be free, be happy, be peaceful

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

Monday, December 5, 2016

How yoga is being perceived in the world as one type of physical health and fitness exercise

Some people asked us if we teach TTC (Yoga Teachers Training Course). No, we don't.

Anyone who has realized selflessness and unconditional love and peace through self-realization, who knows the path to free the mind from suffering that derived from ignorance and egoism (attachment, identification, worldly desires, craving and aversion), not necessarily that one has to be a yoga practitioner and disregards how long one has been practicing yoga, one can share the knowledge of selflessness and unconditional love and peace with anyone, without the necessity of becoming a 'yoga teacher' to 'teach yoga classes'. One doesn't need to attend TTC to be trained to become 'qualified yoga teacher' to 'teach yoga classes' to share the realization of selflessness and unconditional love and peace with other beings. One doesn't need 'approval', or 'authorization', or 'qualification', or 'certification', or 'affiliation', or 'graduation from TTC with excellent results' to share the knowledge of unconditional love, peace and fearlessness through self-realization with other beings who are in search for liberation from ignorance and suffering.

Attending TTC and graduating with excellent results from TTC doesn't determine that one is, or will be free from ignorance and egoism. Teaching yoga is nothing to do with 'professionalism', or 'teacher training', or 'certification', which is part of the worldly ideas born out of egoism.

TTC are a platform or medium for anyone, including those who have never done any yoga practice before but who have the interest to know about yoga, to be open-minded and be humble to learn about the teachings of yoga, and begin their self-practice with self-discipline to purify the mind to free the mind from egoism and ignorance. Once the mind is purified and has realized selflessness and unconditional love and peace, one can share the knowledge of selflessness and unconditional love and peace with other beings without intention, without identification, without attachment.

Meanwhile many of the 'professional TTC allied with yoga alliance' are about being a platform or medium for people who think they know a lot about yoga and that they are good enough or ready to become 'yoga teachers', and they think they need to attend 'internationally recognized TTC allied with yoga alliance' to be trained 'how to teach/conduct professional, safe, effective, creative, fun and motivative yoga asana exercise classes' to acquire some kind of 'internationally recognized certification allied with yoga alliance' so that they can find a job called 'yoga teacher/instructor' to teach/conduct 'yoga asana exercise classes' in yoga centre or fitness centre or community centre, and lots of these TTC exist to cater to their 'needs' to provide the appropriate 'training' and 'certification' that they are looking for.

These 'professional' TTC also teach about the teachings or philosophy of yoga but emphasize mainly on training the people about how to teach/conduct a 'yoga asana exercise classes', about how to give instructions, how to perform the yoga poses, what to do or what not to do, what are the benefits of the different yoga poses, the breathing exercises, the relaxation and the other practices, how to make physical adjustments, what are the 'correct alignment', general knowledge to share in the class (about diet, lifestyle, positive thinking, anatomy, physiology, health and fitness, stories telling, philosophy, and etc), how to interact, what is a 'good teaching technique', or a 'good practice', or a 'good class', how to make the students or clients happy and satisfied, how to 'touch' people's heart, and etc. It is a great contradiction because during the philosophy class they teach/talk about "perform all your actions without attachment and identification, renounce the fruit of actions and allowing the fruit of actions to be there as it is" but then in the 'yoga asana classes' is about feeding the egoism of both the teachers and the students - empowering the identification and attachment towards the action and the result of the action. Such like, "I am a good yoga teacher who teach/conduct good yoga classes" and "I am a good yoga student/practitioner who performs the yoga poses nicely and achieves good results/improvement from the practice"

Love and peace has nothing to do with how a person look or feel while being in particular yoga poses, or what is the physical condition, ability and limitation, or what type and how much benefits coming from the yoga practice. People don't have to put their bodies in any particular yoga poses to be kind and compassionate, or to be peaceful. The impermanent physical condition, ability and limitation doesn't determine a being would be free from ignorance, egoism, impurities and suffering, and be compassionate and peaceful, or not.

If one truly knows what is yoga or has realized selflessness and unconditional love and peace, one doesn't need to attend TTC to learn how to conduct 'yoga classes' to attain 'certification' to be 'authorized' to become 'professional internationally certified yoga teacher' to be teaching or passing the knowledge of yoga to other beings, or to be compassionate towards oneself and all beings.

No doubt that there are 'TTC graduates' who realize yoga through the practice of silence, self-inquiry, dispassion and right discrimination, and they may or may not be teaching 'yoga classes'.

The attachment towards the performance/results/effects/benefits of the yoga practice, and the emphasis on the technical/professional teaching instructions about "the correct body alignment of each yoga pose", or "how a yoga pose/position should look like", and the 'positive' encouraging words, cheering and hand clapping to congratulate or give encouragement, such like 'Well done!', 'You can do it!', 'You did it!', 'That's very good!', 'You're amazing!', 'Awesome!', 'Feel strong!', 'Be strong!', 'Let's boost your confidence and self-esteem!', 'Yoga strengthens your body and mind', 'Yoga elevates your mind!', 'Yoga makes you feel great!', 'You should be proud of yourself!', 'I am so proud of you!', and etc, as the core structure or important qualities of the 'yoga exercise classes' are indeed feeding the egoism (attachment, identification, craving, aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation).

But there is nothing wrong with all these TTC producing 'internationally certified yoga teachers' teaching 'yoga asana exercise classes' because most people who want to attend yoga classes are only interested in doing something that will make them feel good and look good, or give them the benefits/effects/results that they want. Being conditioned by worldly ideas, people evaluate a 'yoga teacher' based on their 'qualification' and 'certification', their 'professionalism', their 'ability' to give a 'good yoga exercise class' that can make them look good and feel good physically and mentally, or their up-to-date tips/general knowledge on the latest styles and techniques and about health and fitness. Many people are not interested in the practice of silence, quieting the mind, self-inquiry, dispassion and self-discipline to be free from ignorance and egoism, mainly it's because people don't think their minds are influenced by ignorance, they don't think they need to free the mind from egoism, as they love their ego of who they think they are. They don't see what's wrong with egoism. They enjoy being passionate about worldly life and social activities, and spend most of their effort on gratifying all their desires, and do what will make them feel good and happy as the meanings of life.

