Self-inquiry – Try contemplate upon “What is this (I)?” instead of “Who am I?”

For those who are interested in the teaching and practice of Yoga or Buddhism, the main similar practice is about self-inquiry, to inquire the truth of individual being existence by contemplating upon “Who am I?” where most people interpreting as “Knowing who we really are, or who is the real ‘I’.”

Because of the literal meaning of the words being used in the question of “Who am I?” regardless of being translated into whatever languages, the mind takes it as there is a permanent self-existence (of who I really am) undergoing the process of reincarnation of being born in countless different life existence/transformation existing as different individual being under different names and forms, and I am trying to filter and drop off all kinds of imperfect momentary identity of different names and forms in order to uncover and reconnect with my real identity of who I really am, where many minds believe and desire that “who I really am” or “the real I” is something ‘spiritual’, ‘pure’ and ‘perfect’ that is imperishable, indestructible, unchangeable, permanent, absolute and infinite, with some kind of ‘transcendental superpower’ where all kinds of ‘miracles’ happen under my command/wish, having all my desired imaginations/wishes come true where everything will be exactly the way as I wish, with absolute unlimited freedom to be whatever I want to be, being with those who I want to be with, go wherever I want to go and do whatever I want to do, where there’s no limitation of hunger, thirst, old age, weakness, injury, sickness, death or suffering, but only desirable pleasant enjoyment.

And hence, the mind is ‘stuck’, couldn’t go beyond what it thinks it knows, where the mind is unable to transcend the selfless modification of the mind perceiving all kinds of names and forms of a worldly life existence, couldn’t go beyond the idea of ‘I’ where the mind thinks and believes ‘I’ exists as an individual being hoping/desiring to have better transformation in better world, hindering the mind from self-realization, to realize selflessness, or ‘I’lessness, or egolessness, to be free from the ego, or the idea of I of the existence of an individual being existing and experiencing (different) life existence or impermanent transformation.

Self-inquiry is more about contemplation upon “What is this ‘I’ that ‘I’ think and believe as an individual being existing and experiencing a worldly life existence that is comprised of all kinds of duality, where (I think) I experience desirable and undesirable experiences, where (I think) I feel happy/satisfied and unhappy/dissatisfied, where (I think) I try to learn many things to be able to survive and satisfy my desire of craving and aversion, to find and achieve the meaning of my life existence, to set goals/directions for my life, where (I think) I was born, where (I think) I live a life, where (I think) I have many different kinds of happy/unhappy relationship with different individual beings, where (I think) I enjoy and suffer, where (I think) I will die, and where (I think) I will be transforming into another name and form either in the same world or in a different world according to the good/bad deeds that I have been doing and accumulating.”

If the mind replaces the inquiry of “Who am I?” with “What is this ‘I’ that ‘I’ think is ‘me’ or ‘myself’, whom ‘I’ think and believe is existing as an individual being experiencing this life existence of happiness and unhappiness, who is doing all these thinking, who performs actions and enjoying the fruit of actions?” then this will allow the mind to ‘look at’ or investigate ‘itself’ from a different perspective, sort of like a (non-existent) third party to investigate/inquire the modification of the mind, or what the ignorant egoistic mind thinks and believes is the existence of an individual being perceiving/experiencing this and that, and without attachment and identification towards the selfless and impermanent modification of the mind perceiving names and forms of a worldly life existence, and be able to eliminate the ego/the idea of ‘I’ and egoism, where the mind can be free from the idea of ‘I’ and egoism, and absorbed into Silence/Samadhi (The annihilation of the modification of mind), transcending names and forms, births and deaths, actions and the fruit of actions, enjoyment and suffering.

There’s no ‘I’ am selfless, or I am performing selfless actions. There’s no ‘I’ am selfish or unselfish. There’s no ‘I’ am good or bad. There’s no ‘I’ am transforming into this or that. There’s no ‘I’ am enjoying or suffering.

The mind (or the thinking faculty as part of the function of this physical body,) is functioning and perceiving all kinds of names and forms in this present moment, restlessly acting and reacting, generating actions that bring along pleasant/unpleasant consequences of actions, and that’s all. The modification of the mind, or the thought currents, or the thought activities, ceaselessly arising and passing away selflessly, countless births and deaths happening, in this present moment. Neither it’s ‘I’ nor there’s ‘I’. There’s neither past nor future. There’s neither performer of actions nor the enjoyer of the fruit of actions.

Contemplate upon the teaching of “The world of names and forms is the by-product of the modification of mind. There is no perception of the world or life existence (in Silence/Samadhi/Annihilation of the modification of mind)” along with the process of performing self-inquiry.

Fearlessness and desirelessness are ‘the two sides of a coin’. Similarly, selflessness/oneness/non-separateness/attributelessness/namelessness/formlessness/birthlessness/deathlessness and fearlessness/desirelessness are ‘the two sides of a coin’.

As long as there is still the ego, or the idea of ‘I’ exists along with the modification of the mind, there’s ceaseless births and deaths (in this present), there’s an ‘individual being’ existing and experiencing the world of a worldly life existence being satisfied or dissatisfied with this or that, there’s egoism of attachment/identification/craving and aversion/judgment/comparison/expectation, there’s survival instinct, there’s separateness, there’s desire and fear, there’s possessiveness and protectiveness, there’s ceaseless actions and the fruit of actions, which gives rise to endless births and deaths (in this present) within the modification of the mind.

As Swami Sivananda mentioned in his teachings, “Kill the mind,” or in another term, “Annihilate the modification of the mind,” if the mind thinks the word ‘Kill’ is inappropriately used as the mind believes it’s representing the quality of violence, non-compassionate, unkind, unloving, negative, bad and wrong. This is nothing to do with ‘killing’, ‘changing’, ‘controlling’, ‘over-powering’, ‘influencing’, ‘uplifting’ or ‘inspiring’ other minds. It’s about this mind silencing its own modification, attaining Silence/Samadhi.

Frustration and disappointment due to lockdown?

During this global epidemic situation in the world, other than anxiety of fear and worry towards contracting illness and confronting death as well as uncertainty towards the aftermath if one survives this epidemic, many people are getting frustrated and disappointed due to the unpleasant/undesirable social/physical distancing or movement restriction undergoing the upmost important process of lockdown for a prolonged period of time to help to contain the epidemic efficiently. Some worry about their family and friends, some worry about their future, some worry about the economy going down and many other things.

There’s neither right nor wrong. It’s just how different minds think, feel, act and react or behave differently. Everyone has the freedom for how they think, feel, act and react.

The worldly egoistic minds are getting frustrated and disappointed is due to they are unable to be as free as they used to be, to go wherever they want to go, to do whatever they want to do, to eat and play at anytime and anywhere as they like, or to enjoy what they want to enjoy. And they have the rights to feel frustrated and disappointed as much as they like. Some even get angry/furious for certain ‘reason’ that they think and believe as the cause of this epidemic, blaming this and that for causing them many inconvenience, loss and suffering.

This modification (behavior/reaction) of the mind is merely the reflection of the untrained/undisciplined minds that are functioning under the influence of ignorance and egoism where the minds are being over-powered by egoistic attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion and expectation. It’s normal that the untrained egoistic minds don’t like discipline/restriction or be disciplined/restricted.

The frustration and disappointment that exists in many people is due to their ‘normal’ habitual routine of constantly gratifying the gross and subtle physical/mental/emotional desire of craving and aversion, whether consciously or subconsciously, is being disrupted mildly or heavily, but also more angry particularly when they think and believe that ‘the disruption’ is caused by other people and happening that has nothing to do with them. The mind (the ego) doesn’t like it and doesn’t want this. And that’s their freedom of thinking, feeling, action and reaction.

There’s no frustration and disappointment, or anxiety of fear and worry towards contracting illness and confronting death, or uncertainty towards the aftermath if one survives this epidemic in the minds that have been well-disciplined, being free from egoism and ignorance, being free from attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion and expectation, being in the present moment, being aware of the mind perception of a worldly life existence of impermanent and selfless names and forms powered by cause and effect.

One just do one’s best to observe this process of lockdown to help to contain this global epidemic, without attachment, identification or expectation, regardless of if there are some others who don’t understand the importance of this process and behaving in the way that they behave, while some others are merely being rebellious disrespecting the process of lockdown or quarantine, and some others might think and believe that they are being ‘caring and loving’ insisting to go visiting their family and friends, especially those who are elderly and lives alone, whether intentionally or unintentionally, under the influence of ignorance and egoism.

Respect as in yoga practice

Many people would relate the word ‘respect’ with respecting our elders, our teachers, our culture, our ancestor, our origin, our leader, our country’s law of rules and regulations, the heroes, ‘God’, ‘gods’, or what the mind thinks and believes as respectable/honourable or respect/honour deserving. While different minds have different idea towards what is respectable/honourable and what is disrespectable or humiliation deserving, based on their own particular thinking and belief under the influence of particular cultural, social, national, gender, racial, religious, spiritual, political, or philosophical background.

Most minds feel offended and angered by others who don’t show the similar ‘respect’ towards what they think and believe as ‘respectable’, that they respect very much.

Many people grew up being told by our elders, parents and teachers that we need to be ‘good’ and ‘successful’ enough to attain certain ‘status’ or ‘credits’ to earn ‘respect’ from others. Some people even grew up being told that they were born with the special status of ‘respect/honour deserving’ due to their particular origin/family/racial/social/financial/religious/political background.

In yoga, it’s not about respecting what the mind thinks and believes what is respectable/honourable or respect/honour deserving, while disrespecting or humiliating what the mind thinks and believes as disrespectable or humiliation deserving.

It’s about respecting the truth of things as it is, not necessarily the way that we think and believe how it should be.

Respecting the perceived reality being what it is, not necessarily pleasant, agreeable, or desirable.

Respecting the law of nature of impermanence and selflessness.

Respecting all the different names and forms being what they are, being different from one another, having different thinking, belief, values, practice, way of life, way of doing things, understanding, misunderstanding, desires, action and reaction, and etc.

Respecting the world as it is, not necessarily the way that the mind would like it to be, or the way that the mind thinks and believes how it should be.

Be free from clinging, craving and longing.

Cultivating dispassion, abandoning passion.

Cultivating clearing and silencing the modification of the mind, renouncing worldly passionate egoistic desire, affair, activity and relationship.

Appreciation without egoistic passionate attachment or clinging towards (falling in love with) what the mind perceives as pleasant, good, right, positive, meaningful, lovable, agreeable, desirable, or enjoyable.

Respecting all beings as they are, even if the mind thinks and believes that they have many imperfections and the mind dislikes and disagrees with them. Need not disrespect, humiliate or despise anyone based on the dislike and disagreement of one’s mind.

Renouncing the ego and egoism is the greatest ‘respect’ in the world of impermanent and selfless life existence. Buddha or Guru didn’t need anyone to show ‘respect’ of certain names and forms to them, but surrendering the ego and egoism is the selfless intentionless respect towards Buddha or Guru and any kind of teacher.

