Self-righteousness is not yoga practice

Self-righteousness is part of the egoism acting in conjunction with worldly thinking and belief about what is right and wrong/good and bad, it’s not part of the yoga practice. In yoga practice, the mind disciplines itself to be free from the cause of suffering – Ignorance, egoism and impurities, to see the truth as it is, going beyond all kinds of thinking and belief about what is right and wrong/good and bad, being free from egoism of attachment, identification, craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation. This is not the same as egoistic self-righteousness that is based on particular worldly thinking and belief about what is right and wrong/good and bad, to judge, criticize, discipline and punish oneself and/or others, or out of the sense of pride and superiority, one interferes with other minds/people, with intention to influence/control/change/discipline/punish other minds/people that one doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with.

Under the many different cultures, many people growing up being encouraged to develop self-righteousness to uphold what they believe as right and good. It’s regarded as a ‘good quality’ that someone should possess, to discipline oneself. It’s fine if people just stop at ‘disciplining’ oneself in accordance to one’s belief and practice about ‘what is right and wrong/good and bad’. But most people don’t just stop there, but they also want to self-appoint themselves as ‘morality guardian/hero’ to ‘discipline’ others whom they know or don’t know, whom are different from them, whom they dislike and disagree with, whom they think and believe are ‘wrong’ and ‘bad’ in accordance to their own cultural/religious/social/political/personal thinking and belief or practice.

People are being encouraged to develop a strong self-identity/family identity/national identity/cultural identity/religious identity/political identity/social identity and have strong sense of pride towards their identity of that particular thinking and belief, values and practice, and then based on that particular thinking and belief, values and practice, people judge all and everything, and expect themselves and others in the society or the world to somehow comply to that particular thinking and belief, values and practice to think, to behave and to live life the way that they can agree with/accept.

People also like to talk about personal/family/social/national/global ‘development’ and ‘peace and happiness’, but mostly are being influenced by self-righteousness based on their particular cultural/religious/social/political/personal thinking and belief, values and practice about what are ‘good/right/positive/progressive development’ and ‘peace and happiness’ to them. It’s not so much about universal selfless development, peace and happiness for all kinds of diversity beyond all the different names and forms, unlimited by any particular cultural/religious/social/political/personal point of view, thinking and belief, values and practice.

If someone truly/sincerely wants to have peace in oneself and wish to contribute peace into the world that one is living in, the mind needs to be free from self-righteousness based on a particular values of life existence, way of life and conduct, thinking and belief about what is right and wrong/good and bad.

Though it’s not necessary, but most minds/people think and believe that as ‘an individual among the species of human beings’, they need to rely/attach onto a particular values, way of life and conduct, cultural/religious/social/political/personal thinking and belief to nurture/build a personal/worldly identity to be existing as who they are, and to think, to behave and to live life complying to that particular values, way of life and conduct, cultural/religious/social/political/personal thinking and belief.

Most minds/people don’t just keep their values of life existence, way of life and conduct, cultural/religious/social/political thinking and belief only to themselves, but they want to interfere with others who are different from them. Out of survival instinct and fear of extinction, people want to gather/invite more other people into their ‘group’ to form a ‘strong and powerful group’ by converting/recruiting many others to ‘join’ their group, to adopt and support their vision. People also have the tendency of self-righteousness to control/change/condemn/punish others for being different from themselves, which they dislike and disagree with, where they feel that their values, belief and practice are being threatened/intimidated by the other values, beliefs and practices.

  • The idea of ‘I’.
  • Attachment and identification onto certain qualities of names and forms to ‘support’ the existence of a self-identity of ‘I’.
  • Possessiveness and pride towards the self-identity and the possessions of ‘my life’, ‘my body’, ‘my mind’, ‘my thinking and belief’, ‘my culture’, ‘my religion’, ‘my God’, ‘my wealth and health’, ‘my success and happiness’, ‘my accreditation and reputation’, ‘my virtues and merits’, ‘my home’, ‘my family’, ‘my parents’, ‘my partner’, ‘my relationship’, ‘my children’, ‘my friends and relatives’, ‘my country’, ‘my world’, ‘my practice’, ‘my contribution’, ‘my teacher’, ‘my students’, and so on.
  • Desire of craving and aversion of “I want ‘I’ and all that is ‘mine’ to be like this and I don’t want ‘I’ and all that is ‘mine’ to be like that.”
  • Fear of losing the identity of ‘I’ and all that is ‘mine’ the way that ‘I’ like it to be.
  • Defensiveness/protection towards the identity of ‘I’ and all that is ‘mine’.

