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Sunday, June 19, 2022

Want to learn and practice yoga? (15)

The power of ignorance.

Being ignorant towards ignorance.

Ignorance isn't only existing in the minds that wittingly or unwittingly think, behave, act and react ignorantly in the way that inflict unrest, painful sorrow and suffering to oneself and/or others and the surrounding environment.

It's also being reflected in the minds that wittingly and intentionally want to be good and do good, while unwittingly attaching onto and identifying with 'purity', 'goodness', 'righteousness', 'positiveness', 'kindness', 'love', or 'meaningfulness', passionately attaching towards the actions of 'good, kind and loving' and the fruit of actions, and identifying as 'I am a good, kind and loving being', while being aspired to also 'influence' or 'motivate' other minds to also be good and do good, as well as attaching onto and identifying with 'purity', 'goodness', 'righteousness', 'positiveness', 'kindness', 'love', or 'meaningfulness'.

It's neither right nor wrong. It's just the power of ignorance.

That is what most people who are interested in yoga are learning and practicing when they learn and practice yoga under the many 'yoga teachers' who are teaching 'yoga' classes in such way, as that is what these 'yoga teachers' have been learning and practicing from their 'yoga teachers' who also teach 'yoga classes, yoga workshops, yoga courses or yoga retreats' in such way, where yoga is not about silence, oneness or non-separateness, but it's about empowering interaction, relationship and connection (the reflection of separateness), where yoga practice is not about developing dispassion and renunciation to eliminate egoism, but it's about developing mental and emotional dependency among one another and empowering egoism, where self-inquiry is not about inquiring towards Selflessness of the impermanent life existence of the selfless body and mind, but it's about being inspired to be attaching onto and identifying with "I am pure, good, righteous, positive, kind, loving and meaningful," as well as, "My actions are pure, good, righteous, positive, kind, loving and meaningful that benefiting other beings and bringing goodness and meaningfulness into the world, and together we are making the world a better place."

The 'yoga students' are being encouraged to be attached towards their 'yoga teachers' and all the others in the community, as the 'yoga teachers' are also being encouraged to be attached towards their 'yoga teachers' and all the others in the community. That's why the importance of renunciation, dispassion, seclusion and solitude for those who sincerely want to free the mind from ignorance, by moving away from the minds that are being conditioned by passionate egoistic worldly thinking, belief, values and practice.

The passionate egoistic minds, including many yoga practitioners and yoga teachers, attached towards what they perceived as 'goodness and positiveness', and propagating staying away from what they perceived as 'badness and negativeness', in order to be staying positive and be aspired for developing and attracting goodness and positiveness. As they think that is the goal of the yoga practice. That's their freedom.

The yoga teachings and practice is about transcending all kinds of dualism, freeing the mind from ignorance and egoism via the practice of dispassion, renunciation, seclusion and solitude by staying away from the worldly passionate minds and their conditioned worldly thinking, belief, values and practice which is about chasing after and attaching towards what they believed and valued as 'goodness' and 'positiveness', in order to allow the mind to go beyond and transcend 'goodness and badness' or 'positiveness and negativeness'. As it's too difficult for the mind to go beyond all kinds of worldly egoistic thinking, belief, values and practice, while being constantly mingling among the passionate egoistic minds. Once the mind is free from being conditioned by such worldly passionate egoistic thinking and belief, the mind can mix freely among the worldly passionate minds without being influenced by all those worldly passionate egoistic thinking and belief.

It doesn't mean that everyone shouldn't be good and do good, or shouldn't be motivated to be good and do good. However, minds that are not aware of the subtle attachment and identification in the minds towards all kinds of 'goodness' and 'positiveness', are not free from ignorance and egoism, even after many years of yoga and meditation practice, as well as teaching 'yoga' classes that is under the influence of worldly passionate egoistic thinking, belief, values and practice. Thinking that "I feel good and positive. I am good and positive. I will only attract goodness and positiveness. Everything is good and positive," is an important practice and meaningful achievement on the path of yoga.

When so called 'badness' is absent and 'goodness' is present, the minds are pleased and celebrating 'goodness', but when so called 'goodness' is absent while 'badness' is present, the minds are displeased and condemning 'badness' for all kinds of painful sorrow and suffering.

All kinds of 'war', 'discrimination', 'hatred', 'oppression' and 'violence' that are still happening in this era of advanced science and technology, are deriving from what the passionate egoistic prideful minds think and believe as carrying out duty and responsibility to be punishing and eliminating what they think and believe as 'badness' and 'wrongfulness', while empowering and protecting what they think and believe as 'goodness' and 'righteousness', where they are being recognized and glorified as 'Heroes' by their 'followers' and 'admirers'. They don't see it as 'ignorance' and 'actions under the influence of ignorance'. So as the minds that have passionate attachment and identification towards what the minds think and believe as 'goodness', 'positiveness' and 'righteousness'.

