The difference between love and compassion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Love?

The minds that haven’t realize unconditional desireless dispassionate love or compassion of selflessness/oneness/non-separateness, would keep hurting oneself and others, whether wittingly or unwittingly, even when everyone thinks and believes that one loves oneself/others and others love oneself, or everyone desires/hopes for a loving community where everyone would be loving and kind to one another.

The ‘problems’ that people relate to ‘insufficient of love/touch/hug’, or ‘loveless’, or ‘unloved’, or ‘loneliness’ has nothing to do with the absence/non-existence/insufficiency of ‘I love you’, ‘You love me’, ‘We love each other’, ‘Developing a loving community’, or ‘I love myself’.

It’s whether the mind realizing unconditional desireless dispassionate love or compassion, beyond quality of names and forms, of selflessness/oneness/non-separateness/namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness, free from desire and passion, free from ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering, or not.

‘I love you’, ‘You love me’, ‘We love each other’, ‘Developing a loving community’, or ‘I love myself’ present/exist only in duality or separateness under the veil of ignorance. They don’t mean anything and don’t exist in selflessness/oneness/non-separateness/namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness.

The presence/existence/acknowledgement of ‘I love you’, ‘You love me’, ‘We love each other’, ‘Developing a loving community’, or ‘I love myself’ without realizing unconditional love or compassion of selflessness/oneness/non-separateness doesn’t guarantee that one doesn’t hurt oneself or others out of ungratified desires/expectations, dissatisfaction, disappointment, defensiveness, offensiveness, pride, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, hurt, guilt, regret, grief, sorrow, fear and worry deriving from ignorance and egoism of attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, expectation, judgment/action/reaction based on certain worldly social/cultural/religious/spiritual thinking/belief/values/practice.

Even without the presence/existence/acknowledgement of ‘I love you’, ‘You love me’, ‘We love each other’, ‘Developing a loving community’, or ‘I love myself’, but one doesn’t hurt oneself and others if the mind realizes selfless/nameless/formless/attributeless/desireless unconditional love or compassion, being free from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance – Egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering.

Neither there is the idea/identification/acknowledgement/presence/existence/attribute of ‘I am compassionate’, or ‘I love you unconditionally’, or ‘I love all compassionately’, or ‘Developing a compassionate community’, or ‘I am being kind and compassionate towards myself’ in oneness/non-separateness/selflessness.

‘Building/developing a loving community’ is unnecessary when the minds are free from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance, realizing compassion of selflessness/oneness/non-separateness, where none would hurt oneself or others, where there’s absence of the desire to give love and receive love, to attain/feel love, goodness, righteousness, positiveness and meaningfulness, to avoid lovelessness, badness, wrongfulness, negativeness and meaninglessness.

Just like drugs/medicines are useless/needless if there’s absence of sickness/injury. But still, some people hang onto drugs/medicines using them as a pleasurable enjoyment.

Desireless and dispassion leads to the realization of selfless compassion is LIBERATION in yoga/Buddhism, but it would be perceived by most passionate minds that are under the influence of ignorance and egoism as ‘lovelessness’, or ‘meaninglessness’, or ‘joylessness’, or ‘selfishness’, or ‘inhuman’, or ‘wrong and negative’. And hence, the idea of “Everyone needs love/Everyone needs to love one another/Everyone needs to give love and receive love/Without love, life is meaningless” is widely propagated in the world and empowering the passionate desire for love in everyone that directly/indirectly bring along the consequences of all kinds of suffering/’problems of humanity’ deriving from ungratified desires (lack of love, loveless, not enough love, unloved, not the love the way that it should be). That’s their freedom of thinking, belief, action and reaction. Out of love towards what they love, people would hurt anyone/anything that would hurt what they love. Out of desire/aspiration/intention/expectation for achieving/building/developing a world that they desire, that complies to their certain ideal of a world of ‘all good/positive/happiness and nothing bad/negative/unhappiness’, people would strive to achieve what they want to achieve and eliminate any obstructions/obstacles in their way to achieve their ‘desire’, at all costs.

The sun doesn’t think and feel ‘I love you’ or ‘I am compassionate’ and hence it gives light and heat and energy to the world ceaselessly.

The immune system in the body doesn’t think and feel ‘I love you’ or ‘I am compassionate’ and hence it protects the physical body from potential health risks until it breaks down.

The heart and the lungs don’t think and feel ‘I love you’ or ‘I am compassionate’ and hence they keep working all day all night giving life to and maintaining life of this physical body until they ceased functioning.

The plants don’t think and feel ‘I love you’ or ‘I am compassionate’ and hence they turn into food or nutrients or energy for the physical body to consume to be surviving.

‘Bondage of desire and passionate love’ is being perceived as something ‘meaningful, right, good and positive’ while ‘Liberation of desireless and dispassion’ is being perceived as something ‘meaningless, wrong, bad and negative’ for the worldly minded society, including many ‘yoga enthusiasts’.

Opening the mind by freeing the mind from being conditioned by certain worldly social/cultural/religious/spiritual thinking/belief/values/practice to allow the mind to inquire the truth of everything, to see the root cause of all kinds of suffering or ‘problems of humanity’ – Ignorance and the consequences of ignorance, is what yoga and meditation practice is about.

There’s nothing wrong with the idea of ‘I love you’, ‘You love me’, ‘We love each other’, ‘Developing a loving community’, or ‘I love myself’ existing in the world, and there’s nothing wrong either without any of these ideas present/existing under the manifestation of compassion, or selfless unconditional love.

