Learn how to free the mind from all kinds of disturbs and hurts

When a mind/person feels disturbed, unhappy, angered, disappointed or hurt by something, usually the impulsive reaction will be expecting some kind of sympathy or empathy from other minds/people, and looking forward to be comforted, loved, looked after, acknowledged, or supported by other minds/people. And most minds/people would also think and believe that that is how people should react towards other people’s state of minds that are disturbed, unhappy, angry, disappointed or hurt, to be there to be listening to what they think is disturbing their minds and comforting these suffering minds/people by showing them love, care, acknowledgement and support, to be sharing and lessening their ‘unhappiness’ or ‘suffering’, in terms of generating a ‘loving kindness’ society/community. There’s nothing wrong with that and it might give the troubled/disturbed/unhappy/angry/disappointed/hurt minds certain degrees of relieve, to feel better, but it doesn’t help them to be free from the root cause of the suffering from disturbs, unhappiness, anger, disappointment, or hurts. Instead, most probably it might be unintentionally empowering or feeding the attachment, clinging, craving or expectation in people’s mind.

Just like giving sugary fizzy drinks to the unhappy kids might make them feel happy, but they would crave for more sugary drinks to make them feel happy. As once the craving is being gratified, it would only intensify the craving. And if their craving is not being gratified, they would be more unhappy. That’s not freedom at all.

There’s clinging, craving and expectation towards receiving sympathy, empathy, love, affection, care, acknowledgement, or support from others, even though there’s nothing wrong with receiving sympathy, empathy, love, affection, care, acknowledgement, or support from others, as this is what most worldly minds/people believe and expect the society/community/family/relationship/friendship should be, but the mind is not free. If for some reasons, the mind doesn’t get what it thinks and believes it deserves to be getting from others, it will be more disturbed/unhappy/angry/disappointed/hurt and would do things that would hurt itself and/or others. This is not freedom.

As well as most egoistic minds would want to feel that they are needed by others to feel good and meaningful about themselves and their life existence, that they are capable to give and show love, care, affection, sympathy, empathy, acknowledgment and support to others who ‘need’ them. Again, there’s nothing wrong with that, just that these minds would feel bad or meaningless if for some reasons they think that they are not needed by some others, or when they think that other people do not appreciate what they give. This is not freedom.

Only those who can go beyond worldly thinking and belief can penetrate the real meaning of this teaching and practice. It doesn’t mean that everyone in the society will become ‘cold’, ‘heartless’ or ‘lack of sympathy/empathy’, but the minds are free from clinging, craving or expectation towards receiving the ‘deserving’ love, care, affection, sympathy, empathy, acknowledgment and support from others to feel loved, cared, worthy, comforted, acknowledged or supported, to feel good and meaningful, by knowing what is going on in the mind and be free from ignorance and egoism, and thus, be free from all kinds of disturbs, unhappiness, anger, disappointment, or hurts. One doesn’t need anyone to be there to be listening to one’s ‘troubles’, ‘unhappiness’ or ‘hurts’, to be ‘comforted’, as there’s no trouble, unhappiness or hurt existing in this liberated mind. One also can give and show sympathy, empathy, love, care and support to others without the attachment, identification, craving, intention or expectation in order to attain good and meaningful feelings towards oneself or one’s life existence. That is true freedom and compassion.

Yoga practice such like cleansing technique, breathing exercises, yoga asana exercises, chanting, prayer, or concentration practice, can also give the effects of relieving certain degrees of disturbs, unhappiness, anger, disappointment or hurts in the minds, but again, it doesn’t stop the mind from continuing be disturbed, unhappy, angry, disappointed, or hurt by something that they don’t like, don’t want and don’t agree with, that they think is bad, wrong, disturbing, unhappy, frustrating, disappointing, or hurtful, if the mind is not free from ignorance, egoism and impurities.

Those who truly want to learn and practice yoga, it’s not about doing some forms of yoga practice to be getting some conditional and impermanent physical/mental/emotional benefits or getting some momentary relief from what they think is painful suffering, but they learn how to free the mind from the root cause of all kinds of suffering, of disturbs, unhappiness, anger, disappointment, or hurts.

Naturally, the society will have more physical/mental/emotional healthy minds/people, where the minds/people realized unconditional love from within, know how to look after themselves and love others unconditionally, being free from clinging, craving, aversion or expectation.

But not many minds/people would understand and appreciate the greatness of this freedom. Most minds/people believe in and want a society/community/family/relationship/friendship that builds on ‘needing each other’ all the time to feel love, good, happy and meaningful. That’s how people are being taken advantage by others who have selfish intention being in a relationship or friendship. Even in the world of yoga, some yoga teachers or so called ‘gurus’ take advantage of the yoga students for their vulnerability when the students longing or expecting to be receiving comfort, sympathy, empathy, kindness, love, care, affection, acknowledgment, or supports from the yoga teachers or ‘gurus’.

