Some people are appreciative and grateful for the opportunity to be learning about the teachings of yoga in the yoga class, where they can reflect and implement the yoga teachings that they learned into their physical yoga practice and daily life, to free the mind from ignorance, egoism and impurities - the root cause of restlessness and suffering.
While some people get very irritated and disturbed upon coming in contact with the teachings of yoga in the yoga class, where they only want to do some physical yoga practice that give them some momentary calmness, good feelings and pleasant sensations, as well as some momentary relief from certain physical/mental/emotional tension. Out of their own particular reasons, they are not interested to be learning any teachings or practice about eradicating ignorance, egoism, and impurities, the root cause of tension, unhappiness, hurts, disturbs, violence, anger, restlessness and suffering. That's their freedom.
In the same yoga class, some will feel calmed and relaxed as they let go
of attachment, desire of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and
expectation, while some are generating more tension as they are
over-powered by strong attachment, desire of craving and aversion,
judgment, comparison and expectation. It’s nothing to do with the yoga class being
in certain way, or how the teacher conducts the class. It's the same in daily life.
There’s nothing wrong with people don’t like yoga classes that teach
about the teachings of yoga. It's everyone's freedom for what they want and don't want to learn and practice, as well as agreeing or disagreeing with anything. There are many yoga classes in the world that don't mention about the teachings of yoga.
There’s nothing wrong also with yoga teachers who teach about the teachings of yoga in the yoga class that is about yoga.
It’s like people want to eat Nasi Lemak, and they come to a Nasi Lemak restaurant ordered and paid for a plate of Nasi Lemak, but then they are disappointed and angry when the Nasi Lemak is not what they expect it to be. They didn’t like coconut milk, or pandanus, or chillies, or cucumbers, or peanuts, or onions, or anchovies, or egg, or rice, or Nasi Lemak as it is. May it be due to allergic reason, or taste-wise, or the type of ‘Nasi Lemak’ that they had eaten before is nothing to do with Nasi lemak as it is. Out of ignorance, some even demand a refund, and then give ‘bad review’ to this restaurant for serving and selling Nasi Lemak that is not what they expect it to be. Some even want to stop the restaurant from serving or selling Nasi Lemak as it is to other people who want to eat Nasi Lemak as it is. It’s okay if one day nobody wants to eat Nasi Lemak as it is, and nobody wants to prepare, cook or serve Nasi Lemak as it is.
However, even if people have been reading a lot of books about yoga and hearing a lot of teachings from somebody, accumulating lots of information or knowledge about yoga, it doesn’t guarantee that the mind is free from ignorance and suffering, as all these accumulated information and knowledge doesn’t remove the ignorance or egoism in the mind, but only serve the purpose for the mind to reflect upon, to inquire towards the truth of everything under a purified intellect and calmed mind, to implement the teachings into the physical yoga practice and daily life, eradicating the ego and egoism, and attaining self-realization through direct experience, which will free the mind from ignorance and suffering.
Getting all kinds of physical and mental health and fitness benefits from performing the physical yoga practice without implementing the teachings of eliminating the ego and egoism, it doesn’t lead the mind towards liberation from ignorance and suffering. It’s like owning and sitting in a very good looking expensive car that oneself feels proud of and attracting other people’s attention and admiration, but the car has no functional engine and steering wheel as well as the fuel that allow oneself to drive the car to reach any destination.
And hence, the teachings and the practice cannot be separated. It’s like the handle and the blade of a knife. Both are equally important for the knife to be functioning. The person who uses the knife also needs to be equipped with the basic common sense of how to use the knife efficiently and safely. The knife itself has no intention to be good or bad, useful or useless. It's not the responsibility of the knife whether people use it wisely or ignorantly.
