Contemplate, and see how ignorant is this thinking mind

Many people, including yoga practitioners and yoga teachers would think and believe that ‘yoga’ or ‘teaching yoga’ and ‘learning yoga’ shouldn’t involve any ‘fixed amount of fees’ or shouldn’t be ‘contaminated’ by ‘money’ in the form of fees at all, where ‘donation basis’, or ‘donate as much as you can give’, or ‘donate as much as you like’ and any other form of ‘offering’ is totally acceptable and non-contaminating the ‘purity’ of yoga, where ‘yoga teachers’ who charge and receive ‘certain fixed amount of fees’ are being seen as ‘greedy’, ‘materialistic’ and ‘money minded’ impure yoga teachers, and vice versa.

There is a yoga teacher who is looking forward to find a ‘pure and genuine human being teacher/guru’ who doesn’t bother about ‘fees’ or ‘money’ to teach her yoga, is being ‘disappointed’ and ‘complaining’ about it’s so difficult (impossible) to find a (human being) ‘real yoga teacher/guru’ that doesn’t bother about ‘fees’ or ‘money’ who would teach her yoga.

It’s the deep rooted ignorance that generates such ignorant thinking and expectation that is what hindering this person from realizing the one and only ‘real and pure guru’, which is (knowing) the mind itself.

Does her business that gives her the financial income/support for living doesn’t involve ‘money’? Do the yoga classes that she conducts doesn’t involve any expenses and maintenance in the form of ‘money’? Does the life or the everyday living of her and her family doesn’t involve any form of ‘money’? Does her parents gave birth to her and brought her up and provided her with food, shelter, medical needs and education without the need of ‘money’? Does she doesn’t have any expenses in the form of ‘money’ to bring up her children by providing food/shelter/education/medical needs to them? Is her house that she is living in and her car that she is driving and her phone and internet access that she is using doesn’t need any money? Does the food that she feeds herself and her family and those who are hungry on the street doesn’t involve money? When she went to the temple and presented some ‘offering’ to the many different (statues of) ‘Buddhas’ and ‘Gods’ asking for ‘blessings’ to herself, her family and the whole world, and gave ‘donation’ to the temple for the maintenance and build more buildings to house more (statues of) ‘Buddhas’ and ‘Gods’ doesn’t involve money? Is the water, gas, electricity and everything that is conveniently available in her house doesn’t involve any form of ‘money’?

But why do most people think and believe that ‘human beings’ who teach yoga or yoga classes must be deprived from ‘being independently generating income for living from teaching yoga’ by taking ‘money’ in a fixed amount of fees? That ‘learning yoga’ from somebody and ‘teaching yoga’ to somebody must not involve ‘fixed amount of fees in the form of money’, it should be either ‘free’ or ‘on donation/offering basis’, or at a very low fees that the mind thinks that is how much it deserves? That ‘real and pure yoga teachers’ should either have some other form of permanent full time job/business/investment that provides them the income/support for living or they should be living on the charity/donation of others (begging for food, shelter, clothing, daily needs, and etc)?

People think that allowing others to practice ‘charity’ by making then giving in the form of ‘donation’ or ‘offering’ is promoting generosity, sharing, compassion and selflessness in the world. But, generosity and sharing is not limited in the form of ‘charity’, while compassion and selflessness is not determined by performing ‘charity’ in the form of giving ‘donation’ or ‘offering’. Many people who perform ‘charity’ under certain names and forms, who give donation and offering, are not necessarily compassionate and selfless, or are being free from ignorance and egoism.

The organizations or the yoga teachers/gurus that are ‘living’/’surviving’ on the charity or donation from the public are not necessarily be free from all sorts of corruption, ignorance, egoism and impurities. Those who teach yoga to other people, who don’t depend on charity or begging for donation from the public for living/surviving are not necessarily non-genuine, corrupted and impure. This is such a simple ‘understanding’, but even many yoga practitioners and yoga teachers don’t get it.

