Hugging and touching?

In this era of the so called modern and highly developed society, most people perceive and observe the practice/habit/culture of ‘hugging’ and ‘touching’ as a form of showing love, acceptance and friendliness among beings, while they would feel awkward, bad and wrong, or even be offended, if some people don’t have or don’t observe the practice/habit/culture of hugging and touching.

Many yoga practitioners or spiritual seekers might also think and believe that ‘open mind’ and ‘loving kindness/warmness’ means people need to be affectionately hugging and touching one another to be showing non-discrimination, non-separateness, non-intimidation, love, acceptance and friendliness towards all beings, while the absence of hugging and touching is being perceived as ‘closed mind’ and ‘unloving-kindness’/’coldness’ that portrays the quality of discrimination, separateness, intimidation, lovelessness, non-acceptance and unfriendliness. Many also believe that the lack of hugging or touching by another being is highly detrimental to physical, mental and emotional health. They expect all beings, especially yoga practitioners or spiritual seekers should be constantly and actively hugging and touching all other beings that they come in contact with, to show that they are genuine yoga practitioners or spiritual seekers who embrace loving kindness, who are open minded and compassionate beings, while they would be puzzled by the very few of the yoga practitioners who don’t have or don’t observe such hugging and touching habit/culture.

For yoga practitioners who truly want to open their mind, is to be free from being conditioned by such worldly egoistic thinking, belief, values and practice, where the mind understands that ‘the existence and non-existence of open mind and compassion’ is nothing to do with ‘the presence and absence of physical hugging and touching another being’, where it’s nothing bad and there’s nothing wrong with the society having and observing the hugging and touching habit/culture, especially if the minds are pure and desireless, and it’s also nothing bad and there’s nothing wrong with those who don’t have or don’t observe the hugging and touching habit/culture either. Accepting all and everyone as they are, even though certain people behave in the way that goes against the thinking, belief, values and practice of the majority of the society.

Hugging and touching or not, doesn’t really determine the presence and absence of the quality of ‘non-discrimination’, ‘non-separateness’, ‘non-intimidation’, ‘love’, ‘acceptance’ and ‘friendliness’, while the quality of non-discrimination, non-separateness, non-intimidation, love, acceptance and friendliness aren’t necessarily have to be shown/portrayed by physical contact of hugging and touching one another.

Most people would feel rejected, unloved, left-out, depressed, lonely and meaningless upon the absence of physical/mental/emotional interaction of hugging and touching from some other beings. And hence, many people would think and believe that the solution is to be actively giving and receiving affectionate hugs and touches among beings.

It’s the ignorant egoistic passionate mind that has attachment and expectation towards the appropriateness and disappropriateness in social behavior and interaction that would feel rejected, unloved, left-out, depressed, lonely, meaningless, piteous or offended upon the absence or the lack of love and affection in the form of hugging and touching from other beings.

Contemplate upon why the ancient teachings/practice of yoga emphasized on the important observation of solitude and seclusion of non-physical/mental/emotional contact and non-physical touching with any other being, where yoga practitioners and spiritual seekers were being advised to observe solitude and seclusion for a prolonged period of time, to free the mind from the worldly habitual passionate desire of craving and clinging towards love and affection, to free the mind from ignorance and egoism, to silent/annihilate the modification of the mind.

One of the common practice/observation in the Ashrams is about none should be physically touching one another regardless of among the same or different gender, especially the swamis, monks and nuns. But, nowadays, in many of the ashrams, even many ‘modernized’ swamis, monks and nuns also don’t observe this practice anymore, and they mingling intimately with one another and the people who come to the ashrams, not to say many of the householders who identify themselves as ‘yoga practitioners’ or ‘yogis’. Many ‘yoga teacher training courses’ also emphasize on the physical hands on adjustment, where the many graduated ‘certified yoga teachers’ think and believe that it’s what a good and professional yoga teacher should be doing/practicing while teaching classes and while socializing/mingling with the students or the yoga community outside of the classes to develop stronger connection and relationship among one another.

There’s nothing wrong with the worldly egoistic thinking, belief, values and practice that propagates widely about “Everyone needs love, affection, hugs and touches.” But that is not yoga practice at all, as that is indeed empowering ignorance and egoism. It’s not any different from keep feeding sugary drinks to the children or keep providing drugs to the people to make them feel ‘happy and good’ from the momentary effects of sugary drinks or drugs and from the gratification of desires by giving people what they like and want. The yoga practice is to free the mind from ignorance and egoism, to realize selflessness/oneness/non-separateness, where there’s absence of needing/craving/clinging towards physical/mental/emotional love, affection, hugs and touches from other beings. There’s no need of developing stronger connection or relationship between ‘I’ and ‘the others’ in selflessness/oneness/non-separateness, as connection or relationship doesn’t exist in selflessness/oneness/non-separateness. There’s neither ‘I’ nor ‘the others’. There’s no ‘I’ need to be healed by ‘spiritual healing hugs and touches’.

A truly ‘healthy and compassionate’ society exists along with the minds that are free from ignorance and egoism. Everyone can be kind and loving towards one another out of selfless compassion, not because everyone ‘needs’ to give and receive love and affection to and from one another through certain action in order to make the egoistic minds feel good, happy, love and meaningful, or not to feel rejected, unloved, left-out, depressed, lonely, meaningless, piteous or offended upon the absence/lack of love and affection through certain action from other beings, as the ignorant egoistic minds think and believe that it’s so bad and terrible if there’s absence/lack of any form of love and affection among one another.

Be free.

Truthfulness?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Go beyond the sense of contentment, joy and meaningfulness

This teaching is for those who want to go beyond the limited mind perception of ‘good and bad’, ‘right and wrong’, ‘meaningfulness and meaninglessness’, who are interested in transcending worldly life existence of the function of an impermanent and selfless physical body and the mind perception of names and forms that is subject to the suffering of ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness, birth, hunger, thirst, ungratified desires, separation from people and things that one loves, coming in contact with people and things that one dislikes and disagrees with, impermanent changes, decay, old age, illness and death, but somehow, the mind is still being determined by the qualities of names and forms, and be disturbed by the situation in the world that is not the way that the mind would like it to be.

