Never tell people who live in difficult life condition about what they should and shouldn’t eat

The realization of unconditional peace is not determined by what people eat or don’t eat, or whether one is eating ‘pure non-animal products vegetarian food’ or ‘animal products non-vegetarian food’.

By consuming ‘pure and clean food’ or ‘non-animal products vegetarian diet’ doesn’t guarantee that one is or will be free from ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering. Just like by performing many years of ‘yoga practice’ also doesn’t guarantee that one is free from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance. One might still be overpowered by the sense of self-righteousness, pride and superiority, and hence, be disturbed very much by what the mind perceives/recognizes as bad, wrong, negativity, inferiority, hurtful, offensive, insulting, disrespectful, undeserving, disappointing, painful sorrow, or suffering. People can be observing vegetarian diet due to cultural/religious practice for many years, and feel proud for being ‘compassionate vegetarian’ or being one of the member of a culture/religion, but still the mind might be not free from ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering.

People who consume ‘particular type of non-animal products vegetarian food’ with the sense of self-righteousness, pride and superiority, might be over-powered by self-righteousness and would criticize/condemn others who consume ‘animal products non-vegetarian food’, or vice versa. This is not part of the yoga practice.

Whether it’s part of the spiritual/cultural/religious/environmental/ethical practice, or due to some other reasons that people choose to adopt a particular type of food choice based on one’s thinking/belief/thoughtfulness/conscience, but we cannot tell or interfere with people what they should or shouldn’t eat, or ‘criticizing’ or ‘condemning’ those whom we think they don’t adopt ‘that particular type of food choice’ for some reasons, as we think that we are somehow more superior than others because of our superior food choice.

Just like we ourselves want to practice yoga, but we can’t go into people’s life and tell people what they should and shouldn’t practice, or how people should and shouldn’t think/believe/behave/act and react, and we can’t criticize/condemn anyone who don’t like yoga, or who don’t practice yoga, or who aren’t interested in yoga, or who don’t practice yoga as it is, even though we see yoga as something good and beneficial for many people, provided if people allow their minds to be open, unattached towards any particular thinking and belief that has been conditioning/influencing how they think, judge, feel, expect, act and react towards all the names and forms, as those who attached strongly onto their particular thinking and belief cannot be open to inquire the truth of other teachings/practice that are different from their own thinking and belief, as they would instantly reject and object what is different from and contradicted with their existing social/cultural/religious/spiritual thinking and belief, of what they think they know, and do not want to learn/inquire/know any further about other teachings/practice that they disagree with based on their own thinking and belief, as well as there’s fear towards knowing the truth of what if their own thinking and belief from young until now is not necessarily true, but people just blind-believing and blind-following those thinking and beliefs, and fear of ‘sin’ and ‘punishment’ due to ‘losing faith in their thinking and belief’, if they start questioning the truth of their thinking and belief. We can only share our knowledge and experience in yoga with those who are interested in yoga and they want to learn from our knowledge and experience, and they are ready to allow their minds to be open to inquire the truth of everything. Even so, we can’t expect anyone of them to practice yoga diligently as it is. It’s their own freedom and responsibility whether they want to practice yoga diligently as it is, or not, after we share the knowledge and experience with them.

People have the rights or freedom to choose what they want to eat or don’t eat, even if our minds feel disagree with and disturbed by other people’s choice of food consumption.

Although it’s everyone’s freedom if they want to interfere with other people’s life, but those who truly practice yoga will not be interested in interfering with other people’s life. Never tell people who live in difficult life condition, who are or have been going through many difficulties and hardship in life about what they should eat or shouldn’t eat. People might be suffering and dying from hunger and malnutrition or diseases, due to poverty and lack of educational background being bullied, discriminated and exploited by the commercial world, and most probably don’t make enough ‘money’ to buy/get enough food not to say ‘clean’ and ‘nutritious’ food even after working very hard for many hours a day. Imagine people who have a rather easy comfortable life, who don’t need to suffer much hardship and difficult condition in life, go around and tell other people who have no choice but have to be doing hard labour work with very low income for survival while struggling to provide food and shelter for oneself and/or the family about what they should eat and shouldn’t eat.

Keep one’s thinking/belief/practice/food choice/way of life to oneself, and respect other people’s different thinking/beliefs/practices/food choices/ways of life, even if they are contradicted with our thinking/belief/practice/food choice/way of life. If people want to follow our way of life/practice/food choice, that’s their freedom, but not because we expect and believe that everyone should be like us.

There’s nothing wrong if out of our own conscience/ethical reason that we want to adopt a particular type of food choice, but we also respect others for their different type of food choice, without criticizing/condemning other people’s choices of food consumption that we don’t like or don’t agree with, that we think is bad and wrong, unethical or unhealthy.

