Respecting the law of nature and accepting the consequences of actions as it is

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they think and believe, desire and don’t desire.

The yoga practitioners go beyond all the thinking and beliefs, free from desire and don’t desire.

The law of nature and the consequences of actions are not necessarily the way that one would like it to be, or the way that one thinks and believes how it should be. But if one knows how to respect the law of nature as it is and accepting the consequences of actions being what they are, without attachment or identification, without craving or aversion, without judgment or expectation, then this mind will be fearless, or fear doesn’t arise or present in this mind.

Unattached towards the condition of the world. Unattached towards the worldly life existence of all kinds of relationship and experience. Unattached towards all actions and the consequences of actions.

The impure egoistic minds that are being conditioned by worldly thinking and belief to analyze and judge about everything, to desire and don’t desire certain quality of names and forms to be here or shouldn’t be here, would have difficulty understanding and practicing the essential teachings and practice of yoga about the annihilation of egoism and silencing the modification of the mind, about the observation of dispassion, renunciation, silence, solitude and seclusion, about selflessness, oneness, non-separateness, namelessness, formlessness and attributelessness, about “The world is unreal”, about transcending the mind perception of a restless worldly life existence of impermanence and selflessness. The impure egoistic minds would analyze and think, “This is absurd, wrong and madness.”

So what, if someone can hold the breath for a very long time, or be able to do many acrobatic actions with the strong and flexible physical body, or accumulating and memorizing all kinds of information or knowledge about many things in this world through listening, watching, reading, researching, experiencing and studying about everything, or being intelligent and creative inventing many new things and higher technologies, or enjoying a higher quality of healthy and comfortable living, or has been travelling all over the world experiencing many different things and activities, or can perform to entertain many people, or is the greatest champion of certain competition, but the mind doesn’t know Thyself, where the mind is restless/peaceless being attached onto and identifying with the quality of names and forms of the function of the body and mind as ‘I’, attaching onto its actions and the fruit/result of its actions, swaying between satisfaction and dissatisfaction/disappointment being determined by the gratification and non-gratification of the desire of craving and aversion, being the slave of the modification of the mind, of egoism and impurities, of selfless impermanent state of the mind and physical condition, of passionate feelings and emotions arising and passing away, being disturbed and determined by the mind perception of names and forms through the senses, of pleasant/unpleasant, desirable/undesirable and agreeable/disagreeable life experiences or encountering, being bound by the expectation towards life and the world to be and not to be in certain way based on certain thinking and belief, craving for and clinging onto love, relationship, friendship, connection, interaction and the sense of meaningfulness, being drowned in aversion and tension of dissatisfaction, fear and worry towards life and the world being the way that the mind doesn’t desire it to be, or the way that the mind thinks and believes it shouldn’t be, constantly judging oneself and others being good enough or not good enough, to be achieving the life and a world that the mind desires it to be.

Everyone talks about promoting a world of democracy, an idea or a game that everyone learns to play and be engaged with since growing up especially in schools, while at the same time they want to be free from discrimination and oppression. But, discrimination and oppression is indeed the by-product of the idea or game of democracy. The representer of a particular idea/vision/politic/personality that gets the highest votes from the majority support will win and be in power, while all the other minorities who prefer different kind of idea/vision/politic will have to be legally ‘bound’ and ‘oppressed’ by the one in power and have to be ‘following’ and ‘respecting’ the ‘legally binding rules and regulations’ under ‘that power with particular idea/vision/politic’, reluctantly. Discrimination and lack of freedom will always be existing under the game of democracy, whether one agrees or disagrees with it. Some might be having the freedom that they desire, while some others won’t be having the freedom that they desire, and vice versa.

The advice from the many Gurus/teachers in the past, “Renounce the society. Stay away from politics.”

There’s neither right nor wrong. It’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to do with their life, body and mind.

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Want to learn and practice yoga?

Yoga practice is preparing the mind for self-inquiry, inquire towards “What is yoga?”, or “The truth of names and forms.”, “What is life/worldly life existence?”, “What is suffering/the cause of suffering?”, or “Who am ‘I’, or who/what is this ‘I’ or self cognition/self-existence/self-identity/individual being?”

People could be talking about yoga according to what the Yoga Scripture stated about yoga – “Yoga is the union of the individual consciousness and the universal consciousness.” or, “Yoga is the suspension of the modification of the mind.” but without direct experience of knowing Thyself, or knowing Yoga.

When people identify and introduce themselves as “I am an experienced yoga practitioner/yoga teacher”, or “I have learned/studied/practiced yoga for how many years under such and such Guru/teacher/school”, or “I am 200/500 hours certified yoga teacher.” it only shows that they don’t really know what is ‘yoga’. And there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with being ignorant towards many things under the influence of ignorance. If human beings can be free from ignorance easily, there won’t be so much ignorance and the consequences of ignorance in this world.

The realization of selflessness/’I’-lessness/egolessness, or non-duality/oneness/non-separateness/namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness/birthlessness/deathlessness, has nothing to do with whether one had been practicing ‘yoga’ for how long and how much, or whether one had attended ‘yoga teacher training courses’ and attained certain ‘Internationally recognized/affiliated yoga teacher certification/qualification’, or whether one is educated and can converse, read and write in certain language, or not.

Most of the time, when people talk about ‘yoga’, that they are practicing yoga, that they love yoga, they are talking about the ‘yoga’ as a form of exercise consists of positions/movements/breath control/concentration/relaxation that gives many physical and mental health benefits, that can help to improve physical and mental health and fitness condition, or talking about some kinds of ‘energy channels/centres cleansing technique’, or ‘sound/vibration/mystical/mantra/energy healing’ practice or ‘energy exchange’, or ‘love sharing and hugging’, or ‘yogic diet’, or ‘clean eating’, or ‘organic living’, or ‘yogic lifestyle’, or ‘yogic attires and accessories’, or ‘yoga mats/blocks/straps/cushions/etc’.

When people visualize ‘someone practicing yoga’, most people would think of someone on a ‘yoga mat’ wearing certain brand of ‘yoga attire’ holding a particular ‘yoga posture’ or doing a set of yoga movements consist of different ‘yoga postures’ or ‘stretches’ with or without some yoga accessories such as block and strap, or doing some ‘breathing exercises’, ‘chanting/praying/clapping/dancing/singing with music’, or ‘meditating in a cross-legged sitting posture holding a particular hand gesture’ with incense burning or meditative music background in an out of the world beautiful and peaceful environment, or a group of people happily chatting, cooking and eating ‘organic produce’, or something to do with ‘positive thinking/empowerment’/’relaxation and de-stress methods’/’healthy lifestyle’/’the sense of happiness or meaningfulness’, or even, visualizing people with certain appearance such like ‘tattooed body’, ‘dreadlocks’ and ‘smoking pot’. Just like what people see in the ‘yoga videos’/’TV documentary on yoga or yogi’/’yoga posters/advertisements/arts’, or in the ‘yoga classes’ in the ‘yoga centres’, or on the streets of certain famous ‘cities of yoga’ in India.

We often hear many ‘yoga practitioners’ say, “I didn’t practice yoga for some time because life was too busy in the past few years/months/weeks/days and I didn’t have enough space for the yoga practice. Now that I have more free time and free space, I want to start practicing yoga again.” It shows that they have no idea what is yoga and yoga practice even though they might have been doing some ‘yoga practice’ either by themselves or attending ‘yoga classes’ for some time.

Yoga and yoga practice is unlimited by name and form, time, space and causation.

Then there are also many ‘yoga competitions’ that are about ‘how good/well one performs some ‘yoga postures’ or ‘yoga movements’. “This person performs the postures/movements better than the others, this person endowed with the strength/the flexibility/the techniques/the artistic/the creativity/the grace/the flow/the endurance/the focus/the effort, and so, this person is the best ‘yogi’ and the champion/winner of this ‘yoga competition’.” There are also many ‘yoga events’, ‘yoga festivals’, ‘yoga shows/performances/demonstrations’, or ‘yoga international day’, and etc.

All these ‘names and forms’ don’t determined that one is practicing yoga, or one knows yoga, or one is a yogi. Those who truly practice yoga, or who know yoga, there’s no such idea/identification of “I know yoga”, “I practice yoga for how long for how regular”, “I meditate for how many years for how many hours/times per day”, “I can hold my breath for how long”, “I am a yogi”, “I am a yoga teacher”, “I am a 200/500 hours certified yoga teacher”, “I participate in such and such yoga events/festivals/courses/yoga competitions”, “I am celebrating yoga international day”, “I am a champion of yoga”, “I am the best yogi”, “This is how a yogi looks like”, “Yoga is so good”, or “I love yoga.”