All these TTC graduates are 'good people' who have 'good intention' and hope to 'be qualified' to share yoga with other people, and it makes them feel meaningful and happy when their students look good and feel good about themselves after taking yoga exercise class with them. There's nothing 'wrong' with that.

It's like many children don't like to eat healthy food, the parents or care-taker might give them something that they like in return, such like desserts, to persuade them to eat the healthy food that they don't like to eat. And the parents feel happy seeing their children eating the healthy food and enjoying the desserts afterwards. So everyone is happy. That sounds very 'good'. Eventually, some of the children might start to realize why it is important to eat the healthy food, and even without any desserts in return, they will eat the healthy food out of their own choice. But very few children will have the self-realization, and in the end, they are addicted to the desserts, and they won't be happy unless they have their desserts. Just like people won't do something that is good for them or other people unless they will get something that they like and want in return. This is not yoga.

Imagine when a great 'yogi' who has attained self-realization and is compassionate comes to the yoga centre and offer himself to share the knowledge of yoga to whoever are interested in learning and practice yoga, and the yoga centre staff ask him, "Do you have internationally recognized either 200 hours or 500 hours yoga teacher certification allied with yoga alliance?" The yogi tells them, "No." And they tell him, "Sorry, we only employ 'qualified' professional yoga teacher with internationally recognized yoga teacher certification allied with yoga alliance to conduct yoga classes here."

Everyone has the freedom to choose what they want to do with their life, their bodies and minds. If people are contented with living a restless passionate worldly life full of attachments and identifications, and are okay with being the slave of their desires of cravings and aversions, and enjoying doing some yoga exercise regularly that will make them look good and feel good, that's their freedom.

Be free.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

May all be free from all kinds of suffering especially involving traumatic/disturbing/hurtful/abusive life experience

There are many different ways to cope with all kinds of suffering in the world to an extent, or even to be free from suffering. Especially in the suffering involving traumatic/disturbing/hurtful/abusive life experiences. Some people might keep to themselves hiding in the dark, while some people might try to get help from professional psychologists or spiritual healers, and some might turn to drugs or engage in some sorts of activities to escape the pain. Most of the time, when people try to look for help from the outside, it would involve third parties showing loving kindness, sympathy, empathy, supports, actions of sharing, caring, listening, and giving helps physically, mentally, psychologically and emotionally to the suffering beings to ease or relieve their suffering, as well as to condemn those who inflict suffering onto others. If one doesn't know how to be free from continuously be disturbed by painful experiences (past and present), it will affect one's relationships with everyone.

In the teachings of yoga, it's beyond third parties showing love and care and supports towards the suffering beings to ease or relieve their suffering, or to condemn those who inflict suffering onto others. But it is guiding and allowing them to help themselves and love themselves without the need of sympathy/empathy/supports from third parties, to see the truth of suffering through silencing the mind, to be free from the root cause of all sufferings - ignorance and egoism. A lot of times, the teachings of yoga that lead the impure suffering ignorant egoistic minds to the realization of the truth of suffering are not something that the worldly conditioning minds would agree with or like to hear/practice, particularly the minds who think and believe they are 'good' and 'kind', that are conditioned by worldly thinking and are still functioning under the influence of ignorance and egoism.

Those who are free from suffering through the self-realization of the truth of suffering, there is no anger, or hatred, or fault finding, or blame, or condemn, or avenge, or punishment towards 'the suffering', 'the sufferer', 'the cause of suffering', or 'those who directly or indirectly inflict the suffering'. There's no need to forget, or to escape, or to be healed, or to be bitter, or to be shameful about, or to attain revenge. One acknowledges/confronts the experience or the memory of the experience which couldn't be undone without attachment, identification, aversion, anger, hatred, or fear. One is free and has peace undetermined by unpleasant past experiences inflicted by ignorant beings out of ignorance.

The experience of suffering, or 'I' am suffering (whether 'I' think it's because 'I' am 'bad' and 'sinful' or it's because other people are 'bad' and 'evil'), is born out of ignorance. The actions and the performers of the actions that inflict suffering onto others or themselves, whether directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, are born out of ignorance. But ignorance is not 'the one' to be blamed for suffering either. There's none/nothing to be blamed at all for the existence of suffering inflicted by ignorant behavior.

Those who have realized the truth of life existence consisting the impermanent and selfless existence and function of the impure/ignorant/egoistic mind and the impermanent limited physical body, whom have realized selflessness and compassion, they won't be traumatized/disturbed/hurt/abused by what the worldly conditioned impure/ignorant/egoistic mind think and believe as 'traumatic', 'disturbing', 'hurtful' or 'abusive' life experiences. They are free from suffering that actually derived from conditioned reactions out of ignorance and egoism from one's impure mind towards what the mind perceives as 'traumatic', 'disturbing', 'hurtful', or 'abusive' experience.

This doesn't mean that the abuse, the victim of abuse, the abuser and the abusive behavior don't exist at all, or the mind has incorrect recognition about the unpleasant/unkind abusive experience. But, the liberated mind has no identification as 'the victim of the abuse', and has gone beyond the experience that the mind recognizes as 'wrong' or 'bad' or 'abusive', and it confronts/observes the experience and those whom directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally involve in the experience with compassion, being aware of all kinds of disturbing/abusive/hurtful/torturing actions are born out of ignorance. The realization of selflessness and compassion transcends all kinds of suffering inflict by ignorant behavior born out of ignorance. Meanwhile those who perform ignorant behavior out of ignorance will bear the consequences of their actions even though 'the victim of other people's ignorant behavior' doesn't suffer for 'other people's 'wrong' or 'bad' behavior out of ignorance'.

