Feedback for yoga teachers?

Question – How to give feedback to the yoga teacher or tell the yoga teacher in the yoga class to talk less, and not giving too much unnecessary instructions/explanation so that I can be focusing within and be mindful to observe what is going in my body and mind, to observe and connect with my thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations?

Why are you being in a yoga class anyway, especially if you already knew what is the practice of mindfulness and how to turn the mind inward to be observing what is going in the body and mind, and would prefer a mindful practice in silence without the need of following some verbal teachings/instructions/guidance to be performing certain practice that you want to practice?

In the same yoga class, some people would think that the teacher talks too much about the teachings of yoga or gives too many unnecessary instructions that they already knew, while some others would think that the teacher is not talking enough about the teachings and didn’t give enough instructions that they would like to receive from the teacher, according to the different reactions of the different minds that have different understanding and expectation. Some will complain that the yoga class is too intense, while some will complain that it’s too gentle, and some will say it’s just nice, not too intense or overly gentle.

The yoga classes and the yoga teachers are just being what they are. There’s nothing wrong with the yoga classes, or the yoga teachers, or how the yoga teachers conduct the yoga classes. There’s also nothing wrong with yourself and your wish to have some silent moments to be quiet and be mindful towards what is going on within the body and mind. It’s just that most yoga classes are not about ‘performing your own self-practice in silence’. Yoga classes are for people to be learning the teachings of yoga and following the guidance/instructions of a yoga teacher to be learning how to perform the practice. Yoga classes are meant to be somebody constantly delivering the teachings of yoga and giving guidance/instructions to be guiding the people performing the yoga practice. And after the people develop the basic understanding towards the teachings of yoga and learnt how to perform most of the basic yoga practice, they should retreat into solitude and seclusion to be performing self-practice in silence without looking at anyone or listening to some instructions/guidance/explanation to be doing any form of yoga practice.

The frustration and dissatisfaction coming from your mind towards the yoga class is not being the way that you want it to be, and the yoga teacher is being the way that you think it shouldn’t be, is not because there’s something ‘wrong’ or ‘inappropriate’ with the yoga class or the yoga teacher, or how the yoga teacher conducts the yoga class. It’s about you have certain expectation towards the yoga classes to be the way that you think how it should be and not to be in certain way that you think it shouldn’t be, as well as you are not getting what you think you should be getting from a yoga class or the yoga teacher.

If you truly know what are the basic teachings and practice of yoga, and are truly practicing yoga, you would allow the yoga classes and the yoga teachers to be what they are, not necessarily the way that you think how it should be. There’s no attachment and expectation towards the practice and the result of the practice. There’s no attachment and expectation towards the yoga classes, the yoga teachers or how the yoga teachers conduct the yoga classes. There’s mere awareness/acknowledgement towards all the modifications of the mind, including whatever the mind perceives or experiences, as well as towards the habitual behavior of the mind of how the mind reacts spontaneously towards all the perception of names and forms or experiences regardless of pleasant/unpleasant, agreeable/disagreeable and desirable/undesirable names and forms/experiences, without generate attachment, identification, craving and aversion, judgment or expectation towards all the perceived names and forms or experiences has to be or not to be in certain ways.

You should know how to apply the practice of non-attachment, non-craving, non-aversion and non-expectation, inside or outside the yoga class or self-practice, while performing particular yoga practice, or not, And not being distracted/disturbed/annoyed/frustrated by all the names and forms that your mind doesn’t like and doesn’t want which your mind perceives through the senses, of what is going on within and without the body and mind, and allowing all the names and forms/experiences being there as they are. Knowing that they all are impermanent and selfless.

If you truly are performing mindfulness, there’s no frustration or dissatisfaction towards the surrounding environment or the mind itself, for not being able to be focused, to be mindful, to be observing towards what is going on in the body and mind of the thoughts, feelings and sensations due to you think there’s distraction, or disturbance, or annoyance coming from the external names and forms/experiences that your mind perceives/experiences (in this case, it’s about the way how the yoga teacher conducts the yoga class.) Learn how to be mindful towards the mind is unable to be focused or mindful in this present moment now, knowing that even this is impermanent.

Yoga practice is about freeing the mind from the ego and egoism, being a silent witness that is aware of and acknowledging all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses without interference, grasping/attachment, or the desire of craving and aversion, as well as being aware of all the habitual egoistic mind reactions towards all the names and forms, and letting go any existing craving and aversion and expectation towards the names and forms should or shouldn’t be in certain way, should or shouldn’t exist, without attachment towards whatever the mind perceives from within or without the body and mind, remain equanimous under any condition and situation, without judgment and expectation towards all the names and forms/experiences to be or not to be in certain ways based on what the mind thinks and believes what things are, and what the mind likes and dislikes, agrees and disagrees with, or wants and doesn’t want.

It’s about knowing what is selflessness/egolessness/’I’lessness and performing necessary actions out of selfless compassion, not out of egoistic desires, that are free from egoism of attachment, identification, craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation.

If you are practicing mindfulness, you should be mindful towards all the reactions coming from your mind towards the mind perception of names and forms without attachment towards or identification with what is going on in the mind or the modification of the mind of thoughts, feelings, sensations, actions, reactions, memories, imaginations, and so on. It’s about disassociation with the modifications of the mind and not being disturbed by what is going on in the mind, being a silent witness witnessing all the modifications of the mind. It’s not about trying to be free from any external disturbance/distractions from the names and forms/experiences that the mind perceives through the senses. It doesn’t mean that one should be deliberately be in an extreme condition to be practicing yoga, but if a better condition is unavailable, then one learns how to adapt, adjust, accommodate. It doesn’t mean that one should be deliberately confronting with all kinds of difficulty to be practicing yoga, but if there’s unavoidable difficulty, then one learns how to tolerate and forbear.

You think and believe that it’s the happenings outside your body and mind distracting/hindering your mind to be focused and be mindful of what is going on in the body and mind, but actually, all the ‘distraction’/’disturbance’/’hindrance’ are all coming from your mind constantly reacting towards the mind perception of names and forms of what you think is happening outside the body and mind, as your mind doesn’t know what is non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion and non-expectation.

If you already learnt and knew about the practice of turning the mind inward to be mindful of the impermanent and selfless changes in the body and mind, you shouldn’t be ‘disturbed’ by the surrounding environment, and you don’t need to be attending yoga classes or be in a yoga class to be following some guidance (the way that you think how it should be) to be performing your yoga practice or mindfulness practice. You should be performing self-practice in solitude and seclusion, in silence, especially if you think mindfulness can only be done or achieved in a silent environment without any ‘distracting’/’disturbing’/’annoying’ sounds, noises, talking, instructions, or happenings.

Your mind wants/desires to perform the practice of mindfulness and wants to be able to be focused and mindful observing the thoughts, feelings and sensations while attending yoga classes to be doing some yoga practice composed by a yoga teacher, but feels unable to focus and mindful, as your mind thinks and believes that it’s because of the teacher constantly talking and giving instructions in the yoga class that you think is unnecessary, distracting, disturbing and annoying.

Actually, the ‘distraction’/’disturbance’/’annoyance’ existing in your mind is due to your mind generates attachment towards the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, and reacting with aversion and frustration being generated towards something that your mind thinks is ‘hindering’ you from doing what you want to do, and there’s craving towards certain names and forms/experiences that you prefer which is ungratified – I want to be able to be mindful to be observing the thoughts, feelings and sensations, but I can’t do that as the teacher is so annoying. There’s expectation towards a particular environment or situation that you think and believe will allow your mind to be mindful without any external distraction/disturbance/annoyance coming from outside the body and mind.

Learn how to be mindful of all the names and forms that your mind perceives through the senses wherever you are and whatever the surrounding environment is. Needless to choose a particular environment to be mindful towards something that you choose to be mindful about.

Yoga classes are a ‘product’ to meet the demand of the worldly minds that are interested in doing some yoga exercises to look good and feel good, to be fit and healthy, but not so much about learning how to be silent, to free the mind from ignorance, egoism and impurities, to free the mind from passionate desires of craving and aversion, to renounce the worldly affair, relationships and activities, to turn the mind inward resting in the chamber of the heart.

Yoga classes that are about delivering the teachings of yoga and teaching those who are interested in yoga and the yoga practice about how to perform the yoga practice are meant to be someone being there delivering the teachings verbally and physically, while giving instructions on how to perform the different practices. Different teachers have their own way/style of delivering the teachings and how they teach other people to be performing the yoga practice, so that these people can perform all the yoga practice by themselves after learning about the teachings and how to perform the yoga practice. The yoga teachers are just being the way as they are.

Most commercial yoga classes are about a yoga exercise instructor giving instructions leading a group of people doing some physical movements/exercises that would give certain health and fitness benefits to the people, they are not so much about a person delivering the teachings of yoga about freeing the mind from ignorance, egoism and impurities to the students so that they can contemplate upon the teachings, by performing the yoga practice that they learnt in the yoga classes, to purify and quiet the mind, to allow the mind to inquire and see the truth of things. If you think you can perform your own self-practice and you want to go deeper into the practice, but you would like to have certain supervision from some others (teachers) who are more experienced as you aren’t very sure about the practice, then you can look for and participate in either long silent meditation retreat or long silent yoga retreat that are more serious towards silencing and looking into the mind.

Most worldly passionate egoistic minds that aren’t aware of ignorance and egoism in themselves would generate great aversion towards some of the teachings of yoga that they don’t like and disagree with, and generate frustration if they hear or come in contact with any teachings/practice that they don’t like and disagree with. Most minds also generate aversion/dissatisfaction/disagreement towards certain way of the yoga practice and certain style of the class format, or how the teacher delivers specific teachings or how the teacher guides the students performing specific practice. But, it doesn’t matter whether the teachers are ‘good’ or ‘not good’ based on the judgment and expectation of the mind, it’s not so much about the teacher or the yoga class is ‘good’ or ‘not good’, but it’s about how this mind reacting under the influence of ignorance and egoism, and impurities of dissatisfaction, disappointment, frustration and so on.

If this mind knows what is going on in itself, this mind doesn’t need to attend any yoga classes at all to be performing some yoga practice, but there’s nothing wrong also if this mind is being in a yoga class, but then this mind will allow all the talking or teaching or instructions of the yoga teacher in the yoga class to be there as they are, regardless of whether the mind likes or dislikes, agrees or disagrees with the talking, or the teachings, or the instructions. The practice is about developing non-attachment towards all the mind perception of names and forms without being disturbed or determined by the mind perception of names and forms. It’s not about being in a most perfect desirable environment so that the mind won’t be ‘disturbed’ by any names and forms that the mind doesn’t like and doesn’t want, in order to be able to be mindful to be observing the thoughts, feelings or sensations.

What’s the point of developing the practice of mindfulness or observation towards thoughts, feelings and sensations, but not knowing what is non-attachment/non-craving/non-aversion, and constantly feel being ‘distracted’/’disturbed’/’annoyed’/’dissatisfied’/’frustrated’ by the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses towards the surrounding environment, or be disturbed by what is going on in the mind itself, of all kinds of thoughts, feelings, sensations, agreements/disagreements, likes/dislikes, actions and reactions, and the result of actions and reactions?

Be free.

Letting go and let it be, it’s okay

Human beings might be having the opportunity and financial ability to enjoy a higher standard of living with all kinds of education, entertainment, gadget, equipment, comfort, convenience and enjoyment for the senses while living in the modern society of higher technology and creativity, but it doesn’t determine that the minds are free from restlessness/disturbs and other impurities deriving from ignorance and egoism, where there’s so much tension in the minds resulting in losing the ability to think clearly and act properly, affecting the interactions with others in the daily affairs that human beings have to deal with, may it be in relationships or at work, during the process to achieve whatever they want to achieve in life and the world, with great expectation/aspiration towards life and the world to be in certain way that they desire and not to be in certain way that they don’t desire.

