Looking for ‘Guru’ in this era?

Is it important to have a Guru? Yes. But not looking out. Look within.

The one and only real and reliable ‘Guru’ is the mind itself through persist mind purification and self-inquiry/reasoning the truth of everything to attain self-realization, not someone puts on a ‘Guru/Yogi appearance’ in the public who claimed to be enlightened ‘Guru’ with ‘supernatural healing power’ that can take away your doubt and ignorance to give you ‘shortcut’ to enlightenment, or heal your pain and suffering. This one and only ‘Guru’ is with you all the time, you (the mind) just didn’t/haven’t realize it yet.

There are plenty of ‘Dharma teachers’ and so called ‘certified yoga teachers’ in the world nowadays to give people some kind of guidance towards the path of transcending the mind perception of names and forms/births and deaths, but this mind itself is the only real and reliable ‘Guru’.

If there is an external ‘Guru’ of yours, the ‘Guru’ will come to you when the cause is ripen, without the Guru’s intention to be coming to you and without your intention to be looking for someone to be your ‘Guru’. If someone comes to you and try very hard to persuade you to believe that “I am your Guru”, then you should runaway from this person/being as far/soon as possible. Because real ‘Guru’ doesn’t need to do anything to persuade anyone that this is your Guru. One will know that “This is the Guru”, when the time has come. If you still don’t know and have doubt, that means the time hasn’t come yet.

If people still think and believe that there’s somebody who ‘looks’ and ‘acts’ like a ‘Guru’ with some kind of ‘supernatural healing power’ is a great ‘Guru’ somewhere in this world, and hoping that this ‘Guru’ will free them from suffering, or lead them towards enlightenment, that’s their freedom of thinking and belief.

Some desperate suffering minds take those with dreadlocks on the head and tattoos all over the body and either be naked or wear orange robes while put themselves in a particular ‘yoga pose’ or perform some sort of ritual and dance, who are stoned smoking ganja most of the time as ‘Gurus’. While some others take those who are the leader of a particular ‘yoga community’ or ‘yoga organization’ or ‘yoga school’ as ‘Gurus’. That’s their freedom of thinking and belief and action.

Seek the ‘Guru’ within by developing the basic foundation of self-discipline, self-control, self-inquiry, right discrimination and self-independence, and contemplate upon the instructions from the ancient Scriptures to guide one’s mind onto the path of yoga, refrain from misconducts, drugs and intoxicants, practice dispassion and renunciation, retreat into solitude and seclusion, to silent the restless modification of the mind, to move the mind away from worldliness, to annihilate egoism, to contemplate upon the truth of everything and attain self-realization of the truth of Dharma, to realize the one and only ‘Guru’ which is the mind itself.

It’s only those who reluctant to let go worldly ideas, activities, objects, desires, enjoyments, comforts and all kind of relationships will try to find an external superhuman ‘Guru’ with ‘supernatural healing power’ in the world in this era.

Those who are passionate, who don’t like ‘unpleasantness’ or ‘hard work’, and always looking for ‘miracles’ or ‘easy way out’ or ‘shortcuts’ or ‘magic pill’ to solve all their ‘problems’, while still indulging in their everyday life worldly activities without letting go their worldly enjoyments, relationships, comforts, desires, habits and ideas, will try to look for an external ‘superhuman Guru’ to show them ‘miracles’. And that’s how people are easily be manipulated and exploited in this world that is full of ignorance, greed and lust.

Inquire the ancient teachings and practice of yoga – “NO PHYSICAL TOUCHING”, “OBSERVE CELIBACY”, “DISPASSION”, “RENUNCIATION”, “DESIRELESSNESS”, “SECLUSION”, “SOLITUDE” and “SILENCE”.

Take a look at the world of yoga nowadays, is all about ‘hugging’ to show love and care, and ‘touching’ especially in the yoga asana class to make ‘physical adjustments/corrections’ for the students, and then continuing ‘hugging’ and ‘touching’ each other outside the yoga class as a form of love sharing and healing process, or even giving and receiving ‘special healing touch’ or ‘special healing massage’.

People say, “All beings need love, touches and hugs. All beings will be sick and die out of touchlessness, huglessness, lovelessness and loneliness.” That is part of the worldly idea, belief and practice. It’s not what yoga teaching and practice is about.

When the mind is pure and free from lustful desire, there’s nothing wrong with physical ‘hugging and touching’, but how many minds in this world are pure and free from lustful desire? Very few indeed.

How many desperate suffering confused minds were/are being taken advantage or being exploited and abused physically/mentally/psychologically/sexually/financially by greedy lustful people because all these desperate suffering confused minds try to look for and depend on a ‘superhuman Guru’ to ‘guide’ them onto the path of enlightenment, to liberate them from pain and suffering, or to ‘heal’ them from something that they think it has to be ‘healed’ by a ‘Guru’ with ‘supernatural healing power’?

Everyone was/is looking forward to be ‘touched’ or ‘healed’ by a ‘superhuman Guru’. And they got/get what they want, in a different way – Some people were/are physically ‘touched/molested/raped’ by lustful people who claimed themselves as ‘Gurus’ with ‘spiritual enlightenment’, where people are being sexually taken for granted/assaulted, wittingly or unwittingly. This is pure ignorance of both parties – People who are looking forward to be ‘touched’ or ‘healed’ by someone who claimed to be a ‘Guru’ with ‘supernatural healing power’, and those lustful people who claimed to be ‘Gurus’ who can ‘touch’ or ‘heal’ what people believe that need to be ‘touched’ or ‘healed’.

Knowing that all desperate suffering confused minds that are under the influence of ignorance want to be someone ‘special’ in the world, to be loved by ‘someone special’, to be treated/healed with ‘special love and care’ and ‘miracles’, these ‘superhuman Gurus’ manipulate and take advantage of the desperate suffering confused minds to satisfy their lustful desire and greed.

When people have the intention to go to a ‘superhuman Guru’, they have something that they want/expect from the ‘superhuman Guru’. “Oh Guru, please bless me this and that.” While pseudo ‘Gurus’ also want/expect something from them, as well.

Those who are peaceful being free from suffering, ignorance and egoism of attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion and expectation, who are desireless, who don’t need to see/experience ‘miracles’, there’s no need to go to a ‘superhuman Guru’. ‘Miracles’ and ‘superhuman Guru’ are useless to them.