If the mind insists on thinking and believing that “Without the idea/presence/existence/acknowledgement/propagation of ‘I love you’, ‘You love me’, ‘We love each other’, ‘Developing a loving community’, or ‘I love myself’ in the world in life, it would be so bad, wrong, negative, terrible, sad, piteous, meaningless and joyless,” then this mind is being ignorant towards itself is being conditioned by worldly social/cultural/religious/spiritual thinking/belief/values/practice, even if one has been ‘learning’/’studying’/’practicing’/’teaching’ yoga for some time or a long time.

“We need to give and show love to people and tell people ‘I love you’ so that they’ll know they are loved (by others/by so many people), so that they will feel love and have love, so that we can build/develop a loving community that love one another.” That’s widely propagated in the world, for the sake of love.

In yoga or Buddhism, that’s not freedom at all.

In yoga, the greatest gift is giving dhamma/wisdom that allow people to reflect/inquire the truth of everything and realize selflessness and compassion, be free from ignorance and egoism, be free from the suffering from endless passionate desire for love, or craving/longing for love and clinging onto love.

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

Be opened. Inquire. Reflect. Contemplate. Realize.

Realize unconditional selfless intentionless desireless dispassionate compassion.

Social conversation / talking / sharing / caring?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be free.

Learn how to free the mind from all kinds of disturbs and hurts

When a mind/person feels disturbed, unhappy, angered, disappointed or hurt by something, usually the impulsive reaction will be expecting some kind of sympathy or empathy from other minds/people, and looking forward to be comforted, loved, looked after, acknowledged, or supported by other minds/people. And most minds/people would also think and believe that that is how people should react towards other people’s state of minds that are disturbed, unhappy, angry, disappointed or hurt, to be there to be listening to what they think is disturbing their minds and comforting these suffering minds/people by showing them love, care, acknowledgement and support, to be sharing and lessening their ‘unhappiness’ or ‘suffering’, in terms of generating a ‘loving kindness’ society/community. There’s nothing wrong with that and it might give the troubled/disturbed/unhappy/angry/disappointed/hurt minds certain degrees of relieve, to feel better, but it doesn’t help them to be free from the root cause of the suffering from disturbs, unhappiness, anger, disappointment, or hurts. Instead, most probably it might be unintentionally empowering or feeding the attachment, clinging, craving or expectation in people’s mind.

Just like giving sugary fizzy drinks to the unhappy kids might make them feel happy, but they would crave for more sugary drinks to make them feel happy. As once the craving is being gratified, it would only intensify the craving. And if their craving is not being gratified, they would be more unhappy. That’s not freedom at all.

There’s clinging, craving and expectation towards receiving sympathy, empathy, love, affection, care, acknowledgement, or support from others, even though there’s nothing wrong with receiving sympathy, empathy, love, affection, care, acknowledgement, or support from others, as this is what most worldly minds/people believe and expect the society/community/family/relationship/friendship should be, but the mind is not free. If for some reasons, the mind doesn’t get what it thinks and believes it deserves to be getting from others, it will be more disturbed/unhappy/angry/disappointed/hurt and would do things that would hurt itself and/or others. This is not freedom.

As well as most egoistic minds would want to feel that they are needed by others to feel good and meaningful about themselves and their life existence, that they are capable to give and show love, care, affection, sympathy, empathy, acknowledgment and support to others who ‘need’ them. Again, there’s nothing wrong with that, just that these minds would feel bad or meaningless if for some reasons they think that they are not needed by some others, or when they think that other people do not appreciate what they give. This is not freedom.

Only those who can go beyond worldly thinking and belief can penetrate the real meaning of this teaching and practice. It doesn’t mean that everyone in the society will become ‘cold’, ‘heartless’ or ‘lack of sympathy/empathy’, but the minds are free from clinging, craving or expectation towards receiving the ‘deserving’ love, care, affection, sympathy, empathy, acknowledgment and support from others to feel loved, cared, worthy, comforted, acknowledged or supported, to feel good and meaningful, by knowing what is going on in the mind and be free from ignorance and egoism, and thus, be free from all kinds of disturbs, unhappiness, anger, disappointment, or hurts. One doesn’t need anyone to be there to be listening to one’s ‘troubles’, ‘unhappiness’ or ‘hurts’, to be ‘comforted’, as there’s no trouble, unhappiness or hurt existing in this liberated mind. One also can give and show sympathy, empathy, love, care and support to others without the attachment, identification, craving, intention or expectation in order to attain good and meaningful feelings towards oneself or one’s life existence. That is true freedom and compassion.

Yoga practice such like cleansing technique, breathing exercises, yoga asana exercises, chanting, prayer, or concentration practice, can also give the effects of relieving certain degrees of disturbs, unhappiness, anger, disappointment or hurts in the minds, but again, it doesn’t stop the mind from continuing be disturbed, unhappy, angry, disappointed, or hurt by something that they don’t like, don’t want and don’t agree with, that they think is bad, wrong, disturbing, unhappy, frustrating, disappointing, or hurtful, if the mind is not free from ignorance, egoism and impurities.

Those who truly want to learn and practice yoga, it’s not about doing some forms of yoga practice to be getting some conditional and impermanent physical/mental/emotional benefits or getting some momentary relief from what they think is painful suffering, but they learn how to free the mind from the root cause of all kinds of suffering, of disturbs, unhappiness, anger, disappointment, or hurts.

Naturally, the society will have more physical/mental/emotional healthy minds/people, where the minds/people realized unconditional love from within, know how to look after themselves and love others unconditionally, being free from clinging, craving, aversion or expectation.

