Be free from gross and subtle attachment, clinging and craving

This teaching is more suitable for those who are endowed with intense yearning for liberation, who are aware of ignorance and egoism and the consequences of it.

Those who are not interested in transcending the mind perception of a worldly life of names and forms, but merely interested in doing certain favorite yoga asana and breathing exercises of particular style and brand to attain some health and fitness benefits, to attain momentary physical/mental/emotional relief, pleasantness and calmness deriving from performing the different types of yoga and meditation practice, while enjoying all kinds of worldly relationship, connection, interaction and activity with other people/beings who are like minded, whom one perceives as one’s family, friends and relatives, that give rise to the sense of meaningfulness, satisfaction and fulfillment, to chase away the sense of dissatisfaction, meaninglessness and loneliness, they don’t need to practice the teaching of yoga about renunciation, solitude and seclusion, to renounce all kinds of worldly relationship, connection, interaction and activity, to efficiently free the mind from both gross and subtle attachment, clinging and craving towards desirable/agreeable relationships, connections, interactions and activities that gives rise to the sense of meaningfulness, goodness and fulfillment.

The worldly passionate mind would perceive discomfort/unrest/suffering/unhappiness/meaninglessness/loneliness/emptiness when it is being cut off from the familiar worldly relationships, connections, interactions and activities for a certain period of time. People, including mental health professionals, think and believe that people will be mentally and physically sick and die due to loneliness, emptiness and meaninglessness, if without connecting, contacting, communicating and interacting with some other human beings. That’s their freedom of thinking and belief. And hence, the practice of renunciation, solitude and seclusion is definitely not for them, as they will be crazy, sick and die due to being over-whelmed by the sense of loneliness and meaninglessness deriving from practicing renunciation, solitude and seclusion, as it’s too painful, difficult, terrible, guilty and depressing for them to be without worldly relationship, connection, interaction and activity.

Only those who are determined to transcend the worldly life of impermanent selfless names and forms, who are endowed with the intense yearning for liberation, even when life experience and condition is rather good and comfortable, knowing that all is impermanent and selfless, would be interested in the practice of renunciation, solitude and seclusion, being dispassionate towards the fleeting worldly life of names and forms, of worldly affair and condition that are being limited by cause and effect and impermanence, powered by ignorance and egoism, and hence, they could renounce all kinds of worldly connection, relationship, interaction and activity, without much difficulty, allowing the mind be able to be free from not just gross but also subtle attachment, clinging and craving towards worldly connection, relationship, interaction and activity.

Those who chase after the sense of meaningfulness, goodness and fulfillment deriving from being passionately engaging in worldly social and spiritual connection, relationship, interaction and activity, where they think and believe that the attainment/presence of the sense of meaningfulness, goodness and fulfillment is the meaning of life existence, or the highest achievement of their spiritual practice, or the goal of yoga and meditation practice, they would perceive the teaching and practice of renunciation, solitude and seclusion as something out of date, absurd, abnormal, negative, selfish, meaningless, or even useless.

In the many social cultural belief and practice, renouncing worldly relationship, connection, interaction and activity are being perceived as unacceptable inappropriate wrongful way of being. People would be criticized and condemned by the passionate egoistic family, friends and relatives, if they don’t engage in family, relative and friends social visit/meet up/get together/celebration, not to say, completely cutting off all kinds of contact and communication. There’s nothing wrong with that, as it’s everyone’s freedom for what they think and believe as well as what they want to do and don’t do with their life. These minds are not free, as they would loose the sense of meaningfulness and goodness, if for some reasons, desirable/agreeable worldly connection, relationship, interaction and activity are unavailable, especially for a prolonged period of time, that give rise to the sense of meaninglessness, emptiness, uselessness and loneliness to the mind.

The gross and subtle attachment/clinging/craving towards all kinds of relationship, connection, interaction and activity is one of the greatest obstacle for many yoga practitioners, including so called ‘yoga teachers’. The great spiritual ambition/aspiration to be connected with people/other beings/nature, or fellow yoga community/family as much as possible, to be as meritorious and virtuous as much as possible, desiring to be transitioned towards better or higher realm of existence, to create/build yoga community, yoga school and/or yoga ashram, to hoard ‘family/friends/brothers/sisters’, ‘students’, ‘disciples’ and ‘followers’, under the ‘good intention’ to share ‘yoga’ or ‘love’ with as many beings as possible, are indeed the sign of subtle attachment/clinging/craving that the mind doesn’t even aware of. All these names and forms of relationship/connection/interaction/activity/merit/virtue/better or higher realm or transition/the sense of meaningfulness, goodness and fulfillment deriving from spiritual aspiration, achievement, contribution, action and interaction, don’t exist for the silent mind.

Though renouncing worldly relationship, connection, interaction and activity, the dispassionate minds can still be performing actions that would be beneficial towards oneself and the world, but it’s free from any ‘ambition’, ‘aspiration’, or ‘intention’, without expecting life or the world has to be in certain way according to particular desire, thinking and belief, but allowing life and the world being what it is. This ‘intention-less action’ is unthinkable for most passionate egoistic minds that believe in all actions must be inspired by and performed out of intention/aspiration and motivation to bring out certain result/success/achievement that they expect how it should be. These minds need to be driven by certain intentional motivation/expectation as well as certain result/achievement/recognition/acknowledgement/accreditation/appreciation/compliment/encouragement to perform all kinds of action.

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they know and don’t know, what they understand and don’t understand, and what they think and don’t think.

Welcoming changes towards unlimited unthinkable opportunities

Most minds will tend to have fear and worry towards changes, especially letting go a familiar living environment and family/friends/social circle, as well as letting go job or business that provides ‘stable’ financial support for living, unless they have no other choices but they have to find another living environment elsewhere and to find some other job or business due to unforeseen circumstances, such as losing their beloved home or job/business unwittingly due to natural disaster, bad economy, accident, war, and etc.

This fear and worry is the instinctive fear towards the unknown/uncertainty and fear of making the wrong decision to be losing the good and comfortable condition that one has been familiar with, which one loves/enjoys very much.

Whether we are aware or unaware of it, stability is always the main element and attachment in everything in life, even though the nature of everything is impermanence. Impermanence exists even in so called ‘stability’. Most minds would think and believe that they are embracing impermanence, but most probably only embracing towards changes of improvement, while there’s great aversion towards changes of deterioration. But deterioration is the ultimate truth of everything that exist under certain name and form.

Only when the mind learns how to embrace the nature of impermanence regardless of improvement or deterioration, there’s no fear towards changes or decisions making that actually would lead towards unlimited possible opportunities that are unknown to the mind until the mind sees them upon letting go/abandoning the little box of a familiar life that the mind lives in, when the mind starts to allow itself to be opened towards all the unknown/uncertainty without fear or regret, but with great welcome.

This is also similar to the teaching of yoga about surrendering. It’s not about ‘letting God to lead life and God will look after life for us’, but it’s about letting go the attachment/identification/clinging/expectation towards ‘the existing comfort that gives rise to the sense of meaningfulness derived from particular way of living and activities that the mind enjoys very much’ and letting go the fear towards losing or no longer having ‘this comfort and the sense of meaningfulness that it has been attaching or clinging onto’.

Most people will think and say, “Unless we have to, why do we want to let go something that is good and meaningful which we love very much that is still available to us now?”

There’s nothing wrong with that, as people don’t really need to let go anything (especially ‘goodness’ that gives rise to the sense of meaningfulness) until they have to. People like to hear and say, “Appreciate all the good things until they are no longer available.” That’s very good. But for the truth seekers, the attachment/clinging towards ‘goodness or comfortable good condition that give rise to the sense of meaningfulness’ is indeed one of the great obstacles towards liberation that most minds don’t realize.

For the minds that are in searching for ‘the truth’ or ‘liberation from ignorance’, or ‘selflessness/namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness/beginninglessness/endlessness/birthlessness/deathlessness/changelessness’, there’s no waiting, as this life existence, regardless of ‘good and comfortable life’ or ‘bad and challenging life’, is passing away.

For some who believe in one life, they might think and say, “Ah! there’s only one life, why bother about anything? Enjoy as much as possible while it’s available.”

For some who believe in many continuous lives, they might think and say, “Ah! there’s so many lives, need not hurry for anything. Enjoy as much as possible while it’s available.”

For the truth seekers, “It’s NOW, and there’s only NOW.” regardless of it’s good and comfortable life or bad and challenging life, or one life, or many continuous lives, or the beginningless/endless/birthless/deathless infinite Sat-Chit-Ananda.

Letting go and let it be, it’s okay

Human beings might be having the opportunity and financial ability to enjoy a higher standard of living with all kinds of education, entertainment, gadget, equipment, comfort, convenience and enjoyment for the senses while living in the modern society of higher technology and creativity, but it doesn’t determine that the minds are free from restlessness/disturbs and other impurities deriving from ignorance and egoism, where there’s so much tension in the minds resulting in losing the ability to think clearly and act properly, affecting the interactions with others in the daily affairs that human beings have to deal with, may it be in relationships or at work, during the process to achieve whatever they want to achieve in life and the world, with great expectation/aspiration towards life and the world to be in certain way that they desire and not to be in certain way that they don’t desire.

It has to come from the mind itself to realize the urgency to be looking after itself before it’s too late, to learn how to let go and let it be, that it’s okay, when things in life are not being the way that the mind would like them to be, even after oneself had tried the best and very hard to achieve a life and a world that one thinks and believes how it should be.

What’s the point of all kinds of opportunity, education, aspiration and effort, but losing the clarity and sanity of the mind while trying to achieve a life and a world that one’s thinking and belief categorized as good, righteous, positive, successful and meaningful life/living/way of life, as the mind couldn’t let go, or let things being what they are, not necessarily pleasant/desirable/agreeable in the way that the mind would like it to be, where the mind is being over-powered by the desire of craving and aversion and great expectation, and drowning itself in frustration, disappointment, dissatisfaction, anger, hatred, hurt, fear and worry?

Just do one’s best, but also be able to let go and let it be, being free from attachment, identification, craving and aversion, and expectation.

The so called ‘negative/bad/wrong/unpleasant/undesirable/disagreeable’ things in life or the world don’t hurt the mind or what the mind thinks and believes as ‘I’, but it’s the egoistic attachment, identification, craving and aversion and expectation in the mind that is hurting the mind.

It’s everyone’s freedom whether they want to let go, to maintain the clarity and sanity of the thinking mind, or not.

Attachment as in Yoga and Buddhism

“What is attachment?”

