Self-inquiry – Try contemplate upon “What is this (I)?” instead of “Who am I?”

For those who are interested in the teaching and practice of Yoga or Buddhism, the main similar practice is about self-inquiry, to inquire the truth of individual being existence by contemplating upon “Who am I?” where most people interpreting as “Knowing who we really are, or who is the real ‘I’.”

Because of the literal meaning of the words being used in the question of “Who am I?” regardless of being translated into whatever languages, the mind takes it as there is a permanent self-existence (of who I really am) undergoing the process of reincarnation of being born in countless different life existence/transformation existing as different individual being under different names and forms, and I am trying to filter and drop off all kinds of imperfect momentary identity of different names and forms in order to uncover and reconnect with my real identity of who I really am, where many minds believe and desire that “who I really am” or “the real I” is something ‘spiritual’, ‘pure’ and ‘perfect’ that is imperishable, indestructible, unchangeable, permanent, absolute and infinite, with some kind of ‘transcendental superpower’ where all kinds of ‘miracles’ happen under my command/wish, having all my desired imaginations/wishes come true where everything will be exactly the way as I wish, with absolute unlimited freedom to be whatever I want to be, being with those who I want to be with, go wherever I want to go and do whatever I want to do, where there’s no limitation of hunger, thirst, old age, weakness, injury, sickness, death or suffering, but only desirable pleasant enjoyment.

And hence, the mind is ‘stuck’, couldn’t go beyond what it thinks it knows, where the mind is unable to transcend the selfless modification of the mind perceiving all kinds of names and forms of a worldly life existence, couldn’t go beyond the idea of ‘I’ where the mind thinks and believes ‘I’ exists as an individual being hoping/desiring to have better transformation in better world, hindering the mind from self-realization, to realize selflessness, or ‘I’lessness, or egolessness, to be free from the ego, or the idea of I of the existence of an individual being existing and experiencing (different) life existence or impermanent transformation.

Self-inquiry is more about contemplation upon “What is this ‘I’ that ‘I’ think and believe as an individual being existing and experiencing a worldly life existence that is comprised of all kinds of duality, where (I think) I experience desirable and undesirable experiences, where (I think) I feel happy/satisfied and unhappy/dissatisfied, where (I think) I try to learn many things to be able to survive and satisfy my desire of craving and aversion, to find and achieve the meaning of my life existence, to set goals/directions for my life, where (I think) I was born, where (I think) I live a life, where (I think) I have many different kinds of happy/unhappy relationship with different individual beings, where (I think) I enjoy and suffer, where (I think) I will die, and where (I think) I will be transforming into another name and form either in the same world or in a different world according to the good/bad deeds that I have been doing and accumulating.”

If the mind replaces the inquiry of “Who am I?” with “What is this ‘I’ that ‘I’ think is ‘me’ or ‘myself’, whom ‘I’ think and believe is existing as an individual being experiencing this life existence of happiness and unhappiness, who is doing all these thinking, who performs actions and enjoying the fruit of actions?” then this will allow the mind to ‘look at’ or investigate ‘itself’ from a different perspective, sort of like a (non-existent) third party to investigate/inquire the modification of the mind, or what the ignorant egoistic mind thinks and believes is the existence of an individual being perceiving/experiencing this and that, and without attachment and identification towards the selfless and impermanent modification of the mind perceiving names and forms of a worldly life existence, and be able to eliminate the ego/the idea of ‘I’ and egoism, where the mind can be free from the idea of ‘I’ and egoism, and absorbed into Silence/Samadhi (The annihilation of the modification of mind), transcending names and forms, births and deaths, actions and the fruit of actions, enjoyment and suffering.

There’s no ‘I’ am selfless, or I am performing selfless actions. There’s no ‘I’ am selfish or unselfish. There’s no ‘I’ am good or bad. There’s no ‘I’ am transforming into this or that. There’s no ‘I’ am enjoying or suffering.

The mind (or the thinking faculty as part of the function of this physical body,) is functioning and perceiving all kinds of names and forms in this present moment, restlessly acting and reacting, generating actions that bring along pleasant/unpleasant consequences of actions, and that’s all. The modification of the mind, or the thought currents, or the thought activities, ceaselessly arising and passing away selflessly, countless births and deaths happening, in this present moment. Neither it’s ‘I’ nor there’s ‘I’. There’s neither past nor future. There’s neither performer of actions nor the enjoyer of the fruit of actions.

Contemplate upon the teaching of “The world of names and forms is the by-product of the modification of mind. There is no perception of the world or life existence (in Silence/Samadhi/Annihilation of the modification of mind)” along with the process of performing self-inquiry.

Fearlessness and desirelessness are ‘the two sides of a coin’. Similarly, selflessness/oneness/non-separateness/attributelessness/namelessness/formlessness/birthlessness/deathlessness and fearlessness/desirelessness are ‘the two sides of a coin’.

As long as there is still the ego, or the idea of ‘I’ exists along with the modification of the mind, there’s ceaseless births and deaths (in this present), there’s an ‘individual being’ existing and experiencing the world of a worldly life existence being satisfied or dissatisfied with this or that, there’s egoism of attachment/identification/craving and aversion/judgment/comparison/expectation, there’s survival instinct, there’s separateness, there’s desire and fear, there’s possessiveness and protectiveness, there’s ceaseless actions and the fruit of actions, which gives rise to endless births and deaths (in this present) within the modification of the mind.

As Swami Sivananda mentioned in his teachings, “Kill the mind,” or in another term, “Annihilate the modification of the mind,” if the mind thinks the word ‘Kill’ is inappropriately used as the mind believes it’s representing the quality of violence, non-compassionate, unkind, unloving, negative, bad and wrong. This is nothing to do with ‘killing’, ‘changing’, ‘controlling’, ‘over-powering’, ‘influencing’, ‘uplifting’ or ‘inspiring’ other minds. It’s about this mind silencing its own modification, attaining Silence/Samadhi.

Video – My daily asana practice 2020 (16)

This is part of my daily asana practice.

Wishing everyone peace during this time being.

Video – My daily asana practice 2020 (14)

This is part of my daily asana practice.

Wishing everyone peace during this time being.

Video – My daily asana practice 2020 (2)

This is part of my daily asana practice.

Wishing everyone peace during this time being.

Video – My daily asana practice 2020

This is part of my daily asana practice.

Wishing everyone peace during this time being.

Feedback for yoga teachers?

Question – How to give feedback to the yoga teacher or tell the yoga teacher in the yoga class to talk less, and not giving too much unnecessary instructions/explanation so that I can be focusing within and be mindful to observe what is going in my body and mind, to observe and connect with my thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations?

Why are you being in a yoga class anyway, especially if you already knew what is the practice of mindfulness and how to turn the mind inward to be observing what is going in the body and mind, and would prefer a mindful practice in silence without the need of following some verbal teachings/instructions/guidance to be performing certain practice that you want to practice?

In the same yoga class, some people would think that the teacher talks too much about the teachings of yoga or gives too many unnecessary instructions that they already knew, while some others would think that the teacher is not talking enough about the teachings and didn’t give enough instructions that they would like to receive from the teacher, according to the different reactions of the different minds that have different understanding and expectation. Some will complain that the yoga class is too intense, while some will complain that it’s too gentle, and some will say it’s just nice, not too intense or overly gentle.

The yoga classes and the yoga teachers are just being what they are. There’s nothing wrong with the yoga classes, or the yoga teachers, or how the yoga teachers conduct the yoga classes. There’s also nothing wrong with yourself and your wish to have some silent moments to be quiet and be mindful towards what is going on within the body and mind. It’s just that most yoga classes are not about ‘performing your own self-practice in silence’. Yoga classes are for people to be learning the teachings of yoga and following the guidance/instructions of a yoga teacher to be learning how to perform the practice. Yoga classes are meant to be somebody constantly delivering the teachings of yoga and giving guidance/instructions to be guiding the people performing the yoga practice. And after the people develop the basic understanding towards the teachings of yoga and learnt how to perform most of the basic yoga practice, they should retreat into solitude and seclusion to be performing self-practice in silence without looking at anyone or listening to some instructions/guidance/explanation to be doing any form of yoga practice.

The frustration and dissatisfaction coming from your mind towards the yoga class is not being the way that you want it to be, and the yoga teacher is being the way that you think it shouldn’t be, is not because there’s something ‘wrong’ or ‘inappropriate’ with the yoga class or the yoga teacher, or how the yoga teacher conducts the yoga class. It’s about you have certain expectation towards the yoga classes to be the way that you think how it should be and not to be in certain way that you think it shouldn’t be, as well as you are not getting what you think you should be getting from a yoga class or the yoga teacher.

If you truly know what are the basic teachings and practice of yoga, and are truly practicing yoga, you would allow the yoga classes and the yoga teachers to be what they are, not necessarily the way that you think how it should be. There’s no attachment and expectation towards the practice and the result of the practice. There’s no attachment and expectation towards the yoga classes, the yoga teachers or how the yoga teachers conduct the yoga classes. There’s mere awareness/acknowledgement towards all the modifications of the mind, including whatever the mind perceives or experiences, as well as towards the habitual behavior of the mind of how the mind reacts spontaneously towards all the perception of names and forms or experiences regardless of pleasant/unpleasant, agreeable/disagreeable and desirable/undesirable names and forms/experiences, without generate attachment, identification, craving and aversion, judgment or expectation towards all the perceived names and forms or experiences has to be or not to be in certain ways.

You should know how to apply the practice of non-attachment, non-craving, non-aversion and non-expectation, inside or outside the yoga class or self-practice, while performing particular yoga practice, or not, And not being distracted/disturbed/annoyed/frustrated by all the names and forms that your mind doesn’t like and doesn’t want which your mind perceives through the senses, of what is going on within and without the body and mind, and allowing all the names and forms/experiences being there as they are. Knowing that they all are impermanent and selfless.

If you truly are performing mindfulness, there’s no frustration or dissatisfaction towards the surrounding environment or the mind itself, for not being able to be focused, to be mindful, to be observing towards what is going on in the body and mind of the thoughts, feelings and sensations due to you think there’s distraction, or disturbance, or annoyance coming from the external names and forms/experiences that your mind perceives/experiences (in this case, it’s about the way how the yoga teacher conducts the yoga class.) Learn how to be mindful towards the mind is unable to be focused or mindful in this present moment now, knowing that even this is impermanent.