Think again, if the mind still have the idea of thinking and believing that oneself is "I am a good and unselfish being. I am not a bad and selfish being. I want myself and others to be good and do good. I don't want myself and others to be bad and do bad," and "I am a selfless being and I am performing selfless actions that benefit the world. I feel so positive and meaningful to see others are being benefited by my selfless actions," where performing all kinds of 'good' actions, including the yoga practice, and attaining the desired fruit of 'good' actions, is about developing and boosting the sense of goodness, meaningfulness, self-esteem, confidence, positiveness, worthiness and righteousness, which are the reflections of egoism.

Inquire towards the truth of everything. 

Everything is just what it is. All are selfless and impermanent. Be free from passionate aspiration to 'influence' or 'change' the world to be in certain way in order to boost the sense of goodness and meaningfulness in oneself and/or others.

Perform all kinds of actions void of attachment and identification, and free from the desire of craving towards goodness/positiveness and aversion towards badness/negativeness, and renounce the fruit of action.

There's no 'I'.

There's no "I am, or I want to be selfless, pure, good, positive, meaningful, kind and loving." Not to say, "I want to influence and motivate others to also be selfless, pure, good, positive, meaningful, kind and loving."

The selfless mind being free from the idea of 'I' and egoism doesn't need to be developing and boosting the sense of goodness, meaningfulness, self-esteem, confidence, positiveness, worthiness and righteousness.

The one that needs to be motivated to be doing and achieving something by constantly receiving positive words of encouragement and acknowledgement, in order to be developing and boosting the sense of goodness, meaningfulness, self-esteem, confidence, positiveness, worthiness and righteousness, is the mind that is under the influence of the idea of 'I' and egoism.

The passionate egoistic minds strongly think and believe that these are the upmost important values and practice in life, including yoga teachers whom themselves are not free from the idea of 'I' and egoism, while acting and reacting under the influence of worldly egoistic thinking, belief, values and practice, where they teach yoga classes that emphasized on developing and boosting the sense of goodness, meaningfulness, self-esteem, confidence, positiveness, worthiness and righteousness by constantly giving positive words of encouragement and acknowledgement to the yoga students while they are performing certain actions, experiencing certain obstacles/failures and achieving certain results/improvement/success, which is indeed empowering the idea of 'I' and egoism of the yoga students, as well as the yoga teachers themselves, who feel good and meaningful towards themselves, boosting the sense of self-esteem and confidence, for being good, kind and loving yoga teachers. It's completely moving away from the means of yoga practice to be starving and eliminating the idea of 'I' and egoism.

Yoga teachers are those that allow the students of yoga to be developing mental and emotional independence via the practice of renunciation, dispassion, seclusion and solitude, and to inquire towards selflessness and impermanence in all the names and forms, including the existence and function of the body and mind, to free the mind from ignorance and egoism. Somehow, many 'yoga teachers' nowadays are practicing and propagating the opposite of all that, where 'mingling' is highly important to develop connection and relationship, as well as mental and emotional dependence among one another, where 'yoga retreats' are not about being in solitude and silence to perform self-inquiry, but it's about mingling among the community and building connection and doing activities that boost the sense of goodness, positiveness and meaningfulness.

Swami Sivananda - "You are left alone now. Live alone. Walk alone. Eat alone. Meditate alone."

Buddha - "You come alone. You go alone."

That is compassion.

However, for the passionate minds, including many 'yoga teachers', "This is too 'harsh' and very 'wrong'," and "How can any beings be left alone? They will be suffering from loneliness. They are in painful suffering. They might hurt themselves or others. Everyone needs love, support, comfort and encouragement from one another, to stop hurting themselves or others." The sympathetic mind thinks and believes in such way. These minds don't reflect, "Ah! Ignorance. All minds need to be free from ignorance, and they will be free from suffering. And hence, they won't hurt themselves or others, upon liberation from suffering and ignorance."

"As yoga teachers, we need to constantly give encouragements and positive words of acknowledgement to the yoga students, as they need such ongoing encouragement and positive words of acknowledgement to be practicing yoga and progress," say the 'yoga teachers'.

Actually, from the beginning of teaching yoga, regardless of the degrees of ignorance in the student's mind, especially the minds that felt disturbed or hurt, and still feeling disturbed or hurt by something, the yoga teachers just need to guide the students to look into their own minds to see the play of ignorance and egoism in the mind, and find out the truth of 'disturbs' and 'hurt', and how to free their own minds from ignorance and egoism through self-inquiry, telling the students of yoga that they don't need to receive encouragement or positive words of acknowledgement to motivate them to perform their yoga practice and progress, and become independent mentally and emotionally. The 'yoga teachers' argue that, "We need to give some sorts of sweets to the students to motivate them to practice yoga, or give them some comforts to ease their suffering." And hence, keep giving them sweets and comforts with the intention of encouraging these minds to keep practicing yoga, but somehow, these minds will never be free from the root cause of suffering after years and years of practicing yoga under these yoga teachers who believe in giving sweets and comforts is 'loving kindness' and the best way of teaching yoga. And once they don't receive such sweets and comforts anymore, they won't have the motivation to be practicing yoga that is not so sweet or comfortable, but will free them from the addiction towards sweets and comforts that give them momentary relief, but doesn't stop them from perceiving/experiencing all kinds of disturbs and hurts due to ignorance.