For those who have intense yearning for liberation, all and everything that the mind comes in contact with will naturally become ‘the Guru’ that allows the mind to see/reflect upon itself (knowing thyself) and seeing the Dharma/the truth of impermanence and selflessness in all the names and forms. ‘The Guru’ manifests in all and everything, when the mind is ready to ‘see’. Be patient, be persevered, while keep purifying and disciplining the mind. Without intention/expectation to find a ‘Guru’, the Guru is (already) here.

Your own mind and all your mind perception/experiences of everything, your perception/experience of painful sorrow and suffering, your actions and the consequences of your actions, and the self-realization of the selfless impermanent changes within the body and mind through self-inquiry, is your greatest Guru, your real Guru. None other than this mind and the realization of the truth from within, is your ‘Guru’.

The freedom of being free from desires of craving and aversion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One is peaceful as one is.

Be free.

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.

Friendliness towards all beings without discrimination, intention and expectation

This teaching is a contemplation for those who are interested in learning and practicing yoga and meditation, to silent the restless impure egoistic mind. Those who are not interested in practicing yoga or meditation to silent the mind don’t need to observe or contemplate on this teaching.

Friendliness in yoga is nothing to do with sociable talkative personality or behavior, or being sociable to be accumulating personal connection and friendship with as many people as possible.

Being friendly to all beings doesn’t mean that one has to be sociable and talkative, or accumulating many personal friendships that involve engagement in physical/verbal/mental interactions and activities from time to time.

Being sociable and talkative doesn’t necessarily mean that one is being friendly towards all beings without the influence of egoistic discrimination of likes and dislikes, selfish intention and expectation.

Quite many people, including health professionals think and believe that being quiet or not being talkative, especially in young children, is something ‘sick/unhealthy’, ‘bad’, ‘negative’, or ‘wrong’. The best time for yoga and meditation practice is when everyone else has gone to sleep. Why? Because it’s the only precious time of quietness and peacefulness available on earth in that time zone without people doing things, playing, arguing, negotiating, making noises, shouting, or talking. Does that quietness and peacefulness on earth when everyone/the minds being away in sleep, being non-interacting, non-talking, or non-action causes more chaos in the world? Nope. Instead, when people/the minds are awake, many people criticize other people who don’t talk much as being unhealthy, disturbing, rude and unfriendly?

The friendliness in yoga and meditation practice is about respecting all beings as they are, being free from superiority or inferiority, without egoism of attachment, identification, possessiveness, discrimination of likes and dislikes, desire of craving and aversion, intention or expectation, without dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurt, fear, offensiveness, hostility, ill-thinking, or ill-will towards all beings, be undisturbed and without interference towards other people being different from oneself, or having different thinking, belief, practice, values, behavior, action and reaction from oneself, without intention of accumulating friendships or companionship from other people to get rid of boredom or loneliness, or to be accessible to support and help whenever one needs one, without expecting other people have to behave, act or react the way that one thinks it should be, or expecting other people to treat oneself the way that how one would like to be treated.

People who would feel disturbed or offended if other people do not join in their conversation, or are disinterested in their invitation to a function or event, are due to their own expectation towards how other people should response towards their ‘friendliness’. People get unhappy, disappointed or offended when they don’t get the response that they expect to be getting from other people. Those who are truly friendly won’t mind at all if other people are not interested to participate in any conversation or event.

Those who are truly friendly, it’s not necessarily that they are sociable, or talkative, or actively interacting with other people. They might be very quiet and mind their own things. But, they have no ill-will, ill-thinking, ill-talking, judgment, criticism, condemn, gossip, slander, disrespectfulness, animosity, offensiveness, interference or expectation towards other people’s different way of life, thinking, belief, practice, values, behavior, action and reaction.

Take a look into most of the usual conversations among people, we will see that these conversations are mostly full of talking about hanging onto the past, projecting into the future, planning, plotting, scheming, worldly/personal attachment, worldly/personal identification, pride, desire, fear and worry, and lots of complaint, moaning, dissatisfaction, disappointment, blame, ill-will, ill-thinking, ill-talking, criticism, condemn, gossip, slander, back-biting, story telling, untruthfulness, justification, boasting, manipulation, as well as interference or expectation towards other people’s way of life, thinking, belief, practice, values, behavior, action and reaction. Not that all these activities are bad or wrong, but the yoga and meditation practice is to free the mind from all these worldly habits of physical/verbal/mental/emotional activities/restlessness of impurities.

It’s very common that when people want to talk to other people and they expect other people to talk to them in response to their ‘friendliness’, but then they would feel greatly disturbed or offended if other people don’t response to their ‘friendliness’, or when other people talk about things that they don’t like and don’t want to hear, that they disagree with.

The most effective way to help oneself or anyone to be free from all the ‘problems’ or ‘suffering’ that one thinks and believes is what disturbing one’s mind that one feels and thinks that one needs to talk to other people to talk about one’s problem or suffering to seek help or advice, is to be quiet and listen. Listen to the Dhamma that is here and everywhere when the mind is quiet, and the mind sees the truth of ‘unhappiness’, ‘problems’, or ‘suffering’. It’s not about expecting someone, or other people, or guru, or God to be there to listen to one’s problems, unhappiness, dissatisfaction, disappointment, frustration, hurt, fear, worry, complaint, blame, moaning, or bitching about other people that one feels angry or unhappy with, that one doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with, so that one will feel slightly relieved or feel better about oneself for a few moments, but then the mind continues to be restless and disturbed by the ongoing worldly life experiences that are not necessarily the way that one likes it to be, or the mind perception of names and forms that the ego doesn’t like, doesn’t want and doesn’t agree with, while thinking and believing that one’s ‘unhappiness’, ‘problems’ or ‘suffering’ are caused by the experiences or qualities of names and forms that the mind thinks and believes as ‘bad’, ‘wrong’, or ‘negative’.

Performing yoga and meditation practice, especially attending silent meditation retreats or courses, will allow people with a disturbed/unhappy/suffering mind to learn to be quiet and listen to or seeing the Dhamma that will free the mind from ignorance, egoism and impurities, and thus be free from all kinds of ‘unhappiness’, ‘problems’ or ‘suffering’, and one doesn’t need to talk/complain/boast about anything. One doesn’t need someone, or other people, or guru, or God to be there to listen to one’s complaints, as there’s none. The mind is silent and peaceful, so as the surrounding environment is also undisturbed by a silent peaceful mind. That is true friendliness towards all beings and the environment.