Yoga practice is about freeing the mind from the ego and egoism, being a silent witness that is aware of and acknowledging all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses without interference, grasping/attachment, or the desire of craving and aversion, as well as being aware of all the habitual egoistic mind reactions towards all the names and forms, and letting go any existing craving and aversion and expectation towards the names and forms should or shouldn’t be in certain way, should or shouldn’t exist, without attachment towards whatever the mind perceives from within or without the body and mind, remain equanimous under any condition and situation, without judgment and expectation towards all the names and forms/experiences to be or not to be in certain ways based on what the mind thinks and believes what things are, and what the mind likes and dislikes, agrees and disagrees with, or wants and doesn’t want.

It’s about knowing what is selflessness/egolessness/’I’lessness and performing necessary actions out of selfless compassion, not out of egoistic desires, that are free from egoism of attachment, identification, craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation.

If you are practicing mindfulness, you should be mindful towards all the reactions coming from your mind towards the mind perception of names and forms without attachment towards or identification with what is going on in the mind or the modification of the mind of thoughts, feelings, sensations, actions, reactions, memories, imaginations, and so on. It’s about disassociation with the modifications of the mind and not being disturbed by what is going on in the mind, being a silent witness witnessing all the modifications of the mind. It’s not about trying to be free from any external disturbance/distractions from the names and forms/experiences that the mind perceives through the senses. It doesn’t mean that one should be deliberately be in an extreme condition to be practicing yoga, but if a better condition is unavailable, then one learns how to adapt, adjust, accommodate. It doesn’t mean that one should be deliberately confronting with all kinds of difficulty to be practicing yoga, but if there’s unavoidable difficulty, then one learns how to tolerate and forbear.

You think and believe that it’s the happenings outside your body and mind distracting/hindering your mind to be focused and be mindful of what is going on in the body and mind, but actually, all the ‘distraction’/’disturbance’/’hindrance’ are all coming from your mind constantly reacting towards the mind perception of names and forms of what you think is happening outside the body and mind, as your mind doesn’t know what is non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion and non-expectation.

If you already learnt and knew about the practice of turning the mind inward to be mindful of the impermanent and selfless changes in the body and mind, you shouldn’t be ‘disturbed’ by the surrounding environment, and you don’t need to be attending yoga classes or be in a yoga class to be following some guidance (the way that you think how it should be) to be performing your yoga practice or mindfulness practice. You should be performing self-practice in solitude and seclusion, in silence, especially if you think mindfulness can only be done or achieved in a silent environment without any ‘distracting’/’disturbing’/’annoying’ sounds, noises, talking, instructions, or happenings.

Your mind wants/desires to perform the practice of mindfulness and wants to be able to be focused and mindful observing the thoughts, feelings and sensations while attending yoga classes to be doing some yoga practice composed by a yoga teacher, but feels unable to focus and mindful, as your mind thinks and believes that it’s because of the teacher constantly talking and giving instructions in the yoga class that you think is unnecessary, distracting, disturbing and annoying.

Actually, the ‘distraction’/’disturbance’/’annoyance’ existing in your mind is due to your mind generates attachment towards the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, and reacting with aversion and frustration being generated towards something that your mind thinks is ‘hindering’ you from doing what you want to do, and there’s craving towards certain names and forms/experiences that you prefer which is ungratified – I want to be able to be mindful to be observing the thoughts, feelings and sensations, but I can’t do that as the teacher is so annoying. There’s expectation towards a particular environment or situation that you think and believe will allow your mind to be mindful without any external distraction/disturbance/annoyance coming from outside the body and mind.

Learn how to be mindful of all the names and forms that your mind perceives through the senses wherever you are and whatever the surrounding environment is. Needless to choose a particular environment to be mindful towards something that you choose to be mindful about.

Yoga classes are a ‘product’ to meet the demand of the worldly minds that are interested in doing some yoga exercises to look good and feel good, to be fit and healthy, but not so much about learning how to be silent, to free the mind from ignorance, egoism and impurities, to free the mind from passionate desires of craving and aversion, to renounce the worldly affair, relationships and activities, to turn the mind inward resting in the chamber of the heart.

Yoga classes that are about delivering the teachings of yoga and teaching those who are interested in yoga and the yoga practice about how to perform the yoga practice are meant to be someone being there delivering the teachings verbally and physically, while giving instructions on how to perform the different practices. Different teachers have their own way/style of delivering the teachings and how they teach other people to be performing the yoga practice, so that these people can perform all the yoga practice by themselves after learning about the teachings and how to perform the yoga practice. The yoga teachers are just being the way as they are.

Most commercial yoga classes are about a yoga exercise instructor giving instructions leading a group of people doing some physical movements/exercises that would give certain health and fitness benefits to the people, they are not so much about a person delivering the teachings of yoga about freeing the mind from ignorance, egoism and impurities to the students so that they can contemplate upon the teachings, by performing the yoga practice that they learnt in the yoga classes, to purify and quiet the mind, to allow the mind to inquire and see the truth of things. If you think you can perform your own self-practice and you want to go deeper into the practice, but you would like to have certain supervision from some others (teachers) who are more experienced as you aren’t very sure about the practice, then you can look for and participate in either long silent meditation retreat or long silent yoga retreat that are more serious towards silencing and looking into the mind.

Most worldly passionate egoistic minds that aren’t aware of ignorance and egoism in themselves would generate great aversion towards some of the teachings of yoga that they don’t like and disagree with, and generate frustration if they hear or come in contact with any teachings/practice that they don’t like and disagree with. Most minds also generate aversion/dissatisfaction/disagreement towards certain way of the yoga practice and certain style of the class format, or how the teacher delivers specific teachings or how the teacher guides the students performing specific practice. But, it doesn’t matter whether the teachers are ‘good’ or ‘not good’ based on the judgment and expectation of the mind, it’s not so much about the teacher or the yoga class is ‘good’ or ‘not good’, but it’s about how this mind reacting under the influence of ignorance and egoism, and impurities of dissatisfaction, disappointment, frustration and so on.

If this mind knows what is going on in itself, this mind doesn’t need to attend any yoga classes at all to be performing some yoga practice, but there’s nothing wrong also if this mind is being in a yoga class, but then this mind will allow all the talking or teaching or instructions of the yoga teacher in the yoga class to be there as they are, regardless of whether the mind likes or dislikes, agrees or disagrees with the talking, or the teachings, or the instructions. The practice is about developing non-attachment towards all the mind perception of names and forms without being disturbed or determined by the mind perception of names and forms. It’s not about being in a most perfect desirable environment so that the mind won’t be ‘disturbed’ by any names and forms that the mind doesn’t like and doesn’t want, in order to be able to be mindful to be observing the thoughts, feelings or sensations.

What’s the point of developing the practice of mindfulness or observation towards thoughts, feelings and sensations, but not knowing what is non-attachment/non-craving/non-aversion, and constantly feel being ‘distracted’/’disturbed’/’annoyed’/’dissatisfied’/’frustrated’ by the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses towards the surrounding environment, or be disturbed by what is going on in the mind itself, of all kinds of thoughts, feelings, sensations, agreements/disagreements, likes/dislikes, actions and reactions, and the result of actions and reactions?

Be free.

My life stories – Part 12 (A new beginning)

My life Stories – Part 12
Stories from my past memories – childhood, family, friends, growing up, poverty, integrity, dreams come true, finding peace and happiness, Buddhism, Yoga, and now…

After more than 10 years living and running yoga retreats in Langkawi, we left Langkawi for good early this month. And so, here we are, starting a new chapter of life living on another island in Malaysia.

Now that we have left Langkawi, I would like to summarize some of our experiences in Langkawi as part of my life stories.

We are thankful to the nature of Langkawi which is the main reason we had been living there for a decade, even though there were some ‘difficulties’ that we had to deal with for living and running yoga retreats legally in Langkawi, that we didn’t really talk about in the past. We weren’t denying the unpleasant experiences that we encountered in Langkawi. We acknowledged all kinds of difficulty that we had to deal with, and lived with them, but we tried to focus more on promoting the beauty of Langkawi when we were living and running yoga retreats there. Initially, we thought of living in Langkawi for as long as possible, as we love the slow pace of living that is still available in Langkawi, but the time has come for us to let it go and be at somewhere else.

One of the reasons that made me decide to leave Langkawi, is that my dear father and big brother who had went through many difficulties and hardships in life, who were the very few loving kind-hearted and down to earth human beings in my life had passed away respectively over the last two years. My father passed away on the 30th of December, 2017, while my big brother who had been looking after our paralyzed father for many years, passed away on the 30th of June, 2019. They had suffered a lot their entire life even though they took things lightheartedly and smiled through all the hardships. I respect their resilience a lot. My family was my motivation to work hard making a living to support their life. Now that my parents and my big brother were gone, I don’t need to work so hard anymore. This body is not getting any younger as well.

Although I myself had also been through many hardships, I can choose to live life differently from my family. I chose to live a life that has more wise impact. Life doesn’t need to be wasted in deliberately dealing with ignorance and the consequences of ignorance in the world. Yoga practice talks about endurance or forbearance towards difficulties, but it doesn’t mean that we should be wasting life and energy dealing with the ignorance and the consequences of ignorance in the world. We can choose to be in an environment that has more wise impact, if possible. If that’s not possible, it’s okay. We accept the reality as it is, and live with it.

Living in a different environment on another island also has certain ‘unpleasantness’ or ‘difficulties’ that we need to deal with. Life and yoga practice isn’t about expecting perfection and avoiding imperfection, but it’s about no matter where we are, we learn to allow the world to be what it is, not necessarily the way that we would like it to be.

On Langkawi, the blooming development for tourism might be benefiting many of the plumbers, electricians and metal smiths in Langkawi, but that also means that there’s very limited plumber or electrician or metal smith would come to our house to do a little bit of work. Even though more and more new guesthouses and hotels have been building in Langkawi which provide jobs and business for the hardware shop, the construction company, the construction workers, the plumbers, the electricians or the metal smiths, but there are also more and more existing guesthouses and restaurants couldn’t survive due to the reduced tourists flow in the past few years.

It’s really difficult to find someone skillful enough to do something for us in Langkawi. And when we were able to find someone to do things for us, they couldn’t deliver a good quality of workmanship or service. We couldn’t even get a tailor to make a curtain for us. Once a tailor took our order and our cloth for making curtain, and then she went disappear along with our cloth, couldn’t be contacted for many years until now. We heard that some rich expatriates on the island import all their building materials and skillful workers from other countries to build their houses that live up to the European standard.