More importantly, one doesn't need to practice any teachings or practice that the mind dislike and disagree with, but one shouldn't be disturbed by the teachings or practice of yoga that one doesn't like or disagree with. Regardless of agreement or disagreement towards the teachings of yoga, the students of yoga shouldn't blind-believing, blind-following, blind-practicing or blind-propagating, but to inquire towards the truth of everything, including all the teachings of yoga, to attain direct experience and realization.
This is indeed practical in life, as we all will come in contact with
something that our minds don’t like and don’t agree with, from time to
time. The yoga practice is about non-attachment, non-craving,
non-aversion, non-judgment and non-expectation in daily life that allows all the names and forms that our
minds like and dislike, agree and disagree with, to be what they are, to
be there as they are, without being determined or disturbed by names
and forms that our minds don’t like and don’t agree with under the
influence of our particular worldly
social/cultural/religious/spiritual/educational thinking, belief, values
Teaching the yoga students about yoga or performing some yoga practice without the teachings of yoga, is like giving a cup of ‘bitter-gourd water’ to the yoga students without the bitter-gourd juice, and tell them, “I am giving you bitter-gourd water to taste. This is bitter-gourd water, even though I deliberately omit the bitter-gourd juice as I’m afraid you might not like the taste of bitter-gourd juice.” There are quite some people don’t like the taste of bitter-gourd, and that’s their freedom. Just by drinking the water without the bitter-gourd juice is good also. Although the bitter-gourd juice provides certain elements that the water doesn't have. But when people come to us and are asking for bitter-gourd water because they know they can get bitter-gourd water from us, we give them bitter-gourd water with the bitter-gourd juice, and not giving them ‘bitter-gourd water’ without the bitter-gourd juice, or replacing the bitter-gourd juice with sweet lime juice or orange juice pretending to be ‘bitter-gourd water made with bitter-gourd juice’, and let them decide whether they want to drink the bitter-gourd water, or not, even if they might not like the taste of bitter-gourd in the beginning, but they might get use to it after some time and see the goodness of it, or maybe not. Some even have strong averse reaction towards it, and never want to try it again. That’s their freedom.
If people only want water, they are not interested in bitter-gourd juice, they can get water easily in many other places. As this place is particularly about supplying bitter-gourd water.
Some suggest that adding some sugar or other sweet juice in it, so that it’s more acceptable to most people’s taste, but, it won’t be the same as pure bitter-gourd water. It’s because the people only like the additional sweetness from the sugar and not liking the bitter-gourd taste itself, and no matter how long they have been liking to drink bitter-gourd water with added sugar, but once we stop adding sugar, they wouldn’t want to drink it anymore.
Just like many yoga teachers modify the yoga class and/or the yoga practice to gratify people’s desire of craving and aversion to attract people’s interest in doing some form of the yoga practice, as well as emphasizing on the usage of ‘non-offensive suggestive words’ that are more pleasing to the ego, that doesn’t irritate the ego so much, it doesn’t really help them to be free from ignorance and egoism, but it empowers ignorance and egoism of the people. And that’s their freedom as well.
The 'words', or the 'tones', or the 'volumes' have no quality of 'offensive' or 'non-offensive'. It's the degree of sensitivity coming from the minds that project 'offensive' or 'non-offensive' onto the different words, tones and volumes. Without teaching the minds how to be free from the ego, egoism and duality, but instead, trying to please, protect and pamper the ego of the minds, to avoid anything that might appear to be 'offensive' to the ego, it doesn't help to eradicate the ego, but empower it.
The adjustment, adaptation and accommodation in the teachings of yoga, is not about to make adjustment in the names and forms to adapt and accommodate the prideful egoistic mind, but it's the egoistic mind needs to make the adjustment to adapt and accommodate all the mind perception of names and forms being what they are, as they are.
If the prideful egoistic minds refuse to let go of the ego even before learning the physical yoga practice, and have strong aversion towards the teachings of yoga, and only want to do the physical yoga practice, it's their freedom, even if they are not really practicing yoga. Only the minds that are willing to let go of the ego, the practice of yoga begins as it is, even without any intention or expectation.
