In the intensive yoga retreat, we have an advanced practice workshop.
It is not so much about performing some complicated or difficult yoga asana poses that require certain degrees of physical strength and flexibility. As peace and compassion is nothing to do with the physical condition and abilities to perform the yoga asana poses.
It is during the process of learning and performing the yoga asana poses, we learn to let go of attachment and identification with the body and mind, letting go of the ego, judgment, comparison, expectation, craving and aversion.
We learn to accept the present condition and abilities of the physical body as it is, without craving for the condition that we like, nor aversion towards the condition that we don’t like.
We learn to be aware of the reality as it is, and accepting the reality as it is, not necessary it’s something that we prefer, or how we like it to be. Remain at peace, undisturbed, unaffected, uninfluenced, undetermined by the reality of the present moment now, no matter it is pleasant or unpleasant, comfortable or uncomfortable.
We learn to be truthful towards ourselves and others.
We learn to let go of the ego, by letting go of the feeling of intimidation when we ‘see’ other people perform some yoga asana poses that require certain degrees of strength and flexibility. Or when we ‘see’ other people who are more strong and flexible than us physically and mentally, perform some yoga asana poses that our own body is not ready to perform yet, due to physical limitation and mental blockage. We learn to be open minded for what our body can do and cannot do while performing the yoga asana poses that whether we have been practicing, or they are something new to us. We let go of pride and arrogance when ‘finally’ after some repeated practice, we can perform certain yoga asana poses that we couldn’t perform before, or which we thought it’s impossible for our body to be performing.
Being aware of the truth of all the names and forms, about everything is just being what it is. They are not something ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘positive’ or ‘negative’, ‘happiness’ or ‘suffering’. There’s no craving or clinging onto something that the mind believes as ‘good’, ‘positive’ and ‘happiness’. There’s no aversion towards something that the mind believes as ‘bad’, ‘negative’ and ‘suffering’.
Our true nature is not determined nor conditioned by the qualities of names and forms that the body and mind is experiencing from moment to moment.
It doesn’t matter what is the condition and abilities of the physical body, or the states of the mind, it won’t determine nor contaminate our true nature to become something ‘good’ or ‘bad’. As our true nature is without qualities, nameless and formless. The good and bad behaviors, actions and reactions, beliefs and thinking, all sorts of impurities, ignorance, emotions and feelings, can’t affect, nor disturb, nor influence, nor determine, nor contaminate our true nature, which is unlimited and unconditional, beyond time, space and causation. And thus, we will respect all beings as they are, when we see the true nature in all which is the same in everyone and everything, disregard the impermanent different qualities, names and forms, personalities, characteristics, thinking, beliefs, behaviors, actions and reactions, and appearances that are possessed by each individual being.
The practice of yoga and meditation is every moment in our life, in our heart, whether we are performing some so called spiritual practice or not. Every moment of observation, mindfulness, non-attachment, detachment, letting go, being in the present, and self-control over the thoughts, action and speech, is the purification process to eliminate ignorance, impurities and egoism.
It is the practice of non-attachment and non-identification towards the body and mind in every moment, whether we are awake or asleep.
Not attached to this life existence and all the experiences through the function of the body and mind, through the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin and thinking process, whether these experiences are good or bad, positive or negative, pleasant or unpleasant, whether in pleasure or in pain.
Not attached to the impermanent condition and abilities of the physical body, whether good or bad.
Not attached to the impermanent states of the mind, whether positive or negative, peaceful or restless.
Not attached to the sensations, feelings, emotions, thinking, speculations, anticipations, imaginations, memories and dreams, whether they are pleasant or unpleasant.
I am what I am. Our true nature is not determined nor influenced by the impermanent changes and functions of the body and mind.
The body is not me, I am not the body. The mind is not me, I am not the mind. The intellect and the ego is not me, I am not the intellect nor the ego. The sensations, the feelings, the emotions and the thinking are not me, I am not the sensations, the feelings, the emotions and the thinking.
Being aware of what is happening in the mind, but without association with the reactions of the mind towards whatever it perceives through the senses.
Go beyond the thinking and beliefs in the mind, the likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements from the ego, there is no anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurts, pride, arrogance, frustration, irritation, agitation, depression, craving, aversion, fear and worry. After eliminating ignorance, impurities, egoism, dualities and separateness, there is only unconditional peace and love.
It is completely being free from fear and worry.
This is real freedom. Free from being conditioned by the impermanent changes of the qualities of names and forms. Free from being conditioned by the body and mind that is subject to impermanence. Free from being conditioned by the limited and conditioned thinking, beliefs, likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements in the mind. Free from being conditioned by all sorts of impurities, ignorance and egoism.
The freedom of being free from impurities, ignorance, egoism, attachment, craving and aversion, and the realization of unconditional peace and love, is nothing to do with whether we can do all the yoga asana poses skillfully and perfectly or not, whether we know all the names and the benefits of the yoga asana poses or not, whether we know about the anatomy and physiology of the physical body or not, whether we know all the chantings and prayers or not, whether we are vegetarian or not, whether our body is strong and flexible or not, whether our physical health is good or not, whether our relationships with anyone is good or not, whether we know about lots of things or not, whether we are ‘qualified’ and ‘certified’ yoga teachers or not, whether we are affiliated and recognized by so called ‘yoga alliance’ or not, whether we have an enlightened Guru or not, whether we learn yoga from famous yoga school and yoga teachers or not, or whether we are so called ‘yogis’ who practice yoga or not, and etc…
We are able to accept ourselves as we are, and accept other beings as they are. We are able to love ourselves as we are, and love other beings as they are, without attachment, selfish intention, selfish desire, discrimination, judgment, or expectation.
We allow ourselves to be different from others, and allow others to be different from us. Without trying to become like somebody else whom we are not. Without trying to change or control other beings to be the way that we think they should be. We respect everyone as they are.
Being aware of the only existence is the present moment now, we are able to live in the present moment now, letting go of the past and the future. Being undisturbed, unaffected, undetermined or uninfluenced by the past pleasant and unpleasant experiences, and future imaginations and anticipations.
We are always at peace, living in the world, but not being disturbed, nor determined, nor influenced by the world.
We perform all our actions, practice, duties and responsibilities whether towards ourselves or towards other beings, out of compassion. Without attachment towards the actions, and the fruit of the actions.
We are able to appreciate this life existence, and make good use of the body and mind, our knowledge and talents, our hands and feet, to perform actions for the well-being of ourselves and others, without discrimination, without attachment.
Practice yoga, purify the mind, meditate upon the truth, and realize namelessness, formlessness, attributelessness, non-duality, non-separateness, oneness, selflessness, fearlessness, wisdom and compassion, and be free.