Once a dishonest air-conditioner installer recommended by a ‘friend’ cheated us by installing a one horse power air-conditioner claiming that it’s a two horse power air-conditioner that we had requested. It’s our own responsibility for trusting our ‘friend’ and his recommendation, and we didn’t know much about air-conditioning. And then the newly installed air-conditioner had problem, we tried to contact him for months also couldn’t get in touch with him. And so, we went to our ‘friend’ who recommended him, then only we found out that he had cheated us and were avoiding us deliberately. And it’s pointless to bring this issue to the police, which I will explain later.

After that this ‘friend’ recommended another air-conditioner mechanic to us, and he came once to fix a problem of the air-conditioner, but after that he was too busy to come to do even just a normal routine chemical service. And finally, we got another company from Kuah to service the air-conditioners, but with higher price than usual as they were reluctant to come to our place in the beginning saying that it’s too far for them to come.

Another very important reason is that my husband would like to live a healthy lifestyle, cooking and eating healthy vegetarian food, swimming and enjoying some outdoor time and space outside the house, he couldn’t do so while we were living in Langkawi. One time he got serious sun burnt (for doing some painting under the shade at the car porch) and needed to be treated in the hospital.

We had moved and lived in three different houses within the last ten and a half year in Langkawi. When we spent some time outside the house, we either suffered from heat-stroke, sun burnt, hornet stung, or poisonous ants and mosquitoes bite. There were countless insects, leeches, rats, poisonous centipedes, snakes, monitor lizards and scorpions coming into the house through gaps and holes of the door, windows and ceiling, or coming in through the drains, where we needed to keep doors closed all the time and putting a brick on top the cover of the drain so that rats, monitor lizards and snakes couldn’t come in from there.

Most of the non-sliding windows in the house were unable to be opened as they were blocked by the mosquito netting, while the entire house was having very low ceiling and non-insulated wall, where constant heat was accumulated in the house throughout the day even when the sliding windows that we replaced some of the non-sliding windows were opened and with the fans switched-on. We reluctantly needed to use the air-conditioner all day and night if we were in the house, or else, we would be suffering from heat-stroke and overly sweating and wouldn’t have a proper rest/sleep. The house was like an oven. It built up heat due to the poor structure. We had a thermometer in the house, and if without the air-conditioner switched-on, the temperature could go up above 35 degrees Celsius, even when the outside temperature was actually a lot lower. And if we were cooking, the temperature went up even higher. The room that was less hot in the house was the yoga hall, as the ceiling there is slightly higher, and we had the sliding windows installed that can be opened. Still, we needed to use the air-conditioner during the yoga sessions in the afternoon, as it would be too hot.

There were rats living on the ceiling and snakes living in the post box, in the gap of the ceiling and under the rubbish bin. In the first wooden house, we had to put rat trap onto the ceiling everyday, and every time when we caught one, we would bring it out in the car and release it into the bushes about a few km away from the house. But, this process never had an end as there were so many rats around our neighbourhood. There were a group of scorpions living outside the back of the wooden house, and hence we didn’t go to that area unless we had to.

There were tiny insects coming into the house if we didn’t have the outside lights turned-on but with the inside lights switched-on at night. I had to ‘get rid of’ so many insects and poisonous centipedes everyday in order to be able to live in the house, and to ensure a clean and safe practice environment for our retreat guests. My work of constantly cleaning the entire place was ceaseless. We had to ask the cooperation from the guests to keep the place as clean as possible to avoid attracting insects, particularly ants or mosquitoes, into the yoga hall. As once the ants found food in the yoga hall, they will return with many others, and also making their nest somewhere in the house, and it would be more difficult to keep them out.

Being bitten by poisonous ants and hornets is no fun at all. We both, especially my husband, had been bitten by ants and hornets numerous times while working in the garden. I have a few scars on my skin were from the ants bite. And we gave up, in the end. We also told the retreat guests not to hang around at the garden in the last two years, as there were too many ants and hornets that give nasty bites, or even allergic reaction that could lead to death in certain people. My husband had been admitted to the hospital a few times due the nasty hornet stung, where his body reacted badly to the hornet stung. This house was also no longer suitable for running the retreats, if our guests would be attacked by ants and hornets.

There were also too many house lizards in the house that generate huge amount of ‘shits’ everyday, where I needed to clean up everyday, and sometimes, a few times a day especially when we had the retreats going on. And then there was constant sand mining activity in this area that generates so much dust around the house.

Though the sea is very close to us, only about 5 minutes drive away from our house/yoga studio, and we loved to be on the beach, while my husband would love to swim in the sea, but we never wanted to get into the sea for two reasons. One is that there are too many jelly fish, some of them are extremely poisonous, already with several death cases in the past due to jelly fish stung. My husband nearly lost his life being stung by jelly fish while swimming in the sea of Pantai Cenang not long after we moved to Langkawi from Kuala Lumpur. He had stopped breathing when we arrived in the hospital and the medical people performed CPR on him immediately and gave him injections to be able to breathe again. He was suffering from extreme pain throughout the body for the next few weeks, and wasn’t fully recover until more than one year later. Another reason, is that the sea here is highly contaminated/polluted by the drainage and sewage system in that area (Pantai Cenang). Even the dolphins and turtles that used to come close to the seashore also had stopped coming here many years ago. For those reasons, my husband wouldn’t swim in the sea ever again even though it’s conveniently close by. More than a year ago, he started swimming at the pool in one of the big hotel not too far from our house, but the quality of the pool water wasn’t great, and half a year ago, this hotel had stopped operating. Then my husband found another hotel that allowed him to swim at their pool, again he only went for a few months and then stopped going, as the pool water was in a terrible condition.

We were paying tourist’s price for almost everything due to it’s a touristy island. Langkawi depends solely on tourism and almost everything are imported from the main land of Malaysia, or from the neighbouring countries, or even from countries far away. Most of the imported produce are catering for meeting the demand of tourism, and yet, many things are either non-available, or shortage of supply, or commonly out of stock for many weeks/months, or having higher price tags due to shortage of supply on the island. Food like chickpeas, sesame seeds, certain brand of muesli, certain brand of jams, cheese (though there are very limited choices of cheese/jams/muesli here) and eggs are often out of stock for some time (from a few days to a few months). Once we couldn’t get sesame seeds for two months and muesli was out of stock for half a year, and there’s no Parmesan cheese for the last few months. While the big hotels and the many restaurants that cater for tourists might have the priority to be getting their supplies adequately.

The things that are very cheap in Langkawi are the duty-free goods such as chocolates, sweets, alcohols and cigarettes, which we don’t consume. The imported cars, dining and kitchen wares are duty-free as well, but how many cars, dining and kitchen wares that we actually need? Before GRAB exists in Langkawi, taxis are the only public transport available on the island and the fare is even more expensive than in Kuala Lumpur. As residence of Langkawi, we were paying the same taxi fare as the tourists.

Whenever we needed to see a dentist, we had to travel to Penang or Kuala Lumpur, as the only dentist that we knew in Langkawi was incompetent, where my husband’s teeth and gums were seriously damaged by the dentist after one visit. From then, we would go to Penang or Kuala Lumpur for dental works. We also took the opportunity to do some shopping for things that we couldn’t get in Langkawi during our trips to Penang or Kuala Lumpur.

Other ‘problems’ such as neighbouring cats constantly coming into the garden and the terrace leaving behind dead animals/birds, shit/pee, fur and fleas. Unfortunately, when we asked the cooperation from the retreat guests to not feed or stroke the cats to not encourage them to keep coming to the terrace, some of the cats lover weren’t happy about that. We loved to have cows and buffaloes hanging around the paddy field, but they would break the fence from time to time trying to eat the grass from within the garden. We love animals and certainly we don’t hate animals, but they gave us too much work to deal with, unintentionally.

The entire family members of the house opposite us was well-known for drug intoxication, house breaking-in and stealing. We didn’t know about it until after our house was broken in, as if we had knew before we rented this house, we would look for some other houses. Again, it’s our own responsibility for not investigating more detailed about the surrounding neighbourhood. And of course, in order to rent out their houses successfully, the landlord wouldn’t mention anything about all houses here were being broken into countless times in the past. But anyway, it doesn’t matter which area in Langkawi, most houses had been broken into at least once before.

Langkawi had the highest record of drug addicts in Malaysia. Someone who had been living in this village for many years in the past told us that almost the entire villagers of all ages are all drug addicts. And due to drugs problems, house break-in is so common in Langkawi. While I was filing police report AGAIN for another house broken-in, the police said to me, “We know them. They are our neighbours and relatives. If we have proof and we will catch them. We will bring them to court, and it depends on the judge whether giving them warning and releasing them immediately, or sending them to prison for a few days or few weeks. And after a few days/weeks lock-up in the prison they are all out again, and will continue doing what they love to do. This process will continue to go on.”

Even children in the primary school are already smoking cigarette and maybe some other ‘stuff’ and are involving with many ‘illegal’ activities. We heard story about some drug dealers would give free sample of ‘sweets’ to the children outside the school to get them hook on it, and then these children would buy ‘sweets’ from them and/or become one of their runners.

One of our friend’s house was broken into four times within a month, and one time, the thief ‘carelessly’ left behind his Identity Card. When they brought the Identity Card to the police and told them, “This is the person who broke-into our house and stole our stuff.” The police took the Identity Card from him and said, “Ah! This is my relative. I will give this I.C. back to him. Thank you for returning the I.C.” This is why it’s pointless to go to the police.

In the beginning, after we moved to Langkawi living in the wooden house close to Pantai Cenang, we were so naive that we didn’t think of locking the gate at all. One day when we came back from the outside, the gate was wide opened and there were cigarette butts left on the terrace. Then we knew that Langkawi people are so ‘friendly’ that they would come into your house without invitation if your door are not closed or locked. And so, to avoid ‘uninvited guests’ we started to lock the gate. Not so much to keep people away as they can climb in easily if they want, but to keep cows and buffaloes away as they would damage all the plants in our garden. In less than a year, the wooden house was broken-into when we were away, even with the gate locked. When our friends from Europe came for holiday and stayed at the Airbnb house in the same village, their wallets were stolen when he was in the shower. He even saw the guy running away and he tried to run after him but lost him in the end.

