be free, be happy, be peaceful

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

Monday, October 19, 2020

Freedom of thinking, action, expression and speech?

Freedom in yoga is about the freedom of being free from ignorance, egoism, attachment, desire and impurities, or suffering. It's not so much about the worldly 'freedom of thinking, action, expression and speech'. But instead, the yoga practitioners constantly restricting one's thinking, action, expression and speech in order to conquer one's mind, to free the mind from ignorance, egoism, restlessness and impurities, or suffering.

For many people in the world, freedom is about the freedom of thinking, action, expression and speech, being free to think, act/react, express and say whatever they like, without any responsibility or consideration towards the consequences of one's action/reaction, or without consideration towards the possibility of many other people's different types of pleasant/unpleasant reaction towards one's particular thinking, belief, action, expression and speech. But, all actions will bring along the consequences of action, whether it's something that we like and agree with, or not.

In the world of egoistic minds functioning under the influence of ignorance and impurities, there will be expected or unexpected desirable/undesirable and kind/unkind reactions coming from different people of different backgrounds, with different thinking, belief, action/reaction or behavior reacting towards other people's different ways of thinking, action/reaction, expression and speech.

Regardless of whether one performs certain action out of 'good' intention, or not, it doesn't and cannot determine how other people should/shouldn't/would/wouldn't react or not react in certain way. One's intention is irrelevant to how other people would react towards one's action.

Expecting all minds are free from ignorance, that all are open-minded, wise and compassionate, that all will react towards everything only with openness, tolerance, peace and understanding, regardless of the different likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements based on the many different thinking, belief, social, religious and cultural backgrounds, that everyone can act/react/express/say whatever they like 'freely' and expect nobody should or will be offended and react ignorantly, even under intense disagreement, is mere ignorance. It doesn't mean that one should act/react/behave as one is even if it will hurt oneself and/or others, under the 'freedom of action', but most minds will act/react/behave ignorantly out of ignorance. Those who are free from ignorance have consideration and self-control over their action and reaction, but most minds are not free from ignorance and don't have consideration or self-control over their action and reaction.

In yoga, 'freedom of thinking, action, expression and speech' is there when one has the clarity and understanding to decide or choose what one wants to think, act/react, express and say, or not. Being able to decide/choose what to think, act/react, express and say, and what not to think, act/react, express and say, that would promote more peace and harmony in oneself and/or others while living in the world of ignorant impure egoistic minds, is the real freedom of thinking, action, expression and speech. It's not about being able to think, act/react, express and say anything and everything freely, even if knowing that it will most probably inflict reaction or consequence of painful sorrow/suffering to oneself and/or other beings. It's not about appropriateness and disappropriateness either. It's about knowing that most minds are functioning under the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities, and hence, most people are not free from ignorant action/reaction/behavior. The minds that know this, will not waste any energy into actions/reactions that will deliberately lead to peacelessness and disharmony in oneself and/or in the world of ignorance.
Just like we can choose to keep our hands away from contacting with fire directly as much as possible because we don't want to suffer injury or pain from being burnt by fire. It doesn't mean that we have fear towards injury/pain, or have aversion towards being burnt by fire. We just don't need to perform ignorant action that will cause unnecessary pain or suffering to the body and mind.
It doesn't mean that we are lack of freedom of action when we choose not to perform certain action that will cause injury or pain to oneself and/or others, thinking and believing that 'freedom of action' means, "I want to be able to do everything and whatever I want to do, even if I know it will hurt myself and/or others, such as be able to put my hands into the fire for as long as I want and I expect there's no consequence of getting injury or pain of being burnt." That's ignorance, not freedom at all.
It's everyone's freedom whether they want to be free from ignorance, or not.