When we modify the yoga practice or the yoga class to accommodate the desire of craving and aversion of the egoistic minds, people only like yoga being the way that they desire, they don’t really like yoga as it is. No matter how long people have been enjoying doing yoga that is being modified to the way that they desire, but then once they are being asked to practice yoga as it is, they wouldn’t want to practice yoga anymore. Some people have been practicing yoga for many years and even possessed many yoga teachers certifications, but they complaint about many things that they think it’s the cause of their unhappiness, disturbs, hurts, disappointment and suffering.
In the end, yoga is about Silence. Many minds want to be in silence, but most minds are too restless to be in silence. Many people complaint that their minds can’t concentrate or be quiet, which they believe is due to external ‘disturbance’ and ‘distraction’.
What hinders the mind to be silent, is restlessness, or violent thought currents, or ‘disturbance’ and ‘distraction’ arising from within the mind due to ignorance and egoism. The mind couldn’t be quiet, even if the surrounding environment is completely quiet. And hence, all the teachings are there to help the minds to be free from restlessness, to quiet the ever-restless thought currents, or to annihilate ‘disturbance’ or ‘distraction’ from within the mind.
Out of ignorance, many people misunderstand about annihilating ‘disturbance’ or ‘distraction’ means avoiding names and forms that they think is ‘disturbing’ or ‘distracting’ the mind. The ‘disturbance’ and ‘distraction’ in the mind is deriving from the mind itself, constantly and autonomously reacting towards the mind perception of names and forms through the senses, due to egoism of attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation. It’s not because of the names and forms, or the experiences, or the surrounding environment that the mind perceives through the senses being ‘disturbing’ or ‘distracting’.
By avoiding coming in contact with certain names and forms or environment that the mind thinks is being ‘disturbing’ or ‘distracting’ might induce momentary conditional calmness/quietness or ‘silence’ to the mind, but, that is conditional and impermanent. It’s not the unconditional silence that is always there being undetermined by all the impermanent names and forms arising and passing away, which is there as it is, upon the mind is free from restlessness deriving from ignorance and egoism of attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation.
And hence, out of compassion, the teacher guides the students in the way that allows them to develop the correct understanding and be equipped with the essential practice that can help to free their minds from ignorance and egoism through their own will, effort, discipline, inquiry, direct experience and realization. Whether the students will be successfully developing the correct understanding, or make use of the essential practice, or be free from ignorance and egoism, or not, it’s not the teacher’s responsibility.
If the students are never being given the opportunity to come in contact with the teachings, to reflect upon the teachings, to try to practice the teachings, regardless of whether they will be successful, or not, as the teachers decided that they don’t want to teach about the teachings of yoga to all or some of the students selectively, expecting that all the students will eventually be free from ignorance, egoism, restlessness and suffering at their own cause just by participating in ‘silent yoga practice’ in the yoga class without the need of expounding any teachings for them to reflect upon, to implement into their yoga practice and daily life, then it’s the responsibility of the teachers for not teaching yoga with the teachings to the students that allow them to at least have the opportunity to decide whether they want to practice the teachings of yoga as it is, or not.
After the teachers have done their best to deliver the teachings and practice to the students, then it's the responsibility of the students themselves whether to practice the teachings and practice, or not, and whether they will be free from ignorance and suffering, or not. Some yoga enthusiasts have been 'loving' yoga and 'practicing' yoga for many years, but they are still under the influence of ignorance and egoism very much, and that's their own responsibility. Everyone takes their own pace to evolve. It's neither good nor bad, neither right nor wrong. As people can be 'practicing' and 'teaching' yoga for their entire life under certain 'Guru' or 'lineage' with the intense yearning to be free from ignorance and suffering, but not everyone attains 'the highest goal', but it's okay. More importantly, it's the non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment, non-comparison and non-expectation towards the effort and the fruit of the effort that allows the mind to have peace, regardless of how much challenges, obstacles, difficulties or limitations arise on the path, while being aware of the presence of ignorance and suffering in itself, or in the world. That is already a 'success' in the yoga practice.