All minds have the right and freedom to feel angry, hurt, traumatized, or depressed, when they experience something that the minds recognize as 'wrong' and 'bad', or 'hurtful' and 'abusive'. But why should we suffer for other people's ignorant behavior that our minds think and believe as 'wrong' and 'bad'? We don't have to. We have the choice not to suffer for other people's ignorance. By allowing ourselves to suffer for other people's 'wrong' and 'bad' behavior is actually self-harming/self-abusing our body and mind, out of ignorance and egoism. People are not aware that actually everyone has been constantly hurting/abusing/torturing their own body and mind with ceaseless impure egoistic reactions of anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, fear, worry, craving, aversion, and etc, from the past to the present, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

Those who realized selflessness and are compassionate, they stop hurting/abusing/torturing their own body and mind as their minds are from ignorance and egoism, as well as they don't suffer for other people's 'wrong' and 'bad' behavior, even though there might be damages or painful/unpleasant sensations in the body and mind caused by other people's ignorant behavior. When one is free from suffering, it doesn't mean that one is agreeing or supporting other people's 'wrong' and 'bad' behavior, or actionlessly allowing ignorant beings to inflict ignorant behavior onto one's body and mind. One can do one's best to prevent/protect oneself from other people's ignorant behavior, but one has no attachment towards one's actions and the result of the actions, and has complete understanding towards all the impure actions and reactions in the world are born out of ignorance and egoism.

If one realizes the truth of selflessness and compassion, one will be free from feeling angry/hurt/traumatized/depressed towards life experience that impure minds recognized or perceived as traumatic, disturbing, hurtful, or abusive. One is able to confront all kinds of 'suffering' with peace and compassion, and stands as a witness and be compassionate towards the experience (the suffering), the one who suffers (the body and mind), and the one who inflict the suffering (the ignorant).

May all be free from all kinds of physical, mental, psychological and emotional sufferings through silencing the mind to realize the truth of suffering, selflessness and compassion, and be free from suffering of anger, hatred, jealousy, avenge, hurts, guilt, regret, self-harm, self-blame, disappointment, painful sorrow, fear and worry due to past and present traumatic/disturbing/hurtful/abusive life experiences.

It's everyone's freedom whether they choose to continually be disturbed or haunted by their past traumatic/disturbing life experience and feel angry and bitter, or they can choose to let it go and have peace.

Be free.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

"Do things that will make you happy" is not yoga practice

There's nothing wrong with "Do things that will make you happy", just that it is not yoga practice.

The one who needs to do or achieve something that it thinks will make it happy in order to be happy, is the ego. This happiness coming from doing or achieving something that will make the egoistic mind happy, is impermanent. It's everyone's freedom whether people choose to enjoy impermanent conditional happiness, or people wish to realize unconditional peace and happiness.

At one moment people celebrate and be happy about something that they like and agree with, at another moment people mourn and suffer about the same thing that has changed into something that they dislike and disagree with.

Yoga is the realization of selflessness, being free from egoism, or the ego, or the idea of 'I' and the desires that derive from 'I'.

By feeding the egoistic desires or the fulfillment of the desires of 'I' might give the egoistic mind momentary happy feelings and satisfactory, but it doesn't take away the unhappiness or dissatisfaction that derives from unfulfilled desires and losing the possessed happiness and satisfactory.

Yoga practice is to stop feeding the ego and its desires.

Be free from the ego, there's no need to rely or depend on any impermanent qualities of names and forms (objects, experiences, actions, results, possessions, kindness, knowledge, acknowledgements, supports, connections, relationships, companionship, conditions, abilities, and etc) to be happy, or not.

The selfless being doesn't need to find happiness or be happy. One is happy as it is.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Looking for yoga?

It's common that people who are interested in yoga and have the desire to learn and practice yoga in order to know what yoga really is about, they will try to go to a 'place', or 'school', or 'ashram', or 'person', where they think and expect that it would deliver them what they are looking for. Some people might found what they were looking for. But for some others, they are disappointed as they couldn't find what they are looking for.

It is not whether a particular place, or school, or ashram, or person, has the power or quality to make people 'see' or 'find' yoga, or not. People might go to the same place, or same school, or same ashram, or same person, and some would 'find' yoga there, while others couldn't. This is due to whether our minds are being opened, or not.

Yoga could be 'found' or 'seen' in anywhere and everywhere, but, if we try to look for yoga in a particular place, or school, or ashram, or person, most likely we will be disappointed, because the mind is not opened. But, when we let go of any expectation towards 'finding yoga' in a particular place, school, ashram, or person, and stop trying to look for yoga in a particular place, school, ashram, or person, but, just allowing our minds to be open and observe what is going on in our own minds, in this present, from moment to moment, observing all the impermanent changes of the states of mind, actions and reactions, thoughts and feelings that ceaselessly coming and going which are not in the control of 'I' of how 'I' would like it to be, we will start to 'see' yoga here and there, anywhere and everywhere. There's no separation from yoga. There's no 'I' am looking for 'yoga', or, 'I' found 'yoga'.

The eyes serve as a tool to 'see' lots of names and forms of different shapes and colours, but it can't 'see' itself. And yet, it was never being separated from itself.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

What your mind thinks and believes is not important, so as what other minds think and believe...

In the worldly thinking and belief, especially in personal growth and empowerment, a person should have or develop a strong personal identity about 'This is who you are' and 'Your thinking and belief, your background, your nationality, your gender, your religion, your family and friends and relatives, your social network, your dreams or aspirations, your profession, your achievements, all your actions and the result of your actions, are what make you who you are, and so, this is your unique personal identity and you should let the world know this is who you are. You should be proud of your thinking and belief, your actions and the result of your actions, and all those qualities that make you for being who you are. You are a very unique individual. You are very important and you deserve the best. You should do your best to make the world, or your family and friends, or your country, or your teachers, or other people to be proud of you and gain their respect towards you. You should defend your personal identity and the rights of your personal identity. You should not lose your personal identity.'

In yoga, what you think is your thinking and belief, your background, your nationality, your gender, your religion, your family and friends and relatives, your social network, your dreams or aspirations, your profession, your achievements, all your actions and the result of your actions, or whatever you think is your identity, are not who you are.

