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.

Yearning for liberation / Longing for freedom / Survival instinct

Longing for freedom or yearning for liberation is a basic instinct that exists in all beings of different names and forms that are subject to impermanence and selflessness. It’s related to survival instinct of to be free from, or to be protected from, or to avoid hunger, thirst, injury, illness, weakness, loneliness, meaninglessness, pain, unpleasantness, sorrow, suffering, aging, decaying, death, the unknown, lacking, ceased existing, extinction or non-existence, as much as possible. Survival instinct gives rise to the desire of grasping/holding onto life and relationships as well as the desire to procreate/reproduce/multiply, which also give rise to fear, worry, dissatisfaction, disappointment, frustration, anger, jealousy, painful sorrow and so on, where the mind is unwittingly restless and peaceless, or ‘not free’, which also leads to the longing for freedom/liberation from restlessness/peacelessness.

All minds (the projector/perceiver of a worldly life existence that is subject to impermanence and selflessness) that are under the influence of ignorance are longing for freedom or liberation (from the ‘undesirable/unwanted experiences’ of a worldly life of uncertainty that the minds perceive/recognize as unpleasantness, bad, wrong, unhappiness, negativity, poverty, difficulty, hardship, failure, ungratified desire, painful suffering, meaninglessness, aloneness, separation from the loved ones, or coming in contact with the hated ones), where most minds acknowledging but not knowing why the sense of ‘being not free’ or ‘being limited/restricted/bound by something’ is always there, either consciously or subconsciously, even when all kinds of worldly desire are being gratified, or everything in life seems to be ‘all good and nothing bad’.

Most minds aren’t interested to ‘know thyself’ or to ‘be free from ignorance’ even though they might be fighting for freedom of thinking, belief, practice, living, way of life, education, movement, rights, action and speech in the world, as either they are ignorant towards ignorance, or they don’t feel the need/importance for that until great suffering/disappointment/painful sorrow arise, while some minds are initiated and be determined to ‘know thyself’, to ‘be free from ignorance’, as they are aware of ignorance and the by-products of ignorance.

Yoga of self-inquiry and self-realization is to free the mind from such ignorance. Ignorance is the root cause of all suffering/doubt/fear/limitation/bondage, and hence, there’s the ‘need’ or ‘longing’ for freedom/liberation, to be free/liberated from ignorance. Ignorance is the source of all kinds of ‘bondage’. Ignorance is not what most people think as ‘lack of knowledge’ or ‘unintelligent’ or ‘lazy/unwilling to learn’. Ignorance exists even in the highly knowledgeable or intelligent or righteous minds/people/beings where the minds are determined and influenced by impurities and egoism of attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, judgment, expectation, agreements/disagreements based on certain cultural/religious teachings, beliefs, values and practice.

The mind that is free from ignorance, is void of ‘bondage’ being free from attachment, or grasping, or longing. It doesn’t need to be free or be liberated from anything, as it is free, as what it is. It’s ignorance that gives rise to attachment/grasping/longing that give rise to all kinds of suffering/disappointment/painful sorrow and the sense of ‘being not free’ (bondage), which give rise to the longing for freedom or the yearning for liberation.

As long as the mind is functioning under the influence of ignorance and perceives/experiences ‘suffering’ due to ignorance, there’s the ‘need’, or ‘urgency’, or ‘importance’ to free or liberate the mind from ignorance, as the mind keeps generating actions that would ‘hurt’ oneself and others, whether wittingly or unwittingly, due to ignorance and the by-product of ignorance. Upon the annihilation of ignorance, there’s neither suffering nor the end of suffering. There’s neither ‘hurts’ nor ‘the need to be healed from hurts’. That’s compassion and freedom.

Those who are interested to free the mind from ignorance can contemplate on this –

Whatever the mind believes or disbelieves, desires or doesn’t desire, agrees or disagrees with, it’s all part of the modification of the mind.

There are all kinds of different culture having their own teachings, beliefs, values and practice, that are different from one another among all the different cultures in the world.

Just like all the different religions also have their own way of teachings, beliefs, values and practice.

