By-products of the thinking mind

Due to the function of the physical body processing all the physical inputs, there are some by-products (waste products), such as pleasant/unpleasant sensations, sweat, carbon dioxide, dead skin/tissues, pee and shit, and etc.

Similarly, upon the thinking mind processing all the mind inputs, there are also by-products, such as egoism, all kinds of impurity, emotions, feelings, actions, reactions and the consequences of action/reaction, and so on.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s the physical body and its by-products, or it’s the mind and its by-products, they all are impermanent and selfless. And they are not ‘I’.

Learn to be aware of the impermanent changes of the physical body and its by-products as well as the impermanent thinking mind and its by-products (all the mental/emotional modifications/activities), without attachment, identification, craving/aversion, judgment, comparison, or expectation. Allowing all these impermanent and selfless names and forms to be there as they are, arising and passing away.

Due to the function of the physical body, the body processes the food/liquid after eating/drinking, while the by-products of that, of sweat/pee/shit being generated has to be ‘letting go’, and one would just let them go and clean up the sweat/pee/shit and the body by oneself, to maintain personal and public hygiene and cleanliness, to help lower the risk of contracting or spreading diseases/illnesses in oneself and others in the surrounding environment. More importantly, when someone is sweating, peeing or shitting, one doesn’t need anyone being there accompanying/watching/listening or to help to clean up the waste products and the body, unless it’s a small infant/child or adult that is physically dependent on others for handling such matters. And there’s nothing wrong if someone wants to ask help from others for handling such matters, even when one is capable to handle it by oneself.

Similarly, due to the function of the thinking mind, the thinking mind processes all the mind inputs, while the by-products of that, of actions/reactions/emotions/feelings/the consequences of action and reaction being generated that need to be ‘letting go’. The mind would just let them go and ‘clean up’ the mind by itself, to maintain personal and public peace and harmony, to help minimize causing ‘disturbs’/’damages’ to itself and others in the surrounding space. When the mind is processing all these mental/emotional modifications/activities of the mind (the by-products of the thinking mind), it doesn’t need anyone being there accompanying/watching/listening or to help to ‘clean up’ the mind, unless it’s a mind that is mentally/emotionally dependent/disabled, whether due to genetic inheritance, sickness or injury. Though there’s nothing wrong if someone wants to ask help from others for dealing with such matters, even when one is capable to deal with it by oneself.

All the food, drinks and oxygen being consumed by the physical body and the by-products of all the sweat, carbon dioxide, pee and shit etc, are not ‘I’.

Similarly, all the mind inputs and the by-products of all the mental/emotional modifications/activities, are not ‘I’.

There’s no ‘I’ that can be found before/during/after the existence/function of this physical body and the thinking mind.

Infants/children can be trained to be physically independent as they grow up day by day, so does the mind can be trained to be mentally/emotionally independent. Yoga and meditation practice can transform the mind if being done with the correct understanding, perseverance and determination. Unfortunately, most minds are being ‘conditioned’/’educated’ by the worldly egoistic society to think and believe that all minds (human or living beings) must depend on ‘something/someone else’ mentally/emotionally. Quite many yoga practitioners/teachers also think and believe that all human beings need to be there for one another to look after one another mentally/emotionally all the time, or else, it’s so sad, terrible, lonely, helpless, joyless and meaningless, if one is being alone by oneself.

Do a self-check on whether the mind is being conditioned/educated to think and believe in certain way, such as, “Being alone, living alone, walking alone, eating alone, doing things alone, or solving problems alone by oneself is so sad, terrible, lonely, helpless, joyless and meaningless.” Most minds will say ‘yes’. But how true is that? It’s not necessarily so. Although people don’t necessary have to be alone by oneself, but minds that are mentally/emotionally independent have no problem/difficulty being alone, living alone, walking alone, eating alone, doing things alone, or solving problems alone by oneself, and are happy and peaceful as it is.

Look after this mind, before it’s too late where it really needs to depend on others/substances to be able to function/think/behave properly.

Be free.

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There’s nothing wrong or bad with ‘bad’, ‘negative’ or ‘unhappy’ feelings and emotions

It’s normal to have unpleasant feelings or emotions in us from time to time. There’s totally nothing wrong or bad when there are feelings or emotions that the worldly thinking people label them as ‘bad’, ‘negative’ and ‘unhappy’ feelings and emotions.

Many people would ‘advise’ those who are going through some difficult time or emotional moments to stop being emotional as if emotions and being emotional is something not good, or bad, or wrong, or weak.

It’s not about “Hey, you should look around you, count your blessings, and be grateful for all the little good things that you have or the bad things that you don’t have. Stop being so ungrateful, negative and unhappy. Don’t waste your life, time and energy in all these ‘bad’ feelings and ‘negative’ emotions. It’s not good for you and the people around you.”

Yoga and meditation practice is not about push away or avoid certain emotions and feelings that the mind recognizes as ‘bad’, ‘negative’, or ‘unhappy’. Yoga and meditation practice is not about cultivate good and happy feelings and emotions, and fill the mind with only ‘good’ and ‘positive’ feelings and emotions. It’s not about don’t allow any ‘bad’ and ‘negative’ feelings and emotions to arise or exist in the mind.

The teachings of yoga never criticize or tease people who feel low, bad, sad, angry, negative, depress or unhappy from time to time, or once in a blue moon, or most of the time. The teachings of yoga never judge or label any kinds of feelings and emotions as something ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘positive’ or ‘negative’. It is normal and okay for the mind to experience different types of pleasant and unpleasant feelings and emotions from time to time.

We allow our minds and other people’s minds to perceive feelings and emotions that are unpleasant, that are unhappy. It’s okay sometimes we don’t feel like talking and want to have some time just for ourselves. It’s okay sometimes other people don’t feel like talking and want to have some time just for themselves. It’s okay that we are not always happy all the time. We don’t have to be happy all the time.

What we are practicing in yoga and meditation is to be aware of any feelings or emotions, without generate identification with these feelings and emotions as ‘I’ or ‘mine’; without judging these feelings or emotions as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘negative’ or ‘positive’; without judging the mind as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘positive’ or ‘negative’; without expectation that ‘I’ only want to feel ‘good’ and have ‘positive’ emotions, and ‘I’ don’t want to feel ‘bad’ or have any ‘negative’ emotions; without generate craving or aversion towards certain feelings or emotions that the mind likes or dislikes; without being over-powered by these pleasant and unpleasant feelings and emotions to influence our actions and speech; knowing that no matter they are pleasant or unpleasant feelings and emotions, they all are impermanent, that they will pass away; and allowing all these impermanent feelings and emotions to arise, to be there, to change and passing away.

Whether we like it, or not; attach to it, or not, they all will pass away sooner, or later. Just observe, without attachment, identification, judgment, craving, aversion, or expectation.

It’s not about not welcoming or pushing away the ‘bad’ and ‘negative’ feelings and emotions. It’s not about welcoming and cultivating or retaining ‘good’ and ‘positive’ feelings and emotions. They are neither good nor bad, neither positive nor negative, and they are impermanent. And it’s not ‘I’.

Accepting the reality in the present moment now as it is, whether it’s pleasant or unpleasant, whether it’s the way that we like it to be, or not. It’s impermanent. Allowing all the impermanent changes to be there as they are. Whether the mind is at peace, or disturbed and unrest, it’s impermanent and it’s not ‘I’.

Om shanti.