be free, be happy, be peaceful

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

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Be good, do good?

In the 'civilized' society, it's a courteousness to tell someone, "You are such a good and wonderful person." when we see this person behaves nicely and does something good.

Many people from 'civilized' background would feel awkward or disturbed or unappreciated or discouraged when they come to the traditional yoga ashram, the people from the ashram seldom praise or compliment the visitors/guests/students after they have done something nice or achieve something good in the ashram. They think that these swamis/teachers/workers maybe either are unaware of the visitors/guests/students' good behavior, intention, contribution and achievement, or they are very stingy to give praise or compliment to other people, or they don't want to encourage the people to do more good or achieve higher results, or they don't appreciate the goodness and achievement of other people. They expect 'nice' reaction from other people, such like, "You are good!", "Well done!", "Thank you!", "You are so nice!", "You are such a lovely and helpful person!", and etc.

This expectation towards particular 'nice' reaction from other people is coming from ignorance and egoism. It's the ego that wants and needs to be acknowledged that they are good, that they have done something good, that they have achieved something good, so that they would feel being appreciated and encouraged for their good action and effort to continue to be good and do more good. There's nothing wrong with this worldly egoistic courteousness. Just that those who truly practice yoga and know what is yoga, they won't judge anyone or empower the ignorance and egoism in the people who come to them to learn and practice yoga.

Those who are free from ignorance and egoism don't need any acknowledgement or appreciation or encouragement from others to be good, to do good or to achieve something. Only those who are not free from ignorance and egoism would need acknowledgment, appreciation and encouragement from others to motivate them to be nice, to do good, or to achieve something, or else they would feel disappointed, discouraged. By giving them what they want (acknowledgment, appreciation and encouragement), might encourage them to do good and to improve, but it doesn't help them to be free from ignorance and egoism, instead it is empowering or strengthening the ignorance and egoism in them. This is not what compassion or kindness is about. It doesn't help the society or the world to be better even though there are some 'nice' people trying to do 'nice' things in the world under a condition that their action and effort are being acknowledged and appreciated. And it doesn't guarantee that these 'nice' people won't be doing anything that would generate 'disharmony', 'problems', or 'inconvenience' to themselves and other people.

Most of the time, we behave differently and do things differently according to the state of the mind that is impermanent.

When the mind is in a calm and happy state, we are more patience, tolerant and accommodating, and we might behave nicely and do nice things for ourselves and other people. But it doesn't mean that "I am a good person." It's the same as for other people. It doesn't mean that "They are good people."

When the mind is in a disturbed and unhappy state, we are impatient, intolerant and unaccommodating, we might behave badly and do hurtful things to ourselves and other people. But it doesn't mean that "I am a bad person." It's the same as for other people. It doesn't mean that "They are bad people."

It's just people with impure mind functioning under the influence of ignorance and egoism.

If one truly wants to be good and do good, it's not so much about trying to behave nicely and do something nice to please other people or to make other people feel good and happy, but it's to free the mind from ignorance and egoism and impurities, and thus, one stops generating unnecessary disharmony or problems or inconvenience to oneself and other people.

Those who are free from ignorance and egoism, there's no judgment towards oneself and others as good or bad. Everyone is just what they are, as they are, in the present. There's no attachment or identification, carving or aversion, or discrimination towards the recognition or acknowledgment of 'good people' or 'bad people'.

If people don't like or don't want or disagree with this teaching and practice of yoga, that's their freedom. People believe that "People should be nice to each other and say nice things to each other and show appreciation and encouragement for goodness in people to encourage them to do more good." But, it doesn't stop people from saying 'bad' things about other people behind people's back. And then, people would feel disappointed and discouraged to do good or improve, if they don't get the 'nice' reaction that they expect from other people, to be acknowledged, to be appreciated, to be praised and complimented for what they have done and achieved that they think is good and deserving. That's courteousness of a 'civilized' society.

Be free.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Take good care of the body and mind?

Learning and practicing yoga actually is also about learning how to take good care of the overall well-being of the body and the mind in everyday life, but without attachment and identification towards the impermanent condition of the body and the mind.

It's not just about doing some yoga asana and pranayama and meditation practice for a couple of hours a day regularly as a form of taking good care of the body and the mind, but more importantly in the rest of the time in everyday life, when the body and mind are not performing physical postures, breathing exercises, concentration and meditation practice, we need to know how to live in simplicity, how to conserve energy, when to take rest, when to work more, when to work less, when to eat more, when to eat less, how to relax or let go, how to stop generate unnecessary tension into the body and mind, how to stop pushing the body and mind beyond its limitation, and etc, to truly taking good care of the overall well-being of the body and mind.

Out of laziness, or stinginess, or particular obsessive compulsive disorder, or great ambition, or sociable personality, or caring personality, or lack of self-control and self-discipline, or some other issues, people might not rest well, eat well, work well, or relax properly, and the body and mind are either being in a state of lethargic or agitation due to accumulated strain and stress or restlessness, even though people try to do yoga asana and pranayama and meditation practice regularly. It's like, now we sweep and mop the floor, and then, we bring more dirt and dust onto the floor, and repeat this process again and again.

When the condition of the body and mind be affected by the improper or imbalanced way of living, the mind becomes tired, cloudy, unfocused, short-tempered, depressed, irritated, impatient, aggressive or anxious easily. This will affect the yoga asana and pranayama and meditation practice, as well as the ongoing function of all the support systems in the body, the sleep quality, the mood, the thinking faculty, the clarity of the mind, the physical mobility, the health condition, the energy level, and the relationships with everyone and everything.