But not many minds/people would understand and appreciate the greatness of this freedom. Most minds/people believe in and want a society/community/family/relationship/friendship that builds on ‘needing each other’ all the time to feel love, good, happy and meaningful, and to feel less lonely or to escape loneliness. That’s how people are being taken advantage by others who have selfish intention being in a relationship or friendship. Even in the world of yoga, some yoga teachers or so called ‘gurus’ take advantage of the yoga students for their vulnerability when the students longing or expecting to be receiving comfort, sympathy, empathy, kindness, love, care, affection, acknowledgment, or supports from the yoga teachers or ‘gurus’.

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they think or don’t think, believe or disbelieve, want and don’t want. People don’t have to practice yoga of freeing the mind from ignorance, egoism and impurities, but just want to do some yoga practice regularly and engaging in social/community activities, to attain some momentary physical/mental/emotional benefits or relief, to attain some kinds of conditional and impermanent good, positive, loving, happy and meaningful feelings.

Work diligently to free the mind from ignorance, egoism and impurities, if one wants to attain or realize this freedom.

Love, upon realization of selflessness and compassion

Upon realization of selflessness and compassion, the craving for love disappear.

There’s no ‘I’ desire to love and there’s no ‘I’ desire to be loved.

There’s needless to give love or receive love, as all beings are love itself.

It’s ignorance and egoism that hindering the minds to realize all are love, and hence, there’s desire to love and be loved. There’s craving for love and clinging onto love.

Everyone just need to realize that, and be free from the craving for love and clinging onto love.

Even though there’s none to give love and none to receive love, but the whole world is full of ‘beings of love’.

Those who don’t realize this, they think and believe that “All beings need love. To be able to give love and receive love among one another is the most meaningful and important thing in life.” They think and believe that the world will be loveless if none give love to another and receive love from another.

Those who realize this, “Freedom from craving and clinging towards love is great liberation.” All beings are love, but yet to be realized upon annihilation of ignorance and egoism.

When everyone is free from craving and clinging towards love upon realization of selflessness and compassion, there’s no need anyone there to give love to another, as there’s none need to receive love from another. Everyone can be compassionate and nice towards one another unconditionally, without desire to love or be loved, without craving for love or clinging onto love.

Be free.

Missing someone or something or somewhere that we like and love?

The mind that is practicing yoga is free from attachment, clinging or craving, it doesn’t miss anyone or anything or anywhere.

Yoga practitioners who still always or occasionally feel missing someone or something or somewhere that they like and love very much, that is not here or unavailable or absent in the present, know that it’s a by-product of egoistic passionate desire of attachment, clinging or craving.

Miss seeing or being with someone. Miss doing something. Miss having something. Miss being somewhere. Miss seeing something. Miss hearing something. Miss smelling something. Miss tasting something. Miss feeling something. Miss thinking something.

Many people, including yoga practitioners, would think that yoga is about love, and believe that if we like and love someone or something or somewhere, if we appreciate someone or something or somewhere, we should feel that we miss them when they are in a distance, or out of sight, or unavailable, or absent, that we should think about them a lot, and we would worry about people and things and places that we like and love very much. We would wish to see or be with those whom we miss, or have the thing that we miss, or do the thing that we miss, or be at the place that we miss. That is what most minds that are full of passion, enthusiasm and love, do naturally. There’s nothing wrong with that, just that it’s not what yoga and yoga practice is about.

The love that is mentioned in the teaching of yoga, is unconditional love, or compassionate love, or love without attachment, that is free from attachment, clinging or craving and ‘missingness’.

Missing someone or something or somewhere is the manifestation of attachment, clinging or craving towards what the egoistic mind likes and wants, it’s nothing to do with being kind and compassionate towards all living beings and non-living objects that are impermanent.

So, next time if we feel missing someone or something or somewhere that we like and love, then know that it’s just a manifestation of egoistic desire of attachment, clinging and craving. If we don’t get this or don’t understand this, then we are not practicing yoga even though we might be doing or teaching yoga everyday for many years. If we got this or understood this, then without judgment, we start practice letting go of attachment or practice detachment.

Doesn’t miss anyone or anything or anywhere, doesn’t mean that we don’t like or don’t love or don’t appreciate anyone, or anything, or anywhere. Just that our liking and love and appreciation towards everyone, everything and everywhere is without attachment, clinging or craving.

Contemplate on this and be free.

Learn how to be alone and do nothing, without feeling lonely, left out, unloved, unworthy or bored

Solitude or aloneness is being perceived by many people as something terrible or wrong that can happen to a human being. That is because people’s minds are being conditioned to think and believe in that way. And there’s nothing to be argued about as people’s minds are thinking in certain ways and believing in certain beliefs. That’s how people are being taught and brought up by their parents or the society for how people think and what to believe.

Many people never learn how to be alone by themselves and do nothing, without clinging onto other people, to be surrounded by other people to be interacting or communicating with them physically and mentally. They will feel lonely, left out, unloved, unworthy or bored, if there is a prolonged period of time that there are no people around them to be interacting with. They constantly looking/craving for physical and mental attention, love and companionship. A lot of time this is because the parents never teach or allow their children to learn how to be alone by themselves and do nothing, without feeling lonely, left out, unloved, unworthy or bored. The parents try to give maximum love and attention to their children and make their children always be busy with doing something and interacting with some other people, either mentally or physically, or both. They think this is good for them and to show that they love and care for their children very much.

