Yoga is about eliminating the ego to realize selflessness, but how?

Teaching yoga, not about teaching some yoga asana poses or exercises as fitness exercise class, but teaching and guiding the beings on how to develop non-attachment, non-identification, letting go of the ego, and how to transcend the mind and the body, transcend “suffering”, “restlessness”, “dissatisfaction”, “unhappiness”, “fear”, “worry”, and etc via yoga practice (not limited to yoga asana and pranayama practice), to realize the one nature of all beings – real peace that is unconditional, is not like doing a business selling a “product” or “service” to the people as like in the fitness, health and beauty industry, or in the modern “yoga” industry where there are so many varieties of “yoga classes” and “yoga accessories” on the “yoga market” to suit different types of mind interests or desires… But yoga is only one…

It is not a religion that trying to convert other people to believe and to follow its teachings, or else “God” will punish anyone who does not believe in its teachings and does not follow the practice accordingly… Every beings has the choice or freedom whether to follow the path and take up the practice, or not… Some people take up the complete practice, but many people only want to take up certain parts of the teachings and practice that they like and agree with… And there is nothing wrong with either choice…

It is our freedom whether we want to be selfish and ignorant, or if we want to be selfless and be free from ignorance… It is our freedom whether we want to be in peace, or we don’t mind at all if we are not in peace…

We cannot make anyone to believe, or to practice, or to realize according to what we believe and practice and realized.. It is everyone’s freedom… It is like, “I am peaceful, and if you are peaceful too, that’s good. But if you are not peaceful and are interested to know why I am peaceful and would like to follow the way of how to be peaceful, you are welcome to practice and realize yoga. But if you are not interested, then be happy with what you want and don’t want… I am peaceful as I am, anyway…”

If someone doesn’t enjoy food that is not the taste that he likes it to be, then even if somebody want to be nice to him and give him “very good” food for free everyday, it is not going to make him satisfied and happy… Because it is not something that he wants and likes… Some people like to live in restlessness, or else they’ll feel like fish out of water… Let them be.

Yoga (selflessness) is not a thing that we can “pay” with some “money” to buy and possess… But it is realizing the Truth by letting go of the ego (giving up pride, arrogance, desires, identities, attachments, likes and dislikes, craving and aversion, and etc). This truth is here, in this present moment… We don’t need to “buy” it from somebody or from some organizations who claim that they can “make” us “become” anything that we want to be… We are who we are, why do we need somebody else to make us to become “us”?

No doubts that by practicing yoga asana exercises everyday will make our mind feels good, make our body strong and healthy, and be able to enjoy a higher quality of life, but there is no guarantee that all beings who are learning and practicing “yoga” will be liberated and be free from ignorance, impurities, unhappiness or “suffering”, and is peaceful being undisturbed or undetermined by qualities of names and forms… It depends on our non-attachment towards the mind and whatever the mind is experiencing from moment to moment, and not attach to any names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, that will lead us to peace…

It is just the body and mind experiencing some momentary conditional good feelings and good condition as part of the effects of the yoga exercises, but we are not the body, we are not the mind… The body is not “I”, the mind is not “I”. As long as we are still identified with the body and mind (which are impermanent and constantly changing) and are subject to conditional circumstances to feel good and happy, being over-powered by the craving for “good condition” and aversion towards “bad condition”, then we will never be free… Our sense of well-being swaying up and down according to the conditional changes of qualities… Forever restless… Maybe some people just want to keep working on satisfying the cravings of the body and mind, and enjoying that momentary satisfaction or sense of achievement when they get what they want, and are not interested to go beyond that, it is not wrong. Be happy.