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they think or don’t think, believe or disbelieve, want and don’t want. People don’t have to practice yoga of freeing the mind from ignorance, egoism and impurities, but just want to do some yoga practice regularly and engaging in social/community activities, to attain some momentary physical/mental/emotional benefits or relief, to attain some kinds of conditional and impermanent good, positive, loving, happy and meaningful feelings.

Work diligently to free the mind from ignorance, egoism and impurities, if one wants to attain or realize this freedom.

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Be compassionate towards suffering minds

It’s not as easy as we would like it to be, to free the mind from suffering.

Though people might show sympathy towards other people’s suffering, those who have always been having a good life condition, might not truly understand the suffering that some other people are going through physically, mentally and emotionally, due to some traumatic painful life experiences.

We can’t tell people, “Hey, be grateful for all the little good things that you have. Stop being miserable.”

We can’t tell people, “Hey, be positive. Everything will be all good and nothing bad.”

We can’t tell people, especially when our life is in good condition, “Hey, life is so good. Don’t be so unhappy and bitter.”

People are allowed to be unhappy or bitter, especially when they are going through some difficult moments. It’s everyone’s freedom for whether they want to be free from unhappiness and bitterness, or not.

People might have gone through or are going through some really difficult or disturbing or painful moments, where we might have no idea how hard it is to be in their place. Even though people might smile, make jokes and laugh like everyone else, but deep in their mind, there might be some painful suffering that other people are unaware of.

It’s not difficult for those who have realized the truth to be able to let go even the most difficult and painful experiences, without vengeance. But it’s not easy for those who haven’t realized the truth to let go what was/is deeply troubling their minds.

It’s perfectly understandable that some of the suffering minds have become ‘hard’ and ‘bitter’, and we should be compassionate towards these minds that have become ‘hard’ and ‘bitter’ unwittingly, due to having been through some difficult traumatic life experiences that are not in their control and not what they wish for.

It’s normal that the suffering minds that are ‘hard’ and ‘bitter’ would feel very uncomfortable or irritable, disturbed and disgusted when hearing the teachings of yoga about letting go, forgiveness and compassion. It might take them a long time to be able to allow the mind to be open, to be aware of the suffering, without identification with the suffering, but to stand as a witness towards all the painful life experiences, and be compassionate towards the mind has to unwittingly go through some difficult traumatic life experiences, and suffers. And as yoga teachers, we can only be compassionate towards these suffering minds without judgment, but with thorough understanding and acceptance, knowing that none can take away another person’s suffering, but the mind itself to free itself from ignorance and egoism, the root cause of all suffering.

When the mind is greatly disturbed by the inputs from social medias

Compassion is reflected in an equanimous mind that remains undisturbed under any difficult or challenging conditions and situations.

If the mind is greatly disturbed by the inputs from social medias, may it be worldly issues or regional issues or personal issues, then out of compassion towards oneself and others, it’s better for the mind to stay away from social medias for some time. Be kind to this mind and take care of this mind.

Losing the balanced state of the mind doesn’t help the world that one loves and cares very much to be better or to be free from suffering, no matter how intense that one loves and cares towards other beings or the world. It’s everyone’s freedom for how they feel and what they want to do. Those who practice yoga is to maintain equanimous and undisturbed under any condition and situation, that allows the mind to be compassionate and have the clarity to perform necessary actions out of wisdom.

One doesn’t need to react with great disturbance of anger, hatred, disappointment, distress, depression, ill-thinking and ill-will, to show that one cares a lot for the world or sympathizes towards other people’s suffering. The disturbed reactions of the mind towards something that the mind dislikes and disagrees with is nothing to do with compassion.

Being compassionate towards oneself and others, is reflected in a peaceful mind, where there is awareness of the inputs or the knowledge of names and forms, and there might be action need to be performed to deal with difficult condition or situation, but there’s no disturbed reaction of impurities arise in the mind towards something that the intellect recognizes as ‘bad’, ‘horrible’, ‘terrible’, ‘negative’, ‘wrong’, ‘depressing’ or ‘sorrowful’.

When the mind doesn’t react with anger, hatred, disappointment, distress, depression, grief, or sorrow, it doesn’t mean that this mind is unconcerned or cruel or discompassionate. The mind can be compassionate and sympathize towards the suffering of oneself and others, but it doesn’t has to be reflected with impurities of anger, hatred, disappointment, distress, depression, grief, or sorrow. There’s nothing wrong with the reflection of anger, hatred, disappointment, distress, depression, grief, or sorrow in the mind towards something that the intellect recognizes as ‘bad’, ‘horrible’, ‘terrible’, ‘negative’, ‘wrong’, ‘depressing’ or ‘sorrowful’, but it has nothing to do with compassion.

Impurities are the product of ignorance and egoism. When the mind is under the influence of ignorance and egoism, this mind is unable to be compassionate, even though it might show sympathy and empathy towards the suffering in oneself and others, while being disturbed by the unpleasant difficult condition and situation.

To realize the distinct between compassion (that is undisturbed by the object of suffering) and passionate sympathy/empathy (that is physically, mentally, emotionally be disturbed by the object of suffering), is the yoga practice.

