The practice of yoga is about the realization of unconditional peace which is the nature of all beings beyond the mind perception of all the different qualities of names and forms that generate separateness and discrimination among all beings which lead to restlessness or peacelessness and suffering.
The root cause of restlessness or peacelessness and suffering is ignorance and egoism.
The unconditional peace is unconditioned/undetermined by the impermanent qualities of names and forms (the law of birth and death), and is realized upon the annihilation of ignorance and egoism.
The annihilation of egoism is the realization of selflessness.
Compassion is the active force of selflessness that allow actions being performed without egoism of attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, and expectation. Just like the sun, the water, the wind, the earth and the space, or like all the internal organs in the physical body. There are specific functions in their existence to support one another, but there is no egoism in them to influence or to control or to identify with their functions/actions and the fruit of their functions/actions.
Ignorance is not knowing the truth of names and forms, and egoism is born out of ignorance. Egoism is the idea of ‘I’ exist as an individual being attached to certain qualities of names and forms to be identified as ‘I’, where all sorts of desires of craving and aversions arise due to this false identity of ‘I’. And all kinds of impurities of anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, frustration, agitation, depression, hurts, offensiveness, defensiveness, fear and worry are born out of ungratified desires of craving and aversion. And hence, the mind is being in a state of restlessness or peacelessness and suffering. The mind appears to be not peaceful.
The ego, or who/what the mind thinks is ‘I’, is nothing but made up of mere pieces of BROKEN MEMORIES of all the perceptions of names and forms, life experiences, actions and reactions, feelings and emotions, imaginations, expectations, dreams and relationships with everyone and everything. What is not found in the memories, or beyond what the mind can recollect, there’s no ‘I’. People say, “This is not who you really are, you need to find/go back to your true identity of who you really are” or “This person is not what he/she appears to be, you need to find our his/her true identity of what he/she really is.” Everyone can ‘appear’ or ‘pretend’ to be what they are or what they want to be and they are being different on different timing and condition, whether intentionally or unintentionally, with their appearance, personality, mentality, vision, mood and behavior are changing from time to time, but there is not a permanent ‘I’ being there as “this is who I really am.”
There is no ‘existence of an individual identity of who you really are’ or ‘who I think is the real I’. When one realized the true nature of oneself beyond the existence of the body and the mind and the worldly identity that attached onto certain qualities of names and forms, it’s not about realizing my original self or a personal nature. It’s the limitless/non-separate/egoless/selfless/nameless/formless/attributeless nature in all and everyone. The mind will be free from separateness and discrimination, and all the impurities of anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, offensiveness, defensiveness, hurts, fear and worry that come along with the existence of separateness and discrimination.
When a person lost all his/her memories, all the relationships with everyone with all the past painful and uplifting life experiences, and the past accumulated knowledge have no impact on this person’s mind perception of himself/herself or his/her identity in the present. What is pride and arrogance about ‘I’ am knowledgeable or ‘I’ have great achievements? Subconsciously, this person might still be able to perform certain habitual actions without the memory of ‘how did I know how to do this’ and unwittingly react towards all the pleasant and unpleasant sensations that keep arising and passing away.
When a person feels bitter or hurt or angry about something unpleasant/painful that has happened on them, it is because of the attachment and identification towards all these memories of experiences that generates the reaction of bitterness or hurt or anger towards these experiences. The experiences and the memories of the experiences has no power to cause bitterness, hurt or anger. For example, if ‘I’ have no recollection/remembrance about something unpleasant or hurtful that has just happened, ‘I’ won’t feel ‘bitter’ or ‘hurt’ or ‘angry’. It is the continuous remembering what had happened that the mind recognizes as ‘unpleasant’ or ‘hurtful’ that causes the ego, or ‘I’, to continue to feel ‘disturbed’, and continuously react with ‘bitterness’, ‘hurt’ and ‘anger’.
All the past reactions of pleasant and unpleasant feelings and emotions towards all kinds of pleasant and unpleasant sensations arising and passing away that has been storing in the subconscious mind might come up to the surface of the mind without remembrance/recollection of when and how did these feelings and emotions exist in the first place, the mind can be trained to just observe and be aware of them without attachment or identification, without reaction of craving or aversion, and allowing them to pass away. This is what deep mind purification is about.
Yoga practice is to purify and quiet the mind, to allow the mind to be open, unconditioned by any conditional worldly thinking and belief, to allow the mind to see the truth of names and forms as it is, to be free from ignorance and egoism and all kinds of impurities that lead to restlessness or peacelessness and suffering.
The realization of unconditional peace of selflessness is beyond the different states of the mind. Different states of the mind conditioned by cause and effect are being projected in the mind and all states of the mind are impermanent, and it is not ‘I’. The mind projects restlessness. It is not ‘I’ am restless. The mind projects dullness. It is not ‘I’ am dull. The mind projects calmness. It is not ‘I’ am calm. The mind projects peacefulness. It is not ‘I’ am peaceful. The mind projects kindness. It is not ‘I’ am kind. The mind projects evilness. It is not ‘I’ am evil.