The world of exploitation

People who have no choice but are living under great desperation to be working to earn an income for making a living, and hence, reluctantly accepting underpaid job(s), where just working for one job for certain reasonable hours per day/week/month is no longer sufficient to survive or support the high cost of living, but they need to work longer hours or take up more than one job at one time, will eventually suffer from certain degree of physical/mental/emotional breakdown as their over-all physical and mental well-being and/or their relationship with their family are under threat or being compromised because they have to be spending all their time and energy into the underpaid work(s) compromising the essential rest time or free time for something else other than 'work' to be looking after their physical/mental health condition, and they don't have the 'energy' and 'attention' left for their relationship and/or family, and above all, being unable to live ‘a balanced life’ that is more than just being ‘a slave of the world of exploitation’ of working hard physically/mentally for their entire life existence just barely earn enough to feed themselves and/or their family, but have no time, no energy and no money left for anything else, until one's body and mind breakdown, or until one dies.

There’s nothing wrong with the statement of ‘all beings has to be performing action for maintaining one’s life existence until one dies’ and ‘be grateful and contented with having enough food and basic shelter for survival especially making a living through honest effort within one’s capability’, as that is part of life existence, but, ‘being exploited by greedy/stingy people exploiting other people to do underpaid work for them under the world of exploitation/desperation’ is another form of ‘slavery’, which is not what ‘life’ is about.

Friday, October 16, 2020

The bondage chain of thought, attachment, desire, action and consequence of action

A thought arise.

Followed by attachment.

Desire of craving or aversion arise towards the thought.

Gratification of the desire of craving or aversion gives rise to action and consequence of action.

Forming the bondage chain of cause and effect, birth and death.

A thought arise.

Stand as a witness.

Witnessing thought after thought, arising and passing away.

Without attachment or grasping/clinging onto the thought (modification of the mind).

Free from desire of craving or aversion.

Transcending the bondage chain of action and consequence of action, cause and effect, birth and death.

This is the open teaching of Yoga and Buddhism.

No shortcut.

No supernatural power.

No fairy tale.

No mystical story.

Just keep purifying, cleaning, clearing, silencing, annihilating the modification of the mind, the idea of 'I'.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Compassion is free from exploitation of sympathy and empathy

People might be aware of there are many kinds of exploitation existing in the world, but not everyone are aware of the existence of the exploitation of sympathy and empathy. Even when people hear that, people would be offended and deny such saying, thinking that the world need more sympathy and empathy. That's their freedom of thinking.

The world do need more compassion that is nothing to do with sympathy and empathy.

In the world of capitalism and consumerism, except for the tiny fraction of the super rich community who would just spend on anything for nothing just because they can, the majority of the low income people would need to be calculative and careful on spending where the cost of living will only get higher and higher. Many people who have low or very low income want to spend as little as possible on the things/products/labour/work/services/resources and etc that they want to get, other than getting the essential things for survival, as that is what they can afford with their underpaid income barely enough for short term survival. There are also some people who manage to make reasonable higher income but they want to spend as little as possible on certain things that they want but are less priority to them, so that they can spend more on some other things that are more priority to them, and they have some 'spending power' to buy things/property with the money that they don't really have but 'borrowed' from bank loan or credit, and hence, this 'normal' human spending behavior is indeed fueling/empowering the loop of exploitation. 

Out of desperation for survival and struggling to make a living, as well as there might be many desires/ambitions waiting to be fulfilled/gratified, everyone is being exploited while working for underpaid income whether wittingly or unwittingly, and everyone is also exploiting others when spending their underpaid income coming from being exploited, while some people exploiting others when spending their sufficient income in order to use 'the saved money from exploiting others' on some other priorities.

"I know you are desperate for income. I can help you by offering you a job. But I only want to pay you this little in return for your labour and service. If you don't want, many other people will want it."

"Oh! I'll take it. A little of income is better than no income at all. I will be grateful for this job. Thank you very much."

This is the beginning of exploitation and how exploitation is being empowered and supported, but out of desperation for getting income for survival or to fulfill their desire for something, many people would think and believe that is what gratefulness and thankfulness is about, and unwittingly supporting and encouraging exploitation to be happening.