Due to ignorance, the mind is functioning/operating under the influence of egoism, where there’s attachment towards the mind perception of names and forms through the senses, that brings along multiple identifications/identities identifying with impermanent and selfless names and forms that representing ‘I’ and ‘my life’ and ‘my relationships with everyone and everything in my life’ that aren’t ‘the truth’ or don’t ‘exist’ (there’s neither ‘I’ nor ‘not I’ in selflessness) with boundless passionate worldly desires of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation, which leads to all kinds of action and reaction and the fruit/consequences of action and reaction, activating the loop of endless births and deaths, and the consequence of all that – Restlessness, dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hatred, jealousy, hurts, aggressiveness, defensiveness, offensiveness, fear, worry, stress, regret, guilt, grief, painful sorrow, or suffering/peacelessness exist within the modification of the mind, which are also subject to impermanence and selflessness, governs by the law of nature – cause and effect, action and the fruit/consequence of action.

The fundamental attachments that exist in most minds are worldly life existence attachment, individual being existence attachment (‘I am an existing individual being with certain quality of name and form’, ‘this is I/this is not I’, or ‘I am this/I am not that’), physical attachment, mental attachment, emotional attachment, relationship/companionship attachment, material/object/possession attachment, family/friends/relative/race/nationality attachment, thinking and belief attachment, life experiences attachment, social/cultural/spiritual/religious attachment, gender/sexual orientation attachment, connection/networking attachment, ability/achievement/jobs/contribution attachment, the sense of meaningfulness/positiveness/goodness/righteousness/happiness attachment, environmental/living condition attachment, and personal or group thinking/belief/values/practice/likes and dislikes/agreements and disagreements attachment.

From the idea of ‘I’, existing as an individual being of certain quality of name and form, there’s attachment towards the restless/selfless modification of the mind perception of a fleeting selfless worldly life existence of the impermanent and selfless decaying physical body and intellectual assertive thinking mind, attachment towards the physical activities/conditions/appearances/abilities/disabilities/limitations, the mental/thoughts/emotional activities/states/conditions/abilities/disabilities/limitations, the actions and reactions and the fruit/consequence of actions and reactions, the pleasant and unpleasant sensations, feelings and emotions, the sights/smells/tastes/sounds/feelings/sensations/thoughts, the relationships/connections/interactions/learning/memories/knowledge/talent/skill, the inputs/outputs/expressions/points of view/ideas/creativity, the accomplishment and non-accomplishment, the many individual/group/community/social/professional/cultural/spiritual/religious identifications/identities/images/status, the accumulation of possession towards objects and relationships, the ambitions/inspirations/aspirations, the instinct for creation and reproduction, the judgment and expectation from oneself and from others towards oneself and the world/society/environment, and so on.

When there’s attachment, the mind is unwittingly being determined and disturbed by all the impermanent and selfless perception/experience of names and forms. There’s craving/clinging/longing towards the names and forms or experiences or conditions that the mind desires, likes and agrees with, and there’s aversion towards the names and forms or experiences or conditions that the mind doesn’t desire, dislikes and disagrees with. The mind is being restless due to endless boundless desires waiting to be fulfilled/gratified, trying to satisfy not just the physical hunger and thirst, but also the endless mental hunger and thirst towards the sense of satisfaction, meaningfulness, positiveness, righteousness, goodness, togetherness, connection, happiness, accomplishment, confidence, well-deserving, well-loved, well-worthed and well-lived.

Absence of attachment, the mind perception of names and forms of all the impermanent and selfless desirable/undesirable, pleasant/unpleasant, agreeable/disagreeable worldly life experiences is just what it is, neither good nor bad, neither positive nor negative, neither right nor wrong, neither meaningful nor meaningless, neither precious nor preciousless, neither enjoyable nor suffering, neither peaceful nor peaceless. Dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hatred, jealousy, hurts, aggressiveness, defensiveness, offensiveness, fear, worry, stress, regret, guilt, grief, painful sorrow, or suffering, don’t exist upon the void/absence of attachment.

The Yoga and Buddhism practice is all about silencing this restless modification of the mind, annihilating ignorance and egoism, of endless desire and attachment, and the consequences of that. And this is nothing to do with the different condition, situation, experience, learning, practicing, ability, disability, qualification, certification, limitation, strength, flexibility, stamina, fitness level, performance, intelligence, knowledge, talent, skill, title, status, skin colour, race, nationality, gender, spirituality, religion, culture, belief and disbelief, time, space and causation. It transcends all the names and forms, qualities, intellectual thinking and analysis, time, space and causation of duality, separateness, past/present/future, condition/situation, cause and effect, good/bad karma, birth and death.

The selfless yogis either renouncing and retreating from the world of worldly life, relationships, affairs and activities that based on egoism and feed egoism, or, performing actions in the world while living among the worldly society but without attachment, are neither selfish nor unselfish. All are impermanent and selfless.

In another term, when the state of the mind (under the idea of ‘I’) is being determined by the impermanent changes of the physical condition/appearance/ability/disability/performance and the modification of the mind of thoughts activities/feelings/emotions, where there’s presence of low or high self-esteem/confidence/self-value being determined by the relationships with everyone, being determined by the names and forms of desirable/undesirable experiences/conditions/situations and the likes and dislikes/agreements and disagreements towards what the mind perceives through the senses of whatever the mind experiences in this present moment, or remembering towards the past experiences, or projecting into the future, being determined by actions and the fruit of actions/achievement and non-achievement, being determined by the condition and situation in the world, being satisfied/dissatisfied, meaningful/meaningless, happy/unhappy, confident/non-confident, where there’s identification/acknowledgement of “I am good/not good enough/bad/positive/negative/optimistic/kind/unkind/unselfish/selfish/weak/strong/superior/inferior/hurt/healed.” that is attachment.

If there is attachment, identification, desire and expectation, there will be hurts, anger, disappointment, fear or regret upon coming in contact with undesirable/unpleasant/undeserving experiences/situations that are “not the way that I would like it to be or not the way that I think how it should be.”

If attachment, identification, desire and expectation are absent, there’s no hurts, anger, disappointment, fear or regret upon coming in contact with undesirable/unpleasant/undeserving experiences/situations that are “not the way that I would like it to be or not the way that I think how it should be.”

Neither right nor wrong

Most people think, react and behave in certain ways that conform to the way of thinking, reaction and behavior of the majority of the society, and naturally there will be egoistic judgment and expectation towards how all the others should or shouldn’t think, react and behave in certain ways in accordance to their way of thinking, reaction and behavior that they think and believe as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘positive’ or ‘negative’, ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy’, ‘appropriate’ or ‘inappropriate’, ‘normal’ or ‘abnormal’, ‘sane’ or ‘insane’. Anything that are contradicting and are different from their own way of thinking, reaction and behavior, would be categorized as ‘wrong’, ‘bad’, ‘negative’, ‘inappropriate’, ‘unhealthy’, ‘abnormal’, or ‘insane’. What is contradicting with what the impure egoistic minds think and believe as ‘humanity’ is being understood as ‘inhumanity’. There are lots of discussions, debates, arguments and conflicts exist due to the strong attachment towards the mind perception of duality under the influence of ignorance and egoism that based on particular way of thinking, reaction and behavior that is agreeable to the majority of the society.

Yoga practice is about changing such egoistic thinking pattern of the impure egoistic mind and allowing the mind to see things as they are, to free the mind from egoistic judgment or expectation towards all the different ways of thinking, reaction and behavior to be or not to be in certain way.

Upon coming in contact with the ‘death’ of someone or something, most minds would react and feel sad and grieve/mourn, and would criticize or condemn certain minds that don’t react in such way, where they don’t feel sad nor grieve/mourn towards the ‘death’ of someone or something (that most minds think and believe as something good and is dear to them), as a form of ‘wrongful’/’bad’/’inappropriate’/’negative’/’unhealthy’/’abnormal’/’insane’ way of thinking, reaction and behavior. Meanwhile, these impure egoistic minds would feel glad and cheer towards the ‘death’ or ‘destruction’ of someone or something that they think and believe as something bad and is hated by them.

And that’s everyone’s freedom for how they think, feel, react, judge and expect.

For the yoga practitioners, it’s all about the elimination of ignorance and egoism, by freeing the mind from such worldly egoistic thinking pattern of the mind.

How the minds perceive and judge towards everything is based on what the minds know and understand, and what the impure egoistic minds know and understand is very limited and conditioned under the influence of ignorance and egoism, even if the minds are highly educated and knowledgeable.

People who might be highly educated and knowledgeable could be thinking and believing that, “The minority must respect and conform to the idea and wish of the majority.” and constantly be offended and hurt by something that the mind dislikes and disagrees with.

The selfless yogis, or the wise ones, or the dispassionate ones, neither grieve/mourn towards the ‘death’ nor cheer/celebrate towards the ‘birth’ of ‘the good and dearest ones’. Neither will they cheer towards the ‘death’ nor grieve/mourn towards the ‘birth’ of ‘the bad and hated ones’. It’s not that they are emotion-less, or heart-less, or depressing, abnormal or insane, it’s just that they perceive and understand everything differently from the majority of the society, being aware of the truth of names and forms and transcending all the qualities of names and forms that are subject to cause and effect, impermanence and selflessness. The thinking, reaction and behavior pattern of these minds towards the perception/experience of all kinds of names and forms or the pleasant/unpleasant experiences has transcended the perception and understanding of the impure egoistic minds, where they don’t think, react or behave like the majority of the society.

Whenever the mind thinks and judges, “Oh, this person thinks, reacts and behaves in the way that is so wrong, bad, negative, inappropriate, abnormal, unhealthy or insane. Obviously this person doesn’t know or understand how to think, react or behave in the way that is right, good, positive, appropriate, normal, healthy and sane.” then know that most probably it’s actually ‘this mind that thinks and judges in such way’ that doesn’t know/understand or is being ignorant towards something that is beyond what this mind knows and understands.

Know this mind. Know Thyself.

It’s merely different ways of thinking, reaction and behavior under different states of the mind that is subject to cause and effect, impermanence and selflessness, that is either under the influence of ignorance and egoism, or not.

If the mind cannot go beyond the duality of right and wrong, good and bad, positive and negative, and so on, then even though one has been practicing and teaching yoga for many years, this mind is not free.

Contemplate, reflect, realize.

Live in the present, respect the world and life as it is

“Live in the present, respect the world and life as it is, free from craving and aversion, all this is impermanent and it’s not ‘I’.”