The mind is just what it is. It is neither good nor bad. It is neither perfect nor imperfect. It is neither pure nor impure. It is neither positive nor negative. It is neither wise nor unwise. Out of ignorance, the idea of ‘I’, ‘my’ and ‘mine’, and all kinds of ignorant thinking, attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion arise in the mind that leads to the countless births and deaths of different states of the mind with all kinds of actions and reactions and the result/consequences/fruit of actions and reactions.
The big picture of the yoga and meditation practice is about purifying the mind to free the mind from the pollution of conditional worldly thinking and belief, which is the product of ignorance and egoism, as well as the fuel that feeds ignorance and egoism. And all these worldly thinking and belief about what is a meaningful life, how people should think and behave, act and react, and what people should believe in, are manipulated by many impure selfish minds. If the mind is under the influence of ignorance and egoism, it is easily be manipulated and influenced by what they perceive through the senses of seeing, reading, hearing, smelling, touching and thinking, that are not necessarily the truth of what things are. No matter how intelligent that the mind thinks it is, it still can be manipulated and influenced by worldly conditional thinking and belief, without knowing that it has already been manipulated or influenced by them.
Yoga and meditation practice is to free the mind that has been conditioning by all these worldly thinking and belief. And thus, there is a very important part of the yoga and meditation practice that is being ignored or criticized by many worldly people, including those who think they love yoga and practice yoga, which is the practice of SILENCE, to be in solitude and seclusion for a sustained period of time (at least 5-6 years), to move away from the society, stop mixing with worldly people, stop engaging in worldly interactions and conversations, stop reading newspapers, novels and magazines, stop watching TV programs, advertisements and movies, stop all kinds of worldly contact and communication. It doesn’t matter whether the mind thinks these ‘inputs’ of the mind are true, or not true. By allowing the mind to be in silence and cleared out of all the worldly thinking and belief, be free from conditional judgment and expectation based on the worldly thinking and belief, the mind will be able to see the truth of things as it is. This sounds extreme or horrible for many people, but it is the most effective way to free the mind from being manipulated or influenced by ceaseless ‘inputs’ that are not the truth of what things are. Only those who are determined and are fearless to let go all the worldly thinking and belief as well as worldly identity with qualities of names and forms can truly practice yoga and meditation. Or else, everyone is just doing some forms of different styles and brands of ‘yoga exercises’ to feel good and look good.
There are many different practices exist to help in the purification of the mind, and to quiet the restless mind. The process of the mind purification and quieting the restless mind via intense disciplines and restrictions (mainly of renunciation from worldly ideas, affairs and activities) can be very unpleasant and prolonged. And hence, the qualities or the abilities of non-attachment, non-identification, non-expectation, desireless, self-introspection, self-discipline, self-control, self-reliance, faith, determination, perseverance, acceptance, tolerance, forbearance, adjustment, adaptation and accommodation play an important role to allow the peace seekers to keep practicing/purifying the mind disregards all kinds of obstacles and difficulties, until the mind is completely be free from ignorance and egoism, and realize selflessness and compassion, and unconditional peace.
The realization of yoga, or unconditional peace, is not possible if the peace seekers are reluctant to let go conditional worldly thinking and beliefs, and all kinds of worldly and personal identifications. The mind is not opened to just seeing everything as it is, but it’s closed or limited by conditional worldly thinking and belief that influence how the mind perceives/understands everything. Whenever there’s judgment and expectation from the mind towards everything that it perceives through the senses of what it sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches and thinks, it is based on what the mind thinks and believes what things are and how everything should be. And the ego or the false identification of ‘I’ generates craving and aversion based on the likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements of the egoism towards all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, ceaselessly and restlessly. There’s no peace.
The realization of yoga, or unconditional peace, is nothing to do with what are the physical conditions, abilities and limitations, the thinking and belief, the intelligence, the talents, the skills of doing something, the creativity, the personality, the good and bad life experiences, the happy and unhappy feelings and emotions, whether one believes or disbelieves in God, religion or spirituality, and how much knowledge the mind knows or doesn’t know about this and that in this worldly life existence about humanity, spirituality, culture, religion, arts, music, fitness, health, technology, engineering, science, geology, history, mathematics, chemistry, physiology, biology, anatomy, psychology, and etc.
It is nothing to do with whether the mind thinks the world is a good or bad place, whether there are good things or bad things happening in the world, whether the world is full of happiness or unhappiness.
It is nothing to do with how much information about yoga, the teachings of yoga and the practice of yoga that people have been accumulating from reading, watching, hearing and ‘doing’.
People like to know/ask what type of yoga or yoga practice and their benefits, or how much and how long one has been ‘doing’ yoga, but all these doesn’t correlate with the realization of yoga or the liberation from suffering. One can be trying hard to clean up a dirty floor, but in the process of cleaning the floor, one can be creating more dirt onto the floor at the same time. One thinks that “Oh, I cleaned the floor already. The floor should be clean now after my effort of cleaning the floor.” but doesn’t aware that the floor is still dirty. The action of cleaning the floor doesn’t correlate with the cleanliness of the floor.