If someone thinks one knows something about yoga but doesn’t really know what is yoga, and wants to approach a teacher asking to be learning and practicing yoga under this teacher, one must ’empty’ thyself of what one thinks who/what one is, of what one thinks one had learned/practiced/experienced/known/achieved. Actually, just by ’emptying’ thyself, or abandoning the ‘self-identification with such and such quality of names and forms’, one has already opened the ‘door’ of yoga, even without a teacher’s guidance.

Beginner, intermediate, advanced yoga practitioner?

Just as the name and form of ‘Buddhist’ doesn’t mean anything for those who truly practice ‘Buddhism’, the worldly name and form of ‘yoga practitioner’ or ‘yoga teacher’ also doesn’t really mean anything in yoga of selflessness/namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness, not to say ‘experienced’, ‘inexperienced’, ‘certified’, ‘qualified’, ‘good’, ‘bad’ yoga practitioner/yoga teacher, or even ‘beginner’, ‘intermediate’ and ‘advanced’ yoga practitioner.

Some people never done any ‘yoga practice’ before, but they know what is non-attachment and they are peaceful as they are. Some due to physical limitation/sickness/injury/weakness that they can’t do much physical ‘yoga practice’, but they know what is non-attachment and they are also peaceful as they are. The mind is free from disturbs/hurts/dissatisfaction/disappointment/anger/hatred/jealousy/fear/worry/offensiveness/defensiveness/loneliness/depression/hostility/animosity, and etc, being undetermined by the mind perception of names and forms under any circumstances in life or the condition of the world that one is living in.

There’s neither beginner/intermediate/advanced yoga practitioners or yoga practice. It’s either one is practicing yoga or one is not practicing yoga, in this present moment.

It’s neither about how long one has been ‘practicing yoga’, nor how much ‘physical yoga practice’ one has done in the past, nor how much physical/mental benefits one has been receiving from performing the ‘physical yoga practice’ regularly. Whether one is practicing yoga, or not, is undetermined by the selfless impermanent physical and mental condition/ability/disability/limitation to be performing certain actions/movements in the world, or whether one is highly intelligent, knowledgeable, educated and talented, or not.

In this present moment, despite how long one has been ‘practicing yoga’ and how much ‘physical yoga practice’ one has been doing, when there’s egoism of attachment/identification/desire of craving and aversion/judgment/comparison/expectation influencing/over-powering the function of the mind, the mind is not free, unwittingly being in a state of restlessness occupying by ceaseless desires/actions/reactions/impurities being determined by the selfless impermanent qualities of names and forms that the mind perceives/experiences through the senses of what the mind sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches, feels or thinks. The mind is missing someone or something that the mind likes and desires but is absence/unavailable to the mind in the present moment, may it be a person, an animal, plant, food, house, toy, music, sport, climate, thing, scenery, sound, smell, taste, sensation, feeling, and etc. There’s clinging/craving/longing towards the names and forms/experiences that give rise to the sense of confidence, pride, goodness, happiness, meaningfulness, positiveness, togetherness, rightfulness, worthiness, success, accomplishment, satisfaction, well-treated, well-deserved, well-loved, well-lived, and etc. Then even though one has been performing certain ‘physical yoga practice’ for a few hours a day regularly for a long time, one isn’t practicing yoga at all, as one is being passionate towards the worldly life/ideas/values/relationships/activities and being busy/restless chasing after the objects of the senses to gratify the endless desire/craving/longing, and doesn’t know what is non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment, non-comparison, or non-expectation.

Some teachers/yoga schools teach that everyone need to start with ‘beginner physical yoga practice’ for certain years then they can begin learning/practicing the nameless/formless ‘advanced mental yoga practice’. Some teachers/yoga schools even teach about ‘yoga practice’ should be done during certain ‘auspicious hours’ and one shouldn’t practice yoga during the ‘inauspicious hours’. There’s neither right nor wrong with that. Just that, when someone is suffering from great mental disturbs, distress, restlessness, unhappiness, dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurts, fear, painful sorrow and etc, in this present moment, does this person need to wait for many years later to be allowed to start practicing non-attachment and letting go as well as looking/inquiring into the truth of the mental modification to free the mind from the root cause of all suffering? Just like if the hand is contacting with fire, do you have to wait for a few more minutes/hours to move the hand out of the fire? Or when someone is suffering a condition/injury that needs emergency medical operation, does this person need to wait for an ‘auspicious timing’ which can be a few days/weeks/months later to allow the doctor to perform the operation?

Inquire the truth of everything. Do not blind-believing, blind-following, blind-practicing, blind-propagating, blind-agreeing/disagreeing with anything.

The one who is practicing yoga eliminating egoism/restlessness/impurities or purifying/quieting the modification of the mind is the mind itself.

The mind that is practicing yoga is free from any identification with any quality of names and forms that are impermanent and selfless, such as the physical body, the function/modification of the mind, the yoga practice/duty/responsibility, all kinds of worldly social/cultural/religious/political/commercial thinking/belief/practice/values/image, or the knowledge/intelligence/talent/skill/relationships/ties/connections/way of life/actions and the fruit of actions/pleasant or unpleasant experiences as ‘I’.

One might be performing many ‘good actions’, but there’s no attachment/identification of “I am a good person who do many good actions and I will be receiving all the goodness in return.”

There’s no expectation towards other people must also perform ‘good actions’ that ‘I’ believe as ‘good’.

The mind is okay and has no problems under any condition and situation, where one can have many things or few things or nothing in life, without being determined by it, as the mind is free from attachment, desires, craving and aversion, being unlimited/undetermined by all the selfless impermanent changes of pleasant/unpleasant, agreeable/disagreeable, desirable/undesirable experiences/condition/situation/relationship.

One doesn’t miss anyone or anything that the mind perceives/recognizes as good, pleasant, meaningful, agreeable and enjoyable, but is absent/unavailable in the present moment.

One might perform actions that would benefit oneself and others, but without identification towards the actions or expectation towards the fruit of actions.

One does one’s best when performing any actions/duties/responsibilities and allowing the fruit of actions to be what it is, without attachment/identification/judgment/expectation, being undetermined by the fruit of actions.

One is not determined/disturbed/offended/hurt/intimidated/depressed/unhappy/dissatisfied/disappointed by the perception of all kinds of names and forms of unpleasant/undesirable/disagreeable sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations, feelings/emotions/thoughts, or the world is not being the way that the mind would like it to be.

One doesn’t need to be empowered to achieve/attain/possess certain quality of names and forms that give rise to the sense of confidence, pride, goodness, happiness, meaningfulness, positiveness, togetherness, rightfulness, worthiness, success, satisfaction, well-deserved, well-loved, and etc, although one can be very successful in whatever one does in life and enjoying good relationships with someone. Being undetermined by the sense of confidence/goodness/meaningfulness and etc, doesn’t mean that one doesn’t perform any actions that would bring benefits and improvement in life, or one doesn’t have a particular way of life that is most suitable and beneficial for oneself.

Loneliness, or depression, or dissatisfaction, or disappointment, or fear, is absent in the mind that is free from egoism, under any circumstances, condition, situation, environment, restriction or limitation.

The mind remains equanimous and clear under extreme difficult or challenging condition or situation.

There’s need not to forgive or let go anything, as the mind is unhurt/unoffended/undisturbed/undetermined by all the names and forms that are not the way that the mind would like it to be, as the mind is free from attachment/identification/craving/aversion/judgment/expectation towards any names and forms, but allowing the names and forms to be what they are, as they are.

One is not determined by the presence or absence of family ties, relationships, friendships, companionship, community, society, connections, duty, responsibility, ability/disability, achievement/non-achievement, good/bad conditions, pleasant/unpleasant experiences, actions or the fruit of actions.

The mind is free from passionate aspiration/ambition/desire to change/control/influence the world to be the way that ‘I’ think how it should be, but allowing the world to be what it is, even though one can be performing actions that are beneficial to the world.

One doesn’t need to be relaxed/unwind/entertained/pampered from time to time, as there’s no tension building up/accumulated.

One doesn’t need to attain love, support, agreement, acknowledgement, recognition, validation, sympathy, empathy or understanding from anyone, or to be ‘somebody’ that one and others would be proud of.

One doesn’t need to be in certain ways or achieve something to please oneself or others.

There’s neither gratefulness nor ungratefulness, appreciation nor inappreciation, deserving nor non-deserving.

There’s no low self-esteem, pride or arrogance. There’s no need empowerment to develop/attain the sense of confidence.

The mind is unattached towards or being free from being determined by the present and past pleasant/unpleasant/happy/unhappy experiences and future imagination/anticipation/projection.

There’s no ‘bucket list’/’to do list’ that needs to be fulfilled/accomplished before one dies. There’s no unfulfilled/ungratified desire/ambition. There’s no regret or guilt. One just performs action and achieves what is possible in this present moment.