Being free from attachment and identification with the selfless function and condition of the physical body and the thinking mind, as well as all the mind perception of names and forms of pleasant/unpleasant life experiences with all kinds of desirable/undesirable relationship with beings and objects, being undetermined by actions and the fruit of actions, respecting the law of nature of cause and effect, transcending the duality of good and bad, positive and negative, right and wrong, happiness and unhappiness, meaningfulness and meaninglessness, success and failure, achievement and non-achievement, praise and condemn, and absence of worldly passionate desire or expectation towards everything to be or not to be in certain way.

The disturbed/hurting mind is being disturbed/hurt by itself being ignorant towards itself. Restlessly being disturbed/determined by the desire of craving and aversion towards past experiences and future anticipation.

Know thyself and be free.

Huge amount of different kinds of yoga and meditation practice, teaching and sharing is nothing, if the mind doesn’t work on freeing itself from ignorance and egoism, being determined by the mind perception of a worldly life existence with egoistic attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion and expectation towards the world and life to be or not to be in certain way.

Some people don’t practice yoga or meditation and don’t relate themselves with spirituality or humanity activism, but they are liberated minds being free from ignorance and egoism, performing actions selflessly in discreet without attachment and identification or expectation towards the actions and the fruit of actions, respecting the law of cause and effect, without desire/intention/ambition to change the world and life to be or not to be in certain way, respecting the world and life as it is.

Hugging and touching?

In this era of the so called modern and highly developed society, most people perceive and observe the practice/habit/culture of ‘hugging’ and ‘touching’ as a form of showing love, acceptance and friendliness among beings, while they would feel awkward, bad and wrong, or even be offended, if some people don’t have or don’t observe the practice/habit/culture of hugging and touching.

Many yoga practitioners or spiritual seekers might also think and believe that ‘open mind’ and ‘loving kindness/warmness’ means people need to be affectionately hugging and touching one another to be showing non-discrimination, non-separateness, non-intimidation, love, acceptance and friendliness towards all beings, while the absence of hugging and touching is being perceived as ‘closed mind’ and ‘unloving-kindness’/’coldness’ that portrays the quality of discrimination, separateness, intimidation, lovelessness, non-acceptance and unfriendliness. Many also believe that the lack of hugging or touching by another being is highly detrimental to physical, mental and emotional health. They expect all beings, especially yoga practitioners or spiritual seekers should be constantly and actively hugging and touching all other beings that they come in contact with, to show that they are genuine yoga practitioners or spiritual seekers who embrace loving kindness, who are open minded and compassionate beings, while they would be puzzled by the very few of the yoga practitioners who don’t have or don’t observe such hugging and touching habit/culture.

For yoga practitioners who truly want to open their mind, is to be free from being conditioned by such worldly egoistic thinking, belief, values and practice, where the mind understands that ‘the existence and non-existence of open mind and compassion’ is nothing to do with ‘the presence and absence of physical hugging and touching another being’, where it’s nothing bad and there’s nothing wrong with the society having and observing the hugging and touching habit/culture, especially if the minds are pure and desireless, and it’s also nothing bad and there’s nothing wrong with those who don’t have or don’t observe the hugging and touching habit/culture either. Accepting all and everyone as they are, even though certain people behave in the way that goes against the thinking, belief, values and practice of the majority of the society.

Hugging and touching or not, doesn’t really determine the presence and absence of the quality of ‘non-discrimination’, ‘non-separateness’, ‘non-intimidation’, ‘love’, ‘acceptance’ and ‘friendliness’, while the quality of non-discrimination, non-separateness, non-intimidation, love, acceptance and friendliness aren’t necessarily have to be shown/portrayed by physical contact of hugging and touching one another.

Most people would feel rejected, unloved, left-out, depressed, lonely and meaningless upon the absence of physical/mental/emotional interaction of hugging and touching from some other beings. And hence, many people would think and believe that the solution is to be actively giving and receiving affectionate hugs and touches among beings.

It’s the ignorant egoistic passionate mind that has attachment and expectation towards the appropriateness and disappropriateness in social behavior and interaction that would feel rejected, unloved, left-out, depressed, lonely, meaningless, piteous or offended upon the absence or the lack of love and affection in the form of hugging and touching from other beings.

Contemplate upon why the ancient teachings/practice of yoga emphasized on the important observation of solitude and seclusion of non-physical/mental/emotional contact and non-physical touching with any other being, where yoga practitioners and spiritual seekers were being advised to observe solitude and seclusion for a prolonged period of time, to free the mind from the worldly habitual passionate desire of craving and clinging towards love and affection, to free the mind from ignorance and egoism, to silent/annihilate the modification of the mind.

One of the common practice/observation in the Ashrams is about none should be physically touching one another regardless of among the same or different gender, especially the swamis, monks and nuns. But, nowadays, in many of the ashrams, even many ‘modernized’ swamis, monks and nuns also don’t observe this practice anymore, and they mingling intimately with one another and the people who come to the ashrams, not to say many of the householders who identify themselves as ‘yoga practitioners’ or ‘yogis’. Many ‘yoga teacher training courses’ also emphasize on the physical hands on adjustment, where the many graduated ‘certified yoga teachers’ think and believe that it’s what a good and professional yoga teacher should be doing/practicing while teaching classes and while socializing/mingling with the students or the yoga community outside of the classes to develop stronger connection and relationship among one another.

There’s nothing wrong with the worldly egoistic thinking, belief, values and practice that propagates widely about “Everyone needs love, affection, hugs and touches.” But that is not yoga practice at all, as that is indeed empowering ignorance and egoism. It’s not any different from keep feeding sugary drinks to the children or keep providing drugs to the people to make them feel ‘happy and good’ from the momentary effects of sugary drinks or drugs and from the gratification of desires by giving people what they like and want. The yoga practice is to free the mind from ignorance and egoism, to realize selflessness/oneness/non-separateness, where there’s absence of needing/craving/clinging towards physical/mental/emotional love, affection, hugs and touches from other beings. There’s no need of developing stronger connection or relationship between ‘I’ and ‘the others’ in selflessness/oneness/non-separateness, as connection or relationship doesn’t exist in selflessness/oneness/non-separateness. There’s neither ‘I’ nor ‘the others’. There’s no ‘I’ need to be healed by ‘spiritual healing hugs and touches’.

A truly ‘healthy and compassionate’ society exists along with the minds that are free from ignorance and egoism. Everyone can be kind and loving towards one another out of selfless compassion, not because everyone ‘needs’ to give and receive love and affection to and from one another through certain action in order to make the egoistic minds feel good, happy, love and meaningful, or not to feel rejected, unloved, left-out, depressed, lonely, meaningless, piteous or offended upon the absence/lack of love and affection through certain action from other beings, as the ignorant egoistic minds think and believe that it’s so bad and terrible if there’s absence/lack of any form of love and affection among one another.

Be free.

Letting go?

If there’s no attachment, there’s needless of letting go.

If there’s attachment towards either something pleasant or unpleasant, enjoyable or painful, then know that everything is impermanent.

If one knows what is non-attachment towards what is pleasant and enjoyable, then one can fully appreciate and enjoy what is pleasant and enjoyable, but will be able to let it go in peace when impermanence strikes. If there’s attachment and one doesn’t know how to let go, then there will be dissatisfaction, disappointment, unhappiness, hurts or painful sorrow upon losing what one likes very much, that is pleasant and enjoyable. And there’s nothing wrong with that, just that one needs to know that even those dissatisfaction, disappointment, unhappiness, hurts or painful sorrow are also impermanent.

When one is holding onto something unpleasant or painful, and one cannot withstand the unpleasantness or pain, one can choose to let go of it, by putting it down without hurting it, without regret of letting go something that one likes very much, but it’s unpleasant and painful. A lot of time, most people would just react spontaneously if they dislike the unpleasantness or pain, or couldn’t forbear the unpleasantness or pain, and would be throwing away immediately whatever that appears to be unpleasant or painful to oneself, and cause damages to that either wittingly or unwittingly.

There’s nothing wrong if one decided to continuously holding onto something that one likes very much even though it’s unpleasant or painful, but then, one must also accept the consequences of that and endure all the unpleasantness or pain due to unwilling to let go something that appears to be unpleasant or painful to oneself, without expectation towards this unpleasantness or pain will change or disappear, but allowing the changes to be what they are, not necessarily the way that one would like it to be.

It’s everyone’s freedom for whether they want to let go, and be free, or they don’t want to let go, and accept the consequences of one’s action and decision of not letting go.

Be free.

How to break free from fear towards letting go certain thinking and belief?

There’s no comment/judgment towards any thinking and belief as true or untrue. Learn to see things as they are. Need not judging or categorizing everything into ‘this’ or ‘that’. Everything is just what it is. Neither good nor bad. Neither right nor wrong. All are impermanent and selfless. Whatever being perceived through the mind in this worldly life existence of names and forms, are all subject to impermanence and selflessness, including all kinds of thinking, beliefs, values and practices.

All kinds of thinking and belief existing for their own reason, for the minds that are under the influence of egoism and impurities to hang onto, to have a sense of direction, while navigating their way in the worldly life existence that is subject to uncertainty, impermanence and selflessness.

It’s all about whether the mind is free from egoistic attachment and identification, or not. It’s not about which thinking and belief is true or untrue, or which is truer and better than all the others.

Asians are bound by Asian cultural thinking and belief, but are not being bound by the western cultural thinking and belief to live life and behave in certain way. Westerners are bound by the western cultural thinking and belief, but are not being bound by the Asian cultural thinking and belief to live life and behave in certain way. Though both can respect each other’s different ways of life and behavior due to the influence of different cultural thinking and belief.

The mind took up and attached onto Christianity or Hinduism thinking and belief and practice, and identifying itself as a ‘Christian’ or ‘Hindu’, or as a ‘follower’ of ‘Christianity’ or ‘Hinduism’. Christians are bound by Christianity thinking and belief and practice, but are not being bound by the Hinduism thinking and belief and practice. Hindus are bound by Hinduism thinking and belief and practice, but are not being bound by Christianity thinking and belief and practice.

Christians have no fear of ‘not following’ Hinduism thinking and belief and practice at all, but there’s fear of ‘unfollow’ Christianity thinking and belief and practice, fear of sin and punishment and ‘The hell for (bad) Christians’. Hindus have no fear of ‘not following’ Christianity thinking and belief and practice at all, but there’s fear of ‘unfollow’ Hinduism thinking and belief and practice, fear of sin and punishment and ‘The hell for (bad) Hindus’. Though both can respect each other’s different way of thinking and belief and practice, and their respective ‘Hell for their (bad) followers’.