It isn’t about which one is true/false or better than the others, and it doesn’t matter whether the mind believes or disbelieves in ‘God existence’ or ‘self-existence’, but it’s about going beyond all kinds of teachings, beliefs, values and practice, to allow the mind to see the truth of ‘the mind perception of a worldly life existence of uncertainty that is subject to impermanence and selflessness’.

All kinds of teachings, beliefs, values and practice have their own purpose serving the many minds of different temperament and characteristic to ‘live life and behave in certain way’ and ‘have certain goal/direction in a worldly life of uncertainty’, that allows most minds to continuously living/existing under certain ‘purpose/meaning’ by constantly striving to perform actions and reaping the fruit of actions, to attain the sense of purpose, well-being, love, accomplishment and satisfaction in personal and universal achievements, that would produce constant improvements/innovations which give rise to the sense of motivation, liveliness and meaningfulness to ‘life existence’. Just like most people need to live life ‘passionately and actively’, continuously, or else, life would appear to be ‘meaningless, empty and lifeless’ for them.

There’s neither good nor bad in all these different kinds of worldly cultural/religious teachings, beliefs, values and practice, just that the minds are not free, being conditioned/limited/bound to think, expect, judge, act and react in certain way. The mind is ‘limited’ or ‘not free’, being bound by the modification of the mind under the influence of ignorance, being bound by all kinds of attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, expectation, judgment, likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements based on certain cultural/religious teachings, beliefs, values and practice. And there’s great aversion and fear towards ‘going beyond’ or ‘letting go’ all those teachings, beliefs, values and practice.

Whatever being perceived by the mind as ‘positive’ or ‘negative’, ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, ‘meaningful’ or ‘meaningless’, ‘belief’ or ‘disbelief’, ‘agreeable’ or ‘disagreeable’, ‘pleasurable enjoyment’ or ‘painful suffering’ and so on, is in the mind, from the mind. Suffering arise and pass away in the mind, from the mind. Countless births and deaths of countless thoughts of different states arise and pass away in the mind, from the mind. And there’s nothing wrong with different minds perceive/judge things differently based on different teachings, beliefs, values and practice, just that it’s not the truth of names and forms. There’s nothing wrong with whether the mind thinks and believes “Be positive. Be optimistic. Everything is good. Nothing is bad.” or “This is positive/good/right/meaningful. That is negative/bad/wrong/meaningless.” or “I have so much love and support from so many people/beings. (My) Life is so good and meaningful.” or “I don’t have any love and support from anyone. (My) Life is so sad and meaningless.” or “Life is wonderful/painful. The world is good/bad.” Just that it’s not the truth.

Do not blind-believing, blind-following, blind-practicing, blind-propagating, blind-agreeing/disagreeing about anything.

Those who know, they don’t need to think positive, or be optimistic, or feel meaningful, or receive love, or fight for freedom, or attain peace. They are free as it is.

Contemplate, reflect, inquire, and realize.

Selflessness?

Just like ‘Self-inquiry’ and ‘Impermanence’, ‘Selflessness’ is one of the common words we come across in the teachings of yoga and Buddhism.

The ‘I’, where there’s a continuous stream of thinking/thought in the mind acknowledges as ‘I’ am an individual being with a physical body and thinking mind experiencing life, doesn’t exist. Out of ignorance, there arise the idea of ‘I’ exist as part of the modification of the mind acknowledging as an individual being, attaching onto/possessing such and such qualities of names and forms to be identified/recognized as this is what/who ‘I’ am, claiming ownership towards the physical body and the thinking mind (this is my body and my mind) and all kinds of connection with everyone and everything that the mind comes in contact with (my family and my belongings and etc), and at the same time also identifying with the physical body and the thinking mind as ‘I’ (This physical body and this thinking mind is ‘I’).

‘Selflessness’ is not something to be attained by accumulating certain amount of ‘merits and virtues’ or ‘good karma’ after performing many ‘good/righteous actions’ or ‘karma yoga/selfless service’, but it’s the ‘realization’ upon the mind seeing the truth of what is this ‘I’ where there’s a thinking in the mind thinks and believes as ‘I’. As long as there’s an idea, acknowledgement and identification of “I am a selfless being performing good actions or karma yoga/selfless service” the mind is still functioning under the influence of egoism.