Those who are free from ignorance, egoism and desires, who can withstand the worst condition, they do not 'support' or 'encourage' such exploitation to be happening under any circumstances.

In the beginning of the exploitation of underpaid work, labour and service, many people are unwittingly allowing themselves being exploited out of desperation for survival and making a living for themselves or to provide financial support for their family, and after some time, people started to get use to it, and don't see it as an exploitation anymore, but, they would think and believe that's the normal payment they should be getting in return for their commitment, time, energy, effort, attention, knowledge and skill that they put into those work, labour or service, and set it as a 'payment guideline' for doing some other work/labour/service, and would accept even lower payment for doing something that they think is requiring less commitment, time, effort, energy, attention, knowledge and skill by comparing with those work that they have been doing which is underpaid due to the exploitation in the very beginning.

Most people, especially those who are living under certain challenging condition and going through certain difficulty in life, would not like to be exploited of any kind, and some might even actively participating in protest and activism to go against exploitation of any kind in the world, and yet, whether wittingly or unwittingly, people are constantly exploiting each other.

One of the common exploitation that people aren't aware of, is the exploitation of sympathy and empathy, or taking advantage of other people's sympathy and empathy to achieve something that they want. Whether people are aware or unaware, they themselves are exploiting other people's sympathy and empathy, or their sympathy and empathy are being exploited by others.

Many people who would like to think and believe that they are compassionate beings and they want to be compassionate towards other people's suffering and difficulty, would misinterpret egoistic sympathy and empathy as compassion, and whether intentionally or unintentionally, they themselves are constantly 'encouraging' and 'supporting' the exploitation of sympathy and empathy to be happening/existing, which is not what compassion is about, but it's merely part of the by-products of ignorance.

Egoistic sympathy and empathy could easily be exploited, while compassion is void of exploitation of any kind.

For example, many people are being conditioned to think and believe that anyone who have been or is going through 'certain difficult condition, situation or experience', should be naturally 'deserved' to be receiving sympathy and empathy from other people. Whether it's oneself who has been or is going through certain challenging difficulty, and one believes oneself 'deserves' to be receiving sympathy and empathy from others, or it's other people who have been or are going through some challenging difficulty, and one expects oneself and some others should be showing sympathy and empathy towards those people who 'deserve' to be receiving sympathy and empathy from others. There's nothing wrong with that, as that is what most people think and believe that's how everyone should think and believe, act and react, or behave. Or else, it's so wrong, so terrible, so selfish, so harsh, and 'lack of compassion', if people don't think and believe, act and react, or behave like that.

For the minds that are free from ignorance, that isn't just not what compassion is about, but it's actually empowering ignorance and egoism. Being compassionate is free from such thinking, belief, actions and reactions that empower ignorance and egoism.

Those who practice yoga or Buddhism, who are truly wise and compassionate, who are aware of ignorance and the by-products of ignorance, would be free from exploiting other people's sympathy and empathy under any circumstances, as well as do not get involve with any actions or affairs that are directly or indirectly encouraging and supporting such exploitation, whether it's exploitation from others towards oneself, or from some others towards other people.

Compassion is nothing to do with the idea of who and what 'deserve' or 'doesn't deserve' sympathy and empathy.

One can be unconditionally kind towards others in different ways within one's ability and capacity without the idea of 'this (being or happening) deserves kindness' or 'this (being or happening) deserves special reaction/treatment differently than some others'.

One allows others whether to show or don't show sympathy and empathy towards oneself and/or others, without the idea/intention/expectation of 'I and/or others deserve sympathy and empathy from other people'.

One can receive (or reject) certain voluntary help/assistance from others without expecting 'deserving' help/assistance under any circumstances.

It's common that some people like to use the excuse of "I have a difficult life", "I am going through many hardships", "I am a single parent", or "I have to look after my old and sick parent(s)" and so on to receive sympathy and empathy from others with the intention/expectation to get certain 'special compassionate reaction/treatment', or to get something that they want but they can't afford, or to achieve something that they want to achieve but they don't have enough ability/capacity to achieve.