That is also one of the important elements why there are people suffering from loneliness, low self-esteem, depression, boredom, unloved, unworthiness, meaninglessness, and so on. The children are being brought up in the way of building up intense attachment towards the love, attention and companionship from one or both of their parents or caretakers, but the parents or caretakers will not be always being by their side, and there will not be always somebody there to give them the attention, love and companionship that they like and want, that they cling onto and crave for. They never learn how to be alone by themselves and do nothing. Their minds are being used to interactive stimulation, receiving inputs and expressing outputs. These minds can’t stand being silence without any inputs or outputs for a few moments. The sense of loneliness, left out, unloved, unworthiness, depression, meaninglessness and boredom kicks in as soon as they are being away from family and friends that are always being close by physically, to interacting with and doing things together all the time.

Just like for the children without a father or both parents, people might think that by showing them lots of love and attention will help them and benefit them. People like to say, “People need love.” and they think that it means giving or showing love (affection) to other people who need love. But what people really need is realizing the unconditional unlimited love in themselves, without expecting love (affection) through receiving love (affection) from others. If people don’t know how to teach or allow the children to be independent, how to love themselves and how to be alone by themselves, that they can be happy and live life meaningfully as they are, even without one or both of the parents being by their side physically or mentally giving them personal love, attention and companionship, then if the children don’t get enough of love, attention and companionship from the people who are not being there for them all the time, these children will try to cling onto other people looking for attention, love and companionship.

It’s okay that one doesn’t have one or both of the parents being with them or to be there for them. Even if there is one or both of the parents being there for them, it doesn’t mean that the parents have to or will be there all the time, that there are times that one or both of the parents might not be there for them temporary or permanently. And it’s okay.

It’s okay that one doesn’t have anyone or friends and family members being with them or to be there for them. One can love oneself, whether doing something or doing nothing by oneself, and be happy and live life meaningfully being alone by oneself without anyone beside them to interact or communicate with physically or mentally. One has no craving for love, attention and companionship from other beings. One is peaceful as it is, being free from attachment and craving.

But all these children grow up without learning or knowing know how to be alone by themselves, and do nothing, without feeling lonely, left out, unloved, unworthy or bored. They suffer from loneliness, low self-esteem, unworthiness, boredom, depression and meaninglessness, if they think there’s no one there being with them or to be there for them, to interact with them, to give them love, attention and companionship.

Sooner or later, everyone will have to deal with solitude or aloneness at some stage in life whether we like it, or not. It is a natural process of life. It’s something wonderful if one knows the truth of aloneness or solitude. Only those who know this, will know.

Those who don’t know, they have strong aversion or fear towards solitude, afraid of being alone by themselves, and they will be suffering from loneliness, low self-esteem, unworthiness, boredom, meaninglessness and depression if there’s nobody being with them to be interacting or communicating with, physically or mentally. They think and believe that it’s because they are not good enough, that’s why they are being left out, unloved and being alone by themselves, that they are so pitiful without anyone, friends or family being with them, to give them love, attention and companionship, physically or mentally. They always feel that they are not good enough, that they need to be in competition with other people especially their brothers and sisters to get the maximum love and attention from their parents. They need other people to show thankfulness and appreciation for what they have done for others to feel that they and their effort of doing something are being appreciated and acknowledged. They always try very hard to please everybody to make everyone love them and acknowledge them that they are good enough and well-deserved with love and happiness. But, they don’t realize that they don’t have to please anyone to make other people love them. People who love them will love them as they are. Those who don’t love them will not love them even if they try to please these people. And many people will take advantage of the people who want or need to be loved by other people.

Most parents or caretakers don’t realize that it’s how they bring up the children that had caused the children to think and believe like that, to be suffering from love seeking, attention seeking, lack of something, missing something, or craving for something, and suffering from loneliness, low self-esteem, depression, boredom, meaninglessness, and so on, through out their entire life, unless/until they realize the truth that they don’t have to think and believe and suffer in such way. When they have their own family, that is also how they are going to bring up their children the way that how their parents brought them up, and most probably, their children will also end up like them, unless the children start to think for themselves and realize what is unconditional love from oneself towards oneself.

People also perceive the state of fullness or non-separateness, where one doesn’t need any other beings to be there to show love, attention and companionship, to be interacting with, to feel loved and meaningful, as something horrible or wrong. They think that these people who don’t need other beings being with them to be there for them, without feeling lonely, unloved, unworthy, meaningless, left out or bored, are impossible or insane or hard, and that these people must be so lonely and unhappy and live life meaninglessly for not needing anybody being there for them, where in truth, these people are peaceful, happy and live life meaningfully without being depending on other beings’ love, attention and companionship to life live meaningfully, or to feel loved and worthy, or to be free from loneliness and boredom.

Those who think and believe that they need to have other people’s love, attention and companionship to feel loved and worthy and meaningful, to not feel lonely and bored, are not free at all. But people don’t see that. And that’s their freedom of thinking and believe.

Doesn’t need anyone to be there for one to be happy and live life meaningfully, doesn’t mean that one is rejecting love and companionship from others, but, one will enjoy and appreciate all the love and companionship from others that are available in the present moment, without craving or clinging onto the love and companionship from others to be who they are, to feel happy and meaningful, or not. And when there is absence of love and companionship from others, one is still peaceful and happy and live life meaningfully as one is.

If people still can’t understand this, no one can make them understand. One has to realize this by oneself through direct experience and self-realization. Even some yoga and meditation teachers also don’t understand this. They teach about in order to counter loneliness, boredom, meaninglessness, depression, low self-esteem, or unworthiness, people need to have more friends to interact with, to play with, to communicate with, to share with. And it’s okay.

Be free.