It has to come from the mind itself to realize the urgency to be looking after itself before it’s too late, to learn how to let go and let it be, that it’s okay, when things in life are not being the way that the mind would like them to be, even after oneself had tried the best and very hard to achieve a life and a world that one thinks and believes how it should be.

What’s the point of all kinds of opportunity, education, aspiration and effort, but losing the clarity and sanity of the mind while trying to achieve a life and a world that one’s thinking and belief categorized as good, righteous, positive, successful and meaningful life/living/way of life, as the mind couldn’t let go, or let things being what they are, not necessarily pleasant/desirable/agreeable in the way that the mind would like it to be, where the mind is being over-powered by the desire of craving and aversion and great expectation, and drowning itself in frustration, disappointment, dissatisfaction, anger, hatred, hurt, fear and worry?

Just do one’s best, but also be able to let go and let it be, being free from attachment, identification, craving and aversion, and expectation.

The so called ‘negative/bad/wrong/unpleasant/undesirable/disagreeable’ things in life or the world don’t hurt the mind or what the mind thinks and believes as ‘I’, but it’s the egoistic attachment, identification, craving and aversion and expectation in the mind that is hurting the mind.

It’s everyone’s freedom whether they want to let go, to maintain the clarity and sanity of the thinking mind, or not.

Live in the present, respect the world and life as it is

“Live in the present, respect the world and life as it is, free from craving and aversion, all this is impermanent and it’s not ‘I’.”

Being free from attachment and identification with the selfless function and condition of the physical body and the thinking mind, as well as all the mind perception of names and forms of pleasant/unpleasant life experiences with all kinds of desirable/undesirable relationship with beings and objects, being undetermined by actions and the fruit of actions, respecting the law of nature of cause and effect, transcending the duality of good and bad, positive and negative, right and wrong, happiness and unhappiness, meaningfulness and meaninglessness, success and failure, achievement and non-achievement, praise and condemn, and absence of worldly passionate desire or expectation towards everything to be or not to be in certain way.

The disturbed/hurting mind is being disturbed/hurt by itself being ignorant towards itself. Restlessly being disturbed/determined by the desire of craving and aversion towards past experiences and future anticipation.

Know thyself and be free.

Huge amount of different kinds of yoga and meditation practice, teaching and sharing is nothing, if the mind doesn’t work on freeing itself from ignorance and egoism, being determined by the mind perception of a worldly life existence with egoistic attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion and expectation towards the world and life to be or not to be in certain way.

Some people don’t practice yoga or meditation and don’t relate themselves with spirituality or humanity activism, but they are liberated minds being free from ignorance and egoism, performing actions selflessly in discreet without attachment and identification or expectation towards the actions and the fruit of actions, respecting the law of cause and effect, without desire/intention/ambition to change the world and life to be or not to be in certain way, respecting the world and life as it is.

Social conversation / talking / sharing / caring?

Most people need/like/love to talk to some other people most of the time, or even talking to themselves if other people are not available. Talking is a normal thing to do, and a common way to know, learn, express and share, or to have an activity to pass time to chase away boredom and to gratify curiosity. In many cultures in the society, it’s considered ‘rude’, or ‘impolite’, or ‘inappropriate’, or ‘wrong’, or ‘something is wrong’, if there’s silence among people (especially for a prolonged period of time), or if someone doesn’t interact with other people or doesn’t get involved in a conversation with other people around, especially those who know one another, even if someone who can’t hear or speak, or don’t speak the same language, or those who are new comers/complete strangers showing up in a place with some other people around, are also being ‘expected’ to have at least some sort of body language/facial expression/sign language/gesture to be conversing/interacting/communicating with other people. People would feel offended, or disrespected, or mistreated, if they don’t get any ‘expected’ response from people whom they talk to, where either people didn’t give any response or people talked about something that they don’t like to hear.

Many people aren’t satisfy with some people just giving a friendly non-intimidating smile to acknowledge or greet other people, but they believe and expect that all human beings need to have certain physical/mental/emotional conversation/communication/interaction/involvement with each other to build a ‘healthy’ and ‘caring’ society. Someone who keeps to oneself, who has no unfriendly discrimination or intimidation towards everyone else, but doesn’t interested in engaging in any kind of physical/mental/emotional contact/conversation/interaction/communication/involvement with anyone, is being seen as ‘wrong’, ‘selfish’, ‘unhealthy’, or ‘sicked’, by all the others who ‘expect’ certain ‘normal’ and ‘healthy’ behavior/action/reaction/interaction among ‘normal’ and ‘healthy’ human beings.

Many passionate/sociable/friendly/caring people couldn’t understand or respect there are people who prefer complete quietness/solitude or some quiet/alone time/space for themselves. People would either feel ‘bad’ or get ‘offended’ when other people reject or don’t accept their friendly invitation to meet up, or get together, or to chat.

People need/want to share ‘what I think is who I am’ and ‘how I think and feel’ with other people and they want other people to share with them ‘what they think is who they are’ and ‘how they think and feel’. Majority of the worldly so called ‘normal’, ‘healthy’, ‘friendly’ and ‘caring’ society is all about developing and empowering that ‘self-identity’ which attached and identified with certain qualities of names and forms and ‘the modification of the mind of impermanent thinking and feelings’ as ‘this is I’, that is not ‘I’ in yoga of selflessness/namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness.

For those who know each other, mostly the conversation begins with “How are you?” and then naturally will be followed by talking about the past and the future, “What have you been doing and where did you go and what’s next?” while for those first time meeting/knowing each other, it’s mostly talking about self-introduction of each other about “Who I am/who you are.” or “This is me and my name/my nationality/my life/my family/my relationship/my friends/my experience/my knowledge/my interest/my ambition/my passion/my vision/my point of view/my ideas/my talent/my skill/my achievement/my non-achievement/my success/my failure/my pride/my shame/my good/my bad/my happiness/my unhappiness/my guilt and regret, and so on. This is who I am, where I come from/where I live and what I do for living and at free time, and what I think/believe/feel/like/dislike/agree with/disagree with/want/don’t want, my good/bad/happy/unhappy experiences, and what I did in the past and will be doing in the future.” as well as talking about “This is good/better/right/positive/excellent/happy/funny/meaningful/encouraging and that is bad/worse/wrong/negative/terrible/unhappy/sad/meaningless/discouraging.” or ‘obligated manner’ of pleasant words, praise and compliment. And sometimes there will be scheming, plotting, cover-up/made-up stories telling, or hypocrisy, or lies, or gossip, or mocking, or teasing, or flirting, or criticism, or condemn, or slander, or back-biting, or argument, or intimidation, and etc.

Social conversation or talking is an intense physical/mental/emotional energy consuming process that keeps the mind ceaselessly busy and restless receiving/processing inputs and generating/delivering outputs, while all these ceaseless mind inputs and outputs generate further random mental/emotional imprints that doesn’t allow the mind to be quiet, and unwittingly empowering egoism of worldly/spiritual attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation that feeds ignorance in oneself and others.

For those who sincerely want to meditate or practice yoga to be free from ignorance, it’s all about freeing the mind from being unwittingly empowering all those names and forms, of duality, attachment, identification, past experiences/future anticipation, passionate desires, craving/aversion, judgment, comparison, expectation, restlessness, impurities, and etc, to stop feeding egoism and ignorance. And hence, the important practice of silence, renunciation, seclusion and solitude.

Without renunciation from the worldly society, one is being ‘obliged’ to meet up/get together/communicate/interact with many other people of family/relatives/friends circle/community and spend so much energy into social conversation/interaction/communication/activity with all the others around in order to ‘build’ and ‘maintain’ a ‘healthy, caring and friendly society’ that might make the mind feels ‘love’, ‘kindness’, ‘acknowledgement’, ‘goodness’, ‘positiveness’, ‘liveliness’ and ‘meaningfulness’. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it doesn’t help to free the mind from ignorance and egoism, to quiet/annihilate the restless modification of the mind. Instead, the mind might attached stronger onto the sense of ‘love’, ‘kindness’, ‘acknowledgement’, ‘goodness’, ‘positiveness’, ‘liveliness’ and ‘meaningfulness’ deriving from the impermanent and selfless worldly names and forms of all kinds of attachment and egoistic identity and actions/the fruit of actions.

From the perception/achievement/notion of “Life in this world is good and meaningful.” there arise the desire of “We need to preserve and protect life in this world to stay good and meaningful.” and then there arise ‘dissatisfaction’, ‘frustration’, ‘hurts’, ‘depression’, ‘unhappiness’, ‘anger’, ‘disappointment’, ‘fear’, ‘worry’, and etc, when things are not being the way that the mind desire it to be, when there’s obstacles/difficulties/circumstances that hinder the gratification of that desire to be building/maintaining/protecting what the mind think and believe as ‘good and meaningful life in this world’. This is attachment/clinging/craving/expectation.

First, there’s an idea/thought arise in the mind, then there arise attachment/clinging onto that idea/thought and there arise desire to materialize that idea/thought to become action/creation, and then there’s possessiveness/identification/expectation/protection towards that action/creation and the result/fruit of that action/creation. If things turn out to be the way that is not what the mind desire/expect it to be, the mind feels disturbed/dissatisfied/disappointed/hurt/sad/unhappy/depressed/frustrated/angry/aggressive/violent and so on. And ceaseless random ideas/thoughts arise to counter those ‘tension’ accumulating in the mind. Restless.

Those who have firm foundation in non-attachment/dispassion, or those who know thyself/selflessness, or maybe those who think and believe “I have done and achieved everything that I desire and I can die in peace without regret.” can mix into the worldly society and perform many actions to help to build a ‘caring and friendly society’ in the world, but without being distracted or influenced by the constant restless physical/mental/emotional interaction/activity, being undetermined by the actions and the fruit of actions, being free from disturbs, hurts, disappointment, dissatisfaction, frustration, or guilt/regret. This is non-attachment/non-clinging/non-craving/non-expectation.

One can mix with many people and constantly talk about “This is my name, my nationality, my family, my friends, my relatives, my community, my past, my present, my future, my actions and fruit of my actions, my thinking/belief/culture/point of view/feelings/emotions/experiences, or this and that is happening/has happened/will be happening here and there, and so on.” as all these names and forms are what most people talk about in any conversation and where people identifying with all these names and forms as “who they think they are”, but all these names and forms are not “who I am” or ‘I’ for the minds that know thyself/selflessness.

When someone is being alone or in silence being in their own ‘space’, people around will ask, “Are you okay? Is there something bothering you? You can talk to me. I’m here to listen.”

There’s nothing wrong when people feel sad, or unhappy, or depressed, or disappointed, or frustrated, or negative once in a while, and most people feel they need to talk to someone to share their feelings and what’s bothering them, to release some tension or to get some advice. People don’t have to be okay, or satisfy, or happy all the time. But those who know what is going on in the mind, there is nothing to be sad, unhappy, depressed, disappointed, frustrated or negative about, that need to be talking or sharing with someone else, or to release any tension, as there’s no tension built up, or to get any advice, as there’s no problems.

Those who know this, they can be happy as they are, no matter what.