The minds that are free from ignorance, egoism and desires of craving and aversion don't have the idea/intention/expectation of "I and my difficult condition deserve to receive sympathy and empathy, and getting certain 'special compassionate reaction/treatment" from others, even under great difficulty. If they really need to get help, they would try to get it, but it's free from the idea of "I and my difficult condition deserve sympathy/empathy and help". They don't have the desire to get 'something that they want but they can't afford' under any circumstances, or to achieve something that they don't have the ability/capacity to achieve, while allowing others to be sympathetic/empathetic, or not, to show kindness and provide help out of their own freewill, or not.

Exploitation of sympathy and empathy exists when people starting to use what they think and believe as less fortunate/underprivileged condition or challenging difficult situation to gain sympathy and empathy from others, in order to gratify their desires of craving and aversion, to help them to make changes for better in life, to get out of the difficult condition that they don't like, or to do/achieve something that they want to do/achieve that they can't afford or don't have the ability/capacity for doing/achieving it. If people really want to get out from such condition and situation, and want to do/achieve something that they can't afford to do/achieve under those circumstances, they can work on expanding their ability/capacity until they acquire the ability/capacity to do/achieve what they want to do/achieve through their own effort/ability/capacity, without exploiting other people's sympathy and empathy.

To stop exploitation in the world, it's not just that one doesn't exploit anyone with any kind of exploitation, but one must also stay away from being exploited by anyone for any kind of exploitation, to stop 'encouraging' and 'supporting' exploitation of any kind to be happening/existing. Unfortunately, exploitation will continue to be existing as most people can't live without supporting and being supported by the corrupted system of the world of capitalism and consumerism.

It's not about people should be contented and grateful for the exploited underpaid income that provides enough food and shelter, and living a life of 'slavery' spending all energy and effort just to make enough income for survival, to eat, sleep, work and repeat, until they die, and thus, allowing and supporting exploitation to be happening.

It's neither about people are being arrogant and discontented for being too greedy/ambitious for getting higher rewards/payment/income to have a better quality of life, not just living a life of 'slavery', everyday eat, sleep, work and repeat, and hence, people don't want to work for underpaid work, or thinking oneself should 'deserve' a higher pay.

It's definitely not about people are being selfless, desireless and compassionate, and should just work and give even without receiving any payment, not to say, they should be grateful for the 'blessing' of a little bit of payment/income, and hence, 'supporting' and 'encouraging' exploitation to be happening.

Spouses or family members doing something for each other out of love without involving 'payment/income' or 'rewards', is a complete different situation from somebody or an organization/company doing a business making a lot of profits for the owner and/or the board of share holders, but exploiting other people to work for them with the cheapest wage as much as possible, so that they can have a higher margin for profits. Even in a relationship or family, exploitation shouldn't be happening, and yet, people are taking many things for granted, whether people are aware or unaware of it.

Allowing others to exploit or take advantage of oneself and/or others is nothing to do with compassion, and it doesn't remove ignorance and the consequences of ignorance from oneself and/or others. Just as performing many offering, charity, prayers and sacrifices also doesn't remove ignorance and the consequences of ignorance from oneself and/or others.

Just as compassion is nothing to do with giving people whatever they like and desire in order to make them feel happy and satisfied, or feel less unhappy or less suffering.

If people feel under great desperation for money to feed themselves and/or their family and don't mind being exploited working with underpaid income, thinking that having a little bit of income is better than having no income and go hungry or die, that's their freedom. Out of desperation or greed, some people would lie, steal, commit crimes or hurt other people to earn a living, or to get what they desire, that's their freedom. Just as people would give in to corruption out of desperation, by receiving bribe or giving bribe to achieve what they want to achieve, to make their life easier or less hard, that's their freedom.

It's neither right nor wrong. It's just different thinking, understanding, approach, choice and action, that leads to different consequences of action.

Yoga practitioners contemplate on this and free the mind from ignorance.

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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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