Be free.

Existence in now

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be free.

The egoless desireless mind doesn’t need to be empowered or inspired

Be free from the idea of ‘the need to be empowered/inspired’ or ‘the necessity of empowerment/inspiration’.

The sun, the space, the earth, the water and the wind don’t need to be empowered/inspired for being what they are. They are what they are, being there allowing all and everything to be forming and disintegrating, selflessly, intentionlessly and unconditionally.

Human beings with the impure egoistic thinking mind (men, women, old people, young people, teenagers, children, or anybody) think and believe that all human beings need some kind of empowerment/inspiration to be empowered/inspired to be performing actions that would benefit themselves and/or others, or to be somebody that they want to be (other than what they are, as they are), or to attain better quality of life and higher sense of happiness/satisfaction/achievement/worthiness/meaningfulness, to build a higher personal development that contributes to a better society in the world.

Human beings are indeed being ’empowered/inspired’ to develop a strong egoism since the day they were born, to develop a strong personal and worldly attachment, identity, self-image, personality, nationality, thinking, belief, culture, religion, family ties, social interaction, education, ambition, desire, aspiration, creativity, achievement, possession, success, enjoyment, confidence, pride, sense of meaningfulness, satisfaction, happiness, and so on.

Minds are being influenced/empowered from everywhere to think and believe that “Even when this is very good, but there will always something better, that this is never good enough, that they should never be contented with themselves or everything as they are, that they need to continuously strive to be better, and better, and there’s no end to higher ambition/achievement/enjoyment/pleasure/happiness/satisfaction, and etc.”

All those empowerment ideas are nothing but empowering the egoism of greed, dissatisfaction, pride, personal identity, self-image, gratification of worldly desires and ambitions, and etc, and the consequences of that – restlessness, so that the world economy/materialism/commercialism can continue to survive for the wealthy people continue to amass more wealth under the ‘support’ of all the ’empowered’ human beings with all their ‘inspired’ great desires and worldly ambitions.

Many people don’t really love themselves, even though they might think that they love themselves very much, but actually they love what they like and want (their desires and the gratification of desires) more than loving themselves as they are. They want/expect their body and mind to be like this and not like that, or to be able to do/achieve this and that. The ever dissatisfied and greedy ego doesn’t/won’t/can’t love the body and mind as it is.

While some people can’t love themselves as they are because they think and believe that ‘they are not good enough’ or ‘they will never be good enough’, and so, they can’t like or love themselves as they are (dissatisfaction or dislike towards the qualities of names and forms that they identified with as ‘I’).

And hence, all those ’empowerment ideas’ are ‘blooming’ or ‘trending’ in this world, to inspire/motivate/encourage people to think and believe that they can desire/achieve whatever they desire/want to achieve, that they can be strong and powerful to attain a higher quality and comfort of life, that they will be treated/respected/loved/supported the way that they deserve if they possess those higher qualities, so that they will feel good, satisfied, confident and meaningful about themselves, in order to like and love themselves, or to receive love, respect, compliment, support, acknowledgement or friendship/companionship from other(s).

People ceaselessly and restlessly pushing their body and mind to go beyond its limitation, with the help of special diet/supplement/drugs/training/higher education, technology and equipment, until the function of the body and mind breakdown, until they need to depend on more drugs for the body and mind to be able to function properly, to be ‘normal’ again, to relieve tension, to unwind, to have a few moments of rest, until the life force depleted and death takes place, and the body and mind ceased functioning and existing.

The bodily systems and the mind are unwittingly suffering from restlessness, overuse, sleep deprivation, hyperactive, lethargic, mood swing, depression, anxiety, nervous breakdown, immune system breakdown, indigestion, hormone imbalance, in focus, cloudiness, stress and stress related physical illness and different forms of mental illness, due to the empowered ego is being empowered/inspired to push the limits of the body and mind to achieve or fulfill unlimited and higher worldly desires and ambitions of the empowered ego. Again, it’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to do with their life existence, their body and mind.

Meanwhile, out of good intention, some people try to empower others by telling others that “You are good, you are good enough, you are more than good enough. You deserve more.” by empowering them to think and believe that they are good and strong and worthy, so that they are empowered/motivated to be able to achieve something that they want to achieve, so that they will feel better, satisfied, happy, confident and meaningful about themselves by being able to achieve something or fulfill their desires, so that they will like and love themselves. But that’s not liberation or the end of suffering for these people if they need to rely on attaining/possessing certain qualities of names and forms, or achievements and gratification of desires in order to think and believe that they are good, or good enough, or more than good enough, or they deserve much more, to feel better, satisfied, happy, confident and meaningful about themselves, so that they can like and love themselves.

Yoga and yoga practice is to free the mind from all those restlessness derived from ignorance and egoism empowered by worldly endless passionate desires, ambitions, ideas, thinking, belief and values.

Be free from attachment and identification with qualities of names and forms as ‘I’, and be free from all the worldly ideas and beliefs about “One shouldn’t be content with what one is and has, that oneself and all these will never be good enough, that one should always strive to be better, and better, and there’s no ending of higher achievement/desire/happiness/success/satisfaction/pleasure.” or “Be empowered. Be inspired. You are good. You are strong. You can achieve all your desires.” and be free from clinging/craving towards the need of appreciation, compliment, acknowledgement, love, support, friendship, or companionship from other(s), in order to live life happily, confidently and meaningfully.

Those who practice yoga don’t need to be empowered or inspired by anyone or anything, to feel good, confident, successful, or meaningful about oneself or life existence upon the realization of non-separateness, attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness. One doesn’t need to be ‘somebody identifying with/possessing certain qualities of names and forms or achievements’, in order to live life happily, confidently and meaningfully. One is peaceful as one is, unconditionally.

It doesn’t mean that one doesn’t perform any actions that would benefit oneself and/or others. One can be actively performing actions that would benefit oneself and others, but without pushing the body and mind beyond its limitation, without stress, without intention/expectation/craving for receiving appreciation, compliment, acknowledgement, love, support, friendship, or companionship from others in return, in order to feel happy, confident and meaningful.

There’s no dissatisfaction, discontentment, fear, low self-esteem, low confidence, depression, self-hate, unloved, loneliness, meaninglessness, or lack of something that isn’t here.