Low self-esteem and the state of being free from pride are two different things

The minds are being conditioned to think and believe in a particular way to categorize everything into good and bad, right and wrong, meaningfulness and meaninglessness, positiveness and negativeness, happiness and unhappiness, appropriateness and disappropriateness, and so on. And once the mind is being conditioned to think and believe in a particular way, it’s not easy to allow the mind to be opened to see things as they are, because the mind naturally and autonomously reasons and analyzes everything based on that particular thinking and belief.

People growing up being fed with many information coming from their parents, care taker, friends, religious teachers, society, medias, and went to school/college/university to learn about many things/subjects and gathering all kind of information, and all these information become part of the thinking and belief to reason and analyze everything. But how many would reason the truth of all these information that is influencing them to reason and analyze everything?

Practicing yoga is to learn to inquire the truth of everything, without the influence of the thinking and belief in the mind, but just to see things as they are. Most of the time, people are just being different from one another, and there’s nothing wrong or sick for being different from one another. But, those who attached strongly onto their own way of thinking, belief and behavior, will perceive other people who think, believe and behave differently from them as something wrong or sick.

Low self-esteem is being categorized as something not good, bad, or negative in the worldly thinking and belief. It is being treated as a form of physical/mental/emotional weakness that they think it would make a person inferior than other people. But, low self-esteem is just another by-product of ignorance and egoism, just like pride, arrogance, unhappiness, anger, hatred, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurt, animosity, offensiveness, defensiveness, violence, grief, sorrow, agitation, meaninglessness, worthlessness, loneliness, fear and worry, and so on.

If the mind is free from ignorance and egoism, low self-esteem as well as all the other form of impurities won’t exist in the mind.

Worldly minded people think that in order to counter or conquest low self-esteem, they need to develop confidence and proudness through accumulating knowledge, skills, achievements, friendships and widening the social interaction network. But they don’t see where does low self-esteem come from.

The cause of low self-esteem is not because of lack of knowledge, skill, achievement, friendship or limited social interaction network. It is the worldly thinking and belief that is based on egoism about how a person should think, belief and behave in the society that categorize people into ‘normal’, ‘rightful’, ‘positive’ and ‘healthy’, or ‘abnormal’, ‘wrongful’, ‘negative’ and ‘unhealthy’, is the real cause of why people are suffering from low self-esteem when they try to comply to all the standards of the worldly thinking and belief that is based on egoism about what is a good and meaningful life that people would feel proud of, but somehow they think they are not good enough when they are unable to achieve the standard of a good and meaningful life that everyone could feel proud of. They were being told to believe that they are not good enough and their life is meaningless, if they don’t achieve something that they can feel proud of themselves, or if they are unable to make other people to feel proud of them.

Even many of the yoga practitioners and teachers in the world are not free from being influence by the worldly thinking and belief that is based on egoism.
This is a common and ‘normal’ and ‘right’ thing to say in everyday life,
“I am so proud of myself.”
“I am so proud of you.”
“You must be so proud of yourself.”
“My parents are very proud of me.”
“You should be so proud of yourself. How is it possible that you are not proud of yourself?” and so on.

If people didn’t make a statement about “I am so proud of you.” after other people have achieved or done something that they believe as ‘good’ or ‘great’, they will be considered as lack of empathy, unappreciative, stingy to say nice things, or being ‘abnormal’. And people would feel disappointed or upset if other people didn’t say anything about being proud of them, and it makes them think that maybe they are not good enough to be proud of themselves, or they are not good enough to make other people to be proud of them.

And, in order to help people who they think is suffering from low self-esteem, they think that they should constantly telling people, “I am so proud of you.” thinking that this will help people to be free from low self-esteem, so that people won’t feel bad about themselves, and feel good about themselves. What can really help people who are suffering from low self-esteem is allowing them to understand that they are fine as they are, that they can just do their best without the intention of doing something to feel proud of themselves, and they don’t need to make other people to feel proud of them, or they don’t need to keep hearing other people to tell them, “I am so proud of you.” to be happy or to live a meaningful life.

It’s like some people always looking for love and affection or attention from other people. If they don’t hear from other people, “I love you.” or “I miss you.” for some time, they will feel unloved, left out and miserable. And people think that by constantly showing and telling people, “I love you.” will help people to be free from unhappiness or suffering from unloved or low self-esteem, but it doesn’t, because it only empowers the attachment and the craving for love and acknowledgement from others to feel loved and meaningful. What can really help people to be free from the unhappiness or suffering from unloved or lack of love, is allowing them to understand that they don’t need love from others at all, through realizing unconditional love in themselves, by freeing the mind from ignorance and egoism.

It’s the worldly thinking and belief that is why people create unnecessary unhappiness or suffering in themselves, drowning in the desire of craving and ceaselessly longing for love and acknowledgement from other beings, by thinking that human beings should attain love and acknowledgement from one another, to feel loved and meaningful.

Those who are free, They are happy and peaceful as they are. They appreciate all love and acknowledgement from everyone as it is, but they don’t need love or acknowledgement from others to be happy, to feel meaningful, or to be who they are. Even if they have no parents, siblings, children, friends or anyone being there, to show love and care for them or to acknowledged them, they are peaceful as they are.

Worldly minded people would relate or refer the people or children who are being free from pride, who don’t have the need/desire/craving to feel proud about anything as a form of suffering from low self-esteem, lack of self-respect/self-love, or worthlessness. They believe that ‘normal’ and ‘mentally healthy’ people must have some sort of pride or proudness about themselves or towards something that is related to them in life, such like be proud of their family background, culture, religion, country, nationality, parents, siblings, children, friends, or things that they like to do or things that they can do, and etc.