Be free from egoism, identification, and conditioned worldly ideas.

Yoga is the realization of selflessness beyond the function/modification of the mind and mind perception of qualities of names and forms. What your mind thinks and believes is truly not important, so as what other minds think and believe.

There's no need to defend anything. There's no fear of losing anything. There's no need to gain respect for anything. There's no need to be proud of anything.

Be free.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Feedback for yoga teachers?

There's nothing abnormal or wrong for the 'yoga students' to provide feedback to the 'yoga teachers' who conduct the 'yoga classes' for them to learn and practice yoga, and it's normal for the 'yoga teachers' who conduct the 'yoga classes' would appreciate feedback from the 'yoga students' as part of the worldly thinking or ideas about ways to improve or evolve.

Just that it's moving away from the teachings and practice of yoga about eliminating the egoism. This is part of the plays of egoism. It actually 'holds back' the mind from going beyond the perception of duality. It empowers attachment and identification with qualities of names and forms, as well as attachment and identification with the actions and the result of the actions.

A 'yoga teacher' who 'teaches' yoga to other beings should be able to be aware of the modification of one's mind and the actions and reactions, without attachment and identification with all these names and forms. There's no attachment or expectation towards one's action of teaching yoga to other beings and the results or consequences of the action of teaching. The 'yoga teacher' allows the 'yoga students' to develop awareness towards the modification of their own minds, and to act and react in their own way, or to express their thoughts/ideas/suggestions/advice out of their own perspective, or not, towards the process of transmitting or receiving the teachings of yoga to or from other beings.

It's not about - "I know I am a good yoga teacher and I can teach good yoga classes, and so, I don't need any feedback, suggestions or advice on how to be a better yoga teacher to give better yoga classes." or "I don't know whether I am a good yoga teacher, or not. Or whether I teach good yoga classes, or not. I need feedback/suggestion/advice from the students or other people to tell me whether I am good or not good, or how I can improve myself to be better yoga teacher to teach better yoga classes." As yoga really is nothing to do with all these names and forms. One can be identified or acknowledged as a 'very good' yoga teacher who can teach 'very good' yoga classes, but that doesn't mean that this yoga teacher is free from ignorance and egoism, or, vice versa.

This is nothing to do with 'pride' and 'arrogance' or 'humility', 'improvement', 'constant learning', or 'the way how it should be'. Feedback/suggestion/advice coming from minds that are not free from ignorance, egoism, duality and qualities of names and forms, is irrelevant towards one's mind evolution towards selflessness. The minds that are free from ignorance, egoism, duality and qualities of names and forms, don't 'require' or 'provide' feedback/suggestion/advice. As peace and compassion is nothing to do with whether the teacher is a 'good' yoga teacher who teaches 'good' yoga classes, or whether the yoga students are 'good' yoga students who perform their 'yoga practice' or 'yoga poses' 'correctly' and 'perfectly', or not. Just like to be able to let go of attachment, it's just 'let go'. There's no thinking about "how to let go", "how fast or slow to let go", or "one should let go in this way or that way which is the 'good' or 'right' way".

In a 'yoga asana class', whether it's a group class or a private individual class, there are countless mind reactions arise from different states of minds and different physical conditions. At one moment, the mind and the body is at ease with the practice, and in another moment, the mind and the body is not at ease with the practice. And this changes from moment to moment. For the same practice, different minds and different bodies react differently. One might suggest that the practice is too rush or too intense, another might suggest the practice is too slow or too gentle, while another might suggest that the practice is just nice, it's not too rush and not too slow or it's not too intense and not too gentle.

Teaching 'yoga classes' is not about trying to gratify everyone's craving and aversion towards their personal likes and dislikes towards the style, or type, or way of practice, and to adapt to the familiarity or habit of each individual. It's not about trying to be a 'good' yoga teacher to teach 'good' yoga classes to create 'good' yoga students to achieve 'good performances' or 'good results'. It's about doing one's best making use of one's opportunity, ability and knowledge, without attachment and identification towards one's action and the results or consequences of action. It doesn't matter if one's mind or other minds think or judge that 'this action' or 'the result of this action' is 'good' or 'not good'. It's about guiding the students towards the annihilation of ignorance and egoism.

A 'yoga teacher' or 'yoga student' will never be free from ignorance and egoism, if this 'yoga teacher' or 'yoga student' is still 'teaching' and 'learning' yoga according to the 'ways' of the worldly modification/thinking/ideas of the egoistic mind.

There is no egoistic intention or identification of "I am here to teach or share yoga with other beings", not to say, "I am, or I want to be a 'good' yoga teacher who can teach or share 'good' yoga classes to other beings."

Realize the essence of the teachings of yoga about selflessness, non-attachment, non-identification, non-duality, non-separateness, attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness, and be free.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Disappointment?

Disappointment is coming from unfulfilled expectation towards people, society, objects or experiences about everyone and everything have to be the way that we think they should be, which is based on our family brought up, religious and cultural belief and practice, social ethics, personal thinking and belief, likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, as well as desires of want and don't want. It isn't coming from people, society, objects or experiences that we think are 'wrong', 'bad', or 'inappropriate'. All these names and forms don't and couldn't disappoint us or make us unhappy. It's our own mind's reaction that generates disappointment in us towards someone or something that we don't like or don't agree with.

Respect everyone and everything have the freedom to be what they are, even if our mind doesn't like or doesn't agree with them.

After performing actions that we think and believe as 'good, 'kind', and 'generous', allow the result of the actions to be what it is, and allow everyone to show appreciation, gratefulness and thankfulness, or not. There's nothing wrong with people who don't appreciate or be grateful for something that we believe as 'good', 'kind' and 'generous'. It's our mind believing that 'this is wrong' or 'it shouldn't be like this' that generates disappointment in us. There's nothing wrong with the mind feels disappointed towards someone or something, because that is how the mind works under the influence of ignorance.

