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Tuesday, July 5, 2022

My life stories - Part 18 (Writing and blogging about the teachings)

My life Stories – Part 18 (Writing and blogging about the teachings)
Stories from my past memories – childhood, family, friends, growing up, poverty, integrity, dreams come true, finding peace and happiness, Buddhism, Yoga, and now…

This blog has no intention to be something useful or useless. It can be perceived as anything by the different minds that come across it. It's everyone's freedom to either take it or leave it.

One day, this mind was being asked to translate some teachings of Buddhism from Chinese into English. From then on, this mind spontaneously started 'writing something' on papers everyday for a couple of years, until some years later, blogging was being introduced to this mind, and then, it just keeps 'typing' from time to time, even though this mind doesn't have interest at all in 'literature', 'writing' or 'reading', and it doesn't have high education level, writing skill, or language proficiency. It's merely stating down the reflections from within, or 'the teachings' that teaches the mind itself.

Neither did this mind has any aspiration to be a better writer or blogger, to produce better quality of writing or content, to be attracting more readers, or to generate any income from it, and it doesn't generate any income at all. In the past, there was one mind came across this blog and then came to learn and practice yoga with this mind in Malaysia. If some of those who had attended the yoga classes and retreats before and were interested to be continuing learning and practicing yoga with this mind, they could do so via this blog.

Life is just what it is. It's neither good nor bad, neither positive nor negative, neither meaningful nor meaningless.

Life of this mind was just being what it was, however, due to ignorance and egoism, this mind felt hurt and was miserable. This mind was full of anger and hatred, and was hurting itself and those around it, out of hurt, anger and hatred in itself. This mind was confused and didn't understand. This mind was in suffering, and wanted to be free from suffering.

None can remove the ignorance and suffering from this mind, but the mind itself.

At very young age, this mind was already be endowed with self-discipline and self-independence, as well as the initiative and determination to be investigating towards the truth of many things in this world that seemed to be confusing and contradicting for this mind. Although all these elements didn't stop this mind from perceiving suffering due to the veil of ignorance and egoism.

The suffering was not a bad thing at all, as it initiated the intense yearning for liberation in this mind, and without any doubt or hesitation, it renounced worldly connections and social interactive activities the same time as it started to run yoga retreats for those who want to learn and practice yoga. Of course, there were non-understanding reactions and objection/criticism coming from the worldly minded, towards its renunciation as well as how it delivers the teachings, however, it didn't matter to this mind at all. This mind doesn't expect and doesn't need to be receiving acceptance, approval, agreement, acknowledgment, encouragement, understanding or support from anyone. How everyone perceive or don't perceive, act and react, and what everyone learn or don't learn, realize or don't realize, it's their own freedom. Even though renouncing worldly connections and social interactive activities, this mind still carried out the duty towards the parents until they passed away respectively.

Intense yearning for liberation, dispassion and right discrimination, are indeed the important elements that allow the mind to be fearless and determined, and will never be threatened by anything or anyone that trying to stop it from treading the path of self-inquiry and self-realization. This is different from being fearless towards doing certain actions ignorantly that would hurt oneself and others deliberately, out of violence, intense anger and hatred, pride, adrenaline boost, or the influence of drugs and intoxicants.

Being ambitious and fearless towards performing certain challenging yoga poses, just as a gymnast is fearless towards performing many challenging high difficulty movements, that boost the sense of achievement and confidence, is irrelevant towards the fearlessness deriving from seeing the truth of names and forms (right discrimination), dispassion (detachment and non-attachment), and intense yearning for liberation (to be free from ignorance and suffering), that allow the mind to be undetermined and uninfluenced by all kinds of internal and external obstacles that arise on the path.

