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.

Advertisements

Existence in now

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be free.

Want to practice yoga? (4)

All the yoga enthusiasts or practitioners are being taught that one shouldn’t follow or blind-believe in any teachings or philosophies from anybody and anywhere, including the teachings of yoga, but to perform self-inquiry to investigate into the truth of all the teachings of yoga. That action of self-inquiry is indeed the main yoga practice. All the other yoga practices are there to assist the mind to be able to be free from all kinds of restlessness and impurities, and allowing the mind to know the truth or seeing the truth as it is.

Contemplate on these teachings to attain self-realization of the teachings of yoga :-
– The body is not me, I am not the body. The mind is not me, I am not the mind.

– Selflessness or the annihilation of the egoism – There is no ‘I’. ‘I’ doesn’t exist.

– The root cause of suffering is ignorance – not knowing the truth of ‘I’ and all the perceptions of names and forms, the illusion of the existence of ‘I’ generates attachment, identification, desires, craving and aversion, reactions of likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, pleasantness and unpleasantness where all kinds of impurities arise and influencing and determining the state of mind.

– Go beyond all the qualities of name and form, including the body and mind and worldly conditioned thinking and beliefs, realize the truth of non-duality or non-separateness or oneness.

– The truth of names and forms is just what they are. Everything is neither good nor bad, neither positive nor negative, neither right nor wrong, neither happiness nor unhappiness.

– Know thyself or knowing oneself as the highest duty above all. All kinds of duties exist to support the highest duty towards oneself.

– The law of impermanence – there’s no ‘I’ exists in all the impermanent changes or transitions, or forming and deforming.

– The observer is undetermined by the action of observing and the object of observation.

– Turning the outgoing mind inward, resting in silence – dispassion and disinterest in worldly objects and ideas.

– The conquest of one’s mind is the highest goal of life existence and to serve humanity.

– The ignorant ones take what is unreal to be real, and take what is real as unreal.

– Performing all duties and responsibilities while renouncing worldly objects and activities.

– The realization of selflessness and compassion will allow one to perform all actions while being undetermined by the fruit of actions, to be liberated from good and bad karma, the cycle of cause and effect, or the wheel of birth and death – Enter into Silence or Samadhi.

– Everything is Maya (illusion). The world is not real and doesn’t exist. Suffering doesn’t exist. Birth and death doesn’t exist. Due to ignorance, the illusory ‘I’ longs for existence to fulfill all its desires. And hence, all kinds of actions and fruit of actions sprung from desires and bring forth the wheel of birth and death, existence and non-existence, all kinds of names and forms are being projected as the worldly existence as the result of cause and effect. Yoga practice is to realize the truth and return to the state beyond names and forms, existence and non-existence, birth and death.

Happy practicing yoga contemplating upon the teachings of yoga.

Om shanti.

Be free, we don’t need to be someone important to be happy and peaceful…

The one who needs to be and feel ‘I’ am someone important, and keeps looking forward to possess certain qualities of name and form to be attached onto and to be identified as who we are, to be better and greater, to feel meaningful and happy about oneself or one’s existence, is the ego.

The ego wants to be recognized, acknowledged and remembered as somebody ‘important’ or ‘great’. Some egos want to be recognized and remembered as bad and evil. As long as we attach onto either good or bad qualities to be who we are, we are not free.

Be free from the ego. We don’t need to be important or great, whether in good or bad qualities, to be who we are. It’s knowing how to love and accept the impermanent body and mind as they are, without expecting ourselves to be identified as somebody whom we are not, that makes everything meaningful. It’s not about ‘I’ want to be important, or ‘I’ want to do something great, or ‘I’ want to feel meaningful, or ‘I’ want my existence to be meaningful. We do our best by making use of the present condition and ability of the physical body and the thinking mind, to serve oneself and others, but without identification with all the qualities of name and form that we have or don’t have, without attachment towards the impermanent condition and ability of the body and mind, what the body and mind can do and can’t do, and all the past and present actions and inactions.

One can be free from the ego and still performing lots of beneficial actions in the world, for oneself and others, without identification of ‘I’ am good, or important, or great, without attachment towards ‘I’ am performing good, or important, or great actions. Without the desire or intention of ‘I’ want to serve humanity, or ‘I’ want to feel good and happy and meaningful.

Be free.

Be kind and compassionate towards oneself…

To be able to accept the reality that we cannot change the truth of impermanence in the worldly life existence that is subject to change, decay, sickness, old age and death, and we cannot make the world to be free from all kinds of physical, mental and emotional suffering, that we have not yet completely be free from ignorance and egoism, to be completely selfless and compassionate, to be free from fear and suffering that derived from attachment or clinging towards worldly life existence, at the same time we are determined to conquer our own mind to be free from ignorance and egoism, without any judgment, comparison and expectation, is being kind and compassionate towards ourselves.

Om shanti.