Later we rented another house about 2 minutes walk away from the wooden house, where we used the wooden house only for the yoga sessions and the other house for living and cooking meals for the retreats. We needed to spend a few thousands Ringgit on this house to redo the flooring and the wiring before we could actually live in that house. And the old landlord of this house would walk around our house in the middle of the night with a ‘Parang’ knife, not so much about being a security guard for us and keeping ‘uninvited guests’ away, but it’s to check on us every night whether we had ‘invited guests’ staying with us, and whether we did anything that he didn’t want us to do in his house, or not. As we were told that we were not allowed to have any other ‘guests’ staying with us, that we couldn’t have non-halal food and drink or activity in the house. One night, he actually knocked on our door holding the ‘Parang’ wanted to see if there was anything that shouldn’t be there. Other than that, he and his wife were nice people. We loved to talk to them from time to time. They told us about their life stories in Langkawi, and some history of Langkawi.

Five years later, we needed to find another house for living and running the yoga retreats, due to the existing ‘problems’ with the wooden house. The house on stilts was leaning to one side seriously until we couldn’t close the door anymore, plus the issue with the building permit renewal, as well as our landlord wanted to take back the house that he rented to us for their own stay because their house was going to be demolished to make way for the new highway. They were happy about that because they were getting huge compensation from the authority, which later they used it for building a guesthouse. When I went to renew the building permit for 2014, the authority said that they couldn’t renew that permit anymore because the temporary permit only valid for five years. After five years, we need to make new application for the permanent permit, which requires a lot more money (that we didn’t have) and all kinds of document from the landlord, which the landlord didn’t have. And so, I went to cancel our business license and was getting ready to go through the entire ‘painful’ process of applying for a new temporary building permit and new business license for the new place.

For a few months, we were looking around for a suitable house to live and run yoga retreats, until we found this house beside the paddy field. We had to spend most of our savings to renovate the house and create a garden to make it good enough for living and running yoga retreats. We didn’t make a lot of money from teaching yoga, but we managed to save some money because we lived a very simple non-materialistic and non-sociable life.

Not long after we moved into the new place, some kids climbed over the fence coming into the compound, and when they saw us, they said they just wanted to ‘see’ if they can ‘borrow’ something from us (after they had climbed in without asking permission.) And we told them not to do that again (for climbing over the wall to come into our compound and ‘borrow’ or ‘take’ things as they like.) And then one night, whether it’s related to those kids, or not, our house was being attacked where there were broken glasses in the terrace and garden, resulting from someone throwing light bulbs into the garden and the terrace area. We went to the police station to file a police report for that incident even though knowing that the police won’t do anything about it.

Even when we first arrived in Langkawi, we received a ‘threatening’ email from an expatriate who was a ‘yoga teacher’ and runs a business in Langkawi for more than twenty years, who thinks she is the head of the expatriate community in Langkawi, who wasn’t happy that we came to Langkawi to teach yoga and run retreats, and wanted to ‘lecture’ us about how we should or shouldn’t run our yoga classes and retreats in certain way. We didn’t want to react or response to that, and continued to do what we wanted to do. Later, we heard from some other expatriates about the annoyance that they were getting from her as well.

In less than one year living there, our house was broken-into. And then, followed by two other attempts of breaking-in, where they damaged the mosquito netting trying to come in through the windows, but after knowing that we were at home at that time, they fled. There were blood drops on the floor during the break-in and the police came and took some sample, but we were never being updated about whether they identified and caught anyone, or not. When we asked the police what can we do to protect ourselves if we would be attacked by the thieves, the police told us that we can try to fight back but never to the point of causing serious injury or death to them, as we will be prosecuted for injuring/killing others even for self-defense.

After that, our landlord asked us to keep all the outside lights and some of the inside lights on throughout the night all the time to avoid house break-in, especially when we were not at home, to pretend that someone is at home. Our electric bill was extremely higher than it should be due to the need to use air-conditioners all day and night because of the house was too hot all the time, as well as the need to have many of the lights on throughout the night for just trying to minimize the chances of getting house break-in.

Because our landlord reluctant to fix the broken grill due to the house break-in, they asked us to find someone to fix it. And so we asked someone recommended by a ‘friend’ to come to install a new grill. The guy came and took some deposit from us, and he didn’t come back to us for a long time, and we couldn’t get in touch with him, until we told our ‘friend’ that we will bring this issue to the police, then only our ‘friend’ gave us back the deposit from his own pocket, and he would deal with the guy himself. Then we ‘found’ another metal smith who said he would make the new grill for us, came to our house and took some measurements. And then many weeks later, when we called him as we didn’t hear back from him, he told us that the grill was ready and he would come to install on the next day, and we were waiting for him to come on that day, but he didn’t show up and didn’t call us, and didn’t want to answer our phone calls from then on. This was ridiculous, but it’s because they all have other more ‘important’ big projects to do. We were just some small business that didn’t interest them.

Within the last 5 years, we had tried to call various plumbers, electricians and air-conditioner mechanics to come to do some plumbing, electrical and air-conditioning works for us, none would come, saying that they were too busy with their respective projects with the many hotels and guesthouses. And those (recommended by the landlord) who would come to do a bigger renovation for the house in the beginning to make the house more suitable for living and running the retreats, they delivered a bad quality of workmanship, where the sliding windows, the paint work, the toilets, the doors, the plastering work, the wiring, the car porch and the terrace were of low quality and had lots of defects. And there’s nothing much we can do about it unless we spent more money on it to re-renovate it again, which we couldn’t afford.

In Langkawi, either you might have the money, but you can’t get anyone to do things for you, or, you paid the money and have the people to do things for you, but they are incompetent to deliver good enough quality of workmanship. The guesthouses and restaurants owners whom we knew, were all frustrated about the working quality and attitude of the local people that they could get in Langkawi.

The low quality wooden doors of the house were being affected badly by both the dryness/heat/sunlight and the humidity/rain, where the door repeatedly going through a process of shrinking or expanding causing it couldn’t be closed properly/at all or couldn’t be opened smoothly/at all, and as time goes by, the doors were rotting away. The house was built on refilled rubbles on top of the paddy field, where the flooring and the wall is seriously uneven and cracking through time, and the cracks on the wall and the flooring were widening/deepening in an incredible speed within the past five years. And the owner was being acknowledged about all the problems, but didn’t want to do anything about it. He said, “Oh, that’s normal-lah. Every two years the intense vibrations from the LIMA airshow will shake the house a bit.” There were moisture coming through the ground leaving stains at the lower parts of all the walls in the entire house as well. We had tried to repaint the wall to cover those stains, but very soon, the stains built up over the new paint. It’s pointless. This is due to the bad foundation of the house that they didn’t do right when they first built the house. And that’s common in most of the local houses in Langkawi.

And then, there were many ‘hassles’ that we had to go through yearly for just trying to live a life as well as to be running yoga retreats (legally) in Langkawi.

In order to have a business license and permit to run yoga retreats legally in Langkawi, I had to bear ongoing hassle of ‘threats’ coming from ‘the authority’ and ‘the law of rules and regulations’, where I had to go through the ‘painful’ renewal process repeatedly every year. Not just that I had to pay expensive fees for getting the initial application paper work done (more than 8 thousands Ringgit for the two different houses) and the yearly renewals for the building permit and business license, but I was being ‘threatened’ legally to bear all cost where the building or the house that I rented for living and being legalized/permitted to teach yoga and run yoga retreats need to be demolished, if I want to stop running yoga retreats and cancelling or discontinue renewing the building permit, or if for any reasons, the authority stops renewing the permit.

They said it’s their ‘fault’ and ‘mistake’ in the process of granting me with the building permit under my name, where it should be done under the landlord’s name (which no one told me about that), BUT, even though it’s a mistake from them, it’s still law binding that being the permit and license applier and holder, I am legally obliged to demolish the house/building, and be responsible for all the cost to demolish the house/building if I ever cancelling or discontinued to renew the permit, or if the authority decides to stop renewing the permit, and that it’s my responsibility that I had to negotiate any existing compensation to be paid to the landlord/house owner for demolishing his house or building under that rule and regulation, where the landlord/house owner wittingly rented the house/building to me, acknowledged and allowed me to run yoga retreats in the house or the building, and was aware of this ‘ridiculous’ rule and regulation.

The entire process of applying for the building permit and the business license took more than nine months. And from the very beginning, the authority, the owner and I, we all knew that I was only renting a house and simply just want to apply for a business license to be running yoga retreats legally in Langkawi. And the owner had to sign a paper granting me with the permission to teach yoga and apply for a business license to teach yoga legally in that house. In order to apply for the business license, I needed to apply for a temporary building permit for the house, which had cost me thousands of Ringgit each time. And if without the permission letter from the owner, the authority couldn’t process my application. And so, they knew that I am only renting an existing house, but they only have one application format, which is “Application of requesting permission to build a yoga studio on this land.” I told them, “This isn’t right, because I didn’t build the house, the house was already existing and I am only renting the existing house to live and teach yoga there. I am not asking permission to build a new building of yoga studio on that land.” They said, “We know. But it doesn’t matter. This is the only format that we have in order to grant you a temporary building permit that allows you to apply for the business license. We are here to help you.”

And so, every year, I had to renew the building permit in order to renew the business license. And then when I wanted to renew the temporary building permit for year 2018, the authority asked me to signed a legally binding acknowledgement about I will have to demolish the building and bear all the cost and compensation to any party, if I, or the authority, decide to cancel the building permit. I wasn’t comfortable with that, and told them that I didn’t want to get involved with such ‘trouble’ for just trying to do things legally. I was ready to let go everything and stop teaching yoga in Langkawi at that time. My father had just passed away a few days ago. I was quite emotional. Then they told me, “Hey, don’t worry. It’s just some standard paper work. It won’t affect you because we have the permission letter from the owner. The owner will be responsible for complying to the rules and regulations. Not you. When you stop business or stop living there, you just go. If anything, we deal with the owner. No problem.”

“But then, I am the one who had the name and signature on that legally binding document. It doesn’t matter what you say, I am the one who is legally bound by this.” Then they asked me to contact the owner to explain the situation to him. They also said that they would help me by changing the holder name of the permit to the owner’s name, as it was their mistake in the beginning where they should have use the owner’s name to apply for the temporary building permit, and not using my name. And when the owner came to the office, the owner asked the officer, “What happen if she had to demolish my house as requested by the authority?” The officer said, “Oh! That depends on your rental agreement with her. You can request and negotiate compensation from her.” What?!