“This is my home/my country/my world. I want my home/my country/my world to be like this and not like that. I don’t like and don’t agree with all the others who are different from me, who’s vision is contradicting to my vision of the perfect home/country/world that I want to have. I want everyone to comply to my values of life existence, way of life and conduct, thinking and belief. If they don’t, I won’t be able to have my home/my country/my world exactly the way that I want it to be. And I don’t want that. I don’t want these people being here ‘polluting’ my beloved home/my good country/my beautiful world.”

Most minds are outgoing and desire to be engaged in community or worldly affair with very strong self-righteousness towards how the community or the world should be like, where they feel proud towards their thinking and belief and towards their identification with that thinking and belief as who they are, that they believe that they are being ‘assigned’ with the responsibility to ‘save’ the world (their world the way that they prefer) by ‘disciplining’ or ‘teaching’ others about what is right and wrong/good and bad based on their particular thinking and belief, to eliminate what they think and believe as ‘wrong’ and ‘bad’ from the society or the world.

Yoga practice is turning the mind inward, focusing on eliminating ignorance and egoism in this mind, to go beyond all the ‘right and wrong’/’good and bad’/’positive and negative’, to free this mind from being limited by any thinking and belief, values and practice (including the teachings of yoga) judging all and everything including this body and this mind, or expecting oneself and/or others and the world to be in certain ways that the egoistic mind likes/agrees with/desires based on those thinking and belief, values and practice. It’s not about enhancing health and fitness, to look good and feel good, or to create a ‘good’ world with everyone behaving in the way that we think it should be. Though there’s nothing wrong with that aspiration, but all these qualities of names and forms are impermanent, and it’s not the goal of yoga practice.

The freedom of being free from being limited or determined by any thinking and belief or identification with qualities of names and forms is unthinkable/unperceivable for the minds that attached strongly onto the thinking and belief to be who they are.

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to do with their life, body and mind, and whether to practice yoga, or not.

Be free.

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The freedom of being free from desires of craving and aversion

The freedom of being free from the desires of craving and aversion is in the present moment. It’s never something to be remembering from the past or something to be redeemed in the future.

It’s not bought with wealth or health, love or possession.

It’s not acquired by reading lots of books and accumulating vast knowledge of many things.

It’s not redeemed by huge amount of good karma from performing good actions or accumulating virtues and merits.

It’s not attained by after gone through lots of ‘spiritual healing’ process.

It’s nothing to do with extraordinary supernatural transcendental mystical experience at all.

One can be super wealthy, healthy, loving, possessing lots of possessions, read lots of books, accumulated vast knowledge of many things, and has done huge amount of good actions accumulating good karma, virtues and merits, and feels satisfied/meaningful/happy/proud towards all these ‘good’, ‘positive’, ‘meaningful’ and ‘happiness’ qualities, but the mind might still be determined by the desires of craving and aversion, there’s neither freedom nor peace.

This freedom is unconditional, being undetermined by any qualities of names and forms that is impermanent. It’s not about being free from bad condition/difficulties/unpleasantness or being in good condition/easiness/pleasantness.

One doesn’t need to go through any ‘spiritual healing’ process or experience any extraordinary supernatural transcendental experiences to realize this freedom.

There’s no craving/clinging/chasing after towards good qualities, good life condition, good health, good relationships/friendships, companionship, togetherness, ability, success, enjoyments, meaningfulness, or happiness.

There’s no aversion/fear/pushing away towards bad qualities, difficult life condition, bad health, bad relationships/friendships, lack of companionship, separateness, failure, unpleasantness, meaninglessness, or unhappiness, and towards losing the good qualities, good life condition, good health, good relationships/friendships, companionship, togetherness, ability, success, enjoyments, meaningfulness, or happiness.

There’s no craving towards something that is different from what it is now, that is not available now.

There’s no clinging towards something that is good now, that is available now.

There’s no aversion towards something that is not good, whether it is here or not here now.

There’s no aversion towards something that is good now will change and be no longer available.

One can be anywhere, doing something or nothing, and is free and in peace.

There’s neither craving towards peace nor aversion towards peacelessness.

One is peaceful as one is.

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.

Yoga classes, yoga courses and yoga retreats?

Those (the minds) who are free, who are peaceful, who are free from ignorance, egoism, doubts and impurities, they don’t need to learn or practice yoga. They don’t need to attend yoga classes, or yoga courses, or yoga retreats.

Those (the minds) who are not free, who are not peaceful, who are not free from ignorance, egoism, doubts and impurities, they might want to learn and practice yoga, by attending yoga classes, or yoga courses, or yoga retreats, to learn and practice yoga under one or a few yoga practitioner(s) (teachers) who know the teachings and practice of yoga.

