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

Saturday, March 27, 2010

About Vichara - Self-inquiry

Self-inquiry is the main study in the path of Yoga. All the other yoga practices are there to help us in the inquiry towards the Self. And this self-inquiry will lead us to self-realization. Self-realization is knowing "what is (I)", of what the mind thinks, believes and identifies as 'I'. It can only be realized through a calm mind and pure intellect. By knowing the Self, all the mental blockage dissolved. The mind will be full, content and at peace. It removes all the dissatisfaction, incompleteness, disturbs, hurts, painful sorrow, fear and restlessness.

And thus all the yoga practices are there to purify the mind and the intellect to render the mind and the intellect pure and fit for self-realization. While all the mental qualities that the mind needs to develop is the fuel and light that keep it going and will lead towards the right direction of self-realization.

There are many methods in the pursue of self-inquiry. But without a pure mind and tranquility, all the methods will be meaningless.

The basic practice is to purify the thinking mind. Remove the impurities, such like anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, pride and arrogance, judgment, comparison, competition and expectation. Eliminate the ego, the idea of 'I'. Develop non-identification with the body and mind. Letting go of the past and the future. Practice concentration and be at the present moment. Have control over the thoughts, action and speech. Letting go of all the doubts, fear and worry.

Develop strong faith, non-attachment, dispassion and right discrimination. Develop patience, forbearance, perseverance, determination, courage, cheerfulness, positive thinking, humility, simplicity, gratitude, contentment, acceptance, adjustment, accommodation, forgiveness, loving kindness, selflessness, compassion and wisdom. Renounce from the fruit of actions.

Abstain from gossiping, slandering, mocking, back-biting, meaningless conversation, telling lies, empty promises, lustful activities and immoral activities. Cultivate equality, sameness, oneness, non-separateness, non-duality.

Detach from the thoughts, feelings and sensations. Detach from likes and dislikes. Detach from craving and aversion. Detach from what the mind sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches, senses, feels, imagines and thinks.

Practice asana and pranayama to purify and calming the modification of the mind. This is to render the body and the mind mentally fit enough to be prepared for further self-contemplation.

Slowly develop strong habit in meditation, contemplating upon the Truth of selflessness and impermanence. Engage in wholesome activities that will bring peace and harmony to oneself and other beings. Abstain from unwholesome activities that will bring disharmony and unpeacefulness for oneself and other beings.

Open our minds. Develop unlimited and unconditional compassion towards oneself and other beings.

Perform selfless service. Serve God (for those who believe in God) or serve the universe (for those who don't believe in God) and serve all indiscriminately without attaching towards the action and the fruit of action.

Eventually the mind will know how to go beyond the physical body and the modification of the mind. It will go beyond all the phenomena in the world. It will be undisturbed, unaffected, uninfluenced and undetermined by what is happening within and without the body. It will know that without this modification of the mind, the world doesn’t exist at all. Without this mind (the perception of life existence in the world), who is this body? Where is my family? Who is my friend? What do I like and don’t like? What do I want and don’t want? What is good and not good? What is happiness and unhappiness?

Everything sprung from this mind. Without the mind, nothing exists, nothing matters, nothing to be perceived.

All the above practices are to purify the mind by itself.

Once the mind is purified, everything will come into places naturally. We don’t have to go to anywhere to look for a teacher. The teacher is just right here within us, wherever we are and however we are. There is no use of reading many books, if not knowing the nameless, formless, eternal book of wisdom within us.

At the end, what is the purpose or reason for us to perform various types of yoga practices and wanting to attain self-realization? It is to acquire or unveil the wisdom. And why do we want to acquire wisdom? So that we will know the truth of this momentary existence, remove all the doubts, ignorance and discontentment in us. Why do we want to remove doubts, ignorance and discontentment? So that we will be at peace, and realize true and unconditional happiness. Why do we want to be at peace? It’s because we don’t want to have unhappiness and suffering. Why do we have unhappiness and suffering? It’s because we are ignorant, not knowing the truth, and hence, perceiving painful sorrow, hurts, doubts, fears and worries. And why are we not knowing the truth or are ignorant? It’s because wisdom is absent in the mind. And why is wisdom absent in the mind? It’s because of the veil of ignorance (egoism and impurities).

And So, everything that we do in the path of yoga is aiming at purifying the mind, remove all the impurities for it to unveil the wisdom within. Upon the presence of wisdom, all doubts, problems, hurts, painful sorrow, unhappiness and suffering will be solved, disappeared.

This wisdom has got nothing to do with what our body can do and cannot do, nor it has anything to do with how many books that we have read in the world. Because all the knowledge that we can get through reading books cannot guarantee us true happiness and peace of mind. It cannot remove ignorance (not knowing what is real and unreal), anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, discontentment, pride and arrogance, irritation, frustration, disappointment, unhappiness and suffering from us. But the knowledge that we get from reading books can act as a subject for us to contemplate whether it is true or not true. This can help us to purify the intellect to develop right discrimination of the real and unreal.

The wisdom that we all are having in us all the time removes all these afflictions and suffering. It teaches and allows the mind to know the truth of everything, and to accept the reality as it is, and to let go. Wisdom is not something that we keep in the mind but it is what and how we live in. We live in wisdom and wisdom is reflected in our everyday lives, and free the mind from all kinds of painful sorrow and unhappiness, fear and worry.

May all be endowed with all the qualities for the mind to move towards the state of oneness or non-separateness (attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness).

May all attain self-realization (unveiling the wisdom within) through self-inquiry – Vichara.

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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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