There’s no fear/aversion towards impermanent changes, difficult condition, aging, weakening, decaying, unattractiveness, aloneness, sickness, old age, death, or separation with people and objects that one loves.

The mind is free from being determined by the perception of duality. One is free and peaceful as it is. One doesn’t interfere with other people’s different thinking/belief/values/practice/ways of life/desires/actions/reactions.

There’s nothing that the mind needs to complain/argue/debate/justify to prove that ‘I’ am right. There’s neither right nor wrong.

For many people including many yoga enthusiasts, this might not be the life or freedom that they want, and this appears to be ‘dry’, ‘cold’, ‘wrong’, ‘negative’, ‘sad’, ‘mad’, ‘insane’, ‘abnormal’, ‘joyless’, ‘lifeless’ and ‘meaningless’ to them, and that’s their freedom of thinking and desire. Many people enjoy passionate way of life indulging in all kinds of attachment/identification/expectation/relationships/desires/stimulation/enjoyment/entertainment, enjoying restlessness and emotional roller coaster, enjoying the endless gratification of desires that lead to excitement/satisfaction or disappointment/dissatisfaction, and be ambitious/empowered to ‘save the planet/the world’ or change the world to be the way that they think how it should be, as the way of living a lively and meaningful life, where many people just want to do the ‘physical yoga practice’ to get some health and fitness benefits but not interested at all in the practice of dispassion and renunciation to be quieting the mind to free the mind from ignorance/egoism/impurities/restlessness, which they perceive as ‘meaningless things to do’ and ‘a dulled way of life’, and that’s their freedom of thinking and what they want to do with their life.

There’s nothing wrong with different people with their impermanent different states of mind, sometimes positive, sometimes negative, sometimes happy, sometimes unhappy, sometimes peaceful, sometimes disturbed, sometimes cheerful, sometimes depressed, sometimes excited, sometimes angry, sometimes disappointed, sometimes motivated, sometimes demotivated, sometimes okay, sometimes not okay, and so on. Just that under the influence of ignorance/egoism/restlessness/impurities and the ambition/desire to fight for ‘a world that they think how it should be’, sometimes people would hurt themselves and/or others out of disturbs, dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, jealousy, fear, survival instinct and other impurities. For those who want to free the mind from such restlessness, who want to stop hurting themselves and others out of ignorance, egoism and impurities, they can practice yoga, if they want.

In yoga, everyone just need to ‘save oneself by freeing one’s mind from ignorance and suffering’, which is an intense challenging/painful task for most minds, in order to help the world to be a better place. It’s not about fighting against other people to ‘save the planet/the world from being the way that one thinks it shouldn’t be’. Most passionate minds couldn’t understand this, and they believe everyone should be angry with/hating/fighting against what they think and believe is ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’ to ‘save the world from badness and wrongness’, and they want to provoke anger and hatred in other people towards what they think is ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’ to be supporting their mission to ‘save the world’, and that’s their freedom.

It’s always easier to be disturbed than to be undisturbed by what the mind perceives as ‘disturbing’.

Be free.

Yoga practice and practice yoga?

What is yoga practice and practice yoga?

Yoga practice is a combination of different ‘mind cleansing’ tools and techniques to ‘clean up’/’purify’ the restless/impure egoistic mind to free the mind from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance. One who practices yoga is practically using those ‘mind cleansing’ tools and techniques to be engaging in a ‘mind cleaning up process’, constantly, inexhaustibly, determinedly and diligently, until the mind is free from ignorance, knowing the truth of impermanence and selflessness, knowing thyself.

Many yoga enthusiasts who identify themselves as ‘yoga practitioners’/’yoga teachers’ might have the ‘knowledge’ of the ‘yoga practice’ and might be doing some kind of ‘yoga practice’ or delivering the ‘knowledge’ of the ‘yoga practice’ to other people regularly, but not many are actually practicing yoga as it is (cleaning the mind efficiently, freeing the mind from restlessness, impurities, egoism, ignorance or suffering). There’s intense reluctance to let go worldly attachment/identification/thinking/belief/desire/relationship/objects/pleasurable enjoyments of the senses. There’s still attachment and clinging towards the world of qualities of names and forms with all kinds of ‘relationship’, ‘ties’ or ‘connection’, being determined very much by the presence and absence of certain qualities of names and forms, and the quality/condition of relationship/ties/connection to be confident/happy/meaningful, or not. There’s an identity/ego that longing to be empowered, acknowledged, understood, agreed with, empathized, pampered and loved. And there’s nothing wrong with it as that’s their freedom. But for those who truly want to practice and realize yoga, they will practice yoga as it is, to be determined to free the mind from ignorance, regardless of any amount of difficulties and obstacles.

Just like cleaning up a ‘rubbish dump’ that is full of rubbish. It’s not just about the cleaning process to clear away those existing rubbish, but more importantly, it’s about stop generating/bringing in more rubbish into that area as well.

The mind is sort of like a ‘rubbish dump’. The yoga practice is not just about ‘clearing away’ the existing ‘impurities’, ‘restlessness’, ‘egoism’, ‘ignorance’ or ‘suffering’ which is already a challenging task that requires great effort, discipline, initiative, patience, forbearance, perseverance and determination, but more importantly, it’s to stop generating/accumulating/empowering ‘impurities’, ‘restlessness’, ‘egoism’, ‘ignorance’ or ‘suffering’, to silent/annihilate the restless modification of the mind. And hence, the importance of the practice of silence and renunciation.

The difference between a ‘rubbish dump’ and the restless/impure egoistic mind is that the ‘rubbish dump’ can be cleaned up and maintained ‘rubbish free’ by many people working together, but, for ‘cleaning up’ the restless/impure egoistic mind, it can only be done alone by the mind itself, not even ‘God’, or ‘Guru’, or any amount of ‘good friends’ and ‘good teachers’ can help to ‘clean up’ this mind, to free this mind from ignorance and all kinds of suffering, as all the rubbish of ‘impurities’, ‘restlessness’, ‘egoism’, ‘ignorance’ or ‘suffering’ is ‘generated’/’accumulated/empowered’ from/by the mind itself, and no other can ‘take away’/’remove’/’eliminate’/’stop generating’/’stop accumulating’/’stop empowering’ those ‘rubbish’ except the mind itself.

Meanwhile, there are some benefits/side-effects/by-products of the yoga practice such as better physical health and fitness condition and the sense of well-being/confidence/goodness/meaningfulness/joyfulness/peacefulness that come along with the different yoga practice, but they are just like spraying a lot of air freshener and putting plenty of beautiful fragrant colourful flower petals that bring some freshness smell and appearance into the area of the ‘rubbish dump’, but it doesn’t really ‘clean up’ the ‘rubbish dump’.

Doing some form of ‘yoga practice’ regularly or teaching ‘yoga classes/courses’ to many other people for many years also doesn’t necessarily means that one is practicing yoga. Some even take the ‘image’ or ‘characteristic’ of certain ‘yogis’/’sadhus’ with a particular ‘yogi’/’sadhu’ appearance in particular position and gesture while enjoying the momentary ‘intoxication/hallucination/highness/calmness’ from taking certain drugs/substances or certain ‘yoga practitioners’/’yoga teachers’ enjoying intimate relationships with random people as what ‘yoga practice’ and ‘practice yoga’ is about.

Verbal diarrhea?

The yoga and meditation practice are supposed to be quieting the restless outgoing talkative mind. Usually after a complete session of traditional yoga practice or a meditation sitting in silence, the mind would be rendered so quiet that there’s nothing to say, or talk, or share, or complain about, especially for the next few hours or so. However, there are some restless minds that are suffering from ‘verbal diarrhea’ might can’t stop talking immediately after the practice session finished, after being restrained from talking during the 2 – 3 hours of yoga practice or 1 – 2 hours of meditation sitting in silence. This is a common behavior (sort of a side-effect) of the restless mind especially after people finish a long silent yoga and/or meditation retreat. Sincere yoga practitioners need to know how to free the mind from ‘verbal diarrhea’, especially after a long time observing silence.

Yoga practitioners need to be aware of whether their minds are suffering from ‘verbal diarrhea’, which is a sign of a seriously restless mind.

Meanwhile, there are some people who don’t really know/understand about the meaning of yoga and meditation practice which is mainly to silent/quiet the restless outgoing talkative mind, and they would want to engage in social conversation with other people immediately after the ‘yoga class’ finished, they might feel offended by some people whose minds are in silent mode after the yoga and meditation practice, where they are not interested in engaging in social conversation with anyone, but would rather be isolated from the rest of the people, to be alone, to be ‘resting’ in the state of quietness for as long as possible.

Those who attend sincere ‘yoga retreat’ that is about quieting the mind should have an understanding about this, so that they wouldn’t feel offended by some people who’s minds are in silent mode after the practice, and try not to ‘disturb’ these minds that are resting in silence during and after the yoga and meditation practice, which is the ‘precious’ state of mind for sincere yoga and meditation practitioners.