Learn how to live a simple yet balanced lifestyle is as important as doing the yoga asana and pranayama and meditation practice regularly. Simple yet balanced lifestyle has nothing to do with the commercial products of branded and trendy hype of 'luxurious organic living', or 'organic clean eating', or 'calorie counting eating', or 'precise daily consumption limits of different food intake', or 'health and fitness products and supplements', but it's about incorporating the teachings of yoga of 'Do our best', non-attachment, non-identification, desireless, dispassion, right discrimination, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment, non-comparison, non-expectation, renunciation, seclusion, solitude, silence, concentration or one-pointedness, contentment, generosity, forgiveness, patience, determination, perseverance, acceptance, adjustment, adaptation and accommodation into everyday life activities, to stop or minimize accumulation of unnecessary tension into the systems.

If one knows how to live a simple yet balanced lifestyle, if one knows how to conserve energy and doesn't put unnecessary stress or strain into the body and mind, there's no tension accumulated, and there's no need to go anywhere or do anything to release tension, as there's none.

"I am so busy and so stressed and so tired. I have not enough time to eat or sleep properly. I have so many friends and relatives. I need to care for so many people in my life. I have so many personal and social functions I need to attend. There's so many things I want to do for myself and for everyone. My mind can't turn-off. I would love a holiday but I will need time and energy for it, as I would be exhausted after coming back from holiday doing all the holiday activities and eating so much. I know I need complete rest. I need to stop doing things, physically and mentally. But then I will feel so guilty and unhappy if I didn't manage to do my fitness workout everyday, if I didn't meet up with my friends to stay connect, if I wasn't there for my friends who need me to listen to their problems and complaints, if I didn't achieve all my daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals. So how?"

It's everyone's freedom for what they want to do with their life or how they spend their time and energy.

Be free.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Ignorant towards ignorance

The power of ignorance is so great that the mind doesn't even know it is under the influence of ignorance, thinking that it is wise or smart enough, or it is wiser or smarter than others. And the ego doesn't like to hear or be pointed out that it is the product of ignorance, and would feel offended or humiliated or intimidated.

Those who are aware of there's ignorance in themselves would be able to learn and evolve.

Be free.

The power or function of memory is neither good nor bad

Most people, are interested in boosting the power or function of the memory. So that one can remember as much as possible all the knowledge and skills that one has been learning, to do things, to remember everyone and everything that one has come in contact with from the past to the present. Otherwise, for most people, there's no meanings or values in life existence, if one doesn't remember any knowledge or skills that one has been learning and doesn't remember the people/relationships that one has come in contact with and are related to. They want to remember 'love' and 'happiness' and 'goodness' and 'achievements'. People want to remember everyone and everything, and be remembered by others, to be existing, to be meaningful, to be alive.

Meanwhile some people try their very best to forget all those unpleasant/unhappy/painful/hurtful memories that are disturbing and hurting them in the present now.

This power or function of memory is neither good nor bad. It has its benefits to humanity and some defects as well.

If a mind is free from ignorance and egoism, this mind can make use of the power of memory to remember all its learning and knowledge or skills to be doing something that would benefit oneself and others without attachment, identification, judgment, or expectation. One will not have craving or aversion towards the past pleasant/unpleasant experiences/feelings, and will not be disturbed or determined by being aware of the memory of all these past pleasant/unpleasant experiences/feelings, in the present now. There's no judgment or expectation towards oneself or others based on the past pleasant/unpleasant experiences/feelings. There's no suffering or miseries exist in this egoless mind.

Due to ignorance, the ego clings onto the past memories of pleasant/happy and unpleasant/unhappy experiences/feelings.

When remembering the pleasant/happy/accomplishing/satisfying experiences/feelings that are already gone and don't exist in the present, there is suffering/unrest/dissatisfaction derived from missing and craving towards all those pleasant experiences/feelings.

When remembering the unpleasant/unhappy/painful/hurtful/fearful/regretful/guilty/disappointing/dissatisfying experiences/feelings, that are already gone and don't exist in the present, there is suffering/unrest/unhappiness/painful sorrow/hurts/fear/regret/guilt/disappointment/dissatisfaction derived from aversion towards all those unpleasant experiences/feelings, continuously be disturbed or determined by all those unpleasant experiences/feelings, which is unnecessary.

And due to ignorance, people don't just want to have a good and highly efficient function of the memory to remember the past of this life existence from birth till the present which one could barely remember a little bit of here and there without the precise/exact details, there are also many people who 'believe' in various/countless past lives before this life existence, and they are not just very interested in knowing/finding out what were their past lives, but they are also be disturbed or determined by what they think they know about their past lives. And not just that, they also very interested in knowing/finding out what will be their future lives, and be disturbed or determined by what they think they know about their future lives.

When people are dissatisfied with and don't want to confront the reality that they perceive in the present, they try to runaway from this reality that they don't like and don't want, by imagining they have a better/nicer/happier reality in the past or in the future, being in an imaginary reality that they prefer, that they created for themselves, and somehow they might feel better and safer being in that imaginary reality. That's their freedom.

People's minds are already very busy/restless being disturbed and determined by the perceived experiences in the present now, not to say, to also be disturbed and determined by the past memories and the future imagination/anticipation/projection/expectation/speculation. "This is who I was and this is what I am and this is what I will be."

People are being disturbed and determined mentally/emotionally/physically by the ignorant/egoistic attachment and identification towards the desires of craving and aversion, judgment and expectation towards all the perceived names and forms or experiences, whether it's in the present, or remembering the past, or imagining the future.