Practice yoga of non-attachment, dispassion and renunciation, if we truly want to be free from ignorance which is the cause of all kinds of unhappiness and suffering.

Abandon worldly thinking and belief about how human beings or people should or shouldn't behave, act and react.

Love the world as it is, even if it is not the way that we like it to be.

Do our best to help the world to improve, but without attachment towards the actions and the result of the actions.

Be free.

Let go all the worldly identifications that built on impermanent qualities of names and forms

Let go all the worldly identifications that built on impermanent qualities of names and forms.

Knowledge, nationality, society, community, tribe, gender, sexual orientation, race, skin colour, personality, characteristic, family background, culture, spirituality, religion, education, language, title, relationship, life condition, health condition, fitness level, appearance, feature, shape and size, thinking and belief and practices, physical and mental state, physical and mental abilities and disabilities, physical and mental transition and limitation, creativity and ideas, talents and skills, interests and habits, social interactions and activities, worldly and spiritual achievements, possessions, actions and inactions, and so on.

Inquire the truth of what or who we think is 'I'.

Realize selflessness/egolessness/'I'lessness.

There is no 'I' to be identifying with any qualities of names and forms as 'I'.

It's merely impermanent changes of countless arising and passing away of names and forms, from moment to moment.

Be free. Be peaceful.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The mind only knows what it knows, and what it doesn't know, it doesn't know...

What is precious for the dispassionate is being perceived as worthless for the worldly minded, and what is meaningless for the dispassionate is being perceived as meaningful for the worldly minded.

Noble yoga practice such like renouncing the world being dispassionate and disinterest towards worldly matters, activities and social interactions, and the observation of noble silence, seclusion and solitude restricting the mind's inputs and outputs quieting the restless mind, to divert the entire energy and attention onto the sublimation of the mind, is being recognized or seen as 'abnormal', 'wrong', 'not good', 'uncivilized', 'outdated', 'rude', 'selfish', 'unfriendly', 'uncaring', 'inhuman', 'crazy', 'unhappy', 'suffering', and so on, by the worldly minded and so called 'civilized' society especially family, friends and relatives, including some of those who think they like yoga and are practicing yoga.

Everyone has the freedom of thinking, belief, opinion, expression, action, speech and way of life. What is 'abnormal' to the society, is very much based on something that is unfamiliar and unenjoyable for the majority, or something that is being different from the majority. Such like most people live a 'normal' life of mingling, mixing and socializing with other human beings building relationships, networks, connections, engaging in social interactions and activities. That is what they think is the progressive way of life to build a progressive world and society.

Meanwhile, there are some people who prefer to live a quiet life without mixing into the society. They have no intention to be different from anyone else, neither do they object or criticize other people's way of life that are different from them. They are happy as they are and they don't have to be doing something 'fun' or 'enjoyable' to make them feel happy or enjoying life. But those who attached strongly onto their particular thinking and belief and the way of life that they think is 'normal' and 'good', they might not know how to respect other human beings who are different from them, who live a way of life that is different from the majority. They expect every human beings should also follow the way of life that they think is 'normal' and 'good'. If others are not interested in the way of life that they live, they will criticize these people who live a different way of life as 'abnormal', 'not good' or 'wrong'.

They think that those who renounce the world, who stay away from the society to observe silence, seclusion and solitude, and being dispassionate and disinterest in worldly matters and social interactions and activities must be 'mad', 'mentally sick', 'unhappy', 'miserable', 'lonely' and 'suffering' people, because themselves don't enjoy or don't like being in silence, seclusion and solitude, or being by oneself without social mingling and interaction with some other human beings. They are like fish out of water. They will feel so uncomfortable, unhappy, miserable, lonely and suffer if they have to be away from mingling, socializing and interacting with some other human beings for a period of time. And so, this makes them think that those who observe silence, seclusion and solitude must be 'crazy', 'mentally sick', 'unhappy', 'miserable', 'lonely' and 'suffering'.

The worldly minded expect all human beings should conform to their worldly thinking and beliefs about all human beings should act and react or behave according to what they believe as socially acceptable behavior and proper way of life.

Such like, they think and believe that people should live life passionately towards worldly social life and activities which they believe that is what a meaningful and happy life is about, or else, life must be meaningless, dull and unhappy for those who are dispassionate and disinterest towards worldly objects of names and forms. They think that people should be doing something that they believe as 'fun' and 'enjoyable' or achieving something that they think and believe as something 'good and meaningful' to be happy and meaningful, that will make them and other people to feel proud of themselves. This is nothing wrong and it's their freedom of thinking and belief and what they want to do with their life.

"It's abnormal to not mix into the society and not having 'friends' to socialize with or not being passionate towards anything. You must be so miserable and lonely." People said.

"It's crazy to not interact or do things with other human beings. It's so ridiculous to not do something 'fun' and 'enjoyable' that will make you happy. You must be so unhappy and suffering." And they said.

"It's rude to not talking to another human being. This is so wrong, uncivilized, unfriendly and selfish behavior." So they said.

These are so called 'normal' thinking and belief of the worldly minded. They label those who don't think like them or don't believe in what they believe, who don't live life or do things like them, who don't act and react or behave like them, as 'abnormal', 'crazy', or 'uncivilized' people.

Different minds find their own paths to transcend the modification of the mind. Different minds eliminate egoism and ignorance through different paths. Some yearn for ultimate liberation, while many don't. And it's okay.

There's nothing to be argued about.

The mind only knows what it knows, and what it doesn't know, it doesn't know. And it's okay.

Those who see the preciousness of renouncing worldly ideas, passionate desires, social interactions and activities, and turning the mind inward and enjoying the silence, have nothing to be argued about with those who don't see what they see. They respect everyone to be what they are and have the freedom of thinking, belief, expression, opinion, judgment, behavior and way of life.

If majority people observe silence and take care of their own minds, and be free from egoism and ignorance, being free from desires, lust, greed, jealousy, resentment and fear, the world will be more peaceful having less human's discrimination, prejudice, clashes, conflicts, arguments, crimes, hatred and violence, that are due to impure minds under the influence of ignorance and egoism. And this has nothing to do with 'God' or 'religions' or 'spirituality'.