Somehow, some of those (the minds) who are not free from ignorance and egoism, who are not peaceful, who are interested in attending yoga classes, or yoga courses, or yoga retreats, are ignorant towards oneself is being over-powered by pride and arrogance. They are not really interested in ‘learning’ and ‘practicing’ yoga under the guidance of other yoga practitioners. They think they know quite a lot about the teachings and practice. They think they have been doing yoga for quite some time or a long time. They think they are quite ‘experienced’ and ‘qualified’ yoga practitioners or yoga teachers, as they have attended one or many yoga workshops, yoga courses, or yoga teachers training courses. They think they are quite ‘advanced’ on the path of yoga. They are not ‘open-minded’ to learn and practice yoga under other people’s guidance to be free from ignorance, egoism, doubts and impurities. They attached strongly onto their habitual mind behavior pattern and their way of thinking and belief and practice. They cannot be opened to investigate or experience something that is different from their thinking, belief and practice.

They want to interfere with how the people running the yoga schools, the yoga studios, or the yoga retreat centres, and what the teachers teach and how the teachers teach the classes, or courses, or retreats. They criticize the way of the people running and teaching the classes, courses, or retreats, about the format, the schedule, the accommodation, the facilities, the environment, the staff, or anything that they think it’s not the way that they like it to be, or not the way that they think or expect it should be. There are many things that they dislike and disagree with, that they cannot tolerate or accommodate. They reluctant to adjust, adapt and accommodate something that is different from their habitual comfort zone, thinking, belief and practice.

They expect/demand the people to run the yoga schools, the yoga studios, or the yoga retreat centres the way that they like it to be, and they expect/demand the teachers to teach what they like and want to practice and don’t teach what they don’t like or don’t want to practice. They expect/demand the teachers to teach the classes, the courses, the retreats the way that they like it to be. They get very annoyed and irritated when the teachers teach something that they don’t like and don’t want to learn or practice, or the people running the classes, the courses, or the retreats the way that they don’t like and don’t agree with. They expect/demand everything about the entire space of learning and practicing yoga to be the way that they like it to be, or the way that they think it should be.

These people (the minds) don’t just not really learning or practicing yoga, though they think and believe that they are very ‘serious and advanced and certified’ yoga practitioners and yoga teachers, but they also generate inconvenience, disturbance, doubt and obstacle for others who are interested to learn and practice yoga, those who ‘are aware of’ or ‘know’ their minds are not yet completely free from ignorance, egoism, doubts and impurities. The minds that are free, they won’t be affected or influenced by the ignorance and impurities of others, but most minds are not free yet, they will still be affected and influenced by the ignorance and impurities of others. But, it doesn’t mean that these minds are bad or negative. All minds are free to behave the way that they want to behave and react the way that they want to react, whether they are aware of their own behavior and reaction, or not.

And hence, when one thinks and believes that oneself is an ‘experienced’ and ‘advanced’ and ‘certified’ yoga practitioner or yoga teacher, and one wants to inform/tell other people about how experienced and advanced one is on the path of yoga, then know that one doesn’t know what is yoga, yet. Those who know yoga, they have no attachment or identification towards the experiences or levels of their practice, or be proud and arrogant about what they know or realize from their practice. They mind their own practice and they don’t need to attend yoga classes, yoga courses, or yoga retreats.

Those who are not sure or have doubts about their practice or what they think they know, and are interested in attending yoga classes, yoga courses, or yoga retreats to learn and practice yoga under the guidance of other people, must learn how to allow the mind to be opened to learn and practice yoga under another person or other people, while not by pushing away or arguing about something that the mind dislikes and disagrees with, but to investigate the truth of everything that the mind comes in contact with through direct experience.

What the mind agrees with and what the mind disagrees with, are not necessarily the truth.

One doesn’t need to like and agree with everything, even if it’s part of the teachings and practice of yoga, but remain equanimous, being undisturbed or undetermined by what the mind dislikes and disagrees with, is already what yoga practice is about.

Be free.

How to renounce worldly life?

It depends on what does ‘worldly life’ means to different people. Different people give different meanings towards life existence and have different ways of life. If a particular ‘worldly life’ having a particular meaning with a particular way of life under the influence of a particular thinking and belief and values would lead the mind away from peace and harmony, or would lead the mind towards restlessness and unnecessary affliction, then one can take consideration to renounce the existing way of life under the influence of a particular thinking and belief and practice or behavior, to adopt a different way of life or changing the habitual mind behavior pattern, that would lead the mind towards unconditional peace and harmony, and have less or absence of restlessness and unnecessary affliction.

For some, one’s way of life is fine but there are too many unnecessary disturbance or distraction or difficulties that are energy, time and space consuming coming from the surrounding environment of people, activities and happenings, that generate great obstacle on the path of purifying and quieting the restless mind, then one can also take consideration of stepping back from coming in contact with all these worldly affairs and objects of names and forms, to allow the mind has the energy, time and space to focus on the practice.