Maybe people's life in the present is not complicated/excited/busy enough, life is so dulled and bored, that's why people try very best to bring back the past and project into the future, to spice up their life in the present?

So, if past lives exist, and someone somehow 'recalls' some good/pleasant/joyful/meaningful and bad/unpleasant/hurtful/painful/fearful memories of one's past lives, and then so what? Missing the past pleasant past lives experiences and people whom one loved very much in past lives? What if one finds out that the people whom one loved very much in past lives are now one's greatest enemies whom one hates and hurts very much in the present? Or be disturbed by the past unpleasant past lives experiences and people whom had hurt one very much in past lives? What if one finds out that the people whom had hurt one very much in past lives are now one's best friend or lover or family or respected personal whom one loves very much in the present?

It's truly unnecessary.

And so, when one truly realized the truth of what is going on in this mind, and goes beyond all the memories of past pleasant/unpleasant, or rightful/wrongful, or good/bad experiences/feelings, being free from attachment and identification with the past, the last moment and before, then there will be complete freedom in all the relationships with everyone now, in the present, it really doesn't matter what happened just now, or yesterday, or last week, or last month, or last year, or last 20 years. It's only the present moment. And even this present moment is impermanent. And this is actual lasting liberation that comes from the realization of the truth, it's not the same as the momentary 'high effect' of numbing the mind through drugs and alcohol intoxication.

People, including some yoga and meditation practitioners, who like to relate YOGA and MEDITATION or HIGHER CONSCIOUSNESS with getting high through drugs and alcohol intoxication, are only trying to momentary escape/runaway from suffering or miseries that they don't want. They'll go back to their suffering and miseries again, once the numbing effect of the drugs and alcohol disappeared. That's their freedom for what they want to do with their body and their mind. It's neither right nor wrong. But, yoga and meditation or higher consciousness has nothing to do with getting high through drugs and alcohol intoxication. People who truly practice yoga and meditation and have gone beyond the attachment or identification with the life existence of the body and the mind don't need to get high or momentary relief by taking drugs or alcohol, as they don't need to escape or runaway from suffering or miseries, as there's none. There's no craving for the momentary pleasant sensations/effects/relieves coming from the effect of drugs and alcohol.

If people couldn't understand this, or one understood this, but one dislikes and disagrees with and doesn't want this liberation due to the mind is conditioned to think in certain ways or believe in certain beliefs, or one understood this, but one couldn't let go attachment and identification, that's their freedom.

It's okay whether the power or function of memory is good or not so good. It's okay if the mind couldn't remember this or that. It's okay if the mind couldn't remember everything and everyone as it was and as it is. It's okay if the mind remembers some past unpleasant/unhappy experiences or feelings. It's okay if the mind couldn't remember some past pleasant/happy experiences or feelings. It's okay if the mind couldn't remember someone who is somehow related to this body and this mind.

Be free.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

People's power?

People's power is no doubt very powerful, of course. There's no doubt that other than the greatest power of nature, it's the people's power that is so powerful and influential that it influences the condition or situation of the world, in a country, in a community, in a company, or in a family, through their thinking and behavior, making the world a better or worse place to be in. But what is influencing the people's thinking and behavior is more powerful. And so, what happen if ignorance, egoism and impurities is the power that influencing many people in the world to think, behave, act and react?

Even those who think they are good people who want to be good, who do good actions and don't do bad actions are not necessarily be free from the influence of ignorance and egoism and impurities. If the mind thinks and feels, "I am disturbed, disappointed, frustrated, threatened, depressed, angered or hurt by something that I think is bad, negative and wrong", know that this is ignorance, though there's nothing wrong with this reaction of thinking and feeling in such way reacting towards certain perceptions of names and forms that the mind believes as bad, negative and wrong. The power of ignorance is so great that the mind doesn't even know it is under the influence of ignorance, thinking that it is wise or smart enough, or it is wiser or smarter than others. And the ego doesn't like to hear or be pointed out that it is the product of ignorance, and would feel offended or humiliated or intimidated.

The wise won't be disturbed nor determined by the ignorance of others of all sorts of ignorant thinking and behavior, or what the mind thinks and believes as bad, negative or wrong. If one will be disturbed and determined by the ignorance of others of their ignorant thinking and behavior, or what the mind thinks and believes as bad, negative and wrong, or be disturbed by the condition and situation of the world that is not how one would like it to be, then this mind is under the influence of ignorance.

One can choose not to be disturbed or determined by the ignorance of others of all sorts of ignorant thinking and behavior, or not.

The wise don't have any intention to change the world. They allow everyone to be free from ignorance, or not, through everyone's own interest and effort. If people are not interested in freeing their mind from ignorance, that's their freedom.

Even the enlightened liberated beings can't change the world or take away the ignorance in others or remove ignorance from the world. If not, the world is already be free from ignorant beings/thinking/behavior. One can only free one's mind from ignorance through self-initiative, self-effort, self-discipline, self-inquiry and self-realization.

If there are people have the great ambition to be 'superhero' to change and save the world, that's their freedom.