It's like the 'loving and caring' parents who hold their children hands tightly 'all the time, day and night' afraid of their children might somehow fall and hurt themselves, while thinking and believing that the children need their 'loving and caring' guidance and encouragements 'all the time, until they die' in order for them to grow and prosper, and never want to let go their hands to allow the children to experience falls and hurts, learning how to stand up by themselves, and not to fall and hurt themselves anymore, and become independent as well as moving away from their parents or their home, to live an independent life without the need of their parents holding their hands all the time. The parents tell the children, "Make sure you let me know if you are hurt. I am always here for you. I will condemn and punish those who hurt you. I will protect you from hurt. I will look after your wounds with love and care, and I will heal you from any hurts." If the children never learn how to be independent to look after themselves, they will be suffering a lot when the 'loving and caring' parents are gone. "Oh! Mammy/daddy, someone/something is hurting me. I am hurt. Where are you, my loving and caring mammy/daddy? I need you. I am in suffering, and I think I want to hurt myself or maybe also hurt others because I am in painful suffering."

Does this mind see what is the play of ignorance? Most minds that are in painful suffering or unhappiness have the tendency of want to 'hurt' themselves, as well as hurt others or the surrounding environment out of painful suffering or unhappiness in oneself? How ignorant is that. "You are bad and wrong, and your badness and wrongfulness is hurting me. And because I think I am hurt by you and your badness and wrongfulness, I am now hurting myself and others." Why such thinking and behavior? Ignorance. Being hurt by what the mind thinks and believes as 'other people's badness and wrongfulness', is ignorance. And then, out of the perception of "I am hurt by what I think and believe as 'other people's badness and wrongfulness'," and hence, I want to hurt myself and others, is deeper ignorance.

And more ignorant is that, those who are 'loving and caring' think and believe that providing support of 'healing' and 'protection' to the suffering minds is the solution to prevent the suffering minds from hurting themselves and others, instead of guiding the mind to free itself from the root cause of suffering, where it cannot be hurt by anything and it won't hurt oneself or others, and it doesn't need any healing or protection at all?

There's nothing wrong with the mind that reacts towards the teachings here as, "This is so negative. I don't want this type of yoga," but then, that is the opportunity to look into this mind, to see why this mind reacts in such way, instead of pushing away, "Nope. I don't want to hear this negativity. I need to stay away from negativity like this."

Whenever the mind reacts towards something and judges, "This is right, positive and meaningful," and "This is wrong, negative and meaningless," that's the moment for contemplation towards the reactions of this mind. Just as many minds think and believe that 'non-attachment', 'renunciation', 'aloneness' or 'solitude' is something 'negative' or 'wrong', being conditioned deeply by worldly egoistic thinking, belief, values and practice. There's nothing wrong, and it's the freedom of the mind for what it thinks and believes, or doesn't think and doesn't believe, but that is what ignorance is about.

The truth of selflessness and impermanence, is just what things are. It is not a belief or value. It is neither good nor bad, neither right nor wrong, neither positive nor negative, neither meaningful nor meaningless. Whenever the mind reacts with this is good or bad, right or wrong, positive or negative, meaningful or meaningless, while chasing after and attaching (clinging and craving) towards goodness, righteousness, positiveness and meaningfulness, know that it's ignorance.

The minds that know this, that are working on eliminating ignorance and egoism from the mind, don't need to receive any encouragement or hearing 'positive words of acknowledgement' to be practicing yoga and progress. Neither will they be discouraged if there's no encouragement or 'positive words of acknowledgement' from anyone at all or if hearing some 'negative words' from somewhere. These minds won't be disturbed or hurt by anything. They don't need to receive 'healing' from anyone or anywhere, as they don't need to be 'healed', as there's no hurt. They don't need to practice yoga asana, breathing exercises or relaxation in order to influence and calming the restless state of the mind, as the mind is undisturbed by all the perceived names and forms regardless of what the worldly egoistic minds perceived as goodness or badness, positiveness or negativeness.

The practice of non-attachment and non-identification, or dispassion and renunciation, doesn't mean that everyone should stop being kind, helpful, loving and caring towards one another, especially those who are in need of certain kind of physical/mental assistance for doing something, but the mind is okay if one is alone, when there's no others being there to provide mental or emotional support, or the specific help that is needed.

It's everyone's freedom for what they want to practice or don't practice and teach or don't teach, how they want to act and react, and what they realize and don't realize. There's neither right nor wrong. It's just whether the mind is free from ignorance, or not.

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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'. Be free, be peaceful, be happy.

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