Self-esteem, pride and arrogance

Many people growing up being told to take pride or shame in what they do/don’t do, what they eat/don’t eat, what they achieve/don’t achieve, how they look and conduct, what and who they think and believe and identify as ‘who I am’ of a personal and community identity, taking pride/shame in ‘I’, ‘family’, ‘siblings’, ‘parenting’, ‘children’, ‘friends’, ‘school’, ‘social circle’, ‘career’, ‘nationality’, ‘race/tribe’, ‘culture’, ‘religion’, ‘spirituality’, ‘belief’, ‘political view’, ‘the actions and the result of actions’, ‘social status’, ‘financial status’, ‘possession’, ‘the sense of belonging’, ‘the sense of meaningfulness’, ‘the sense of achievement’, ‘social activity/contribution’, ‘recognition’, ‘appreciation’, ‘acknowledgement’, ‘qualification’, ‘certification’, ‘title’, ‘talent’, ‘skill’, ‘profession’, ‘knowledge’, ‘intelligence’, ‘righteousness’, ‘appearance’, ‘charisma’, ‘personality’, ‘life style’, ‘food choices’, ‘aspiration’, and so on.

The basic yoga practice is to let go and be free from that.

There’s neither pride nor shame.

All is impermanent and selfless.

This is true renunciation – Renouncing the ego and egoism.

There won’t be any personal/family/relationship/social/national/racial/religious/global issue that relates to self-esteem, pride and arrogance deriving from the ego and egoism.

The world could have more egoless human beings.

Why self-righteousness is not yoga practice?

Some yoga enthusiasts are not free from self-righteousness where they think and believe that self-righteousness is a good and upright quality that compliment their yoga practice.

Due to deep rooted ignorance and egoism, there are minds that think and believe that they are good and righteous people and seeing themselves are somehow better human beings than some others whom they perceive as bad and wrongful human beings, and for the sake of humanity, they should stand up for righteousness and condemn those who think and behave in the way that is against what they think and believe is good and rightful way of thinking and behavior, that is bad and wrong, based on their understanding and expectation towards how people or human beings should or shouldn’t behave.

None can ‘tell’ or ‘teach’ another being/person/mind/community about “This is right and that is wrong.” as there’s neither right nor wrong, but just different minds judging everything differently based on their own particular thinking, belief, values, practice and preferences, and to behave, act and react in certain way. Siddhartha Gautama Buddha never said or taught about “This is right and that is wrong.” even though there’s the Eight Fold Path observations for the mind to purify and silent itself to allow the mind to inquire the truth of everything, to see things as they are, beyond the limited/conditioned judgment under the influence of different egoistic worldly thinking and beliefs.

It has to come from the mind itself to inquire into the truth of self-righteousness, where it doesn’t exist in selflessness, namelessness, formlessness, attributelessness.

Just as the ideas of patriotism, loyalty, family ties, friendship, relationship, connection, society, community, country, nationality, pride/shame, deserving/undeserving, meaningfulness/meaninglessness, or positiveness/negativeness, are all part of the play of the ego and egoism derived from ignorance. The mind only knows what it knows and what it thinks and believes about what it knows. The mind cannot comprehend what it doesn’t know, what it doesn’t think, what is beyond all kinds of knowledge that the mind could learn and remember. Just as the ego (the idea/perception of I) cannot comprehend ‘selflessness’ or ‘I-lessness’. And hence, the yoga practice is all about annihilating the ego and egoism to allow the mind to realize selflessness and see things as they are, transcending all the worldly egoistic thinking and beliefs.

Be free from craving and aversion towards identification with good or bad quality

None need to be ‘good’ or ‘good enough’ to have peace, not to say to be ‘perfect’.

Free this mind from egoism of craving towards certain quality of names and forms that the mind would like to possess or be identifying with as ‘I’.

Free this mind from egoism of aversion towards certain quality of names and forms that the mind wouldn’t like to possess or be identifying with as ‘I’.

Accepting the imperfection of all kinds of names and forms as it is.

All the ‘perfect’ and ‘imperfect’ qualities of names and forms are impermanent and they are not ‘I’. There’s needless of the egoistic identification with any quality of names and forms as ‘I’, or ‘I am this/I am not that’.

Be free from aversion towards the acknowledgement of ‘being stupid’ or ‘not smart enough’ in learning or doing something in this world. One doesn’t need to try very hard to ‘not being stupid’ or try to ‘be smart’.

It’s okay sometimes the egoistic mind realizes and acknowledges itself is being stupid or not as smart as one would like oneself to be, and would make certain mistake unwittingly or doesn’t understand about something and doesn’t know how to do certain things. Whether it’s something that the mind perceives or acknowledges as ‘perfection’ or ‘imperfection’, ‘good’ or ‘bad’, it’s impermanent and it’s not ‘I’. The mind that is free from the idea of ‘I’ or the ego, has no such ‘problem’ or ‘reaction’ towards the quality of names and forms that is impermanent and selfless.

Then even though one is aware of oneself is not as smart as one would like oneself to be or is less smart than many other people, but the understanding of non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment, non-comparison and non-expectation, is already being wiser than many people who are under the influence of ignorance and egoism, who try very hard to ‘be smart’ or try to ‘outsmart’ other people in order not to be acknowledged by oneself and others as ‘I am stupid’ or ‘I am not smart enough’, or to be acknowledged by oneself and others as ‘I am not stupid’ or ‘I am smart enough’, and would be very disappointed, frustrated and unhappy with oneself for being acknowledged as ‘being stupid’ or ‘being not smart enough’.

Be free.

Meaning / Purpose of life existence

Most minds look for the ‘meaning/purpose of life existence’ in certain qualities of names and forms, of worldly affairs, actions, activities, interactions, relationships, achievements, objects, conditions, quality of life, contributions, selfless service, and etc.

“Find something or do something in life that make you feel meaningful that give you the sense of purpose of life existence, so that life wouldn’t be meaningless and purposeless.” That’s what many people think and believe and propagate. People are suffering from ‘meaninglessness’ or ‘loneliness’ because they try to find the ‘meaning/purpose of life’ in the worldly names and forms (conditions/relationships/actions/activities/experiences/achievements) that are limited by impermanence and selflessness, that are perishable.

There’s nothing wrong with the minds finding ‘meaning’ or ‘purpose’ of life existence in certain qualities of names and forms, of worldly affairs, actions, activities, interactions, relationships, achievements, objects, conditions, quality of life, contributions, selfless service, and etc. Especially when there’s no attachment towards all the perishable qualities of names and forms that give the mind the sense of ‘meaning’ or ‘purpose’ of life existence.

Those who practice yoga or Buddhism, they don’t seek the ‘meaning’ or ‘purpose’ of life existence in anything that is subject to impermanence and selflessness, that is perishable. Even ‘life’, or ‘life existence’, or anything that is existing or related to this ‘life existence’, including the physical body and the modification of the mind, all actions and the fruit of actions, and the ‘yoga practice’ and the result of the ‘yoga practice’, regardless of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ qualities and ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ elements, are all subject to impermanence and selflessness.

For those who practice yoga or Buddhism, the very basic inquiry is to look into the physical body and the modification of the mind to see the truth of impermanence and selflessness of the existence and function of the physical body and the mind, that allows the mind to drop off the attachment and identification towards the physical body and the mind perception of names and forms and the related worldly life existence, as the basic foundation that leads the mind towards Self-realization, realizing selflessness/egolessness/’I’-lessness/oneness/namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness.

The physical body needs constant maintenance, to be fed from time to time to be functioning/existing/surviving, while generating/disposing many by-products at the same time, and constantly balancing between physical/mental activities and rest. When it didn’t get fed enough, it will feed on itself (‘eating’ itself), withdrawing energy, liquid, minerals and nutrients from the body itself to feed itself to be continuing functioning/existing/surviving. If the energy supply stopped for more than a certain period of time, when it no longer can function/survive by ‘eating’ itself, the body will stop functioning and decomposing, or ‘death’. There’s nothing good or bad, positive or negative, happiness or unhappiness, meaningfulness or meaninglessness, purposefulness or purposelessness about the birth and death of the physical body (of oneself and others), and all those impermanent changes of growth, decaying, aging, deteriorating and illness/injury/pain/discomfort in between birth and death. It’s the same as the modification of the mind perceiving all the names and forms of a life existence through the senses via the sense organs of the physical body, that rely on Prana/energy/food/oxygen/water/nutrients/minerals supply to be functioning, constantly changing selflessly under the influence of all kinds of inputs/elements/Gunas/cause and effect.

Once the mind goes beyond the attachment and identification towards the selfless and impermanent function/existence of the physical body and the modification of the mind, then all kinds of ‘pleasant/unpleasant’ relationships/experiences/possessions/qualities of names and forms are just being what they are, neither meaningful nor meaningless, neither purposeful nor purposeless. There’s need not finding/having a ‘meaning/purpose of life existence’ in the worldly life and all that exist in it. Though one can ‘cherish’ all the good and happy moments/experiences with all and everyone that one loves and appreciates, but without clinging onto or labeling ‘this and that’ as meaningful or ‘this and that’ as the purpose of (my) life existence. It’s like watching ‘the loved ones’ or ‘the precious ones’ passing away one by one, while being aware of this is the truth of all existence of names and forms that are impermanent and selfless. It’s just whether the mind can make use of ‘this’ and ‘now’, the perception of a worldly life existence in this present moment to transcend ‘itself’, or ‘the thought current of a worldly existence of names and forms/objects of the senses’, or ‘the ignorance towards itself’.

One just makes use the physical body, the thinking mind, the knowledge, the learning, the education, the skills, the talents, the conditions and the opportunities to be doing something for oneself and others. Without the need of the ‘meaning/purpose of life existence’.

Above all, the one that needs to have the ‘meaning/purpose of life existence’ to feel good and meaningful to be existing, is the ego.

Ego, more than self-esteem, self-worth, pride and arrogance

In the world, ‘ego’ is mostly being interpreted as the quality of a prideful ambitious overly confident high self-esteemed and self-centered person who thinks and believes oneself possesses certain qualities or achievements that one and others would be proud of and should deserve respect, appreciation, acknowledgement, or glorification.

When people say, “He/She has a big/bad ego,” usually it refers to this is a proud and arrogant self-centered, self-obsessed, or overly confident and ambitious person that boasts and glorifies about one’s contributions or achievements.

When people say, “He/She doesn’t have an ego or he/she has a small/good ego,” usually it refers to this is a down to earth, humble and unselfish person, who keeps quiet about one’s contributions and achievements.

‘Ego’, is more than the reflection of self-esteem, self-worth, pride and arrogance of a person under the teachings of yoga and Buddhism. It’s not a quality to reflect whether a person is being arrogant and self-centered or being humble and non self-centered.

‘Ego’, is an idea of ‘I’ derived from ignorance and exists in the form of a continuous stream of thought-current in the thinking mind, that feeds on egoism, attached onto and identifies with certain qualities of names and forms to be existing as an individual being experiencing life, either enjoying pleasant/desirable/agreeable/joyful experiences or suffering unpleasant/undesirable/disagreeable/painful experiences, identifies as ‘the perceiver that perceives/experiences/thinks/feels’ and ‘the perceived names and forms of perceptions/experiences/thinking/feelings’ as well as ‘the performer of actions’ and ‘the receiver of the fruit of actions’, who desires and doesn’t desire, who agrees and disagrees, who fights and protects, who enjoys and suffers. It appears to be existing and real due to ignorance.