Those who have already gone beyond ‘goodness’ and ‘badness’, ‘meaningfulness’ and meaninglessness’, being peaceful as they are, being undisturbed or undetermined by all the qualities of names and forms, they don’t need this teaching.

Those who are aware of the truth of impermanence and selflessness, but they are not interested in silencing the modification of the mind to transcend the mind perception of a worldly life existence of restless ceaseless births and deaths, instead, they just want to enjoy life to the maximum. That’s their freedom.

Those who are not interested in transcending the worldly life existence of a body and mind that is subject to suffering, who believe in positive thinking/mind power to change the world to be a better place, who attached onto the presence of ‘goodness’ or ‘meaningfulness’ and the absence of ‘badness’ or ‘meaninglessness’, to feel good, content, happy and meaningful in life, they don’t need to take up this teaching and practice. Be happy.

The teaching and practice of yoga to eliminate ignorance and egoism is beyond the desire of craving and aversion towards names and forms. There’s neither clinging onto pleasant/desirable worldly life experiences nor aversion towards unpleasant/undesirable worldly life experiences. But merely seeing the truth of impermanence and selflessness of the body and mind as it is, and making use of this worldly life existence as the precious platform to transcend the mind perception of a worldly life existence of an impermanent selfless body and mind that is subject to the suffering of ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness.

One can develop great tolerance and forbearance to endure suffering when suffering arise, repeatedly, without aversion, but one doesn’t have to endure any suffering at all. Suffering doesn’t exist upon the annihilation of the cause of suffering – The modification of the mind under the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities.

There is hidden attachment that bind the mind to worldly life existence that is unaware by the mind that attached onto ‘goodness’ and ‘righteousness’ that give rise to the sense of ‘contentment, joy and meaningfulness’ towards the ‘achievement’ of “I am living a good and meaningful life doing the good and the right things. Life is good and meaningful.”

Just as the impure mind easily falls in love with or attached onto the objects of names and forms that appear to be good, pleasant, attractive, beautiful, lovable, enjoyable, fun, or cute. The mind naturally attached onto the sense of ‘contentment, joy and meaningfulness’ deriving from “I am doing the good and the right thing” achieving what the mind perceives as ‘goodness’ and ‘righteousness’.

There’s nothing wrong with appreciating ‘goodness’ and it’s very good to feel ‘contentment, joy and meaningfulness’ due to the presence of ‘goodness’ and the absence of ‘badness’. Just that the mind could unwittingly attached onto the presence of ‘goodness’ that give rise to the sense of ‘contentment, joy and meaningfulness’, where the mind will be disturbed/disappointed/dissatisfied when the presence of goodness is disturbed/interrupted/unavailable.

Many people like to engage in community works because the minds can easily find the sense of ‘contentment, joy and meaningfulness’ working or serving in a particular community, to be able to contribute to the community and seeing others getting the help/assistance that they need to achieve a similar goal. This is very good especially for those who suffer depression.

Within a particular community, even though everyone is not perfect and there might be conflicts of different opinions and personal desires of want and doesn’t want, but all are following the similar values, thinking and belief, and are doing their best to work their way towards the same goal under the same vision of that particular community. For example, a Buddhist engaging in selfless service/karma yoga to serve the others in the Buddhist community, or a Muslim engaging in serving the others in the Muslim community, or a Christian engaging in serving the others in the Christian community, or someone engaging in serving a particular community in need of shelter, food, love and care.

It’s even better, as what most people would hope for, if regardless of all the different religious/cultural/spiritual/social/national/political thinking and belief, everyone has one similar universal goal of achieving the similar ‘good and meaningful life’, where everyone works together to maintain peace and harmony in the diverse world of different groups of communities with different thinking and belief, values and way of life, while respecting each other for being different from one another without interference/intrusion towards others who are different from ‘I’ or ‘my thinking and belief’ and ‘my community of a particular values, thinking and belief’. That would be so nice, a world without fear, discrimination, prejudice, hatred, unrest, animosity, invasion, intrusion, clashes, violence, wars, killings, and etc.

But the reality is not necessarily the way that the mind would like it to be. For those who don’t know yoga/dharma, this is depressing and negative. For those who know yoga/dharma, this is not depressing or negative. It’s just the truth of the world of impure minds functioning under the influence of ignorance and egoism.

The different communities of different thinking and belief, values and way of life, goal and vision that are under the influence of ignorance and egoism will most likely being protective/defensive towards their own community out of survival instinct, discriminating/condemning/bullying/attacking others who are not from one’s community, and treating the other communities that are different from oneself as potential enemies that might generate threats to one’s community. There is always unrest, distrust, offensiveness, animosity, tension and fear towards the others might offend/intrude/invade/conquer oneself. This is truly unnecessary, but that’s the way it is in this world due to ignorance and egoism.

It’s not difficult to attain the sense of ‘contentment, joy and meaningfulness’ while serving in a particular community that has the similar goal and vision, thinking and belief, even though everyone is not perfect. But when come to the reality of a world of diversity, of different communities with different thinking and belief about what is right and wrong/good and bad, having different ways of cultural/religious/social/spiritual practice, different values and ways of life with different goals and visions that give rise to different meanings of ‘good and meaningful life’, where most of the minds are not free from the influence of ignorance and egoism, there will be many challenges and difficulties and frustration.

The mind would feel disappointed, tired, frustrated and depressed about the situation in the world that is under the deep influence of ignorance and egoism, that is not in the control/desire of ‘I’ about how ‘I’ would like it to be, no matter how good ‘I’ am, how much good actions/sacrifices ‘I’ have done, how positive/optimism is my mind, or how much ‘I’ want to help to bring peace and harmony into the world.

The mind will be in great disappointment, tiredness, frustration and depression, if one has ‘wishful thinking’ or expectation towards all beings in the world should put aside all the differences and work together towards living in peace and harmony among all the different communities.