Without taking up or without attachment and identification towards any particular thinking and belief and practice, there’s no binding by any thinking and belief and practice, and there’s no need of ‘unfollow’ any thinking and belief and practice, as there’s no particular thinking and belief and practice that need to be ‘unfollowed’. What is fear of ‘unfollow’ any thinking and belief and practice?

Those who were never being exposed to or never picked up any particular thinking and belief and practice, or those who have no attachment and identification towards any particular thinking and belief and practice are not being bound by any particular thinking and belief and practice, to live life and behave in certain way. The notion of ‘unfollowing’ or ‘letting go’ or ‘abandoning’ certain thinking and belief and practice doesn’t exist at all. Though one can respect all the others with their particular thinking and belief and practice, to live life and behave in certain way, as most egoistic minds/people need to hang onto certain thinking and belief to have a sense of direction in life, but it’s unnecessarily for the minds that are free from ignorance and egoism.

The difference between love and compassion

Question – What’s the difference between (passionate feeling of) love and compassion (selflessness)?

One doesn’t necessarily must have passionate feeling of love towards all and everyone for enabling one to be compassionate and kind towards all and everyone, or not to be hurtful and unkind towards all and everyone.

Having lots of passionate feeling of love towards certain beings or objects doesn’t necessarily mean that one will be compassionate and kind, or wouldn’t be unkind and hurtful towards all and everyone.

Without feelings of love towards anyone or anything doesn’t necessarily mean that one isn’t compassionate or couldn’t be compassionate, or one will be unkind to others, or one wouldn’t be kind to others.

Under the presence of compassion, one can be compassionate and be kind to all and everyone, and won’t be hurtful and unkind to anyone or anything, even though one doesn’t have passionate feeling of love towards certain beings or objects.

Under the absence of compassion, one even can be hurtful and unkind towards certain beings or objects that one loves out of ungratified desires and impurities of dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, feelings of hurt, offensiveness, defensiveness, fear and worry, either intentionally or unintentionally, not to say one could be hurtful and unkind towards certain beings and objects that one doesn’t love or disagrees with, intentionally.

Even though compassion can be present or absent due to the presence or absence of ignorance, but compassion is always there, never appear or disappear, regardless of whether the mind is free or not free from ignorance, where compassion is ‘unveiled’ upon the absence of ignorance and compassion is ‘hidden’ under the presence of ignorance.

Passionate feeling of love is influenced and determined by desire of craving and aversion, likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements towards the different quality of names and forms, and is conditioned by impermanence and will change, while compassion is unconditioned by desire of craving and aversion, likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, beyond all the qualities of names and forms, and it doesn’t change, neither increase nor decrease.

The sun, the earth, the water, the air and the space don’t have passionate feeling of love towards all and everything for them to be there supporting all and everything to be here, selflessly, intentionlessly and ceaselessly.

Contemplate on this and realize selfless/intentionless/ceaseless compassion. Be free from attachment/craving/clinging towards conditional passionate love deriving from ignorance and egoism.

Vairagya and Mumukshutva – dispassion and intense yearning for liberation

Mumukshutva is the intense yearning for liberation transcending the wheel of births and deaths of conditional impermanent and selfless worldly life existence of inevitable physical/mental/emotional restlessness and suffering powered by ignorance and egoism.

It’s the objective or goal of all forms of yoga practice and meditation. Many years of performing yoga practice and meditation without Vairagya and Mumukshutva, but enjoying and indulging in the momentary goodness of yoga and meditation practice and the pleasant fruit of ‘good karma’ deriving from ‘good actions’, is like gathering and keeping accumulated pure and clean food in a ‘bottomless’ and contaminated container.

Vairagya (dispassion) and Mumukshutva are the two sides of a coin. They co-exist together as one. It’s the ‘under current’ that pulls/leads the mind towards liberation.

Ignorance and egoism and worldly passionate desire/love/attachment/clinging is the ‘under current’ that generates/powers the whirlpool of Samsara, where the mind attaching onto/’loving and enjoying’ the wheel of births and deaths of countless worldly transitions of names and forms that is subject to impermanence and selflessness, where the mind gets lost in the boundless desires of craving and aversion, seeking love, pleasure, goodness, righteousness, kindness, comfort, satisfaction, meaningfulness, sense of purpose, conditional freedom and limited good condition in the modification of the mind perception of an impermanent and selfless worldly life existence of names and forms, of worldly physical/mental/emotional/sensual activities/interactions/enjoyments/relationships/community support while unwittingly ‘indulging in’ the momentary physical/mental/emotional/sensual satisfaction and pleasure deriving from the gratification of the passionate desires, ignorantly mistaking egoistic passionate love/attachment/sympathy/empathy/clinging/charity/sacrifice as compassion.

Worldly people, including many yoga practitioners and yoga teachers who think they love yoga very much that they find yoga is something very meaningful and see themselves practicing yoga and teaching yoga to other people as the meaning/purpose of their life existence, would mistake Vairagya and Mumukshutva as a form of ‘negative thinking/behavior’, or ‘depression’, or ‘madness’. That shows how great is the power of ignorance.

“Neither charity, nor sacrifice, nor fame, nor fasting, nor begetting a good son, nor control of breath, nor victory over the enemy, nor the society of friends, nor Siddhis like Anima can stand in comparison with realisation of the Self.

You may cross the sea by walking or float in the air or support on hands the great mountain Maha Meru or drink poison like milk or eat fire like fried grains or fly in the sky or stand on fire or break iron or get wealth by the power of magic ointment. Yet can all these give you liberation?

You can become a king or Indra or a Sannyasin. You can stun others by Mantra-sakti or aim accurately or know the past, present and the future.

You can reduce anger by destroying lust or eradicating greed. Yet can all these help you in the attainment of liberation?

You might have conquered pride, delusion and envy. You might have dwelt in Brahma-loka or Vaikuntha-loka or Kailasa. Yet can all these stand in comparison with liberation? He is fit for liberation who regards all these as nothing.

You took bath in the Ganga, you did all the sixteen kinds of charity. You did crores of Japa. What is the use of all these things if you do not attain Self-realisation?

Can you acquire eternal bliss and supreme peace from the attainment of vast erudition or from possession of immense wealth or from the enjoyment of beautiful young ladies? No. The supreme undying bliss can be obtained only by realisation of the Self.

Who is wife? Who is son? Who are you? Wherefrom did you come? How wonderful is this Samsara? How are you related to one another? Think deeply on these matters.

Who are you? Who am I? Wherefrom have we come? Who is mother? Who is father? Think deeply on all these. Leave off this world which is a dream and seek the eternal.

Vairagya is the rein by which the uncontrollable mind is restrained. Ripe Vairagya is intense attachment to Atman bliss and strong dispassion for anything other than Atman.

If one considers even the position and happiness of Brahma as the dung of a cow, then only he has developed a real lasting Vairagya. Temporary fleeting dispassion is not Vairagya. It will not help the aspirant in the attainment of Self-realisation.

It is common to have dispassion for some particular objects by some cause or other. But by having dispassion for all objects at all times, one will get knowledge of the Self. You may get Atma-Jnana soon by the grace of the Guru, by devotion to him, and by practice of what he instructs.”

– Swami Sivananda

Practitioner / Adhikari vs follower / disciple / worshiper / admirer / supporter

Those who truly want to practice yoga to free the mind from ignorance to know thyself, they need to know how to free the mind from the egoistic tendency of unwittingly becoming a passionate follower/disciple/worshiper/admirer/supporter.

Be a dispassionate ‘practitioner’ or ‘Adhikari‘ of the teachings of yoga, inquiring the truth of everything, including whatever the teachers/gurus/scriptures teach, attaining self-realization via self-effort and self-inquiry, and not to be a passionate ‘follower’, ‘disciple’, ‘worshiper’, ‘admirer’, or ‘supporter’ towards the teacher/guru/yogi/saint/sage, or the scriptures/teachings of yoga, or the stories of many great minds/teachers/gurus/yogis/saints/sages.

By following, or becoming a disciple of, or worshiping, or admiring, or supporting the teacher/guru/yogi/saint/sage, or the scriptures/teachings of yoga, or the stories of many great minds/teachers/gurus/yogis/saints/sages, and awaiting/requesting/expecting ‘answers’, or ‘blessings’, or ‘miracles’, or ‘transcendental experiences’ from the teacher/guru/yogi/saint/sage or from ‘God’, doesn’t free the mind from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance. There’s attachment that gives rise to the sense of separateness/duality between ‘I’ and ‘the teacher’, or ‘the guru’, or ‘the teachings’, or ‘the practice’, or ‘the experience’, or ‘the fruit of practice’.

Practically practicing the teachings of yoga in NOW, this very existence of the mind functioning perceiving a life existence of names and forms of cause and effect/impermanence/selflessness, of disciplining the mind, quieting the mind, purifying the mind, freeing the mind from egoistic worldly/spiritual attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation, refraining the mind from going out through the sense organs chasing after the objects of the senses, renouncing worldly egoistic passions/desires/objects/activities/social interactions and connections, silencing the modification of the mind, and upon the annihilation of the veil of ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness completely, and knowing thyself – Selflessness/egolessness/’I’lessness, or YOGA of oneness, non-separateness, namelessness, formlessness, attributelessness, birthlessness, deathlessness, beginninglessness, endlessness, there’s no separateness of ‘practitioner/action of practice/fruit of the practice’ or between ‘I’ and what is not ‘I’ or ‘the perceiver and the perceived’ to be found in the selfless, nameless, formless, attributeless, birthless, deathless, beginningless, endless universal consciousness (Atman).

This is nothing to do with the worldly attachment/passionate love and ‘heroic’ ambition/aspiration of the egoistic thinking minds desire to be ‘saving the world’ by making/changing/influencing the world to be ‘a better place than what it is’, but just do one’s best focusing on freeing one’s mind from ignorance to attain self-realization, is the greatest and most efficient way to contribute to ‘a world free from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance’, selflessly, desirelessly and intentionlessly, being free from disturbs, disappointment, dissatisfaction, hurts, offensiveness, anger, hatred, aggressiveness or violence to fight against what the mind dislikes and disagrees with, that the mind thinks and believes as ‘bad’, ‘wrong’, ‘hurtful’, ‘negative’, ‘unjust’, ‘disappointing’ or ‘meaningless’.

Real teacher or guru doesn’t attract/recruit/accumulate ‘followers’, ‘disciples’, ‘worshipers’, ‘admirers’, or ‘supporters’. They are just being what they are, just like the sun, the air, the water, the earth and the space. They don’t even have any intention/aspiration/desire to be ‘teaching’/’sharing’/’helping’/’uplifting’ anyone, not to say to be ‘saving the world’ to make/change/influence the world to be ‘a place different from what it is’.