The ego exists and identifies/acknowledges itself as ‘I am good’ or ‘I am bad’, ‘I know’ or ‘I don’t know’, ‘I am confident’ and ‘I am not confident’, ‘I like, agree and desire’ or ‘I don’t like, don’t agree and don’t desire’, ‘I deserve’ or ‘I don’t deserve’, ‘I am proud’ or ‘I am humble’, ‘I am happy’ or ‘I am unhappy’, ‘I am positive’ or ‘I am negative’, ‘I am meaningful’ and ‘I am meaningless’, ‘I enjoy’ or ‘I suffer’, ‘I am selfish’ or ‘I am unselfish’, ‘I am highly confident, ambitious and self-centered’ or ‘I am non confident, non ambitious and non self-centered’, and etc.

The end of yoga or Buddhism practice, is upon the annihilation of the modification of the mind or restless thought-currents, when the veil of ignorance vanished, where the mind sees itself as it is, attaining Self-realization, or knowing thyself, or knowing who ‘I’ am, where the annihilation of the ego/the idea of ‘I’, or the realization of selflessness/egolessness/’I’lessness takes place, transcending ‘the wheel of births and deaths of the egoistic impure consciousness powered by ignorance and the by-products of ignorance that generates ceaseless cause and effect/good and bad karma that feeds the loop of births and deaths of ignorance and the by-products of that’, ‘returning’ to oneness, non-separateness, namelessness, formlessness, attributelessness, birthlessness, deathlessness, void of/untouched by cause and effect/good or bad karma/merits and virtues.

It’s not about trying to be as ‘good’ as possible, where a ‘soul/mind’ will be judged as a ‘good or bad soul/mind’ upon the death of the physical body based on accumulated virtues and merits or good/bad karma, either to be sent to ‘heaven’ or ‘hell’ or ‘somewhere in between’, or to be reborn into respective higher or lower realm of beings experiencing life existence via the mind perceiving pleasant/unpleasant names and forms through the senses that are all subject to impermanence and selflessness, to be continuously ‘ignorantly’/’helplessly’/’unwittingly’ generating further ceaseless good/bad actions along with the consequences of actions, or cause and effect, or good/bad karma, that keeps fueling the wheel of restless births and deaths (restless transitions of life existence reaping the fruit of good/bad actions) that is subject to impermanence and selflessness, regardless of good or bad, desirable or undesirable, enjoyable or sufferable transitions.

Forgo the momentary ‘pleasantness’, ‘happiness’, ‘meaningfulness’ or ‘goodness’ of a conditional fleeting worldly life existence of restless selfless transitions. Even so called ‘heaven’ or ‘higher realms’ are impermanent transitions reaping the fruit of ‘good’ actions. It’s not liberation at all. Know thyself, the beginningless and endless infinite silent witness of all impermanent and selfless transitions.

The ego constant acts and reacts to create a condition or a world that ‘I’ desires, based on the endless desire of craving (What I want) and aversion (What I don’t want). The silent witness neither act or react nor there’s an ‘I’ aspiring/desiring to create a condition or a world that ‘I’ desires. There’s neither “I will be or I am missing all the people of family and friends, or names and forms of the objects of the senses/qualities/conditions/things/actions/enjoyments/pets/places/realms/world that I love very much.” where only the very few dispassionate ones can go beyond all the worldly connections/relationships/names and forms transcending all kinds of worldly social/cultural/spiritual/religious thinking and belief, actions and achievements (the fruit of actions).

“The knowledge of the Self, or Self-realization, or the annihilation of the mind, or Samadhi, is the only way to be free from the wheel of births and deaths.” as taught by Swami Sivananda.

World saver?

Yoga teachings and the practices might appear to be ‘the best thing in the world’ for those who are seriously interested in transforming their own mind, to transcend ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering. But, not all and everyone else in the world would be interested in transforming their minds, or to transcend ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering, or be interested in the teachings and practice of yoga, or they are following/observing some other form of teachings/practices that also would lead them to be free from ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering, and they might not see yoga teachings and the practices are ‘the best thing in the world’, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to think, believe and practice, or not.

Yoga practice is about purifying and quieting one’s mind, while allowing other minds to mind their own mind the way that they want, without intention/desire to be interfering with other minds, without expectation towards other minds have to be in certain ways. That’s real freedom in yoga. Freedom is not so much about “I am free to think, speak, act and live life the way that I want.” but it’s more about “It doesn’t matter if this body and mind is being restricted/limited to think/speak/act/live life in this world, but freeing this mind from ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness, desire, expectation, and all kinds of disturb and suffering, respecting and allowing all the others to be free to be what they are, without interference or control towards others’ thinking, belief, practice, behavior or way of life that are different from this one, is freedom.”

The one who identifies oneself as “I am a loving and compassionate being who love the world, and hence, I need to save the world from ‘badness’ and ‘destruction’, and I aspire/desire to make the world a ‘good place’ for all and everyone.” is the ego, desiring “I want the world to be like this and not like that.” or expecting “The world should be like this and not like that.” And above all, not everyone wants a world that ‘I’ desire, or the way that ‘I’ think and believe is ‘good for all and everyone’.

Those who truly love the world, they might be performing actions in the world for oneself and others, but there’s no such egoistic identification/attachment/desire/intention/expectation. They just perform actions, without intention to change the world to be the way that ‘I’ desire, without the idea of “I am doing this for the world and all and everyone” or “I am saving the world and all and everyone from badness and destruction” and allowing all and everyone to be free to think/believe/practice/behave as they are, and respect others’ desire for a world that they want, that might be different from what ‘I’ want.

Those who truly love the world, there’s no egoistic individual/group aspiration/desire to be achieving a world that has to be in a particular way according to what ‘I’ think and believe how it should be, but just do one’s best that one believes it’s good and beneficial for the world and allowing the fruit of actions to be what it is, and love the world as it is, even if it’s not the way that ‘I’ would like it to be.

There will be more peace and harmony in the world if everyone can let go their aspiration/desire to achieve a world that they think and believe how it should be.

Minds that have been conditioned by worldly egoistic and heroic thinking/belief/values/practice to think and believe in certain ways, to act and react in certain ways, to judge and expect towards everything in certain ways, to be empowered to aspire and inspire, to perform actions to achieve what ‘I’ and ‘my group’ want to achieve, to attain the sense of accomplishment, pride, righteousness and meaningfulness, they might not be able to understand this or agree with this. And that’s their freedom of thinking/belief/action/reaction.

Those who understand, they don’t mind if others don’t understand or disagree, and they don’t expect others to also understand or agree with oneself. It’s the ego that feels frustrated and offended if others don’t understand and disagree, and it would expect others to also understand and agree with its aspiration/ideas/vision/thinking/belief/desire.

World peace is not attained through ‘over-powering’, or ‘controlling’, or ‘defeating’, or ‘influencing’ all the others to be under one’s control/influence and to be adopting/supporting one’s desire/vision of ‘a good world for all and everyone’ about how everyone should or shouldn’t think/believe/practice/behave/live life, to create a world that ‘I’ and ‘my group’ desire. But, it’s letting go the ‘aspiration’/’desire’ to make/change/influence the world to be the way that ‘I’ desire, that ‘I’ think and believe how it should be.

Be free.

Be strong and feel empowered?

Many people want to be ‘strong’ and feel ’empowered’, as they think and believe that if they are ‘weak’ and ‘vulnerable’, they will be ‘belittled’ or ‘intimidated’ by those who are stronger than them, and if they are strong, they won’t become a ‘target’ or ‘victim’ of other people’s ‘intimidation/belittling’.

In yoga, one doesn’t need to be ‘strong’ or feel ’empowered’ so that one doesn’t become a ‘target’ or ‘victim’ of what most minds think and believe as a form of ‘intimidation/belittling’.

One just needs to stop seeing/thinking/believing/identifying oneself as ‘weak’ and ‘vulnerable’ and one is naturally a ‘target’ or ‘victim’ of other people’s ‘intimidation/belittling’ that needs to be toughen up and be empowered. One also needs to be free from self-pity as well as expectation or longing for receiving sympathy, empathy, protection, acknowledgement, support, attention, understanding, praise, liking, appreciation, encouragement, or empowerment from others.

It’s stop thinking/believing that oneself or ‘all human beings’ should be treated in certain ways and shouldn’t be treated in certain ways, or oneself deserves to be treated in certain ways while doesn’t deserve to be treated in certain ways.

If the mind is not free from such thinking/belief/identification of “I am weak and vulnerable and being a target/victim of other people’s intimidation/belittling.” then even though other people are not being intimidating/belittling oneself at all, but one will always feel ‘intimidated’ or ‘belittled’ by other people’s confidence, courage, credibility and straightforwardness, which the perception of being intimidated or belittled is not coming from others, but from within constantly feeling “I am weak and vulnerable and being a target/victim of other people’s intimidation/belittling.”

Even if other people’s action/speech/behavior is truly unpleasant/unreasonable with the intention to intimidate or belittling oneself, one won’t be intimidated/belittled by that at all, if oneself is free from the thinking/belief/identification of “I am weak and vulnerable and being a target/victim of other people’s intimidation/belittling.” and would allow other people to act/speak/behave the way as they are, but one is not determined or disturbed by it. Neither does one need to be ‘protected’ from it.

One would stop seeing/perceiving ‘intimidation/belittling’ here and there, but just being aware of people are either being confident, courageous, credible and straightforward as they are which is nothing ‘intimidating/belittling’, or people are acting/speaking/behaving in the way that reflects their state of mind under the influence of ignorance, egoism, impurities, unhappiness, or suffering. Instead of feeling being a ‘target’ or ‘victim’ of other people’s intimidation/belittling, one will be compassionate towards other people’s unhappiness and suffering.

One will understand that one doesn’t need to be ‘strong’ or feel ’empowered’ at all, as the one who feels weak and vulnerable, who is highly sensitive, who is longing for attention and understanding from other people, who has expectation towards other people’s treatments towards oneself has to be in certain ways and not to be in certain ways, who thinks oneself deserves certain treatments/reactions and doesn’t deserve certain treatments/reactions, who constantly feels intimidated/offended/bullied/victimized/belittled/unattended/unheard/discouraged by other people, who wants to be sympathized, be protected, be heard, be understood, be noticed, be attended, be encouraged, be supported, be liked, be praised, be appreciated and be acknowledged, or who doesn’t like to be unnoticed/unattended, unheard, disliked, disagreed with or criticized, is the ego.

Free the mind from this ego.

One will no longer identify oneself as a ‘target’ or ‘victim’ of other people’s ‘intimidation/belittling’. One stops seeing other people’s action/speech/behavior that one’s mind perceives/recognizes as unpleasant/unreasonable as a form of ‘intimidation/belittling’, while allowing other people to be free to act/speak/behave the way as they are, to express their unhappiness and suffering in the way that they are, that they know.

Those who understand this, they cannot be disturbed/hurt by other people’s ‘unpleasant/unreasonable’ action/speech/behavior, but they can choose to move away in silence. It’s not a weakness to move away in silence towards other people’s ‘unpleasant/unreasonable’ action/speech/behavior, as these people are in suffering/unhappiness, and they don’t know how to express their suffering/unhappiness in a less unpleasant/unreasonable way.

Be free.

Selflessness?