Why is that many good and righteous people would protest strongly against different kinds of ‘exploitation’ that exist in the world, but then, ‘teaching yoga’ and ‘yoga teachers’ should be ‘exploited’ to the maximum, as the way to define and uphold ‘the highest purity’? It’s totally acceptable for most people to pay certain amount of ‘money’ for supporting/promoting/getting ‘vegetarianism’, ‘veganism’, ‘pure and clean food’, ‘superfood’, ‘organic food’, ‘special spiritual healing’, ‘yoga props/clothing/accessories’, ‘religious/spiritual activities’, ‘psychotherapy’, ‘medical care’, ‘all kinds of education, learning, training and services’, ‘pleasurable entertainment and enjoyment’, ‘social activities’, ‘holidays’, ‘travels’, ‘daily needs’ and etc, but, it’s so unacceptable, terrible, bad and wrong for people to pay ‘certain fixed amount of fees’ for ‘learning yoga’.

People would spend money buying ‘different types of offering’ to be offering to ‘Gods’ and ‘Buddhas’ hoping to receive something that they want from ‘Gods’ and ‘Buddhas’, where ‘Gods’ and ‘Buddhas’ (if they are really gods and buddhas) don’t need any of these offering, but then, people would think and believe that giving certain amount of fees to learn yoga from a teacher to be supporting the living of the yoga teacher is something inappropriate and wrong. Such deep ignorance.

There’s nothing insincere or wrong with those who don’t need to depend on receiving fees or donations from anyone for living, but instead, they might have more than enough for their own living, and they can teach yoga and run yoga classes/courses to anyone without taking any fees or donations at all. But that also doesn’t determine that these minds are being free from corruption, ignorance, egoism and impurities.

The ‘teacher’ or ‘guru’ who is a living human being that doesn’t need to bother about fees/donation or money, who either doesn’t receive any fees/donation at all, or who would just take any amount of fees/donation ‘as much as you can give’ or ‘as much as you would like to give’ when teaching yoga to other people, are either they are financially secured where they don’t need to depend on receiving money in the form of fees or donation from teaching yoga for living, or they are living on the charity of others (supported by spouse, family, friends or the public). Unless they are non-human beings or non-living beings that don’t need to be ‘living’ or ‘surviving’ to maintain the life of the existence and function of the impermanent selfless physical body, or they are human beings who live/survive self-sufficiently on a piece of free land in the wild, surviving purely on mother nature that is free from ‘money transaction’, that isn’t ‘touched’ or being ‘possessed and governed’ by some kind of ‘authority’ at all.

When ‘good and generous’ people offer ‘flowers’, ‘food’ and ‘clothing’ to a person who teaches them yoga to show their gratitude and appreciation, can this person uses the ‘flowers’, ‘food’ and ‘clothing’ to pay rent, or tax, or medical needs, or even using a toilet to shit and pee, unless the ‘flowers’, ‘food’ and ‘clothing’ could be resold to become ‘money’, or this person actually lives/survives in the wild, surviving on mother nature that is free from ‘money transaction’, to build a shelter and planting and collecting food and water in the wild that isn’t being ‘possessed and governed’ by some kind of ‘authority’ in ‘a society’ of ‘a village/town/city/county/state’ under ‘the law of a country’.

By thinking and believing that being ‘generous’ and ‘pure’ is to be giving ‘free teaching’ or ‘low fees yoga classes’ or ‘yoga classes based on donation as you wish’ or ‘discounted fees’ to many of those who only want to pay ‘a little amount of fees’ or ‘donate as you wish’ to learn yoga from someone or to do some yoga exercises in a ‘yoga class’, even when they can afford to pay certain amount of fees but is higher than what they would like to give, as the minds think and believe that money-less or low fees is what purity and sincerity is about, or that is how much the teachings, or the classes, or the service, or the person deserved to be paid or should be receiving, is indeed promoting the ignorance in oneself and in the others.