It doesn’t guaranteed that after how long and how much we had performed the “yoga practice” that we will be free from ignorance… But it doesn’t matter, because whether we’ll realize the one nature of all beings, or not, it doesn’t change the Truth about who we really are… Even if we don’t believe in the nature of all beings is unconditional peace, and we are not peaceful in the present moment now, this nature of peace is always there… We can deny the body and the mind and everything else that we perceive in this life existence, but we cannot deny that which is denying everything…

Some beings never done any “yoga practice” before but they are liberated and are free from ignorance… I’ve seen people who do not practice “yoga” at all but they are selfless, peaceful and compassionate beings… Some beings did a lot of yoga practice everyday for years but still not free from ignorance yet… Even if they are learning from “famous” yoga gurus or teachers… It is not the responsibility of the teachers for any being’s liberation… Teachers are just being there to show the way… Liberation is coming from the beings themselves and through their own effort (how much they are ready to give up or let go of attachment towards worldly attachments, identities, possessions, desires, craving and aversion)…

As the real yoga practice is dealing with purifying and controlling the mind, and many impurities will arise in the process of purification, it is really not a “nice” and “comfortable” experience in the journey towards true freedom… We’ll start to see the “ugly” side of our personality or thinking or behavior or reaction, when we are not getting what we want and are getting what we don’t want… The ego doesn’t like to know or admit about its own selfishness and foolishness… Most “minds” will try to runaway or avoid this uncomfortable experience and give in to the desires, craving and aversion (always looking for pleasant experiences, and rejecting unpleasant experiences, to gratified all its desires of likes and dislikes, wants and don’t wants)…

There is nothing wrong if a real yogi who knows the Truth and what is yoga, but does not “interested” or “desired” to “teach” yoga to the public. That doesn’t mean that they are selfish and not want to share the greatness of yoga with other beings… They don’t “have to” share yoga with other beings intentionally, but that won’t stop them from radiate love, peace, wisdom and compassion into the universe… Even if they are interested to share and “teach” yoga to the public out of compassion, it is really depending on the beings themselves whether they will be willingly to let go of their ego, pride and arrogance, and letting go of the identification with the body and mind and worldly self-image, to be open-minded and be really humble to practice “yoga” sincerely, or not, and realize yoga by themselves…

There might be many so called “yoga practitioners” and “yoga teachers” nowadays worldwide on the yoga “market” or “industry”, but how many of us are really a “yogi”? Many who call ourselves “yogis”, “yoga practitioners”, “yoga teachers” and talk about the teachings and practice of yoga and teach other people to perform the yoga poses, but how many of us are sincerely practicing non-identification with the body and mind, letting go of the ego, practicing non-attachment towards all the qualities of names and forms, realizing the Truth of non-duality, and are desire-less and selfless? How many are truly practicing “yoga” or are just doing some “yoga exercises” for many hours everyday, but not knowing how to be free from being conditioned by qualities of names and forms, craving and aversion, and ignorance? How many are so called “in love” with “yoga” but continue to indulge in worldly desires, gossiping. slandering, boasting, telling lies, hypocrisy, mocking, back-biting, complaining, and condemning the yoga teachings that they don’t agree with? Some people only fell in love with certain parts of the yoga practice that they like but criticizing the others practice or teachings that their “ego” doesn’t agree with and doesn’t like…

Even not all the “experienced” yoga practitioners are already transcended names and forms, and are still being over-powered by the ego, still have attachment towards spiritual attainment, physical and mental achievements, attached to their actions and inactions, and the fruit of their actions, not to say those who are still struggling in the ocean of ignorance… Even a well-trained in spirituality great being like Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita was once deluded by ignorance and needed the guidance of Krishna…

A sincere “yoga seeker” who is interested in looking for a yoga teacher to learn and practicing yoga will come to a “teacher” with a humble heart and opened mind, and learn and “serve” under the teacher for purifying the mind and eliminating the ego… During the time of being with the teacher or learning from the teacher, he will be asked to do a lot of Karma Yoga – selfless service, performing all duties and responsibilities without attaching to the actions and the fruit of the actions… This will help the student to let go of judgment, expectation, desire and attachment… And when the student’s mind is matured enough, when his mind is free from impurities, desires and restlessness, when his ego is eliminated through performing selfless service without attaching to the action and the fruit of the action, without expecting anything in return for all his actions, the teachings or the Truth will arise in the his pure and serene mind naturally.