The YTTC or Yoga Teachers Training Courses is about being a platform for truth seekers who are interested in attaining liberation from ignorance and suffering to learn and practice yoga to become their own teacher to perform self-practice/Yoga Sadhana, to attain self-realization and independence, and when one is free from ignorance and suffering, the world will have less a being under the influence of ignorance. And one can share one's self-realized knowledge of yoga with others, where yoga asana practice is one of the many practices to purify and quiet the mind to prepare the mind for meditation. But nowadays, many YTTC are not about developing serious self-practice or Yoga Sadhana to free oneself from ignorance and egoism, but, it's mainly about to be equipped with some 'teaching technical information' for 'teaching yoga (asana exercise) classes' to most people who are not really interested in the elimination of egoism through the practice of silence, desireless, dispassion, self-discipline, self-inquiry and self-realization, but more interested in empowering egoism and gratifying their worldly passionate desires of craving and aversion especially towards enhancing physical health and fitness level, physical appearance and ability through performing the yoga asana exercises, while some others are interested towards developing mental psychic power for different reasons or intentions.

"I have been doing some yoga regularly for some time. Now, I want to learn and do more yoga. Can you teach me?"
"Really?"
"Yes! I am really interested to learn to do all the yoga poses that I am still not able to do. I also want to know what are the different muscles groups that we use in the different yoga poses and their specific benefits related to health and fitness. I hope to become a yoga teacher to teach yoga classes someday. I need to make my body healthier, fitter, stronger and more flexible so that I can do lots of the yoga poses to be qualified to join the yoga teacher training course. I also want to feel better about myself, because right now, I am not very happy with myself, my yoga practice, my physical appearance, my health and fitness level, my job, my life and my relationship. Many yoga teachers say yoga can gives us lots of benefits to improve health and fitness, and make us look good and feel good about ourselves, and become superhuman with superpower to do anything that we want to do with our body and mind. They say yoga can make our body stay young and strong, that we won't get sick and we can defy aging. They say by doing yoga we can defy gravity and we can fly. And they say practice yoga can also have all our desires come true. I want a better life, a better body, a better relationship and a better job. I really want to learn and do yoga!"
"I can teach you yoga. But first, you will need to let go all these desires of what you want and don't want."
"This is not the yoga that I want to learn and do."
"Be happy then."

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Life and Death

Some wish to live

Some wish other people don't die

They spend time, effort and money trying to escape sickness, old age, decay and death

Some wish to die

Some wish other people dead

For different reasons

It's everyone's freedom of wish

It's neither right nor wrong

It's neither good nor bad

It's neither positive nor negative

The liberated mind goes beyond life and death

There's no craving or aversion towards life or death

There's no desire or intention to live or continue existing

There's no desire or intention to die or cease existing

Allowing nature to be what it is, as it is

Allowing one's life or other's life to flow to where it is, as it is

Allowing one's life or other's life to stop at where it is, as it is

May all be free from suffering

Be free from craving and aversion towards life and death

Friday, April 21, 2017

The sky is just what it is

The sky is just what it is

It's neither blue nor grey

It's neither day nor night

It's neither bright nor dark

It's neither high nor low

It's neither big nor small

It's neither calm nor turbulent

The eyes can only see what they see

The eyes can't see beyond what they can see

What the eyes see are not necessarily the truth of what they are

The mind can only knows what it knows

The mind can't know beyond what it knows

What the mind knows are not necessarily the truth of what they are

And above all

The sky is not even 'the sky'

'I' is not even I

Be free

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Joyful and peaceful as it is, unconditionally

There's nothing wrong and it's very common that most minds will feel good, happy, contented and peaceful when the mind experiences something that will make it feels good, happy, contented and peaceful, or when the mind comes in contact with qualities of names and forms that it likes and wants and doesn't come in contact with certain qualities of names and forms that it doesn't like and doesn't want. And the mind won't feel good, happy, contented or peaceful, or it will feel bad, unhappy, discontented and not peaceful when the mind doesn't experience something that will induce good, happy and peaceful feelings in the mind, or when the mind doesn't come in contact with the qualities of names and forms that it likes and wants, and when the mind comes in contact with the qualities of names and forms that it doesn't like and doesn't want.

The mind that is not free from ignorance and egoism will always be conditioned or determined by the presence or absence of certain qualities of names and forms or all the mind perceptions of names and forms through the senses to feel good, happy, contented and peaceful, or not.

The mind that is free from ignorance and egoism will be joyful, contented and peaceful as it is, unconditionally, being uninfluenced and undetermined by all the perceptions or experiences of different qualities of names and forms that are impermanent. There's no fear or grief when this mind is approaching death or when someone who is related or closed to this mind is approaching death. This freedom doesn't come from the momentary effects of drugs or intoxication numbing the mind, but coming from the realization of the truth of life existence of the body and mind. There's no clinging onto any names and forms, including existence and non-existence. Those who are not free from ignorance and egoism couldn't comprehend this and they will perceive or recognize this as a form of 'coldness' or 'heartlessness' or 'abnormality' or 'inhuman' or 'wrong'. That's their freedom of life and thinking.

If there is thinking or identification of "I am happy and peaceful because ..." or "I am not happy or peaceful because ..." Then know that this mind is not free. It doesn't matter if the reason of being happy and peaceful is 'something is good', or 'everything is good', or 'life is good', or 'health is good', or 'the state of mind is good', or 'relationship is good', or 'children are good', or 'job is good', or 'people are nice', or 'the world is good and peaceful', or 'yoga practice is good', or 'meditation is good', 'the teacher is good', 'the class is good', or 'weather is good', or 'food is good', and so on.

There's nothing wrong with "being grateful and thankful, contented and happy when there is something good", but the mind is still not free yet. When "there is nothing good" or "there is something not good or something bad", but the mind is still peaceful as it is, then this mind is free.

There's no "I am happy and peaceful because ..." or "I am not happy or peaceful because ..." when the mind is free from ignorance and egoism. This egoless/selfless mind itself is unconditional peace. It doesn't need to feel or be peaceful.