Many people who attached onto worldly thinking and belief might interpret this undisturbed state of mind as unsympathetic or unempathetic, as they think and believe human beings should react with anger, hatred, disappointment, distress, depression, grief, or sorrow towards something that they think is ‘bad’, ‘horrible’, ‘terrible’, ‘negative’, ‘wrong’, ‘depressing’ or ‘sorrowful’, otherwise, it’s abnormal, uncivilized, insane, inhuman or wrong, if people don’t react in such way. And that’s okay. It’s everyone’s freedom for what they think and how they want to feel and react towards everything that they perceive.

Those who know, they know. Those who don’t know, they don’t know. Can’t do anything about it

What’s the difference between sympathy and compassion?

What’s the difference between sympathy and compassion?

Anger, ill-will and ill-feelings might co-exist with sympathy and empathy. While anger or any forms of ill-will or ill-feelings are absent in compassion.

One might be able to feel empathy for other’s sorrow and suffering, or show sympathy towards others who are less fortunate or are suffering, but it’s not necessarily that one is also compassionate. One who doesn’t have compassion might not be able to show sympathy or empathy towards other’s suffering when oneself is under difficult condition or critical situation. Out of self-righteousness, one might show sympathy or empathy towards others whom one thinks and believes are ‘the victim’ of suffering, but at the same time, one can be disturbed by others’ suffering and be angry with the cause of suffering and ‘the one’ who is responsible for the suffering, and one might generate actions and speech that would hurt oneself and others out of anger. One also might not show sympathy or empathy towards others whom one thinks and believes that they don’t deserve sympathy or empathy from others.

If compassion is present, there’s neither suffering nor the cause of suffering in oneself. It’s knowing the truth of suffering. It’s not about feeling sorry or feeling bad for others whom our minds think and believe they are experiencing something terribly bad or sad. It’s nothing to do with self-righteousness which based on what the mind believes what is good and bad, what is right and wrong, what is should and shouldn’t, and who deserve or don’t deserve non-discrimination and loving kindness. One who has compassion will be able to show sympathy or empathy towards others’ suffering even when oneself is under difficult condition or critical situation. One is undetermined, undisturbed or uninfluenced by the presence of suffering or the cause of suffering in others, and will not generate actions and speech that would hurt others, whether intentionally or unintentionally. One is free from anger, hatred, ill-thinking, ill-will and ill-feelings.

If compassion is absent, there will be perception of suffering, the victim who suffers, the cause of suffering, and the one who is to be blamed, who is responsible for the cause of suffering. There will be anger and hatred towards something that is contradicted with one’s social, cultural and religious thinking and belief. There will be expectation or anticipation that others should react with sympathy and empathy towards the existence of suffering and the victim of suffering.

For example –

Conflict broke up between A and B, and B generated actions and speech that were hurtful towards A, while C came to know about this.

A might or might not be hurt or suffered because of B’s behavior. While C might think that A should or shouldn’t feel hurt by such behavior, or C might assume that A was or wasn’t hurt by B’s behavior.

In worldly conditioned thinking and reaction – A is a victim, B is responsible for inflicting suffering onto A, while C should get involve by either showing sympathy, or empathy, out of humanity. Or else C is selfish or inhuman, if C choose to be care less and not getting involve at all.

Out of worldly conditioned thinking and reaction, A might feel itself as a victim of other’s bad behavior and feels sympathy towards oneself, and also expects sympathy and empathy from others. Or, out of compassion, A didn’t feel hurt by B and wasn’t angry with B’s behavior, and didn’t think itself as a victim of other’s bad behavior, knowing that B is also a victim of the ignorance and suffering in oneself to behave in such way.

Meanwhile, B might be aware or unaware of it’s behavior could be hurtful and cause suffering onto others. B might be regretful and apologetic, or not. But A and C have the freedom on whether they want to react, or not, and how they would react if they chose to react.

Everyone is free to act and react in their own way. Everyone also takes responsibility for the consequences of their own actions and reactions.

If compassion is absent in C, C might feel empathy for A, or show sympathy towards A standing from the point of view of a third party thinking that A is a victim and deserves empathy and sympathy from others, and C might be disturbed and angry with B’s behavior, even when A wasn’t disturbed or didn’t feel hurt by B’s behavior, not to say if A was disturbed and felt hurt by B’s behavior. Or, C might ignore the situation and be care less and not getting involve at all, thinking that ‘It’s not my problem.” There’s nothing wrong in either these reactions. But, neither these reactions have anything to do with compassion.

If compassion exists in C, C is aware of the truth. C is aware of A’s reaction, whether sympathy from others is needed or not, coming from A’s reaction and it’s not coming from C’s assumption of how A should react. A is also under the influence of ignorance if A feels disturbed and hurt by B’s behavior and expects sympathy or empathy coming from others. C is also aware of B’s behavior is out of ignorance and is also a victim of suffering. There’s no need to be angry with B or B’s behavior at all.

All are the victims of ignorance and suffering except the one who is compassionate.