Go beyond the name and form of ‘vegetarian’ and ‘non-vegetarian’. It’s not who you are/what you are, as many people, including yoga enthusiasts like to say, “You are what you eat.” No doubt that food intake directly influences the energy field, the physical condition and the state of the mind, but the minds that have realized selflessness/namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness/non-separateness, it goes beyond all the identifications, names, forms, attributes, dualities, separateness, energy field, the physical condition, the state of the mind, good and bad karma, easy and difficult life condition, desirable and undesirable life experiences. It’s part of the teaching of yoga of ‘Transcending all the Gunas, energy field, names and forms, attributes/qualities, dualities, the physical condition and the states of the mind’. Whatever the mind thinks and identifies as ‘I’, is merely ignorance.

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It’s one’s free-will, awareness and responsibility towards one’s liberation

Buddha didn’t go around trying to change other people’s thinking and behavior to be the way that he thought it should be, nor did he has intention trying to make the world a better place or to save the world from destruction.

He went around to disseminate the teachings and practice of Buddhism and allowed people to take up the practice, or not, through their own free-will, awareness and responsibility.

He didn’t criticize or condemn any kind of thinking and behavior that was under the influence of ignorance. He respected all beings as they were. He didn’t tell other people – The teachings of Buddhism was true and all the other teachings were false. He allowed everyone to realize the truth by themselves.

Buddha transformed and liberated himself. He didn’t try to transform or liberate other beings. He allowed everyone to transform and liberate themselves, or not.

Look into our own thinking and behavior – are we truly practicing the teachings of yoga or Buddhism?

It’s needless to identify oneself as a yogi or Buddhist if one truly practice the teachings of yoga or Buddhism.

It’s pointless to identify oneself as a yogi or Buddhist if one doesn’t practice the teachings of yoga or Buddhism.

Om shanti.

Want to practice yoga? (3)

Do we need to restrict or limit ourselves in social interactive conversation and activities when we take up yoga practice?

It depends on ourselves. Just like being a vegetarian or non-vegetarian doesn’t guarantee that one is peaceful and be free from ignorance and egoism, it’s the same as by observing any forms of yoga practice doesn’t guarantee that one will be free from ignorance and egoism, and is peaceful.

Of course all the observations exist to serve their purposes or assistance in aid to purify and calm the mind, to allow the mind to be able to perceive the truth of things as they are.

Without the practice of non-attachment, non-identification, desireless, and letting go of craving and aversion, one’s mind will always be affected, or disturbed, or influenced and determined by all the perceptions of names and forms, and is restless and have no peace, no matter how much external physical form of yoga practices we have been performing and attaining huge physical and mental benefits from the yoga practice. When the mind is restless and is under the influence of impurities, the mind is not able to see the truth of things as they are.

If we just want to practice yoga for attaining some physical and mental health and fitness benefits, then we don’t have to restrict or limit ourselves in social interactive conversation and activities.

If we practice yoga for mind conquest, for liberation to be free from ignorance and suffering, then we need to restrict or limit ourselves in social interactive conversation and activities, if our minds are easily being affected, or disturbed, or influenced by all the inputs of names and forms. For those who have achieved a strong foundation of the practice of non-attachment and non-identification, and are not easily be affected, or disturbed, or influenced by all the inputs of names and forms, then there’s no need to have such restriction, but they will still limit over stimulation to the mind as much as possible. Those who are completely be free from ignorance and egoism, and they are unaffected, or undisturbed, or uninfluenced by any inputs of names and forms, then they can mix freely into the society and engage in any forms of social conversations and activities, if they want, but they don’t have to, unless it’s necessary.

And hence, silent meditation retreat courses exist to serve this purpose to quiet the mind, to stop stimulating the mind, to move the mind away from worldly affairs, social interactions and activities. But, if we don’t know how to retreat ourselves in everyday life, our minds will always be restless being distracted and stimulated by all the inputs of names and forms.

In most conversations, many people like to ask or want to know about the past and the future. Most people want to be friendly by starting a social interactive conversation, where they want to talk about themselves and also to hear other people talk about their stuffs, they want to give their opinions and also to hear other people’s opinions, they want to know about other people and want to be known by other people as well.

There’s nothing wrong with the worldly social interactions between human beings. But in yoga practice, it’s about knowing oneself. It’s not about knowing other people or want to be known by other people. Minds that are conditioned by worldly thinking and ideas might think that it’s a form of selfishness when some people don’t show interest to know about others. But in yoga, one practices disinterest in worldly affairs as well as other people’s affair. It isn’t that yoga practitioners don’t care for what is happening to the world and other people, but one must take care of one’s mind first before one can care for the world and others efficiently.