There’s no aversion towards impermanent changes, old age, illness, weakness, aloneness, separation from things and beings that one cherished, or death.

It doesn’t mean that the world is moving backward or stagnant, if everyone loves themselves as they are, in fact, it’s the opposite. The world will be full of peaceful and compassionate people, and hence the world will be free from all sorts of mental illness, stress, depression, low self-esteem, low confidence, pride, arrogance, greed, corruption, exploitation, offensiveness, self-harm, discrimination, violence, wars, and etc. But, most minds are not free from ignorance, egoism and impurities.

Even if there are more and higher technologies existing in the world for certain people to enjoy a more comfortable and advanced lifestyle, they can live longer, younger and healthier, it doesn’t guarantee that the mind will be free from ignorance, egoism, impurities and suffering from restlessness, anger, hatred, jealousy, dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurts, regret, guilt, fear, worry, boredom, loneliness, hostility, unrest, discrimination, violence, doubts, conflicts, disagreement, and etc.

There’s nothing wrong with good condition, comfort and convenience deriving from higher technologies and the ability to attain the higher quality of life. If one knows how to unattached or not clinging onto all the good condition, comfort and convenience in one’s life, but making use of the good condition to work on attaining salvation transcending the mind of life existence, that’s great. But, how many attached or cling onto the good condition, comfort and convenience, and got lost in all the pleasurable indulgence and enjoyment? And how many would be grateful and thankful for all the bad condition, discomfort and hardship in their life allowing them to detach from worldly life existence to work on transcending the mind of ignorance, egoism and impurities?

It’s everyone’s freedom for how they want to think, believe and feel, or what they want to do with their life, body and mind.

Be free.

Sadhana advice from Swami Sivananda (2)

Excerpt from Essence of Vedanta by Swami Sivananda

In one sense from the highest viewpoint, all the leaders of the world are wasting their time, life and energy. Had they directed their energy and mind towards Yoga and transcendental Atma Svarajya, they would have become great divinities on this earth and done more spiritual good to the world. These great men would have taken to Nivritti already, had they really understood the glory and necessity of Nivritti Marga, had they come in contact with great sages, had they a real grasp of the purpose of life, goal and the nature of the Svarupa of the Atman, mind and the world.

A little comfortable living, a little bread with butter and jam cannot relieve the sufferings of the people, cannot give salvation or Absolute Independence and Freedom to them, cannot remove ignorance, the root cause of all human miseries and of births and deaths. Wise men, with great talents, should attempt to give spiritual food to the people and make their lives lofty, worthy, sublime and grand and make them immortal.

Even if all the leaders are taken out of the world now, the world will run on smoothly, probably more smoothly. Even if all the people retire into the forest, the world will go on.

Poor worldlings! One would think that they have taken a contract with Brahma that they will procreate children in this world and take care of it!

The world is unreal. All are born to die only. All are illusory in this world.

Egoism deludes people. Though the world is nothing, it deceives the worldly man into thinking that it is everything. It is associated with ‘mineness’. This egoism is born of Avidya (ignorance). It springs from conceit. Vanity fosters it. It is the greatest enemy ever known. The secret of renunciation is the renunciation of egoism. Ahamkara or ego is the direst of diseases. He who is free from egoism is ever happy and peaceful. Desires multiply and expand on account of egoism. This inveterate enemy has spread about man the enchantments of wives, friends, children, relatives, whose spells are hard to break.

This world is a manifestation of this mind only. All pains are generated through the mind only. If this mind is annihilated through discrimination and Atmic enquiry, all pains, along with this world will vanish.

Desire is the cause of rebirths and all sorts of pains, miseries and sorrows of this earth.

The body has a tendency to rot. Egoism lives in this body as the master with avarice as the mistress. The body is in reality a pot of filth. The shining skin is subject to wrinkles in old age. Fie and shame on them who have mistaken this body for the immortal Pure Soul and rely on it for their happiness and peace!

This body appears only in the present. A thing, that has neither past nor future must be considered as non-existent in the present also. If you think over this matter more deeply with Suddha-Buddhi or pure intellect, you will find Atyanta-Abhava or complete non-existent of the world.

“Nothing on this earth belongs to me! This body even is not mine.” This is true wisdom. “He is my son. She is my daughter. She is my wife. That bungalow is mine. I am rich. I am a Kshatriya. I am a Brahmin. I am lean. I am fat.” This is foolishness of a superior order. This body is the rightful property of fishes, jackals and vultures. How can you call this as yours?

In this scientific era – the age of the so-called modern civilisation – greed, passion, selfishness are increasing day by day, nay, hour by hour. One nation wants to devour another nation. Man has lost his manliness. The son drags his father to the courts for the division of property. The wife divorces her husband and marries another, if he happens to be more rich, more beautiful and younger. The younger brother poisons his elder brother to take possession of the estate. You see cruelty, dishonesty, injustice and atrocity everywhere. No one keeps his promise. The father has no faith in the son. The wife has no faith in the husband and vice versa.

There is no end of craving (Trishna) in the life of a worldly man. That is the reason why a worldly man is ever restless despite his wealth and comforts. There is always dissatisfaction with his lot. He is ever discontented. Before one craving is satisfied another craving is ready to occupy his mind, and this craving agitates the mind and makes a constant demand for gratification. He forgets his real divine nature and plunges himself in the ocean of Samsara (worldliness).

If you place the worldly-minded persons in the company of saints, Yogins and Sannyasins, in solitary places with charming sceneries, they can never live in peace. They will feel as if they are fish taken out of water.

Sages compare a worldly-mined man to a street-dog, or a pig that eats filth, or a worm that revels in rubbish. The comparison is very very apt, indeed!

O worldly-minded persons! Wake up from the deep of dark ignorance! Open your eyes now. Stand up and acquire the knowledge of the Self. Approach the Brahmanishtha Guru. Attain Absolute Independence of Kaivalya. Merge yourself in the State of Satchidananda.

A worldly man kills himself by clinging to things unreal. That man who does not struggle to attain Self-realisation, although he possesses knowledge of the scriptures, human body, youth, energy and other conveniences, commits suicide. His lot is very miserable. What greater fool is there than this man who neglects the goal of life? That man who does not care to make enquiry of ‘who am I?’ ‘what is the goal?’ ‘how to attain the goal?’ is really a great fool, although he may be endowed with high secular knowledge.