Or else, they suggest that people must be suffering from low self-esteem, lack of self-respect/self-love, or worthlessness, and it’s ‘abnormal’ and ‘mentally unhealthy’ for someone who doesn’t have the need/desire/craving to feel proud of anything, who response to the question of “Do you feel proud of yourself? You must be so proud of yourself. Your parents and friends must be so proud of you for your achievement.” with the answer of “No. I never feel proud of myself or anything. Why do I need to feel proud of myself? I don’t need anyone to be proud of me either. People can be proud of me if they want. It’s their freedom. It doesn’t matter to me whether people are proud of me, or not. I am what I am. I’m not interested to be what other people want me to be, so that they will be proud of me.”

There are children or people whom the worldly minded think that they are suffering from low self-esteem (which they are not), when they don’t need to feel proud about themselves even when they had achieved great results in school or in career, as the worldly minded think and believe that every normal and mentally healthy person should feel proud of themselves or feel proud of other people around them for being ‘good’ and for achieving ‘great results’ or ‘success’, that it’s something wrong in their brain or mind for not feeling proud for something that the worldly minded think is good and great. But actually, people are peaceful and happy as they are, when they are free from pride or the need/desire/craving to feel proud and meaningful about anything towards oneself and others, which the worldly minded have no understanding at all due to ignorance. These people or children are aware of themselves of what they achieve or don’t achieve, but there’s no identification or attachment towards the quality of names and forms that they possessed or don’t possessed, and there’s no need to depend on anything to feel proud, in order to feel good or meaningful about themselves or about life.

The needlessness to feel proud of anything and the absence of meaninglessness due to the mind is free from ignorance and egoism, and the low self-esteem or the sense of meaninglessness that is due to being informed by the worldly minded to believe that they shouldn’t be contented with being what they are, that they always have to be better than what they are, that they have to achieve certain standards and higher performances to feel good and meaningful, is two completely different things. And, most people become mentally disturbed, when they start to believe what they have been told by other worldly minded people that it’s ‘abnormal’ and ‘wrong’, that they are mentally sick for being different from other ‘normal’ people.

There are children or people who don’t feel the need of friends or companionship from others, who are happy being alone by themselves, or they feel fine and happy without mixing or playing or interacting with other children or people, and there’s nothing wrong with that, and it’s not a form of mental illness to be alone, to feel needless to have friends, or it’s needless to be mixing and playing and interacting with other children or people in order to be happy, to feel meaningful, to not feel lonely, or to be ‘normal’.

The children or people who are fine and happy being alone by oneself and don’t need to feel proud or meaningful about anything, they are not mentally sick or in suffering at all. They are happy and peaceful as they are. But worldly minded people don’t think so. They think that these people or children must be so lonely and miserable and meaningless without any friends to play with or interacting with, because that is being planted in their mind, “If you don’t have friends to play with or interacting with, you must be lonely and miserable and meaningless.”

There are people who don’t need to feel sad or grief or mourn for the dead, and being indifferent towards birth and death, it’s not that they are lack of empathy or mentally sick, but they have realized the truth of life existence and have gone beyond ‘normal’ worldly thinking and belief about birth and death, where ‘normal’ people would cheer and celebrate for the newborns as a form of happiness and blessing, and they would grieve and mourn for the dead as a form of painful sorrow and suffering.

Meanwhile, ‘normal’ worldly minded people would feel so unhappy, meaningless, lonely and miserable when they are alone by themselves, when they are not being with other people, thinking that they are being left out and unloved, that no one notice or appreciate them, that no one is there to love and care for them, to be friend with them, or to play and interact with them, constantly craving for and clinging onto ‘friends’ and ‘social interactions’, in order to feel happy, meaningful, loved and ‘normal’, and there is fear and sadness towards solitude, illness, old age, death and separation from the people and things that they love, constantly missing the people and things that they loved when they are out of sight or unavailable. But for them, this is ‘normal’ and ‘mentally healthy’.

No wonder the saints and sages in the past declared that “The awakened ones are awake while the others are asleep.” and “The unawakened ones take suffering as bliss and take bliss as suffering.” There’s no debate can change another person’s mind. It has to come from everyone’s self-realization to realize what is going on in their minds.

Everyone is free for how they want to feel and what they want to do with their body and mind. Allowing everyone to feel what they feel and be different from one another, even if people believe that being prideful and full of passionate desires is ‘normal’ and ‘healthy’, while thinking that it’s ‘abnormal’ and ‘unhealthy’ for other people who are free from pride and passionate desires.

Go beyond the sense of meaninglessness and meaningfulness

As long as the mind is still swaying in between the sense of meaninglessness and meaningfulness, rejecting the sense of meaninglessness and longing for the sense of meaningfulness, know that this is due to ignorance and egoism, and this mind is not free.

The ignorant egoistic mind is determined by the existence and non-existence of certain qualities of names and forms that generates either the sense of meaninglessness or the sense of meaningfulness. The mind recognizes and labels certain qualities of names and forms as ‘meaningful’ or ‘meaningless’, and has craving/longing towards what the mind recognizes and labels as ‘meaningfulness’ and has aversion towards what the mind recognizes and labels as ‘meaninglessness’.