“He is extremely humble. He appears to be quite an ordinary man. He never advertises that he is a Sat-Guru or a knower of Brahman. He never says, “I am an illumined sage. I am an Avatara. I will give Mukti for many persons. I possess many Siddhis.” He is perfectly desireless. He has no craving for money or name and fame. He has no desire to establish cult or Ashram. He simply works for solidarity of the world and elevates people. He says, “I have neither followers nor disciples, neither possession nor Mutts of my own.” He has no attachment to any person or any object. He never tries to establish cult or Ashram. He is absolutely free from ‘I-ness’ or ‘mine-ness’. He never allows those around him to tell people that he got Siddhis, that he is a great Mahatma. He does not like to come in the lime-light of publicity. He always hides himself. If he becomes famous in a place, he leaves the place at once. If a man says, “I am a Mahatma, I am a realised soul, I am a Sat-Guru,” if his disciples advertise that their teacher is a Sat-Guru with many Siddhis, that he has exhibited many Siddhis, know that this man is an empty vessel that makes much noise. The Sruti emphatically declares “He who says ‘I know Brahman‘ does not know Brahman, he who says ‘I do not know Brahman‘ knows Brahman.” This world abounds with psuedo-Gurus. Beware of such persons. They exploit the innocent and credulous and throw them in the dark abyss. They will mislead people. It is like a blind man leading the blind. Siddhis keep a man far from God and God-realisation. Do not be carried away by the Siddhis of a man.” – Swami Sivananda

 

Jnana is the greatest purifier. There is no salvation without knowledge. Knowledge of Atman destroys ignorance, pain, sorrow and stops the wheel of births and deaths.

Attain this knowledge through Satsanga, service of the Guru, study of Vedantic books, hearing of Srutis, reflection and constant meditation.

Sorrow is for one who has the notion of self in the body, not for the sage who identifies himself with the all-blissful Atman.” – Swami Sivananda

 

“Neither charity, nor sacrifice, nor fame, nor fasting, nor begetting a good son, nor control of breath, nor victory over the enemy, nor the society of friends, nor Siddhis like Anima can stand in comparison with realisation of the Self.

You may cross the sea by walking or float in the air or support on hands the great mountain Maha Meru or drink poison like milk or eat fire like fried grains or fly in the sky or stand on fire or break iron or get wealth by the power of magic ointment. Yet can all these give you liberation?

You can become a king or Indra or a Sannyasin. You can stun others by Mantra-sakti or aim accurately or know the past, present and the future.

You can reduce anger by destroying lust or eradicating greed. Yet can all these help you in the attainment of liberation?

You might have conquered pride, delusion and envy. You might have dwelt in Brahma-loka or Vaikuntha-loka or Kailasa. Yet can all these stand in comparison with liberation? He is fit for liberation who regards all these as nothing.

You took bath in the Ganga, you did all the sixteen kinds of charity. You did crores of Japa. What is the use of all these things if you do not attain Self-realisation?

Can you acquire eternal bliss and supreme peace from the attainment of vast erudition or from possession of immense wealth or from the enjoyment of beautiful young ladies? No. The supreme undying bliss can be obtained only by realisation of the Self.

Who is wife? Who is son? Who are you? Wherefrom did you come? How wonderful is this Samsara? How are you related to one another? Think deeply on these matters.

Who are you? Who am I? Wherefrom have we come? Who is mother? Who is father? Think deeply on all these. Leave off this world which is a dream and seek the eternal.

Vairagya is the rein by which the uncontrollable mind is restrained. Ripe Vairagya is intense attachment to Atman bliss and strong dispassion for anything other than Atman.

If one considers even the position and happiness of Brahma as the dung of a cow, then only he has developed a real lasting Vairagya. Temporary fleeting dispassion is not Vairagya. It will not help the aspirant in the attainment of Self-realisation.

It is common to have dispassion for some particular objects by some cause or other. But by having dispassion for all objects at all times, one will get knowledge of the Self. You may get Atma-Jnana soon by the grace of the Guru, by devotion to him, and by practice of what he instructs.” – Swami Sivananda

 

“Life is short and fleeting like that drop of water on the lotus leaf. This mundane life is filled with egoism, delusion and diseases. When will you be free from all these? The deer falls a prey to the sense of sound; the elephant to that of touch; the moth to that of form; the fish to that of taste; and the bee to that of smell. But man falls a prey to all these five senses. Therefore how difficult it is for man to free itself from the clutches of these five senses and obtain liberation? When wells and ponds are full in rainy season, the water is muddy and not fit for drinking. In summer the water gets decreased and is sweet. So also when the mind is filled with Vasanas, it is clouded with Tamoguna. When it is free from sensual desires by the practice of dispassion it is filled with pure Sattva.” – Swami Sivananda

Social conversation / talking / sharing / caring?

Most people need/like/love to talk to some other people most of the time, or even talking to themselves if other people are not available. Talking is a normal thing to do, and a common way to know, learn, express and share, or to have an activity to pass time to chase away boredom and to gratify curiosity. In many cultures in the society, it’s considered ‘rude’, or ‘impolite’, or ‘inappropriate’, or ‘wrong’, or ‘something is wrong’, if there’s silence among people (especially for a prolonged period of time), or if someone doesn’t interact with other people or doesn’t get involved in a conversation with other people around, especially those who know one another, even if someone who can’t hear or speak, or don’t speak the same language, or those who are new comers/complete strangers showing up in a place with some other people around, are also being ‘expected’ to have at least some sort of body language/facial expression/sign language/gesture to be conversing/interacting/communicating with other people. People would feel offended, or disrespected, or mistreated, if they don’t get any ‘expected’ response from people whom they talk to, where either people didn’t give any response or people talked about something that they don’t like to hear.

Many people aren’t satisfy with some people just giving a friendly non-intimidating smile to acknowledge or greet other people, but they believe and expect that all human beings need to have certain physical/mental/emotional conversation/communication/interaction/involvement with each other to build a ‘healthy’ and ‘caring’ society. Someone who keeps to oneself, who has no unfriendly discrimination or intimidation towards everyone else, but doesn’t interested in engaging in any kind of physical/mental/emotional contact/conversation/interaction/communication/involvement with anyone, is being seen as ‘wrong’, ‘selfish’, ‘unhealthy’, or ‘sicked’, by all the others who ‘expect’ certain ‘normal’ and ‘healthy’ behavior/action/reaction/interaction among ‘normal’ and ‘healthy’ human beings.

Many passionate/sociable/friendly/caring people couldn’t understand or respect there are people who prefer complete quietness/solitude or some quiet/alone time/space for themselves. People would either feel ‘bad’ or get ‘offended’ when other people reject or don’t accept their friendly invitation to meet up, or get together, or to chat.

People need/want to share ‘what I think is who I am’ and ‘how I think and feel’ with other people and they want other people to share with them ‘what they think is who they are’ and ‘how they think and feel’. Majority of the worldly so called ‘normal’, ‘healthy’, ‘friendly’ and ‘caring’ society is all about developing and empowering that ‘self-identity’ which attached and identified with certain qualities of names and forms and ‘the modification of the mind of impermanent thinking and feelings’ as ‘this is I’, that is not ‘I’ in yoga of selflessness/namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness.

For those who know each other, mostly the conversation begins with “How are you?” and then naturally will be followed by talking about the past and the future, “What have you been doing and where did you go and what’s next?” while for those first time meeting/knowing each other, it’s mostly talking about self-introduction of each other about “Who I am/who you are.” or “This is me and my name/my nationality/my life/my family/my relationship/my friends/my experience/my knowledge/my interest/my ambition/my passion/my vision/my point of view/my ideas/my talent/my skill/my achievement/my non-achievement/my success/my failure/my pride/my shame/my good/my bad/my happiness/my unhappiness/my guilt and regret, and so on. This is who I am, where I come from/where I live and what I do for living and at free time, and what I think/believe/feel/like/dislike/agree with/disagree with/want/don’t want, my good/bad/happy/unhappy experiences, and what I did in the past and will be doing in the future.” as well as talking about “This is good/better/right/positive/excellent/happy/funny/meaningful/encouraging and that is bad/worse/wrong/negative/terrible/unhappy/sad/meaningless/discouraging.” or ‘obligated manner’ of pleasant words, praise and compliment. And sometimes there will be scheming, plotting, cover-up/made-up stories telling, or hypocrisy, or lies, or gossip, or mocking, or teasing, or flirting, or criticism, or condemn, or slander, or back-biting, or argument, or intimidation, and etc.

Social conversation or talking is an intense physical/mental/emotional energy consuming process that keeps the mind ceaselessly busy and restless receiving/processing inputs and generating/delivering outputs, while all these ceaseless mind inputs and outputs generate further random mental/emotional imprints that doesn’t allow the mind to be quiet, and unwittingly empowering egoism of worldly/spiritual attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation that feeds ignorance in oneself and others.

For those who sincerely want to meditate or practice yoga to be free from ignorance, it’s all about freeing the mind from being unwittingly empowering all those names and forms, of duality, attachment, identification, past experiences/future anticipation, passionate desires, craving/aversion, judgment, comparison, expectation, restlessness, impurities, and etc, to stop feeding egoism and ignorance. And hence, the important practice of silence, renunciation, seclusion and solitude.

Without renunciation from the worldly society, one is being ‘obliged’ to meet up/get together/communicate/interact with many other people of family/relatives/friends circle/community and spend so much energy into social conversation/interaction/communication/activity with all the others around in order to ‘build’ and ‘maintain’ a ‘healthy, caring and friendly society’ that might make the mind feels ‘love’, ‘kindness’, ‘acknowledgement’, ‘goodness’, ‘positiveness’, ‘liveliness’ and ‘meaningfulness’. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it doesn’t help to free the mind from ignorance and egoism, to quiet/annihilate the restless modification of the mind. Instead, the mind might attached stronger onto the sense of ‘love’, ‘kindness’, ‘acknowledgement’, ‘goodness’, ‘positiveness’, ‘liveliness’ and ‘meaningfulness’ deriving from the impermanent and selfless worldly names and forms of all kinds of attachment and egoistic identity and actions/the fruit of actions.