If the mind can be free from attachment and ‘wishful thinking’ or expectation, and goes beyond that ‘disappointed, tired, frustrated and depressed’ reaction in the mind, and starts to see the truth of the nature of the impure minds and understand that this is the nature of the beings in the world under the influence of ignorance and egoism, it will let go the ‘wishful thinking’ of hoping everyone will be free from selfishness to work together to make the world a peaceful harmony place that is free from fear, discrimination, hatred, prejudice, unjust, corruption, violence, bullying, oppression, invasion, intrusion, killings, wars and all sorts of human religious/cultural/racial/national/social/political tension, clashes and conflicts.

When the mind is free from ignorance and egoistic attachment, there’s no difference between ‘good life’ and ‘not good life’, or ‘meaningfulness’ and ‘meaninglessness’. Life is just what it is. It’s neither good nor not good, neither meaningful nor meaningless. This mind will be free from disappointment, tiredness, frustration and depression towards the reality of a world of diversity under the influence of ignorance and egoism that is not necessarily the way that it would like it to be based on certain thinking and belief about what is ‘good and bad’, ‘right and wrong’ and ‘meaningful and meaningless’.

Once the mind is free from the attachment towards a particular thinking and belief about ‘goodness or badness’ and ‘righteousness or wrongfulness’, this mind can serve the world of different diversities, without attachment towards a particular thinking and belief, without discrimination/interference towards the different thinking and beliefs, without being disturbed by the reality that is not necessary pleasant or nice. There’s neither contentment nor discontentment, neither meaningfulness nor meaninglessness. The world is just what it is. Minds are just what they are, mostly behaving under the influence of ignorance and egoism restlessly.

Even those who are highly educated are not necessary free from ignorance and egoism that generate discrimination, prejudice, hatred, violence, or intrusion towards others who are different from them whom they disagree with and dislike, as they attached onto their own thinking and belief about what is ‘goodness and badness’ or ‘righteousness and wrongfulness’ to judge and condemn everyone and everything. And that’s their freedom. But they have no peace due to the egoistic reactions and impurities in their minds towards names and forms that they dislike and disagree with.

One can be doing lots of selfless service/karma yoga to serve others in a community under one similar thinking and belief (not too challenging), or serve others in the world of different communities under different thinking and belief (extremely challenging), but one is undetermined or undisturbed by one’s action and the fruit of action.

Not even attached onto, “Even if I can bring joy/goodness/happiness/meaningfulness/awareness to just one person, and change this person’s life, it’s already good enough.” Let it go.

There’s no disappointment, tiredness, frustration or depression, if the world is still full of fear, discrimination, hatred, prejudice, unjust, corruption, violence, bullying, oppression, killings, wars and all sorts of human religious/cultural/racial/national/social/political tension, clashes and conflicts everywhere, even though one has done a lot to serve others in the world, to bring awareness, peace and harmony into the world.

Good life?

Despite a small group of people in the world of ignorance, greed and selfishness who would wish for bad condition and situation in the world so that they can make profits/benefits out of the bad condition and situation of the world and other people’s suffering, painful sorrow, difficulties and hardships, most people would appreciate and be grateful and wish for good life, good condition and situation, good relationships and enjoyments for everyone.

There’s nothing wrong with joy and happiness, good life, good condition and situation, good relationships and enjoyments, just that it can easily become one of the great hindrances for those who are on the path of yoga to progress towards the highest aim of yoga of transcending the mind and the yearning for liberation is no longer the highest motivation for performing the yoga practice and would eventually disappear from the mind completely, unwittingly, where performing yoga practice is only one of the healthy leisure activities in life.

“Oh, what a wonderful life and beautiful world we have here. Good family, good friends, good condition, good activities and plenty of good enjoyments. We should just enjoy all the good things that we have as much as we can. We should make use of the opportunity of good life, good condition and situation to do so many things in this world. Why bother about all those unpleasant yoga practice about silencing/transcending the mind of letting go this beautiful wonderful happy world?”

Everything is impermanent. Because of the impermanent nature of everything, we should appreciate the precious moments of good life, good condition and situation, good relationships and enjoyments even though knowing that it’s impermanent, that it will change and pass away. And this statement is not something negative, or depressing, or bitter at all. It’s the truth of everything.

If people realize the fleeting impermanence of everything, it could inspire them to work diligently towards transcending the mind perception of worldly life existence even though they are enjoying good life, good condition and situation, good relationship and enjoyments that they know all are impermanent. If there’s no attachment towards all the impermanent good enjoyments and happy joyful moments, it’s fine. There’s no suffering when impermanence strikes. But, when there is attachment and suffering arise, how many people would cry, “OH! Dear God/Guru/anyone, help me please! Save me please! Take away all these suffering from me. I don’t want them. Please bring back the joy and happiness to me!”

Suffering, painful sorrow, bad condition and situation, disappointment, bad relationships, difficulties and hardships are not something negative, depressing or bitter at all, it’s indeed the great motivation/inspiration for people to let go the world (regardless good or bad condition/happy or unhappy experiences), to be determined to perform yoga practice to transcend the mind perception of an impermanent selfless worldly life existence of names and forms, and be free from the suffering of restlessness swaying in between satisfaction and dissatisfaction, happiness and unhappiness, due to endless desires of craving and aversion waiting to be gratified under the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities.

“The world is unreal.” – The teachings of yoga.

This is not about shunning/condemning/pushing away/denying good life, good condition and situation, good relationships, activities and enjoyments, but to remind ourselves not to be drowned in impermanent pleasurable good condition, activity and enjoyment until we forgo the highest aim of yoga. Though it’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to do with their life, body and mind.

Be free.

In the end, it’s what matters most to oneself

For some people, to be able to contribute to humanity, to help and serve other beings selflessly is what matters most.

For some people, to be able to think and move freely, to go everywhere freely is what matters most.

For some people, to have peace and harmony is what matters most.

For some people, to have joy and happiness is what matters most.

For some people, to be able to love and be loved is what matters most.

For some people, to have good health is what matters most.

For some people, to have a shelter from harsh weather and be free from hunger and thirst is what matters most.