While some people never practice yoga might be free from ignorance and suffering, as they know what is non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment, non-comparison and non-expectation.
There are very few minds are at higher level of consciousness where they don’t need to practice anything or let go anything, as they are already free from ignorance and egoism, restlessness and suffering. They don’t need to attend yoga classes to learn or practice anything. These people don’t need to practice yoga or meditation, at all, and they are wise, compassionate and peaceful unconditionally. But, most minds are under the influence of ignorance and egoism, and they are in need of the help of the teachings to be reflecting upon, to implement into the yoga practice and daily life, to find out what is going on in their minds, to eradicate egoism and impurities, which will free the mind from restlessness, that allows the mind to know Thyself, to see the truth of names and forms as it is.
Those who are free from restlessness and suffering, they don’t need to learn, understand or practice the teachings of yoga. Those who are not free from restlessness and suffering, but they are not interested to be free from restlessness and suffering, that’s their freedom. While those who want to be free from restlessness and suffering, who are interested to learn and practice yoga to transcend restlessness and suffering, they need to be able to surrender the ego, pride and arrogance, to be humble, patient and determine to learn, study, inquire and practice the teachings of yoga by implementing into the yoga practice and daily life.
After attended classes humbly receiving or learning the teachings of yoga to be reflecting upon, even repeatedly hearing the same teachings over and over again, until the basic foundation is firmly built, to be implementing into the yoga practice and daily life, one retreats into seclusion or solitude, without the need of supervision, or instruction, or help, or encouragement from a teacher, to perform self-practice independently in silence, without attachment, identification, craving, aversion, judgment, comparison, or expectation, without being determined by the surrounding environment, or the mind perception of names and forms, or the fruit of the yoga practice.
Those who said they want to learn and practice yoga, as they want to be free from restlessness and suffering, but they are too proud and impatient to learn, study, inquire and practice the teachings of yoga, but just interested in getting the momentary relief, calmness and good feelings deriving from performing some physical yoga practice in silence, or getting the momentary satisfaction from gratifying their desire of craving and aversion, and are not interested to free the mind from the root cause of restlessness and suffering, that’s their freedom.
Many yoga practitioners or teachers are still not free from ignorance, egoism, restlessness and suffering even after many years of attending ‘silent mindfulness yoga classes’ that deliberately doesn’t deliver any forms of teachings about freeing the mind from the ego and egoism, with the intention to minimize ‘distraction’ or ‘disturbance’ as much as possible, to allow the students to pay full attention of ‘mindfulness’ to look into their own minds and they will know Thyself. After many years of performing yoga practice in silent yoga class that doesn’t talk about the essential teachings and practice of letting go the ego and egoism, the minds are still being determined and disturbed by all the mind perception of names and forms, being disturbed by ungratified desires, because they never practice how to free the mind from ignorance and egoism.
Those who want or need to attend classes, as they can’t or don’t want to perform self-practice in seclusion and solitude, as they want to be accompanied by and interacting with some other people, and they need some guidance or instruction from someone to be performing the yoga practice, or they have the desire to be getting or learning something (that they want) from the teacher, while expecting the teacher to teach or not teaching the class in certain way, and they cannot allow the teacher to teach what they teach and how they teach, where they only want to do some physical yoga practice the way that they like, but at the same time, they get very agitated, disappointed, dissatisfied and disturbed when the yoga class is not being the way that they expect it to be, where they would get very irritated by the yoga teacher disseminating the teachings of yoga in the yoga class, or they have strong aversion towards hearing about the same teachings repeatedly, or performing the same practice repeatedly that they think they already know very well, and they think it’s the fault of the yoga teacher or the yoga class being bad and wrong for the presence of agitation, disappointment, dissatisfaction and disturbance in their minds, it indicates that they still have a lot to learn.