The liberated mind being free from ignorance and egoism and suffering is unconditioned or undetermined by any qualities of names and forms to be happy and peaceful, or not, being aware of all the impermanent changes of all the perceptions of names and forms, without attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, judgment or expectation, allowing all the names and forms to be there as they are, to be what they are, but all these names and forms have no intention or quality to induce happiness and peacefulness or unhappiness and restlessness, without intention to change or control all the names and forms to be the way that 'I' like it to be, or the way that 'I' think it should be.

It's the ego that wants to feel good, happy, contented and peaceful, and doesn't want to feel bad, unhappy, discontented and not peaceful. It's the ego that has lots of ceaseless desires of craving and aversion waiting to be gratified in order to attain good feelings and the sense of happiness, or to escape bad feelings and the sense of unhappiness. If the desires of craving and aversion are being gratified, the ego feels good, happy, contented and peaceful. If the desires of craving and aversion are not being gratified, the ego feels bad, unhappy, discontented and not peaceful. The mind is free as it is, when the ego is annihilated.

To know the truth or the root cause of suffering or unhappiness is neither complicated nor difficult. But to have the willpower to be able to free the mind from ignorance and egoism seems to be very challenging for many. And it's okay. That's why the yoga practice is here, without judgment or expectation, keep practicing non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment, non-comparison and non-expectation to be free from ignorance and egoism.

Contemplate on this, and be free.

If people don't like or disagree with or don't want this unconditional peace and happiness, but they prefer to be determined by the gratification of desires of craving and aversion through coming in contact with or non-coming in contact with certain qualities of names and forms that they like or dislike and want or don't want to feel good, happy, contented and peaceful, or not, and if people prefer to take drugs or intoxication to get momentary relieving or numbing effect to deal with unhappiness, discontentment, disappointment, hurt, guilt, regret, grief, depression, painful sorrow, meaninglessness, loneliness, fear or suffering, that's their freedom.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

It's everyone's freedom to be free, or not

There's only now

And even this now is impermanent

Why cling onto what the mind thinks (in now) it experienced in the past (remembrance of the past that doesn't exist in now)

Missing the pleasant experiences and the contact with desirable objects of names and forms

Craving for the pleasant experiences and the contact with desirable objects of names and forms

Be disturbed and influenced by the past unpleasant experiences and the contact with undesirable objects of names and forms

Be disturbed and determined by wild imagination, anticipation, projection, speculation and expectation towards the future (doesn't exist in now)

Be disturbed and determined by what the mind perceives/experiences in now that is also impermanent

It's everyone's freedom whether they want to cling onto the past experiences, the present experiences and the future anticipations, or be free

Not clinging/attaching onto the mind perception of all pleasant/unpleasant experiences or the contact with the objects of names and forms that are impermanent

There's no clinging, craving or aversion towards the past, the present and the future

There's no dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurt, regret, guilt, depression, meaninglessness, loneliness, anger, hatred, animosity, anxiety, fear and worry

There's no egoistic identification and desires - I am this and I am not that / I want this and I don't want that

One makes use of the present condition and ability of the existence and function of the body and mind and the opportunity that is available now to be doing something for oneself and others, but there's no attachment or identification towards all actions and the fruit of actions

If something needs to be done in now, do it

If something cannot be done in now, let it be and let it go

Be free

*This freedom has nothing to do with whether the body can perform some yoga poses or is performing some yoga poses, or not. Or, whether the mind knows this or doesn't know that. Or, whether the mind knows and performs some rituals of spiritual or religious or cultural practices, or not. Or, whether one believes or disbelieves in 'God'. Or, whether 'God' exists, or not.

This freedom is available to all, if the mind is free from ignorance and egoism, it doesn't matter whether people believe or disbelieve in 'God', whether 'God' exists or doesn't exist. If the mind is under the influence of ignorance and egoism, one is not free, it doesn't matter whether one believes or disbelieves in 'God', whether 'God' exists or doesn't exists.

This freedom is the realization of impermanence and selflessness of life existence.

If people don't like or disagree with or don't want this freedom, if people prefer to be passionate towards the worldly life of all the past and present experiences and future expectation, and attach onto their actions and the fruit of actions, to gratify all the passionate desires and enjoy all the emotional ups and downs, full of self-justification and hypocrisy in mingling and social interactions, while blaming and criticizing everyone and everything (including oneself for being not good enough) that they think is bad and wrong for their mind reactions of dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurt, anger, unhappiness, fear and worry towards all their unpleasant/undesirable experiences, that's their freedom.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Take good care of everything to appreciate everything, but without fear of losing anything

Non-attachment doesn't mean that we don't take good care of anything. We take good care of everything - life, the body and the mind, the environment, the house, the relationships, the family, the world, and etc, to appreciate everything that we think is good - good life, good condition, good health, good experiences, good feelings, good environment, good living area, good relationships, good family, good situation of the world, and etc, but without attachment towards everything and without fear of losing anything that we think is good.

When we perform the yoga poses, we pay maximum attention, be vigilant and take care while coming into the poses, while holding or staying in the poses and while coming out or releasing from the poses, in a relaxed manner, without tension of fear, craving, aversion, judgment, comparison, or expectation.