For some people, to have a complete and happy family is what matters most.

For some people, to have a successful career that support a stable income and comfortable living is what matters most.

For some people, to have one or many good friends to support each other is what matters most.

For some people, to be able to achieve all their ambitions, to do whatever they like to do and enjoy whatever they want to enjoy is what matters most.

For some people, to accumulate wealth and power is what matters most.

For some people, they want to have all and everything, if possible.

For some people they don’t know what they want or what matters most.

For some people, they thought they know what they want and what matters most, but not really.

There’s neither right nor wrong, it’s just about what matter to oneself in the end.

For those who practice yoga and meditation, to live in the present being free from desires of craving and aversion, to free the mind from ignorance and egoism and the suffering of the consequences of ignorance and egoism, is what matters most.

For many people, “If people don’t kill themselves out of tiredness, restlessness, unhappiness, depression, dissatisfaction, disappointment, loneliness, boredom, hurts, guilt, regret, painful sorrow and meaninglessness, and be grateful for being alive and appreciating life, family and friends, be positive keep on fighting for the values of life or what they think is ‘humanity’, try to create or contribute to a ‘better world’, and be optimistic never give up searching for happiness, satisfaction and meaningfulness through engaging in ‘constructive’ ideas/objects/relationships/friendships/activities in this impermanent worldly life existence, it’s good enough for existing as a ‘human being’.”

There’s nothing wrong with passionate worldly desires/ambitions/relationships/activities, as it’s what most people think and believe what (lively and meaningful) life existence is about. In the end, it’s what matters most to oneself.

Meanwhile, for those who sincerely want to practice yoga and realize yoga, silencing/annihilating the mind to attain Self-realization to know the truth of the mind/thyself/what the mind thinks is ‘I’, or liberation from ignorance/suffering, is what matters most.

Stop feeding worldly passionate thinking/beliefs/ideas/objects/ambitions/social interactions/activities/relationships/desires to the mind, to annihilate the idea of ‘I’ existing in a selfless worldly life existence of the objects of the senses of impermanent names and forms, is the essence of the traditional yoga practice. For many people, including yoga practitioners and yoga teachers, would perceive this kind of yoga practice of dispassionate/disinterest towards ‘worldly life of ambitions, enjoyments, relationships, interactions and activities’, and renouncing ‘worldly social affair and family life’ as ‘lifelessness’ or ‘meaninglessness’, and they would not like to practice ‘this kind’ of yoga.

One can think and believe that one has been practicing many different types of yoga practice for some time or a long time, and receiving the many benefits of the regular and persist ‘yoga practice’, but at the same time, the mind is still very much engaging/entangling in the passionate worldly life of worldly affairs/objects/activities/thinking/beliefs/ideas/ambitions/relationships/desires under the influence of egoism of attachment and identification towards certain qualities of names and forms, then this mind is not free, even though one might feel good, happy and satisfied with having certain desirable achievements and relationships in the present, upon coming in contact with the qualities of names and forms that the mind likes and desires, and not coming in contact with the qualities of names and forms that the mind doesn’t like and doesn’t desire.

Some yoga practitioners would think and believe that they are quite ‘dispassionate’ and ‘being unattached’ towards all the worldly affairs/contacts/objects/ideas/relationships/activities/interactions while they are living/mingling among the society/community and actively engaging in ‘what/how all ‘good, normal and healthy’ human beings do in everyday life.’

If one wants to know the truth of one’s mind, one can practice serious solitude and seclusion for at least 5 to 6 years, being away from all kinds of worldly affairs/contacts/ideas/objects/activities/relationships/interactions, and one will see the truth of this mind. Fear, doubt, loneliness, emptiness, boredom and meaninglessness kick in and most minds will want to run away from the practice of solitude and seclusion after a prolonged period of time due to the under current of ignorance and subtle attachment and identification towards worldly life of names and forms. They will tell themselves and others that it’s not necessary to practice solitude and seclusion as part of the yoga practice, and it’s better and more meaningful to practice yoga of living a ‘good, normal and healthy’ everyday life just like all the other ‘normal’ human beings, building relationships and accumulating friendships, enjoying and engaging in worldly interactions and activities, mingling into the society to ‘serve other beings’, do some work to make a living, do some yoga and breathing exercises, do some meditation practice, do some healthy recreation activities, go for holidays from time to time to unwind.

“Helping/sharing with others makes me happy, good family relationships and friendships makes me happy, being with family and good friends makes me happy, experiencing or doing this makes me happy. They give me the sense of meaningfulness in life existence.” What happens when all the ‘names and forms’ that make me happy and give me the sense of meaningfulness changed into something else and is no longer available?

Some people had the ability and opportunity to do all the things that they wanted to do, went and travel everywhere that they wanted to go, met with many other people and experienced many different cultures, obtained the vast knowledge of many things in this world, attained great success in their career and had a nice family and friends circle and wide social networks, being admired by many people in the world, had a comfortable lifestyle, but still, the mind was not free from suffering.

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.

Passionate mind and dispassionate mind

There’s nothing wrong with passionate mind or dispassionate mind. They just have different prospect and interest towards life existence, and how they live and act in the world.

Both minds can also be endowed with kindness and generosity and good will, to be good, to do good and to hope for the best for the world. Though the meanings of what is best for the world and the way of achieving what is best for the world can be very different for the passionate minds and the dispassionate minds.

In terms of Satsanga as one of the important elements for the yoga practitioners to progress in the path of yoga, especially those who haven’t develop a strong foundation of non-attachment and they are easily be affected or influenced by other people’s thinking, belief and behavior, and they attached onto their actions that are being performed out of good intention and they are affected or determined by the outcome of their actions very much, then they need the company of the dispassionate (less conflicts), and avoid the company of the passionate (more conflicts). Satsanga doesn’t matter for those who had developed strong non-attachment, who are not affected or influenced by other people’s thinking, belief and behavior, who don’t attach onto their action and are not affected or determined by the outcome of the action, there’s no difference between the company of the passionate or the dispassionate for them, but for the sake of conserving energy to not wasting energy into unnecessary issues created by the passionate minds, the yoga practitioners should also avoid the company of the passionate.

