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

Friday, September 20, 2013

Anything and anyone can teach us yoga, it doesn't necessarily have to be a person who called a 'yoga teacher'...

Yoga can be found in everywhere. It is not limited in yoga classes doing some yoga practice. It is in this present moment, when the mind is free from being conditioned by restlessness, impurities and suffering that derived from ignorance, egoism and attachment.

Everything and everyone, including the existence of this body and mind, is a Dharma teacher, exists to teach and guide this mind towards liberation. Anything and anyone also can make the mind sees, or realizes the ignorance in itself, and allowing the mind to contemplate upon the truth.

It doesn't necessarily have to be a human being, or a person who called a 'yoga teacher', who is teaching 'yoga' in 'yoga classes' that can or will teach and guide us towards liberation.

Peace and compassion is not in the yoga practice, but it is the nature of everything. It's always there, never increase nor decrease, no matter we realize this nature of everything, or not. It is not contaminated by the good and bad qualities that one possessed through the body and mind. It is not contaminated by the actions and inactions done by this body and mind.

Yoga practice if being practiced with correct understanding and attitude will help us to realize the truth, but just by doing some yoga practice in yoga classes doesn't guarantee us the realization of peace and compassion. Regular yoga practice might bring some visible physical and mental benefits to our body and mind. The body will be healthier, and the mind will feel calmer and happier. But these are just part of the by-products or side-effects of the yoga practice that is conditioned by impermanence, where they arise and pass away in the body and mind being subject to impermanent changes.

The attainment of good condition of the physical body and calmness of the mind through the yoga practice, is not the end of our yoga practice. Although there's nothing wrong with seeing this as the goal of our yoga practice.

It is going beyond the identification with the good and bad condition of the physical body, and all states of the mind, and the realization of the truth via self-inquiry and meditation under the calm and pure mind, as well as the elimination of ignorance and egoism that allows us to realize the nature of everything, which is impermanence and selflessness, that unveiled unconditional peace and compassion.

It is being free from attachment towards the limited thinking and beliefs in the egoistic mind that are conditioned by the likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, desires of craving and aversion from the assertive ego, and be free from being conditioned or determined by the impermanent condition and abilities/disabilities of the physical body and the thinking mind, that allows us (what the mind thinks is who 'I' am, an individual being that doesn't really exist, but it sort of exists under the veil of ignorance and egoism) to be free from being conditioned by dualities, qualities of names and forms, separateness and discrimination, dissatisfaction and disappointment, fear and worry, pride and arrogance, frustration and irritation, anger and hatred, and all sorts of anxieties, doubts, painful sorrows, restlessness and suffering.

Yoga practice has some elements of Hinduism, but it is not a religious practice. It is not some religious ideas and commandments that we have to abide to, or else we will be judged as 'bad' yogis or 'bad' beings, and will be punished and/or condemned to 'hell'.

Yoga teachers are not here to convert anyone to believe in any religious beliefs, nor force anyone to be practicing yoga in certain ways that we think they should be practicing, nor trying to control or change other beings to behave the way that we think they should behave.

It is not that if we do not practice yoga correctly, or by stop practicing yoga will make us a 'bad' yogi, and we will be punished accordingly for not being a 'good' yogi.

It is up to us, whether to take up the practice seriously, or not. It is up to us, whether to let go of egoism and attachment, or not. It is up to us, whether to realize the truth and be free, or not.

There is no judgment, comparison or expectation, throughout the journey, about whether we are good 'yogis', or not.

No one can force, control or change another being to be practicing yoga according to what it 'supposed' to be, or to make another one to be free from ignorance and egoism.

It is up to us, whether we want to be free from ignorance and egoism, or not.

It is our own free will and effort to practice, to discipline and purify our mind, to let go of attachment, to remove ignorance and egoism, to be free.

No one can remove or take away ignorance and egoism from anybody, but oneself.

No one can give liberation to anybody, but oneself.

If we (the thinking faculty) are free from ignorance and egoism, we will be peaceful, and be free from suffering that exists due to ignorance. We won't generate action and reaction that will hurt ourselves and others intentionally, if we are peaceful, being free from the influence of ignorance, egoism, impurities and suffering.

If we are not free from ignorance and egoism, we will be affected, be disturbed, be influenced and be determined by whatever the mind perceives through the senses, we are restless, not at peace. Without self-control, we might generate action and reaction that will hurt ourselves and others, being over-powered by disappointment, dissatisfaction, offensiveness, defensiveness, obsessiveness, hurt, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, fear and worry.