Yoga, selflessness, compassion, oneness, liberation from suffering, the teachings of yoga, the practice of yoga, teaching yoga, learning yoga and the realization of yoga are invaluable. It cannot be sold or bought by any amount of money/fees/donation/offering. Teaching yoga and learning yoga among beings doesn’t really need ‘money’ to be happening. But being existing, moving and living in this world, especially in the modern society, require ‘money’ for most things. ‘Money’ is neither pure nor impure, it’s just part of the game of living in the world, while the action of ‘giving’/’receiving’/’sharing’/’generosity’/’loving kindness’/’charity’/’donation’/’offering’ either in the form of money or non-money, don’t necessarily determining something pure and selfless under the influence of ignorance and egoism.

Yoga schools that provide ‘yoga classes’ or ‘yoga courses’ might not survive or exist if without sufficient funding in the form of money (regardless of whether it’s fixed amount of fees or donation basis). Human beings who know the teachings and practice of yoga might not have the free time, space and energy to be ‘present’ at a particular time, space and causation to teach yoga to some others, if they need to be working/doing business full time for supporting their own living and those who are living under their support, and they also need the time, space and energy to be performing their own practice. Many people complain about how their parents are being too busy with their work or business that they don’t get enough affection and attention from their parents, because their parents need to spend most of their time, space and energy into making income to support the living of everyone in the family.

For a person to put time, space and energy into running a yoga studio/school that provides yoga classes, yoga courses or yoga retreats for people be there to learn and practice yoga require a lot of expenses in the form of money.

All the articles/writings/blogs/teachings about yoga here are free for anyone to take, provided if they have access to a computer and internet usage that require money, and the person who blogs this also needs money to have access to the computer and internet access for this blog to be existing.

So, think again if the mind is still looking forward to be finding/meeting a ‘pure and genuine’ human being yoga teacher to be teaching yoga to oneself, under the expectation that this teacher shouldn’t be taking money or certain fixed amount of fees that one’s mind thinks it’s too much and don’t deserving, or expecting this teacher only takes small amount of fees or donation as you wish, or else, this must be an impure and non-genuine teacher if this person takes a fixed amount of fees that one’s mind thinks it’s too much or don’t deserving.

Regardless of whether the person whom oneself learns yoga from is pure or impure, it really doesn’t matter. It’s about how this mind behaves. If this mind is looking for a teacher with the expectation and judgment towards the teacher should or shouldn’t be in certain way, judging the teacher based on one’s expectation towards how a teacher should be like, expecting the teacher to meet up with one’s expectation as well as be able to receive whatever one expects to be receiving from a teacher, but at the same time, one is measuring what and how much one would like to ‘give’/’donate’/’offer’ to the teacher to show ‘gratitude’ and ‘appreciation’ to the teacher for teaching oneself, then even though the teacher doesn’t ask any fees/donation/offering in return, and one would give/donate/offer something to the teacher, this person won’t be able to learn anything even if this is a great teacher who delivers the teachings of yoga. If this mind is opened, free from expectation, then this mind doesn’t even need to look for a teacher, as the opened mind itself is the greatest teacher that allows itself to see the truth from all and everything that the mind comes in contact with. One will respect and show gratitude towards all and everything, without discrimination of pure or impure, deserving or undeserving.

Contemplate, and see how ignorant is this thinking mind. When one sees/realizes the ignorance in one’s mind, one found/meets the greatest teacher.

One might not learn or realize anything, even if there’s a great teacher (living or non-living being) being there teaching yoga to oneself all the time without involving ‘money’ in the form of ‘fees’ or ‘donation’, as one doesn’t see/realize the ignorance in one’s mind.

The yoga class

Teaching yoga or practicing yoga is nothing to do with money, ‘fees’, or ‘donation’. No one can sell or buy yoga, or peace, or compassion, or wisdom, or liberation from suffering with any amount of money, or ‘fees’, or ‘donation’.

Meanwhile, running ‘yoga classes’ or ‘yoga courses’ that involve a lot of expenses/maintenance/labour/management/coordination requires money in the form of ‘fees’ or ‘donation’ for it to be happening. It doesn’t necessarily mean that if the money received is in the form of ‘donation’, it means ‘non-commercialized yoga’ or ‘authentic yoga’, or if the money received is in the form of ‘fees’, it means ‘commercialized yoga’ or ‘inauthentic yoga’. Such a simple understanding, but due to ignorance, many minds/people do not understand this.