Those who don’t know this, they don’t have to be happy all the time and they can’t be happy no matter what. It’s okay sometimes the mind is not okay and not happy with certain things. There’s nothing wrong with that. But when they think no body is being there to share their thinking/feelings/problems, to be talking to other people, or to be listening by other people, they might feel more sad, unhappy, disappointed, depressed, frustrated, or negative. And hence, people believe that “People should be available to be talking to and listening to other people all the time. It would make people who need to talk feel better and it brings the sense of meaningfulness to those who listen.” There’s nothing wrong with that but it doesn’t free the mind from ignorance/attachment/craving/expectation. Just like giving an unhappy and crying child the sweets and sugary drinks that the child wants every time to make the child stop being unhappy and crying if the child doesn’t get the sweets and sugary drinks, doesn’t really help the child at all. There’s no freedom.

“It feels so much better talking to you. Let’s meet up regularly and talk more.” and “Talking to me can make you feel better and make me feel so meaningful. Let’s meet up and talk more often.” If for some reasons that these two people are not possible to meet up and talk as expected, both would feel bad, sad and disappointed. There’s no freedom.

Just like practicing yoga exercises and teaching yoga to other people would generate the momentary sense of well-being, goodness and meaningfulness, and if for some reasons one couldn’t practice yoga exercises or teach yoga for a prolonged period of time, one would feel frustrated, disappointed and meaningless. There’s no freedom.

Most people/minds don’t like to hear this.

“Compassion is not about giving the mind what it likes and wants, or what it craves for, to be empowering the ignorance and egoism in the mind to make it feels better, good, satisfied or happy. Compassion is allowing the suffering unhappy disturbed mind to inquire into the truth of suffering, unhappiness and disturbs, by freeing the mind from ignorance, egoism, restlessness and impurities, to see the truth of the root cause of all suffering of disturbs/hurts/unhappiness/disappointment/dissatisfaction/fear/worry, where all suffering is deriving from one’s ignorance and egoism or ceaseless egoistic mind reactions towards the gratification/non-gratification of the desire of craving and aversion. If one’s desire is being gratified by getting what one likes and wants, and not getting what one doesn’t like and doesn’t want, then the mind reacts and feels good, satisfied and happy. And when one’s desire is not being gratified, where one is not getting what one likes and wants, but is getting what one doesn’t like and doesn’t want, then the mind reacts and feels bad, dissatisfied and unhappy. It’s nothing to do with the experiences/names and forms being ‘bad’, ‘wrong’, ‘terrible’, ‘disturbing’, or ‘hurtful’.

The teachings/practice/process of freeing the mind from ignorance and egoism, it’s not something pleasant or agreeable to the ignorant egoistic mind at all, but it can free the mind from suffering deriving from ignorance and egoism.

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to practice, or not.

Be free.

Broken /complicated relationship involving third party?

Broken/complicated relationship involving third party is not something uncommon nowadays.

There might be different kinds of situation exist in any relationship. It doesn’t matter what kind of situation, most people would think and believe and expect that two people should commit themselves to be loyal and faithful towards one another being in a ‘committed’ relationship, if oneself has no sincerity to be ‘committed’ and ‘faithful’ in a relationship, then just don’t get into a relationship with anyone, as whether wittingly or unwittingly, oneself will cause ‘hurts’ to the other person in the relationship with oneself. But in many relationships, two people have love for each other in the beginning, and want to be in a relationship together, but after some time, the ‘feeling of love’ is less, or is not there anymore, where they don’t feel love towards the partner anymore, and either they don’t want to be in the relationship anymore, or they would want to look for the ‘feeling of love’ in other love affairs/relationships with other people.

For example, A and B is in a so called ‘committed’ relationship, while B is also having an open or secret love affair/relationship with C.

In such relationship that involved ‘third party’, most people would think that A is the ‘victim’, while B and C are the ‘selfish and immoral’ bad people that are hurting A. A should deserved sympathy and support from others, while B and C should be blamed and condemned for being ‘selfish and immoral and hurtful’. But for those who understand ‘love’ and ‘relationship’, no one is being a ‘victim’ and no one is being ‘selfish/immoral/hurtful’ bad people in a broken/complicated relationship.

There’s neither right nor wrong in ‘love relationship’ even if it’s ‘broken’, whether with or without involving third party. It’s just a relationship didn’t turn out to be the way that most people desire/expect it to be, as well as there’s no ‘love’ in such relationship. And there’s nothing wrong if there’s no ‘love’, or an expected relationship is non-existing, or a relationship is discontinued, for any reason.

If there’s love in the relationship, the relationship won’t be broken/damaged, it’s either a relationship that continues or discontinued/came to an end, due to any reason, in peace. If there’s love from oneself towards the partner, one will have loving kindness, self-control and decency to not commit in any behavior that would be ‘hurtful’ to the partner in the relationship with oneself, whether wittingly or unwittingly. Even if there’s ‘feeling of love’ in the relationship in the beginning, and the ‘feeling of love’ is impermanent, it will change and disappear. But, if there’s love, then even though sometimes the ‘feeling of love’ is less, or not there anymore, one will still be kind to the partner in the relationship with oneself, and would not behave in the way that would be ‘hurtful’ to the partner, not because of the sense of ‘commitment’ or ‘obligation’ towards a ‘committed’ relationship, but out of loving kindness.

There’s nothing wrong either if one feels hurt/disappointed/angry thinking and believing oneself is being ‘a victim’ of other people’s unloving/unfaithful/hurtful/immoral behavior. Everyone has the rights and freedom to feel what they want to feel and react the way that they want to react. But then, one must also understand that if one feels hurt/disappointed/angry, it’s because one doesn’t really love the partner as he/she is, one only loves one’s desire and expectation towards the partner and the relationship has to be in certain ways. One has desire and expectation towards the relationship and the partner to be in certain way, and when things turn out to be not the way that one desires or expects, when one is getting something that one doesn’t like, doesn’t want and doesn’t agree with, and when one is losing what one likes (the relationship and the partner being in certain ways that one desires it to be), or what one likes (the perfect faithful loving partner/relationship) is no longer available, or is ‘disturbed’, or has changed into something else, that’s why one feels hurt/disappointed/angry. It’s not because the partner or the relationship is ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’ that cause the ‘hurts/disappointment/anger’ in oneself, but, it’s because one doesn’t love the partner as he/she is, but only loves what one likes/desires/expects.

It’s how everyone/human beings/the untrained egoistic minds react towards ‘ungratified desires’ of “This is not what I like and want and expect.”, or “I am not getting what I like and want, but I’m getting what I don’t like and don’t want.” or “This is something wrong/bad/hurtful/undeserving happening to me.”

If there’s correct understanding towards ‘love’ and ‘relationship’, then there would be no hard/hurtful/bitter feelings where people can let go the relationship in peace, one won’t see oneself as ‘a victim of the unfaithfulness/betrayal of the partner in a broken relationship’ or ‘a victim of the intrusion of the lover of one’s partner that causes my relationship to be broken’. And there’s no blame or condemn towards the partner and the lover that they should be guilty for being ‘the selfish bad people that cause this relationship to be broken/damaged’.

This is really nothing to do with whether the partner and his/her lover in the love affair/relationship are being ‘selfish’, ‘unfaithful’, ‘disloyal’, ‘immoral’, ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’, or not. It’s about how oneself thinks, understands, feels and reacts being in such situation, where one’s partner is involved in a love affair/relationship with another person.

If a person would commit in a love affair/relationship with another person other than the one in a relationship with oneself, whether wittingly or unwittingly, it indicates that this person doesn’t really ‘love’ the partner. He/she loves it’s desire for satisfaction. When he/she is not satisfied with his/her partner, when he/she is not getting what it desires/expects from the partner, he/she will be looking for something/someone else to gratify its desire for satisfaction, love, passion, pleasure, interaction, or lust. And that’s common ‘human’s nature’, or the normal behavior of the untrained minds under the influence of desires.

Everyone has the rights or freedom whether they want to love anyone, or don’t want to love anyone, or stop loving someone, or having too much ‘feeling of love’ that needs to be shared with many people at the same time, or want to be in many different love affairs/relationships at one time, or whether they are satisfied/dissatisfied being in a ‘committed’ relationship with somebody.

If one truly loves the partner in the relationship with oneself, one will love this person as he/she is, even if the partner doesn’t love oneself, or stop loving oneself, or being ‘the god/goddess of love’ who needs to ‘love’ as many people as possible. One doesn’t need to be in a relationship with this person, to possess this person to be mine. One doesn’t expect this person to be faithful and loyal, or expect the love from this person doesn’t change, or won’t disappear, or ‘should be for me only’. One allows this person to have or don’t have the ‘feeling of love’ for oneself, or stop loving oneself, or doesn’t love oneself, or prefer to love and be with someone else. One can let go the person that doesn’t love oneself, or let go a relationship that doesn’t have ‘love’ or couldn’t continue, in peace, and allow this person to love and be with other people that he/she loves.

One won’t feel hurt/disappointed/angry towards the partner who doesn’t love oneself or towards the relationship that is not the way that how most people would like it to be. Because if the partner loves oneself, then there’s no need any expectation from oneself, without the sense of obligation to be committed and be faithful in a relationship with oneself, but out of loving kindness towards oneself, he/she will have self-control and decency, where he/she will not do anything that would cause ‘hurts’ or ‘damages’ to oneself or this relationship, not even behind one’s knowledge, regardless of whether there’s the ‘feeling of love’ existing, or not. One would know how to ‘keep a respectful distance’ with others who have the tendency to ‘fall in love’ with oneself, as one doesn’t need to look for satisfaction in ‘love affairs/relationships’.

One cannot expect ‘love’ from anyone, but allowing others whether to ‘love’ oneself, or not. One cannot expect how other people should love oneself or behave in a relationship, but allowing others to love us the way as they are. There’s no such thing as “Once you love me and being in a ‘committed’ relationship with me, you will have to be forever faithful and loyal to me, and loving me only.” And if, one realizes that the partner doesn’t love oneself, one can choose to continue or let go the relationship, in peace, without bitterness. There’s neither right nor wrong, either way.

There’s even no need of ‘forgiveness’, if one truly loves the partner as he/she is, even if the partner is being unfaithful, as one is undisturbed/unhurt by the partner’s ‘unfaithfulness’ at all, but would let go of him/her and the relationship. One doesn’t feel bad about oneself or thinking that one is not good enough, if the partner doesn’t love oneself, if one knows love.

Unfortunately, many people couldn’t let go in peace, and be disturbed by hard/hurtful/bitter/angry feelings that doesn’t help to make things better, and might do things that hurt oneself or the partner and the people whom the partner loves.

There’s nothing wrong if one realizes that oneself doesn’t love the partner, and one should be honest and straightforward to let this person knows that “I don’t love you.” or “I don’t feel love for you.” or “I don’t want to be with you in a relationship.” or “I want to be with someone else.” This honesty won’t hurt, if people are matured enough to understand ‘love’ and ‘relationship’. But it would cause deeper ‘hurts/disappointment/anger/hatred’ by being untruthful to oneself and the partner, pretending that one loves the partner very much, but in truth, one doesn’t love the partner, and one won’t be satisfied being with that partner, and would try to find satisfaction in some other love affairs/relationships with other lovers. People who are matured enough would let go the person whom they love very much to be with the people whom this person loves, in peace. That’s love.

When two people don’t hurt one another out of dissatisfaction/disappointment/anger/hurts, then even though there’s no ‘feeling of love’ from one or both of them, or they are not in a relationship, that’s love. Where/what is love, if one or two people keep hurting each other out of feeling of hurts/anger/disappointment being in a relationship that is not the way that they like it to be?

If people are not matured enough to accept ‘honesty’ or ‘the truth’ in peace, when people whom they think they love very much are being honest and straightforward telling them that “I don’t love you.” or “I don’t want to be in a relationship with you.” or “I want to love and be with someone else.”, then it’s their own responsibility if they don’t like that honesty or the truth, and react with feeling hurt/disappointed/angry for losing what they like and want, or not getting what they like and want, but getting what they don’t like and don’t want. And this relationship won’t be peaceful and harmony anyway, even if they continue to be in a relationship, because they don’t really love whom they think they love very much. There will be lots of ‘tension’ and ‘unhappiness’ derived from ‘ungratified desires’ and ‘expectation’ in this relationship all the time.