The mind needs to be free from egoism, impurities and restlessness to realize ‘Selflessness’, where there’s no ‘I’ existing to enjoy or suffer, to be born or die, to know or don’t know, to desire or don’t desire, to be the performer of action and the receiver/enjoyer of the fruit of action, to be ignorant or be free from ignorance. It’s just the modification of the thinking mind perceiving all the names and forms through the senses via the sense organs of the physical body. It’s just the mind functioning and perceives, sees, hears, smells, tastes, feels, senses and thinks. There’s no ‘I’ existing to claim possession/ownership/control of the selfless modification of the mind or the ceaseless impermanent changes of the modification of the mind perceiving all the names and forms that are also impermanent and selfless. It’s coming from the mind being aware of the modification of the mind, while purifying and quieting itself to be free from restlessness, impurities and egoism, to be free from ignorance. It’s not something else ‘separated’ from the mind called ‘I’ being there to be aware of ‘my mind’ or to purify and quiet ‘my mind’, to free ‘my mind’ from restlessness, impurities, egoism and ignorance.

“I am not the mind. The mind is not ‘I’.” is not about ‘I’ am an existing being/soul separated/distinct from the mind. The mind is just being what it is, functioning as it is selflessly, where there’s no ‘I’ in the function of the mind which is supported/influenced by energy to be existing and functioning. Just like there’s no ‘I’ in all the cells/bones/muscles/organs/systems that forming the entire structure of the physical body which depend on nature to provide support that allows the physical body to be existing and functioning. The body and mind constantly functioning or performing actions selflessly, and there are also the consequences of actions following the actions (cause and effect). But, somehow, out of ignorance, there’s an idea of ‘I’ existing in the form of thinking claiming a personal identity and possession/ownership towards this and that, to desire and don’t desire, to agree and disagree, to enjoy or suffer, to aspire and expect, and so on. There’s an idea/identification of “I am the performer of my actions and I am the enjoyer of the fruit of my actions.”

It’s difficult/challenging for the egoistic mind that attached strongly onto a worldly self-identity attaching onto certain qualities of names and forms as this is ‘I’ or what ‘I’ am, to realize ‘Selflessness’. The egoistic mind that ‘possesses’ a self-identity thinks and believes that ‘I’ exist as an individual being experiencing life, this is ‘I’, this is my life, my body, my mind, my thinking, my belief, my feelings, my emotion, my idea, my creativity, my energy, my health, my fitness, my strength, my flexibility, my ability, my disability, my achievement, my failure, my look, my talent, my knowledge, my education, my house, my belonging, my pet, my family, my friends, my relationship, my duty, my responsibility, my rights, my aspiration, my inspiration, my sacrifice, my happiness, my suffering, my vision, my desire, my actions, my fruit of actions, my religion, my ‘God’, my world, my country, and so on. Not only there’s a personal identity, but there’s also a group identity, such like our family, our life, our thinking, our belief, our culture, our religion, our ‘God’, our action, our fruit of action, our achievement, our failure, our world, our country, our vision, and so on.

“I eat, I drink, I play, I work, I rest, I aspire, I inspire, I think, I believe, I feel, I express, I laugh, I cry, I learn, I share, I give and receive, I love and beloved, I perceive, I experience, I act, I react, I achieve, I live, I die. I am existing. How can it be possible that ‘I’ don’t exist?” It’s unthinkable for the egoistic mind about ‘Selflessness’ – ‘Egolessness’ – ‘I-lessness’.

That’s why it’s very essential for the mind to let go the attachment and identification towards any qualities of names and forms, especially the worldly conditioned egoistic way of thinking and belief in the mind that influence how the mind analyzes, judges, feels and reacts towards all and everything, as well as letting go attachment and identification towards the physical appearance/condition/ability/disability/achievement/non-achievement before the mind can reflect upon the truth of ‘Selflessness’.