Does this hurt your brain as well? And this is the system that everyone who wants to do things legally in Langkawi has to comply to.

That means, either I didn’t want to demolish the house as I was only renting the house, the house doesn’t belong to me, but then I would be prosecuted by the authority for not obeying the rules and regulations, or, I obeyed the rules and regulations from the authority, spent money (that I don’t have) to demolish the house (which is illegal for me to do that), and then be sued by the owner and had to pay compensation (that I don’t have) to him for demolishing his property that he rented to me.

Even though they had created a letter for me and the owner to sign stating that we requested to change the holder name for the temporary building permit, but when I wanted to renew the permit for year 2019, the name hadn’t been changed at all, it was still under my name, but they accepted the legal binding document was being signed by the owner, and not me. Even so, I was really uncomfortable with the whole affair. I just wanted to do things legally, but it’s so difficult and complicated and PAINFUL to do things legally in Langkawi, while there are so many illegal businesses and tourist yogis teaching yoga classes on Langkawi illegally didn’t need to go through all these ridiculous hassles that I had to go through for trying to do things legally.

On top of that, we had to pay higher rental than what the local people are paying as my husband is a European and I am a Malaysian Chinese. Normally the locals would pay only half of what we paid for the similar house.

The three houses that we rented for living/running yoga retreats were rundown and unmaintained by the owners, where we needed to spent quite a lot of money to renovate and maintain the condition of the houses in order for them to be functional and good enough for living as well as to run yoga retreats. When people came for attending the yoga retreats and said, “Oh, what a nice place you have for living and for hosting the yoga retreats.” that is because we had spent most of our savings into making the space suitable for running the yoga retreats and comfortable enough for the people who come to attend the yoga retreats.

Anyway, when I went to cancel the permit before we moved, unsurprisingly, they gave me a letter stating that I am being requested to demolish the building/house. The officer said to me, “Your permit is successfully cancelled. My boss said you need to demolish the building.” while pointing to the respective sentence. But then, he immediately said to me, “You can ignore this sentence. You don’t really need to demolish the house. You are just renting the house. We won’t do anything. Next time if the landlord want to have a permit, he can do so with the existing file.” I told him, “Really? This is a legal binding document that is directing to my name, how can you tell me to ignore this sentence? Why don’t you give me a letter that is without that sentence?” He said, “This is a standard order from the boss. We can’t change that.” There’s nothing more I could say. I can’t change the system. I left and let it be.

The village also has another issue. There is serious rubbish problem. The locals are not keen on keeping the surrounding environment clean and rubbish free. They throw rubbish everywhere as they like. In the beginning we went out to the street around the village to pick up all the rubbish. And then, we realized that not just it didn’t bring awareness to the people, but we were actually encouraging them to throw more rubbish everywhere, as they feel it’s okay for them to throw the rubbish everywhere because there were two ‘stupid’ people living here now will clean up the rubbish for them. And so, we stopped doing that.

We would try our best to keep the front of our house as clean as possible by picking up any rubbish being thrown by random people passing by. But somehow, our next door neighbours weren’t really helpful as they would just throw anything over their fence into the paddy field. The paddy field is no longer being cultivated but had turned into a rubbish dumpsite full of food waste, plastic wraps, bags, containers and bottles as well as unwanted old broken furniture, and etc. We had talked to the neighbours a few times requesting them that maybe they could stop throwing rubbish over the fence like that. But, they still do what they want to do. The paddy field in front of our house used to be so picturesque but it wasn’t anymore. And then from time to time, the other neighbours would burnt some rubbish with all kinds of plastic material that generate toxic fumes.

Another reason is that on the 1st of July 2019, I could have been injured or losing my life on the highway towards Kuala Lumpur for attending my brother’s funeral because of the ‘dishonesty’ and ‘incompetency’ of the car workshop that I had been bringing my car for regular service and repair in the past 10 years. Some how, they installed expired and non-compatible tyres to my car where they were in so bad condition that they could have exploded and caused serious damages to myself and/or others during my long driving journey from Langkawi to Kuala Lumpur that day, which I only realized how lucky I was when my second brother saw the serious damages of the tyres and immediately brought the car to a nearby tyre shop near the funeral place to change the tyres immediately. Everyone said that it was incredible that the tyres didn’t explode when it could easily have, while I was driving at a fast speed on the highway that day. Again, it’s my own responsibility for entrusting the car to that workshop and have limited knowledge about car and tyres.

I told my husband, “Okay. That’s enough. We leave Langkawi. I want to appreciate the remaining life time in peace not being threatened by dishonest people and the ridiculous system of this island.” I am not fear of death, I am ready to leave anytime, but if possible, I do not want to suffer unnecessary suffering due to other people’s dishonesty.

Despite all the mentioned difficulties, we did have a very good long term grass-cutting man who would come to cut the grass for us once every two months in the past 10 years. We are thankful for that. And the good thing about living in Langkawi is there’s no traffic jam (yet) and there are nice waterfalls, even though the locals have the habit of leaving rubbish everywhere and maintenance is not great. And we are thankful to Langkawi and the houses that we lived in, allowing many retreats had been happening and people from all over the world came to be learning and practicing yoga with us there, allowing us to share yoga with so many people. Thank you for all the supports.

We chose to move to Penang Island for start, and then we will see what happen. If we have to move somewhere else, it really doesn’t matter. The system in Penang Island could be worst or maybe better than Langkawi, we don’t know yet. And many parts of the world are going through certain difficulties. I don’t need to have a yoga studio or retreat centre. I don’t need to teach yoga restricted to a particular place.  I don’t need to teach yoga at all. I just want to have a place to live and do my own practice, if possible. If it’s not possible, I live and practice as I am. As a writer and editor, my husband can live anywhere. And in terms of the writing and reading scene, social, music, arts and cultural development, Penang has a lot more to offer than in Langkawi.

Finding a place to rent in Penang also wasn’t easy for us. We had to spend quite some money coming here twice to be looking for a place. We met some ‘good’ people helping us in certain things, we also met some ‘helpful’ people who only interested to take advantage of us. Anyway, we found a good enough place and paid the deposit to reserve it, even though the owner has some issues and doesn’t want to give us long term contract. As the moving out from Langkawi is the most complicated difficult part. We need to have a place secured even if it’s temporary. Once we arrived in Penang, then even though if we have to find another place later within Penang, or if we need to move to another place in Malaysia, or even outside Malaysia, it will be a lot easier in Penang than in Langkawi.

In this new place, my husband can swim everyday at the 50 metres well-maintained swimming pool, we seldom use the air-conditioner as the place is well ventilated, the windows can be opened and closed, we don’t have to keep lights on when we are not at home or when we go to sleep, there are security guards, there’s convenience of getting grocery and fresh produce, there’s no lizard shit, no cats leaving behind dead animals/shit/pee/fleas, no snakes or centipedes coming into the house, there’s a balcony to sit out comfortably without being eaten by ants and mosquitoes, there’s nice hill view and sea view from the windows and balcony, we can cook if we want with many choices of fresh produce available, or there’s plenty of restaurants or food courts nearby that have plenty choices and good quality of food at reasonable price (not tourists price), the people working in the shops and restaurants are friendly and courteous, my husband can read and write under proper lighting, there’s fast speed internet, there are many reading, writing, arts and cultural events in Penang for my husband’s interest, there’s hiking trails nearby, there’s good rubbish management, I found a car workshop where the people are really helpful, and many more, so far.

All is impermanent.

Be happy.

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.”

Want to learn yoga?

A young man who is interested to start learning and practicing yoga has the intention to find a ‘yoga teacher’ to learn about yoga and/or the yoga practice has an opportunity to meet a person who could deliver the teachings and practice of yoga to those who are interested in learning and practicing yoga.

Instead of thinking, “Dear teacher, how can I serve you and what should I do, as I hope you would receive me as your student (to be a student of yoga) and teach me about the teachings and practice of yoga?” this young man asked, “I have been looking for a yoga teacher because I am interested in yoga and want to learn and practice yoga, but first, I need to know what is your level in yoga and what qualifications you have?”

Most probably, many ‘yoga teachers’ would respond with, “I am an advanced and experienced yoga practitioner cum yoga teacher with certain years experience in yoga practice and teaching yoga, and I am a qualified (x) level yoga teacher with many ‘Internationally recognized yoga teacher certifications’ affiliated with such and such ‘yoga alliance’ and ‘yoga association’.” And this is something in common among many ‘yoga enthusiasts’ in the world of yoga.

Does one needs to acquire and possess ‘qualification and certification of peace, kindness, compassion and forgiveness’ to be peaceful, kind and compassionate, to be able to forgive and let go, or to be recognized as a ‘peaceful, kind, compassionate and forgiving being’?

Did any of the ancient buddhas, yogis and gurus had been ‘certified’ by (?) and be ‘qualified’ with one or a few ‘certification’ of Buddhism or Yoga that indicate such and such level in practicing, enlightening and teaching, for being what they are?

Contemplate, reflect, realize.

Contemplate, and see how ignorant is this thinking mind

Many people, including yoga practitioners and yoga teachers would think and believe that ‘yoga’ or ‘teaching yoga’ and ‘learning yoga’ shouldn’t involve any ‘fixed amount of fees’ or shouldn’t be ‘contaminated’ by ‘money’ in the form of fees at all, where ‘donation basis’, or ‘donate as much as you can give’, or ‘donate as much as you like’ and any other form of ‘offering’ is totally acceptable and non-contaminating the ‘purity’ of yoga, where ‘yoga teachers’ who charge and receive ‘certain fixed amount of fees’ are being seen as ‘greedy’, ‘materialistic’ and ‘money minded’ impure yoga teachers, and vice versa.

There is a yoga teacher who is looking forward to find a ‘pure and genuine human being teacher/guru’ who doesn’t bother about ‘fees’ or ‘money’ to teach her yoga, is being ‘disappointed’ and ‘complaining’ about it’s so difficult (impossible) to find a (human being) ‘real yoga teacher/guru’ that doesn’t bother about ‘fees’ or ‘money’ who would teach her yoga.