Majority of the people in the society who encourage ‘active engagement in conversation or talking with other people’ for promoting a ‘happier’ state of mind or ‘better’ physical/mental/emotional health, might not understand the greatness of silence, where the mind is free from all kinds of disturbs, unhappiness or suffering, being in the present moment free from desire of craving and aversion, being undisturbed/undetermined by pleasant/unpleasant or agreeable/disagreeable experiences, where people have nothing that they need to be ‘talking’, ‘sharing’ or ‘complaining’ about to other people.

Different teachings / practices catering the different levels of understanding

Sometimes people might feel confused by the different teachings or practices in yoga that appear to be ‘contradicted’ with one another.

Such as, there is the teachings or external practice of ‘Yama (refraining from immoral conduct) and Niyama (observances)’, ‘positive thinking’, ‘sattvic physical and mental inputs’, ‘breath control’ and ‘physical position’ to influence/balance/purify/control/manipulate the energy field to ‘change’ or ‘influence’ the state of the mind from agitation to calmness, from dullness to brightness, from restlessness to quietness, from negative to positive, from unhealthiness to healthiness, from selfishness to unselfishness, from impurity to purity, from ignorance to the end of ignorance. These are ‘the practice with names and forms’ with the intention to influence or change certain ‘lower qualities’ to be transformed into ‘higher qualities’, or to let go certain old ‘bad’ habits and to develop new ‘good’ habits. This is for the passionate ones who are being conditioned deeply by worldly egoistic thinking/belief/habits/behavior/desire/action and reaction, who still identified strongly with certain qualities of names and forms (family, relationship, given name/self-identity, gender, sexual orientation, personality, self-image, physical appearance/condition/ability/disability, states of the mind of thinking/belief/feelings/emotions, action and the fruit of action, culture, religion, spirituality, community, knowledge, experiences, relationship, nationality, political point of view, and so on), who are still looking for and being determined by the sense of love, happiness, satisfaction, success, meaningfulness, confidence, positiveness, goodness, righteousness, easiness, or pleasurable enjoyments in the qualities of names and forms.

Then, there’s the teachings and internal practice of the senses are being withdrawn from the sense objects, concentration and meditation, which include non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment, non-comparison, non-expectation, annihilating egoism or the idea of ‘I’, where there’s no ‘I’ existing being the performer of action or the receiver/enjoyer of the fruit of action. There’s neither ‘I’ am selfish nor ‘I’ am unselfish. There’s neither ‘I’ want goodness/happiness nor ‘I’ don’t want badness/unhappiness. It’s going beyond all the qualities of names and forms, being undetermined by the Gunas/energy fields, the physical condition, the state of the mind, quality of names and forms, duality, actions and the fruit of actions.

This is for the dispassionate ones who have firm determination to transcend the mind perception of a worldly life existence of impermanent and selfless names and forms, who have abandoned worldly egoistic thinking/belief/habits/behavior/desire/action and reaction, who are disinterested in chasing after worldly objects/enjoyments/relationships/satisfaction/meaningfulness/identification/recognition, who have gone beyond the sense of love, happiness, satisfaction, success, meaningfulness, confidence, positiveness, goodness, righteousness, easiness, or pleasurable enjoyments, upon the realization of selflessness, namelessness, formlessness, attributelessness, non-duality, oneness, or non-separateness derived from self-inquiry under a desireless equanimous mind, being aware of the modification of the mind or the different states of the mind allowing all the pleasant/unpleasant or desirable/undesirable names and forms of all the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations, feelings, thoughts in this present moment now being there as it is, without interfering with or controlling or changing the physical condition or the state of the mind to be something else that is not what it is, or to be ‘the way that I desire it to be’, allowing all the names and forms to be arising and passing away, allowing all the impermanent changes to be there, as they are.

There’s neither attachment towards nor identification with the impermanent and selfless physical body/the modification of the mind as ‘I’. These are ‘the nameless and formless practice’ without any intention to influence or change anything, but allowing all and everything to be there as they are, to be changing as they are, to be what they are, as they are.

If the external practice with names and forms are being practiced with the nameless formless internal practice, then one will know how to free the mind from egoism while performing all the external practice and allowing all the effects or benefits coming from the external practice to be there as they are, without intention to be receiving the effects/benefits of the practice, without desire of craving or aversion, without judgment or expectation, without attachment or identification with the practice or the result of the practice.

Just like the sun, the wind, the water, the earth and the space have no intention to be performing action, or to be interfering with one another and everything in the universe, or discriminating/judging/praising/condemning this is good or that is bad, but actions/activities are there constantly influencing each other.

All the different teachings and practices exist to accommodate different states of the mind with different degrees of attachment, openness, awareness, ignorance, understanding and/or realization. There’s no ‘contradiction’ at all. It’s just different stages of the entire yoga practice. However, many yoga enthusiasts might just stop at getting the effects/benefits from the yoga practice and don’t want to proceed any further to free the mind from egoism, impurities, restlessness or ignorance, to free the mind from being determined by the mind perception of different qualities of names and forms, and be free, as they are not interested at all in silencing the modification of the mind, as they are passionately ‘loving’ and ‘enjoying’ the impermanent and selfless worldly life existence so much. And that’s their freedom.

When the mind is being less conditioned by worldly thinking/belief/habits/action/reaction, this mind will be less disturbed by the mind perception of names and forms of all kinds of agreeable/disagreeable or pleasant/unpleasant experiences, and this will allow the mind to see the truth of things as it is, under a calm and quiet state of the mind, intentionlessly, effortlessly, spontaneously.

Observe silence to quiet the restless modification of the mind

When someone is performing yoga practice or meditation practice (self-practice), one is observing silence as much as possible practically, regardless of whether the mind is still processing some random thought activities, or not. One doesn’t talk, or grumble, or groan, or argue, or debate, or criticize, or inspire, or aspire, or communicate/interact with anyone not even so called ‘spiritual connection’ with ‘God’ or ‘higher spirits’. One doesn’t read any material, or ask questions, or looking at and listening to anyone or anything (teacher/other practitioners/scenery/video/music/podcast/conversation), or expect certain feedback/evaluation towards one’s practice, or expect particular result/effect/benefit/pleasure from the practice.

The senses are being withdrawn/restricted from chasing after the objects of the senses, and the outgoing mind is being channeled inward to be resting in the present moment, or to be aware of the practice/the breath/the pulse/the sensation/the flow of energy/prana/heat in the body, without attachment/identification with the selfless impermanent function of the physical body and the state of the mind, while allowing any result/effect/benefit/pleasantness/unpleasantness/ability/disability to be existing or non-existing, to be what it is, as it is, allowing any existing sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations and thoughts being there as they are, without analyzing/asserting/projecting/craving/aversion, without association with or attachment towards all these names and forms, to be quieting the restless modification of the mind effectively.

This is not really possible in a ‘yoga class’ where there is a teacher giving instructions/explanation teaching/leading a group of people performing the practice, while the group of people have to be looking at the teacher or other people in the group, and listening to while analyzing/understanding/following the teacher’s instructions to perform the practice, and expecting feedback/evaluation from the teacher and/or others towards one’s performance/practice, as well as expecting particular result/effect/benefit from the practice. “How well/correct am I doing the practice?”

Meanwhile some people’s minds are being ‘disturbed’ or ‘offended’ very much by certain teachings of yoga being taught in the ‘yoga class’ that are different from their thinking and belief, or be ‘disturbed’ or ‘intimidated’ by how the teacher teach/conduct the ‘yoga class’, or be ‘dissatisfied’ with the ‘yoga class’ is not being the way that they would like it to be (either too intense, or too gentle, or too crowded, or too quiet, too much or not enough attention, too challenging or not challenging enough, or not the kind of practice that they would enjoy).

For people who don’t know the practice yet, of course they need to learn from someone who knows the practice, such like attending ‘yoga classes’ for some time to be following instructions from a teacher to learn about the practice and how to perform the practice. Attending ‘yoga classes’ is mostly about ‘learning’. After ‘learning’ and ‘knowing’ the practice, one must develop self-discipline to perform self-practice in solitude and silence, truly immersing into the practice.

That’s why ‘yoga practice’ is always more ‘practical’ when performing self-practice in solitude and silence in terms of quieting the restless modification of the mind, where the modification of mind inputs and outputs are being limited to the maximum efficiently. Those who already developed their own regular self-practice don’t need to attend ‘yoga classes’ to be following instructions to be performing their practice, though there’s nothing wrong if they attend ‘yoga classes’ once in a while for some reasons.

There are some ‘silent self-practice yoga classes’ are about providing a specific practice time and space for yoga practitioners to be sharing a practice space at a specific time to be performing their own self-practice. Even though there are other practitioners being in the same space, everyone is observing silence to the maximum, focusing on their own practice. There shouldn’t be any social interactions during the practice.

