We don’t teach positive thinking in our yoga classes and retreats, although for those who are under the influence of ‘negative thinking’, whom are being very negative towards everything that they perceive, we would encourage them to develop ‘positive thinking’ to counter the ‘negative thinking’. But that is not the goal of yoga practice.
In the beginning of yoga practice, when the mind is still influenced or over-powered by what the mind believes or recognizes as negative names and forms, we need to develop positive thinking to counter any negative thinking, but that is not what yoga is about – liberation from ignorance or the end of suffering.
When people try to be positive, think positive and stay positive, it’s because these minds are not free from ignorance and are being ignorant of the truth of names and forms. The mind perceives or recognizes quality of ‘negative’ in the objects of names and forms projected from the mind based on what the mind believes as something ‘negative’. The perception of negativity is still existing in the mind, but the mind tries to push away or deny the perception of names and forms that it believes as ‘negative’, and tries to convince itself that everything is ‘positive’ and good. It’s denying and running away from the reality that it perceives and believes as ‘negative’ that it doesn’t like and doesn’t want.
The mind is not free constantly trying to ‘turn’ everything that it recognizes as ‘negative’ into something that the mind believes as ‘positive’. But as long as the mind still thinks and believes that there’s quality of ‘negative’ and ‘positive’, and it doesn’t want something ‘negative’, but it wants everything ‘positive’, the mind will be forever restless as it tries to maintain ‘positive’.
Everything is just what it is, it is neither positive nor negative. But the mind projects the qualities of ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ onto everything that it perceives based on what the mind thinks and believes as ‘positive’ and ‘negative’.
Trying to stay positive is not freedom at all. The mind is not free, constantly being in a state of craving towards quality of ‘positive’ and aversion towards quality of ‘negative’.
In the end, we will see that be positive, think positive and stay positive is not the end of suffering.
Yoga is going beyond what the mind believes and recognizes as ‘positive’ and ‘negative’. It is awareness being aware of the perception of names and forms without projecting qualities of ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ onto all the objects of names and forms, and allows everything to be what it is – neither positive nor negative.
The realization of non-duality, or attributelessness, or non-separateness, or oneness is real freedom that allows the mind to be in peace, being free from restlessness.
There’s no need to generate clinging or craving towards what the mind used to believe as ‘positive’, and there’s no need to generate aversion towards what the mind used to believe as ‘negative’. The mind will be free from restlessness coming from aversion towards quality of ‘negative’, or fear of being negative, and be free from clinging or craving towards quality of ‘positive’.
There’s no need to think and stay positive to counter negativity as ‘negative’ and ‘positive’ doesn’t exist in the objects of names and forms. They only exist in the mind when the mind is under the influence of ignorance. There’s no need to turn ‘negative’ into ‘positive’, when the mind is free.