Om shanti.

"Let the world have its own ways. Mind your own affairs. Clean your mental factory. That man who does not interfere with others is the most peaceful man in the world." - Swami Sivananda

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Self-introspection and self-discipline

None, not even our 'beloved teachers', can perform introspection for our minds to purify our impure minds, but oneself.

People might can perform research and study about other people's mind behavior, but none can remove the defects and impurities from one's mind, but oneself.

If one is capable of being aware of the pleasant and unpleasant thought activities, feelings, emotions, actions and reactions, desires, clinging, craving, aversion, and all sorts of impurities like anger, hatred, lust, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, fear and worry, and so on, then one is capable to perform self-introspection towards the thought current/activities/behavior, and perform self-inquiry into the truth of the mind and its modifications, without the need of attending 'yoga classes', without the need of supervision from a 'teacher'.

One needs to have self-discipline and perseverance to perform self-practice of self-introspection and self-inquiry on daily basis. It's checking the impurities of the mind, and safe-guarding the mind from worldly influences and distractions.

If after studying and learning the basic teachings and practice of yoga and meditation from a teacher for some time, one still gives oneself some 'excuses' about being reluctant to perform yoga and meditation practice by oneself, alone, such like -

"I don't know how to perform my yoga practice without the presence of a teacher giving me instructions on what I am supposed to be doing."

"I am lazy or demotivated or don't like to be doing yoga practice or any other beneficial activities by myself, alone, without the company of some 'friends'. I feel lonely without the 'social elements' of practicing in a group with some other people." Some people don't like being in silence with oneself even for a short period of time, without any social interaction with some other people.

"I get bored doing the same type of yoga practice repeatedly for some time." Such like, some people would feel annoyed by hearing or chanting the same chanting over and over again.

"I don't like the practice of self-introspection and self-inquiry as it shows the defects of my impure mind, and that hurts my ego and breaking the 'nice' and 'beautiful' self-image that I would like to project onto myself or to be identified with as This is who I am."

"I don't have the discipline or motivation to perform the yoga practice by myself but I have to attend 'yoga classes' to be doing some forms of 'yoga practice' as it is more 'motivating', 'interesting', 'interacting', 'fun' and 'enjoyable' with the company of some other people and under some 'motivational instructions' of a 'teacher'." Some people (the ego) rely on other people's feedback about their performance, to receive encouragement, praise and compliment, and by attaining good result or achievement, to feel confident or to feel good about themselves.

Then we are not really practicing yoga, even though we might have been attending different brand names, levels and styles of 'yoga classes', learning and doing some yoga exercises and yoga poses regularly for some time.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Still looking for teachers?

The one who thinks one enjoys and suffers, is oneself.

The one who thinks one believes and disbelieves, is oneself.

The one who thinks one performs actions and inactions, is oneself.

The one who thinks one receives the fruit of actions and inactions, is oneself.

The one who is and isn't aware of the impurities in one's mind, is oneself.

The one who identifies with the impurities in one's mind, is oneself.

The one who is over-powered by the impurities in one's mind, is oneself.

The one who purifies and annihilates the impurities in one's mind, is oneself.

The one who attaches and detaches, is oneself.

The one who is passionate and dispassionate, is oneself.

The one who is ignorant, is oneself.

The one who can free oneself from ignorance, is oneself.

The one who perceives good and bad, positive and negative, is oneself.

The one who goes beyond dualities, is oneself.

The one who perceives suffering, is oneself.

The one who can free oneself from suffering, is oneself.

The one who is and isn't influenced by anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, lust and fear in oneself, is oneself.

The one who feeds and starves anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, lust and fear in oneself, is oneself.

The one who lacks of self-discipline and self-control, is oneself.

The one who is determine and persevere, is oneself.

The one whose mind is disturbed and restless, is oneself.

The one whose mind is calm and content, is oneself.

The one who meditates and realizes, is oneself.

What teachers are you still looking for?

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

'Good people'?

The term 'good' might mean differently for different people. What is 'good' for some people might not be 'good' for some other people, and vice versa.

What happens when we recognize some people as 'good people', and we tell them, "You are a good person."? Usually it's when our minds perceive and feel touched by some qualities in these people which our minds recognize and agree as 'good' qualities based on the thinking and belief in our minds about what are 'good' qualities. What are 'good' qualities for some people might be different for some other people.

Most of the time, when people act and react or behave in the way that our minds like and agree with, our minds would identify and categorize these people as 'good people'. For example, when someone gives us what we want, or when someone gives us the help that we needed, or when someone fulfills our desires, or when someone shows agreement/ approval/support/encouragement/appreciation/gratefulness/thankfulness towards something that is directly or indirectly concerning ourselves, our lives, our thinking, our beliefs, our values, our visions, and our actions, then our minds will react with delight, and will acknowledge and identify this person as one of the 'good people'. We will tell this person, "Oh, you are such a good/nice/wonderful person."

But what happens when people don't act and react or behave in the way that our minds like and agree with, or they act and react or behave in the way that our minds dislike and disagree with, our minds would identify and categorize these people as 'not good people'. What happens when a person doesn't give us what we want, or doesn't give us the help that we needed, or doesn't fulfill our desires, or doesn't show agreement/ approval/support/encouragement/appreciation/gratefulness/thankfulness towards something that is directly or indirectly concerning ourselves, our lives, our thinking, our beliefs, our values, our visions, and our actions? Our minds will react with dissatisfaction, disappointment, unhappiness and resentment. Our minds will categorize and identify this person as 'not a good person' or 'not a nice person', just because they don't give us what we want or they give us what we don't want, or our desires are not being gratified, or we are not getting what we like and want in the way that we think it should be or the way that we would like it to be.

This shows that in many cases, what our minds think and recognize and identify as 'good people' and 'not good people' can be impulsive judgments based on our desires of likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, and wants and don't wants, and based on a particular thinking and beliefs about how people should and shouldn't act and react or behave.