Imagine for a moment that your skin and flesh are inverted and exposed. Then some one will have to stand always with a long hill-stick to drive off cows and jackals. Why do you have Moha (infatuated love) for this dirty body? Why do you apply perfumes? Are you not a big fool? Get Jnana. You are the Atman, ever pure and Effulgent.

Birth is suffering; disease is suffering; death is suffering; sorrow, grief, pain, lamentations are suffering; union with unpleasant objects is suffering; separation from the beloved objects is suffering; unsatisfied desires are suffering. O man! Is there any real pleasure or happiness in this world?

Why do you cling onto all these mundane objects? Why do you stroll about here and there like a street-dog in search for happiness in this earth-plane? Search within. Look within and introspect and rest in the Supreme Abode of Peace and Immortality now. Realise now and be free.

Lust invariably leads to extreme suffering on the impediment of senses in old age.

Nobody has been benefited in this world by this Maya. People invariably weep in the end.

The worldly man never comes to the senses although he gets severe knocks, kicks and blows from different corners. The strolling street-dog never stop visiting the houses even though pelted with stones every time.

The whole world is a ball of fire though there are the so-called charming sceneries of Mayaic illusion. The whole world is a huge furnace wherein all living creatures are being roasted.

Lord Buddha says: “On the whole, life is a sorrow.” Patanjali Maharshi in his Yoga Sutras says: “Sarvam Duhkham Vivekinah” – “All indeed is pain to a person of discrimination.” Just as a fish in its desire to eat flesh does not see the hook that lies beneath, so as man in his passionate desire to get sensual pleasure does not see the noose of death.

Pleasure is not in the objects; it is in the imagination or inclination of the mind. Mango is not sweet but imagination makes it sweet. Woman is not beautiful, but imagination renders her so. An ugly woman appears very beautiful to her husband because his imagination is beautiful. There is a grain of pleasure in objects, but the pain that is mixed with it is of the size of a big mountain.

Sensual pleasure is tantalising. There is enchantment so long as man does not possess the desired object. The moment he is in possession of the object, the charm vanishes. He finds that he is in an entanglement. The rich but childless man thinks he will be more happy by getting a son; he worries himself day and night to get a son, goes on pilgrimage to Ramesvaram and Kasi and performs various religious ceremonies. But when he gets a child, he feels miserable. The child suffers from epileptic fits, and his money is given away to doctors. Even then there is no cure. This is Mayaic jugglery. The whole world is fraught with temptation.

The cause of pain is love of pleasure. The cause of death is love of sensual life. Death is a horrible thing to him who is intensely attached to sensual life. Words like cremation, murder, death, corpse, burial, make the sensualist shudder at heart; for he is extremely attached to the body and the objects of the senses. “How to part with the sensual objects?” is his great cause of misery. Pity!

The body is the first Mayaic knot or tie. Wife is the second knot round the neck. Son is the third knot round the waist. Daughter is the fourth knot round the knee. Grandson is the fifth knot round the ankle. He who has cut asunder these knots or ties and who has no Moha is really a strong and powerful man (Dhira).

All hope of happiness in this world terminate in pain, despair and sorrow. Pleasure is mixed with pain. Beauty is mixed with ugliness. Kindness is mixed with anger and harsh words. There is no real prop in this world to lean upon. Sensual indulgence brings diseases, exhaustion, weakness, and loss of vigor. The sensual objects destroy the whole man, and he has no help from any quarter of this earth. Fair sex infatuates. Money and power fill the mind with hollowness and vanity! There is often war between nations. There is no peace anywhere. Trust not this illusory world.

Go wherever you may, to Gulmarg or Pahalgaon in Kashmir, to Darjeeling or Simla, to Vienna or the Alps. It is all the same. You will not find any real rest. The charming scenery may soothe the retina for a second. Raga, Dvesha, jealousy, passion and greed are everywhere. You will finds the same earth, the same sky, the same air and the same water. And you carry with you the same mind. Imagination and change of places have deceived not a few.

Friends! Is there not a higher mission in life than eating, sleeping, drinking and talking?

An ignorant worldly man says, “I have to do my duties. I have to educate my four sons and three daughters. I have to please my boss. I have got heavy duties in the office. I have to remit money to my widowed sister. I have a large family. I have six brothers and five sisters. Where is the time for me to do Sandhya Vandana and Japa and study religious books? There is no time for breathing even. I have no leisure. Even on holidays I have to work. Even on Sundays I have to worry myself with work. I bring office-papers to my house and work at night till the small hours of the morning. I do not want Yoga. This office-work and the maintenance of my family is itself a great duty or Yoga.”

Do you call this duty? It is mere slavery. It is a work of a coolie. It is mere bondage. The man is in fear every moment. Even in dreams he meets his office-mates and his boss and posts figures in the ledger. This is not a right sense of duty. He takes tea, eats food, and sits at the table for writing, sleeps and procreates. His whole life passes away like this. This is not duty. This is gross delusion. This is foolishness. This is selfishness. This is work for gain and satisfaction of lower appetites. Anything done under compulsion and expectation of rewards is not duty. You must not take as duty works done from attachment, greed or passion.

You have travelled in many countries, fed your dear relatives, and amassed immense wealth. Yet, of what avail are these, O friend? You have not realised the Blissful Brahman.

Desire for name and fame, infatuated love for the body, desire for vast erudition, are stumbling blocks in the attainment of the Self-knowledge. He who wants to free himself from Samsara should annihilate the desire for these mundane things.

Who are you? Who am I? Where from have we come? Who is mother? Who is father? Think deeply in these. Leave off this world, which is a dream, and seek the One, Eternal, Undivided Essence of Brahman.

Friends! Is there any limit to the number of fathers, mothers, wives, sons, daughters, uncles and aunts you have had in the countless incarnations in the past? And yet the clinging to these false relationships has not gone. Discrimination has not yet dawned. What a great pity it is!

The attraction for external objects ceases; but there yet remains the internal craving or sense of hankering or thirsting, which is called Trishna.

You have spent eight hours in sleep, and the rest of the day in idle gossiping, telling lies, deceiving others, in selfish activities, in amassing wealth. How can you expect spiritual good, how can you expect immortality and peace, if you do not spend even half an hour in the service of the Lord, in singing his names and in divine contemplation?