Yoga classes/courses based on ‘donation’ without requesting a specific fees are not necessarily pure and authentic, or it’s being free from any form of ‘corruptions’. While yoga classes/courses required specific amount of fees are not necessarily impure, inauthentic, or corrupted.

People would perceive ‘yoga classes’ based on ‘donation’ or ‘small amount of fees’ that they think is ‘appropriate’ or ‘acceptable’ as ‘authentic yoga’ conducted by ‘compassionate’ yoga teachers, while ‘yoga classes’ required ‘certain amount of fees’ that they think is ‘inappropriate’ or ‘unacceptable’ as ‘inauthentic yoga’ conducted by ‘money minded’ yoga teachers.

Yoga students come to the yoga teacher to study yoga and seek guidance from the teacher and they give some fees/money to the teacher to support the teacher’s living is nothing to do with ‘commercial’ or ‘inauthenticity’. It’s like grown up working children give their parents some money regularly to support their parents’ living, there’s nothing wrong and nothing commercial. It’s a form of love, kindness, generosity, sharing, gratitude and gratefulness, even though the parents bring up the children out of love, without expecting anything in return. If the children grown up and are working, but only want to keep all that they earn for themselves, for they own living enjoyments and social expenses, and they refuse to support their own parents’ living, or those who are grown up but are lazy to work or spent all their earned money on non-essential things and enjoyments, couldn’t support their own living and need to depend on other people’s charity for living, not to say to support their parents’ living, then that is something ‘absurd’.

Many people who only want to pay very little ‘fees’ to attend ‘yoga classes’ or who prefer to attend ‘free yoga classes based on donation’ would think and expect that ‘yoga teachers’ should all be beggars to beg for donation, food, clothing and shelter on the street while giving ‘yoga classes’ for free or on donation basis. This type of ‘yoga classes’ is most probably unwittingly empowering ‘ignorance’ and supporting ‘corruption’, supporting people who would spend money generously on their personal worldly indulgence/enjoyment/social life activities, but would think and believe that it’s ‘wrong’ or ‘inappropriate’ to pay certain amount of fees to attend ‘yoga classes’ or ‘yoga courses’.

There are some people who already have a good financial support for their living, where they don’t need to depend on receiving any ‘fees’ or ‘donation’ from teaching or running ‘yoga classes’ as a form of charity coming from them to other people. That’s very good, but not many people are having such financial-free living condition. Many people need to somehow ‘make a living’ to support themselves and also maybe some other people under their care. If the basic living necessity is not available, people need to be spending time and energy to ‘make a living’ in order to ‘survive’, not to say to have the spare money, time and energy to ‘organize’ charity yoga classes for people who want to enjoy cheap or free yoga classes.

Meanwhile, there are those who think and believe that they are ‘highly spiritual beings’, would perceive receiving ‘money’ in the form of ‘fees’ for conducting ‘yoga classes’ or ‘yoga courses’ as a form of ‘evilness’, ‘wrongfulness’, ‘impurity’, ‘corruption’, ‘greed’, ‘down fall’, or ‘non-spiritual’, that ‘yoga classes’ or ‘spiritual activities’ shouldn’t be ‘tainted’ by ‘money’ or ‘fees’. They don’t mind receiving ‘donations’ from anyone, but they don’t want to get involved in ‘money matters’ personally. They don’t want to be physically touching any money or keeping any money under their names, or keeping any money close to their body or their ‘spiritual practice space’, but they need some other people who look after them to handle the money in the form of ‘donation’ that support their living and all kind of expenses.

Many good people who try to be good and do good and work very hard to make an honest living in this world are not exempted from the suffering of poverty or hunger/thirst and exploitation by others. People want to enjoy cheap goods, enjoyments, conveniences and services, and that’s how all kinds of exploitation started in this world of commercialism.