The teacher need not to say anything or to teach him anything, but only guides him in daily life performing selfless service for many years to purify his mind and eliminating his ego. As the truth is already there in him “waiting” to be realized, it is not coming from nor attaining from the outside. All he needs to do is remove all impurities and eliminating the ego… Yoga practice like Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi is not leading to “freedom” when the student’s mind is full of passionate desires and attachments… If a yoga student’s mind is full of impurities, desires and being over-powered by the ego, then no matter how much yoga practice and teachings that the teacher tries to teach him or give to him, it is meaningless… It is like a dirty bowl and we want to put the best clean and tasty food inside it… The food will be contaminated by all the dirts…

The basic qualities in a yoga “seeker” are –

1.) Viveka (discrimination of real and unreal)
2.) Vairagya (dispassion or detachment)
3.) Mumukshutva (intense yearning for liberation)
4.) Shat-sampat (consists of the six virtues as below)
a.) Sama – tranquility of the mind
b.) Dama – self-restraint or control of the senses
c.) Uparati – cessation from worldly activities
d.) Titiksha – forbearance or power of endurance
e.) Sraddha – faith in God, Scripture and Self
f.) Samadhana – concentration or one-pointedness of mind

If a being doesn’t have or doesn’t develop all these qualities while performing the yoga practice, then by performing the yoga practice doesn’t really bring them to peace, but instead it will be empowering the ego, pride and arrogance, craving and aversion, which lead to more restlessness (opposite of peace) – Such like “I am a “lovely princess” after I practiced yoga, and I am an “evil monster” when I didn’t practice yoga…” That is the state of mind changing according to the momentary conditional influence from the yoga practice. It is not the unconditional real peace…

When the yoga students perform selfless service in the Ashram, nobody will come and tell them, “Hey, you did a good job.” nor “Thank you.” nor “You are a good yogi.” nor “Well done, keep it up.” and etc… This is to starve the ego, not feeding the ego with what it wants… As the one who is longing for or depending on all these response or reaction of appreciation, acknowledgment, compliment, thankfulness, encouragement, agreement and etc, to make him feels good about what he did and to motivate him to perform actions, is the ego… The ego will grow stronger if we keep feeding the ego with what it wants…

Without anyone showing appreciation and thankfulness in names sand forms, or even if there is criticism or condemnation for their efforts and contributions, it doesn’t mean that all efforts and actions are “meaningless”… The sun is always there shining ceaselessly providing light, heat and energy to the universe, whether the beings acknowledge or not acknowledge about the contribution of the sun… Same as water, air, earth and space… It doesn’t matter human beings are grateful or are ungrateful for their intention-less contribution to the universe or not, they are always there providing and supporting all beings to be exist in the universe… They exist for all other beings to be exist without the intention to be there, to exist and to give, nor there is expectation about everything will be exist and be grateful because of their existence for all other beings to be exist… And they don’t need to be exist at all if there is nothing to exist…

The real appreciation and gratefulness is nameless and formless beyond thoughts, speech and actions… When anyone knows how to perform all actions selflessly, compassionately without attaching to the actions or the fruit of the actions, without expecting any response of appreciation, acknowledgment, compliment, thankfulness, encouragement coming from anybody to feel good about what he did and to be motivated to perform actions, then this person is free from being conditioned by the ego… His mind is one-pointed in the present moment, and radiates peace and compassion without any intentions, and will not be disturbed by the qualities of names and forms perceived in the mind through the senses…

This practice of renouncing from the fruit of action is being practiced when we are performing all the yoga practice such like yama, niyama, yoga asana, pranayama, concentration, meditation, studying the scriptures, and etc.. We do not expect any benefits or rewards in return from our efforts and actions… Because “we” don’t need any benefits or rewards at all… But we allow all the benefits to come naturally by itself as it is, not because we expect the benefits to be there as what we want it to be… There is no identification as the doer of the actions and the enjoyer of the fruit of the actions… The ego needs some kind of benefits or rewards to motivate him to perform actions, but the nature of all beings doesn’t need any motivations to be what it is…

When the ego is eliminated, there is no good or bad, happiness or suffering, positive or negative, success or failure, praise or condemn, appropriateness or inappropriateness, auspiciousness or inauspiciousness, pleasantness or unpleasantness, action or inaction, birth or death, gain or loss…