Will your son or daughter or friend or relative help you, when you are about to die? Will they accompany you to share your miseries? Have you got one sincere, unselfish friend in all this world? All are selfish! There is no pure love. But that Lord, your real Friend of friends, Father of fathers, who dwells in your heart, will never forsake you, though you may forget Him. Adore Him in silence, that God of gods, that Divinity of divinities, the Highest of the high. May He bless you with His love, Wisdom, Power and Peace!

The Rishis and the Seers tapped the source through living the Truth. They had deep penetration into the Truth through the eye of wisdom or intuition in Nirvikalpa Samadhi. They did rigorous Tapas and intense meditation. They disciplined the outgoing senses and led a virtuous life. They were absolutely moral and righteous. They developed all the qualities of the heart. They practised dispassion and renunciation. They had no attachment for mundane things. They kicked off ruthlessly all wealth, relatives, wife, family, children, position and status. They embraced poverty, purity and austerity. They lived in forests. They ate fruits and roots. They breathed pure air. They lived on the banks of the Ganga amidst Himalayan scenery, which had, and has, high spiritual vibrations. They did not live in Mount Road or the Mall.

All the things of this world pertaining to men are attended with fear; renunciation alone stands for fearlessness. Shun honour, respect, degrees, name, fame, power, position and titles. They are absolutely worthless. They will not give you eternal satisfaction. They will only intensify your vanity. They are all intoxicants of the mind. They bring misery and mental disturbance.

In the Vishnupurana it is said: “If the deluded fool loves the body, a mere collection of flesh, blood, pus, faeces, urine, muscles, fats and bones, he will verily love hell itself! To him who is not disgusted with the nasty smell from his body, what other argument need to be abduced for detachment?” It is needless and useless to say more.

Knowledge of the Self or Brahma Jnana is more precious and important than the kingdom of all the worlds.

If you do not possess Viveka, if you do not try your extreme level best for the attainment of Salvation, if you spend your whole lifetime in eating, drinking, sleeping, marrying, divorcing and propagating the race, how are you better than an animal? As a matter of fact, they are better than you! You will have to sit at the feet of the animals and learn a few several lessons from them. Even animals possess self-restraint to an astounding degree. O man! where has your self-restraint gone?

O man! Never say; “My body, my son, my wife, my house, my property, my garden, etc.” Attachment is the root cause of the innumerable miseries and troubles of this world. Discipline your mind well, realise the illusory nature of all that appears here in this world.

Renunciation comes only to those who were once kings in their previous births, who developed discrimination between the real and the unreal in their previous births, who have done meritorious actions in their previous births, who led the life of a Sannyasin in several births. Only those who have tremendous will-power, spiritual strength, dispassion, discrimination, and who thirst for salvation can renounce the world. Renunciation demands superhuman strength. Renunciation or Sannyasa is stern stuff.

After all, what is this world? It is like a footprint of a calf when compared to the Infinite Brahman or the Absolute. It is a small bubble in the ocean of Existence. It is less than an atom. The worthless nature of the joys of this world is already known to a Viveki or a man of discrimination or an aspirant or an ordinary worldly man even in whom there is not even an iota of spiritual awakening or a little opening of the eye of wisdom.

The Upanishads emphatically declare: “Yo Vai Bhuma Tat Sukham – Naalpe Sukhamasti!” You cannot have real happiness in this world. The real ‘Santi’, is Peace which the mind is hankering after is only to be found in the ‘Bhuma’. Bhuma is unconditioned, beyond time, beyond space and causation. Bhuma, the Great, is freedom, – freedom from the trammels of flesh, freedom from the tricks of the mind, freedom from the plays of delusion. Bhuma is perfection, beyond all limitations. Bhuma is Brahman, the eternal Absolute! You will have to remember all this constantly. You will have to write this and read this, talk of this and preach this, meditate on this and live in this, ‘Yo Vai Bhuma Tat Sukham.’

How to renounce worldly life?

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s renouncing or abandoning egoism and impurities.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be free.

It’s better not to teach yoga than teaching yoga without correct understanding

Yoga and its practice is neither good nor bad. Teaching yoga is also neither good nor bad.

If people practice yoga with the correct understanding, and if people teach yoga to many more other people with the correct understanding, then yoga appears to be something good. There will be more wise people and less ignorant thinking and behavior in the world.

If people practice yoga without the correct understanding, and if people teach yoga to many more other people without the correct understanding, then yoga appears to be something not so good. There will be stronger ignorance in people with ignorant thinking and behavior in the world.

No doubt that there are many people interested in yoga and love to do yoga practice, and many are also interested in teaching yoga, but it’s not necessarily a good thing if the people have no correct understanding.

It’s normal and understandable that there are many people who think they love yoga are still very much under the influence of ignorance, they are not free from egoism and attachment towards worldly thinking and belief and behavior.

Many existing yoga teachers are teaching yoga to other people with what they think is yoga, that is influenced a lot by their worldly egoistic nature of social and cultural and spiritual thinking and belief and behavior that is full of passionate love and affection and clinging, desires of craving and aversion, personal and worldly identification, attachment and identification towards qualities of names and forms, attachment towards actions and the fruit of actions, and etc. And hence, they are actually feeding the world with deeper ignorance instead of wisdom, and empowering other people’s ignorance and egoism with their own ignorance and egoism.

Many yoga practitioners and yoga teachers mistaken worldly egoistic attachment and clinging of passionate love and affection as compassion.

For example, it’s normal for most people to fall in love with other people or animals or things. When someone meets another person who has something in common with mutual feelings of similar interest and liking towards each other, and they want to be friends, stay connected, be interacting with one another, see each other, talk to each other and do some activities together, know that it’s nothing to do with compassion. It’s just egoistic attachment and clinging of passionate love and affection towards something that the mind feels inclined or attracted to. Compassion is nothing to do with falling in love with people or animals or things.

Compassion is nothing to do with passionate love and affection towards people, animals or things that the mind likes and agrees with, that the minds perceives and recognizes as ‘cute’, ‘pretty’, ‘beautiful’, ‘adorable’, ‘friendly’, ‘lovely’, ‘good’, ‘positive’, ‘right’, ‘happiness’, or ‘meaningfulness’.

Compassion is nothing to do with sympathetic feelings towards people, animals or things that the mind thinks and believes as pitiful and sympathy deserving. Those who have lots of sympathy and affection towards certain people or animals that they like and love are not necessarily compassionate. There are people love and be nice to their friends and pets more than their own parents or children. They would treat their friends and pets like king and queen, but yet, they would neglect or abuse or abandon their parents and children.