People who are busy in life need the existence of the convenience and service of shops/eateries, which rely on the people who devote their time, effort, attention and money into running shops/eateries to provide the convenience and service to the people while taking the risk of running business. The existence of shops/eateries also need to depend on other people who work or run business that provide everything from farming and harvesting to transportation and providing all kinds of shop, kitchen and dining equipment, that allow the shops to put goods on their shelves for people to buy and allow the eateries to put meals on the table for the people to consume. Even though it’s a business or work involved with money transactions, but still it’s a form of ‘convenience and service’ that benefits many people. If nobody interested in taking the risk of running a business and devoting their time, energy and money into starting a shop/eatery, or if nobody is involving in farming/harvesting/transportation/providing shop, kitchen and dining equipment, or food production is not available due to any natural/technical cause, people won’t be able to enjoy such convenience and service. It doesn’t mean that any form of ‘business’ involved with money transaction is ‘non-giving to the society’ or ‘non-compassionate’.

Compassionate actions are not necessarily have to be free from any involvement with ‘money’. Even when there are some good and kind people want to help other unfortunate people in this world, they also need to gather money in the form of donation/contribution/funding from somewhere in order to help other people. Selfless actions are also not necessarily have to be free from the involvement of ‘money’, it’s about non-attachment and non-identification towards one’s actions and the fruit of the actions. It doesn’t mean that when people are working and getting some monthly salary for living, or people who run business and getting some yearly profits for living, that their action of contributing their time, energy, attention, knowledge, skill or talent into their work or business is nothing to do with ‘selfless service’. If everyone doesn’t work or run any business, this society that builds on social economy that provides all kind of conveniences and services will collapse.

Any kinds of work, or duty and responsibility towards oneself and others, or business, can turn into a form of selfless service even when there are involvement of ‘money’, if people know what is performing actions without egoism. Volunteering work doesn’t necessarily means ‘selfless service’ when it’s done with attachment and identification. Non-expectation also doesn’t mean that ‘not receiving anything in return’. As all actions will bring the fruit of actions as it is, whether people have expectation, or not. Those who are free from expectation, they allow the fruit of actions to be what it is, it’s not about ‘I don’t want any fruit of actions after I performed actions’. That is ignorant understanding influenced by egoism of ‘I want to give without getting anything in return as it’s not selfless service anymore if I am getting something in return’.

People don’t really need to attend any ‘yoga classes’, or ‘yoga courses’, or ‘yoga retreats’ to be learning and practicing yoga, or to be peaceful, compassionate, wise, forgiving and be able to let go what the world categorize as ‘bad’, ‘wrong’, or ‘hurtful’. People can be attending many yoga classes and yoga courses regularly for many years, or teaching yoga for a long time, but still, the mind is not free from ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness, still being determined by worldly idea, thinking, belief and practice, and are under the influence of the desire of craving and aversion towards dualities and qualities of names and forms very much, as the mind still couldn’t go beyond the mind perception of the duality of ‘good and bad’, ‘right and wrong’, ‘positive and negative’ and ‘happiness and unhappiness, and hence, unwittingly chasing after what the mind categorizes as ‘goodness’, ‘rightfulness’, ‘positiveness’ and ‘happiness’, while rejecting what the mind categorizes as ‘badness’, ‘wrongfulness’, negativeness’ and ‘unhappiness’. The mind couldn’t see things as they are, or allow everything to be what they are, as they are. That’s nothing wrong, as the mind misunderstood the teaching of yoga about ‘positive thinking’. Many yoga enthusiasts, including ‘yoga teachers’, think and believe that it’s about influencing/making/changing everything to become ‘positive’ or ‘good’. But actually it’s merely about when the mind is over-powered by ‘negative thinking’, then the mind can cultivate positive thinking to counter negative thinking, and when the mind is free from negative thinking, there’s no need of positive thinking, as everything is just what they are, neither positive nor negative, neither good nor bad.

Although there’s nothing wrong with sincerely looking for a teacher to learn and practice yoga, to seek guidance of how to free the mind from ignorance and its by-products of egoism, impurities and restlessness – the root cause of suffering.

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to think, believe, behave, act and react.

Contemplate on this, and be free.