Those who are passionate are not bad people. They can be very good people who believe in goodness and righteousness and maintaining the order of the society or the environment. They can be doing many good actions in the world that they think are the best for the world. Just that the passion or intense love towards what they love, what they believe in, or what they think how the world should be like and how people should think and behave (act and react), could generate unnecessary disturbance or disharmony in themselves, and create disturbance and disharmony for others.

Passionate mind will feel hurt, frustrated, irritated, disappointed, distressed, depressed and angry, when things are not the way that it thinks they should be, or the way that it wants them to be, and under the influence of impurities, it will generate hurtful or violent action and speech to project the disturbed state of mind. There’s attachment towards the action being performed, and there’s expectation towards the fruit of action has to be the way that it thinks it should be. This is a mind that changes according to whether the experiences are something that it likes and wants, or something that it doesn’t like and doesn’t want. This mind projects kind qualities when it is happy and satisfied, when things are the way that it likes them to be, but it projects unkind qualities when it is upset and dissatisfied when things are not the way that it likes them to be. At one moment, it can be very kind and friendly, and in another moment, it can be very unkind and hostile.

Dispassionate mind won’t feel hurt, frustrated, irritated, disappointed, distressed, depressed or angry, when things are not the way that it thinks they should be, or the way that it would prefer them to be, and won’t generate hurtful or violent action and speech as the mind is free from disturb, ill-thinking or ill-will. This mind projects kind qualities disregard whether things are the way that it likes them to be, or not. Even when things are not the way that it would like them to be, this mind is still kind and compassionate. It doesn’t have ill-thinking or ill-will to hurt those who are different from them, who dislike or disagree with them, and who against them or hurt them.

There might be necessary action being performed, to bring awareness to others who are under the influence of ignorance, but there’s no attachment or expectation towards the action and the fruit of action. If others are getting offended and upset for being ‘lectured’ by other people and they continue to be ignorant, let them be. None can change another being, or remove the ignorance in others. None can change the world to be the way that one thinks it should be.

Yoga teachings doesn’t discriminate good or bad people. But it points out the distinction between passionate minds and dispassionate minds on the path of yoga towards peace and harmony in the society or in the world. Even good people who have good intention to perform good action might be under the influence of passion. These minds are not free. Yoga practice is to free the mind from passion, to be dispassionate, while living in the world, do one best performing necessary actions for the sake of peace and harmony in oneself and in the world, and let it go.

Be free.

Taming the urge to express the thought activities through speech and action

Yoga Chitta Vritti Nirodha – Yoga is the restraint/annihilation of the modification of the mind – The entire worldly idea of ‘I’ and life existence cease existing. The perception of separateness and duality of good and bad, right and wrong, positive and negative, happiness and unhappiness, enjoyment and suffering, birth and death, and so on, vanished.

This is an important practice in yoga to silent the mind by stop feeding the thought current or thought activities by restraining the mind from projecting or expressing the thinking via speech and action. It’s the practice of awareness, non-attachment and letting go that eventually leads to complete silence or the annihilation of the entire worldly idea of ‘I’ and life existence. People who are passionate towards worldly idea of life existence, who aspire to build a positive world that is free from what they think is negative, would interpret this practice as oppression or suppression or degradation of the mind or human life existence or humanity, which the worldly minded think it’s something inhuman, abnormal, unhealthy, non-progressive and wrong. Those who are not interested in yoga and meditation practice, who are passionate about worldly idea of life existence, they don’t need to perform this practice. Those who think they are free from suffering or they don’t mind suffering, or who had transcended suffering, also don’t need to perform this practice.

Even the teachings and practice of yoga can be something ‘good’ and ‘amazing’ for some people, but it can also be something ‘not good’ and ‘wrong’ for many other people. It’s up to everyone on how the mind perceives and reacts towards everything, and whether the mind needs the teachings and practice of yoga to realize unconditional peace.

The practice of silencing the mind is greatly contradicted with the existing worldly ideas and values that emphasize on empowering self-identification, self-worth, self-development, personal and global achievement, and social community development, where people think human beings should progress forward by constant stimulating their minds and projecting their thoughts freely through expressing their ideas and feelings via speech and action, especially if it’s something ‘good’, ‘right’ and ‘positive’ according to the thinking and belief consists of certain worldly ideas and values, cultural and religious belief and practice that people think it would benefit all humanity.

What most worldly minds don’t realize is that silencing the mind is the greatest form of serving humanity. There’s less a being under the influence of ignorance to generate ignorant actions into the world. All the higher technologies and engineering derived from high creativity and intelligence, doesn’t remove the ignorance, egoism and impurities in people’s mind and it doesn’t make the world to be free from what the impure minds recognize as ‘bad’, ‘negative’, ‘unhappiness’, ‘wrong’, ‘suffering’, and all sorts of ‘fear’ and ‘violence’. People can enjoy the higher technology to live longer or younger or healthier or to enjoy higher standard of living and lifestyle, but it doesn’t guarantee that the mind will be free from suffering, if the mind is not free from ignorance, egoism and impurities. As the highest technology also can’t alter the truth of impermanence. People will still hurt each other out of fear, in order to survive or to protect themselves and their loved ones and what they think is ‘good’, if the mind is not free from ignorance.

Many people who are interested in doing some form of yoga exercises regularly are either ignorant towards this teaching and practice, as the yoga teachers don’t teach this teaching in the yoga exercise classes, or, people know, but they don’t like and disagree with this teaching and practice. Whether people know or don’t know, like or dislike, agree or disagree, this is what yoga is about – Annihilation of mind activities.

The worldly idea of life existence appears when the mind moves, where there is habitual attachment and reaction towards the mind perception of names and forms through the senses. The worldly idea of life existence disappears when the mind is stilled, where there is pure awareness of mind perceptions without attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, judgement, intention or expectation.