From the perception/achievement/notion of “Life in this world is good and meaningful.” there arise the desire of “We need to preserve and protect life in this world to stay good and meaningful.” and then there arise ‘dissatisfaction’, ‘frustration’, ‘hurts’, ‘depression’, ‘unhappiness’, ‘anger’, ‘disappointment’, ‘fear’, ‘worry’, and etc, when things are not being the way that the mind desire it to be, when there’s obstacles/difficulties/circumstances that hinder the gratification of that desire to be building/maintaining/protecting what the mind think and believe as ‘good and meaningful life in this world’. This is attachment/clinging/craving/expectation.

First, there’s an idea/thought arise in the mind, then there arise attachment/clinging onto that idea/thought and there arise desire to materialize that idea/thought to become action/creation, and then there’s possessiveness/identification/expectation/protection towards that action/creation and the result/fruit of that action/creation. If things turn out to be the way that is not what the mind desire/expect it to be, the mind feels disturbed/dissatisfied/disappointed/hurt/sad/unhappy/depressed/frustrated/angry/aggressive/violent and so on. And ceaseless random ideas/thoughts arise to counter those ‘tension’ accumulating in the mind. Restless.

Those who have firm foundation in non-attachment/dispassion, or those who know thyself/selflessness, or maybe those who think and believe “I have done and achieved everything that I desire and I can die in peace without regret.” can mix into the worldly society and perform many actions to help to build a ‘caring and friendly society’ in the world, but without being distracted or influenced by the constant restless physical/mental/emotional interaction/activity, being undetermined by the actions and the fruit of actions, being free from disturbs, hurts, disappointment, dissatisfaction, frustration, or guilt/regret. This is non-attachment/non-clinging/non-craving/non-expectation.

One can mix with many people and constantly talk about “This is my name, my nationality, my family, my friends, my relatives, my community, my past, my present, my future, my actions and fruit of my actions, my thinking/belief/culture/point of view/feelings/emotions/experiences, or this and that is happening/has happened/will be happening here and there, and so on.” as all these names and forms are what most people talk about in any conversation and where people identifying with all these names and forms as “who they think they are”, but all these names and forms are not “who I am” or ‘I’ for the minds that know thyself/selflessness.

When someone is being alone or in silence being in their own ‘space’, people around will ask, “Are you okay? Is there something bothering you? You can talk to me. I’m here to listen.”

There’s nothing wrong when people feel sad, or unhappy, or depressed, or disappointed, or frustrated, or negative once in a while, and most people feel they need to talk to someone to share their feelings and what’s bothering them, to release some tension or to get some advice. People don’t have to be okay, or satisfy, or happy all the time. But those who know what is going on in the mind, there is nothing to be sad, unhappy, depressed, disappointed, frustrated or negative about, that need to be talking or sharing with someone else, or to release any tension, as there’s no tension built up, or to get any advice, as there’s no problems.

Those who know this, they can be happy as they are, no matter what.

Those who don’t know this, they don’t have to be happy all the time and they can’t be happy no matter what. It’s okay sometimes the mind is not okay and not happy with certain things. There’s nothing wrong with that. But when they think no body is being there to share their thinking/feelings/problems, to be talking to other people, or to be listening by other people, they might feel more sad, unhappy, disappointed, depressed, frustrated, or negative. And hence, people believe that “People should be available to be talking to and listening to other people all the time. It would make people who need to talk feel better and it brings the sense of meaningfulness to those who listen.” There’s nothing wrong with that but it doesn’t free the mind from ignorance/attachment/craving/expectation. Just like giving an unhappy and crying child the sweets and sugary drinks that the child wants every time to make the child stop being unhappy and crying if the child doesn’t get the sweets and sugary drinks, doesn’t really help the child at all. There’s no freedom.

“It feels so much better talking to you. Let’s meet up regularly and talk more.” and “Talking to me can make you feel better and make me feel so meaningful. Let’s meet up and talk more often.” If for some reasons that these two people are not possible to meet up and talk as expected, both would feel bad, sad and disappointed. There’s no freedom.

Just like practicing yoga exercises and teaching yoga to other people would generate the momentary sense of well-being, goodness and meaningfulness, and if for some reasons one couldn’t practice yoga exercises or teach yoga for a prolonged period of time, one would feel frustrated, disappointed and meaningless. There’s no freedom.

Most people/minds don’t like to hear this.

“Compassion is not about giving the mind what it likes and wants, or what it craves for, to be empowering the ignorance and egoism in the mind to make it feels better, good, satisfied or happy. Compassion is allowing the suffering unhappy disturbed mind to inquire into the truth of suffering, unhappiness and disturbs, by freeing the mind from ignorance, egoism, restlessness and impurities, to see the truth of the root cause of all suffering of disturbs/hurts/unhappiness/disappointment/dissatisfaction/fear/worry, where all suffering is deriving from one’s ignorance and egoism or ceaseless egoistic mind reactions towards the gratification/non-gratification of the desire of craving and aversion. If one’s desire is being gratified by getting what one likes and wants, and not getting what one doesn’t like and doesn’t want, then the mind reacts and feels good, satisfied and happy. And when one’s desire is not being gratified, where one is not getting what one likes and wants, but is getting what one doesn’t like and doesn’t want, then the mind reacts and feels bad, dissatisfied and unhappy. It’s nothing to do with the experiences/names and forms being ‘bad’, ‘wrong’, ‘terrible’, ‘disturbing’, or ‘hurtful’.

The teachings/practice/process of freeing the mind from ignorance and egoism, it’s not something pleasant or agreeable to the ignorant egoistic mind at all, but it can free the mind from suffering deriving from ignorance and egoism.

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to practice, or not.

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.

Disturbed / hurt by remembering / thinking about past unpleasant experiences

Minds that feel being disturbed or hurt by ‘something’ that is being perceived/acknowledged as ‘hurtful’, ‘wrongful’, ‘bad’, ‘disturbing’, or ‘undeserving’, they are actually being disturbed or hurt by the remembrance towards the perceived names and forms that doesn’t exist in NOW, unwittingly attached onto the perceived names and forms (past experiences in the form of memories), being determined by the past memories as well as keep feeding these memories to keep them ‘alive’ to be shadowing/haunting the mind repeatedly in NOW.

The past is not just about whatever happened some time ago.

What is here in NOW is constantly changing/passing away and instantly becoming part of the past memory that is made up of a continuous chain of countless pieces of thoughts/images.

For example, maybe someone says and does something that is hurtful/wrongful/bad/disturbing to this person (this mind) in this present moment NOW.

The mind immediately processes this experience and will analyze and assert, “This is something hurtful/wrongful/disturbing that I or anyone don’t deserve to be experiencing.” and react with “I am/feel disturbed and hurt by this.” and by the time the mind is analyzing and asserting about ‘this experience’, ‘this experience’ is already beyond NOW being stored as part of the memory. But somehow, the mind will continuously feel disturbed and hurt by the continuous remembrance of “This is something hurtful/wrongful/bad/disturbing that I or anyone don’t deserve to be experiencing.” and continuously react with “I am/feel disturbed and hurt by this.” Even when ‘this experience’ that instantly becomes ‘that experience’ which existed moment/seconds/minutes/hours/days/weeks/months/years ago, that doesn’t exist in the NOW, and even when the memory starts to fade away and changed into some blurred images that are not exactly what it really was as it happened, the mind will still be disturbed and hurt by the remembrance towards ‘the disturb/hurt reacted towards that experience’.

It’s always, “You/They did this.” or “You/They said that.” This is truly unnecessary. Imagine if someone is completely forgetful about everything or has no function of memory to be remembering anything, what is there to disturb or hurt this mind?

It’s not about erasing one’s memories to be free from disturbs or hurts coming from continuously remembering the past experiences that the mind perceived as ‘disturbing’/’hurtful’/’wrongful’/’bad’, but it’s developing the ability of ‘non-attachment’ to be unattached/non-clinging/non-grasping/non-craving/non-aversion towards all the thought/emotion activities in NOW perceiving all the pleasant/unpleasant names and forms or desirable/undesirable experiences, and all that is being stored as part of the memory that constantly arising and passing away in the mind in NOW.

If the mind is always being in the NOW, without attachment towards what is NOW and beyond NOW (memories or imaginations), being aware of but without attachment/clinging towards any thought/emotion activities of the mind as well as the pleasant/unpleasant memories/images constantly arising and passing away in the mind in NOW, then this mind won’t be disturbed or hurt by anything at all, not even being disturbed by what is happening NOW or the constant flashback of memories of the past thought/emotion activities perceiving all kinds of pleasant or unpleasant, agreeable or disagreeable, desirable or undesirable names and forms.

The real practice of non-attachment, is not about having very few or zero things/objects/relationships/enjoyments in life, or ignoring/neglecting one’s duty/responsibility and do nothing to improve, but it’s about non-clinging/non-grasping/non-craving/non-aversion/non-judgment/non-expectation towards what is going on in the thinking mind (the modifications of the mind), of whatever the mind perceives in NOW and all that beyond NOW (memories and imaginations), allowing all the pleasant/unpleasant, agreeable/disagreeable, desirable/undesirable names and forms being there as they are and ceaselessly changing as they are, arising and passing away as they are.

Go beyond the worldly thinking and belief about “Life has to be in certain ways and people must behave in certain ways to live a good, happy, joyful and meaningful life, or else life is not good, happy, joyful or meaningful.” Life is just what it is. It doesn’t has to be in certain ways and people don’t have to behave in certain ways, while life doesn’t need to be good, happy, joyful and meaningful the way that the mind thinks and believes what is good/happy/joyful/meaningful. Life is neither good nor bad, neither happy nor unhappy, neither joyful nor joyless, neither meaningful nor meaningless.

Whether one is practicing yoga, or not, is not determined by whether one is doing some ‘yoga practice’ in the form of Pranayama, Asana, Yamas, Niyamas, Kriyas, Japa/Kirtan and etc, or not, but it’s whether there is attachment towards the modifications of the mind, or not. If there’s attachment, there’s no peace. Peace is there as it is, in the absence of attachment.

Be free.

Changing the conditioned thinking pattern of the mind

The thinking pattern of the untrained minds is unwittingly being conditioned by certain worldly social cultural or religious/spiritual thinking/belief/disbelief/ideas/values/practice, including the minds that think and believe that they are ‘good minds’ or ‘good beings’ with ‘good ideas’, ‘good merits’, ‘good virtues’, ‘good belief’, ‘good conduct’, ‘good personality’, or ‘good characteristic’, that identify themselves as ‘good people’ with ‘good and righteous behavior’ in the world, or the minds that think and believe that they are not ‘good enough’ and they aspire to be ‘good enough’ to be identified/recognized/acknowledged as ‘good minds’, ‘good beings’, or ‘good people with good and righteous behavior’.

