a presumable limited life span, very limited youth and strong body, why not we make good use of this life, its youth and good health to do meaningful things that will benefit all, let go all the unhappiness and discrimination, and be happy? Why do we waste our time and effort in meaningless arguments, conflicts, complaints, gossips, slanderings, harmful activities, wars, killings, hatred, depression and unhappiness? Many people who are very frustrated, angry and negative will not care about others because they are already very unhappy in life. We should be compassionate towards them and not being angry and frustrated about it. But we all can put aside our own problems and unhappiness, and dedicate our time and effort to benefit others. And this will really remove all our unhappiness and negativity. By being unhappy and negative all the time cannot remove the unhappiness and negativity in us but will increase them day by day. And by giving and sharing with others (loving kindness and compassion) without attachment to the fruit of actions, will remove all the sadness, selfishness and negativity in us.

May all beings be happy.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Satchidananda - I Am That I Am

What is the most precious thing that we all are having with us all the time eternally that has never been separated from us and never will?

Not my decaying body, not my unrest mind, not my breathing, not my heartbeat, not my knowledge, not my memories, not my family, not my parents, not my children, not my spouse, not my friends, not my teachers, not my senses, not my ego, not my feelings, not my thoughts, not my house, not my job, not my success, not my achievement, not my duty, not my responsibility, not my wealth, not my health, not my beauty, not my youth, not my learning, not my happiness, not my unhappiness, not my birth, not my death, not my things, not anything that will change and disappear. Not the life, not the world, not the sun, not the air, not the water, not the earth, not the space, not the universe, not the heaven, not the hell. All these things will change and disappear also. Anything that is conditional with certain qualities of names and forms, that will change and is impermanent, is just temporary and momentary existing.

It’s the selfless Self, the universal Self, not my selfish egoistic “self”. It's not even 'my' true Self. It's not 'your' true Self, or 'his/her' true self. It doesn't belong to anyone or anything. All and everything that are selfless and impermanent arising from it, resting, changing, and passing away upon it. It is the only 'thing' that is unchanging, unlimited and unconditioned by impermanence, without beginning and ending, forever exist, pure existence, pure knowledge and pure bliss – Satchidananda. The timeless, birthless, deathless, attributeless,  nameless, formless, selfless universal Self.

Even if we come to a stage that we are so tired with impermanence and all the unhappiness and suffering in life, and had lost all the faith on all the things so called “family”, “friendships”, “education”, “community”, “relationships”, “religion”, “belief”, “faith”, “ancient teachings”, “culture”, “myths”, “fairy tales”, “science”, “black magic”, “dharma”, “meditation”, “enlightenment”, “the Truth”, or “God”, and stop searching for anything, feeling so meaningless and exhausted, don’t want to believe in anything at all, and don’t care about what is going to happen to ourselves and the entire world anymore, we will always know that this selfless universal Self has never abandon us, never leave us, never condemn us, never judge us, never give up on us and never expecting anything from us. It's within and without. Without it, none exist even if all kinds of names and forms are selfless and impermanent.

It is forever here with us, being absolutely accepting us, accommodating us, and supporting us. It is our one and only greatest teacher and companion when the mind is still under the veil of ignorance, because all the other teachers and everything else (both living beings and non-living beings) that the mind perceives in this life existence is also a selfless impermanent limited and conditional manifestation of the selfless universal Self. There's no teacher or companion upon the vanished of the veil of ignorance. There is no separation between the selfless universal Self  (the one and only teacher and companion) and this selfless perceptive cognitive intellectual thinking mind with the selfless limited conditional physical body (the mind under the veil of ignorance), and everything else (all form of sentient living beings and non-sentient beings and objects).

'I' am that 'I' am. 'I' am not this, 'I' am not that. 'I' am everything. Everything is 'I'. That 'I' is the selfless identity-less Self. No name, no form, no shape, no colour, no sound, no smell, no taste, no sensation, no feeling, no thought, no good, no bad, no past, no future, no cause, no effect, no likes, no dislikes, no craving, no aversion, no attachment, no detachment, no purity, no impurity, no birth, no death, no beginning, no ending, no ignorance, no wisdom, no fear, no worry, no realization, no enlightenment, no happiness, no unhappiness, no suffering, no end of suffering. Emptiness is form. Form is emptiness. The Self is everything. Everything is the Self.