‘Yoga teachers’ need to teach ‘yoga classes’ in the way that would allow the students to develop the essential understanding of the teaching and practice, as well as self-reliance and self-discipline, and be able to perform self-practice without supervision/instruction from other people, and this will allow the mind be trained to turn inward to be quiet and be able to process and solve most problems in life by itself.

There’s nothing wrong with ‘asking and receiving help and support from others’ when someone encounters ‘problems’ in life, especially in terms of some physical and mental illnesses that require special care and specific medical treatment, or some technical problems where everyone has their own limited knowledge and experience to be doing something, and people need to be helped and supported by other people who have the knowledge and experience that oneself doesn’t have. While for most non-technical and non-medical care/treatment related problems, such like ‘thinking/decision making/relationship/emotional problems’, the best solution or the best answer to one’s doubt, is coming from within of a calmed and quiet mind.

One just needs to learn to be by oneself and be quiet, be away from all kinds of advice, opinion or suggestion from different people who ‘would like’ to give ‘advice, suggestion, help and support’ in the way that they think it’s best from their own point of view, and observe/watch what is going on in the mind, seeing the nature and the root cause of what the mind perceives/recognizes as ‘problems/doubts/unhappiness/hurts’, to allow the mind to go beyond and be undisturbed by these ‘problems/doubts/unhappiness/hurts’. Once the mind sees the truth, all kinds of ‘problems/doubts/unhappiness/hurts’ will eventually cease existing. One doesn’t need to talk to anyone about anything to release tension/unhappiness, or hoping someone is there to be listening to and sharing one’s ‘problems’, to be receiving advice, love, care, help or support from other people, to feel better, or to influence oneself making certain decision.

Although there’s nothing wrong when most people would see this thinking and emotional independence of ‘self-reliant thinking/decision making/relationship/emotional problem solving’ as ‘unacceptable’, ‘inappropriate’, ‘wrong’ or ‘unhealthy’ social behavior, as most people in the society practice and encourage all human beings need to be ‘reaching out to other people’, ‘talking to other people’ and ‘receiving advice, help, support from other people’, and most people do ‘need’ to reach out to other people to get help and suggestion, as they are being conditioned by the society to be emotionally interdependent, that they don’t know how to deal with ‘the problems’ they have and making decision independently by themselves, or else, when they think and feel that their ‘problems’ are too much for them, when they think they are alone and have no one being there to be helping and supporting them, they might hurt themselves and/or others, whether wittingly or unwittingly. People think and believe that ‘all human beings’ need to hold onto ‘something’ physically/mentally/emotionally to live life, whether it’s family, friends, relationship, children, pets, hobby, interest, work, religion, spirituality, ‘God’, or anything that give/feed the sense of existence and meaningfulness. When something falls apart or during the most difficult moments, at least they think they have something that they can lean or hang onto. And that’s their freedom of choice.

People would think and believe, “Oh, what a pitiful meaningless life without family/friends/somebody being there to share, to talk to, to play with, to support one another, to enjoy life.” This saying doesn’t valid/apply to the minds that practice yoga, that are free from being conditioned by worldly social/cultural/religious/political thinking and belief, that are aware of what is going on in the mind and be unattached towards/undetermined by the selfless impermanent qualities of names and forms, that are free from desire of craving and aversion.

In yoga, this ability of ‘self-reliant thinking/decision making/relationship/emotional problem solving’ is true liberation for the mind, being undisturbed or being okay under any difficult moments and challenging condition and situation in life that one has to deal with by oneself, where one has clear thinking and self-control without hurting oneself and/or others. It doesn’t mean that one doesn’t have any family/friends in life, but one doesn’t need to rely on the existence of family/friends/somebody being present as supporter, or receiving help/support from anyone to deal with any difficult moments under challenging condition and situation. When ‘family/friends/somebody’ or external help and support from other people/teacher/Guru/’God’ appear to be absent or not available for some reasons, it’s fine. One doesn’t need to hurt oneself and/or others, as one is peaceful as one is, being undetermined by any ‘difficult moments’ or ‘existing problems’ that one is going through, repairing what can be repaired and letting go what has to be let go, making decisions without doubt/fear/guilt/regret, and taking full responsibility towards one’s actions and the consequences of the actions.

“You came alone and you will go alone.” – Swami Sivananda

Retreat and quieting the restless outgoing pleasure/stimulation seeking mind

Some people asked us, “What are the fun holiday activities we can do during the free time between the yoga and meditation practice sessions in the yoga retreat?”

Many people might be unaware of the yoga practice are being carried out in every moment whether during the yoga practice ‘sessions’ and outside the yoga practice ‘sessions’ during a yoga retreat, or in everyday life.

Not that ‘doing/enjoying some fun holiday activities’ are wrong or bad, but the yoga practice is all about changing the worldly behavior pattern/habitual action and reaction of the mind, filtering/reducing/restricting/limiting the physical and mental activities, to withdraw the outgoing tendency of the mind, to be quieting the restless pleasure/stimulation seeking mind, while freeing the mind from egoism of attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation, to prepare the mind for meditation, to see the truth of things as it is, be free from ignorance and suffering that derived from ignorance.

In a ‘retreat’, this yoga practice of restricting the activities of the body and the mind and quieting the restless modification of the mind is being put into practice, seizing the opportunity of participating in a ‘retreat’ for an extended period of time, to be retreating from all kinds of worldly physical and mental activities that gratify the desire of craving for pleasurable actions, adventures, thrills, achievements, enjoyment and stimulation. Retreat participants should make use of the free time in between the yoga practice ‘sessions’ or other than performing daily task such like tidying/cleaning the living space, taking meals and shower, to ‘take rest’ and ‘be quiet’ physically and mentally, as well as observing the habitual action and reaction and the desire of gross/subtle craving of the mind especially during the time ‘not doing anything particular physically or mentally’ not even doing some kind of physical or mental yoga practice to occupy the mind, or when ‘boredom’ and ‘the sense of meaninglessness’ starts to manifest in the mind urging the mind to go out there to be doing something to get rid of the ‘boredom’ and ‘the sense of meaninglessness’.

The untrained mind usually doesn’t like to ‘be quiet physically and mentally’ being in the present moment reducing/limiting/restricting the physical and mental activities or ‘doing nothing particular’ not even some kind of ‘spiritual practice’ or ‘healthy/meaningful activities’ to be occupying the mind with ‘something’, as the mind will get bored and feel meaningless, and hence, it needs to be constantly seeking actions/adventures/thrills/achievements, enjoyment and stimulation. And hence, the restlessness. And yoga practice is to free the mind from this worldly thinking/belief/practice/habit of ‘constantly need to occupy the mind with something to keep it busy/restless so that it doesn’t get bored or feel meaningless’.

We don’t just reduce/restrict/limit/retreat from worldly physical and mental activities during a ‘retreat’ for a few days or weeks, we also practice partial or maximum retreat from worldly social affairs, activities and interactions as much as possible in our everyday life to stop feeding the desire and the outgoing pleasure/stimulation seeking tendency of the mind.

Contemplate on this, and find out whether oneself is practicing yoga to free the mind from the habitual worldly behavior pattern, to quiet/silent the restless modification of the mind, by renouncing/retreating from worldly egoistic physical and mental activities that empower egoism and restlessness, or just doing some kinds of ‘yoga practice’ a few hours a day regularly to be gaining some impermanent/momentary physical and mental benefits to gratify the desire of craving and aversion of the mind, to feel good, healthy and meaningful. And there’s nothing wrong either if oneself is not practicing yoga to change the habitual worldly behavior habit of the mind, to free the mind from ignorance and egoism, to quiet/silent the modification of the mind. But for those who sincerely want to practice yoga, they can contemplate on this.

Purifying, calming and quieting the restless mind efficiently

All the different forms of external yoga practice must be accompanied by the internal yoga practice of annihilating egoism of attachment, identification, craving, aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation, supported by the internal mental strength, flexibility and stamina of patience, perseverance, determination, tolerance, forbearance, acceptance, adjustment, adaptation and accommodation, as well as cultivating the essential tools for self-inquiry and self-realization, such as awareness, dispassion, desireless, renunciation, self-discipline, self-reliance, seclusion, solitude, care-free, fearlessness and equanimity, to be efficiently purifying, calming and quieting the impure egoistic restless mind, to prepare the mind for spontaneous meditation into Silence (complete annihilation of the mind/birthlessness and deathlessness/attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness/oneness or non-separateness).

Even if one’s physical body is unable to perform any external yoga practice, it doesn’t stop the mind from performing internal yoga practice to annihilate egoism, impurities and restlessness, and be free.