It's about relaxing the body into the postures without forcing or struggling, and quieting the restless worldly egoistic judgmental and expectational mind that keeps judging its performance and expecting certain results from all its effort to perform certain actions. There is minimum risk of injury, even if one couldn't execute the yoga poses in so called 'correct or perfect alignment' due to certain limitation, if one knows how to relax while performing the yoga asana practice, and respecting the impermanent condition, ability and limitation of the body as it is, without forcing or pushing the body to go beyond its limitation. The risk of injury will still be there, even if one knows how to perform all the yoga asana poses in so called 'correct or perfect alignment', if one performs the yoga asana practice under the influence of ignorance and egoism, full of tension of judgment, comparison and expectation, and doesn't respect the condition, ability and limitation of the body as it is, by forcing or pushing the body to go beyond its limitation. The body and the mind is not able to be relaxed due to trying to comply to the standard of 'correct or perfect alignment'.

It's really not important whether the body can perform all or some or none of the yoga poses. One doesn't need to be able to do any yoga poses at all to free the mind from ignorance and egoism and suffering. Being able to perform many of the yoga poses in 'perfect alignment' regularly for a long time also doesn't guarantee that one is practicing yoga or is free from ignorance and egoism. The yoga asana practice is just one of the tools to help to influence the state of the mind, to balance the mind, to quiet the mind, to prepare the mind for meditation. If one doesn't know how to let go of the ego and egoism, and is full of passionate desires of craving and aversion, then even if one has been doing yoga asana practice in 'perfect alignment' for many many years and attained all kinds of health and fitness benefits from the regular yoga asana practice, but the mind is not free from suffering being disturbed and determined by all the perceptions of qualities of names and forms.

In the process of performing the yoga poses, it's mainly about letting go the ego and egoism of attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, judgement, comparison and expectation, to renounce the actions and the fruit of actions, to realize the truth of impermanence and selflessness of the life existence of the body and mind, to allow the restless mind to be free from restlessness, to be in silence. It's nothing to do with how 'good' the body can do the yoga poses, or how many yoga poses the body can perform in 'perfect alignment', or not.

Perform all the yoga poses in a relaxed manner and accepting the body as it is, without forcing the body to go beyond its limitation, without judgment, comparison and expectation. There's no need to think about how one should look or feel in the yoga poses because everyone has a different body and limitation, and everyone might look and feel differently while performing the same poses. And how we look and feel in the yoga poses is impermanent because the physical ability and limitation will change from moment to moment. We don't have to look like other people, or the teacher. The body might feel strong, flexible, light and comfortable in one practice, and it might feel weak, stiffed, heavy and discomfortable in another practice performing the same poses or exercises.

It's the same as in life, we are aware of the existence of certain risks, we pay maximum attention, be vigilant and take care while performing any tasks, in a relaxed manner, without tension of fear, craving, aversion, judgment, comparison, or expectation.

If there's something we need to deal with in the present, we do our best to deal with it instantly in a relaxed manner, without fear. If we can't or don't know how to handle it, we let it be and take it as it is, without fear. There are things that we can do and there are things that we can't do, and it's okay. And what we can do or cannot do in the present, is impermanent.

Be free.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

What muscles groups are being used in the yoga poses has nothing to do with the realization of yoga or selflessness

There are many 'yoga teachers training courses' emphasize on training the 'yoga teachers' with the knowledge or information about anatomy and physiology for performing and teaching the yoga poses, while there are yoga teachers who emphasize on explaining the different types of muscles group that are being used in the different yoga poses or exercises, as well as the different types of benefits of the yoga poses in their yoga asana classes, and there are yoga practitioners who want to know what type of muscles group that they need to engage in order to perform the yoga poses, and of course, they want to know the different types of benefits that they would get from performing the different yoga poses.

There's nothing wrong or bad with this emphasis on the knowledge of the mechanism of the physical body and the benefits of the different exercises in fitness training, but this is pulling the mind away from the yoga teachings and yoga practice about letting go egoism of attachment and identification with the existence and the function of the body and the mind, and letting go attachment and identification with the actions and the fruit of actions, to annihilate ignorance and egoism to transcend suffering, to realize yoga or selflessness or unconditional peace and compassion, where all these realization has nothing to do with the physical condition, appearance, fitness level, performance, ability and limitation, or the knowledge of fitness training and its benefits.

One doesn't need to know the names and forms of the muscles and their specific function, to have peace and be compassionate.

One doesn't need to know which muscles groups are being engaged in order to hold a spoon and pick up a spoonful of food and put the food into the mouth and chew the food and swallow the food. One doesn't need to know how to engaged a specific muscles group to move the legs forward or backward to walk or run or kick or jump or turn upside down. One doesn't need to know which muscles to be engaged to smile or to frown.

There's nothing wrong if people are interested to know the names and forms and the functions of the different muscles and muscles groups, and there are many books about fitness training, anatomy and physiology or biology for them to study about the mechanism and function of the physical body, and all these knowledge can be helpful in the improvement of the quality of life, but the realization of yoga or liberation from suffering has nothing to do with the accumulation of knowledge or the quality of life. People might be highly knowledgeable and have a higher quality of life, but might not necessarily be free from ignorance and egoism and suffering.

The doctors can use their medical knowledge of the physical body to cut open the body to find out the disease inside the body, and take it out for us, and fitness instructors can use their fitness training knowledge to provide us with health and fitness advice and an efficient health and fitness training program to make the physical body fitter and healthier, but no physician or fitness instructor can cut open our mind to find out the 'disease' inside the mind, and take out the 'disease' for us. Having a super fit and healthy physical body also doesn't guarantee that our mind will be free from ignorance, egoism and suffering.

Ask a physician or fitness instructor, "Which muscles groups are being engaged in order to free the mind from ignorance and egoism and suffering, to know the truth, to realize selflessness, and be peaceful and compassionate?"

Be free.