Be free, to love or be loved, or not.

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, and to feel less lonely or to escape loneliness. 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.

Go beyond the sense of contentment, joy and meaningfulness

This teaching is for those who want to go beyond the limited mind perception of ‘good and bad’, ‘right and wrong’, ‘meaningfulness and meaninglessness’, who are interested in transcending worldly life existence of the function of an impermanent and selfless physical body and the mind perception of names and forms that is subject to the suffering of ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness, birth, hunger, thirst, ungratified desires, separation from people and things that one loves, coming in contact with people and things that one dislikes and disagrees with, impermanent changes, decay, old age, illness and death, but somehow, the mind is still being determined by the qualities of names and forms, and be disturbed by the situation in the world that is not the way that the mind would like it to be.

Those who have already gone beyond ‘goodness’ and ‘badness’, ‘meaningfulness’ and meaninglessness’, being peaceful as they are, being undisturbed or undetermined by all the qualities of names and forms, they don’t need this teaching.

Those who are aware of the truth of impermanence and selflessness, but they are not interested in silencing the modification of the mind to transcend the mind perception of a worldly life existence of restless ceaseless births and deaths, instead, they just want to enjoy life to the maximum. That’s their freedom.

Those who are not interested in transcending the worldly life existence of a body and mind that is subject to suffering, who believe in positive thinking/mind power to change the world to be a better place, who attached onto the presence of ‘goodness’ or ‘meaningfulness’ and the absence of ‘badness’ or ‘meaninglessness’, to feel good, content, happy and meaningful in life, they don’t need to take up this teaching and practice. Be happy.

The teaching and practice of yoga to eliminate ignorance and egoism is beyond the desire of craving and aversion towards names and forms. There’s neither clinging onto pleasant/desirable worldly life experiences nor aversion towards unpleasant/undesirable worldly life experiences. But merely seeing the truth of impermanence and selflessness of the body and mind as it is, and making use of this worldly life existence as the precious platform to transcend the mind perception of a worldly life existence of an impermanent selfless body and mind that is subject to the suffering of ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness.

One can develop great tolerance and forbearance to endure suffering when suffering arise, repeatedly, without aversion, but one doesn’t have to endure any suffering at all. Suffering doesn’t exist upon the annihilation of the cause of suffering – The modification of the mind under the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities.

There is hidden attachment that bind the mind to worldly life existence that is unaware by the mind that attached onto ‘goodness’ and ‘righteousness’ that give rise to the sense of ‘contentment, joy and meaningfulness’ towards the ‘achievement’ of “I am living a good and meaningful life doing the good and the right things. Life is good and meaningful.”

Just as the impure mind easily falls in love with or attached onto the objects of names and forms that appear to be good, pleasant, attractive, beautiful, lovable, enjoyable, fun, or cute. The mind naturally attached onto the sense of ‘contentment, joy and meaningfulness’ deriving from “I am doing the good and the right thing” achieving what the mind perceives as ‘goodness’ and ‘righteousness’.

There’s nothing wrong with appreciating ‘goodness’ and it’s very good to feel ‘contentment, joy and meaningfulness’ due to the presence of ‘goodness’ and the absence of ‘badness’. Just that the mind could unwittingly attached onto the presence of ‘goodness’ that give rise to the sense of ‘contentment, joy and meaningfulness’, where the mind will be disturbed/disappointed/dissatisfied when the presence of goodness is disturbed/interrupted/unavailable.

Many people like to engage in community works because the minds can easily find the sense of ‘contentment, joy and meaningfulness’ working or serving in a particular community, to be able to contribute to the community and seeing others getting the help/assistance that they need to achieve a similar goal. This is very good especially for those who suffer depression.

Within a particular community, even though everyone is not perfect and there might be conflicts of different opinions and personal desires of want and doesn’t want, but all are following the similar values, thinking and belief, and are doing their best to work their way towards the same goal under the same vision of that particular community. For example, a Buddhist engaging in selfless service/karma yoga to serve the others in the Buddhist community, or a Muslim engaging in serving the others in the Muslim community, or a Christian engaging in serving the others in the Christian community, or someone engaging in serving a particular community in need of shelter, food, love and care.

It’s even better, as what most people would hope for, if regardless of all the different religious/cultural/spiritual/social/national/political thinking and belief, everyone has one similar universal goal of achieving the similar ‘good and meaningful life’, where everyone works together to maintain peace and harmony in the diverse world of different groups of communities with different thinking and belief, values and way of life, while respecting each other for being different from one another without interference/intrusion towards others who are different from ‘I’ or ‘my thinking and belief’ and ‘my community of a particular values, thinking and belief’. That would be so nice, a world without fear, discrimination, prejudice, hatred, unrest, animosity, invasion, intrusion, clashes, violence, wars, killings, and etc.

But the reality is not necessarily the way that the mind would like it to be. For those who don’t know yoga/dharma, this is depressing and negative. For those who know yoga/dharma, this is not depressing or negative. It’s just the truth of the world of impure minds functioning under the influence of ignorance and egoism.

The different communities of different thinking and belief, values and way of life, goal and vision that are under the influence of ignorance and egoism will most likely being protective/defensive towards their own community out of survival instinct, discriminating/condemning/bullying/attacking others who are not from one’s community, and treating the other communities that are different from oneself as potential enemies that might generate threats to one’s community. There is always unrest, distrust, offensiveness, animosity, tension and fear towards the others might offend/intrude/invade/conquer oneself. This is truly unnecessary, but that’s the way it is in this world due to ignorance and egoism.

It’s not difficult to attain the sense of ‘contentment, joy and meaningfulness’ while serving in a particular community that has the similar goal and vision, thinking and belief, even though everyone is not perfect. But when come to the reality of a world of diversity, of different communities with different thinking and belief about what is right and wrong/good and bad, having different ways of cultural/religious/social/spiritual practice, different values and ways of life with different goals and visions that give rise to different meanings of ‘good and meaningful life’, where most of the minds are not free from the influence of ignorance and egoism, there will be many challenges and difficulties and frustration.

The mind would feel disappointed, tired, frustrated and depressed about the situation in the world that is under the deep influence of ignorance and egoism, that is not in the control/desire of ‘I’ about how ‘I’ would like it to be, no matter how good ‘I’ am, how much good actions/sacrifices ‘I’ have done, how positive/optimism is my mind, or how much ‘I’ want to help to bring peace and harmony into the world.

The mind will be in great disappointment, tiredness, frustration and depression, if one has ‘wishful thinking’ or expectation towards all beings in the world should put aside all the differences and work together towards living in peace and harmony among all the different communities.

If the mind can be free from attachment and ‘wishful thinking’ or expectation, and goes beyond that ‘disappointed, tired, frustrated and depressed’ reaction in the mind, and starts to see the truth of the nature of the impure minds and understand that this is the nature of the beings in the world under the influence of ignorance and egoism, it will let go the ‘wishful thinking’ of hoping everyone will be free from selfishness to work together to make the world a peaceful harmony place that is free from fear, discrimination, hatred, prejudice, unjust, corruption, violence, bullying, oppression, invasion, intrusion, killings, wars and all sorts of human religious/cultural/racial/national/social/political tension, clashes and conflicts.

When the mind is free from ignorance and egoistic attachment, there’s no difference between ‘good life’ and ‘not good life’, or ‘meaningfulness’ and ‘meaninglessness’. Life is just what it is. It’s neither good nor not good, neither meaningful nor meaningless. This mind will be free from disappointment, tiredness, frustration and depression towards the reality of a world of diversity under the influence of ignorance and egoism that is not necessarily the way that it would like it to be based on certain thinking and belief about what is ‘good and bad’, ‘right and wrong’ and ‘meaningful and meaningless’.

Once the mind is free from the attachment towards a particular thinking and belief about ‘goodness or badness’ and ‘righteousness or wrongfulness’, this mind can serve the world of different diversities, without attachment towards a particular thinking and belief, without discrimination/interference towards the different thinking and beliefs, without being disturbed by the reality that is not necessary pleasant or nice. There’s neither contentment nor discontentment, neither meaningfulness nor meaninglessness. The world is just what it is. Minds are just what they are, mostly behaving under the influence of ignorance and egoism restlessly.

Even those who are highly educated are not necessary free from ignorance and egoism that generate discrimination, prejudice, hatred, violence, or intrusion towards others who are different from them whom they disagree with and dislike, as they attached onto their own thinking and belief about what is ‘goodness and badness’ or ‘righteousness and wrongfulness’ to judge and condemn everyone and everything. And that’s their freedom. But they have no peace due to the egoistic reactions and impurities in their minds towards names and forms that they dislike and disagree with.

One can be doing lots of selfless service/karma yoga to serve others in a community under one similar thinking and belief (not too challenging), or serve others in the world of different communities under different thinking and belief (extremely challenging), but one is undetermined or undisturbed by one’s action and the fruit of action.

Not even attached onto, “Even if I can bring joy/goodness/happiness/meaningfulness/awareness to just one person, and change this person’s life, it’s already good enough.” Let it go.

There’s no disappointment, tiredness, frustration or depression, if the world is still full of fear, discrimination, hatred, prejudice, unjust, corruption, violence, bullying, oppression, killings, wars and all sorts of human religious/cultural/racial/national/social/political tension, clashes and conflicts everywhere, even though one has done a lot to serve others in the world, to bring awareness, peace and harmony into the world.

Expectation

Though it’s just a simple word, ‘expectation’ is one of the greatest influence in the human minds towards almost all and everything in the impermanent and selfless life existence. It gives motivation, hope and the sense of achievement and meaningfulness to many people.

Expectation from oneself towards oneself, towards the physical and mental ability or achievement, one’s effort and the outcome of one’s effort, and all kinds of relationship/connection with different beings and things.

Expectation from oneself towards other people, the society, the environment, or the world, to be the way that how one would like it to be, that one thinks and believes how it should be, and not to be the way that one thinks it shouldn’t be.

One might also being bound/determined by expectation from other people/the society towards oneself and unwittingly want to meet up with the expectation from other people/the society towards oneself, in order to earn liking, love, attention, respect, praise, compliment, agreement, acknowledgement, support, friendship, companionship, and etc, from other people/the society.

To many people, ‘expectation’ is a positive necessity or important motivation for making progress/improvement or to excel in the life of human beings. People think and believe that human beings need to have certain degrees of expectation from oneself and/or others to push oneself and/or other people around to progress, improve or excel in everything of life, throughout the different life stages of childhood, adulthood, parenthood, middle age, old age, education, learning, building social network, friendships, relationships, career, family, or contribution towards the society, the world, or life existence, and so on.

To those who see the truth of the mind perception of a worldly life existence that is impermanent and selfless, ‘expectation’ is unnecessary when the mind is free from ignorance and egoism, as ‘expectation’ is merely part of the egoism of attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, judgment and comparison that relates to restlessness, dissatisfaction, disappointment, unhappiness, frustration, anger, hurt, greed, fear and worry, which leads to the accumulation of physical and mental tension that gives rise to tension/stress related physical and mental illness, abusive behavior towards oneself and others, family and relationships problems, social problems, and etc.

Those who have some basic correct understanding towards life existence that is impermanent and selfless, who know the ability and limitation of their body and mind, who are endowed with dispassion, non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving/aversion, non-judgment, non-comparison and intentionlessness, being unattached towards the actions and the fruit of actions, they don’t need any ‘expectation’ from oneself and/or others to motivate or push them to perform necessary and wholesome actions, to do good or improve.