A lot of time, the thinking and judgment from the impure mind is only partially true, or may not be true at all. The mind reaction of likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, is also the by-product of ignorance, being influenced by egoism and impurities.

There’s nothing wrong when the mind thinks and believes that it has some ‘good’, ‘right’ and ‘positive’ qualities, ideas and values that are worth to be shared with the world, and there is strong urge to project what it thinks and believes as ‘good’, ‘right’ and ‘positive’ through speech and action, thinking that this would bring positive goodness to the society or the world, so that other people will also be inspired or be endowed with the same qualities, ideas and values. There’s good and generous intention or aspiration to share something great with the world to inspire others.

Everyone has the freedom to express their thinking through speech and action, there’s nothing wrong and it really doesn’t matter to those who are free from the influence of ignorance and egoism because they will not be affected or disturbed by other people’s thinking, ideas or feelings being projected through their speech and action. But in reality, there are many minds functioning under the influence of ignorance and egoism, that are not free from being disturbed by ungratified desires, likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, who will be disturbed or intimidated or offended or hurt by other people of their thinking, ideas and feelings. Again, there’s nothing wrong with people expressing their thinking freely, as well as it’s people’s freedom and responsibility for how people react towards other people’s thinking, ideas and feelings. Just that impure minds can get very confused when being disturbed or intimidated, and might unwittingly or spontaneously hurt themselves or others out of the disturbed and confused state of the mind.

For example, there are women who don’t have or don’t want to have children would express their ideas or feelings about how ‘good’ and ‘blessed’ for them to have the joy of not having children. While the women who have or want to have children would express their ideas or feelings about how ‘good’ and ‘blessed’ for them to have the joy of having children. And sometimes, they might mock each other for justifying their respective ideology is somehow more superior or better than the other.

There’s nothing wrong with both different ideas or feelings towards the joy of having or not having children. It’s all good that some women find joy in not having children, while some women find joy in having children, as long as there’s no attachment or identification towards this idea or value to be who they are. Then it doesn’t matter whether they have or don’t have children, they are fine, being undetermined by any ideology to feel worthy, happy, confident, or meaningful, or not.

There are women who think and believe that having children is something ‘good’ and ‘blessed’, and they would love to have children, but for some reasons they couldn’t have any children, or they have children, but it’s not the way that they like it to be, and their minds are being in a state of suffering due to ungratified desires. Under the imbalanced state of the mind, they would feel greatly disturbed when women who have children keep boasting about their joy of having children, thinking that it’s something good and positive to inspire and encourage other women to also have the joy of having children, but it’s actually generating great disturbance for the women who would love to have children but they couldn’t. And then, there are some women who have children, but for some reasons, they feel regret about having children, and their minds are being in a state of dissatisfaction, frustration and regret, they might feel more disturbed for having children that they don’t really want, when the women who don’t have children keep boasting about their joy of not having children.

It’s not the fault of the people who boast or share about their thinking, values and feelings, when other people attach onto whatever they perceive and react towards what they perceive, taking other people’s expression of thinking and point of view seriously and personally, and feel disturbed or intimidated or hurt. Though there are many minds that are easily be affected, disturbed and intimidated by other people’s freedom of expression. For the mind that is free, it won’t be affected or disturbed or intimidated by other people’s freedom of expression. This mind doesn’t need to stay away from something that the worldly minded perceive as ‘bad’, ‘negative’, ‘unhappiness’, ‘depressing’, or ‘meaninglessness’.

When the mind starts to develop awareness, correct understanding and compassion, it’s okay for the mind to have particular thinking and belief towards particular ideas or values, but it doesn’t need to project/express these ideas or values to inspire other people to also take up these values and ideas, even though the mind strongly believes that they are something ‘good’, ‘right’ and ‘positive’. Allowing everyone to have their own version of ideas and values, and it’s needless to boast about anything trying to inspire other people to be the same as ‘I’, to achieve what ‘I’ achieve, to live life as ‘I’ live. “I am happy. You should be like me, and you will be happy too.” But what is ‘good’ for ‘I’ might be something ‘painful’ for other people.

When teaching a yoga asana class, the yoga teacher can’t tell the students, “I can do this, so can you.” or “Nothing is impossible. You can do and achieve anything that you want.” to inspire or encourage the students to be able to do what the yoga teacher can do, because it’s not true. Not everyone has the similar physical structure, condition, ability and limitation to be able to perform the same action. People who take the teacher’s words seriously and force themselves beyond their limitation but still couldn’t achieve what they want to achieve, they might hurt themselves out of great expectation and disappointment. It’s okay that there are things that are impossible to reach or achieve due to certain circumstances. And it’s okay if people can’t perform certain actions due to certain limitation even after many years of practice and attempts. People don’t have to be able to do everything that the yoga teacher or other people can do, to have peace, or be compassionate, or to forgive someone or something that is hurtful. But the ability to go beyond all the ability and disability of the body and the mind, accepting the reality as it is, while performing actions without attachment or identification towards the actions and the fruit of actions, and allowing impermanent changes to be there as they are, that will allow the mind to be peaceful, compassionate and forgiving. And it’s okay if many people couldn’t realize this after many years of practice, and still be disturbed and determined by all the names and forms.

By accepting the reality in this present moment now, that the mind is not free, and it’s okay, and it’s impermanent and it’s not ‘I’, and without judgment or disappointment, keep practicing, without attachment or expectation towards the practice and the fruit of practice, and that is already what yoga is about.

For example, high performance and continuous achievement in any field is being perceived as something ‘good’ and ‘positive’ in the world. There’s nothing wrong with the idea of high performance and continuous achievement individually and globally, and many people can keep up with that idea with not much difficulty, but there are people couldn’t meet up with the expectation of high performance and continuous achievement, and they keep forcing the capability of the body and mind beyond its limitation to attain higher and higher performance and achievement until the function of the body and mind eventually breakdown, harming the entire body systems and suffered from restlessness, depression or insanity.

People can just do their best within their own capability, without trying to achieve what the world think is ‘good’ and ‘positive’, without pushing or forcing the body and mind beyond its limitation to compete with themselves or others to attain the sense of self-worth, achievement, confidence or meaningfulness, and without losing the clarity and sanity of the mind.