It’s the deep rooted ignorance that generates such ignorant thinking and expectation that is what hindering this person from realizing the one and only ‘real and pure guru’, which is (knowing) the mind itself.

Does her business that gives her the financial income/support for living doesn’t involve ‘money’? Do the yoga classes that she conducts doesn’t involve any expenses and maintenance in the form of ‘money’? Does the life or the everyday living of her and her family doesn’t involve any form of ‘money’? Does her parents gave birth to her and brought her up and provided her with food, shelter, medical needs and education without the need of ‘money’? Does she doesn’t have any expenses in the form of ‘money’ to bring up her children by providing food/shelter/education/medical needs to them? Is her house that she is living in and her car that she is driving and her phone and internet access that she is using doesn’t need any money? Does the food that she feeds herself and her family and those who are hungry on the street doesn’t involve money? When she went to the temple and presented some ‘offering’ to the many different (statues of) ‘Buddhas’ and ‘Gods’ asking for ‘blessings’ to herself, her family and the whole world, and gave ‘donation’ to the temple for the maintenance and build more buildings to house more (statues of) ‘Buddhas’ and ‘Gods’ doesn’t involve money? Is the water, gas, electricity and everything that is conveniently available in her house doesn’t involve any form of ‘money’?

But why do most people think and believe that ‘human beings’ who teach yoga or yoga classes must be deprived from ‘being independently generating income for living from teaching yoga’ by taking ‘money’ in a fixed amount of fees? That ‘learning yoga’ from somebody and ‘teaching yoga’ to somebody must not involve ‘fixed amount of fees in the form of money’, it should be either ‘free’ or ‘on donation/offering basis’, or at a very low fees that the mind thinks that is how much it deserves? That ‘real and pure yoga teachers’ should either have some other form of permanent full time job/business/investment that provides them the income/support for living or they should be living on the charity/donation of others (begging for food, shelter, clothing, daily needs, and etc)?

People think that allowing others to practice ‘charity’ by making then giving in the form of ‘donation’ or ‘offering’ is promoting generosity, sharing, compassion and selflessness in the world. But, generosity and sharing is not limited in the form of ‘charity’, while compassion and selflessness is not determined by performing ‘charity’ in the form of giving ‘donation’ or ‘offering’. Many people who perform ‘charity’ under certain names and forms, who give donation and offering, are not necessarily compassionate and selfless, or are being free from ignorance and egoism.

The organizations or the yoga teachers/gurus that are ‘living’/’surviving’ on the charity or donation from the public are not necessarily be free from all sorts of corruption, ignorance, egoism and impurities. Those who teach yoga to other people, who don’t depend on charity or begging for donation from the public for living/surviving are not necessarily non-genuine, corrupted and impure. This is such a simple ‘understanding’, but even many yoga practitioners and yoga teachers don’t get it.

Why is that many good and righteous people would protest strongly against different kinds of ‘exploitation’ that exist in the world, but then, ‘teaching yoga’ and ‘yoga teachers’ should be ‘exploited’ to the maximum, as the way to define and uphold ‘the highest purity’? It’s totally acceptable for most people to pay certain amount of ‘money’ for supporting/promoting/getting ‘vegetarianism’, ‘veganism’, ‘pure and clean food’, ‘superfood’, ‘organic food’, ‘special spiritual healing’, ‘yoga props/clothing/accessories’, ‘religious/spiritual activities’, ‘psychotherapy’, ‘medical care’, ‘all kinds of education, learning, training and services’, ‘pleasurable entertainment and enjoyment’, ‘social activities’, ‘holidays’, ‘travels’, ‘daily needs’ and etc, but, it’s so unacceptable, terrible, bad and wrong for people to pay ‘certain fixed amount of fees’ for ‘learning yoga’.

People would spend money buying ‘different types of offering’ to be offering to ‘Gods’ and ‘Buddhas’ hoping to receive something that they want from ‘Gods’ and ‘Buddhas’, where ‘Gods’ and ‘Buddhas’ (if they are really gods and buddhas) don’t need any of these offering, but then, people would think and believe that giving certain amount of fees to learn yoga from a teacher to be supporting the living of the yoga teacher is something inappropriate and wrong. Such deep ignorance.

There’s nothing insincere or wrong with those who don’t need to depend on receiving fees or donations from anyone for living, but instead, they might have more than enough for their own living, and they can teach yoga and run yoga classes/courses to anyone without taking any fees or donations at all. But that also doesn’t determine that these minds are being free from corruption, ignorance, egoism and impurities.

The ‘teacher’ or ‘guru’ who is a living human being that doesn’t need to bother about fees/donation or money, who either doesn’t receive any fees/donation at all, or who would just take any amount of fees/donation ‘as much as you can give’ or ‘as much as you would like to give’ when teaching yoga to other people, are either they are financially secured where they don’t need to depend on receiving money in the form of fees or donation from teaching yoga for living, or they are living on the charity of others (supported by spouse, family, friends or the public). Unless they are non-human beings or non-living beings that don’t need to be ‘living’ or ‘surviving’ to maintain the life of the existence and function of the impermanent selfless physical body, or they are human beings who live/survive self-sufficiently on a piece of free land in the wild, surviving purely on mother nature that is free from ‘money transaction’, that isn’t ‘touched’ or being ‘possessed and governed’ by some kind of ‘authority’ at all.

When ‘good and generous’ people offer ‘flowers’, ‘food’ and ‘clothing’ to a person who teaches them yoga to show their gratitude and appreciation, can this person uses the ‘flowers’, ‘food’ and ‘clothing’ to pay rent, or tax, or medical needs, or even using a toilet to shit and pee, unless the ‘flowers’, ‘food’ and ‘clothing’ could be resold to become ‘money’, or this person actually lives/survives in the wild, surviving on mother nature that is free from ‘money transaction’, to build a shelter and planting and collecting food and water in the wild that isn’t being ‘possessed and governed’ by some kind of ‘authority’ in ‘a society’ of ‘a village/town/city/county/state’ under ‘the law of a country’.

By thinking and believing that being ‘generous’ and ‘pure’ is to be giving ‘free teaching’ or ‘low fees yoga classes’ or ‘yoga classes based on donation as you wish’ or ‘discounted fees’ to many of those who only want to pay ‘a little amount of fees’ or ‘donate as you wish’ to learn yoga from someone or to do some yoga exercises in a ‘yoga class’, even when they can afford to pay certain amount of fees but is higher than what they would like to give, as the minds think and believe that money-less or low fees is what purity and sincerity is about, or that is how much the teachings, or the classes, or the service, or the person deserved to be paid or should be receiving, is indeed promoting the ignorance in oneself and in the others.

Yoga, selflessness, compassion, oneness, liberation from suffering, the teachings of yoga, the practice of yoga, teaching yoga, learning yoga and the realization of yoga are invaluable. It cannot be sold or bought by any amount of money/fees/donation/offering. Teaching yoga and learning yoga among beings doesn’t really need ‘money’ to be happening. But being existing, moving and living in this world, especially in the modern society, require ‘money’ for most things. ‘Money’ is neither pure nor impure, it’s just part of the game of living in the world, while the action of ‘giving’/’receiving’/’sharing’/’generosity’/’loving kindness’/’charity’/’donation’/’offering’ either in the form of money or non-money, don’t necessarily determining something pure and selfless under the influence of ignorance and egoism.

Yoga schools that provide ‘yoga classes’ or ‘yoga courses’ might not survive or exist if without sufficient funding in the form of money (regardless of whether it’s fixed amount of fees or donation basis). Human beings who know the teachings and practice of yoga might not have the free time, space and energy to be ‘present’ at a particular time, space and causation to teach yoga to some others, if they need to be working/doing business full time for supporting their own living and those who are living under their support, and they also need the time, space and energy to be performing their own practice. Many people complain about how their parents are being too busy with their work or business that they don’t get enough affection and attention from their parents, because their parents need to spend most of their time, space and energy into making income to support the living of everyone in the family.

For a person to put time, space and energy into running a yoga studio/school that provides yoga classes, yoga courses or yoga retreats for people be there to learn and practice yoga require a lot of expenses in the form of money.

All the articles/writings/blogs/teachings about yoga here are free for anyone to take, provided if they have access to a computer and internet usage that require money, and the person who blogs this also needs money to have access to the computer and internet access for this blog to be existing.

So, think again if the mind is still looking forward to be finding/meeting a ‘pure and genuine’ human being yoga teacher to be teaching yoga to oneself, under the expectation that this teacher shouldn’t be taking money or certain fixed amount of fees that one’s mind thinks it’s too much and don’t deserving, or expecting this teacher only takes small amount of fees or donation as you wish, or else, this must be an impure and non-genuine teacher if this person takes a fixed amount of fees that one’s mind thinks it’s too much or don’t deserving.

Regardless of whether the person whom oneself learns yoga from is pure or impure, it really doesn’t matter. It’s about how this mind behaves. If this mind is looking for a teacher with the expectation and judgment towards the teacher should or shouldn’t be in certain way, judging the teacher based on one’s expectation towards how a teacher should be like, expecting the teacher to meet up with one’s expectation as well as be able to receive whatever one expects to be receiving from a teacher, but at the same time, one is measuring what and how much one would like to ‘give’/’donate’/’offer’ to the teacher to show ‘gratitude’ and ‘appreciation’ to the teacher for teaching oneself, then even though the teacher doesn’t ask any fees/donation/offering in return, and one would give/donate/offer something to the teacher, this person won’t be able to learn anything even if this is a great teacher who delivers the teachings of yoga. If this mind is opened, free from expectation, then this mind doesn’t even need to look for a teacher, as the opened mind itself is the greatest teacher that allows itself to see the truth from all and everything that the mind comes in contact with. One will respect and show gratitude towards all and everything, without discrimination of pure or impure, deserving or undeserving.

Contemplate, and see how ignorant is this thinking mind. When one sees/realizes the ignorance in one’s mind, one found/meets the greatest teacher.

One might not learn or realize anything, even if there’s a great teacher (living or non-living being) being there teaching yoga to oneself all the time without involving ‘money’ in the form of ‘fees’ or ‘donation’, as one doesn’t see/realize the ignorance in one’s mind.

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.

Positive thinking is not freedom

Just as drugs or medicines are useless to those who are free from physical or mental illness, positive thinking is irrelevant to the mind that is free from ignorance and egoism.