They don’t have expectation towards other people, life, the society, or the world, ‘hoping’ or ‘expecting’ that everyone and everything to be in certain ways, but they just do their best according to the ability and limitation of the body and mind, make use of the available knowledge, skill and opportunity to perform necessary and wholesome actions through the body and mind for the well-being of oneself and/or others, but they allow the result of their actions or efforts to be there as it is, being undetermined by their actions/efforts or the fruit of their actions/efforts.

In the worldly egoistic thinking and behavior pattern, there is intention to inspire or motivate one to perform actions, then expectation towards the fruit of actions comes along. If the mind can realize the truth and be free from this worldly egoistic thinking and behavior pattern, that’s a great liberation, even though the life existence of the body and mind is still bound by the law of nature – Cause and effect, impermanence and selflessness. If the mind doesn’t realize this and is determined by this worldly egoistic thinking and behavior pattern, then one is not free, even though one can attain all the relationships and things that one would like to have in life, as one will always be disturbed/dissatisfied/disappointed by something that is not the way that how one thinks it should be, that one doesn’t like, doesn’t want and doesn’t agree with.

Ask ourselves honestly about what is the motivation/intention that makes us think and feel that we need to have ‘something’ or ‘someone’. And once we have that ‘something’ or ‘someone’, naturally we have expectation towards that ‘something’ or ‘someone’ to ‘deliver’ what we expect to be ‘getting’, to ‘fulfill’ or ‘gratify’ the motivation/intention/reason/desire of why we need or want to have that ‘something’ or ‘someone’. What are we so afraid of if we don’t have that ‘something’ or ‘someone’ being there existing in our life, or if we lose that ‘something’ or ‘someone’?

“Do good, because it makes you feel good and happy.”
“Give, and you will receive more in return.”
“Do good, and goodness will return to you.”
“Be nice to other people, other people will be nice to you too.”
“I did this for you/I gave you this/I helped you, you should be grateful and thankful.”
“I help you, you help me too.”
“Be generous and help other people, and people will return your generosity and help.”
“Pray to God, and God will bless you with what you desire.”

Why not just be kind, be friendly, be generous, be helpful and be supportive, or just pray to God, without any intention/motivation/expectation?

Those who know, they will be kind/friendly/helpful/supportive towards all and everything according to one’s ability, without discrimination of ‘friends’ or ‘not friends’, and there’s no motivation/intention/expectation to be receiving something desirable/help/support/kindness/goodness/friendliness/friendships in return for being kind/friendly/helpful/supportive.

Those who don’t know, there is fear. Fear of not getting what they want and fear of losing what they want or getting what they don’t want. Fear of the unknown, nothingness, hardship, difficulty, boredom, loneliness, meaninglessness, helplessness, unloved, left-out, companionless, non-acknowledgement, and so on. There’s is this idea or thinking – “I deserve this and that in return for my efforts/kindness/helpfulness/friendliness/generosity/contribution.”

“I want to be good enough for myself and other people. I want to be able to accept myself being the way that I want myself to be, and I want other people to accept me being the way that they want me to be.” But why do we think that we need to be good enough/be in certain ways in order to be accepted by ourselves, or other people, or the society, or the world? We don’t have to.

Those who know the truth, who realized unconditional love and peace, being free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, or being free from attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, longing, judgment, comparison, expectation, boredom, loneliness, meaninglessness, depression, dissatisfaction, disappointment, unhappiness or suffering, they don’t need to do something, or be someone, or have something, to make them feel good, happy, confident, meaningful, thankful or grateful. All their actions are pure actions being performed out of compassion and selflessness.

Be free.

Friendliness towards all beings without discrimination, intention and expectation

This teaching is a contemplation for those who are interested in learning and practicing yoga and meditation, to silent the restless impure egoistic mind. Those who are not interested in practicing yoga or meditation to silent the mind don’t need to observe or contemplate on this teaching.

Friendliness in yoga is nothing to do with sociable talkative personality or behavior, or being sociable to be accumulating personal connection and friendship with as many people as possible.

Being friendly to all beings doesn’t mean that one has to be sociable and talkative, or accumulating many personal friendships that involve engagement in physical/verbal/mental interactions and activities from time to time.

Being sociable and talkative doesn’t necessarily mean that one is being friendly towards all beings without the influence of egoistic discrimination of likes and dislikes, selfish intention and expectation.

Quite many people, including health professionals think and believe that being quiet or not being talkative, especially in young children, is something ‘sick/unhealthy’, ‘bad’, ‘negative’, or ‘wrong’. The best time for yoga and meditation practice is when everyone else has gone to sleep. Why? Because it’s the only precious time of quietness and peacefulness available on earth in that time zone without people doing things, playing, arguing, negotiating, making noises, shouting, or talking. Does that quietness and peacefulness on earth when everyone/the minds being away in sleep, being non-interacting, non-talking, or non-action causes more chaos in the world? Nope. Instead, when people/the minds are awake, many people criticize other people who don’t talk much as being unhealthy, disturbing, rude and unfriendly?

The friendliness in yoga and meditation practice is about respecting all beings as they are, being free from superiority or inferiority, without egoism of attachment, identification, possessiveness, discrimination of likes and dislikes, desire of craving and aversion, intention or expectation, without dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurt, fear, offensiveness, hostility, ill-thinking, or ill-will towards all beings, be undisturbed and without interference towards other people being different from oneself, or having different thinking, belief, practice, values, behavior, action and reaction from oneself, without intention of accumulating friendships or companionship from other people to get rid of boredom or loneliness, or to be accessible to support and help whenever one needs one, without expecting other people have to behave, act or react the way that one thinks it should be, or expecting other people to treat oneself the way that how one would like to be treated.

People who would feel disturbed or offended if other people do not join in their conversation, or are disinterested in their invitation to a function or event, are due to their own expectation towards how other people should response towards their ‘friendliness’. People get unhappy, disappointed or offended when they don’t get the response that they expect to be getting from other people. Those who are truly friendly won’t mind at all if other people are not interested to participate in any conversation or event.

Those who are truly friendly, it’s not necessarily that they are sociable, or talkative, or actively interacting with other people. They might be very quiet and mind their own things. But, they have no ill-will, ill-thinking, ill-talking, judgment, criticism, condemn, gossip, slander, disrespectfulness, animosity, offensiveness, interference or expectation towards other people’s different way of life, thinking, belief, practice, values, behavior, action and reaction.

Take a look into most of the usual conversations among people, we will see that these conversations are mostly full of talking about hanging onto the past, projecting into the future, planning, plotting, scheming, worldly/personal attachment, worldly/personal identification, pride, desire, fear and worry, and lots of complaint, moaning, dissatisfaction, disappointment, blame, ill-will, ill-thinking, ill-talking, criticism, condemn, gossip, slander, back-biting, story telling, untruthfulness, justification, boasting, manipulation, as well as interference or expectation towards other people’s way of life, thinking, belief, practice, values, behavior, action and reaction. Not that all these activities are bad or wrong, but the yoga and meditation practice is to free the mind from all these worldly habits of physical/verbal/mental/emotional activities/restlessness of impurities.

It’s very common that when people want to talk to other people and they expect other people to talk to them in response to their ‘friendliness’, but then they would feel greatly disturbed or offended if other people don’t response to their ‘friendliness’, or when other people talk about things that they don’t like and don’t want to hear, that they disagree with.

The most effective way to help oneself or anyone to be free from all the ‘problems’ or ‘suffering’ that one thinks and believes is what disturbing one’s mind that one feels and thinks that one needs to talk to other people to talk about one’s problem or suffering to seek help or advice, is to be quiet and listen. Listen to the Dhamma that is here and everywhere when the mind is quiet, and the mind sees the truth of ‘unhappiness’, ‘problems’, or ‘suffering’. It’s not about expecting someone, or other people, or guru, or God to be there to listen to one’s problems, unhappiness, dissatisfaction, disappointment, frustration, hurt, fear, worry, complaint, blame, moaning, or bitching about other people that one feels angry or unhappy with, that one doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with, so that one will feel slightly relieved or feel better about oneself for a few moments, but then the mind continues to be restless and disturbed by the ongoing worldly life experiences that are not necessarily the way that one likes it to be, or the mind perception of names and forms that the ego doesn’t like, doesn’t want and doesn’t agree with, while thinking and believing that one’s ‘unhappiness’, ‘problems’ or ‘suffering’ are caused by the experiences or qualities of names and forms that the mind thinks and believes as ‘bad’, ‘wrong’, or ‘negative’.

Performing yoga and meditation practice, especially attending silent meditation retreats or courses, will allow people with a disturbed/unhappy/suffering mind to learn to be quiet and listen to or seeing the Dhamma that will free the mind from ignorance, egoism and impurities, and thus be free from all kinds of ‘unhappiness’, ‘problems’ or ‘suffering’, and one doesn’t need to talk/complain/boast about anything. One doesn’t need someone, or other people, or guru, or God to be there to listen to one’s complaints, as there’s none. The mind is silent and peaceful, so as the surrounding environment is also undisturbed by a silent peaceful mind. That is true friendliness towards all beings and the environment.

Be free.

Be free from feeling being intimidated, offended, disrespected, belittled, insulted, unloved, and etc

If the mind feels being intimidated, offended, disrespected, belittled, insulted, unloved, and etc, by what it experiences/perceives, it’s coming from the mind itself reacting in such way towards the perceived names and forms that the mind recognized/categorized as intimidation, offensiveness, disrespectfulness, belittling, insulting, unloving, and so on. It’s not coming from the names and forms that the mind perceives/experiences through the senses.

This conditioned reaction is due to the egoistic impure mind is functioning under the influence of pride and arrogance and expectation. The ego doesn’t like or doesn’t want to come in contact with the unpleasant/undesirable/’hurtful’ experiences of what the mind recognizes/categorizes as intimidation, offensiveness, disrespectfulness, belittling, insulting, unloving, and so on.

The ego thinks and believes and expects that it deserves certain kinds of treatment/interaction and doesn’t deserves certain kinds of treatment/interaction.

“I don’t like this. I don’t agree with this. I don’t want this.” and “I think/believe/expect/want all beings/humans/people should think/believe/react/behave like this and shouldn’t think/believe/react/behave like that.”

It’s the prideful/self-assured/self-glorified ego that feels being intimidated/encouraged, offended/pleased, disrespected/respected, belittled/flattered, insulted/praised, unloved/loved, and etc. When the ego is annihilated, all these qualities of names and forms vanished.

The mind doesn’t need to feel/react in such way and just allows all the perceived experiences/names and forms to be there as they are. There’s no intimidation, offensiveness, disrespectfulness, belittling, insult, unloving, and etc, if the mind is free from egoistic pride, arrogance and expectation. Other beings/humans/people are just behaving in the way that they want to behave, and their behavior is their own responsibility and freedom of actions.

Why allowing other people’s thinking/belief/reactions/behavior to determine one’s state of the mind or reactions? Especially if one thinks and strongly believes that oneself is all good and righteous and didn’t do anything bad or wrong, but one is suffering/unhappy/disturbed by other people’s thinking/belief/behavior that one thinks/believes/perceives/recognizes as bad/wrong/negative/hurtful.

If the mind still couldn’t understand this and feels annoyed/offended by this teaching, then this mind doesn’t need to practice this teaching. It’s the freedom of this mind of how it wants/doesn’t want to think/believe/react/behave.

The minds that are not free from ignorance and egoism, that are not free from pride/arrogance/superiority/self-assurance/self-glorification/expectation will always easily be disturbed/offended/intimidated/belittled/hurt/insulted by anything, at anywhere and anytime.