Just like ‘Self-inquiry’ and ‘Impermanence’, ‘Selflessness’ is one of the common words we come across in the teachings of yoga and Buddhism.

The ‘I’, where there’s a continuous stream of thinking/thought in the mind acknowledges as ‘I’ am an individual being with a physical body and thinking mind experiencing life, doesn’t exist. Out of ignorance, there arise the idea of ‘I’ exist as part of the modification of the mind acknowledging as an individual being, attaching onto/possessing such and such qualities of names and forms to be identified/recognized as this is what/who ‘I’ am, claiming ownership towards the physical body and the thinking mind (this is my body and my mind) and all kinds of connection with everyone and everything that the mind comes in contact with (my family and my belongings and etc), and at the same time also identifying with the physical body and the thinking mind as ‘I’ (This physical body and this thinking mind is ‘I’).

‘Selflessness’ is not something to be attained by accumulating certain amount of ‘merits and virtues’ or ‘good karma’ after performing many ‘good/righteous actions’ or ‘karma yoga/selfless service’, but it’s the ‘realization’ upon the mind seeing the truth of what is this ‘I’ where there’s a thinking in the mind thinks and believes as ‘I’. As long as there’s an idea, acknowledgement and identification of “I am a selfless being performing good actions or karma yoga/selfless service” the mind is still functioning under the influence of egoism.

The mind needs to be free from egoism, impurities and restlessness to realize ‘Selflessness’, where there’s no ‘I’ existing to enjoy or suffer, to be born or die, to know or don’t know, to desire or don’t desire, to be the performer of action and the receiver/enjoyer of the fruit of action, to be ignorant or be free from ignorance. It’s just the modification of the thinking mind perceiving all the names and forms through the senses via the sense organs of the physical body. It’s just the mind functioning and perceives, sees, hears, smells, tastes, feels, senses and thinks. There’s no ‘I’ existing to claim possession/ownership/control of the selfless modification of the mind or the ceaseless impermanent changes of the modification of the mind perceiving all the names and forms that are also impermanent and selfless. It’s coming from the mind being aware of the modification of the mind, while purifying and quieting itself to be free from restlessness, impurities and egoism, to be free from ignorance. It’s not something else ‘separated’ from the mind called ‘I’ being there to be aware of ‘my mind’ or to purify and quiet ‘my mind’, to free ‘my mind’ from restlessness, impurities, egoism and ignorance.

“I am not the mind. The mind is not ‘I’.” is not about ‘I’ am an existing being/soul separated/distinct from the mind. The mind is just being what it is, functioning as it is selflessly, where there’s no ‘I’ in the function of the mind which is supported/influenced by energy to be existing and functioning. Just like there’s no ‘I’ in all the cells/bones/muscles/organs/systems that forming the entire structure of the physical body which depend on nature to provide support that allows the physical body to be existing and functioning. The body and mind constantly functioning or performing actions selflessly, and there are also the consequences of actions following the actions (cause and effect). But, somehow, out of ignorance, there’s an idea of ‘I’ existing in the form of thinking claiming a personal identity and possession/ownership towards this and that, to desire and don’t desire, to agree and disagree, to enjoy or suffer, to aspire and expect, and so on. There’s an idea/identification of “I am the performer of my actions and I am the enjoyer of the fruit of my actions.”

It’s difficult/challenging for the egoistic mind that attached strongly onto a worldly self-identity attaching onto certain qualities of names and forms as this is ‘I’ or what ‘I’ am, to realize ‘Selflessness’. The egoistic mind that ‘possesses’ a self-identity thinks and believes that ‘I’ exist as an individual being experiencing life, this is ‘I’, this is my life, my body, my mind, my thinking, my belief, my feelings, my emotion, my idea, my creativity, my energy, my health, my fitness, my strength, my flexibility, my ability, my disability, my achievement, my failure, my look, my talent, my knowledge, my education, my house, my belonging, my pet, my family, my friends, my relationship, my duty, my responsibility, my rights, my aspiration, my inspiration, my sacrifice, my happiness, my suffering, my vision, my desire, my actions, my fruit of actions, my religion, my ‘God’, my world, my country, and so on. Not only there’s a personal identity, but there’s also a group identity, such like our family, our life, our thinking, our belief, our culture, our religion, our ‘God’, our action, our fruit of action, our achievement, our failure, our world, our country, our vision, and so on.

“I eat, I drink, I play, I work, I rest, I aspire, I inspire, I think, I believe, I feel, I express, I laugh, I cry, I learn, I share, I give and receive, I love and beloved, I perceive, I experience, I act, I react, I achieve, I live, I die. I am existing. How can it be possible that ‘I’ don’t exist?” It’s unthinkable for the egoistic mind about ‘Selflessness’ – ‘Egolessness’ – ‘I-lessness’.

That’s why it’s very essential for the mind to let go the attachment and identification towards any qualities of names and forms, especially the worldly conditioned egoistic way of thinking and belief in the mind that influence how the mind analyzes, judges, feels and reacts towards all and everything, as well as letting go attachment and identification towards the physical appearance/condition/ability/disability/achievement/non-achievement before the mind can reflect upon the truth of ‘Selflessness’.

Once the mind is free from the attachment and identification towards the impermanent and selfless qualities of names and forms as ‘I’, including the function of the physical body and the thinking faculty, naturally the mind will realize the truth of ‘itself’ or ‘the modification of the mind’, that there’s no ‘I’, knowing thyself. There’s neither “I know” nor “I realize” nor “I am free from ignorance” nor “I am free.”

As long as the mind is still mingling among the worldly passionate egoistic minds, that keep empowering/feeding the idea of ‘I’ and ‘the world of egoism of all kinds of attachment and identification’, it’s very difficult and almost impossible for the mind to be free from ignorance and egoism. And hence, the important practice of renunciation, seclusion, solitude and silence.

According to the teachings of Swami Sivananda, the mind just needs to spend at least five to six years in seclusion and silence being away/cutting off from the worldly affairs/activities/society/family/friends/relatives/connections/interactions that feeds/empowers egoism/restlessness/impurities/ignorance, the mind will realize the truth of ‘the mind perception of a worldly life existence of impermanent and selfless names and forms’. Although it doesn’t guarantee that everyone who try to practice silence in seclusion and solitude for a prolonged period of time will be free from ignorance and attain self-realization, as the mind might still be influenced by gross and subtle egoistic worldly/spiritual attachment hindering the mind from seeing itself/knowing thyself. And not many people are suitable for such practice, as most passionate minds would ‘go crazy’ after being in seclusion and solitude for some time. Worldly passionate minds can’t live or be without seeing/touching/communicating/interacting with other beings for even a short period of time, not to say for a prolonged period of time. That’s why it requires certain degrees of dispassion and right discrimination for someone to practice silence in seclusion and solitude, to allow the mind to realize ‘Selflessness’/’Oneness’/’Non-separateness’/’Namelessness’/’Formlessness’, where ‘suffering’ and ‘the end of suffering’ doesn’t exist.

Many people might understood ‘Selflessness’ as ‘an existing name and form such as a being/soul/mind that is free from selfishness, who is unselfish’, such as “I am a selfless/unselfish being/soul/mind”, or “I am performing selfless action to benefit other beings and other beings will be benefited from my selfless actions.”

If it’s selfless, then what/who is that ‘I’ being there acknowledging and identifying as “I am selfless/unselfish”? It’s just impermanent selfless function of the body and mind generating actions and the consequences of actions ceaselessly until the annihilation of the modification of the mind takes place, there’s no ‘I’ being there to be acknowledging/identifying as “I am selfless/unselfish.” or “I am good/bad.” And hence, silent the mind, or as Swami Sivananda taught, “Kill the mind.”

Selflessness is nothing to do with unselfishness. Regardless of living beings or non-living objects, all are impermanent and selfless or I-less, where there’s no ‘I’ within all the impermanent changes. There’s no ‘I’ existing to be identified as ‘I am selfless’, ‘I am a selfless being’, ‘I am unselfish’, ‘I am performing selfless service and other beings are benefited from my selfless service’, ‘I am kind and compassionate’, ‘I aspire to inspire others to be selfless, kind and compassionate’, and so on. There’s no “I want to be selfless.” or “I am becoming selfless.”

‘Selflessness’ is the realization of there’s no self or ‘I’, it’s not about training the mind to become ‘selfless’ or ‘unselfish’. None/nothing can train to become ‘selfless’, as there is no self or ‘I’ from the beginning. Everyone and everything is just selfless as it is. It’s due to ignorance, there is the idea of ‘I’ arise in the thinking mind materializing itself via egoism influencing the thinking pattern of the mind, where the idea of ‘I’ feeds on attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation, to desire and don’t desire, to aspire and expect, to enjoy and suffer, to love and be loved, to be continuing ‘existing’ in the form of thinking possessing a worldly self-identity with certain qualities of names and forms.

The idea of ‘I’ can be annihilated by eliminating egoism from the mind. As the ‘I’ appears to be ‘real and existing’ is nothing but the thinking pattern of the mind functioning under the influence of egoism, and upon annihilation of egoism or the veil of ignorance, the idea of ‘I’ will vanish naturally.

Upon the realization of impermanence and selflessness, naturally the mind also realizes ‘timelessness’. Time doesn’t exist, it’s just ‘what the mind perceives’, and ‘both the mind (the perceiver) and what the mind perceives (the perceived)’ constantly changing, and the ceaseless impermanent changes as well as due to the function of memory, there’s remembrance towards the impermanent changes generate the false impression of ‘time’ or ‘I’. The mind is going through countless births and deaths of ceaseless thoughts arising and passing away generating the different states of the mind. The body is going through countless births and deaths along with all the impermanent changes that are happening in the physical body generating the different condition/appearance of the body. The mind and the body is never remain the same mind or the same body even for a moment until the body and the thinking faculty ceased functioning and existing.

There’s no “I am performing yoga practice. I am a yoga practitioner. I will be receiving the benefits of the yoga practice. I am free or not free from ignorance.” It’s just the mind performing the practice, and whether the mind will be free from ignorance, or not.

Be free.

Respect everyone being what they are

For the minds that attached onto and identified with the qualities of names and forms to be who/what they are, ‘respect’ is about showing admiration or acknowledgement towards oneself or others who possess or achieve certain qualities of names and forms that the minds think and believe as ‘superior quality’, ‘higher ability’, or ‘higher achievement’ that deserve ‘respect’ from others or the world. Most people ‘work’ very hard throughout their life to earn or gain ‘respect’ or ‘admiration/acknowledgement’ from the world, or others, especially those who are ‘related’ to them in their personal/community/social/professional life.

Whether wittingly or unwittingly, there is discrimination towards the different qualities, abilities/disabilities and achievement/non-achievement determining what and who are worthy or unworthy to be receiving respect from oneself and others.

Most people think and believe that showing/giving ‘respect’/’admiration’/’acknowledgement’ towards certain higher/superior quality, ability and achievement is a form of generosity/kindness/goodness or positive encouragement to motivate oneself or other people (to be continuously) to strive to be good or be better.

