In the traditional teachings of yoga about yoga practice, it depends very much on the level of self-discipline and self-control of the yoga student, whether the yoga student can mix freely in the society, or the yoga student requires certain amount of solitary and restriction about who the student mixes with.
As well as whether the yoga student is easily being distracted, disturbed, affected or influenced by other people’s thinking and behavior.
Yoga is about meditation, sublimating the modifications of the mind to transcend the perception of names and forms. Reducing inputs and outputs of the mind, or quieting the mind activities is part of the important practice for meditation.
There are some important observances that can help to quiet the mind for realization of the truth to transcend names and forms, especially for those who have no strong self-discipline and self-control yet, such like reducing newspaper and novels reading or movies watching, avoid excessive physical activities, talking, eating, mingling or any activities that will stimulate the mind, and make the mind very busy.
If the yoga student has very strong self-discipline and self-control, and is not easily being distracted nor influenced by anyone that the student mixes with, and is not being affected nor determined by the worldly activities that the student involves with, then this student can mix freely with anyone and engage in any worldly activities, but these activities will not affect nor distract the student’s spiritual practice.
To be compassionate towards ourselves and other beings, we need to take care of our own practice first. We need to know who we shall mix with, and have certain degrees of restriction and limitation, so that our mind will not be distracted nor influenced by worldly passionate influences that will pull us away from our practice.
If mixing with certain people will allow us to develop dispassion and right discrimination (knowing what is real and unreal), then these are the Satsanga that we shall mix with.
If mixing with certain people will pull us away from dispassion and right discrimination, then these are the Kutsanga that we need to keep a distance.
This is not being selfish, but it’s an noble action, to take care of our own practice, before we can take care of other beings.
If we think we are practicing ‘compassion’, try to be ‘compassionate’ towards other beings, and try to help other beings to be free from negativities and suffering, but ourselves has not yet develop firmness in our own practice of non-attachment, dispassion and right discrimination, and easily being disturbed, affected, influenced and determined by whatever the mind perceives through the senses of what it sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches and thinks, being influenced by likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements derive from egoism, then we need to have some kind of filtration or restriction about who we mix with and what type of activities we engage with.
How can we help other beings to be free from negativities, if we are easily being influenced by other people’s negativities? How can we help the world to be free from negativities when we are vibrating negativities into the world?
We need to be able to take care ourselves first before we can take care of others.
To be able to help the world to be a better place, it requires wisdom and compassion, dispassion and right discrimination, non-attachment and selflessness/egolessness.
This teaching is a guideline for those who seriously want to transcend egoism, ignorance and suffering. As it appears to be something ‘horrible’ or ‘disagreeable’ for those who enjoy gratifying craving and aversion, who don’t like about self-discipline and self-control, who are passionate and not interested in transcending egoism, ignorance and suffering. There’s nothing wrong with being worldly minded, and busy with gratifying the ceaseless craving and aversion of the egoistic mind. Be happy.