We can perform inquiry by applying this mind behavior of judging what is 'good' and 'not good' onto anything that we can think of - 'good citizen', 'good teacher/student', 'good father/mother', 'good son/daughter', 'good brother/sister', 'good husband/wife', 'good friend/lover', 'good man/woman', 'good Buddhist/Christian/Muslim/Hindu/and others', 'good yogi', and so on... And we will see, most of the time the judgment about what is 'good' and 'not good' is based on what pleases us, or not, according to our thinking and beliefs about how everyone should/shouldn't behave, our personal likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, and the way that we think it should be and what we want them to be.

For example, when our teacher gives us what we like and want, we will say, "This is a good teacher." and when our teacher doesn't give us what we like and want, we will say, "This is not a good teacher."
Or when our husband/wife behave in the way that we want them to behave and gives us what we want, we will say, "You are a good husband/wife." and when our husband/wife doesn't behave in the way that we want them to behave and doesn't give us what we want, we will say, "You are not a good husband/wife."

When people feel happy and satisfied as they are pleased when we gratified all their desires and they tell us, "You are such a good/lovely/nice person." we can ask them, "Let's see if I couldn't please you when I can't gratify all your desires of what you want and don't want, will you still think and say that I am a good/lovely/nice person?"

The teachings and practice of yoga and meditation is to free the mind from all sorts of worldly attachment and identification with qualities of names and forms, and be free from impulsive judgements based on desires of craving and aversion under the influence of personal thinking and beliefs.

'Good people' who 'want' to be good and do good, who want to be recognized/labeled as 'good people', are not necessarily 'peaceful and happy' if there is egoism, attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, and expectation. The possession of some 'good' qualities in oneself and the identification as 'good people' doesn't determine that one will be peaceful and happy.

It doesn't mean that one has to be in good mood and behave 'nicely' or 'appropriately' all the time, so that one will not be disqualified as 'good people'. Those who do their best to be good and do good might not be always 'right' and 'know best' all the time, or won't make any mistakes and bad decisions in life. It's okay that we are not always right and we could be wrong some of the times, that we don't know best, that we are not in good mood all the time or we might not behave 'nicely' and 'appropriately' some of the times, and that we might make mistakes and bad decisions in life, as long as we are aware of the 'wrong', 'deficiency', 'bad mood', 'bad behavior', 'mistakes' and 'bad decisions', without denial or self-criticism towards all these 'not good' qualities, without attachment and identification, and are not being over-powered by pride and arrogance to justify the 'bad' qualities relate to oneself, or try to blame some other people or things for the qualities that we don't like about ourselves.

Most people growing up and living their entire lives being told or disciplined to be 'good', to do 'good' and to be 'good people', or to have a 'good and meaningful life' according to particular guidelines or standards about what is 'good' and 'good people', about what is 'good and meaningful life'. Many people ended up being disappointed and unhappy with themselves or other people for not being able to be perfectly 'good' or live a 'good and meaningful life' as what they expect themselves and other people to be.

Peace and happiness is not determined by whether we think we are 'good people' or 'not good people' and whether we live a life that is 'good and meaningful', or not. It is whether we think we are 'good' and 'good enough', and having a 'good and meaningful' life, or not, there is no egoism, attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, and expectation. When we perform actions that we think and believe are 'good' actions or when we behave in the way that we think is 'good', it's not because we want to be 'good people', or we want to live a 'good and meaningful' life. It's not because we want to be recognized and acknowledged by ourselves or other people as 'good people'.

There's nothing wrong and it's okay if other people don't recognize/acknowledge us as 'good people' or they recognize/acknowledge us as 'not good people' when they feel unhappy, dissatisfied, disappointed and resent when we didn't give them what they want, or didn't fulfill their desires of craving and aversion, or we didn't act and react or behave in the way that they expect us to be. That's their freedom of reaction, thinking and expectation.

Everyone is just what they are, and they act and react or behave as they are. It's neither good nor not good, neither nice nor not nice, neither right nor wrong.

Allowing everyone to be what they are, as what our minds think whether they are 'good people' or 'not good people', it's not the truth of who they are. What our minds think and what other people think whether ourselves are 'good people' or 'not good people', it's not the truth of who we are.

There's no 'I' to be identify as 'good people' or 'not good people'.

Be free.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The practice is in the moment observing or witnessing impermanent states of the mind

The states of the mind are impermanent. Whether it's calmed or disturbed, kind or unkind, grateful or ungrateful, forgiving or unforgiving, positive or negative, happy or unhappy, it's impermanent.

The practice is in the moment observing or witnessing impermanent states of the mind, without generate attachment, identification, judgment, expectation, craving or aversion towards any pleasant or unpleasant states of the mind.

Be free.

Non-comparison in yoga

"If I can do it, so can you!"
"Look! It's possible for them, it should be possible for you too!"
"This is so easy. You should be able to do it."
"Think positive! Believe in yourself! You can do it!"

All these motivational positive encouragements comparing someone with others to motivate a person to achieve something and the practice of positive thinking to motivate someone to perform a task, are nothing wrong or bad. But, this is not the teaching and practice of yoga.

There are different conditions, abilities and limitations in different people. And all kinds of conditions, abilities and limitations are impermanent and it's not 'I'.

The easiest or most comfortable positions or practice for some people might be challenging or very uncomfortable for some other people, and vice versa. Different people come from different life backgrounds and experiences have very different reactions towards the positions and practice. We can never compare one with another about what they can do or can't do, and what they should do or shouldn't do.

It's about knowing the conditions, abilities and limitations of the body and mind in the present moment now, and perform actions that are possible in the present moment, and achieve what is possible in the present moment, without comparison with the past conditions, abilities and limitations, without comparison with other people's conditions, abilities and limitations, without forcing the body and mind beyond its present conditions, abilities and limitations. Meanwhile, being aware of the conditions, abilities and limitations in the present moment now are impermanent and there's no identification with any conditions, abilities and limitations to be identifying as 'I'.