When a being is free from the ego, there is no hypocrisy in him… Pretentiousness and untruthfulness is completely vanished and absent in him…

Although there are not many real yogis are interested in “teaching” yoga to the public, this doesn’t mean that there are no real yogis sharing the wisdom of peace and compassion in the world… Real yogis are not necessarily to be recognized through “fit and strong and flexible” physics, nor to be recognized through the skill in performing some yoga asana and meditation poses or teaching some “yoga classes”, nor to be recognized by how much charity works with names and forms that they had performed… They might not be doing any yoga poses nor talk about anything about “yoga”… But they are not separated from yoga and meditation every moment… They are meditating without name and form, ceaselessly from moment to moment and already in one with the universal consciousness – Selflessness, which we name it as Yoga… And without intention, they radiate love and peace to all beings unlimited by names and forms, time and space, without discrimination or judgment or expectation…

Anyone who is completely selfless and compassionate is a real yogi… They do not need to perform “yoga practice” in certain name and form to purifying and calming the mind, as their mind is already pure and calmed… Anyone who can perform a lot of yoga asana poses but is not free from the ego yet, still being over-powered by impurities, desires, craving, aversion, pride, arrogance, attachments, judgment and expectation, and has not realized his real nature of unconditional peace and compassion, is not necessary a yogi… They are just striving to be a “yogi”… And real yogis don’t need to call or tag themselves “yogis” either… There is no identification with names and forms…

Selflessness and compassion is nothing to do with physical appearances or the physical conditions and the abilities to perform the asana poses. It is not defined by actions and inactions. As real yogi is already beyond actions and inactions… A perfected Yogi is also a Jnani, there’s no separation between a yogi and a Jnani, they both are selfless, peaceful, wise and compassionate, and they both can be a chronic disease or cancer patient, but they are not touched by the sickness or weakness of the physical body, nor are they suffer due to the impermanent condition of the physical body that is decaying from moment to moment…

Once a being realized selflessness in performing Karma Yoga – renouncing the fruit of actions, naturally he is devoting to the universal consciousness (Bhakti Yoga), he is radiating wisdom (Jnana Yoga), he is the master of his own mind (Raja Yoga)… All these paths are not separated from each other when a being realized selflessness…

In fact, there are plenty of these “yogis” out there disseminating love and peace into the world without posing as “Jnani”, “yogis” or “yoga teachers”… They don’t make “noise” or “advertise”. They don’t intentionally show an “image” of “Jnani” or “yogis” or “yoga practitioners” or “yoga teachers” to the world. They might not mix with the “yoga community” or the “yoga association” or the “yoga affiliation” or the “yoga organization” or the “yoga movement”… They might not announce themselves as “yogis”. They might not announce themselves as “yoga teachers”. They might not give “yoga classes”. They might not take “yoga students”… They might not possess recognized “certifications” and “qualifications”… But they are ego-less liberated compassionate wise beings who transmit the vibration of unconditional love and peace into the universe every moment unceasingly, just by being presence, without any intentions nor expectations to benefit the world nor try to change the world to be a “better” place, nor try to control anyone to behave “accordingly”, nor “hope” or “expect” the world will change into something that they want it to be…

In traditional lineage of yoga, the teacher doesn’t really “give” the students what they “want” or “desire” or “expect”, but will give them what they need to be free from the ego and ignorance, allowing them to deal with their egos whenever they are not getting what they want or desire or expect… Even if they’ll get angry or frustrated because the teacher does not “please” them by giving them what their egos want to see, or hear, or experience, but those are the great moments for them to recognize and root out their egos and to free themselves from the ego… Until their ego is eliminated, their mind is tamed, and is free from craving and aversion… Meanwhile, the universe will provide all beings with what is necessary without their expectation or without them “wanting” anything…

In traditional yoga lineage, the teacher seems like is “very hard” on the students (more precisely – hard on their egos), but it is all out of love and compassion… At the end, without the teacher showing us anything in names and forms, our ego melts away, without the veil of ignorance, the Truth reveals itself to us… It is not easy to be a real yoga teacher… But the real yoga teacher doesn’t mind. Those “yoga teachers” who do mind, are not really free from the ego yet…

Om shanti.

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