When one’s mind is free from ignorance, egoism, attachment, identification, desires, craving, aversion and all sorts of impurities, and realizes unconditional love and peace in oneself, being firmly resting in peace undisturbed by all the qualities of names and forms, then naturally, without any intention or expectation, one will be contributing peace into the world by stop generating unrest and disharmony into the world. By taking care of oneself, to have peace in oneself, is actually loving and caring for the world and the society.

One must learn about oneself and know about oneself by quieting and purifying the mind through self-introspection and self-discipline, and then one will know how to love and care for oneself, before one can actually know about others, and love and care for others. The entire society will become more peaceful and harmony when everyone learns about oneself, knows oneself, and loves and cares for oneself.

On top of that, socializing, mingling and chit-chatting are good for worldly social interaction and public relation, but it is detrimental for yoga and meditation practice. Too much talking and social activities stimulate the thought waves and strengthens the worldly attachments, identifications and ideas, and empowering the desires of craving and aversion, if one hasn’t developed certain degrees of correct understanding about the mind, the ego and suffering.

We can list out what people usually talk about in a social conversation, and see how much our minds are being influenced and affected by all those daily conversations about worldly matters. And we might realize what is the cause for our minds being over stimulated and suffer from restlessness, and from where we have been accumulating lots of physical, emotional and mental tension that we need to de-stress or unwind ourselves from time to time. If we know how to stop generating tension into our body and mind, we don’t need to do anything special to unwind or relax.

Instead of exhausting energy in socializing or talking about worldly ideas and affairs, we conserve energy for practicing yoga. Talking about worldly ideas and affairs won’t help anyone to be free from worldly identifications and attachments towards worldly names and forms, and won’t make the world to be a better place. In fact, talking about this and that will stimulate the mind, and it doesn’t help to quiet the mind. Yoga and meditation practice is mainly to quiet the mind. The states of the world will change towards peace and harmony only if each and everyone who are existing and living in the world has self-awareness and self-control, to make an effort to change themselves to purify and quiet their minds, to be free from ignorance and egoism. The world is just what it is. It is neither good nor bad. It’s the occupants of the world that are projecting good and bad qualities into the world and contributing peace or unrest into the world under the influence of impurities. The one who is pure, being free from good and bad qualities, perceives the world as it is.

Yoga teaches about compassion, but it’s not about trying to please everyone to make them feel good, happy and comfortable, by giving them whatever they like and want. But it’s to allow everyone to be aware of what is going on in their minds, and realize the truth to be free from ignorance, and transcend suffering, realize unconditional love and peace that is not coming from anyone or anything outside this body and mind, but from within oneself unconditionally.

We learn to stay away from gossips, vain talks, conflicts, condemn, criticism, back-biting, and etc. When we have bad things to say about others, it’s not because others are being bad and wrong, but it’s because our minds are not pure. If our minds are pure, there’s no bad thing to say about others, even if we are aware of something that isn’t good and right about someone based on what our minds believe as good and bad, right and wrong. Worldly minded people might think that being silence towards things that are bad and wrong is supporting all those bad and wrong things. But, what people think and believe as good and bad, right and wrong, is very subjective, it’s not necessarily the truth of what things are. By being vocally and physically violent towards something that is bad and wrong won’t change the reality of those things being bad and wrong. But everyone must develop self-awareness and self-introspection in themselves to be aware of their own minds, to be initiative to make an effort to purify their own minds, to have self-discipline to restrict their physical and mental worldly activities, and have self-control over their own thinking, actions and speech.

By telling people that they are ignorant or wrong and bad, won’t make people stop being ignorant or wrong and bad. It has to come from their own self-awareness, self-introspection, self-discipline and self-control.

For many people, being direct and straightforward might be seen as bad attitude or weakness for social interaction in the society. Some people are always being friendly, polite and nice in front of some other people, but they can’t hold their tongues to complain and criticize about other people behind their backs. Of course that’s their freedom of thoughts, actions and speech. But, if we want to purify and silent our minds, we try to stay away from this type of mind habit of hypocrisy and back-biting as much as possible.

We purify our minds until there’s no ill-will or ill-thinking about anyone. There’s nothing to complain about or criticize anyone whether in front or behind their backs. When we criticize about others, it’s not because others are bad and wrong, or when we compliment others, it’s not because others are good and right, but it’s our mind being impure and project impurities of good and bad qualities onto everyone and everything that our minds perceive through the senses, under the influence of personal likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements based on what our egoistic minds believe what things are.

Quieting the mind.

Om shanti

About insult or disrespectfulness…

There is a public dispute about some people took some nude photos on the top of a ‘sacred’ mountain and being blamed for the earthquake that has taken some lives and caused some damages.

Every living being is being born into this world naked.