Positive thinking is one of the yoga practice to counter negative thinking, but it’s not the goal of the yoga practice, as if the mind needs to be thinking in the positive way, to be positive and stay positive, it means that the mind is still not free from being determined by the mind perception of duality under the influence of ignorance.

The mind that is free, perceives all the names and forms as they are, or sees things as they are. Everything is just what it is, neither good nor bad, neither positive nor negative. This mind doesn’t need to think positively. It doesn’t need to practice positive thinking to counter negative thinking as there is no negative thinking. All forms of yoga practice exist as different tools for the ignorant egoistic mind to be free from ignorance and egoism. Any form of yoga practice is useless to the mind that is free from ignorance.

The mind is not free, is due to it is still perceiving all the names and forms under the influence of ignorance and egoism perceiving duality of good and bad, positive and negative, and the mind is being determined by duality, where there’s craving/clinging towards the mind perception of the quality of good and positive, and aversion towards the mind perception of the quality of bad and negative, then this mind can practice positive thinking to counter so called negative thinking, or more precisely, ignorant egoistic thinking in the mind.

It’s like drugs or medicines to counter certain physical or mental illness, positive thinking is just a tool to counter negative/ignorant thinking. It’s not freedom if one needs to depend on drugs or medicines all the time, similarly it’s not freedom if the mind needs to rely on positive thinking as the mind is still not free from the influence of ignorance and egoism.

Be free.

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.

Truthfulness?

The path of yoga and Buddhism is about realizing the Truth and respecting the Truth as it is, regardless of whether the Truth is being perceived as something pleasant or unpleasant, agreeable or disagreeable, desirable or undesirable to the worldly impure egoistic minds.

Many minds/people like to talk about ‘truthfulness’ and see it as an important value of life, but then ironically, most minds/people don’t welcome and can’t handle certain ‘truthfulness’ or ‘the truth’ being something that they don’t like and don’t want. Many people prefer themselves and everyone else to be playing a game of ‘untruthfulness/lies/hypocrisy/pretension/acting’ in all forms of relationship that would portray “Everything being the way that they like and want, that would appear to be all good and positive and nothing bad and negative”, or they would try to ignore, or deny, or hideaway whatever that they don’t like and don’t want, such as “Don’t tell me about it. I don’t want to know anything about it.” so that they can have ‘the peace and harmony’ in their lives, in their relationships with their family, relatives and friends. There’s plentiful of untruthfulness/lies/secrets/manipulation in all kinds of human’s relationship except in the rare ones that are free from the influence of the ego and egoism. Back-biting exists in many relationships as well, where people pretend to be nice to one another in front of everyone, saying only nice and positive things in front of people in order to maintain ‘peace and harmony’ in the family, work place, friends circle, personal relationship and the society, but then, many minds/people couldn’t avoid back-biting behind people’s back to express and/or release their frustration, dissatisfaction and disappointment towards what they don’t like and disagree with.

The mind can never avoid some kinds of interaction that involve certain ‘untruthfulness/lies/hypocrisy/manipulation’ dealing with all kinds of human’s relationship.

There’s nothing wrong with trying to present many different images of certain ‘quality’ on different occasions that conform to the many different thinking and beliefs of the many different minds/people that one comes in contact with and interacts with, in order to please everyone, to not offending anyone, to not making anyone feel unhappy, dissatisfy, disappointed or upset, to maintain ‘peace and harmony’, or to be surviving in a competitive world of names and forms, or to gain love, liking, help, support and comfort from others, but that would be supporting and empowering ignorance and egoism in oneself and others, while yoga practice is mainly to free the mind from ignorance and egoism.

The minds that would be disturbed, offended and upset easily by what the minds don’t like and disagree with, or what the minds perceive as unpleasant, disagreeable, bad, wrong, negative or inappropriate, is due to ignorance and egoism. None need to be untruthful, hypocrite, lie, pretend or act while being or interacting with other minds that are free from ignorance and egoism, as these minds won’t be disturbed nor offended nor upset by all kinds of name and form that are being perceived by the worldly impure egoistic minds as unpleasant, disagreeable, bad, wrong, negative or inappropriate.

In Buddha or Satguru, or any beings that are free from ignorance and egoism, the mind is undetermined and undisturbed by all the selfless impermanent names and forms, being free from the desire of craving and aversion and expectation towards all and everything to be in certain way. All kinds of suffering/unhappiness/painful sorrow/hurts/depression/loneliness/meaninglessness don’t exist in them, as there’s neither craving for something pleasant and agreeable nor aversion towards something unpleasant and disagreeable. And hence, there’s needless of the existence of any other being or family and friends being there to be loving/liking/supporting/helping/comforting them, although they would allow anyone to be kind and friendly supporting or helping them and/or other beings in many ways, while without encouraging or empowering the ignorance and egoism in the beings, but allowing the beings to also realize selflessness and compassion, being free from all kinds of suffering/unhappiness/painful sorrow/hurts/depression/loneliness/meaninglessness, being undetermined and undisturbed by all the pleasant/unpleasant, agreeable/disagreeable, desirable/undesirable names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, where the need of gaining love, liking, support, help or comfort from some others is absent, and without egoistic intention to be making and accumulating ‘family ties and friendships’, they can be ‘kind’ and ‘friendly’ towards all and everyone unconditionally without discrimination of ‘friends or not friends’, ‘family or not family’ and ‘good or bad beings’, without the need or craving of gaining love, liking, help, support and comfort from others.

Real peace and harmony is unconditional, derived from the absence of ignorance and egoism, being undisturbed by the mind perception of names and forms through the senses that is subject to impermanence and selflessness. It’s being free from all kinds of suffering, restlessness and impurities upon the annihilation of ignorance and egoism. ‘Peace and harmony’ that is subject to the existence and non-existence of certain quality of names and forms, being determined by certain condition and situation that the mind desires, likes and agrees with, that is achieved and needs to be maintained through certain actions, is not real.

Those who are free from being conditioned by worldly thinking and belief would understand this and are free from the sense of loneliness and meaninglessness. Those who are being conditioned strongly by worldly thinking and belief wouldn’t or couldn’t understand this and would be perceiving the sense of loneliness and meaninglessness from time to time or most of the time. And hence, the importance of renunciation to free the mind from being conditioned by worldly thinking and belief for sincere yoga practitioners.

One can choose to perform certain actions in the world and be engaging in certain forms of relationship and interactive activity with some others selflessly without any attachment, but not because of one thinks and believes that one has to perform such actions in the world and must be engaging in certain forms of relationship and interactive activity, as one would think and feel bad, wrong, negative, meaningless, unhappy or suffering if one doesn’t or couldn’t perform such actions in the world, or doesn’t engage in certain forms of relationship and interactive activity with some others. That is freedom in yoga or Buddhism.

The essence of silence

Passionate worldly egoistic minds that attached strongly onto the impermanent and selfless function of the body and the modification of the mind and identified strongly with all the impermanent qualities of names and forms of conditions, experiences, actions and the fruit of actions, and all kinds of connections/relationships as ‘I’ or ‘This is who I am’, who attached strongly onto worldly social and cultural thinking and belief to live life, act and react or behave, will not be able to understand or appreciate silence, where they can’t live without talking, chatting, socializing, communicating, engaging and interacting with some other human beings or some other forms of living being, where the observation of solitude, seclusion and silence is being perceived/recognized as a form of ‘meaningless and negative way of life’ or a form of ‘abnormal, inappropriate, wrong, mad, selfish and unhealthy way of behavior’.

Due to deep rooted ignorance and egoism, many minds including yoga practitioners and yoga teachers, would think and feel that it’s terribly bad and wrong for them or anyone to be observing solitude, seclusion and silence, without coming in contact, talking, chatting, socializing, communicating, engaging or interacting with any other people/beings.

The worldly passionate egoistic minds would feel ‘offended’ or ‘disturbed’ by those who are observing silence, where the minds are rendered silent, who don’t engage in social conversation/interaction/activity with them, who don’t response to their ‘sociable friendliness’ in the way that they expect how all human beings should be responding or behaving. And that’s their freedom of thinking and expression. Autonomously and naturally, most people spend most of their life time and energy into ‘making connection of family ties, friendships and relationships’ and ‘maintaining the connection of family ties, friendships and relationships’.

Yoga practitioners, especially those who identify themselves as ‘yoga teachers’, who really want to practice and realize yoga of selflessness/oneness/non-separateness, can contemplate or perform self-inquiry upon the essence of silence with this question.

“What do you do or say, or how do you behave or react, if an enlightened Buddha or ‘what/who you think is your Satguru’ is here in this space with you?”

Do you astounded by their presence by shouting and crying and praying to Buddha or Satguru desiring to be blessed, or be touched/hugged, or be helped, or be sympathized, or be healed, or be loved, or be understood/accepted/acknowledged?

Do you want to be engaging in a social conversation talking about yourself and what’s happening in your life and in the world, and also expect Buddha or Satguru to chit-chat with you, to say something to you or talking about themselves and all the good and bad, right and wrong that are existing in the world?

Do you want Buddha or Satguru to be acknowledged about how many and which type of ‘Internationally recognized yoga teacher certification’ that you have, or how much and what kind of selfless service, charity and contribution that you have done, and looking forward to be praised and recognized by them, and then can’t wait to tell all your family and friends that you have been praised and recognized by Buddha or Satguru?

Do you hope or expect Buddha or Satguru will be removing all your ignorance and impurities, and liberating you and everyone that you love from painful sorrow or suffering, and grant you with long life, comfortable living, good health, success, wealth/prosperity, all the helps that you ever need, or all desires come true?

Do you try to socialize and befriend with Buddha or Satguru and planning future ongoing get-together, outings, interactions and activities with them?

Do you have many complaints/unhappiness/frustration/suffering that you need to complain to Buddha or Satguru, or bitch to them about those whom you dislike and disagree with, whom you think they have been hurting you, whom you think they have done something terribly wrong to you and/or others, whom you think they are unloving, uncaring, unnice and unkind to you and/or others, whom you think they are bad people or terrible beings?

Do you think you need to say many nice things to praise and glorify about them, and do something special to please them to make them happy and satisfied, or you shouldn’t say or do anything that would be offensive, hurtful or disrespectful to them?

Do you think they are there judging you ceaselessly that you need to be good enough to gain their love, acceptance and acknowledgement, as you think and believe that you need to be loved, accepted and acknowledged by them or by certain people/beings?