Not that ‘being good’ or ‘doing good’ or ‘good behavior’ is something bad or wrong, but the minds that are free from ignorance and egoism, are free from such identification/recognition/acknowledgement attached onto any quality of names and forms complying to certain worldly/social/cultural or religious/spiritual thinking/belief/disbelief/ideas/values/practice about what is good and bad, right and wrong, positive and negative, or meaningfulness and meaninglessness.

Those who sincerely want to transcend the modification of the mind, who are determined to free the mind from ignorance and all kinds of suffering that derived from ignorance, need to work diligently on changing the thinking pattern of the mind, freeing the mind from such conditioned thinking/belief/values/practice/identification.

Those who just want to do some yoga practice regularly to attain some impermanent physical and mental health and fitness benefits, as well as those who just want to be good and do good to accumulate good karma/virtues/merits as much as possible hoping to have a better next life ‘transition/incarnation’ or entering ‘blissful heaven’, they don’t need to inquire into this basic yet important teaching and practice of yoga.

The untrained ignorant egoistic minds are like a ‘sponge’ that absorbs everything that is possible whether wittingly or unwittingly, while thinking and believing and identifying itself as ‘the sponge that filled with whatever it absorbs/contains/holds’, such like, ‘I am a good sponge that absorbs/contains/holds all the good elements’ or ‘I am a bad sponge that absorbs/contains/holds all the bad elements’.

The selfless minds are free from such thinking/belief/identification.

Contemplate on this, and be free.

Life is good and meaningful?

There’s nothing wrong when the mind perceives or acknowledges that ‘life is good and meaningful’ because of ‘the presence of something good and meaningful or the absence of something bad and meaningless’, or when the mind perceives or acknowledges that ‘life is bad and meaningless’ because of ‘the absence of something good and meaningful or the presence of something bad and meaningless’.

Just that the mind is still being determined by the presence and absence of ‘certain qualities of names and forms’. There’s no freedom, as there’s attachment towards the presence or the absence of certain qualities of names and forms to feel good and meaningful, or not. Even when the mind thinks and believes that ‘life is so good and meaningful’ or ‘life is so bad and meaningless’ due to ‘the presence and absence of certain qualities of names and forms’, all are subject to impermanence and selflessness. Whether it’s ‘good and meaningful’ or ‘bad and meaningless’, all and everything will pass away.

Yoga and meditation practice is to allow the mind to see things as they are, and be free. Life is just what it is, as it is. Life is neither ‘good and meaningful’ nor ‘bad and meaningless’ being undetermined by the presence or absence of certain qualities of names and forms that are subject to impermanence and selflessness.

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they think and believe, and whether they want to be free, or not.

Some minds actually enjoy the state of restlessness, enjoy being determined by all the names and forms that are impermanent and selfless, where they would find moments of calmness, joyfulness, goodness and meaningfulness from time to time during those moments of ‘life is good and meaningful’ due to the presence or absence of certain qualities of names and forms, while trying their best to avoid coming in contact with anyone or anything that they perceive/believe/acknowledge as ‘bad’, ‘negative’ and ‘meaningless’, where they believe it will bring ‘badness’ or ‘negativity’ into their life if they come in contact with certain qualities of names and forms that they believe as ‘bad’ and ‘negative’. That’s their freedom, even though that’s no freedom at all.

Worldly identifications

One of the great obstacles or challenges for the yoga enthusiasts to be free from egoism is the intense attachment towards worldly identifications with some qualities of names and forms to be existing as ‘I’.

It’s ‘unthinkable’ for the egoistic minds to be ‘functioning’ or ‘aware of the mind perception of a worldly life of names and forms’ without any identifications with some qualities of names and forms to be acknowledged by oneself and others as ‘This is I’.

There’s great fear towards losing the sense of the existence of ‘I’, or ‘selflessness/’I’-lessness’, or being unable to be acknowledged by oneself and others as “I am this and that”, if without any of the identifications that the egoistic thinking mind would like to acknowledge itself and be acknowledged by others that “I exist as an (unique/special/distinctive/meaningful) individual being with such and such qualities of names and forms.”

Similarly, most minds have great fear towards letting go all kinds of superstitious thinking, beliefs, values and practices that were being ingrained into the minds from very young age by their elders, parents, relatives, friends, school teachers, religious teachers, the community and the society. Very few minds would question the truth of all those thinking, beliefs, values and practices, to inquire the truth of everything that was told or informed by everyone, and would just blind-believing, blind-following, blind-practicing and blind-passing on all these thinking, beliefs, values and practices. As most people would ‘label’ themselves or be ‘labeled’ by others as ‘bad person’ or ‘traitor’ towards one’s root and ancestor’s cultural background and family values, if they don’t embrace or follow or pass down those thinking, beliefs, values and practices.

For many people, this is the ‘normal’, ‘good’, ‘productive’, ‘positive’, ‘healthy’, ‘successful’, ‘meaningful’ and ‘rightful’ way of life or living.

Not only that there was a ‘basic identity upon birth’ that relates to a ‘given name’, a ‘gender’, a ‘family’, an ‘ethnicity’, a ‘birth place’, a ‘nationality’ and a ‘security ID number’, but everyone was growing up being conditioned by the society to identify oneself with a ‘sexual orientation’, a ‘personality’, a ‘physical appearance’, a ‘self-image’, a ‘body image’, a ‘physical condition’, a ‘mental state’, a ‘religion’, a ‘culture’, a ‘lifestyle’, a ‘trend’, and etc. Most minds are being ‘encouraged’ by the society to be constantly ‘developing’ and ‘possessing’ further more other qualities of names and forms to empower or strengthen that ‘self-identity’, that would allow the minds to feel proud, confident and meaningful towards the existence of ‘I’ under such identifications. Such like, “I am a ‘good’, ‘strong’, ‘healthy’, ‘fit’, ‘beautiful’, ‘attractive’, ‘stylish’, ‘successful’, ‘intelligent’, ‘knowledgeable’, ‘positive’, ‘multi tasking’, ‘talented’, ‘well-informed’, ‘well-behaved’, ‘inspirational’, ‘generous’ and ‘kind loving’ human being on top of all the identifications with a particular belief, religion, spirituality, culture, caste, sect, educational level, social status, community group, political views, profession, interests, qualifications, certifications, achievements, contributions, possessions, relationships, connections, and so on.

There are some common sayings such as –
“Be good, do good, and life will be all good and you will be happy.”
“Be nice and friendly to other people, and other people will be nice and friendly to you.”
That is not necessary true.

But everyone has been circulating that kind of sayings especially from the elders to the youngsters, or from the yoga teachers to the yoga students. Many people experiencing disappointment, depression and meaninglessness because they have such expectation towards life, where everyone and everything has to be in certain ways based on those sayings.

Many times, life is not necessarily all good and people are not happy even after they are being good and they have done many good. And it’s okay.

People don’t have to be happy all the time. Just be good and do good, and allow the fruit of actions to be what it is, not necessarily has to be the way that we would like it to be.

Sometimes, people are not being grateful or appreciative towards our kindness and friendliness, and are not being nice or friendly to us when we are being nice and friendly to them. And it’s okay.

People don’t have to be grateful and appreciative, and be nice and friendly to others, if they don’t want to. Just be nice and friendly to others, without the expectation that other people should be grateful and appreciative, and be nice and friendly to us in return.

The most practical way in the yoga practice to eliminate egoism from the mind is via renunciation of what most minds being conditioned to think and believe as the ‘normal’ and ‘meaningful’ way of life. Moving the mind away from the egoistic worldly social cultural thinking and beliefs, ideas, relationships, connections, interactions and activities, and letting go novels, news and magazines reading, radio listening, movies watching and theater visiting. Be determined to observe seclusion and solitude for at least five or six years, cutting off all kinds of worldly social cultural inputs, ideas, connections, activities and interactions, to allow the mind to be free from being conditioned by worldly thinking and beliefs that are all about empowering worldly attachment and identification. Only then the mind can see the truth of names and forms as it is.

Once the mind is free from being conditioned by worldly egoistic thinking and beliefs, it is no longer being determined by any of the worldly identifications with qualities of names and forms to be existing as ‘I’. There’s no need to feel proud, confident or meaningful towards “I am somebody endowed with this and that prideful, superior and meaningful qualities.”

There’s no ‘I’ being there that needs to be empowered, be acknowledged, be motivated, be inspired, be loved, be proud, be confident and be meaningful. There’s no ‘I’ being there to be strong, be weak, be happy, be unhappy, be positive, be negative, be good, be bad, be hurt, be healed, be pleased, be displeased, be praised, be insulted, be selfish, be unselfish, be unfree or be free.

While the entire world emphasize on the empowerment of a strong self-identity nurtured with the qualities of names and forms of particular social/cultural/ethnicity/nationality ideas/values/practices, yoga practice is mainly to free the mind from all these identifications with any qualities of names and forms.

Even the idea of “I am a yoga practitioner practicing yoga of annihilating ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness” and the desire of “I want to practice yoga to be free from ignorance and suffering” vanished from the minds that know thyself.

Be free from all kinds of craving and clinging

Though this is the very basic teaching and practice of yoga, many people are not free from certain forms of physical, mental and emotional craving and clinging, both gross (aware) and subtle (unaware). It’s a practice that seems to be challenging or struggling for many yoga practitioners, including ‘yoga teachers’, mostly those who are passionate towards worldly life existence of an individual being with a personal identity and most probably at least one or a few group/community identity under the influence of worldly cultural and social ideas, activities, thinking and beliefs.

The minds that are not free from attachment and identification with some kind of impermanent qualities of names and forms as ‘I’, are not free from being determined by the presence/possession and absence/non-possession of certain qualities of names and forms to feel good, happy, confident and meaningful, or not.

There’s craving towards certain qualities of names and forms that the impure mind perceives or recognizes as ‘good’, ‘positive’, ‘well-deserving’, ‘acknowledgement’, ‘payback to one’s effort’, ‘higher standard’, ‘prideful’, ‘successful’, ‘lovable’, ‘joyful’ and ‘meaningful’, and there’s aversion towards certain qualities of names and forms that the impure mind perceives or recognizes as ‘bad’, ‘negative’, ‘undeserving’, ‘non-acknowledgement’, ‘non-payback to one’s effort’, ‘lower standard’, ‘shameful’, ‘failure’, ‘unlovable’, ‘sorrowful’ and ‘meaningless’.