When someone feels insulted or disrespected by something, it is the mind that projects the quality of ‘insult’ or ‘disrespectfulness’ onto certain names and forms that is responsible for the mind to feel being insulted or disrespected upon coming in contact with what the mind projects and believes as ‘insulting’ and ‘disrespectful’.

There are people who believe nakedness is something highly sacred. And there are people believe it is something truly insulting and disrespectful towards sacredness.

Whether the mind believes nakedness is something sacred or something insulting and disrespectful towards sacredness, it’s just something that the mind wants to believe what it is. Nakedness itself is neither sacred nor insulting towards sacredness.

If the mind is dirty, then nakedness meant something dirty for this being. But it is not what nakedness truly is.

If the mind is sacred, then nakedness meant something sacred for this being. But it is not what nakedness truly is.

Nakedness is just what it is.

Nakedness has no quality to be something ‘insulting’ or ‘disrespectful’, but coming from the mind thinks and believes that “being naked” is something ‘insulting’ and ‘disrespecting’, and it intentionally wants to be insulting or disrespectful by being naked to insult or disrespect others.

Something truly sacred or pure cannot be contaminated by any impurities.

If something claimed to be sacred can be offended and threatened by something that is ‘impure’, ‘insulting’ and disrespectful’, no one should go near to that thing that claimed to be sacred.

If the ‘God’ is ‘someone’ easily be offended and be threatened by impure and ignorant human being’s ignorant behavior, and will get very angry and will hurt those ignorant beings out of anger and hatred, what type of ‘God’ is this?

If a mind is not pure, full of evil and corrupted thinking and ill-will, this mind is being ‘disrespectful’ and ‘insulting’ within itself, towards itself, even if it puts on sufficient, respectful or decent clothing on the physical appearance.

Living in the world with so many different human beings with different thinking and beliefs, we should try to respect other people’s conditioned thinking and beliefs for what they think is respectfulness, appropriateness and sacredness.

That’s why some wise people try to stay away as much as possible from some other human beings to avoid unintentionally ‘insult’ or ‘disrespect’ certain people, and generate unnecessary tension.

Those who are pure will not have any interest to insult or disrespect anyone, nor be determined by other people’s intentional or unintentional insult or disrespectfulness.

Om shanti.

Looking after our minds…

Yoga practice is looking after our minds particularly through observing certain observation and restriction of mental and physical activities to purify our thinking patterns, actions and speech in everyday life, besides performing some forms of physical and breathing exercises (Yoga Asana and Pranayama) to assist and support concentration and meditation practice (Dharana and Dhyana), to know the truth and be free from being determined or disturbed by the world of impermanent names and forms.

If our minds are highly sensitive towards all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, and easily be affected by the pleasant and unpleasant qualities of name and form, and being restless being influenced and disturbed by the perceptions of names and forms, then we need to have certain degrees of limitation, or restriction, or filtration of what types of input that come in contact with the mind.

When the mind develops a strong foundation of non-attachment and non-identification, then all kinds of observation are unnecessary, and there’s no need of limitation, or restriction, or filtration of what types of input that come in contact with the mind.

The practice of disassociation and non-identification with any names and forms is our basic yoga practice.

The worldly minded minds will want to avoid this type of yoga practice, and criticize this type of practice as anti-social and ‘unhuman’. The worldly minded minds identify with the name and form of ‘human beings’ – “I am a human being. I am a good human being. Good human beings should have such and such qualities, should behave in such and such ways, or else we are bad human beings.” We don’t just expect ourselves as human beings we should behave in certain ways, but we also expect other ‘human beings’ also conform to our own projection and expectation, constantly generate separateness, conflicts, arguments, discrimination and hatred in oneself and others.

Yoga and meditation practice is not about strengthening or securing the worldly identification with certain qualities of name and form as this or that, but it’s to drop off any identifications with any names and forms, realize non-separateness, or oneness beyond all the qualities of name and form.

It’s the same as when we identify ourselves with a particular type of ‘origin’, ‘nation’, ‘culture’, ‘religion’, ‘ethnic’, ‘personality’, ‘professionalism’, ‘behavior’, ‘gender’, ‘sexual orientation’, ‘political group’, ‘social group’, ‘yoga practitioner’, ‘yoga teacher’, ‘yoga lineage’, or ‘yoga group’, we are not free.

Even by identifying oneself as a ‘divine being’ or ‘spiritual being’ is also not free from identification with qualities of name and form, and separateness.

Fear, discrimination (including discrimination of friends or not friends, human beings or non-human beings), pride and arrogance derive from separateness due to the identification with name and form. Unless we are free from fear, discrimination, pride and arrogance, there’s no discrimination of friends or not friends, human beings or non-human beings, or else we can’t be truly compassionate even though we would like to be a compassionate being.

Om shanti.