Friday, April 14, 2017

The function of memory and the existence of 'I'

The existence of 'I' is very much influenced by the function of memory to remember all or some of the relationships and experiences with everyone and the objects of names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, and the accumulated knowledge and skills through remembering all its learning and training from the past till the present, with all kinds of imagination, anticipation, speculation, projection and expectation, plus all the thought activities of pleasant and unpleasant reactions of feelings and emotions towards all the good and bad, desirable and undesirable experiences.

If the mind couldn't remember certain experiences in the past, it won't relate itself with those experiences and will have no identification with those experiences. At some points, the mind might confuse some wild imaginations and the dreams that it remembers as part of the life experiences that it thinks it experienced in life. Under the function of memory, most of the time, the mind doesn't remember things exactly as they were. A lot of the details of the memories are doubtful and confused. And the ego attached onto these blurred memories of the past to be identifying as 'I', and judges itself and everyone and everything based on these memories.

If the function of memory doesn't exist, or the mind couldn't recall all that it perceived of what it saw/heard/smelled/tasted/felt/thought/knew/acknowledged/learned/experienced/practiced/acted/reacted/acquired/possessed, or what it liked and didn't like towards all the perceived names and forms, there's no remembrance of an existence or identification of 'I' and any relationships with anyone in the present. Whatever was being processed in the mind wasn't being stored as a conscious memory to be recall into the present, though there will be subtle imprints of all the present reactions of craving and aversion towards all the perceptions of names and forms being stored in the subconscious mind where all these subtle imprints of craving and aversion would bubble up to the surface of the conscious mind during the deep mind purification process, when the mind stops reacting with craving and aversion towards all the perceptions in the present.

Without memory storage of what it perceives through the senses and what is being processed through the thinking faculty, the mind won't remember a continuous/permanent identity that attached onto some qualities of names and forms that comes with certain accumulated knowledge, experiences and relationships with everyone to be identifying as "This is what I was/am from the past till now." This mind won't be influenced by any particular ethnic and social background, culture, knowledge, idea, practice, thinking, belief, or learning, to apply any judgment, comparison, or expectation that based on the memories of past experiences of accumulated knowledge, ideas, beliefs, actions and reactions towards all the mind perceptions of names and forms in this existence now, such like, "I had this before. This was good, I liked this. I want this again." or "I had that before. That was bad, I didn't like that. I don't want that again."

Even though there might be spontaneous reaction of craving or aversion towards the mind perception of names and forms in the present now, but then, the mind won't be able to remember this experience and its reaction of craving and aversion towards this experience. All experiences will appear to be something new or unknown to it. The desire of craving and aversion on the conscious level are very much influenced by the memories of the past pleasant and unpleasant experiences. "I experienced this before or I know this, I remember either I had liked this and I want this again (craving), or I didn't like this and I don't want this again (aversion)." Meanwhile, the subtle desires of craving and aversion that continuously bubble up to the surface of the conscious mind which the memoryless mind doesn't remember or doesn't know what they are or where they come from, but somehow there are ceaseless reaction of craving and aversion towards all the names and forms being generated due to these subtle imprints of desires.

If the mind developed awareness towards the existence of these subtle desires of craving and aversion, without attachment towards these desires or identification with them, or it is uninfluenced by these existing subtle desires to generate more reactions of craving and aversion, this mind is free.

That's why for those who take seriously in the path of yoga and meditation, the practice of renunciation and seclusion, reducing and restricting mind inputs of all sorts, or the contact with objects of names and forms, or social interactions and activities in the world, is a very important observation to minimize and restrict the accumulation of subtle imprints of under current desires even if the mind has no awareness or memories of all its reactions of craving and aversion towards all the perceptions of names and forms.

It's everyone's freedom for what they want to do with their worldly life existence of the impermanent and selfless body and mind.

For those who are absolutely okay with the impermanent and selfless function of the body and mind, who are free from clinging and craving towards good condition and free from aversion towards bad condition, and aren't disturbed or determined by all kinds of suffering in the world of names and forms that derived from ignorance and egoism and impurities, they don't need to practice yoga and meditation, as they are free as they are.

Be free.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Loneliness?

Loneliness doesn't exist in the minds that are free from ignorance and egoism, even when being by oneself alone, without engaging in any personal relationship or friendship or contact with anyone, or without engaging in any forms of mental or physical social interactions and activities, as there is no sense of separateness of time, space and causation in the minds that are selfless/compassionate. The minds are peaceful and contented as they are, being free from clinging onto the existing companionship, love and support from other beings, being free from craving towards the companionship, love and support from other beings that are non-existing in the present, being free from aversion towards the absence of companionship, love and support from other beings in the present, and being free from aversion towards losing the existing companionship, love and support from other beings.

The sense of loneliness and all the other forms of impurities such like separateness, restlessness, dissatisfaction, meaninglessness, emptiness, boredom and all sorts of fear will keep following the egoistic minds that are under the influence of ignorance and egoism, wherever they are and whatever condition they have, even when these minds are having a good life in a good living environment and a good condition of the physical body, and they are surrounded by many other beings, being engaged in different relationships and friendships with many other beings, and being busy with all sorts of worldly mental and physical social interactions and activities, as there are attachment of clinging, craving and aversion in the mind that give rise to the sense of loneliness and all other forms of impurities.

Realize selflessness and be free from ignorance and egoism, being unattached towards the life existence and function of the body and mind that are selfless and subject to impermanence, and being undetermined by any qualities of names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses that are also impermanent, and the mind will be free from loneliness and all other forms of impurities.