While some people get frustrated and irritated is because they only want to do some physical yoga practice in silence throughout the entire yoga class, but the teacher is disseminating some yoga teachings in the yoga class for the students who want to learn about the teachings of yoga, which irritates them very much. The irritation arise in their minds is due to their desire is not being gratified, where the yoga class is not being the way that they want it to be. It's not the fault of the yoga teacher or the yoga class being what it is, if someone doesn't like how the teacher teaches the class, or doesn't like the yoga class that is about disseminating and practicing the teachings of yoga about eradicating the ego and egoism while performing the yoga practice and in daily life.
A yoga class is for people to come to learn about yoga and practice yoga under the guidance of a teacher. If people don't need to learn any teachings or don't need any guidance from a teacher, as they think they already know enough about the teachings and practice, and they want a mindful silent yoga practice without any guidance, they should be performing self-practice in seclusion and solitude. Why are they attending the yoga class that is supposed to be a teacher giving some teachings and guidance, but then they get irritated with the yoga class for being what it is? Unless it is a specific silent yoga class where all and everyone already know how to perform the yoga practice without the need of any teachings or guidance.
This is what happens when people are being taught to perform yoga practice in silence without being taught about the essential teachings and implementing the teachings into the physical yoga practice. Those who truly understand about yoga and the yoga practice, they won't be disturbed, frustrated, disappointed or angry when things are not being the way that they would like it to be.
Even if the mind is being disturbed by something, the well-trained mind understands what is going on, and knows how to just observe the disturbance, without attachment or identification, without judgment or expectation, knowing that it's impermanent, and will pass away.
Those who truly understand what is mindfulness, they are being mindful under any conditions and situations, regardless of all
the names and forms arising and passing away, without attachment,
identification, craving, aversion, judgment, or expectation, without
being determined or disturbed by the presence or absence of certain desirable or undesirable names and forms in the present moment, without trying to ‘control’ anything to be in
certain way, allowing everything to be there as they are, which then allows
them to be mindful unconditionally and effortlessly, while performing or not performing certain action. It's not about selectively choosing a particular subject or object that they want to be mindful about, and get very frustrated when they feel they are being disturbed or distracted by the presence of any other names and forms that they don't want to be mindful about. Such as, they think they cannot practice mindfulness when the teacher is disseminating the teachings of yoga while they want to be mindful towards the physical yoga practice in silence, that irritates them very much.
Hearing and reflecting upon the teachings of yoga, and implementing the teachings into the physical yoga practice doesn’t make the minds agitated or restless. It’s the reaction of aversion and disagreement coming from the mind towards the teachings being disseminated that give rise to the disturb/irritation/restlessness in the mind, from the mind itself.
It’s the craving and expectation towards “Yoga is about mindfulness in silence. I need to be mindful towards the physical yoga practice in silence without any external disturbance or distraction,” and the aversion towards the presence of undesirable/disagreeable sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations, feelings and thoughts are not being gratified, that gives rise to the disturb/irritation/restlessness in the mind, from the mind itself. Because these minds have not come in contact with any teachings about going beyond the modification of the mind and how to free the mind from egoism of attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation, that allows all the other practices to be happening simultaneously and effortlessly.
Meanwhile, out of worldly passionate egoistic sympathy or empathy, there are many ‘yoga teachers’ are either wittingly or unwittingly empowering the ignorance and egoism in the students by carefully handling their easily be hurt and offended ego by not doing, or saying, or teaching anything that they don’t like and don’t agree with, and empowering the prideful ego with praise and compliment and things that they like and agree with, while gratifying their desire of craving and aversion, to please, comfort and satisfy their minds by giving them what they desire, and avoid giving them what they don’t desire, as well as encouraging mental and emotional dependence among one another, comforting and supporting one another, so that both the teachers and the students will feel love, good, joyful and meaningful through such bonding or connection, that is also conditional and impermanent.