For the mind that is not free from ignorance and egoism, there will always be the perception of the sense of meaninglessness towards the existence or the absence of certain qualities of names and forms, which leads to the longing for the sense of meaningfulness that the mind thinks it can be found in certain qualities of names and forms, with the intention to be free from the sense of meaninglessness.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying and appreciating all the nice experiences that make us feel good and happy, and the companionship of nice people who are nice to us, who like and agree with us, who are like-minded as us, who share the similar thinking, belief and values. But, what happen when all these nice experiences and the companionship of the people whom we like and want to be with are not available to us or are absent for a period of time? The mind feels dissatisfied, disappointed, unhappy, depressed and meaningless. The mind misses all the nice experiences and companionship of people whom the mind likes and wants to be with and interact with. The mind experiences suffering. This mind is not free, even if this is a good mind with good behavior and good will.

Realize yoga, be liberated from ignorance and egoism, there’s neither meaninglessness nor meaningfulness.

One enjoys and appreciates all the nice experiences and the companionship of other people who are like-minded, but one doesn’t miss anything or anyone when all these names and forms are not existing/available. One doesn’t miss any objects of names and forms of the senses of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations or thoughts, that the mind likes and agrees with. One doesn’t miss any activities that one would enjoy doing. One doesn’t miss any particular interaction or connection with anyone. One doesn’t miss anyone whom one loves and cares for. One doesn’t miss any ‘good’ things and ‘happy’ experiences that are not existing/available, that are absent in the present moment, or indefinitely.

By advising other people who feel meaninglessness in life to do or achieve something that will give them the sense of meaningfulness doesn’t help them to be free. It is not the teachings or practice of yoga.

Whenever the mind finds the sense of meaningfulness in certain objects or actions or experiences, may it be teaching yoga to other people, or the accomplishment in yoga practice, or doing charity works, or contribution to the less fortunate ones, or doing certain things that one feels accomplishment and satisfaction, or being treated with respect, love and kindness by other people, or living a higher quality of life, or having an intense faith towards ‘God’ or particular belief and practice, then know that this mind is not free. The mind that is free, is aware of all the perception of different qualities of names and forms, but there’s no sense of meaninglessness or meaningfulness existing. There’s no longing or missing towards something that the mind perceives as ‘good’ and ‘meaningful’.

All the names and forms are impermanent (good or bad, meaningless or meaningful), and the liberated mind is not determined by any ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘meaningless’ or ‘meaningful’ actions or experiences or objects of names and forms, to be existing, to feel meaningless or meaningful.

This realization/liberation derives from the persist practice of silence being in solitude and seclusion for a prolonged period of time.

Be free.

The importance of renouncing worldly life for those who want to realize yoga

Renunciation is an important part of yoga sadhana for those who are aware of the consequences of ignorance and egoism in oneself, who sincerely want to realize yoga to be free from ignorance and suffering. Those who just want to do some yoga exercise to gain some benefits to look good and feel good about oneself, who enjoy being passionate towards worldly life and social activities, who think ignorance doesn’t exist in them, they don’t have to follow the path of renunciation.

After learning and practicing yoga for some years having developed a certain degrees of non-attachment and correct understanding of the teachings and practice of yoga, yoga practitioners who want to realize yoga will have to eventually renounce the worldly life and retreat into solitude and seclusion for a prolonged period of time.

This is not about going for a short term of a few days or few weeks of yoga retreat holidays where people indulge in yoga related activities that they enjoy doing, that make people feel good and meaningful, spending time being with people who are like-minded, connecting and interacting with people who share the same ideas and values, while being able to stay connected and interacting with family and friends and the world, but it’s about renouncing the worldly life of all sorts of relationships with people or animals or things and social activities, and retreating into solitude and seclusion for at least 5 – 6 years. Allow everyone and everything to be what they are, as they are, without interference with anyone or anything expecting/wishing them to be the way that we think they should be.

Renunciation from worldly life or retreating into solitude and seclusion for a prolonged period of time might be perceived by many people, including those who think they love yoga and are practicing yoga, as ‘running away from life or the world’, or ‘being selfish and uncaring’ towards family, friends and the society, as most minds are being conditioned by worldly thinking and belief of a strong attachment and identification towards certain values of life consist of family and friends, social interactions and worldly affairs.

Our worldly life consists of all relationships and things and activities is what we think is what we are, and we take all these names and forms to be the highest value/meaning of life existence (family and friends, culture and spirituality or religion, what we do or don’t do, what we have or don’t have, what we achieve and don’t achieve, and what we contribute or don’t contribute to the society). For many people, it’s ‘wrong’, ‘bad’, ‘inappropriate’, ‘inhuman’, ‘selfish’ and ‘crazy’ to not connecting or interacting with family and friends, or the society. And it’s okay. Everyone has the freedom for how they perceive and understand and think about everything.

But this is also why people perceive/experience all kinds of suffering in this worldly life existence. And it’s okay, because people rather choose to go through suffering than to find out how to be free from suffering.

We might not like suffering and we don’t want suffering or what we think and believe as ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’, but we are not aware of the root cause of all suffering, and we don’t like or disagree with the teaching/practice that will lead us to realize the cause of suffering and how to be free from suffering, due to deep rooted ignorance and egoism.

At one moment, we feel good, happy, meaningful and contented when things are the way that we like it to be or how we think it should be, when our wishes and desires are being gratified. At another moment, we feel hurt, annoyed, frustrated, agitated, disappointed, dissatisfied, upset, unhappy, angry, hating, fear and worry when things are not the way that we like it to be or how we think it should be, when our wishes and desires are not being gratified. And we tell ourselves and others that this is life, this is human nature, this is normal for all human beings. But then, whether intentionally or unintentionally, we constantly do and say things that would cause damage and disharmony in oneself and in the world, out of hurt, annoyance, frustration, agitation, disappointment, dissatisfaction, upset, unhappiness, anger, hatred, animosity, fear and worry.