Once the mind is free from the attachment and identification towards the impermanent and selfless qualities of names and forms as ‘I’, including the function of the physical body and the thinking faculty, naturally the mind will realize the truth of ‘itself’ or ‘the modification of the mind’, that there’s no ‘I’, knowing thyself. There’s neither “I know” nor “I realize” nor “I am free from ignorance” nor “I am free.”

As long as the mind is still mingling among the worldly passionate egoistic minds, that keep empowering/feeding the idea of ‘I’ and ‘the world of egoism of all kinds of attachment and identification’, it’s very difficult and almost impossible for the mind to be free from ignorance and egoism. And hence, the important practice of renunciation, seclusion, solitude and silence.

According to the teachings of Swami Sivananda, the mind just needs to spend at least five to six years in seclusion and silence being away/cutting off from the worldly affairs/activities/society/family/friends/relatives/connections/interactions that feeds/empowers egoism/restlessness/impurities/ignorance, the mind will realize the truth of ‘the mind perception of a worldly life existence of impermanent and selfless names and forms’. Although it doesn’t guarantee that everyone who try to practice silence in seclusion and solitude for a prolonged period of time will be free from ignorance and attain self-realization, as the mind might still be influenced by gross and subtle egoistic worldly/spiritual attachment hindering the mind from seeing itself/knowing thyself. And not many people are suitable for such practice, as most passionate minds would ‘go crazy’ after being in seclusion and solitude for some time. Worldly passionate minds can’t live or be without seeing/touching/communicating/interacting with other beings for even a short period of time, not to say for a prolonged period of time. That’s why it requires certain degrees of dispassion and right discrimination for someone to practice silence in seclusion and solitude, to allow the mind to realize ‘Selflessness’/’Oneness’/’Non-separateness’/’Namelessness’/’Formlessness’, where ‘suffering’ and ‘the end of suffering’ doesn’t exist.

Many people might understood ‘Selflessness’ as ‘an existing name and form such as a being/soul/mind that is free from selfishness, who is unselfish’, such as “I am a selfless/unselfish being/soul/mind”, or “I am performing selfless action to benefit other beings and other beings will be benefited from my selfless actions.”

If it’s selfless, then what/who is that ‘I’ being there acknowledging and identifying as “I am selfless/unselfish”? It’s just impermanent selfless function of the body and mind generating actions and the consequences of actions ceaselessly until the annihilation of the modification of the mind takes place, there’s no ‘I’ being there to be acknowledging/identifying as “I am selfless/unselfish.” or “I am good/bad.” And hence, silent the mind, or as Swami Sivananda taught, “Kill the mind.”

Selflessness is nothing to do with unselfishness. Regardless of living beings or non-living objects, all are impermanent and selfless or I-less, where there’s no ‘I’ within all the impermanent changes. There’s no ‘I’ existing to be identified as ‘I am selfless’, ‘I am a selfless being’, ‘I am unselfish’, ‘I am performing selfless service and other beings are benefited from my selfless service’, ‘I am kind and compassionate’, ‘I aspire to inspire others to be selfless, kind and compassionate’, and so on. There’s no “I want to be selfless.” or “I am becoming selfless.”

‘Selflessness’ is the realization of there’s no self or ‘I’, it’s not about training the mind to become ‘selfless’ or ‘unselfish’. None/nothing can train to become ‘selfless’, as there is no self or ‘I’ from the beginning. Everyone and everything is just selfless as it is. It’s due to ignorance, there is the idea of ‘I’ arise in the thinking mind materializing itself via egoism influencing the thinking pattern of the mind, where the idea of ‘I’ feeds on attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation, to desire and don’t desire, to aspire and expect, to enjoy and suffer, to love and be loved, to be continuing ‘existing’ in the form of thinking possessing a worldly self-identity with certain qualities of names and forms.

The idea of ‘I’ can be annihilated by eliminating egoism from the mind. As the ‘I’ appears to be ‘real and existing’ is nothing but the thinking pattern of the mind functioning under the influence of egoism, and upon annihilation of egoism or the veil of ignorance, the idea of ‘I’ will vanish naturally.