That's all.

This is real compassion. There's no judgment, comparison, expectation, discrimination, criticism, condemn, or punishment. We are able to allow everything and everyone to be what it is, and accept everything and everyone as it is, even though we cannot agree with them, or it is not how we would like them to be.

If we think we are better human beings than those whom we think and judge as 'bad' and 'evil', or we think we are good and compassionate beings who care for the world very much, while we are angry with those whom we think and judge as 'bad' and 'evil' for their 'bad' and 'evil' behaviors that inflict suffering onto other beings, and we criticize them, and condemn them to be punished accordingly so that they will suffer physically and mentally as what we think they deserve, then we are not any different from them. We are not really 'good' and 'compassionate' beings.

If we think, somehow we have better understanding of everything than some other people, and we live life 'correctly', 'morally' and 'healthily', we are being proud of ourselves for what we think we know and what we do and don't do, and we criticize others who are being different from us, we think they don't live life 'correctly','morally' or 'healthily', and we try to influence, convert, control or change them to be like us, then we are not any different from those whom we think they are being 'ignorant' for not living life 'correctly', 'morally' or 'healthily'.

We are the same like everyone else, being influenced and over-powered by ignorance and egoism, even though we try to be good, do good and not doing anything that we believe as bad and wrong, if we have any ill wills, or 'the sense of superiority' towards any other beings who is different from us, whom we dislike and disagree with, whom we think and judge as 'ignorant', 'bad' and 'evil'.

If we are not free from ignorance and egoism, that itself is already a great suffering in us. There is no need of any additional 'punishment' to be inflicted onto us physically or mentally to punish us, if we are not 'perfect', or not being a so called 'good' yogi, or 'good' human being.

The ultimate means of yoga is liberation from ignorance, or freedom from being conditioned by separateness, dualities, impermanent qualities of names and forms, conditions and limitations. If yoga and its practice will be conditioned and limited by worldly passionate egoistic thinking and beliefs, or be limited by certain human made rules and regulations, then it is not yoga anymore.

Though in yoga, there is this teaching about the four basic requisites and the essential observations for us to be qualified as a Sadhaka, or yoga practitioner, which are:

1.) Viveka (discrimination of the real and unreal),
2.) Vairagya (dispassion),
3.) Mumukshutva (intense yearning for liberation), and
4.) Shat-sampad (the six virtues)
a.) Sama - tranquility of the mind
b.) Dama - self-restraint or control of the senses
c.) Uparati - cessation or renunciation from worldly affairs and activities
d,) Titiksha - forbearance or the power of endurance
e.) Sraddha - faith in God (for those who believe in 'God existence'), or the universal consciousness (for those who disbelieve in 'God existence'), Scripture and Self (the nature of everything)
f.) Samadhana - concentration or one-pointedness of mind,

where all these requisites and observations have nothing to do with the selfless impermanent physical conditions and abilities/disabilities to perform the yoga asana exercises, or the impermanent states, abilities/limitations of the mind, or how many Sanskrit words that we know, or how many yoga courses that we have attended, or how many 'recognized certifications' that we have attained and possessed, or whether we can stand on our head and balance on our hands and feet perfectly, or whether we are Hindus, or not.

If we ever hear this, "To be a good 'yogi' or 'yoga teacher', one needs to participate in some sort of yoga courses for how many hours, able to be physically strong and flexible enough to do some yoga asana positions with the perfect 'correct' body alignment, able to do headstand or hand and leg balancing poses perfectly, able to chant a few chantings and prayers with perfect pronunciation and tone, and attain some sort of qualifications and certifications that are recognized by such and such international yoga alliance, and we need to have certain 'professional' yoga teacher or yogi image, behavior and appearance, and so on..." then take it as a good opportunity for us to reflect, and to find out what is the truth of all these names and forms.

When we hear this, "You look like a yogi," or "You don't look like a yogi," or "As a yogi, you should look like this or behave that," we allow other people to think, believe and express in their own way, to act and react towards what they perceive according to what they know, but we know that yoga is beyond all kinds of qualities of names and forms.

There might be some people react strongly when they read this. Again, take it as an opportunity to reflect and find out 'who' is reacting, and why?

Om shanti.

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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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