Free, unlimited, unconditional, eternal, content, peaceful, silence.

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.

When this selfless mind stops identifying with anything that is impermanent, and stop looking at other people’s good and bad, what other people do and don’t do, how other people act and react, and stop all the judging, comparing, competing, criticizing and expecting towards other people and this mind itself, there is peace immediately. No fear, worry, irritation, frustration, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, arrogance, low self-esteem, aggression, depression, dissatisfaction, disappointment, grief, sorrow and unhappiness. No more looking for something to fill up the “emptiness” in us or to get rid of something "undesirable", because the nature of all and everything are full, whole and content.

Because at the end, nothing really matters. The world will still be what it is. Everything will still be what it is. Everyone will still be what they are, either happy or unhappy, content or discontent, attaching or letting go. All are selfless and impermanent. If we want to change “the world”, we just need to change “ourselves”. It is our own perception of the mind that is moulding the world that we are having now. If this mind is not there, the world doesn’t exist for this mind that is not there. There is no world when there is no mind. The world is a projection of the selfless mind under its selfless function projected onto the selfless projector screen of the selfless reflective Self - the selfless universal consciousness. It is because of the selfless function of this mind and the senses, there is perception of pain, pleasure, comfort, discomfort, happy and unhappy, enjoyment and suffering. If this mind doesn’t know this, it will be in restlessness, unhappiness and suffering, full of fear, worry, craving, aversion, longing, clinging, irritation, frustration, anger, hatred, offensiveness, defensiveness, dissatisfaction and disappointment. None can control anything out there that is governed by the nature's law of cause and effect, but this mind can have self-control over itself, to discipline, purify and quiet itself, to realize selflessness, transcending the selfless impermanent changes that is not in the control of anyone or anything.

The only existence is the present moment now from moment to moment where the selfless intentionless reflective awareness is. The past and the future doesn’t exist in this present moment now. We can only explain that now is the future for the past, and now is the past for the future. But the only existence is the present moment. Time, or past/present/future, or births and deaths, or existence and non-existence, is only existing in the form of a false impression deriving from the ceaseless impermanent changes and motions or movements. If there is no manifestation of selfless impermanent names and forms that give rise of ceaseless selfless impermanent changes, motions or movements in the vast space of the universe, it's timeless.

By knowing this, this mind is sharing this knowledge or understanding with others through giving yoga classes and giving dharma talk without the limitation of time and space. Anywhere and anytime this awareness is not separated from yoga and dharma. Even when it seems like there's no actions being performed, yoga and dharma is there all the time for anyone that is in need of yoga and dharma. Life is not separated from yoga and dharma. The entire selfless impermanent life existence is yoga and dharma. It is not something that we do, or believe, or practice, it is what life is, selflessly reflecting the truth of everything as it is, which is selflessness and impermanence.

This mind is learning unceasingly while teaching. There's neither gain nor loss in the action of sharing or teaching. There is no gain and no loss. The path is no more just a path for this mind to walk on, but it is already one with this mind and not separated from this mind. This mind is no longer doing the practice, but it is the practice and the teachings itself.

When this mind “dedicated” itself to yoga and dharma, it is surrendering to the selfless Self, surrendering to all and everything, because all and everything is not separated from yoga and dharma. Yoga and dharma is not separated from the selfless Self. When this mind is no longer separated from the Self, there is no more “dedication”. Because all are the selfless Self, all are yoga, all are dharma.

Stop looking for the differences in everything or finding distinction between everything. Look for the one sameness in everything. Stop finding faults or imperfection in everything. Look for the unchanging one same nature in everything behind all the selfless impermanent names and forms. There is no 'I' in all and everything. All are selfless. You will be free.

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.

About Meng Foong

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