For the untrained mind, there are thought activities or thinking in the mind reacting towards the perception of names and forms, whether there is likes or dislikes and agreements or disagreements towards the perceived names and forms in the form of thinking, and naturally, there’s an urge to project/materialize this thinking through the speech and action, either intentionally or unintentionally. There’s an urge to express, to comment, to justify, to fight back, to argue, to attack, to revenge, to intimidate, to oppose, to criticize, to condemn, to aspire, to inspire, to admire, to love, to appreciate, to praise, to possess, or to control, and so on.

For the mind that has developed strong foundation in non-attachment and letting go, there is awareness towards the thought activities of the mind perception of names and forms of sight, sound, smell, taste, sensation and thinking/imagination/feeling, even though there might be likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements in the form of thinking due to the intellectual thought processing and recognizing the perceived names and forms, but it’s not necessarily that the thinking has to be projected/expressed/materialized through speech and action. In the end, all likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements in the form of thinking also will drop off. There are necessary actions being performed, without intention, attachment, identification, desires, judgment or expectation. Allowing the fruit of actions to be there as it is, allowing all the names and forms to be there as they are, and allowing them to change as they are.

There might be many intellectuals in the world would disagree with this or are against towards Silence of the mind. And that is their freedom of thinking and reaction.

This is what yoga practice is about – Yoga Chitta Vritti Nirodha

And it’s nothing to do with the physical condition, ability and limitation to do the yoga poses. It’s nothing to do with the knowledge of anatomy and physiology, or the precise physical alignment and different techniques on performing the yoga poses, or how one looks and feels in the yoga poses, or what are the names and benefits of the yoga poses, or the different types of qualifications and certifications sanctioned by such and such internationally recognized yoga alliance or association.

The mind that is free from impurities, ignorance and egoism, and is peaceful as it is being free from suffering, doesn’t need to be recognized, acknowledged, approved, authorized, or certified by anyone or any group, or any higher consciousness.

Be free.

Obsession

Obsession is a form of attachment or clinging. Being obsessed with particular type of food, physical appearance, body shape and composition, body weight, muscles definition, attire, brand, fitness training, diet trend, healthy option, living standard, living environment, social media, selfies, smartphone, relationship, idol, activity, social interaction, cultural practice, religious practice, superstitious belief, ritual, position, number, colour, timing, cleanliness, and anything that can become a form of obsession. It becomes a form of mental illness, when the state of the mind is being conditioned or determined or affected by the obsession towards something, where the mind would be greatly disturbed when the obsession is disrupted or inaccessible, and without awareness, one might hurt oneself or others out of the disturbed state of the mind.

There’s nothing wrong with different people having their own particular type of thinking and belief to set as a guideline to live a particular way of life, or engage in a particular activity, or consume a particular type of diet, or do things in a particular way, that the mind thinks and believes is the best and beneficial for oneself, or for other people and the world, that would make the mind feels good, meaningful, happy and pleased.

But when the mind starts to become overly obsessive towards a particular thinking and belief to live a particular way of life, or engage in a particular activity, or consume a particular type of diet, or do things in a particular way, where the mind would feel disturbed, or bad, or anxious, or worried, or guilty, or upset, or angry, or depressed, or disappointed, if for some reasons, the particular way of life, the activity, the type of diet or the way of doing things is disrupted or is not the way that the mind wants it to be.

Even if the object of obsessiveness is something that the mind or the society believes as ‘good’, ‘positive’, or ‘meaningful’, any kind of obsessiveness is still a form of mental illness.

Such like, there were/are artists, musicians, actors, entertainers, designers, scientists, writers, or sportspeople suffered from restlessness, or sleep deprivation, or depression, or mood swing, or anxiety, or self-harm, or drug/alcohol abuse, and etc, due to being obsessed with pushing their body and mind beyond its limitation to attain success or higher achievement and improvement in their respective profession.

There are yoga and meditation practitioners developed obsessiveness towards their particular type of practice, or lineage, or diet, or ritual, or accessories, or the order of things and practice, or yoga pose, or physical alignment, or energy field, or astrology, or dreams, or making connection, or self-identification, or self-image, or spiritual achievement, or psychic development, and so on.

Many people are being obsessed with personal identity, self-image, social status and professional image. Some people are being obsessed with the collection or accumulation of certain objects. Some people are being obsessed with attaining greater improvement. Some are obsessed with orderliness while some are being obsessed with disorderliness. Some people are obsessed with particular type of smell or fragrance and taste. Some people are obsessed with meat eating or non-meat eating. It can be anything that determining or conditioning the state of the mind very much, that people would be greatly disturbed or upset or depressed when their obsession towards something is disrupted or unattainable.

A little bit of obsessiveness would eventually grow into a form of mental disorder, if there’s no awareness towards what is going on in the mind, but the mind is under the influence of the egoistic desires of craving and aversion being obsessed with personal, worldly, spiritual, mental and physical achievement, development and enhancement for attaining the sense of success, goodness, meaningfulness and happiness.

Those who truly understand the practice of yoga and meditation do not push their body and mind beyond its limitation out of egoistic intention and expectation of “I want my body, my mind and my life to be like this and not like that, to achieve a particular goal or perfection.” but out of compassion, there are necessary actions being performed to take care the well-being of the body and mind, being kind to the body and mind and appreciating life existence, without hurting or straining the body and mind beyond its limitation to be the way that the ego wants it to be, to achieve what the ego wants to achieve. The mind is at peace and equanimous, being undisturbed or unaffected when it is not able to come in contact with the object that it likes, or when it is not able to do what it likes to do. There’s nothing wrong with having enjoyment or doing something that the mind likes to do, but there’s no attachment or clinging or obsessiveness, without being determined by what the mind likes to enjoy or the object of enjoyment.

The mind that is not free, depends on attaining, or possessing, or coming in contact with certain names and forms to attain the sense of meaningfulness and well-being. The ego needs affirmation from self and others to be existing and feel meaningful.