Without the internal yoga practice of annihilating egoism and impurities which is nothing to do with the impermanent and selfless physical and mental condition, ability and limitation, the mind will always be disturbed by the mind perception of names and forms of all kinds of pleasant and unpleasant, desirable and undesirable, agreeable and disagreeable life experiences, where there’s clinging and craving towards pleasant/desirable/agreeable experiences and aversion towards unpleasant/undesirable/disagreeable experiences, even after many years and huge amount of external yoga practice that one has been performing or many years of teaching yoga and meditation practice to many other people, and getting all the momentary effects and benefits from the regular external form of yoga practice.

The mind might be rendered calm and quiet momentarily during and after all those external yoga and meditation practice, but it doesn’t last long, as very soon, the mind would unwittingly slip back into restlessness due to the stubborn egoistic mind habits of chasing after the objects of the senses, worldly enjoyments and stimulation, passionate desires of worldly and/or spiritual aspirations and ambitions, worldly social interactions and activities, and the ceaseless impurities generated through countless actions and reactions towards the mind perceptions of names and forms due to egoism of attachment, identification, craving, aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation, where the mind is restless most of the time, even if the mind can attain certain degrees of relief from restlessness for a short period of time during deep sleep state, or during and after the different forms of external yoga practice.

By freeing the mind from egoism would allow the mind to be undetermined or undisturbed by the mind perception of names and forms, of quality and duality, or the good and bad/positive and negative/pleasant and unpleasant/desirable and undesirable life experiences, that allow the mind to be free from impurities and restlessness thoroughly.

And hence, the importance of the practice of silence for those who truly want to conquer the restless modification of the mind, to attain Silence.

After some time of practicing some kind of yoga and meditation practice regularly, one needs to perform self-introspection, “Is the mind still being determined or affected by the impermanent and selfless physical and mental condition, ability and limitation, as well as the worldly affairs, relationship, friendship, social activities and interactions, and worldly and/or spiritual achievements and acknowledgements to feel good, confident and meaningful, or not?” and “Is the mind still being determined by duality of good and bad/positive and negative/right and wrong/meaningfulness and meaninglessness/happiness and unhappiness, or all the mind perceptions of different qualities of names and forms, to feel good, positive, rightful, joyful and meaningful, or not?” or “Is the mind still being disturbed by what the mind thinks and believes as bad, wrong, negative, unhappiness and hurtful?” If the answer is yes, it means the mind is still not free, even if one has been performing yoga practice for a long time, or possessing many ‘yoga certifications’, and believing in ‘goodness’, ‘righteousness’ and ‘positiveness’.

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they want and don’t want to practice.

Yoga retreats run by Yoga Now Malaysia in Langkawi

The teachers at Yoga Now Malaysia welcome anyone who is sincerely interested in learning and practicing yoga with them by participating in their yoga retreats or workshops, however, there might be people who want to join a retreat or workshop at Yoga Now Malaysia might not understand what the teachers teach in the yoga retreats or workshops here, assuming that the retreats or workshops to be in certain ways that they expect it to be, and they might not like the kind of retreats or workshops run by Yoga Now Malaysia, where they would feel regret or disappointed for joining a retreat or workshop here that is not what they anticipated what it is.

Everyone has the freedom to like or dislike something. The teachers respect everyone as they are for what they like and don’t like.

Yoga Now Malaysia don’t discriminate anyone by filtering everyone before accepting the retreat or workshop requests from anyone, but in order to avoid some people who might not understand what the teachers teach in the retreats and workshops, or what kind of retreats or workshops are running by Yoga Now Malaysia, but they sign up for a retreat or workshop without proper understanding of what the teachers teach in the yoga retreats or workshops here, and end up quitting the retreat or workshop half way, generating disharmony in themselves and wasting the time, energy and effort of both parties, it would be better if people understand a little more about what the teachers teach in the yoga retreats and workshops before they sign up for a yoga retreat or yoga workshop run by Yoga Now Malaysia in Langkawi Island.

The yoga retreats and workshops are for those who sincerely want to learn and practice yoga that is about freeing the mind from the cause of suffering – Ignorance and its by-products of egoism, impurities and restlessness. Some people might think and believe that they sincerely want to learn and practice yoga, but they don’t really want to practice yoga that is about yoga. They only love certain part of the yoga practice and the commercial retreat activities that they know, that they like, which they enjoy, that make them feel good, healthy, happy and meaningful. And there’s nothing wrong with that if people just want to do some yoga exercises and enjoy some social/community activities that make the minds feel good and meaningful.

The retreats and workshops teach yoga that allow people to know what is going on in their minds to know the root cause of all kinds of disturbs, dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hurts, unhappiness, painful sorrow, fear, worry, loneliness, meaninglessness, or suffering, and work diligently to free their own minds from the root cause of all kinds of disturbs, dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hurts, unhappiness, painful sorrow, fear, worry, loneliness, meaninglessness, or suffering. It’s not a pleasant process for most egoistic prideful minds upon coming in contact with the truth of what is going on in the mind as the ego is going to be eliminated/destroyed through the realization of the truth, where the truth is the opposite of everything that the ignorant egoistic mind used to think and believe what things are. There will be intense resistance coming from the egoistic prideful mind.

Those who never practice yoga before, and those who have been practicing yoga but they come with an open mind will appreciate the retreats and workshops as they are and will learn something invaluable for the rest of their life. Those who come with closed mind and expectation, or have doubt and hesitation towards the teachers or the retreat or workshop, will not be able to allow the retreats or workshops to be what they are and couldn’t learn anything. And there’s nothing wrong with people have doubts or hesitation towards the teachers that they never met before, and towards the retreat or workshop that they never attended before. But when the doubt and hesitation is too over-whelming, it will affect their perception towards everything.

Yoga Now Malaysia is a simple home based small yoga studio situated in a small village that run flexible dates retreats and workshops which are subject to availability and the teachers run retreats and workshops even if there’s only one person attending. Most of the retreats and workshops have only one person joining and occasionally there might be a few people over-lapping with one another during the same dates. The retreats are not fixed dates retreats with a group of people.

There is only one room available at Yoga Now. For those who want to stay at the accommodation at Yoga Now, they need to know that it will be only themselves staying there regardless of whether there are other people joining a retreat or workshop during those dates, or not.

People who truly want to learn and practice yoga should have no problem with living alone and being the only person in a retreat. As yoga practice or Sadhana is about live alone, eat alone, walk alone, meditate alone.

This is the first determination – learn to be by oneself.

Meals are not provided. Everyone needs to look after their own meals and there are many existing restaurants about 3 Kilometres away that cater to all budgets and tastes. Yoga Now Malaysia is not a hotel or guesthouse. There’s no room service or housekeeping for the accommodation at Yoga now. The teachers will clean up the accommodation thoroughly before the guests check-in and after the guests check-out. But, during the retreat, people who stay at the accommodation at Yoga Now need to be self-initiated and self-reliant to look after the cleanliness and tidiness of their living space. Those who arrange their own accommodation somewhere else also need to arrange their own transport between their accommodation and the yoga studio to attend the retreat sessions.

Some people say that they don’t want to join the retreat because there’s no food or transport included, they feel that it’s very inconvenient and troublesome. While some even say that they initially wanted to join the retreat at Yoga Now Malaysia, as they have heard or read about the food used to be provided at the yoga retreats at Yoga Now Malaysia was very good, but then they don’t want to come for the retreat when they found out that food is not included anymore. It shows that learning and practicing yoga with the teachers from Yoga Now Malaysia is not a priority, but food and all kinds of conveniences are more important to them.

Yoga Now Malaysia doesn’t advertise anywhere and doesn’t have any signboard. Upon confirmation of the yoga retreat, directions to the yoga studio will be given to those who need to arrange their own transport to the yoga studio. They need to be self-reliant to follow the directions that Yoga Now gave them and not depending on taxi drivers to bring them here, as taxi drivers don’t know where the yoga studio is even when people give them an address. Address doesn’t mean anything to the taxi drivers, as it is a house in a village where there’s no street/road name. People who followed the directions would have no problem finding the yoga studio, only those who refused to follow the directions but depend on the taxi drivers would have problem finding it.

Those who really sincerely want to learn and practice yoga with the teachers from Yoga Now Malaysia, food is not that important and there’s nothing too much troublesome and inconvenient that would stop them from coming to learn and practice yoga with the teachers.

This is the second determination – learn to be self-initiated and self-reliant.

The retreats or workshops don’t teach any particular style of yoga, or any particular kind of yoga practice designed specifically for particular type of rehabilitation of physical injuries or illnesses, neither it’s for any kind of ‘healing’ or ‘detoxification’. It’s also not a fitness yoga camp to attain physical fitness/strength/flexibility/ability to do some yoga poses. But everyone do their best to perform the practice without attachment or expectation, and allowing the result or the fruit of practice to be there as it is, while learning how to be aware of what is going on in their own minds. And eventually, they become their own teacher, when they developed awareness, openness, correct understanding, self-reliance and self-discipline, then everyone and everything and all the pleasant and unpleasant experiences are there to teach us something.