Those who have realized the magnificent of oneness/non-separateness beyond all the different qualities of names and forms, will not spend even a tiny drop of attention/interest/effort/energy onto all these worldly names and forms of thinking/belief/behavior/reaction generated/sprung from ignorance and egoism. There’s no difference between intimidation and encouragement, offensive and pleasing, disrespectfulness and respectfulness, belittling and flattering, insult and praise, unloving and loving, and so on. There’s neither craving nor aversion towards all these qualities of names and forms.

If the mind tries to ignore or deny the names and forms that the mind perceives as bad/wrong/negative/unpleasant/meaningless, but it doesn’t stop chasing after or clinging onto the names and forms that the mind perceives as good/right/positive/pleasant/meaningful, then this mind is not free yet. Though that is the freedom of this mind to be what it is.

One doesn’t need to stand there to allow/receive treatments/behavior/interactions that are abusive coming from ignorant impure minds. One can move away or stay away from ignorant minds and ignorant behavior, to conserve energy, to not waste energy into dealing/affliction/conflict with ignorant minds and ignorant behavior. Just like standing under hot sun for more than certain time will burn the skin badly, one moves away from the hot sun and takes shelter under the shade. It’s ignorance to think, “I am practicing non-attachment and non-reaction, I should stand here under the hot sun even if it will burn my skin.”

Be free.

 

The connection between low self-esteem and parenting

There’s a huge connection between low self-esteem and the way of the parents bring up their children.

Low self-esteem is a form of mental illness. And there are quite many of the world population are suffering from some forms of mental illness, especially low self-esteem.

The main element that contributes to low self-esteem is the family brought up of how the parents bring up their children, where people are being influenced by the trends of the society on how they bring up their children, where the society emphasize on appearance, performance and achievements to be the important values of a society.

People feel that they need to look and behave and carry themselves in certain ways so that they will be accepted and respected by the family and the society. Their perception towards themselves of what they think is who they are and their life existence is very much being defined by their appearance, performance and achievements that is determined by the expectation, opinion, commentary, judgment and criticism from themselves and other people towards them.

Proudness is the shadow that follows low self-esteem. If low self-esteem is absent, proudness doesn’t exist.

Those who suffer from low self-esteem need to feel proud of oneself. This is mainly the responsibility of how their parents brought them up. The parents have expectation towards their children and whether they are aware or unaware, whether intentionally or unintentionally, they are influencing the thinking and belief of their children to become the person that they want them to be and the way that they like it to be, and the way that they think is good for their children. They try to motivate their children to be they way that they like them to be by giving them praise and compliment, and they try to demotivate their children to be the way that they don’t like it to be by giving them criticism and punishment. There’s always assessment and judgment coming from the parents towards their children for how they look and behave, how they perform physically and mentally, and what they achieve or can’t achieve. They will be happy and be nice to their children when their children fulfill their expectation, that they behave and achieve something the way that they like it to be. They won’t be happy or be nice to their children when their children didn’t fulfill their expectation, that they didn’t behave or achieve something the way that they like it to be.

The parents hope that their children are ‘good’ enough and be competent to be able to compete with other people in the society to excel among the others and to be able to fit in into the higher or better class of the society. They want their children to be successful to be respected by the society and live life meaningfully, according to their thinking and belief about what is success and live life meaningfully.

Many parents will say this to their children, whether they are aware or unaware of the consequences of their action and speech, and whether they really mean what they say, or not. But the children will take it seriously, even if the parents didn’t really mean what they say.

“You need to have some sorts of expectation towards yourself to improve and be better. Set up your goal and expectation and strive to achieve your goal and expectation. Then you are considered successful and well-deserved lots of love and happiness and respect from everyone.”

“Good boy/girl! Well done! You make us so proud, mummy and daddy love you so much. Keep it up and be better and better.”

“You are so bad and terrible. Can’t make anyone proud of you. You don’t deserve love from anyone. Mummy and daddy don’t want you anymore. We are so disappointed in you.”

“If you are like this, mummy and daddy don’t want to love you. Look at your sister/brother/friend, they are so much better than you.”

“If you achieve this result, we will give you this and bring you there. If you don’t, we won’t give you this or bring you there. Let you stay at home by yourself. We only bring your brother and sister.”

“Say please and thank you, or else, I won’t give you what you want.”

“Come on, you can do better than this, and you will make everyone proud of you.”

“Are you a good boy/girl, or not? This is not good enough, you can be better than this. If you are very good, then people will love you. If you are not good, then no one will love you.”

This is how the parents nurture their children to grow up becoming people who suffer from all sorts of mental illness.

They always feel bad and dissatisfied with themselves towards the ability, performance and achievements of their physical body and their mind. They always feel that they need to compare and compete with other people, including their siblings, their spouse, their friends, their classmates, their colleagues, their neighbours, and anybody. There is an instinct to constantly judge their and other people’s appearance, ability, performances and achievements to compare and compete with one another. They were being told by their parents to think and believe that they are always not good enough and will never be good enough, that they always have to be better than what they are now. They want to be loved by their parents and everyone, but they think they must first be good enough, and they always afraid of being not good enough for their parents and other people, even though they know they are good enough for themselves. They always longing for praise and compliment, liking, support, agreement and acknowledgement from other people, especially the parents, siblings, friends and spouse. Or else, they will feel very dissatisfied, disappointed and depressed about themselves and their life.

It’s so tiring to try to fulfill the expectation from their parents and the society and themselves, to be good enough that they can be proud of themselves in order to love themselves, and to please everyone expecting people will like and love and be nice to them, for their whole life, in the family, in love relationship, in friendships, in the school, in the workplace, or in the community. They are defined and determined by their actions and the result of their actions, and other people’s reaction and treatment towards them to be who they are, to be happy and feel meaningful, or not.

Those who are free from low self-esteem don’t need to feel proud of anything. They don’t feel bad or dissatisfied about themselves for being what they are, as they are. They know what they can achieve and what is their limitation. But they are not defined or determined by their achievement or limitation to be who they are. They don’t need praise and compliment, liking, support, agreement and acknowledgement from anyone. They are not affected or disturbed or determined by other people’s expectation, opinion, commentary, judgment or criticism towards them. They are not determined or affected by their actions and the result of their actions. They don’t need to be good enough the way that how the world think and believe as good enough in order to love themselves. They love themselves as they are, and they love everyone as they are.

This is the essence of yoga.

There are yoga practitioners including some yoga teachers are not free from the suffering of some forms of mental illness, and it’s okay. There’s nothing to be ashamed about if the mind is not free. Everyone takes their own time to practice and realize the truth and be free.

Expectation from the yoga students towards the yoga teachers

“How come the teacher didn’t say anything about whether my execution is good or not, or whether I’m doing the postures and movements right, or not?”

In most of the “yoga classes” (yoga asana exercise classes), the teacher or the instructor will go around and adjusting the body of the students, correcting their poses and movements, and telling them whether they are good and whether they are doing it right, and constantly give encouragement to them to try harder, to do something that they don’t want to do, or are not comfortable doing, or what they think they can’t do. And of course, there’s nothing wrong with that.

In the yoga class of learning and practicing yoga to eliminate ignorance and egoism to free the mind from suffering, the teacher seldom or does not go around adjusting or correcting their physical positions or movements, or give them appraisement whether they are good, or not, whether they are doing it right, or not. Because how they look in the positions or how well they execute the movements are irrelevant towards the elimination of ignorance and egoism to free the mind from suffering.

Wisdom and compassion and the ability to let go and forgive, is nothing to do with making the body more strong and flexible to be able to perform many yoga asana poses beautifully or to mastering the skill to perform the yoga poses. It’s about putting the body in certain positions within the ability and comfort of the physical body and holding the positions comfortably as long as the body can stay in those positions comfortably without struggling, in order to bring the mind to be in the present to calm down and quieting the restless mind, to prepare the mind for meditation. And this is nothing to do with whether the yoga practitioner is performing the yoga poses in perfect alignment or not in the yoga asana practice.

Even when a person can perform all the yoga poses nicely in perfect alignment and executing all the movements correctly and gracefully also doesn’t guarantee that this person is or will be free from ignorance and egoism and impurities of anger, hatred, jealousy, pride, arrogance, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, agitation, depression, hurts, regret, guilt, craving, aversion, ill-will, ill-thinking, fear and worry, and so on, if this person doesn’t work on eliminating the egoism that feeds ignorance that gives rise to suffering and all sorts of disturbs and unhappiness.

The teacher who teaches yoga delivers the teachings and the guidelines for the practice to the students to perform their practice, and the teacher might or might not be observing their practice from time to time, but at the same time, without interference, judgement or expectation, allowing the students to experience the teachings while practice what they learn from the teacher about the teachings and the practice, disregards whether their understanding towards the teachings and the practice is perfect or imperfect, and whether they are following the guidelines accordingly, or not, but to inquire the truth of the teachings and the practice through their own direct experience, to develop understanding and awareness towards their own body and mind, to become the observer or the teacher towards their own mind, without attachment, identification, judgement, comparison and expectation.

The students learn to develop self-independence and self-discipline. They don’t need to depend on a ‘teacher’ to tell them whether they are doing their practice correctly, or not, as they should be able to have the basic awareness of whether they are practicing correctly, or not, by being aware of the consequences of the action of doing the poses and movements. For example, the teacher teaches the students who have never seen fire, “Fire can burn your skin and flesh and it might cause painful sensation and damages. And hence do not touch the fire.” and if the students still want to touch the fire, whether intentionally or unintentionally, and got burnt by the fire, that is not the teacher’s responsibility. The teacher cannot be there every seconds watching the students to make sure they don’t touch the fire so that they won’t hurt themselves. The students will have to learn from their own direct experience and be responsible for looking after their own well-being. Just like parents can give advice as much as they can to their children, but they cannot be there all the time to control their children how they should act or react or behave, making sure that they only do good and the right thing, and don’t do bad or the wrong thing.

Only the students themselves will know whether they are practicing yoga, or not. People can be doing yoga poses everyday for years, but they might not be practicing yoga at all, including yoga teachers. It’s not about looking at the teacher and trying to imitate the teacher or other people. The yoga practitioners learn how to perform all their actions, practice, duties, and responsibilities out of compassion, without egoism, being free from attachment, identification, judgement, comparison and expectation towards the actions, the practice, the duties and responsibilities, as well as the result or fruit of the actions, the practice, the duties and responsibilities.

If the students don’t feel comfortable while putting their body in a particular position or executing particular movements, they shouldn’t proceed further or force their body to continue to perform the position or movements that the body feels discomfortable or painful, whether it’s due the limitation of their body, or there’s mind blockage of fear and worry, or it’s due to incorrect understanding towards the practice. If it’s due to their incorrect understanding towards the practice, the teacher will redeliver the guidelines of the practice to them, without expecting them to be fully understanding the practice right away.

The students learn to be aware that all their experiences, whether it’s okay or not okay, are all impermanent. Through their own awareness and understanding, they learn how to make appropriate adjustment to put their body into the positions comfortably, or execute the movements in the way that suits their body most, without expecting a teacher constantly be there to make adjustments for them. Everyone has a different body with different condition and limitation. What is comfortable for some people might be very painful for other people. There’s no best way to execute the movements or the best perfect look of the positions or poses, it’s just what the body can do comfortably, in this present moment. And no body is aware of what is going on in one’s body and mind but oneself, not even the yoga teacher.

For those who have been doing yoga poses for many years, how they look and how they feel in the poses or movements could be different in every practice. It is the truth of impermanence and selflessness. One can’t even look and feel the same in one’s different sessions of practice, then why should one look and feel the same as any others or the teacher in particular in their respective practice?