Do you think Buddha or Satguru will be condemning/punishing you if you are not free from ignorance, or if you think you are not a ‘perfectly good’ human being according to certain worldly social/cultural/spiritual/religious/ecological/environmental values and practice, or you can’t do handstand and headstand or Trikonasana and Paschimottanasana in perfect alignment, or you don’t know what are the name of the yoga poses and their benefits, or you don’t know much about the organs, nerves, muscles and bones in the body?

Do you feel disappointed if Buddha or Satguru doesn’t turn out to be the way that you expect them to be, or the way that you think and believe how they should be?

Do you think Buddha or Satguru would be offended, or be disturbed, or be upset, or be confused, if you don’t make any verbal speech/sound or make any body gesture to show respect to them, if your eyes are closed, if you are not looking at them or anything, if you don’t say/express anything, if you have nothing to say/express, if you don’t say “Hello! Nice to see you! How are you? Are you okay?”, if you don’t go towards them and give them a hug or a kiss on their face, if you have nothing to admire or condemn, if you have nothing to complain about, if you have no desire of anything, as your mind is silent, void of ignorance, egoism, impurities, identification, duality, separateness, dissatisfaction, depression, desire, disturb, painful sorrow, fear, worry, hurts, or suffering?

The minds that are free from ignorance and egoism are void of all these worldly egoistic thinking, practice, values, action and reaction. The ones who are being conditioned by all these worldly egoistic thinking, practice, values, action and reaction is the ego, derived from ignorance and powered by egoism. To eliminate the ego and egoism, to realize selflessness/non-separateness, the mind must be free from being conditioned by all those worldly egoistic thinking, practice, values, action and reaction, which is possible through the observation of solitude, seclusion and silence.

Be free.

Being conditioned by egoistic thinking pattern unwittingly

The minds can still be functioning under the influence of conditional egoistic thinking pattern to behave, judge, expect, aspire, act and react, unwittingly, even if the minds have ‘good’ intention to be supporting and upholding ‘good’ values/practice/behavior, and believe in performing ‘good’ actions and standing up for protecting ‘goodness and righteousness’ in the world.

Yoga practice is to free the mind from conditional egoistic thinking pattern that most minds are unaware of, while thinking and believing that those thinking and beliefs are the important values of humanity.

Yoga practitioners can perform self-introspection to find out whether one’s mind is being conditioned by egoistic thinking pattern unwittingly, by asking oneself these questions, as most minds are unaware of itself is being conditioned to think and believe in such way, to behave, judge, expect, aspire, act and react.

– Is there a strong sense of belonging towards a particular name and form of family/relationship/friendship/social group/community/country/nationality/ethnicity/culture/religion/school/spirituality/profession/politic/any form of practice and etc, and one would do one’s best to uphold and protect that particular name and form that the mind thinks and believes, ‘This is where I belong, that I am being proud of being part of it, and I have the duty and responsibility to do my best to be protecting it from being hurt, damaged or destroyed by what I think and believe as negativity, badness and wrongfulness’, or I don’t know where I belong and it’s important for me to be in searching for something/somewhere that I belonged to, that can give me the sense of belonging?

– Does the mind thinks and believes that patriotism and loyalty towards something/somewhere that one belonged to, is a great value or quality that everyone should be cherished and be proud of, where ‘Betrayal of any kind is something terribly wrong and unforgivable, and those who commit any form of betrayal must be condemned and punished accordingly’?

– Does the mind thinks and believes that there are certain things/objects/lives that it likes and agrees with, that it understands as something important and appreciates very much shouldn’t be subject to ‘impermanent changes’ and don’t deserve ‘extinction’?

Not that patriotism and loyalty or upholding something that one’s mind thinks and believes is ‘good and righteous’ is something bad or wrong, but it promotes ‘separateness’ and ‘discrimination’ where it doesn’t allow the mind to go beyond the conditional thinking pattern that hinders the mind from realizing selflessness, oneness, non-separateness, namelessness, formlessness and attributelessness, which is the ultimate goal of yoga. Similarly, there’s nothing wrong with showing great appreciation towards something that the mind perceives as important, lovable and agreeable, but the intense attachment towards something that the mind thinks and believes is important, lovable and agreeable, and not allowing everything being what they are, where everything will change and disappear, is what hinders the mind from realizing ‘yoga’, or be free from ignorance and suffering.

Patriotism/Loyalty and the sense of belonging or the need to find where one belonged to don’t exist in selflessness. Due to ignorance and egoism, many yoga practitioners are still being conditioned by such egoistic thinking pattern, where they think and believe that they belong to certain ‘yoga lineage’, or ‘yoga family’, or ‘yoga community’. Similarly, the minds that are free from ignorance and egoism can be appreciating all the lovable and agreeable names and forms, but without attachment and are able to respect the law of nature (impermanence and selflessness) as it is, and be able to let them go, in peace.

Patriotism/loyalty and self-righteousness is not yoga practice. Yoga practitioners must work cautiously and diligently to free the mind from such egoistic thinking/belief/values/practice in order to free the mind from ignorance and egoism, to realize selflessness/oneness/non-separateness/namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness, that leads the mind towards right discrimination towards the truth of everything and non-discrimination towards all the different qualities of names and forms that co-existing in this space, which all are subject to impermanence and selflessness.

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.

Looking for yoga school or yoga teacher training course?

Imperfection exists in all and everything including different yoga schools or yoga teacher training courses and the people involving in running the yoga schools and yoga courses.

With an open mind, without expectation, be ready to inquire the truth of everything, including all the teachings and practice presented by the yoga school or in the yoga teacher training course, and without regret towards one’s decision of choosing the particular yoga school or yoga teacher training course.

Dealing with all the pros and cons or imperfections existing in the yoga school or the yoga teacher training course with an open mind, and be able to make decision without regret, is indeed the practice.

Follow one’s conscience towards finding which lineage of yoga that one would like to explore and experience. It’s okay if one finds that after experiencing a particular lineage of yoga, one realizes it doesn’t suit oneself. If so, be open to experience some other kind of lineage of yoga, until one finds the most suitable one. In the end, it’s not about which lineage of yoga or yoga school that is the best among all, but it’s whether the mind is being unattached towards and unidentified with the particular lineage of yoga, the yoga school, the teachers, the yoga teacher training course, and all the desirable/undesirable or agreeable/disagreeable experiences.

Above all, it’s not about getting the best ‘Internationally recognized yoga teacher certification affiliated with such and such yoga alliance/organization’ from the best yoga school and yoga teacher, but it’s about being open-minded upon coming in contact with the different kinds of teachings and practice from the different lineage of yoga, to be purifying and quieting the mind, inquire towards the truth of all the teachings, and the truth of ‘I’ or ‘who am I/what is the ego’, realizing selflessness/egolessness, be free from ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering.

Attending many yoga teacher training courses in certain yoga schools and attaining many yoga teacher certifications and teaching many hours of yoga classes doesn’t determine whether the mind is free from ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering, or not.

In the end, one will realize the greatest teacher and the greatest ‘yoga course’ is the mind itself upon being rendered pure and quiet through the different kinds of persevered practice, being unattached towards and undisturbed by all the mind perception of names and forms or the activities/modification of the mind, of all the agreeable/disagreeable, pleasant/unpleasant, desirable/undesirable experiences, and be able to see the truth of things as it is, be free from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance.

Those who are free from ignorance and egoism don’t need to attend yoga teacher training course or attain ‘Internationally recognized yoga teacher certification’ to be peaceful and compassionate, or to disseminate the knowledge of yoga to those who are in need of the teachings and practice to be free from ignorance and egoism.

The ‘real’ Guru/teacher is the one without a ‘certificate’/’recognition’, without a ‘school’/’ashram’ and without giving ‘certification’/’recognition’ to anyone.

Loving kindness?

Many people who think and believe themselves are ‘unselfish kind and loving beings’ would react and feel disturbed or angered or hurt by other people’s behavior that they perceive or acknowledge as ‘selfish’, ‘unkind’, ‘unloving’, ‘disturbing’, ‘hurtful’, ‘bad’, or ‘wrong’, and they would express their ‘concern’ by expecting these ‘unkind and unloving beings’ would somehow be criticized or punished for being unkind and unloving, or be disciplined or trained to be (more) kind and loving.

But, ‘loving kindness’ is about how one’s mind behaves or reacts with ‘loving kindness’ towards other people’s behavior that one’s mind dislikes and disagrees with, that one’s mind perceives and acknowledges as ‘selfish’, ‘unkind’, ‘unloving’, ‘disturbing’, ‘hurtful’, ‘bad’, or ‘wrong’, without being disturbed or angered or hurt by other people’s behavior that one’s mind dislikes and disagrees with, without expectation towards how other people should and shouldn’t behave according to one’s particular thinking and belief, understanding that all forms of ‘unkind’ and ‘unloving’ behavior as well as one’s mind’s reaction of being disturbed, angered and hurt by other people’s ‘selfish’, ‘unkind’ and ‘unloving’ behavior and the expectation towards how other people should or shouldn’t behave according to one’s particular thinking and belief, are all deriving from ignorance.

Loving kindness is really not about “How human beings should behave in the way that is loving and kind” or “Other people whom one’s mind thinks and believes as unkind and unloving need to be (more) kind and loving” at all, but it’s about “This mind being kind and loving, where this mind understands towards ignorance and the consequences of ignorance, of egoistic actions and reactions, and how this mind reacts with loving kindness towards other people’s unloving and unkind actions and reactions under the influence of ignorance. Being undisturbed and unhurt by all the disagreeable/undesirable/unpleasant names and forms or experiences that the mind perceives through the senses. Without expectation towards other beings should or shouldn’t behave in certain way. Without expectation towards the world must be in certain way, or not to be in certain way.”

When the mind is disturbed, angered and hurt by other people’s unloving unkind actions and reactions, loving kindness is absent in this mind as well, then how could this mind criticize other minds for being unloving and unkind, and expect other minds to be loving and kind?

Non-attachment and dispassion is true loving kindness, but somehow this observation is being perceived and acknowledged by the world of egoistic minds as a form of ‘lack of loving kindness’, ‘unconcern’, ‘uncaring’, ‘selfish’ and ‘wrong’.

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they think and believe, for how they act and react. In yoga, it’s never about ‘how the others behave’, but it’s about ‘how this mind behaves’.

Contemplate on this, and be free.