Whether we like and agree with it, or not, the entire practice of yoga is about the annihilation of egoism of attachment, identification and the desires of craving and aversion, to free the mind from impurities, to be free from ignorance, to transcend suffering.

Although one has been doing yoga practice for a long time and has heard about selflessness, but one cannot realize yoga (selflessness), if one doesn’t work on freeing the mind from the egoistic attachment and identification with the worldly life existence as ‘I’, ‘This is who and what I am’, ‘This is my body’, ‘This is my mind’, ‘This is my thinking/belief/culture/religion/ethnicity’, ‘This is my life’, ‘This is my family’, ‘These are my children’, ‘These are my friends’, ‘These are my brothers and sisters’, ‘This is where I belonged’, ‘This is my country’, and ‘This is my world’. All these names and forms are just what they are, they are impermanent, they don’t belong to ‘I’, and they are not ‘I’.

The ego constantly straining the body and the mind expecting the body and mind to be like this or like that, to be able to do this or that, to be able to achieve what ‘I’ like and what ‘I’ want. ‘I’ want my body and my mind to be like this, ‘I’ don’t like them to be like that. ‘I’ want my body and my mind to be able to do this and achieve that. And we think we love our body and mind, but we don’t. We just want the body and the mind to gratify all my desires or wishes of what I like and what I want.

When one realized yoga or selflessness, there’s no separateness of ‘I’ and what the mind perceives as ‘my family’, ‘my friends’, ‘my brothers and sisters’, and so on. There’s no ‘We are one big family’, ‘We are all human beings’, or ‘We are connected together’. There’s no ‘we’.

Connection exists only when there is still the perception of separateness of different individuals, that two or more separate objects/particles/souls/beings connect together. Connection doesn’t exist in oneness, or non-separateness. When there is connection, there is disconnection. It is still within the perception of duality. And the main teaching and practice of yoga is to realize non-duality, or oneness, or non-separateness. One doesn’t need to stay connected with any other beings to feel that we are connected to each other.

Those who really want to know what is yoga, they will realize it when the mind experiences complete silence being in solitude and seclusion, being cut off from the worldly life of all relationships with everyone and everything, and worldly objects and activities that the mind loves and familiars with, for a prolonged period of time.

We like to say we love yoga and we think we have been practicing yoga for a long time, and we feel satisfied, confident, good and happy when our body becomes stronger and more flexible and is able to do many of the yoga asana poses that we want to be able to do, but then we would give ourselves many ‘reasonable’ excuses about why we don’t need or don’t want to renounce worldly life to cut off all the tendencies of all kinds of attachment, clinging, longing and craving.

Some yoga practitioners would have no difficulty to perform their daily routine of yoga asana and pranayama practice regularly, and gaining great improvement in physical health and fitness level, strength and flexibility and skill to perform many of the yoga asana poses, and attaining momentary good and happy feelings, sense of self-worth, confidence and meaningfulness in the mind due to the effects and achievements from performing the yoga practice regularly, being able to live the life that they want, but not many are interested in observing complete silence in solitude and seclusion for a prolonged period of time, to be isolated from people and things that they love and the worldly life and activities that they are familiar with. The ego needs to feel loved and be connected with the world, to feel good, happy, confident, or meaningful.

Some people will have no difficulty to go into a silent retreat centre for a few weeks, and stop connecting and interacting with other people and stop doing the activities that they like to do for that few weeks, as they know this is just a very short term restriction, but when the mind has to go through a prolonged period of time being cut off from people and things and activities that they love and like, there will be pain/suffering arise in the mind.

Meanwhile, some people might think that they have developed a good foundation of non-attachment and detachment, because they can let go certain things in life, but most probably that is because the mind has found some other new attachment to cling onto, such like new friends, or new relationships, or ‘new toys’ to play with, or new activities to do in life.

While some people love to go for weeks and months of ‘yoga retreat’, but know that most of the yoga retreats in the world are not about silencing the mind, but it is about living with a community that are like-minded, doing activities and interacting with other people who share the similar ideas and values, which makes the ego feels comfortable, good, happy and meaningful, but this doesn’t help the mind to be free from ignorance and egoism.

Only when the mind can live in solitude and seclusion for a prolonged period of time, when the mind no longer needs to attach onto any beings or objects or activities to feel loved and connected, to feel good, happy, confident and meaningful about itself and life existence and the world, then this being can live and mix freely in the society, love everyone and everything unconditionally, care for humanity and benefit the world efficiently. There’s no loneliness, boredom, longing, clinging, craving, dissatisfaction, incompleteness, emptiness, void, meaninglessness, or fear in this mind.

“Do good to others, help others, give love and care to others, because it is meaningful and it makes us feel good and happy for being able to do good and give help, love and care to others.” – This is not the teaching of yoga at all. This is the ego needs to attach onto certain qualities of names and forms to feel good and happy and meaningful about itself and life existence. This is empowering the ego. It’s not freedom. The one who is free from the ego, simply just do good, just give help, love and care to others, NOT because ‘I’ want to or need to feel good and happy and meaningful about myself and my life for being able to do good, to give help, love and care to others.

The minds that are free from ignorance and egoism remain equanimous, peaceful and kind towards all beings without discrimination under any difficult conditions, situations and circumstances. These minds don’t need to renounce worldly life to retreat into solitude and seclusion, as they are free from egoism of attachment, identification, desires and impurities, and they are undisturbed/undetermined by all the perceptions of good and bad qualities of names and forms, and hence being free from all kinds of disturbs or suffering. These minds don’t need to display any yoga asana poses through the physical body to show that they are practicing yoga.

Be free.