For the minds that (truly) practice yoga, that are free from attachment towards and identification with any qualities of names and forms, that are free from discrimination towards all the different qualities of names and forms, ‘respect’ is not about showing admiration or acknowledgement towards ‘higher’ or ‘superior’ quality, ability or achievement, but instead, it’s abandoning such worldly thinking and belief, values and practice that empowers egoism and ignorance. It’s transcending the discrimination towards what the worldly egoistic thinking and belief categorizing as ‘respectable’ and ‘non-respectable’. The mind is free from the desire of craving and aversion towards the worldly idea/values/practice of ‘respect and disrespect’, ‘praise and condemn’, ‘superiority and inferiority’, ‘meaningfulness and meaninglessness’, and so on.

The one who needs to earn or gain ‘respect’/admiration’/’acknowledgement’ from others or the world, by possessing or attaining certain higher/superior quality, ability or achievement, in order to be motivated (to be continuously) to strive to be good or be better, the one who needs ‘positive inputs/influences’, ‘positive thinking’, ‘positive encouragements’ and ‘the sense of meaningfulness’, is the ego. Those who are free from the ego and egoism don’t need to be receiving ‘respect’/’admiration’/’acknowledgement’ from anyone for anything, to motivate them (to be continuously) to be good, or be better. The selfless/egoless minds don’t need to have ‘positive inputs/influences’, ‘positive thinking’, ‘positive encouragements’ and ‘the sense of meaningfulness’.

Those who know yoga aren’t interested at all towards the worldly idea/values/practice of ‘one must work hard to be earning or gaining ‘respect’/’admiration’/’acknowledgement’ from oneself or others by possessing or attaining certain higher/superior worldly or spiritual quality, ability and achievement, and void of lower/inferior quality, disability and non-achievement.

In yoga, ‘respect’ is part of the effortless manifestation of compassion derived from a selfless ‘open-mind’ that unattached towards any quality of name and form, being ‘non-discriminative’ towards all and ‘accepting’ everyone being what they are, as they are, regardless of all the different higher and lower worldly or spiritual qualities, abilities and disabilities, achievements and non-achievements that present or absent in everyone, even if the worldly minds think and believe and recognize that there is the presence of certain qualities of ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’ and the absence of certain qualities of ‘good’ and ‘right’ based on a particular social/cultural/religious/spiritual/political/philosophical thinking and belief about what is good and bad, what is right and wrong, where the minds generate dislike and disagreement, where the minds think and believe that they are ‘unworthy’ of receiving ‘respect’/’admiration’/’acknowledgement’ from anyone.

Respecting everyone being what they are doesn’t mean that one is agreeing and supporting others’ thinking, belief, behavior, values and practice that the minds think and believe as ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’, but one is undetermined or undisturbed by the existing and non-existing higher/lower quality, ability/disability, achievement/non-achievement that the world think and believe are ‘worthy’ or ‘unworthy’ of ‘respect’, without interference/discrimination/intimidation towards everyone being what they are, as they are. And all are impermanent.

Being ‘non-discriminative’ and ‘respectful’ towards all and everyone, or the mind is being ‘open’, doesn’t mean that one should be generously showing/giving ‘supports’ towards all kinds of thinking, belief, behavior, values and practice in the world, or blind-following, blind-practicing, blind-preaching and blind-promoting all the different kinds of thinking, belief, behavior, values and practice, but it’s about being unattached towards or non-associating with all the different kinds of thinking, belief, behavior, values and practice, regardless of whether the worldly thinking and belief referring something as ‘good and right’ or ‘bad and wrong’, while being non-discriminative ‘respecting’ and ‘allowing’ all these different kinds of thinking, belief, behavior, values and practice being there existing in this world as they are.

This kind of ‘respect’ of non-discriminative/non-interference/non-intimidation towards everyone regardless of all the different qualities of names and forms is essential for maintaining peace and harmony among all in the world. Be free from the worldly egoistic thinking/belief/practice of “Certain people deserve (higher) respect from others while some others don’t, being determined by who/what they are, of their particular background, gender, sexual orientation, way of life, race, belief/disbelief, position, status, caste, profession, ability, achievement, behavior, action and reaction, including what the world think is merit and virtue.”

Seeing the truth of names and forms as they are. They are just what they are, neither good nor bad, neither right nor wrong, neither positive nor negative, neither meaningful nor meaningless.

Those who truly want to realize yoga of selflessness/oneness/compassion/unconditional peace need to be aware of the subtle attachment, identification and desire of craving and aversion towards the quality of names and forms projected by the ignorant impure egoistic mind. Learn how to transcend the modification of the mind of all kinds of thinking/belief/values/practice/behavior/habit/desire/intention/expectation/action and reaction.

The freedom of being free from ignorance and the suffering of the consequences of ignorance is attained through the realization of selflessness/oneness/attributelessness/namelessness/formlessness by transcending/going beyond/subjugating the modification of the mind that generates the separateness/duality manifested in the form of thinking and belief that gives rise to the notion of a worldly life existence consisting of ‘I and all the others’, ‘I and my world’, ‘I and my life’, ‘good and bad’, ‘right and wrong’, ‘positive and negative’, ‘meaningfulness and meaninglessness’, ‘respectable and non-respectable’, ‘praise and condemn’, and so on.

Those who know this, they allow everyone being what they are, including whether people want to show ‘respect’ towards one another, or not. Those who don’t know this, they would feel disappointed, offended, disrespected, humiliated, belittled, hurt and angry when they think they aren’t getting the ‘respect’ that they expect to be getting, and they expect all ‘good’ human beings should behave in certain way to show ‘respect’ to one another, or else, those who don’t behave in such way would be labeled/condemned as ‘bad’ human beings.

Be free.

Go beyond hurts and healings

The minds that are still wandering along the path of yoga and haven’t realize what is going on in the mind need to practice forgiveness and letting go, as there is an ego being there thinking and believing that it is hurt by something hurtful, and so, it believes that it needs to be healed from hurt.

The emotional pain or hurts manifested in the form of thinking/feeling/thought process appear to be existing and real to the mind is due to ignorance.

The minds that know what is going on in the mind, that know the truth of ’emotional pain’ and ‘hurts’, don’t need to forgive, or let go, or be healed.

The thinking faculty that is free from ignorance and egoism cannot be hurt by anything. There’s no emotional pain or hurt existing in this mind void of ignorance and egoism. There’s nothing need to be forgiven, to let go, or to be healed.

Be free.

Go beyond worldly social thinking and beliefs

Most minds are not interested in the teaching of yoga about going beyond worldly social thinking and beliefs. For them, “Why do people want to do that? It’s strange and crazy for anyone to have such idea or practice.” and “Social relationships, activities, mingling and interactions are very good and positive for improving friendship, bonding, understanding and harmony among each other in the society.”

Just like many passionate minds would think and believe that “Being sociable is similar to friendliness and being non-sociable is similar to unfriendliness.”

In yoga, “Being sociable and non-sociable is irrelevant to friendliness and unfriendliness. One can be friendly and kind towards all without selfish intention or discrimination of likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, good people and bad people, friends and not friends, while at the same time being non-sociable or disinterested towards social relationships, activities, mingling and interactions. On the other hand, being actively sociable doesn’t mean that the mind is being friendly and kind towards all without any selfish intention or discrimination of likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, good people and bad people, or friends and not friends.”

In the path of yoga to eliminate ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness from the mind, one needs to learn how to go beyond all the worldly social thinking and beliefs by renouncing social relationships, activities, mingling and interactions, as all these social relationships and activities will only empower or feed the ignorance and egoism of attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, judgment, expectation, restlessness and impurities, unless the mind is already being free from ignorance and egoism, then one can mix freely into the society without being influenced by the society, without being disturbed by what is happening in the world, and without being entangled in the worldly ideas, thinking, beliefs, values, practices, relationships and activities.

It’s not that the social thinking and beliefs, relationships, activities, mingling and interactions are something ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’, but for the yoga enthusiasts who are sincerely seeking liberation from suffering, or more precisely, to be free from the cause of suffering – Ignorance, the minds need to go beyond all kinds of worldly ideas of social thinking, beliefs, values and practices by renouncing social relationships, activities, mingling and interactions, as all these social activities are feeding/empowering ignorance, egoism, passions and restlessness, which hinders the mind to see the truth of names and forms, to be free from ignorance and the product of ignorance – Suffering. If the mind is not free from ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering, the mind is not free, even after many years of practicing ‘yoga’ or teaching ‘yoga’ to others.

Some of the common social thinking and beliefs such as,

“Everyone needs to have family, relatives, friends and community, to enjoy life, to be happy and feel meaningful. It’s hard, pitiful, unfortunate, lonely, joyless and meaningless to be by oneself without family, relatives, friends and community.”
*In yoga, one is not determined by having or not having family, relatives, friends and community, to enjoy life, to be happy, or to feel meaningful, or not, in order to be free from ignorance and suffering, or not. The mind that is free from ignorance and egoism doesn’t need to enjoy life, or to be happy, or to feel meaningful. One is peaceful as one is, when the mind is free from ignorance and egoism and its by-products of boredom, loneliness, fear, clinging, expectation, dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurts, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, animosity, pride, hostility, painful sorrow, unhappiness, emptiness, incompleteness and meaninglessness.

“One needs to be ‘educated’ and ‘knowledgeable’ to be confident to achieve success in everything, to enjoy a higher quality good life with loving and supportive family and relationships, in order to achieve happiness and meaningfulness.”
*In yoga, being educated and knowledgeable doesn’t guarantee that the mind is free from ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness, disturbs and suffering. Wisdom of being free from ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness, is nothing to do with ‘worldly education’ and ‘worldly knowledge’. Wisdom, or knowing the truth of names and forms, allows the mind to have peace, being free from disturbs and suffering, regardless of whether the mind is ‘educated’ and ‘knowledgeable’, or not; whether life is good and comfortable, or not; whether there’s loving and supportive family and relationships, or not. The liberated mind doesn’t need to be confident to achieve success in everything to have a higher quality good life. Neither by having or not having a higher quality good life is related to having loving and supportive family and relationships, or not. Neither by having or not having loving and supportive family and relationships is related to the attainment of the sense of happiness and meaningfulness. Neither by attaining or not attaining the sense of happiness and meaningfulness is related to whether the mind is free from ignorance and egoism, or not. The mind that is free from ignorance and egoism, doesn’t need to attain the sense of happiness and meaningfulness. One is happy and peaceful as one is, being free from ignorance and egoism, being unconditioned and undetermined by the quality of names and forms.

“One needs to aspire and be inspired to be somebody endowed with certain qualities of names and forms that make oneself and others be proud of, to attain love, acceptance, respect, support and acknowledgement from oneself and others.”
*In yoga, the mind that is free from ignorance and egoism doesn’t need to aspire or be inspired to be ‘somebody’ that would make oneself and others be proud of. Neither does one need to attain love, acceptance, respect, support or acknowledgement from oneself or others.

“One needs to keep setting higher and higher expectation/goal towards oneself in order to keep pushing oneself beyond one’s limitation to achieve higher success and better result.”
*In yoga, the mind that is free from ignorance and egoism doesn’t need to have any expectation/goal towards oneself, anyone or anything, or to push oneself beyond the physical/mental limitation that is impermanent and selfless, but still perform countless actions of what is possible in the present that would benefit oneself and others, or to keep improving, intentionlessly, while allowing the fruit of the actions to be what it is.

“One should help others so that one will receive help from others in return.”
*In yoga, one helps others unconditionally regardless of whether others will be grateful and show appreciation, or will give help to oneself in return, or not.