Renouncing worldly life doesn’t mean that one is living outside the worldly minded society, to be alone in the wild. As even being alone in the wild, living in a simple and basic condition, it doesn’t guarantee that the mind will be or is peaceful, or be free from disturbance, restlessness and suffering due to ignorance, egoism and impurities.

It doesn’t mean that one needs to be in a space or place that is free from ‘worldly’ or ‘non-spiritual’ people and lives among a ‘non-worldly’ but ‘spiritual’ community, to be engaging in ‘non-worldly’ but ‘spiritual’ activities, like monks and nuns.

It also doesn’t mean that one abandons one’s worldly duties and responsibilities, not working to make a living to support one’s life and those under one’s care, but to live on the charity of others. Unless one’s worldly duties and responsibilities have come to an end, such as being free from looking after old parents or young children.

It’s about living in the world among the society as we are, no matter where and how we are and how is the environment, performing all our duties and responsibilities towards oneself and others under one’s care out of compassion, making an honest living that supports oneself and those under one’s care, but without attachment or identification towards any worldly social and cultural thinking and belief and practice or behavior, being free from egoism of passionate clinging onto worldly objects of names and forms, personal and community attachment and identification, desires of craving and aversion, judgment and expectation that based on particular worldly thinking, belief and values, while minimizing, reducing and restricting worldly social networking, interactions and activities and the accumulation of social connections and relationships, observing maximum seclusion and solitude while living and moving in the society among the worldly minded, without being affected or disturbed or determined by all the pleasant and unpleasant events or happenings in the world, without being affected or influenced by the worldly social and cultural thinking and belief and practice or behavior.

It’s renouncing or abandoning egoism and impurities.

It’s renouncing the passionate desires of craving and aversion, the attachment and identification with worldly social and cultural thinking, belief, values and habitual behavior pattern of judgment and expectation based on those thinking, belief and values. At the same time, respecting others to be what they are, to have their own different thinking, belief and values, and to behave, act and react as they are.

It’s going beyond all the impermanent qualities of names and forms of good and bad, right and wrong, positive and negative, pleasure and displeasure, pleasantness and unpleasantness, gain and loss, success and failure, praise and condemn, superiority and inferiority, achievement and non-achievement, auspiciousness and inauspiciousness, meaningfulness and meaninglessness, and so on.

It’s non-attachment and non-identification towards all actions and the fruit of actions. Performing all actions, duties and responsibilities out of wisdom and compassion, and allowing the fruit of actions to be what it is, being undetermined or uninfluenced by the actions and the fruit of actions.

If one can only find peace outside the worldly minded society, void of duties and responsibilities, being isolated from the worldly minded society that is functioning under ignorance, egoism and impurities, but then, while being in the world, living or moving among the worldly minded society and perceiving all the impermanent names and forms through the senses, one couldn’t remain equanimous, being disturbed or determined or influenced by the unpleasant, undesirable and disagreeable events or happenings or disturbance deriving from attachment towards the mind perception of names and forms, of the worldly social and cultural thinking, belief and practice or behavior that are under the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities, and the consequences of that, then one hasn’t realize the truth yet, or one hasn’t realize yoga.

Live in the world but not let the world live in you.

It’s the mental renunciation from worldly thinking and belief and habitual action and reaction under the influence of egoism. One can live and move in the world, but not let the world influence or determine the state of the mind. It’s the state of the mind of how the mind reacts towards all the perception of names and forms, being undisturbed and remain equanimous, while performing necessary actions, duties and responsibilities towards oneself and/or others under one’s care. The well-trained mind is disinterested in worldly objects and affairs, while living and moving in the world. It is free from passionate clinging and desire towards worldly objects and affairs. It doesn’t chase after the object of names and forms of the senses to gratify desire, as it is desireless.

Those who are peaceful and remain equanimous under any difficult, unpleasant, undesirable and disagreeable worldly conditions or circumstances, are true yogis.

Have peace by taming the outgoing restless mind and annihilating ignorance and egoism and impurities, not by controlling or changing the mind perception of an impermanent world of names and forms to be the way that the ego expects or likes it to be.

If the mind is super sensitive and easily be disturbed or distracted by the mind perception of names and forms of worldly objects and affairs, as there’s no strong foundation of non-attachment towards the mind perception of names and forms, then it would be better for this mind to move away from the society for a prolonged period of time, to minimize as much as possible the coming in contact with worldly affairs and objects of names and forms, to allow the mind to be free from unnecessary disturbance and distraction to conserve energy and to turn the mind inward for self-introspection or self-inquiry. Until the mind develops a strong foundation of dispassion and non-attachment (which will be ‘tested’ while living in the world), then this mind can live and move among the worldly minded society and coming in contact with ceaseless inputs or impressions of impermanent names and forms, but the mind is undisturbed or uninfluenced by all these names and forms.

Be free.