It's just what is possible and impossible in the moment without attachment towards the possibilities or impossibilities that are impermanent.

There's nothing wrong or bad with 'impossibilities'. It's okay if something is being 'impossible' and for us to be experiencing 'impossibilities'. It's okay that there are things which our body and mind can't do or can't achieve in the present moment, or even until the last moment of the existence of this body and mind. But we do our best, and keep doing our best, without attachment towards our efforts and the results of our efforts.

'Anything is possible' doesn't mean that everything is possible. It's about being open-minded towards any possibilities (both possibility and impossibility), without expectation towards anything to be possible or impossible. It's okay if there are things that are not in our control or wishes to be the way that we like it to be or the way that we think it should be. By telling ourselves and others that 'everything is possible', but only limited to the things that we want to achieve or things that we want them to happen, and for the things that we don't want them to happen, we don't want them to be possible, is denying and running away from the reality that we don't like and don't want.

Acknowledging that 'not everything is possible' makes 'anything is possible' possible. Allowing the possibility for possibilities and impossibilities.

It's okay if we can't do something that we would like to be able to do or achieve something that we would like to achieve. What we can do or can't do and what we achieve or don't achieve, has nothing to do with the realization of unconditional peace and compassion.

Everything is just what it is. It is neither possible or impossible.

Thinking positively won't change the truth of impermanence and selflessness to be what it is. Thinking positively every moment hoping everything is good and pleasant, that the world will be free from all kinds of suffering, will not stop different beings from experiencing different kinds of suffering. It's the actual effort of self-inquiry to be free from ignorance through self-realization of the truth of suffering will free oneself from suffering. It's nothing to do with positive thinking.

Be free.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Self-inquiry - The path of yoga and meditation

The most basic and yet most important teaching and practice of yoga and meditation is Self-inquiry to transcend the modification of the mind, to be free from ignorance and egoism and the consequences of ignorance and egoism - suffering. All the other different types of yoga practice is to help to purify and quiet the mind to allow the mind to perform the task of self-inquiry.

Self-inquiry is withdrawing the senses from the sense objects and turning the outgoing mind inward to attain self-realization and be free from ignorance.

There are lots of things that are beyond our knowledge or awareness, or there are many things that we don't know, that are unknown to us.

There are things that we think we know, that we are aware of, but we might not truly understand or we don't know whether it's true or false.

There's nothing wrong and it's common that people will try to gain knowledge or accumulate information and data through reading and studying books on subjects that they are interested in. We might analyze and apply agreement or disagreement towards the knowledge of information that we come in contact with from reading books and hearing from others. But by gaining knowledge and accumulating information and data through reading and studying the knowledge or research coming from other people doesn't determine that one will be free from ignorance and egoism and suffering.

There's nothing wrong and it's common as well that people like to ask some other people questions about things that they want to know with the intention to get some answers or explanations for things that they don't know or don't understand, in hope that it will clear their doubts. But by getting some answers or explanations from other people for all our questions won't remove our ignorance because we will never know whether the answers that we get from other people are true or not.

For example, if we never come in contact with 'apple' before, but now, it comes to our knowledge or awareness for the first time, and we want to know what is this 'apple'. We may ask other people, "I don't know what is 'apple', can you tell me what is 'apple'?" Even though other people try to explain to us what is 'apple' in details, and we could imagine or visualize about 'apple' from what other people described to us, but we will still don't know exactly what it is until we come in contact with an apple, looking at it, holding it, smelling it, tasting it and digesting it. And our perception of the apple can be very different from other people. Some people think it's tasty and they like it, while some people think it's not tasty and they don't like it. But the apple is just what it is. It is neither good nor not good. It has no intention or quality to be tasty or not tasty, or to make anyone like it or not.

It doesn't matter whether we think something that we come in contact with is being perceived by our minds as something good or not good, and whether our minds like it or not, agree with it or not, all the names and forms are impermanent and selfless.

By hearing other people talk or teach about the practice of non-attachment and be unaffected or undisturbed by the perception of names and forms, will not take away attachment in us, and we will still be affected and disturbed by our own perception of names and forms, unless we develop non-attachment in us. By hearing other people talk or teach about selflessness, will not take away the egoism in us, unless we realize selflessness.

And hence, the answers that will clear all our doubts have to be coming from self-inquiry and self-realization.

By reading a lot of books about the things that interest us, or going for courses to learn about everything that we want to know also won't free our mind from suffering and the cause of suffering, which is about dealing directly with the mind and its modification.

Whether we think there are many things that we don't know or we think we know many things, it doesn't determine that whether one will be peaceful and compassionate, or not, and it doesn't affect the truth to be what it is. The truth of impermanence and selflessness in all the names and forms will still be what it is. The truth doesn't change into something different from what it is, no matter we think we know about many things or we don't know much.

Whether we think we know or don't know about science, anatomy, biology, chemistry, physiology, psychology, dietary, nutrition, geology, astronomy, astrology, history, mathematics, architecture, engineering, sociology, politics, and so on, it doesn't change the truth of impermanence and selflessness. It doesn't determine that whether we will be peaceful and compassionate, and be free from ignorance, egoism and suffering, or not. Even doctors who know about medicines and how to treat many illnesses for other people and psychologists who study about psychology and treat psychology problems for others, are not necessarily be free from impurities and suffering, unless they realize the truth of suffering and be free from the cause of suffering.

Fitness instructors who are physically fit and healthy, and have the knowledge of fitness training and are endowed with creativity for designing motivative and effective fitness exercise routines to other people to train to become fit and healthy, are not necessarily be free from impurities and suffering, unless they realize the truth of suffering and be free from the cause of suffering.

Well-trained and certified yoga teachers who have the knowledge about the teachings and practice of yoga, who teach other people about the teachings and practice of yoga also are not necessarily be free from ignorance, egoism and suffering, unless they attain self-realization and be free from ignorance and egoism.

Meditate and realize.

May all be free.

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About Yoga

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

Om shanti

About Me

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Pantai Cenang, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
My husband - Marc De Faoite 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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