“Be kind to others and others will be kind to you in return.”
*In yoga, one be kind to others unconditionally without selfish intention/expectation to be receiving kindness or friendship in return. Be kind to all without discrimination even when others are being unkind to oneself, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

“Everyone needs continuous/on going inspirations, positive encouragements, love, supports and acknowledgements from others to be doing something good for oneself and others, or to refrain from doing something bad to oneself and others.”
*In yoga, the selfless/egoless mind doesn’t need any (continuous/on going) inspirations, positive encouragements, love, supports and acknowledgements from anyone to be doing something good for oneself and others, or to refrain from doing something bad or hurtful to oneself or others. It’s the prideful egoistic impure idea of ‘I’ or the ego that needs continuous inspirations, positive encouragements, love, supports and acknowledgements from others to motivate oneself to be good and do good, or to refrain from be bad and do bad. If the egoistic minds don’t get such ‘motivations’, they are reluctant to be good and do good, or refrain from be bad and do bad. That’s not freedom at all.

“Everyone needs love and affection. Give love and affection to others, and others will have love to love themselves and love others. Giving love to others will make oneself feels good and meaningful.”
*In yoga, when the mind is free from ignorance and egoism, one doesn’t need to receive love and affection from anyone to feel loved, or to have love. Everyone just need to realize unconditional love in oneself, where there’s no lack of love/craving for love/aversion towards loveless and there’s no separateness of ‘I’ and ‘others’. There’s no ‘I’ am ‘giving love’ to ‘others’, or ‘others’ are ‘receiving love’ from ‘I’, but out of compassion, teach and allow everyone to be free from ignorance and egoism to realize unconditional love in oneself, where everyone doesn’t need to receive love from others to feel loved or to have love, and everyone doesn’t need to feel good and meaningful from the action of ‘giving’ and ‘loving’.

“Everything is possible. Nothing is impossible.”
*In yoga, everything is possible, including both possibility and impossibility. Possibility is possible. Impossibility is also possible. It’s okay sometimes things are not possible, such like one couldn’t stop the physical body from impermanent changes of aging, decaying and death/decompose, or one couldn’t undo the past, and whether it’s possibility or impossibility, all are impermanent.

Worldly minds, including many yoga enthusiasts, are functioning under the influence of the social thinking and beliefs perceiving everyone and everything as ‘good or bad’, ‘right or wrong’, ‘positive or negative’, ‘normality or abnormality’, ‘meaningfulness or meaninglessness’, ‘appropriateness or inappropriateness’, ‘friendliness or unfriendliness’ and ‘nice or not nice’.

“This is a good/bad person.”
“This is so positive/negative.”
“This is so meaningful/meaningless.”
“This is a friendly/unfriendly person.”
“This is a nice/not nice person.”
“Yoga teachers/practitioners need to ‘be positive’ and say only ‘positive words’ to influence/encourage others also to be positive.”
And so on.

In yoga or Buddhism, it’s not necessarily so. Upon knowing what is going on in the mind and seeing the truth of impermanence and selflessness in all the names and forms, naturally, one stops judging and labeling everyone and everything into ‘this’ and ‘that’, upon perceiving/experiencing all kind of different experiences, thinking, beliefs, actions, reactions and behaviors.

“You are being nice to me, but it doesn’t mean that ‘you are a nice person or your are not a not nice person’.”
“You might not behave in a good way, but it doesn’t mean that ‘you are a bad person or you are not a good person’.”
“You are feeling happy or unhappy in this moment, but it doesn’t mean that ‘you are a happy person or you are an unhappy person’.”
“Yoga teachers don’t need to ‘be positive’ or say only ‘positive words’, they just need to teach yoga as it is, and the teachings are neither positive nor negative, although many impure minds might not like or agree with the teachings, and perceiving and judging everything as ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ according to the worldly thinking and beliefs, while passionate minds might be disturbed by the teachings that they dislike and disagree with, that is not necessarily something that they think it should be.”

The minds that are free from ignorance and egoism are not ‘passionate’ or ‘interested’ towards the attainment and accumulation of worldly objects of names and forms, the cultivation and achievement of worldly passionate desires/ambitions and the engagement in all kinds of human social relationships, activities, interactions, excitement, enjoyment and entertainment because these minds are void of the by-products of ignorance and egoism, where the minds are free from the sense of low self-esteem, low confidence, negativeness, unhappiness and meaninglessness.

These selfless/egoless minds don’t need to develop or empower the sense of high self-esteem, self-worth, confidence, positiveness, happiness and meaningfulness through the attainment and accumulation of worldly objects of names and forms, or the cultivation and achievement of desires/ambitions, or the engagement in social relationships, activities, interactions, excitement, enjoyment and entertainment, in order to chase away the sense of low self-esteem, low self-worth, low confidence, negativeness, unhappiness and meaninglessness. It doesn’t mean that these minds don’t perform any actions to improve or be successful in whatever they venture, but all actions are free from attachment, identification, craving, aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation.

These quiet peaceful liberated minds might be perceived by the other majority of the society, including passionate sociable ‘yoga practitioners/teachers’ and health professionals as a form of ‘unhealthiness’, ‘selfishness’, ‘abnormality’, or even, ‘insanity’, as these minds don’t think and behave, act and react, and are not interested towards engaging in the worldly passionate sociable family/community way of life like all the other majority in the society. They are peaceful as they are, being free from ignorance, egoism, passions, discrimination, dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hatred, jealousy, animosity, violence, fear, boredom, loneliness, longing, hurts, meaninglessness, incompleteness and restlessness, being immerse in silence, seclusion and solitude, allowing the world and everyone to be what they are, as they are, and all are impermanent and selfless, which the worldly passionate sociable minds perceive as a form of ‘unhealthiness’, ‘selfishness’, ‘abnormality’ and ‘insanity’.

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

Worldly identifications

One of the great obstacles or challenges for the yoga enthusiasts to be free from egoism is the intense attachment towards worldly identifications with some qualities of names and forms to be existing as ‘I’.

It’s ‘unthinkable’ for the egoistic minds to be ‘functioning’ or ‘aware of the mind perception of a worldly life of names and forms’ without any identifications with some qualities of names and forms to be acknowledged by oneself and others as ‘This is I’.

There’s great fear towards losing the sense of the existence of ‘I’, or ‘selflessness/’I’-lessness’, or being unable to be acknowledged by oneself and others as “I am this and that”, if without any of the identifications that the egoistic thinking mind would like to acknowledge itself and be acknowledged by others that “I exist as an (unique/special/distinctive/meaningful) individual being with such and such qualities of names and forms.”

Similarly, most minds have great fear towards letting go all kinds of superstitious thinking, beliefs, values and practices that were being ingrained into the minds from very young age by their elders, parents, relatives, friends, school teachers, religious teachers, the community and the society. Very few minds would question the truth of all those thinking, beliefs, values and practices, to inquire the truth of everything that was told or informed by everyone, and would just blind-believing, blind-following, blind-practicing and blind-passing on all these thinking, beliefs, values and practices. As most people would ‘label’ themselves or be ‘labeled’ by others as ‘bad person’ or ‘traitor’ towards one’s root and ancestor’s cultural background and family values, if they don’t embrace or follow or pass down those thinking, beliefs, values and practices.

For many people, this is the ‘normal’, ‘good’, ‘productive’, ‘positive’, ‘healthy’, ‘successful’, ‘meaningful’ and ‘rightful’ way of life or living.

Not only that there was a ‘basic identity upon birth’ that relates to a ‘given name’, a ‘gender’, a ‘family’, an ‘ethnicity’, a ‘birth place’, a ‘nationality’ and a ‘security ID number’, but everyone was growing up being conditioned by the society to identify oneself with a ‘sexual orientation’, a ‘personality’, a ‘physical appearance’, a ‘self-image’, a ‘body image’, a ‘physical condition’, a ‘mental state’, a ‘religion’, a ‘culture’, a ‘lifestyle’, a ‘trend’, and etc. Most minds are being ‘encouraged’ by the society to be constantly ‘developing’ and ‘possessing’ further more other qualities of names and forms to empower or strengthen that ‘self-identity’, that would allow the minds to feel proud, confident and meaningful towards the existence of ‘I’ under such identifications. Such like, “I am a ‘good’, ‘strong’, ‘healthy’, ‘fit’, ‘beautiful’, ‘attractive’, ‘stylish’, ‘successful’, ‘intelligent’, ‘knowledgeable’, ‘positive’, ‘multi tasking’, ‘talented’, ‘well-informed’, ‘well-behaved’, ‘inspirational’, ‘generous’ and ‘kind loving’ human being on top of all the identifications with a particular belief, religion, spirituality, culture, caste, sect, educational level, social status, community group, political views, profession, interests, qualifications, certifications, achievements, contributions, possessions, relationships, connections, and so on.

There are some common sayings such as –
“Be good, do good, and life will be all good and you will be happy.”
“Be nice and friendly to other people, and other people will be nice and friendly to you.”
That is not necessary true.

But everyone has been circulating that kind of sayings especially from the elders to the youngsters, or from the yoga teachers to the yoga students. Many people experiencing disappointment, depression and meaninglessness because they have such expectation towards life, where everyone and everything has to be in certain ways based on those sayings.

Many times, life is not necessarily all good and people are not happy even after they are being good and they have done many good. And it’s okay.

People don’t have to be happy all the time. Just be good and do good, and allow the fruit of actions to be what it is, not necessarily has to be the way that we would like it to be.

Sometimes, people are not being grateful or appreciative towards our kindness and friendliness, and are not being nice or friendly to us when we are being nice and friendly to them. And it’s okay.

People don’t have to be grateful and appreciative, and be nice and friendly to others, if they don’t want to. Just be nice and friendly to others, without the expectation that other people should be grateful and appreciative, and be nice and friendly to us in return.

The most practical way in the yoga practice to eliminate egoism from the mind is via renunciation of what most minds being conditioned to think and believe as the ‘normal’ and ‘meaningful’ way of life. Moving the mind away from the egoistic worldly social cultural thinking and beliefs, ideas, relationships, connections, interactions and activities, and letting go novels, news and magazines reading, radio listening, movies watching and theater visiting. Be determined to observe seclusion and solitude for at least five or six years, cutting off all kinds of worldly social cultural inputs, ideas, connections, activities and interactions, to allow the mind to be free from being conditioned by worldly thinking and beliefs that are all about empowering worldly attachment and identification. Only then the mind can see the truth of names and forms as it is.

Once the mind is free from being conditioned by worldly egoistic thinking and beliefs, it is no longer being determined by any of the worldly identifications with qualities of names and forms to be existing as ‘I’. There’s no need to feel proud, confident or meaningful towards “I am somebody endowed with this and that prideful, superior and meaningful qualities.”

There’s no ‘I’ being there that needs to be empowered, be acknowledged, be motivated, be inspired, be loved, be proud, be confident and be meaningful. There’s no ‘I’ being there to be strong, be weak, be happy, be unhappy, be positive, be negative, be good, be bad, be hurt, be healed, be pleased, be displeased, be praised, be insulted, be selfish, be unselfish, be unfree or be free.