People can be very kind and loving towards their own particular community but they would have animosity or ill-will towards other communities. People can be very sympathetic and loving towards someone’s suffering, and be very violent and hating towards those whom they think and believe are the ones who are responsible for the suffering of that someone. This is the manifestation of passionate love and affection that based on personal likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements. This is nothing to do with compassion.

Compassionate minds are free from attachment, identification, clinging, desires of craving and aversion, and are free from impurities of anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurt, regret, guilt, fear, worry, offensiveness, defensiveness, aggressiveness, depression, painful sorrow, grief, vengeance, ill-will and ill-thinking towards all and everything without discrimination of good and bad, superiority and inferiority.

Compassion is equanimity towards ‘good’ and ‘bad’ qualities, condition and situation. Free from craving or aversion towards ‘good’ qualities, condition and situation. Free from aversion or craving towards ‘bad’ qualities, condition and situation. Actions being performed out of compassion is free from ignorance and egoism and impurities. It’s not about “I will be nice to you and you will be nice to me.” There’s no craving or expectation to be receiving love and kindness or friendship and companionship from other beings.

If one thinks one is full of love and kindness towards ‘all beings’, including animals, and has lots of love and affection towards particular animal, that one is keeping the animal as pet, receiving the pet animal as a family member, accepting all the good and bad of the pet animal as well as taking full responsibility towards the consequences of keeping a pet animal, showing lots of love and affection towards the pet animal and enduring the potential difficulties that may arise due to the pet animal’s imperfect nature and behavior, but one couldn’t respect other beings for being different from oneself, one couldn’t accept and love all human beings as they are, including those whose one’s mind perceives, recognizes, thinks and believes as ‘wrong’, ‘selfish’, ‘bad’ and ‘evil’, one discriminates towards other people whom one doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with, and being impatient, frustrated, angry and hating towards certain people’s imperfection and the consequences of their imperfect thinking and behavior, having ill-will and ill-thinking towards people who inflict problems and troubles and damages to one’s life existence, wishing these people to be punished and suffer for their imperfect thinking and behavior, that one doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with, but then one doesn’t mind at all for all the troubles and problems and damages that the pet animal brings into one’s life existence, as one has so much love and affection towards the pet animal to tolerate and accommodate the imperfection of the pet animal, then know that this is not what compassion or loving kindness towards all beings is about.

Most people, including many yoga practitioners and yoga teachers would disagree with this teaching and practice of yoga, and generate intense disgust and aversion towards this very important yoga practice of renouncing all kind of worldly attachment and clinging of passionate love and affection. People will give themselves many reasonable excuses to avoid this teaching and practice. There’s nothing wrong with people’s such reaction and it’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to do with their life existence and how they want to react and feel about everything.

In yoga, one needs to be able to abandon ‘worldly attachment and clinging of passionate love and affection’ if one wants to realize unconditional love or compassion. Or else, one couldn’t be truly compassionate even one would like to be compassionate, as one ignorantly mistakes ‘worldly attachment and clinging of passionate love and affection’ as compassion.

Yoga is about dispassion. Dispassion leads to wisdom and compassion. Wisdom and compassion leads to liberation from suffering.

Compassion doesn’t bring painful sorrow and suffering, but ‘worldly attachment and clinging of passionate love and affection’ will lead to painful sorrow and suffering.

In yoga practice, when one is truly and sincerely yearning for liberation, one not just renounces the worldly attachment and clinging of ties and relationships with other human beings and things, and cutting off all kind of social connections, interactions and activities, to retreat into seclusion and solitude to silent the mind, but one also renounces attachment and clinging of passionate love and affection towards all kind of animals, insects or nature.

If one thinks one is practicing yoga of renunciation of seclusion and solitude by staying away from other human beings and worldly connection of social interactions and activities, but one feels so lonely and bored being away from other human beings and social interactions and activities, and wants to keep one or few pet animal in one’s life to accompany and entertain oneself so that one doesn’t feel so lonely and bored, as well as to feel love and connection with the pet animal, then one isn’t practicing yoga at all.

Those who can’t bear to see or hear or come in contact with all kind of suffering that exist in the world, and feel very disturbed by one’s suffering and other’s suffering, and be offended by all kinds of ignorant behaviors that lead to great suffering in oneself and other beings, then know that it’s not compassion, but it’s mere passionate love and affection.

Not many yoga practitioners are yearning for liberation. They just want to get some good feelings and benefits from doing the yoga practice. And that’s their freedom.

Contemplate on this and be free.

It’s everyone’s freedom whether to receive or reject the gift of Dhamma

Many people like to attend ‘yoga retreat’ are not about giving importance towards the yoga practice to be learning and practicing yoga under the guidance of a yoga teacher who teaches yoga, to leave their ego and worldly habits behind for a period of time, to quiet and silent the mind, to learn how to apply the teachings of yoga into the yoga asana practice, as well as applying the yoga practice/teachings or the Dhamma practically into everyday life while living in the society, to free the mind from ignorance, egoism and impurities.

Instead, they expect to be doing some form of yoga exercises/practice as a leisure activity while on a holiday that includes yoga and other holiday activities, where they expect the resort/staff/teachers to conduct/provide/lead/instruct/teach the yoga exercise sessions the way that they like it to be, in a resort style holiday environment, being away from any duties and responsibilities, and condition and situation in their everyday life that they don’t like and don’t want, to be indulging in pleasurable enjoyment of the senses of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations and visualization, to be enjoying VIP treatments, resort facilities and services.

They are not interested to practice yoga in a simple place where it’s not much different from everyday life condition for most people, or even more challenging for those who live a comfortable lifestyle where everything is conveniently available and accessible and being served by other people all the time, but one needs to perform daily tasks to take care of one’s everyday living, just like in everyday life, but with additional restrictions of a more disciplined daily routine and limited social activities, or without personal assistant or servant to bring them what they want whenever they want, while learning and practicing yoga under the guidance of a yoga teacher who teaches yoga, so that when they go back into their everyday life, they can implement the yoga teachings/practice or the Dhamma into their everyday life while performing all their duties and responsibilities towards themselves and others, without the sense of superiority or inferiority, pride and arrogance, and dealing with all kinds of condition and situation that are not necessarily the way that they like it to be, be free from craving and aversion, without the need to runaway from what they don’t like or don’t want, and developing stronger self-discipline and reducing social activities to quiet the restless mind while living in the society, and realize unconditional peace that is beyond the impermanent qualities of names and forms, undetermined by time and space, causation, condition and situation.