In the yoga retreats or workshops here, people learn to allow their mind to be opened, to inquire the truth of everything, including all the teachings of yoga, regardless of whether they like or dislike, agree or disagree with some of the teachings and practice, and whether they want or don’t want to practice some of the teachings and practice.

They learn about not to blind-believing, not to blind-following, not to blind-practicing, not to blind-agreeing or not to blind-preaching/sharing about anything that they read, or heard from somewhere and someone, even from this yoga retreat or workshop that they attended, but to purify and quiet the mind, to inquire or investigate the truth of everything, and realize the truth by themselves, to be free from ignorance.

They learn to perform inquiry towards the yoga teaching of “The body is not I, I am not the body. The mind is not I, I am not the mind.” and let go of attachment and identification with the impermanent and selfless body and mind as who they are. All kinds of problems and suffering that people think they have, started with the ignorant egoistic attachment and identification with the impermanent and selfless existence and function of the body and mind as ‘I’.

They learn how to unattached towards any particular thinking and belief in the mind that influenced them how they judge and react towards everything that the mind comes in contact with, or experiences, or perceives, which is not necessarily the truth of things. Quite many people do not like this teaching or practice of letting go the attachment and identification towards their particular thinking and belief that they have been identifying with as who they are, for a long time.

This is the third determination – learn how to unattached and unidentified with particular thinking and belief or any qualities of names and forms to be who they are, developing awareness, openness, correct understanding, self-reliance and self-discipline, and becoming their own teacher.

In the yoga retreat or workshop, people learn to develop awareness, self-discipline, self-reliance and self-control, to take full responsibility for all their actions and reactions and the consequences of their actions and reactions. How the mind reacts towards all the mind perception of names and forms is it’s own responsibility, whether the mind reacts and feels good or bad, happy or unhappy, satisfied or dissatisfied, positive or negative, like or dislike, agreement or disagreement, want or doesn’t want, pleased or displeased, loved or unloved, pleasant or unpleasant, motivated or demotivated, calm or disturbed, peaceful or peaceless, enjoy or suffer.

They learn to take full responsibility to look after themselves, the well-being of the body and the mind, and be free from clinging onto and longing or craving for love, care, support, encouragement, praise, compliment, acknowledgement, achievement, agreement, friendship, companionship, relationship, connection, or interaction, being immersed in solitude and silence, being in the present, being free from boredom, loneliness, unhappiness, low self-esteem, unworthiness, guilt, regret, pride, arrogance, craving, aversion, longing, the sense of meaninglessness and all kinds of dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurts, anger, hatred, jealousy, fear, worry, offensiveness, defensiveness, agitation, depression, painful sorrow, or suffering.

This is the fourth determination – learn to take full responsibility towards one’s actions and reactions and the consequences of one’s actions and reactions, and look after the well-being of one’s body and mind.

They learn how to observe any physical injuries or illnesses that they have and the existence of any kinds of ‘hurts’ or ‘disturbs’ or ‘painful sorrow’ or ‘suffering’ in the mind by letting go of egoism, without generating attachment, identification, craving, aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation, and learn to see the truth of impermanence and selflessness. Once the mind realizes or sees the truth of impermanence and selflessness, there is no need of any kinds of ‘healing’. All the good and bad condition of the physical body, and all the different states of the mind of all kinds of thought activities of reactions towards all the mind perception of names and forms, and all kinds of pleasant and unpleasant life experiences, are just what they are, that they are neither good nor bad, neither positive nor negative.

They learn to perform all their actions, practice, duties and responsibilities without attachment and identification, and allowing the result or the fruit of actions to be what they are, without attachment, identification, craving, aversion, judgment, comparison or expectation. Being undetermined by the actions or the fruit of actions.

This is the fifth determination – learn to free the mind from egoism of attachment, identification, craving, aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation, while do one’s best to perform any necessary actions, duties and responsibilities.

All the yoga practice in the retreat sessions are to purify and quiet the mind, to free the mind from egoism, impurities and restlessness, to prepare the mind for meditation, to allow the mind to reflect or inquire upon the truth of everything and be free from ignorance, and thus be free from the by-products of ignorance – All kinds of disturbs, dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hurts, unhappiness, painful sorrow, fear or suffering.

This is the sixth determination – learn how to free the mind from ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness, to allow the mind to see the truth of names and forms – Impermanence and selflessness.

Yoga practice is about letting go of the past good or bad/happy or unhappy/pleasant or unpleasant/desirable or undesirable/agreeable or disagreeable experiences, to free the mind from continuously being disturbed or determined by the past good or bad/happy or unhappy/pleasant or unpleasant/desirable or undesirable/agreeable or disagreeable experiences. And without attachment towards all the good or bad/happy or unhappy/pleasant or unpleasant/desirable or undesirable/agreeable or disagreeable experiences in the present moment now, being undetermined by all the mind perception of names and forms through the senses, and remain equanimous without clinging/craving towards the pleasant experiences, without aversion towards the unpleasant experiences. Also to free the mind from attachment and the desire of craving and aversion towards the future that doesn’t exist and being determined by the imagination/anticipation/projection/expectation towards the future.

And hence, the yoga teachers are not interested to be engaging in worldly social conversations and won’t be asking the guests about their past of what were their thinking and feelings/what they did or didn’t experience, or talking about the past experiences and projecting into the future, or what was/is their physical condition, ability and limitation, or how they think and feel in the present, to allow the guests to stop feeding or empowering the attachment and identification towards the past experiences and all the impermanent and selfless qualities of names and forms that are not who they are, and be aware of all the modifications of the mind in this present moment without attachment or identification, without desire of craving and aversion.

This is the seventh determination – learn how to be in the present, free the mind from being conditioned and determined by the past experiences or the future imagination. And without attachment towards all the pleasant and unpleasant experiences in the present moment as even this present moment is impermanent.

Yoga practice is about silencing the ever restless mind, or the annihilation of the modifications of the mind. It’s not important whether the physical body is in good or bad condition, or whether life is good or not good/easy or difficult, or what the body can do or cannot do, or whether the body is comfortable or uncomfortable, or whether the body suffers from certain injuries or illnesses, or not. It’s to go beyond the attachment and identification with the body and mind, but looking after the well-being of the body and mind out of compassion, not out of egoistic desire of “I want my body and mind to be like this, and I don’t want my body and mind to be like that.” and with the correct understanding of performing the yoga practice within one’s ability in the present and without forcing the body to go beyond its limitation. Allowing the practice and the fruit of the practice to be what it is. Allowing the body to be changing or improving naturally, without attachment and expectation. Without clinging onto or craving for injury-free/illness-free or good condition of the physical body, without aversion towards injury/illness or the bad condition of the physical body.

No matter how much limitation of physical movements and discomforts due to the existing injury or illness, one be determined to attend all the sessions even without much physical practice/movements, but just being aware of the limitation and discomforts without generating attachment, identification, craving and aversion, remain equanimous. And that’s already a great practice, greater than doing many yoga asana poses/exercises in the sessions that people enjoy doing, that make them feel satisfied and happy, but full of attachment, identification, judgment, comparison, expectation, craving and aversion.

This is the eighth determination – develop patience, perseverance, determination, tolerance, forbearance, acceptance, adjustment, adaptation and accommodation.

Not that the teachers don’t care about the students, when they don’t ask about the students’ well-being, as it is not important at all about how is the physical condition (injuries/illness/ability and limitation) or the state of the mind (happy or unhappy/positive or negative), when one truly understands what is yoga and is truly practicing yoga. And more importantly, it’s to allow the students to be unattached towards and undetermined by the impermanent and selfless condition and function of the body and mind, and learn to be independent, to observe what is going on in their body and mind, to realize the truth of impermanence and selflessness, to look after the well-being of their body and mind by themselves, to realize wisdom and unconditional love from within, be free from clinging and craving for receiving love, help, support or kindness from others, allowing others to show love, help, support and kindness to oneself, or not, without being determined by other people’s actions and reactions, where they don’t need to rely on a teacher, or anyone to be there for them, to be practicing yoga, to be doing something beneficial for themselves or others, to feel loved and supported, to feel being helped or looked after, to be motivated, to be acknowledged, or to feel meaningful.

There’s no need to have somebody there to comfort oneself, to be listening to one’s ‘problems’ or ‘complaints’, as there’s no ‘problem’ or ‘complaint’ when one knows yoga, when the mind is free from ignorance and egoism.

This is compassion and liberation, although many people might not understand or agree with this. It’s normal that most people who attached strongly onto the worldly passionate thinking and belief couldn’t understand this teaching and practice particularly and have strong disagreements towards this teaching and practice, unless they go beyond all the worldly passionate thinking and belief. And that’s their freedom of thinking, actions and reactions.