The mind that is free, doesn’t need to attain the sense of meaningfulness or well-being, at all. The mind performs necessary actions and allowing the fruit of actions to be what it is, without attachment or identification towards the actions and the fruit of actions, without clinging or craving towards pleasantness and achievement, without aversion towards unpleasantness and non-achievement.

Be free.

The mind and the worldly life existence of enjoyment and suffering

The entire worldly life existence is nothing but mind activities powered by the mind perceptions of names and forms through the senses of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations and thoughts/feelings/imaginations/dreams.

If there is absence of the function of mind perception through the senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, sensing/touching and thinking, there are no mind activities, there’s no worldly life experience. There’s no good life or bad life. There’s no good being or bad being. There’s no good world or bad world. There’s no enjoyment or suffering.

The worldly life existence that the mind perceives or experiences, whether it’s pleasant or unpleasant, and whether the mind enjoys or suffers, it’s all in the mind itself, and it’s in now and it’s impermanent. It’s nothing to do with the names and forms that the mind perceives. The names and forms are just what they are. Duality doesn’t exist in the names and forms, but only in the mind itself. Duality exists in the mind, not in the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses.

Without the sense of seeing, the mind won’t perceive sights or images of colours and shapes. What is beautiful or ugliness? What is attractive or unattractive? What is respectful or disrespectful?

Without the sense of hearing, the mind won’t perceive sounds. What is pleasantness or unpleasantness? What is compliment or insult? What is calming or disturbing?

Without the sense of taste, the mind won’t perceive tastes. What is tasty or not tasty?

Without the sense of smell, the mind won’t perceive smells. What is nice smell or bad smell?

Without the sense of touch/sensing, the mind won’t perceive sensations. What is pleasure or displeasure? What is comfortable or discomfortable?

Without the thinking faculty and memory function, there’s no thinking and belief, culture and religion, or imaginations, or thoughts/ideas, or feelings. What is good or bad? What is right or wrong? What is positive or negative? What is satisfaction or dissatisfaction? What is joy or grief? What is happiness or unhappiness? What is believe or disbelieve? What is fear or fearlessness? What is birth and death? What is existence or non-existence?

The one who experiences suffering, is the mind that is under the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities. The one who performs yoga and meditation practice to be free from suffering, is the mind that is experiencing suffering. The one who is liberated from suffering, is the mind that is being free from ignorance, egoism and impurities through persevered discipline and practice. There’s no ‘I’ experience suffering, or ‘I’ perform yoga and meditation practice, or ‘I’ am liberated from suffering.

The mind that is NOT free from ignorance and egoism, there is an idea of ‘I’ existing to be identified as the one who perceives names and forms, who is aware of the mind activities, and who experiences worldly life existence, to enjoy or suffer based on the reaction towards the perception of names and forms (mind activities of worldly life experiences). The mind is being in a state of restlessness due to ceaseless passionate reactions of egoistic desires of craving and aversion from ‘I’ towards all the perceived names and forms (sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations, thoughts/ideas/feelings/imaginations/dreams).

The mind that is free from ignorance and egoism, there is no ‘I’ existing to experience worldly life existence, there’s no ‘I’ am perceiving names and forms, or ‘I’ enjoy or suffer. It’s just the mind functioning and perceiving names and forms through the senses via the sense organs. There is mind awareness being aware of the mind activities, but there’s no ‘I’ am aware of the mind activities. The selfless/egoless mind is undetermined or uninfluenced by the perception of names and forms due to the absence of egoism of attachment, identification, clinging, longing, craving or aversion towards the perceived names and forms, and thus, it’s free from restlessness. There’s no clinging or craving towards the objects of name and form that are pleasant and there’s no aversion towards the objects of name and form that are unpleasant.

Practice yoga of annihilating egoism, to purify and discipline and quiet the mind to allow the mind to see the truth of things as it is, to be free from ignorance – the root cause of suffering. All the other effects/benefits derived from the many forms of yoga practice are just some by-products, and they are impermanent and they are not the end of suffering. Even the positive effects of good feelings, pleasant sensations, enhanced physical condition and ability, calmness and positive thinking derived from many different forms of yoga practice are impermanent. They will change and pass away.

Attaining all kinds of impermanent effects/benefits from the yoga practice doesn’t guarantee that the mind will be free from being determined or disturbed by the mind perception of names and forms of a life existence that is impermanent and it doesn’t stop the mind to experience suffering, if the mind is still under the influence of ignorance and egoism.

It’s through the elimination of ignorance and egoism that will lead the mind towards the realization of unconditional peace that is not subject to impermanence, that is nothing to do with the qualities of name and form, good and bad condition, and pleasant/desirable or unpleasant/undesirable life experiences. The selfless/egoless mind is peaceful as it is, while witnessing all the perceived impermanent changes of names and forms, or the countless births and deaths of mind activities arising and passing away.

The mind that is not free from ignorance and egoism will be involuntarily and restlessly swaying back and forth between the state of elevation and depression, satisfaction and dissatisfaction, happiness and unhappiness. The mind will feel good, satisfied and happy when its desires of craving and aversion are being gratified, but the good or happy feelings and satisfaction derived from experiencing good condition or pleasant/desirable experiences doesn’t stop the mind from feeling bad, dissatisfied and unhappy when the desires of craving and aversion are not being gratified, or when good condition or pleasant/desirable experiences are not available or no longer available, as the mind is not free from egoism of attachment, identification, clinging, longing, craving and aversion towards life experiences of names and forms. And thus the mind is restless or peaceless, even though the mind attains some momentary effects/benefits from the regular yoga practice.

Upon self-realization of the truth of names and forms as it is, when the mind is free from ignorance, all kinds of names and forms that the mind perceived asĀ  suffering due to ignorance, are no longer being perceived as the objects, or the quality, or the cause of suffering, but they are just what they are. There are changes, decay, old age, sickness, weakness, discomfort, pain and the end of the existence and function of the body and mind, but all these are not suffering.

There’s neither suffering nor the end of suffering.

Be free.