While the entire world emphasize on the empowerment of a strong self-identity nurtured with the qualities of names and forms of particular social/cultural/ethnicity/nationality ideas/values/practices, yoga practice is mainly to free the mind from all these identifications with any qualities of names and forms.

Even the idea of “I am a yoga practitioner practicing yoga of annihilating ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness” and the desire of “I want to practice yoga to be free from ignorance and suffering” vanished from the minds that know thyself.

Self-inquiry into the truth of who/what am ‘I’

– Inquire the truth of all the names and forms that the mind thinks and believes, and identifies as ‘I’, such like the life existence, the existence and function of the mind, the states of mind, the thinking/thoughts, the feelings/emotions, the mind perception of names and forms through the senses, the belief, the vision/ambition, the inspiration/aspiration, the self-esteem/confidence, the self-image, the culture, the race, the nationality, the pride, the shame, the ‘good’ qualities, the ‘bad’ qualities, the species, the religion, the practice, the behavior, the personality, the family/relatives/friends relationship, the social network, the social status, the titles, the talents, the skills, the learning/education, the knowledge, the qualifications, the memories, the experiences, the career, the energy field/level, the mental health condition, the desires of craving and aversion, the likes and dislikes, the agreements and disagreements, the positive and negative thinking, the standard of right and wrong, the sense of meaningfulness and meaninglessness, the existence and function of the physical body, the physical look/appearance, the different stages of growing and aging, the gender, the sexual orientation, the facial feature, the skin tone and colour, the hair, the body shape, the physical ability and disability/limitation, the physical health condition, the different bodily systems, the clothing and accessories, the life style, the living condition, the interests/hobbies, the food option, the actions and the result of actions, the possessions/belongings, the livelihood, the wealth, the achievements, the contributions, the sacrifices, the expectations, the satisfaction/dissatisfaction, the guilt/regret, the hurts/disappointment, the happiness/unhappiness, the sorrow/grief, and so on.

– If this is ‘I’, then it should belongs to ‘I’ and it should be in the control of ‘I’ about how ‘I’ would like/want it to be. If it’s not in the control of ‘I’ about how ‘I’ would like/want it to be, it doesn’t belong to ‘I’, then it’s not ‘I’ or ‘mine’.

– Negate what is not ‘I’.

– Realize selflessness. There is no ‘I’. Just impermanent changes of names and forms, arising and passing away.

Suffering and restlessness exist because of the ‘existence’ and ‘identification’ of the ego/’I’ in the mind/the thinking. Realize the truth of ‘I’, there’s no suffering or restlessness. Absence of suffering and restlessness is peace. If ‘peace’ comes from experiencing/perceiving ‘good’ and ‘positive’ qualities of names and forms, or due to everything is the way that the thinking would like it to be, then this ‘peace’ is ‘conditional peace’ that is impermanent. The real peace derived from knowing the truth of ‘I’, being free from ignorance and egoism, is unconditional and undetermined by all the life experiences/the mind perceptions of different qualities of names and forms of ‘good and bad’/’positive and negative.’

How to be free from the idea of ‘I’, or the ego

Most minds cannot understand about the teaching and practice of yoga about the annihilation of the ego, or be free from the idea of ‘I’.

It’s beyond the logical thinking of many minds/people about the practice of annihilating the ego, or the idea of ‘I’. This is because the thinking itself is the identification of ‘I’. The thinking/The identification of ‘I’ can’t go beyond what is beyond the thinking or the identification of ‘I’. And hence, there’s a thinking/thought/idea/belief of “I am existing.” that leads to the doubt of “How come the teachings of yoga talk about ‘selflessness’, that there’s no ‘I’?”

Some people think and understand that the annihilation of the ego means “I don’t have an ego.” by thinking that there is an ‘I’ existing being aware of the absence of the ego, and thus, “I am being free from the ego or without the ego.” Then what is that ‘I’ that thinks itself doesn’t have an ego?

The ‘I’ is the ego. As long as there’s an idea of ‘I’, or an identity of a being existing as ‘I’, thinking that “I don’t have an ego.” this mind is not free.

The ego is the identity/idea of ‘I’ in the mind as a form of thinking/thought/belief/idea/part of the memories. The annihilation of the ego is the annihilation of ‘I’. There is no ‘I’ existing. And hence, there is no “I am free from the ego.” or “I am a being without the ego.”

The ego, or the idea of ‘I’ exists in the form of thinking/thought as an individual being experiencing life through a body and a mind, perceiving all the names and forms through the sense organs, being the performer of actions and the receiver/enjoyer of the fruit of actions, attaching onto and identifying with particular family and educational background/culture/religion/social group/spiritual or non-spiritual thinking and belief, being proud of certain qualities, abilities and possessions, thinking and not thinking, knowing and not knowing, believing and not believing, remembering and forgetting, feeling and sensing, desiring and non-desiring, growing and learning, acting and reacting, discriminating, judging and expecting, being peaceful and peaceless, to love and be loved, building a life and relationships, procreating, changing, decaying and dying.

The idea of ‘I’ is just a thinking/thought/idea/belief. The idea of ‘I’, or the ego, merely ‘existing’ as a stream of thinking/thoughts, or a continuous thought out of ceaseless thoughts arising and passing away. Under the function of the memory there is remembrance or acknowledgement of an ‘I’, being born, growing, experiencing, learning, feeling, sensing, acting, aspiring, inspiring, enjoying, suffering, changing, decaying and dying. If there’s no remembrance of certain parts of the existence and function of the body and mind, there’s no ‘I’ in those ‘blankness’. There’s no ‘I’ in Silence, or in the absence of the modification of mind/thought-current/thought activities.

People say, “I was happy or unhappy. I was good or bad. I enjoyed or suffered.” Even in this present moment, this ‘I’ is no longer the ‘I’ a moment ago. Mere countless thoughts generate countless ideas of the ever changing impermanent ‘I’ in different states/forms, of countless ‘births’ and ‘deaths’ of countless ‘I’.

Who/what is this ‘I’, if there’s no function of memory or the ability of remembering the countless thoughts that arising and passing away ceaselessly? Even though there is remembrance of certain thoughts throughout the day, not to say, weeks/months/years, it’s only a small part of all the thoughts arising and passing away, of the stronger imprints. And hence, why still holding onto all the past memories of good and bad/happy and unhappy past experiences (even the remembrance of the last moment) to be who/what ‘I’ am? While continuing to feel disturbed, or angry, or hating, or hurt, or disappointed by the past experiences that was unpleasant or not the way that ‘the thinking’ would like it to be, or feel sad and missing something that was pleasant and the way that ‘the thinking’ liked it to be, but is no longer available in this present moment. Continuously thinking that “I am hurt and in painful sorrow.” and “I need to be healed from hurt and be free from painful sorrow.” or “I am missing someone or something.”

The body and the mind is impermanent and selfless. The body and the mind is not ‘I’. There’s no ‘I’ in the body and mind to be in control or claim possession/ownership of the impermanent existence of the body and mind.

It’s like when the body suffered from an injury and there is a wound or scar due to the injury. But the body is not ‘I’. The body is impermanent and the wound/scar is impermanent, and it’s not “I suffered an injury, or I have a wound/scar due to an injury.”

It’s the same as the thinking mind. If the thinking mind is not free from ignorance and the ego, and the ignorant egoistic mind feels hurt by hurtful experiences. But the mind is not ‘I’. The mind is impermanent and the hurtful feeling is impermanent, and it’s not “I feel hurt by hurtful experiences.”

Whether we like it, or not, and agree with it, or not, the teachings and practice of yoga is all about the annihilation of the ego, or the idea of ‘I’.

But how to be free from the idea of ‘I’ or how to eliminate the ego?

Since the ego is just a thinking/thought/idea/belief, it’s not real or it doesn’t exist at all. It’s the egoism being the by-product of the modification of the mind under the influence of ignorance that ‘create’ or ‘generate’ the existence of the ego, or ‘I’, and making the ‘I’ seems ‘real’ and ‘existing’. And so, to annihilate the ego, is about freeing the mind from egoism of attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation. This is the part of the yoga practice that many minds think and feel “It’s difficult.”

Once egoism is absent/annihilated, the mind is just what it is. The mind is neither good nor bad. Life existence is neither good nor bad. All kinds of experiences are neither good nor bad.

There’s no ‘I’ being there to assert wants and don’t wants, likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, and experiencing happiness/unhappiness, hurt, dissatisfaction, disappointment, greed, painful sorrow, offensiveness, defensiveness, agitation, depression, hostility, anger, hatred, fear and worry.

It’s all in the present moment, depending on whether egoism is present or absent in the mind. It’s neither easy nor difficult. It’s not something to be attained in the future after certain years or certain amount of yoga practice. The future doesn’t exist. There’s no guarantee that the ego will be annihilated after certain years and certain amount of yoga practice. But in this very moment, the only existence, whether the mind is free/not free from ignorance and egoism that generate the existence of an identity of ‘I’ being here to enjoy or suffer.

More important is that, there’s no ‘I’ being there to annihilate egoism from the mind. There’s no ‘I’ am performing yoga practice of purifying the mind and freeing the mind from the ego. There’s no ‘I’ am free or not free from egoism, or the ego. There’s no ‘I’ am practicing yoga or meditation. There’s no ‘I’ am good or bad. There’s no ‘I’ am suffering or ‘I’ am free from suffering. There’s no ‘I’ am selfish or ‘I’ am unselfish. There’s no ‘I’ am selfless. There’s no ‘I’ in attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness.

It’s just the mind purifying itself out of awareness, being aware of the consequences of egoism and be persevered to let go egoism of attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation. It’s the mind/the thinking being free or not free from ignorance and egoism.

Be free.