Upon the realization of impermanence and selflessness, naturally the mind also realizes ‘timelessness’. Time doesn’t exist, it’s just ‘what the mind perceives’, and ‘both the mind (the perceiver) and what the mind perceives (the perceived)’ constantly changing, and the ceaseless impermanent changes as well as due to the function of memory, there’s remembrance towards the impermanent changes generate the false impression of ‘time’ or ‘I’. The mind is going through countless births and deaths of ceaseless thoughts arising and passing away generating the different states of the mind. The body is going through countless births and deaths along with all the impermanent changes that are happening in the physical body generating the different condition/appearance of the body. The mind and the body is never remain the same mind or the same body even for a moment until the body and the thinking faculty ceased functioning and existing.

There’s no “I am performing yoga practice. I am a yoga practitioner. I will be receiving the benefits of the yoga practice. I am free or not free from ignorance.” It’s just the mind performing the practice, and whether the mind will be free from ignorance, or not.

Be free.

Existence in now

Contemplation on existence/the mind perception of an impermanent and selfless life existence in the present moment.

Existence only existing in now. There’s neither past nor future. It’s the thinking/thought process of recollection of memories and wild imagination of the mind that generates the ‘shadow’ of now, either behind of now (the past) or in front of now (the future). Suffering arise when the mind sees/takes the ‘shadow’ of the selfless mind perception of names and forms as ‘I’ (the existence of an individual being of ‘I’, where this countless ever changing ‘I’ is not even I.)

All kind of restlessness, peacelessness, anxieties, tension, hurts, regrets, guilt, offensiveness, defensiveness, possessiveness, meaninglessness, depression, insecurity, frustration, anger, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, hopes, fear and worry, are due to being ignorant towards existence, thinking and believing that ‘I’ am existing with an individual identity from the past until now and into the future, that ‘I’ have a past and a future, and ‘I’ had/am/will be physically/mentally/emotionally existed/existing/continuing existing along with all the relationships with everyone and everything, and hence, there’s clinging/attachment/identification towards the present experiences/relationships, thinking/remembering about the past experiences/relationships and imagining/anticipating the future experiences/relationships, craving towards pleasant/desirable experiences/relationships and aversion towards unpleasant/undesirable experiences/relationships.

This very moment is the only existence of this body and the thinking mind that is functioning under the charity of ‘the space’, ‘the sun’, ‘the earth’, ‘the water’ and ‘the air/wind’, it’s not ‘I’, and it is changing. Within this moment, along with the function of this body and the modification of the mind, countless rounds of birth and death happening, new cells replacing old cells, the bodily system growing, changing, cease growing and start decaying, different states of the mind arising and passing away, thoughts/memories/imaginations/sensations/feelings arising and passing away, physical and mental pleasantness and unpleasantness coming and going, ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’ and all kind of ‘realms’ interchanging in the mind, ceaseless actions generating ceaseless reactions of cause and effect, and all kind of names and forms forming and deforming ceaselessly.

Those who realized this, allowing the impermanent/momentary function of the body and the modification of the mind perception of a worldly life existence to be what it is, as it is, remain equanimous and at peace, being free from attachment, identification and desire of craving and aversion, being undetermined/undisturbed by the mind perception of a pleasant/unpleasant or desirable/undesirable reality of a worldly life existence that is impermanent.

Those who haven’t realized this, continuously and restlessly chasing after the objects of names and forms of higher and higher quality of pleasurable living, performing actions out of the intention/aspiration of creating a ‘perfect’ world the way that ‘I’ think it should be that allows ‘I’ to live life the way that ‘I’ like it to be, accumulating relationships and gratifying desires of craving and aversion, to chase away bottomless ‘shadow’ of boredom, loneliness, unhappiness, meaninglessness and emptiness, to feel good, happy and meaningful.

It’s neither right or wrong, good or bad, it’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to do with their life, body and mind. The conditions and situations of the world are the consequences of the actions out of every individual human being’s intention/aspiration/ambition of desiring/wishing/hoping/demanding/building/protecting/frustrating/hating/fighting/killing for a ‘perfect’ world and a ‘good’ life that they think it should be, that they want it to be.

Be free.