So what if some people’s body are really inflexible and weak, and they don’t look like everyone else while performing the yoga poses or while executing certain movements? It doesn’t mean that they won’t be able to realize unconditional peace and love or to let go and forgive something that is hurtful. It’s really unimportant and irrelevant about the physical ability and limitation in the realization of selflessness, unconditional peace and love, and the ability to let go and forgive something that the mind perceives as bad, wrong, undeserving, hurtful, painful or disturbing.

A yoga teacher allows the yoga students to take their time to find their own way of putting their body comfortably in the poses without pushing or forcing their body beyond its limitation or disability in the present moment, or adjusting their body and mind by themselves to adapt and accommodate the practice, the poses or the movements with care and responsibility from themselves towards themselves.

What the students can do or cannot do, what the students want or don’t want to do, and how the students interpret and execute the teachings and practice or how they look in the positions or movements are the students’ freedom and responsibility. The yoga teacher is not here to control and judge every action of the yoga students. After learning the teachings and practice by coming in contact with the teachings from a teacher, it’s up to the yoga students to interpret and perform the teachings and practice in their own pace, in their own way, by experiencing and inquiring the truth of these teachings and practice.

The students should be learning how to be aware of their practice and understand the practice via direct experience, without attachment, identification, craving, aversion, judgement, comparison and expectation, and don’t depend on the teacher to look at their practice and constantly telling them about how good or bad is their practice. It’s not about how perfect do they look in the positions and how good they execute the movements, but it’s about via the positions and movements, they learn about what is going on in their minds, about the ignorance and egoism and the consequences of ignorance and egoism, about the suffering and the cause of suffering, about the impermanence and selflessness of the physical body and the activities of the mind of all the ceaseless thoughts, feelings, emotions, actions, reactions and impurities.

In order to perform the exercise safely so that the yoga practitioners won’t generate stress or injury onto the physical body has nothing to do with executing the yoga poses or movements in perfect alignment. It’s by understanding and listening to their own body, just do what their body can do comfortably in this present moment, in a relaxed manner, without forcing or pushing their body beyond its limitation, without trying to follow the standard of the perfect alignment, there’s no stress or risk of injury. In contrast, while trying to perform the positions or movements according to the perfect alignment that is beyond their physical limitation, to look exactly like other people or the teacher, building up tension from attachment, identification, craving, aversion, judgement, comparison and expectation, could generate unnecessary stress and injury to the body and mind while trying to perform the yoga poses perfectly according to the standard of perfect alignment. Putting the body in the perfect alignment also doesn’t guarantee that the mind is or will be free from ignorance, egoism and suffering. People who are physically fit, strong and flexible, and can perform many yoga poses skillfully in perfect alignment, are not necessarily be free from ignorance, egoism and suffering.

Be free.

Be free from ignorant expectation that leads to unnecessary disappointment

All disappointments derived from expectation. While some minds can get over disappointment easily and move on or hope for better and be driven to strive harder, but there are many minds couldn’t get over it, being hammered by huge/repeated/continuous disappointment, and might fall into low self-esteem or depression, affecting one’s physical and mental health as well as one’s relationships with everyone in life.

Most people think and believe that all human beings need to have some sorts of expectation to motivate and push themselves in everything that they pursue to attain great achievements and to be continuously improve.

In yoga, expectation is merely part of the egoism derived from ignorance, and it is truly unnecessary. When the mind is free from egoism, there’s no need to have expectation to motivate or push oneself to be good and be better, or to achieve something. One just do one’s best to perform all actions and allow the result of the actions to be what it is, without being determined by the actions or the result of the actions to be ‘I’, to be happy, and to feel proud and meaningful, or not.

There’s no disappointment when the result of the action is not as good as what we think it should be. There’s no pride and arrogance when the result of the action is as good as or better than what we think it should be.

There’s nothing wrong when people feel disturbed or offended or disappointed by other people didn’t response to their ‘friendliness’ and ‘kindness’ the way that they think how it should be, or when other people are not interested to have any social interactions with them. But, this is truly unnecessary.

When we practice yoga, we allow everyone to be what they are, without expecting everyone should be ‘good’ and be ‘warm’ and ‘nice’ to all other beings, or to ‘I’. We don’t expect everyone should behave in the way that we think all human beings should behave, or they shouldn’t behave in the way that we think they shouldn’t behave. We respect everyone as they are, that different people are being different from us and everyone else. But, there are many ‘good people’ in the world have expectation towards how other people should and shouldn’t behave, and be disappointed and disturbed when other people don’t behave the way that they think they should behave, and when they behave the way that they think they shouldn’t behave.

If we have expectation towards how other human beings should and shouldn’t behave or interact with the rest of the society, we will be very disturbed and disappointed, when we think and believe all human beings should be ‘socially active’ and be ‘warm’ or ‘nice’ to each other, especially to ‘I’, but there are people who are not ‘socially active’ and didn’t have the intention be ‘warm’ or ‘nice’ to other people, especially to ‘I’. This disappointment is truly unnecessary, and it’s derived from our own ignorant expectation. And we judge these people’s way of life or behavior as ‘bad and ‘wrong’, because we think everyone should somehow be active to ‘social interact’ with other human beings in a way that we think is ‘good’ and ‘right’.

When the mind is free from ignorance, we will know that there is nothing bad and wrong in other people for being socially inactive or didn’t have initiative or interest to be ‘warm’ or ‘nice’ to other people, especially to ‘I’. We won’t be disturbed or disappointed by other people who keep to themselves and are not actively sociable or they don’t particularly do something that we think is ‘warm’ and ‘nice’ gestures.

When other people didn’t have intention to disturbed or hurt us, didn’t interfere with our thinking and believe, didn’t criticize our way of life and behavior, and didn’t intentionally do or say something that is ‘not nice’ to us, and allow us to be what we are, then even though they didn’t do anything ‘extra’ that we think is ‘warm’ and ‘nice’ to other people or to ‘I’, they are already being very ‘good’ and ‘kind’ and ‘nice’ to us.

We, whom we think we are ‘good people’ and better human beings than other people whom we disagree with their thinking and belief, their way of life and behavior that we think is ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’, and we go around judging people and interfering with other people’s thinking, belief, ways of life and behavior that we don’t like and disagree with, we are actually the ones who are being ‘not nice’ to other people. And we get more disappointed when other people didn’t show gratefulness and thankfulness and appreciation towards our ‘warm’ and ‘nice’ gestures to them, as we expect other people should be grateful and thankful and appreciate when we are being ‘warm’ and nice’ to them. This is complete ignorant thinking and it’s truly unnecessary.

Meanwhile there are people in the world who are ‘socially active’ and are ‘warm’ and ‘nice’ to other people all the time, especially to ‘I’, but at the same time, they might do and say something that would disturb or hurt other people, and interfering with other people’s thinking and belief and way of life, judging and criticizing and complaining about other people, whether intentionally or unintentionally, sometimes in front of people, and other times, behind other people’s back.

Be grateful and thankful that there are people who keep to themselves and don’t disturb other people’s life and leave us alone, that allow us to be free to be who we are, how we think, what we believe, how we live and behave, that even though they are not intentionally or particularly being ‘sociable’ or ‘friendly’ or ‘warm’ or ‘nice’ to us, but at least they didn’t be ‘cruel’ or ‘not nice’ to us, or they didn’t disturb and hurt us.

Allow people to be ‘warm’ and ‘nice’ to other people, or not. If people want to be ‘warm’ and ‘nice’ to us, we receive with gratitude and appreciation. If people don’t have the initiative or interest to be ‘warm’ and ‘nice’, let them be. It doesn’t mean that they are not good or they are bad people. Be compassionate and understanding.

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to think and believe and behave, and how they react and feel. If people want to have expectation, that’s their freedom. If people feel disappointed towards something, that’s also their freedom.

Be free.

Let go the ego

The ego constantly expects or looks for acceptance, love, care, kindness, support, recognition, approval, acknowledgement, attention, companionship, friendship, interaction, cooperation, encouragement, appreciation, praise and compliment, or anything that make the ego feels good, confident, proud and meaningful about itself from other people, or the family/group that it thinks it belongs to, or the society, or the world.

This ego will hurt itself and/or others if it doesn’t get what it’s looking for, thinking and believing that all its unhappiness, disappointment, dissatisfaction, frustration, anger and hurt are caused by other people’s bad and wrong behavior, or unkind, uncaring, unloving and unsupportive reaction and treatment, or inappreciation, or criticism, or unfriendliness, or selfishness, and so on.

Let go this ego. Be free from all these ‘unnecessary’ attachment, longing, clinging, expectation, craving and aversion.

The mind that is free from the ego doesn’t need acceptance, love, support, recognition, approval, acknowledgement, attention, companionship, friendship, interaction, cooperation, encouragement, appreciation, praise and compliment from anyone, or family/group, or the society, or the world, to feel good, confident, proud or meaningful. The mind is free as it is, peaceful as it is.

No one can free other people’s minds from the ego. It has to come from within willingly and determinedly to let go the ego, the root cause of all ‘suffering’ and ‘problems’ of humanity.

No one is obliged to be kind, caring and loving to one another. Allow everyone to show love, care and kindness, or not. It’s the attachment and expectation towards the worldly thinking and idea about “Human should be like this or like that, and shouldn’t be like this or like that” that generates great disappointment in us towards what we think is ‘bad’, ‘wrong’, or ‘inhumanity’. But what we think is ‘bad’, ‘wrong’, or ‘inhumanity’ has no power to disappoint anyone. Be free.

The ego is also the one who wants to feel being ‘wanted’ or ‘needed’ by others, that there are people want me or need me, that ‘I’ am good enough, that ‘I’ am able to give love and care or inspiration and motivation to others, which give a sense of pride and meaningfulness to itself. Otherwise, the ego will feel bad and meaningless about itself, thinking and feeling that it is unneeded or unwanted by others, that it is not good enough, that no body wants or needs love and care or inspiration and motivation from it.

Once the mind is free from the ego, one can love and care for others unconditionally, without identification and attachment towards the action of giving love and care to others and the result of the action. There’s no expectation that people should be grateful and appreciative, or should show us love and care in return. One doesn’t need other people’s love and care and appreciation to feel loved, worthy or meaningful. One doesn’t need to feel loved, worthy or meaningful, at all. There’s no fear of being unloved, unworthiness or meaninglessness. One does good to others, and loves and cares for others not because it will make ‘me’ feel good about ‘myself’ or expecting to receive love and care in return. And that is liberation.

Be kind, but don’t expect other people also be kind.

Be loving, but don’t expect other people also be loving.

Do good and don’t do bad, but don’t expect other people also do good and don’t do bad.

Drive with attentiveness and following the rules, but don’t expect other drivers also drive with attentiveness and following the same rules.

Love and peace to all.

Let go attachment, identification and expectation in all relationships

If we truly love those who are in all kinds of relationships with us, whom we think we love, and if we love them, we will wish everyone be peaceful and be happy while being in the relationships with us, then we need to let go attachment, identification and expectation towards ourselves, the relationships and the people in the relationships with us. Otherwise, whether intentionally or unintentionally, we will keep hurting ourselves and everyone whom we think we love, who are in a form of relationship/connection with us. There’s no love. There’s only possessiveness and endless selfish desires (towards the people whom we think we love and the relationships we have with everyone) waiting to be gratified.