Otherwise, the mind ceaselessly looking for or relying on companionship, love and support from other beings to occupy itself with some forms of mental or physical social interactions and activities, to get rid of loneliness, dissatisfaction, boredom, emptiness, meaninglessness and so on. There's nothing wrong with trying to get rid of loneliness by keeping the mind busy engaging with someone or something, but then the mind will be in a state of restlessness, which it will come to a point where the mind goes wild and couldn't 'unwind' or 'shut down' naturally, and affecting the mental and physical health and relationships with everyone in long term. In serious cases, people might hurt themselves and/or others either out of loneliness or restlessness.

For those who are sincere in their yoga practice to 'know thyself', to be free from 'suffering', who might think that they have a 'good', 'contented', 'positive' and 'happy' mind, can try to live alone in solitude and seclusion being isolated from 'the world' for a prolong period of time, and one will find out the true state of the mind, or whether the mind is free, or not.

Be free.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Be free from egoism of attachment and identification is the yoga practice

Suffering of restlessness, dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hatred, jealousy, hurts, guilt, regret, fear, worry, low self-esteem, meaninglessness, boredom, loneliness, unhappiness, grief, and so on is the outcome of ignorance and egoism.

The ego attached onto the qualities of names and forms that are directly or indirectly connected or related to the body and mind. Such like, the thinking and belief in the mind, the state of the mind, the past memories, the present experiences, the future imaginations, the cultural background, the religious background, the educational background, the profession, the possession, the perception of names and forms of what the mind sees, hears, smells, tastes, senses and thinks, all the feelings and emotions, the likes and dislikes, the habits, the personality, the ambitions, the actions and the result of the actions, the knowledge, the physical appearance, physical condition, physical ability and limitation, and all the relationships that are connected or related to this body and mind, friends circle, social life and activities, the living environment, the lifestyle, the condition and situation of the world, and so on, to be identified as what/who I am.

When there's a voice coming from within, "I don't like myself. I want to change (into something else that I prefer to be, that is different from what I am now.)" or "I like myself. I don't want to change (into something else that I don't prefer to be, that is different from what I am now.)" This actually means that the ego is either satisfied with or dissatisfied with and likes or doesn't like one or more of those qualities of names and forms that the ego attached onto and identified with. The ego is either satisfied with or dissatisfied with and likes or doesn't like the physical appearance, condition, ability and limitation, or what it knows and doesn't know, or the state of the mind, or certain feelings and emotions, or certain names and forms that the mind comes in contact with, or certain experiences, or certain habits, or certain friends or social circle, or certain actions and the result of actions, or certain relationships, and so on.

The ego might feel satisfied, good, happy, confident, motivated and meaningful when it achieved or possessed the qualities that it likes and wants to be identifying with. But it is not free, as all these qualities that it likes and wants to be identifying with, are impermanent. When all these qualities that it likes and wants to be identifying with changed into something else or are no longer available, or when it couldn't achieve the qualities that it likes and wants, the ego will feel dissatisfied, disappointment, bad, unhappy, low confident, demotivated and meaningless. If there's no attachment or identification towards all these qualities, then there's no dissatisfaction and disappointment, or bad and unhappy feelings, or the sense of low confidence and meaninglessness. The existence of life is not affected or determined by any qualities of names and forms that are directly or indirectly connected or related to the body and mind. In fact, it is the ego that needs to attached onto and identifying with certain qualities to feel confident and meaningful about itself and the worldly life existence through achieving or possessing those qualities. Once the ego is annihilated, the sense of confidence and meaningfulness about oneself and the worldly life existence doesn't exist at all.

There's nothing wrong with the ego reacting towards the different qualities of names and forms that the mind comes in contact with, based on the qualities that the mind projects onto all the names and forms influenced by the thinking and belief in the mind, of what the ego likes and doesn't like, agrees and disagrees with, and wants and doesn't want. And hence, the mind is not free, being restless ceaselessly, swaying in between satisfaction and dissatisfaction, proudness and disappointment, happiness and unhappiness, positive thinking and negative thinking, elevation and depression, meaningfulness and meaninglessness, and etc.

There are many people don't mind being not free being determined by all and everything that they experience. being restless and peaceless. They call this "Life and human nature." They believe "Life has to be full of passion and it's about fulfillment of desires, or else it's meaningless." That's their freedom.

There's nothing wrong when some 'yoga teachers/instructors' practice and teach about "Live life passionately" and "Change into what 'I' like and want myself (my body and mind) to be" and "Life is short, fulfill all desires and indulge in what 'I' like and want" as the meaning of life existence, and they might consume only 'pure and clean food' and 'do yoga' everyday, but that is not the teaching or practice of yoga. The teaching and practice of yoga is mainly about dispassion, renunciation from worldly social life, objects, ideas and activities, and the annihilation of egoism.

For those who are looking for peace or liberation from restlessness, they can try to practice yoga of dispassion, renunciation and annihilation of egoism.

The existence of life will be peaceful as it is, without being determined by any qualities of names and forms. Peace is beyond all the impermanent qualities of names and forms that the body and mind comes in contact with or doesn't come in contact with.

Be free.

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Know thyself. There is no existence of 'I'. Everything is impermanent. Be free, be peaceful, be happy.

Om shanti

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Pantai Cenang, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
My husband and I run ongoing yoga retreats in Langkawi Malaysia. We teach traditional Hatha Yoga - a combination of Asanas (postures) and Pranayama (breathing techniques) and relaxation, that has given benefit to millions of practitioners over thousands of years. Our yoga studio is situated in Langkawi. We also run yoga retreats in Europe and India.

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