Compassion, that allows the minds to be free from ignorance and
suffering, is being seen as ‘coldness’ and ‘harshness’ by the worldly
passionate egoistic sympathetic and empathetic minds, not knowing that
the act of ‘sympathy and empathy’ void of wisdom and compassion is
actually empowering ignorance and egoism, which hinders the minds to be
free from suffering from the root. The same yoga teacher who gives the same teachings in the same class is being perceived as 'compassionate' by some students and 'mean' by some other students under the different states of mind. Meanwhile, the yoga teacher is just what it is, neither compassionate nor mean.
The teachings of yoga and the practice doesn’t discriminate anyone, regardless of whether people only want to practice some of the practices, or disagree with some of the teachings and practices, or misinterpreting the teachings, or modifying the practices, or only want to do the physical practice without any teachings, or adding in one’s worldly ideas, belief and practice, or commercialized it, or claimed authorization over it, or trademarking certain names and forms, or using it to gain selfish desire, or whatever human minds can do with it. And whatever human minds do with it, agree or disagree with it, take it or leave it, practicing or stop practicing, realizing something or haven’t realize anything, being peaceful or disturbed, being liberated from suffering or not, it doesn’t determine or affect the teachings and its practice being what it is.
The truth won’t be contaminated or changed by anything. All is impermanent and selfless.
It’s up to oneself.
Some yogis might have already transcended ignorance, who are selfless and compassionate, but they are not interested at all to teach yoga to anyone, as the ignorance in the minds of the world are too deep even for igniting the initial process of purification. They renounce worldly actions and are resting in Silence. There’s nothing selfish or wrong with that.
Minds that are smart, intelligent and knowledgeable, might not have the interest, humility or patience to learn, study, inquire and practice the teachings of yoga.
Many intellectual people might have come across with the term of “the practice of dispassion and non-attachment” for many times, but they don't know what is dispassion and non-attachment, and still have strong passion and attachment towards all the selfless impermanent names and forms, and are not free from disturbs, hurts, offensiveness, frustration, anger, disappointment, fear, worry, guilt, regret, painful sorrow and suffering even after many years of practicing some physical yoga practice in silence because they never inquire towards what is dispassion and non-attachment, never practice dispassion and non-attachment, and not knowing how to free the mind from passion and attachment.
Such as the basic teaching and practice of "letting go" – "If it's too painful to hold a burning hot object, just put it down and let it go," and "If one doesn't want to let go and continues to feel hurt by something that is hurtful, it's one's own responsibility." Most people understand what these sentences mean literally, but still, many people struggle very hard with "letting go", or couldn't let go something that they think is "disturbing" or "hurtful", even after many years of trying to let go, because they have no interest and patience to get to know and practice the teachings that guide them on how to inquire towards the truth of what they think is "disturbing" or "hurtful", even if they are smart, intelligent and knowledgeable. And that's their freedom.
Even the teachers who repeatedly mention the term of "letting go" for many times to their students in their yoga class, if without knowing how to inquire towards the truth of "letting go" and "the object of letting go", they themselves also couldn't let go of something that they think is disturbing or hurtful. They might be learning how to let go certain physical tension during the physical yoga practice session, and physical, mental and emotional tension are inter-related to one another, where mental and emotional tension will also be released when the physical tension is released, but they couldn't let go mental and emotional tension from the root as well as they are continuing accumulating tension in daily life, as they didn't inquire towards the truth of all those tension.
Those who realized selflessness and compassion, there is nothing to let go, there's no need to let go of anything, as there is nothing being accumulated that need to be letting go, and there's no one there that needs to let go anything. But in the process of attaining that realization, the ignorant egoistic passionate mind needs to let go many things.
Inquire towards the truth of everything.