This is how most worldly minds think, believe, behave, live life, interact with one another, act and react, as most people/human beings grew up being taught/influenced by their parents, teachers, society and medias to develop a strong sense of ‘self-identity’ and ‘group identity’ attaching onto certain qualities of names and forms to be who they are, or who ‘I’ am. The entire life existence is very much based on upholding, or attaining, or possessing, or protecting, or passing down certain ‘values’ to feel happy, confident and meaningful, to live a proud, purposeful and meaningful life. Such as there’s nothing wrong when most minds would feel, think and believe that “It’s so good to practice yoga and it’s so meaningful to teach yoga to other people.” but the minds are not free.

It’s not easy for the minds to just ‘let go’ or ‘abandon’ all these identities of certain qualities that ‘generate’ the sense of ‘existence’ or more so the sense of ‘meaningful existence’, which is truly unnecessary to the liberated minds, but is upmost essential to the worldly impure minds.

There is the need of ‘aspiration’, ‘intention’, ‘motivation’, ‘inspiration’, ‘reward’, ‘encouragement’, ‘praise and compliment’, ‘recognition’, ‘acknowledgement’, ‘positive feedback’, ‘positive interaction’, ‘positive guidance’, and etc, for performing actions (of doing something that the mind perceives as ‘good’) or inactions (of not doing something that the mind perceives as ‘not good’).

As long as the mind is not free from this ‘worldly habitual thinking pattern’ under the influence of worldly thinking and belief where most people think and believe that there is a need of the existence of ‘positive beings’ to uplift/inspire ‘the other not so positive beings’ to ‘create’ a ‘positive world’, or there is a need of ‘spiritual beings with spiritual healing power’ or ‘magic pills’ to ‘heal’ all the ‘hurts’ or ‘take away’ all the painful sorrow and suffering of mankind, this mind will always be determined by the qualities of names and forms that are impermanent and selfless, and be disturbed by the absence and presence of what the worldly minds perceive as ‘good and bad’, ‘right and wrong’, ‘positive and negative’, ‘appropriateness and inappropriateness’, ‘should and shouldn’t’, ‘auspiciousness and inauspiciousness’ and ‘meaningfulness and meaninglessness’.

The mind expects itself and everything that it identifies as ‘I’, such as ‘my body’, ‘my appearance’, ‘my ability’, ‘my mind’, ‘my belief’, ‘my feelings’, ‘my knowledge’, ‘my happiness’, ‘my confidence’, ‘my life’, or ‘my existence’ to be in certain ways that the mind desires, likes and agrees with, of the qualities that it craves to achieve, or possess, or identify with. The mind also expects others and everything that it relates to ‘I’, such as ‘my family’, ‘my relationship’, ‘my friends’, ‘my country’, ‘my community’, ‘my group’, ‘my world’, ‘my fellow human beings’, and so on, to be in certain ways that the mind desires, likes and agrees with. When things are not the way that the mind expects it to be, the mind feels disturbed, dissatisfied, disappointed, and either agitated or depressed.

Those who truly ‘help’ other beings to be free from ignorance the cause of suffering, they ‘guide’ the minds to become their own teacher, to be aware of what is going on in the mind, to inquire the truth of everything, and to attain self-realization, to be free from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance – egoism and impurities empowered by worldly ideas, activities, thinking and beliefs.

Contemplate on “Positive thinking is a just a practice to counter negative thinking, but it’s not the goal of the yoga practice.” and “There’s nothing wrong with attaining good health and happy mind, but it’s not the goal of the yoga practice.” and go beyond positive thinking, good health and happy mind.

Realize this, “It’s okay when the mind is ‘negative or unhappy’ in the present moment, as even this state of ‘negativity or unhappiness’ is impermanent and will change. Without any intention or expectation to chase away the state of ‘negativity or unhappiness’ or to develop the state of ‘positivity and happiness’, without craving towards ‘positivity/happiness’ or aversion towards ‘negativity/unhappiness’, allowing the mind to be what it is, allow it to change as it is. The mind is just what it is. It is impermanent. It’s neither a positive nor negative mind, neither a happy nor unhappy mind. And it’s not ‘I’.”

Love and be kind to the mind as it is, even when it is negative or unhappy. This doesn’t mean that pampering the mind by gratifying all its desires, but be determined to free the mind from ignorance, impurities, egoism and suffering.

As long as there is an identity in the mind generates clinging/craving towards ‘positivity’ and aversion towards ‘negativity’, to change the mind to be the way that ‘I’ want it to be, the way that ‘I’ think it should be, the mind is not free, even though there’s nothing wrong with that. Instead of working on transforming a ‘negative mind’ into a ‘positive mind’, work on ‘being aware of what is going on in the mind, without attachment of craving and aversion towards all the ‘positive and negative’, ‘good and bad’, or ‘happy and unhappy’ thought activities as ‘I’. The mind doesn’t need to be ‘positive’, or ‘good’, or ‘happy’ when it is free from ignorance.

Practice yoga, without attachment, identification, craving, aversion and expectation, allowing the effects or the fruit of the practice to be there as it is. There’s no “I am doing the yoga practice and I will be receiving the effects or the fruit of the yoga practice.” The one who is free, or not free from ignorance, disturbs and suffering, it’s the mind. There’s no ‘I’ expects the mind will be free. The mind will be free as it is, when the idea of ‘I’ disappears.

Be free.

Freedom in all kind of relationships

Some minds are troubled/disturbed by the existence of relationships that are not the way that they would like it to be, and some minds are troubled/disturbed by the past relationships that were not the way that they liked it to be, while some minds are troubled/disturbed by the absence of relationships that they would like to have. The ever-restless clinging mind is always looking forward for ‘something’ that isn’t here, or a ‘reality’ that is not what it is in the present. There’s nothing wrong with that, as it is the nature of the impure egoistic mind, just that the mind is not free.

The minds that don’t know and the ones who think they know but they don’t really know what is going on in the mind of attachment and non-attachment, there is no peace or freedom regardless of whether they have a few or many relationships, or don’t have any relationships. The minds are being determined by the existence and non-existence of relationships, the quality of the relationships and the impermanent changes of the relationships. The minds are not being in the present, being determined or disturbed by the past pleasant and unpleasant experiences/memories and future anticipations/non-anticipations, as well as being determined by the perceived reality in the present.

The minds that attached onto worldly passionate thinking and belief in search for the sense of self-esteem, confidence, fulfillment, happiness and meaningfulness in the qualities of names and forms or relationships are not free from the impure modifications/reactions of the mind perception of dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hurts, regret, guilt, loneliness, boredom, meaninglessness, fear, worry, grief, painful sorrow and suffering, and be disturbed upon coming in contact with the names and forms or relationships that are not the way that the minds like, agree with and desire.

The minds that know what is going on in the mind of attachment and non-attachment, they are peaceful and free as it is, regardless of whether they have a few or many relationships, or don’t have any relationships. They are not determined by the existence and non-existence of relationships, the quality of the relationships, or the impermanent changes of the relationships. The minds are being in the present without being determined or disturbed by the past pleasant and unpleasant experiences/memories and future anticipations/non-anticipations, and being undetermined by the perceived reality in the present.

They love, unconditionally/compassionately. They don’t fall in/out love. They love all and everything as they are, as it is, without expecting or interfering with all and everything have to be in certain ways.

They are free to give, or not. And when they give, they give their best within their ability and capacity of what is possible and available in the present, without attachment towards the actions or the fruit of actions, being free from discrimination, identification, intention, expectation, greed, possessiveness, clinging, craving and aversion, and allowing others whether to accept, receive, appreciate and be thankful towards what they give, or not, and thus being free from dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hurts, regret, guilt, loneliness, boredom, meaninglessness, fear, worry, grief, painful sorrow and suffering, and be undisturbed upon coming in contact with the names and forms or relationships that are not necessarily the way that most mind would like, agree with and desire.

There’s no judgment and expectation towards others for how others think, believe, behave, act and react, desire and don’t desire. There’s no ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’. There’s only actions and the consequences of actions.

All kinds of violence/conflicts start from “Desire of expecting, interfering, changing, controlling, over-powering and oppressing others’ thinking, beliefs, behaviors, actions and reactions to be the way that ‘I’ think and believe it should be.”

There’s neither right nor wrong when the dispassionate minds don’t perceive sadness or grief towards the dead ones while the passionate minds perceive sadness and grief towards the dead ones. It’s just the different modifications of mind perception/reactions functioning either under the influence of ignorance, or free from ignorance.

These dispassionate attachment-free minds are being perceived by the worldly passionate minds, including many of the ‘yoga practitioners’ and ‘yoga teachers’ in the world as ‘wrong’, ‘negative’, ‘heartless’, ‘feelingless’, ‘cold’, ‘selfish’, ‘self-centered’, ‘uncaring’, ‘unloving’, ‘unsympathetic’, ‘inhuman’, ‘madness’, ‘weird’, ‘abnormal’, and so on. All these judgments/labels derived from the worldly passionate minds don’t affect or disturb the dispassionate minds being peaceful and free as it is. It’s everyone’s freedom for how they perceive, act and react, judge and expect, or seeing what they want/like to see and not seeing what they don’t want/like to see.

“How can a ‘normal’ human being don’t feel sad or grieve for the death of another being, especially someone who loved you and whom you love and related to you dearly? It’s so wrong and inhuman.”

Indeed, that’s how most minds think, believe, behave, act and react – ‘Normal’ human beings should behave, act and react in ‘certain ways’ and shouldn’t behave, act and react in ‘certain ways’ based on the worldly thinking and belief about what is ‘right and wrong’, ‘should and shouldn’t’.

For the minds that know, there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with all the different kind of mind perceptions, way of thinking, belief and disbelief, behavior, actions and reactions. It’s just the minds that don’t know what is going on in the mind, they are functioning under the influence of ignorance, while being ignorant towards ignorance, and thus, being disturbed by the modifications of the mind perception/reaction towards all the perceived agreeable/disagreeable names and forms, and all kinds of dissatisfaction, disturbance, hurts, restlessness and suffering arise in the mind. There is a desire/need of receiving kindness, interaction, understanding, acceptance, appreciation and acknowledgment, and there’s perception/reaction of hurts and the desire/need to be healed from hurts.

It’s like when the ignorant mind experiencing something that it perceives/recognizes as ‘hurtful’ and ‘wrongful’, it feels hurt and angry about something, and there’s a desire/need to be healed from ‘hurts’ and ‘anger’. But when the mind sees the truth of ‘hurt’ and ‘anger’, being free from ignorance, the mind no longer perceives/feels hurt or angry about anything. There’s no desire/need to be healed from anything.

Be free.