Those who don’t understand, they have expectation towards everyone and everything to be in certain ways that they like and agree with. They expect the teachers should behave or treat them in certain ways. They expect the retreat should be run in certain ways. They feel offended, disappointed and hurt when people or things are not being the way that they want it to be, or when they are getting what they don’t like and don’t agree with, or when they are not getting what they like and agree with, and when something that they like has changed into something that they don’t like, or is being disturbed, or is no longer existing or available. As long as the mind is still functioning under the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities, people would keep hurting themselves and others out of ignorance, egoism and impurities.

This is the ninth determination – to realize compassion or unconditional love, to stop hurting oneself and others out of ignorance, egoism and impurities.

All these practices and realization are nothing to do with the impermanent and selfless physical condition, physical appearance, physical ability and limitation; or the impermanent and selfless state of the mind; or how strong and flexible is the physical body to perform the yoga poses; or how many yoga poses the body can perform nicely and comfortably; or how long they can hold a particular yoga pose comfortably; or whether they perform the yoga poses in so called ‘perfect alignment’, or not; or whether they believe or disbelieve in God (existence); or whether they have or don’t have a religion belief and practice; or what type of religion belief and practice that they have; or what type and style of yoga they are practicing; or how long they have been practicing yoga; or who are their yoga teachers; or what type of food that they eat or don’t eat; or whether the minds think they are good or not good, positive or negative, happy or unhappy.

This is the tenth determination – to free the mind from being conditioned and determined by qualities and dualities and any thinking and beliefs.

It’s important as part of the yoga practice for the fees must be paid fully before the start of the retreats or workshops. Fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. In case of sickness or emergency that one couldn’t finish the retreat, one can replace the unattended retreat sessions on some other time in the future when retreat or workshop is available. The fees is about the retreat guests showing sincerity and determination to attend the yoga retreat or workshop, as well as to show appreciation and gratitude towards the yoga teachers and supporting the maintenance of the retreat centre to conduct such retreats and workshops to allow other people to learn and practice yoga to be free from ignorance and suffering. This is very important as part of the yoga practice of elimination of ignorance and egoism.

It’s not about paying some money in exchange for some customer services or commercial products in return. It’s about one gives before receive anything or even doesn’t receive anything in return. It’s not about one will ‘give’, after one received something that one likes and desires, and one will be reluctant to ‘give’ if one thinks one didn’t receive something that one likes or desires.

The teachings and practice of yoga is available anywhere and anytime that is nothing to do with ‘fees’ at all, such like anyone who visit this Blog can learn and practice yoga from all the posts about yoga here if they want, for free, but the daily/weekly/monthly/yearly maintenance of the living space and practice space of a retreat centre that allow people to come to learn and practice yoga under the teachers needs to be maintained by fees/money, to pay rental, bills, business license fee, building permit fee and lots of maintenance to upkeep the entire place. Even when there’s no retreat or workshop happening, when the teachers don’t teach classes or receive any fees, the teachers are still ‘working’ everyday to upkeep the entire place. But people don’t see this. They think that the teachers only ‘work’ when they are teaching classes. The teachers will be teaching as long as somebody sincerely wants to come to learn and practice with them. Sooner or later, even if someone wants to come to learn and practice yoga, the teachers will not be here anymore.

All the teachings, practice and realization are invaluable. It’s not something that one can buy or pay with some money and one will be free. But the fees in the form of money has its important function. Some people are not aware of they are exploiting the yoga teachers when they negotiate the fees with the teachers to get discount so that they can spend the saved money on something else, or thinking that the yoga teachers shouldn’t receive any fees as they believe that teaching yoga should be something charitable or as a service, expecting that all yoga teachers should have some full time or part time job or business, or beg for donations from the public to support their living and perform selfless service to teach yoga for free or at very low fees. That’s how people started to exploit yoga teachers thinking that that’s the way it should be. Even some yoga teachers would think like that. But it’s not. What they don’t understand is that the fees is not about paying for the teachers for their actions of teaching yoga, but it’s for many things that allow the teachers to be available here to teach yoga to other people at a particular time and space. If the teachers or the time and space are not available due to some reasons, then even though somebody want to pay some fees to the teachers, the teachers also cannot be here to teach yoga to anyone.

The retreat guests need to have certain degrees of determination and open mind to surrender all the doubts and hesitation towards paying non-refundable fees before the start of the retreat or workshop to be determined to finish the retreat or workshop regardless of any physical or mental discomforts/dislike/disagreement/aversion towards some of the teachings or practices and also due to the physical/mental/emotional purification process that may arise during/before/after the retreat or workshop, without forcing the body beyond its limitation, without hurting the body. If it’s too tired or sicked to perform any physical practice, one doesn’t need to do any form of physical practice, but still be practicing yoga by being present in the retreat sessions. But many people don’t get this. They would want to quit as soon as there’s some tiredness, dislikes, disagreements, discomforts or sickness.

Usually when there’s doubt or hesitation towards paying the fees before the retreat started is due to there are a lot of ‘what if’ over-powering people’s mind, and they afraid of they might regret or don’t like the retreat and will loose their money if they want to quit and won’t get any refund for quitting. They prefer to play safe by trying out without payment, and if they like it then they will pay. Or else they won’t pay if they don’t like it. But this type of petite mentality is one of the hindrance in the yoga practice. One should be determined to finished something that one started no matter how challenging it appears to be by putting aside all the impulsive likes and dislikes, craving and aversion.

Not about asking anyone to be compared with myself, but just to let people know that it’s possible to be determined to finished everything that we have started no matter how much challenges and obstacles and difficulties are there. Initially, I didn’t have enough money to pay for the yoga teachers training course when I paid the deposit to sign up for the course, but I never asked for any discounted rate or special rate from the Ashram, and somehow I managed to earn enough to pay for the fees and flight ticket and other expenses as well as supporting my parents’ living by working hard. My body was sicked for more than three weeks during the one month course when I was attending the first yoga teachers training course at Sivananda Ashram in 2005, but I never missed any classes, or quit. Neither did I expect to be receiving sympathy, empathy, attention, love and care from anyone. I looked after myself and knowing that it’s part of the purification process and it’s impermanent. And the next year, after came back from the advanced teachers training course and attended my first silent Vipassana meditation retreat, my whole body and face suffered from some kind of serious skin rash for more than one and half year. Again, it didn’t bother me at all. When I was young, the so called ‘astrologer’ said that I will never be a champion no matter how hard I try, but I managed to be a champion twice, and be qualified to represent Malaysia for competing in world championship in Sport Aerobics Competition. It’s all about determination, perseverance, discipline, focus, patience, forbearance, hardworking and independence.

For those who have developed a strong foundation of correct understanding towards the teachings and practice, where they have become their own teacher, then naturally and effortlessly, they are dispassionate towards a worldly passionate way of life and would renounce worldly social affairs, desires, relationships, connections, activities and interactions, immersing into the practice of silence, solitude and seclusion, to be focusing in their own practice to attain complete annihilation of the modification of the mind.

This might be the last but not least determination – to attain complete annihilation of the modification of the mind.

Everyone has the freedom to decide what they want or don’t want to practice after learning about the teachings and practice of yoga in the retreats or workshops, there’s nothing wrong if they don’t want to practice some of the teachings or practice, but more importantly, they learn to allow their mind to be opened, to be undisturbed by something that their mind dislikes, disagrees with, and doesn’t want to practice, but at the same time, allow the mind to be opened to inquire or investigate the truth of everything that the mind agrees or disagrees with, being aware of whatever the mind agrees or disagrees with are not necessarily the truth. That is already getting into the practice, even if they dislike, disagree with and don’t want to practice some of the teachings or practices of yoga. Then in everyday life, dealing with many people and things that are not necessarily that they like or agree with, but they are not disturbed by what they don’t like and don’t agree with, and have peace.

That is true compassion towards oneself and others, where one stops hurting oneself or others out of all kinds of impurities of dissatisfaction, disappointment, offensiveness, defensiveness, frustration, unhappiness, depression, pride, arrogance, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, hurts, regret, guilt, craving, aversion, impatience, intolerance, ill-will, animosity, unrest, fear or worry, under the influence of ignorance and egoism.

One is peaceful as one is, regardless of all kinds of mind perception of pleasant or unpleasant experiences, and all the impermanent changes of the different states of the mind, the mental achievement, ability and limitation; the physical achievement, ability and limitation, and the impermanent and selfless physical condition of aging, decaying, weakening, pain, illness and eventually stop functioning and decompose.

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to do with their life, body and mind, but also be responsible for all their decisions and desires, actions and reactions, and the consequences of their decisions, desires, actions and reactions.

Be happy.