It was also a great gratitude for being born into a low income family that was suffering from financial difficulty for many years, living under an environment that was and is still under the influence of ignorance, corruption, superior power, identity and cultural pride, fear, bias, discrimination and oppression, and for growing up under parents who didn't receive formal education, but yet, self-learning how to read and write, and yet, being open-minded, humble, generous, forgiving, accommodating, resilient, and more importantly, non-religious, in which allowing this mind to learn and evolve as it was, to make mistakes, to fall and hurt itself, to stand up by itself, to be confused, to have doubts, to suffer, to solve problem by itself, to look after itself, to learn, to question, to understand, and being what it is, without being conditioned and forced into any particular way of thinking, belief, values, living and behavior, while carrying certain worldly duty and responsibility towards looking after oneself and others.

The parents of this mind unwittingly paving the important foundation of physical, mental and emotional independence, truthfulness, contentment, simplicity, non-attachment and non-identification for this mind. This mind was not being 'forced' or 'encouraged' to develop and empower a self-identity, self-image, self-worth and self-esteem that is being determined by the qualities of names and forms, birth place, ancestry, family, friends, relationship, community, belief, culture, values, gender, race, appearance, nationality, knowledge, education, talents, skills, abilities, achievements, contributions, actions and the fruit of actions, success and pride. The only disciplinary from the parents to this mind was, "No telling lies. No speaking harsh words. No stealing."

Even though the parents had paved the basic foundation unintentionally, however, this mind was still under the influence of ignorance and egoism and impurities, and hence, the path wasn't smooth and easy, and there were many imperfections and mistakes, but not regret, as all the desirable and undesirable experiences, mistakes, impure actions and reactions, disappointments and sufferings were great teachings and teachers to this mind.

The mind that is being undetermined and unhurt by the ignorance of others doesn't mean that agreeing with and supporting other minds' ignorant thinking and behavior, encouraging and empowering other minds to inflict suffering onto oneself and others. It's not about fighting against the ignorant minds and the ignorant behaviors. It's not about seeing a stone coming its way, and it doesn't move away. It's not about seeing a wall in front, and walk straight into the wall. It's not about "If someone hits one side of the face, you ask him to also hit the other side of the face."

All is Dhamma. All is Guru. All is Buddha. It doesn't mean that all is good, right, positive, agreeable, meaningful, pleasant, and desirable.

This mind didn't know about letting go in the beginning, and hence, it suffered for many years, and created certain unpleasantness and disturbance to others, and it was looking for something that itself didn't even know what it was (a way out of all kinds of suffering, to stop being miserable and nasty towards oneself and others), however, one day, upon the moment of this mind started to let go certain things, as it was too much for this mind, and it began to stop fighting against undesirableness and difficulty, but allowing everything to be what they are, without wishful thinking of trying to change or control things to be the way that it desired, the nameless and formless path of self-inquiry appeared as it is. It was always there, but this mind couldn't see it, being clouded by ignorance and impurities. All kinds of teachers and teachings were there all the time, but this mind didn't recognize them, while blaming all kinds of unpleasant names and forms, and undesirable experiences and difficulties, as the cause of all its misery. It's like, "Walking into a wall and hurt oneself, and blaming the wall for one's pain and injury, while kicking the wall out of anger and resentment, and hurt oneself more."

From the states of doubts, confusions, disturbs, hurts, dissatisfaction, disappointment, unhappiness, anger, hatred, violence, hurtful thinking and behavior, meaninglessness, depression, misery, inspiration, aspiration, looking out, wishful thinking and fighting against undesirable hardship, until the mind started to let go, be opened and look within, seeing the ignorance and egoism in itself, seeing the truth of all kinds of suffering, and seeing the selflessness and impermanence in all and everything, it wasn't pleasant at all, but yet, it's liberating.

It's not about other minds. It's not about teaching others. It's not about helping others. All kinds of reflections here are the teachings that teaches this mind itself. If someone wants/doesn't want to learn from the teachings here, or if someone finds it useful/useless, or if someone finds it uplifting/offensive, it's their freedom. All is impermanent.

That's all.

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