Especially in love relationships, if a person truly loves us, we don’t need to say or do anything to expect or control this person’s behavior so that he or she will not or shall not do anything that is unkind or unloving or hurtful to us. If a person would do something that is unkind or unloving or hurtful to us, out of selfish desires, dissatisfaction, greed and lust, whether within or without our knowledge, then this person doesn’t love us, even though this person thinks he or she loves us, and we love and care for this person very much, because this person doesn’t even love himself or herself. They only love what they like and want (desires). In this case, we can let this person and the relationship with this person go, even though we love this person, but we don’t have to be in a relationship with this person who doesn’t love us or appreciate us. And more importantly, it’s that we won’t feel hurt by this person’s unkind, unloving or hurtful behavior if we truly love this person as he is, as she is. We wish him or her love and peace, and let him or her go to chase after their desires that they like and want, which they can’t get (enough) from being in a relationship with us. Meanwhile, we are happy and peaceful and live life meaningfully as we are, because we don’t depend on other people’s love and kindness or any relationships to make us feel happy or meaningful about ourselves and our life existence.

If we think we love this person very much, and we reluctant to let go this person and this relationship, but, at the same time we feel disturbed and hurt by this person’s unkind, unloving and hurtful behavior, then this is our own responsibility, as we don’t want to let go. This also means that we don’t love this person either, we only love what we like and want, and we only want to possess this person to be ‘mine’, and to possess this person’s love and the relationship with this person. We want him or her to behave in certain ways. We want our relationship with him or her to be in certain ways. We want him or her to love and treat us in certain ways. It’s all about what we like and want. And when we don’t get what we like and want, but we are getting what we don’t like and don’t want, or when what we like and want has changed into something that we don’t like and don’t want, or we are losing what we like and want, we feel disturbed and hurt, disappointed and angry. It’s not because the person in the relationship with us is not loving or unkind, or their behavior is bad and wrong that is hurting us, or has the power to hurt us. It’s our own attachment, identification and expectation that hurts our ego, which is unnecessary.

This is the same as in all our relationships with everyone and everything, whether it’s with family, siblings, parents, children, friends, society, things, and the world that we live in. We think we love this and that. We think we love the world that we live in. And we constantly feel disturbed and hurt, disappointed and angry when people and things that we love, or the world that we love, are not the way that we like or want it to be. It’s merely ignorance and egoism.

Be free, whether we have any kind of relationship with anyone, or not, and whether the relationships we have with everyone are good and long lasting, or not. There’s no attachment, identification or expectation. There’s no unfulfilled desires, dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hatred, jealousy, hurts, guilt, fear and worry.

Allow everyone to love us and be kind to us, and to be in a relationship with us, or not. Love everyone as they are, even though they don’t love us, or they are unkind to us, or they don’t want to be in a relationship (anymore) with us.

Be free.

The relationship between the parents and the children

This article is about the relationship between the parents and the children in ‘conventional’ family affairs/relationships. It’s not about sensitive cases involve ‘unconventional’ single parenting out of sexual abuse and rape.

Before two people in a love relationship want to create/bring in new lives/beings/children to form a family, they need to know what is love. Real love. Unconditional love. If not, it is the main factor why there are conflicts/unhappiness/affliction exist in many families which create broken children growing up into broken relationships/family of their own.

When the parents create/bring a new life/being into the world, they never, and couldn’t ask the permission/consent of this being for creating this life and bringing this being into the world, as this life/being didn’t exist until the parents had created this life/being whether through sexual intercourse or higher technology, whether intentionally or unintentionally, whether wittingly or unwittingly. Children are being born without their own free will or consent, but unwittingly out of the parents’ desire to have children, or out of both or one of the parents’ act of lust even though they have no desire to have any children. And yet, many parents think and believe that these beings/children belong to them, where they think that they have the authority on the children about how they want to treat and bring up the children and whether they will love and care for them, or not. The parents also think that children are born with the obligation, duty and responsibility towards their parents and all the other family members.

There are many parents don’t have any intention to have children, but the child is conceived accidentally out of their act of lust, and these children are ‘unwelcome’ in their life/relationship. Maybe some parents might change their minds to ‘welcome’ the child into their life/relationships, and will love and care for the child, but some parents might ‘perceive’ the child as a ‘burden’ to their life/relationship, and they don’t love or care for the child. Some even abandon the child to their relatives, or children homes, or on the streets. Maybe the abandon child will get love and care from some other people, maybe not. Meanwhile, some didn’t abandon the ‘unwelcome’ child, but they don’t love the child at all and this generates great damages to the child’s overall well-being. The parents don’t see that it’s their own responsibility for conceiving the child out of their act of lust whether wittingly or unwittingly, and yet, they blame the existence of the child for ‘giving’ them ‘problems’.

Most parents who intentionally and wittingly to create lives/children to form a family think and believe that it is because of love. Two people love each other and want to create children/family that ‘belong’ to both of them, that they share together. Some parents create/bring in children to build a stronger connection/relationship/bond between the two of them, or as fuel to keep their relationship alive. This is a complete selfish desire to have children, but people don’t see it as selfishness. Children are being born because the parents want to gratified their desire to have children to form a family to be the connection/bonding medium for their relationship.

Some parents do ‘love’ their children unconditionally, but some might not realize that their desire to have children is selfishness, and their ‘love’ towards their children is conditional/possessive love that comes with great expectation/condition. Some don’t even have the love, patience, effort and time to ‘nurture’ and ‘look after’ a child, but just because they have the basic instinct/desire to be a mother or a father, and so, they produce children.

Many parents don’t realize that there are hidden selfish intentions/conditions in bringing/creating new lives into their relationship/family. Many parents expect something in return by creating/bringing in children onto their life/relationship. They think that by having children it will ‘bring’ joy and happiness into their life. They think that by having children it will give them meaningfulness in life or take away their loneliness/boredom. They think that by having children it will ‘keep’ their marriage/relationship to stay alive and connected. They think that by having children, they will grow up to bring back money to support their life. They think that by having children, the children will look after them when they are old or sick. They think that by having children, they will be loved. They think that by having children, it will make their life or relationship complete. They think that by having children, it will make them become a real man and a complete woman.

There are many people get married merely to form a family life and reproduce, which they think it’s a ‘solution’ or ‘investment’ for them to deal with unhappy relationship/marriage, loneliness, emptiness, old age and sickness.

Many parents have expectation towards their children that the children have to love and care for the parents in return for the love and care that the parents have been giving to their children. They expect/think that all children ‘are obliged to’ or ‘should naturally’ show love and care to their parents as it is the duty and responsibility of the children towards their parents. The children should appreciate and be grateful and thankful to their parents for bringing them into the world, feed them and nurture them, and so, all children should show gratitude by giving their love and care to their parents in return. This is conditional love / selfish love / possessive love. And when they think their children don’t love and care for them, or don’t love and care for them enough, they feel disappointed and hurt. They are disappointed and hurt by their own expectation towards the idea of having children. They don’t love their children. They love what they think they can get from having children.

Either they feel sad about their children unloving behavior, or they feel bad and sorry for themselves for being unloved by their own children, or they feel disappointed, hurt and angry with their children for not loving them or care for them after they have been showing lots of love and care to bring their children up, or after they have invested so much ‘time’, ‘effort’, ‘money’ and ‘love’ for the children’s upbringing, welfare and education.

It’s common and natural that the parents would feel disappointed or hurt or angry if their children don’t love them or don’t love them enough, but then know that this is because these parents don’t really love their children, but they only love what they think they should be receiving from having a family life by having children. And thus, when they don’t get what they think they should be getting from creating/having a family, they react in such way.

If the parents truly love their children, they will love their children as they are and won’t be disappointed or upset or feel hurt, even if the children are not good to their parents or don’t love their parents, or don’t behave the way that what people think all ‘good’ children should behave, or if they think their children didn’t carry out the duty and responsibility of being the children of their parents. People feel disappointed, hurt and upset in children/family affairs is because they think they love their children/family but they don’t really know what is love or how to love. This is absolutely nothing to do with how the children treat their parents, or whether the children are being good and loving to their parents, or not.

It’s normal for the parents to show love and care for their children, but many don’t realize that they have great expectation towards their children to be the type of people that they would like them to be, that the children are obliged to listen to and follow all their commands/wishes, and they must show love and care in return for the parents’ love and care for them.

When the parents want to be recognized as ‘good parents’, ‘good father’ and ‘good mother’, they put so much pressure onto the children to make sure they grow up to be ‘successful’ people that will make their parents, friends and relatives feel proud of. The parents feel proud of themselves to be able to produce and bring up children that appear to be ‘somebody’ that they feel proud of. Or else, they are frustrated/disappointed with themselves and their children as they couldn’t produce and bring up children to be ‘somebody’ that would make them feel proud of. Meanwhile, the children grow up becoming people who keep looking for acknowledgement from other people, to make people feel proud of them, to feel “I am good enough” in order to feel confident, meaningful, and being loved. Or else, they feel disappointed/depressed about themselves for unable to be ‘good enough’ to make their parents or other people to feel proud of. And this affects their relationship with everyone else. These are the ‘values’ that were passing down from generations to generations of what a family means and what to expect from creating a family.

If the children are born out of real love, where the parents have the unconditional love and knowledge of life to give to another life/being unconditionally, then the parents wouldn’t think/expect that their children are born with the duty and responsibility as children towards their parents and all the other family members, that the children are obliged to love and look after their parents and all the other members in the family. The parents will just do their best to nurture the children, teach them to love and look after themselves, until the children are independent, they’ll let them go and allow the children to evolve to be what they are. As well as the children shouldn’t be taught or feel that it’s a duty and responsibility for being the children of their parents and being one of the family members, that they are obliged to give something back in return and to love and look after their parents and the rest of the family members. But, out of everyone’s own free will, out of unconditional love, out of compassion, everyone do their best to be kind to oneself and each other, to love and look after oneself and one another without expecting anything in return. There’s no disappointment, hurt, anger, bitterness or unhappiness. Everyone loves and accepts one another as they are.

It’s not because it’s an obligation, duty and responsibility, that’s why the children ‘have to’ love and look after the parents and the other family members. It’s not because of gratitude towards the parents’ love and care for them, that’s why the children ‘have to’ love and care for the parents in return. It’s even without obligation, duty or responsibility, a being can show love and care for other beings. It’s even other beings don’t show love and care for a being, this being can still be loving and kind towards other beings.

May all families have peace and harmony, being free from suffering/affliction/unhappiness that derived from ignorance and egoism of attachment, identification, desires and expectation.

Disappointment?

Disappointment is coming from unfulfilled expectation towards people, society, objects or experiences about everyone and everything have to be the way that we think they should be, which is based on our family brought up, religious and cultural belief and practice, social ethics, personal thinking and belief, likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, as well as desires of want and don’t want. It isn’t coming from people, society, objects or experiences that we think are ‘wrong’, ‘bad’, or ‘inappropriate’. All these names and forms don’t and couldn’t disappoint us or make us unhappy. It’s our own mind’s reaction that generates disappointment in us towards someone or something that we don’t like or don’t agree with.

Respect everyone and everything have the freedom to be what they are, even if our mind doesn’t like or doesn’t agree with them.

After performing actions that we think and believe as ‘good, ‘kind’, and ‘generous’, allow the result of the actions to be what it is, and allow everyone to show appreciation, gratefulness and thankfulness, or not. There’s nothing wrong with people who don’t appreciate or be grateful for something that we believe as ‘good’, ‘kind’ and ‘generous’. It’s our mind believing that ‘this is wrong’ or ‘it shouldn’t be like this’ that generates disappointment in us. There’s nothing wrong with the mind feels disappointed towards someone or something, because that is how the mind works under the influence of ignorance.

Practice yoga of non-attachment, dispassion and renunciation, if we truly want to be free from ignorance which is the cause of all kinds of unhappiness and suffering.

Abandon worldly thinking and belief about how human beings or people should or shouldn’t behave, act and react.

Love the world as it is, even if it is not the way that we like it to be.

Do our best to help the world to improve, but without attachment towards the actions and the result of the actions.

Be free.