If people feel that they can only have peace or practice yoga in a comfortable environment with very little distraction and without the need to deal with any discomfortable challenging condition and situation, and they find that it’s very difficult for them to have peace or practice yoga in everyday life as there are lots of distractions and have to deal with many discomfortable challenging condition and situation in everyday life, then they haven’t learn anything at all, even though they feel good and happy to practice yoga or do some yoga asana exercises in a comfortable distraction-less environment. A real yoga retreat should allow people to learn how to implement the teachings of yoga into everyday life and practice yoga and have peace under any condition and situation, with correct understanding, awareness, self-discipline, self-control, non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment and non-expectation.

It’s everyone’s freedom whether they want to receive or reject the gift of Dhamma and whether they want to practice yoga, or not. Even some yoga teachers are not really practicing yoga, although they have been doing different styles of yoga asana practice and teaching different styles of yoga exercise classes for many years. And it’s okay as everyone takes their own time to evolve. It doesn’t matter after many years of doing and teaching yoga exercise, the mind is still not free from ignorance and egoism, and being over-powered by impurities.

Many people who like to do the yoga asana exercises regularly are not necessarily interested in the yoga teachings and practice about silencing the mind and the elimination of ignorance, egoism and impurities. That’s their freedom. Even though many of them have been following some yoga teachers to be doing yoga asana exercises for some time or a long time, their minds are not necessarily be free from the desire of craving and aversion, and easily be disturbed and determined by the gratification of craving and aversion, and be influenced by impurities of dissatisfaction, disappointment, frustration, irritation, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, hurts, regret, guilt, offensiveness, defensiveness, animosity, ill-will, ill-thinking, pride, arrogance, agitation, depression, fear and worry, and so on, being restless or peaceless.

A teacher presents the same teaching or Dhamma to different people at the same time, some people take it and practice and realize and be free, while some people reject the Dhamma, as that is not what they like and want and agree with, they only want to do something that they like and want to do, to gratify their desire of craving and aversion, to enjoy and to feel good. And that’s their freedom.

It’s not the teacher is being good or not good. It’s not the Dhamma is something good or not good. The teacher and the Dhamma are just what they are. They are neither good nor not good, but it’s the people themselves, whether they want to take it, or not, and through their own effort of practice and attain self-realization, or not, that allows them to be free, or not. Whether the people want to take the Dhamma and practice and realize yoga, or they don’t like and don’t want to practice the Dhamma, it’s not the responsibility of the teacher or the Dhamma.

Egoistic mind will try to runaway from something that it’s experiencing now, that it doesn’t familiar with, doesn’t feel comfortable, doesn’t like, doesn’t want and doesn’t agree with, that is different from or contradicted with one’s thinking and belief and familiar worldly habits.

Those who teach yoga, they do not try to please the people who are learning and practicing yoga with them, or in anyway, to boost or empower or feed the ignorance and egoism of the people. But to guide the people to see or know what is going on in their own minds, develop awareness, self-discipline and self-control to deal with their own mind, to free their mind from ignorance, egoism and impurities through their own effort to purify and silent their impure restless mind, to see the truth of things as it is. Compassion is not about trying to make people happy by gratifying their desires of craving and aversion, but to allow them to know the root cause of a disturbed mind, or the source of unhappiness and suffering, even if they have to go through discomfort and unpleasantness.

The practice of yoga and the coming in contact with the Dhamma is not as pleasant as many people thought it is. The Dhamma might appear to be very different or contradicted with the worldly cultural, social and religious thinking, belief and practice. To realize Dhamma one has to let go attachment and identification towards the worldly cultural, social and religious thinking, belief and practice, to allow the mind to be open. Those who have strong attachment and identification with the worldly cultural, social and religious thinking, belief and practice would likely generate great disagreement, rejection or aversion towards the Dhamma. There are lots of impurities bubble up onto the body and the mind to be eliminated on the path of yoga towards the annihilation of ignorance, egoism and impurities. There will be lots of physical, mental and emotional discomfort arising and passing away. And it might take a long time for the mind to be purified to the deepest level. It requires lots of courage, patience, perseverance, determination, tolerance. forbearance, acceptance, adjustment, adaptation and accommodation. It’s quite an unpleasant or painful and even scary process for most minds, and many minds don’t like to confront with this and rather to runaway from any unpleasantness or hardship. They just want to do the parts of the yoga practice that would give rise to momentary relaxation and good feelings, to gratify their desires of craving and aversion.

Those who truly practice yoga learn how to confront with what the mind perceives as unfamiliar, discomfortable and challenging condition and situation, with compassion, patience, perseverance, determination, tolerance, forbearance, acceptance, adjustment, adaptation and accommodation, without attachment, identification, craving, aversion, judgment, or expectation.

Only through letting go all kinds of attachment and identification, and the desire of craving and aversion towards the pleasant and unpleasant mind perception of names and forms, not by pushing or running away from something that the mind doesn’t like and doesn’t want, that is discomfortable or challenging for the mind, will allow the mind to go beyond all the qualities of names and forms and be free from being disturbed or determined by all the different qualities of names and forms that the mind perceives as pleasant or unpleasant experiences, positive or negative experiences, that the mind likes or dislikes, wants and doesn’t want.

Letting go and pushing away are two different things.

Letting go is unattached towards all the qualities of names and forms, allowing the unpleasant experiences to be there as they are, or allowing the pleasant experiences to be absent in this present moment, but remain at peace, without craving for something that is pleasant but it’s not here, without aversion towards something that is here that is unpleasant, being undisturbed or undetermined by them. The mind is peaceful as it is regardless all the mind perceptions of pleasantness and unpleasantness, being free from disturbs due to ignorance, egoism and impurities.

While pushing away is do not allow any unpleasant experiences to be there, and expecting pleasant experiences to be available in the present the way that it likes it to be, and are being disturbed or determined by the presence of unpleasant experiences that the mind doesn’t like and doesn’t want, and the absence of pleasant experiences that the mind likes and wants. The mind is restless or peaceless being over-powered by frustration, dissatisfaction, disappointment, unhappiness, anger, regret, ill-thinking, animosity, anxiety, fear and worry.

Be free.