The basic teachings and practice of yoga vedanta

  • Let go the worldly/personal identification with the body and mind as ‘I’. The body and mind is not me, I am not the body or the mind.
  • Free the mind from pride and arrogance, superiority or inferiority towards any quality of names and forms that the mind identifying with as ‘I’ and ‘mine’. One’s thinking, belief, culture, education, religion, spirituality, gender, nationality, profession, knowledge, talents, skills, ideas, ability, achievement, family, relationship, friendship, marital status, social status, contribution, experiences, and etc. All these names and forms are not me, I am not all these names and forms.
  • Allow the mind to be opened towards what it knows and doesn’t know, do not blind-believe or blind-disbelieve. Undetermined or undisturbed by what the mind disagrees with, dislikes or doesn’t want.
  • Unattached towards any ideas, thinking and belief, including the existing ideas, information, thinking and belief in the mind coming from somewhere and everywhere.
  • Inquire the truth of everything, including all the teachings of yoga coming from different teachers or Gurus and reading books as well as all the existing worldly/social/cultural/religious thinking and belief in the mind that influence how the mind thinks, judges, acts and reacts.
  • Inquire what is this ‘I’, what is the ego and egoism.
  • Inquire what is suffering and the cause of suffering.
  • Unattached towards the physical body, the appearance, the physical health and fitness condition, the pleasantness and unpleasantness, the limitation, the ability and disability, the achievement and the impermanent changes.
  • Unattached towards the function of the mind, the state of the mind, the thinking, the belief, the thought activities, the mind perception of names and forms through the senses, the feelings and emotions, the known and unknown, the likes and dislikes, the agreements and disagreements, the desirable and undesirable.
  • Free the mind from the past memories and future imaginations. Train the mind to stay in the present as much as possible, effortlessly, gently, patiently, via persist practice without force.
  • Free the mind from craving and aversion.
  • Free the mind from judgment, comparison and expectation towards oneself and others.
  • Inquire what is the mind and what is going on in the mind.
  • Inquire the truth of ‘hurts’, ‘unhappiness’, ‘grief’, ‘painful sorrow’, ‘dissatisfaction’, ‘frustration’, ‘irritation’, ‘disappointment’, ‘anger’, ‘hatred’, ‘low self-esteem/low confidence’, ‘guilt’, ‘regret’, and all kind of impurities, including what the mind perceives as ‘happy’ and ‘positive’ feelings and emotions.
  • Be kind to the body and the mind, take care of the well-being of the body and mind, accepting the body and the mind as it is even though they are not perfect.
  • Purifying and rendering the mind pure, focus, balance, calm and quiet via the observation of Yama and Niyama and different types of Kriya, Yoga Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana practice, without attachment towards the practice or expectation towards the fruit of the practice, allow Samadhi to happen naturally when the practice is matured, intentionlessly, spontaneously and effortlessly.
  • Filtering inputs and outputs of the mind. Quiet and silent the mind.
  • Reduce or refrain from unnecessary worldly affairs, social networking, relationship building, mingling, interactions and activities, that give rise to ceaseless desires, restlessness and impurities.
  • Adopt a simple and quiet lifestyle, looking after the basic needs of the life maintenance of the body and mind, and divert maximum attention, importance, effort, time and energy into maintaining internal and external purity/cleanliness, quieting the thought current, developing one-pointedness and sharpening the intellect for the quest of the truth, to free the mind from ignorance, egoism and impurities.
  • Abandon or let go self-harm, superstitious thinking and belief, blind-believing, blind-following, politics, arguments, debates, discussions, conflicts, envy/jealousy, discrimination, bias, all kind of corruptions, gossips, vain talks, boasting, story telling, lying, plotting, scheming, manipulating, exploiting, worrying, anticipating, day dreaming, worldly/spiritual ambitions of gaining attention/support/fame/respect/title/power/acknowledgment/authorization, petite-mindedness, mischievousness, evilness, violence, worldly indulgence of the senses, physical/mental addictions, drugs abuse, intoxication, sexual misconducts, hypocrisy/untruthfulness in daily conducts and relationships with others, the desire to control/expect relationships/things/life/the world to be the way that ‘I’ like it to be, and all kind of conducts/desires driven by passion and lust.
  • Develop self-independence, self-control, self-discipline, self-inquiry, self-introspection, awareness, dispassion, right discrimination, correct understanding, right livelihood, straightforwardness, truthfulness, simplicity, patience, perseverance, determination, acceptance, tolerance, forbearance, forgiveness, adjustment, adaptation and accommodation.
  • Unattached towards all actions (action and inaction) and the fruit of actions. There’s no ‘I’ am performing actions or ‘I’ am the receiver of the fruit of actions. There’s no “I am good person doing good actions and will be receiving goodness in return.”
  • There is neither ‘I’ am selfish nor ‘I’ am unselfish. There’s no ‘I’ am selfless or ‘I’ perform selfless actions, or ‘I’ receive the fruit of selfless actions.
  • Inquire the truth of all and everything – Impermanence and Selflessness.
  • Inquire the many names but all are ONE – ‘silence’, ‘liberation’, ‘compassion’, ‘unconditional love’, ‘unconditional peace’, ‘inaction in actions’, ‘selflessness’, ‘egolessness’, ‘I-lessness’, ‘non-duality’, ‘oneness’, ‘non-separateness’, ‘fearlessness’, ‘intentionlessness’, ‘neither good nor bad’, ‘neither positive nor negative’, ‘attributelessness’, ‘namelessness’, ‘formlessness’, ‘birthlessness and deathlessness’, ‘beginninglessness and endlessless’, ‘beyond the thinking mind’, ‘beyond the worldly/social/cultural/religious thinking and belief’, ‘beyond the mind perception of names and forms’, ‘beyond pleasantness and unpleasantness’, ‘beyond happiness and unhappiness’, ‘beyond positive and negative’, ‘beyond meaningfulness and meaninglessness’, ‘beyond suffering and end of suffering’, ‘beyond good and bad karma’.
  • Unconditional love and peace, compassion and the ability to forgive and let go what the mind perceives as ‘bad’, ‘wrong’, ‘negative’, ‘undeserving’, ‘hurtful’, ‘sorrowful’, ‘painful’ and so on, are nothing to do with the impermanent and selfless physical conditions, appearance, strength, flexibility, stamina, limitations, ability and disability, the impermanent and selfless states of the mind, the mind perception of different qualities of names and forms, the intelligence, pleasant/unpleasant life experiences, or the condition and situation of the world. Identifying ourselves with any quality of names and forms that the mind perceives as ‘good’, ‘positive’, ‘meaningful’, ‘rightful’, ‘healthy’ and so on, doesn’t guarantee that the mind is free.
  • Identifying as ‘good people’ being ‘good’ and doing ‘good’, also doesn’t guarantee that the mind is free from ignorance, egoism, impurities, disturbance, unhappiness, loneliness, meaninglessness, dissatisfaction, disappointment, unhappiness, anger, hatred, jealousy, hurts, fear and worry, and all kinds of suffering.
  • Do our best making use of this life existence of the body and mind for bringing peace to oneself or the world without attachment, identification, judgment, comparison, or expectation. Serve, love, give, purify, meditate, realize, and let it go.
  • Peace is in this present moment when the mind is free from ignorance, egoism and impurities. It’s not being left behind in the past or to be found in the future. It’s not in the next life or in another life form.
  • Inquire the truth of all the teachings and practice mentioned here.

It’s everyone’s freedom whether they want to take up this practice or the teachings, or not.

Be free.

Self-esteem and confidence

Any issues regarding self-esteem and confidence shouldn’t and doesn’t need to be existing at all. But due to ignorance and egoism, many people depend on self-esteem and confidence to be who they are, to be happy and feel meaningful, or not. Many people are suffering from mild to severe low self-esteem or low confidence that leads to the sense of meaninglessness and depression. Even many mental and psychological related studies and professionals also preach, think and believe that the development and empowerment of self-esteem and confidence is very important in life existence as human beings and it’s the key to personal and global growth, success and happiness.

Real confidence has nothing to do with self-esteem or confidence that builds on physical appearance, condition, ability and achievement, or mental state, ability and achievement, or desirable and undesirable life experiences, or good and bad relationships with parents, family, friends and the rest of the world. It is beyond all these names and forms, when the mind has gone beyond the identification of what the mind thinks is ‘I’ and ‘my’, where this identification of ‘I’ and ‘my’ with the different qualities of names and forms is just a by-product of the worldly thinking and belief, or family, cultural, social and religious belief.

It’s the ego that feels it has to be good enough for something, or for somebody, or for oneself. It also feels that it might be not good enough for something, or for somebody, or for oneself, based on what the thinking and belief recognize as ‘good’ and ‘good enough’, or what is ‘self-esteem and confidence’, ‘success’, ‘happiness’ and ‘meaningfulness’, and the relationship between them, where most people think and believe that ‘high self-esteem and confidence’ is related to ‘success’, and ‘success’ is related to ‘happiness’, while ‘happiness’ is related to ‘meaningfulness’. And many people are suffering because of this thinking and belief or trying to live up to this thinking and belief for their entire life, and passing this thinking and belief from generation to generation.

It’s the idea of ‘I’, or the ego, that needs to feel good about oneself, and wants other people to perceive oneself as good enough, and needs to attain or possess certain qualities of names and forms to be identifying with, that would make one feels good and proud of oneself and also would make other people feel good and proud of oneself, in order to be happy and live life meaningfully.

And all these qualities of names and forms are impermanent and there is no ‘I’ to be found in any of these names and forms, or to be in control of the impermanent changes, to be the way that ‘I’ like it to be. No matter how much influences we can influence the condition of the physical body and the state of the mind, to maintain the function and the life span of the body and the mind, the body and mind will still have to go through inevitable changes of decay, old age, discomfort, illness, weakness, ceased functioning, and decompose, or death.

Once the mind fully understood this, it will be free from the bondage of self-esteem and confidence. There’s no ‘I’ being good or not good enough. There’s neither high nor low self-esteem. There’s neither high nor low confidence.

One doesn’t need to be somebody with particular appearance, condition, ability or achievement, or have certain good and positive life experiences, or good relationships with anyone, in order to feel confident, happy, satisfied or meaningful.

One can have and appreciate all the attention, affection, support, agreement, acknowledgement, love or companionship that is available in the present, but one doesn’t need other people’s attention, affection, support, agreement, acknowledgement, love or companionship in order to feel confident, love, happy or meaningful. If all these qualities of names and forms are not available, one is still happy and peaceful as one is. One doesn’t feel lack of something or missing out anything, or one is not good enough to deserve love, happiness and meaningfulness.

And that’s real confidence. One doesn’t need to be confident or satisfied about oneself at all. One doesn’t need to feel proud of oneself, and doesn’t need other people to feel proud of oneself, to be ‘I’, or the good ‘I’, the successful ‘I’, the happy ‘I’, the meaningful ‘I’. One is happy and peaceful as one is, without any identification with any quality as ‘I’.

There is no thinking or identification of “I am a good and kind human being. I want to do good and be kind and be able to contribute towards humanity.” but goodness, kindness and contribution towards humanity are being manifested and performed through the body and mind out of wisdom and compassion.

If one doesn’t know this, one will always looking for or craving for attaining and possessing certain qualities of names and forms that one would like to relate oneself with, to be identifying with, to feel good and satisfied about oneself, to boost up one’s self-esteem and confidence to be who ‘I’ am, thinking that by attaining and possessing such qualities of names and forms will also make other people to give them the attention, affection, support, agreement, acknowledgement, love or companionship that they want from other people, in order to be happy and feel meaningful. But then one is not free. And that’s one’s freedom of thinking and action.

Be free.

It’s just the thinking or thought process

The idea of the existence of ‘I’, and everything that ‘I’ think ‘I’ know, or perceive, or experience, or feel, whether ‘I’ think ‘I’ enjoy or suffer, or ‘I’ am good or bad, is just the thinking or thought process. Countless births and deaths of different forms take place ceaselessly along the thought process. At one moment ‘I’ am a calm and happy being, and at another moment ‘I’ am a restless and unhappy being.

“I am in suffering. My mind is hurt. Can you heal me and my mind?”
“Well, if that is true,” with my hand out, “Now, give me what you think is the suffering ‘you’ and give me your wounded mind, and I’ll heal you and your mind.”
“……………”

There’s no ‘I’ existing that can be hurt, or needs to be healed. The mind is just what it is, it cannot be hurt, and hence, it doesn’t need to be healed. Throw a stone or light a fire into the space, does the space gets hurt or burnt?

“I am suffering” and “My mind is hurt” is just a thinking, thought process, perception of names and forms.

Due to ignorance, there’s attachment and identification towards the thinking or thought process of “I am hurt. I am in suffering. I need to be healed.” and hence, suffering exists.

Let go the thinking of “I am hurt or I am in suffering and I need to be healed”, there’s no suffering.