Life is uncertain and Death is certain

Life is uncertain, but death is certain.

Death is a great teacher of life existence. The healthiest, the strongest, the happiest, the wealthiest, the kindest, the greatest, the most intelligent and knowledgeable, the most talented, successful and famous, or the most loved and respected, will also have to bow down to DEATH.

There’s no guarantee about anything in this worldly life existence of uncertainty, but for sure, death will come one day, sooner or later, regardless of whether it’s natural cause or unnatural cause, intentional or unintentional, expected or unexpected, slowly or instantly, wittingly or unwittingly, having none/few/many friends, having an easy life or difficult life, being ignorant or wise, have done none/few/many good actions or bad actions, have been good or bad/right or wrong/positive or negative/happy or unhappy/healthy or unhealthy. Everyone is dying immediately following the moment of birth, but most people either don’t realize this or they trying to be positive and hope for the best. Death is not a bad or negative thing at all.

“Tribute to my big brother who had lived a difficult but great honest life, who was content and generous, who was forbearing and forgiving, who had been smiling through all the hardships, who had delivered all his duties and responsibilities as a great son, a great brother, a great husband and a great friend to many beings, who had been sacrificed greatly to be looking after our family during the difficult time, and looking after our beloved bedridden father unconditionally for many years until he left the world. And now, my big brother had left this world without any painful suffering but with a smile on his face on the 30th of June 2019. Thank you brother.”

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Seeing the truth of all relationships with beings and things

All kinds of relationship with beings and things don’t exist to the minds that are free from ignorance and egoism.

All kinds of relationship/connection between ‘I’ and other beings and things exist due to the perception of separateness out of ignorance and egoism.

Upon the realization of non-separateness/oneness, being free from ignorance and egoism, there’s neither ‘I’ nor ‘I’ am being separated/different from something that is not ‘I’, and hence, there’s no ‘I’ and something that is separated/different from ‘I’ being connected in a form of relationship.

There’s neither being in certain relationships nor not being in any relationship.

There’s neither good relationship nor bad relationship.

There’s neither craving towards ‘good relationships’ nor aversion towards ‘bad relationships’.

Upon seeing the truth of all kinds of ‘relationship’ with all beings and things, the mind is free from all kinds of suffering/affliction/painful sorrow/fear/worry derived from attachment/identification/clinging/craving/aversion towards all kinds of beings and things.

‘Relationship’ and the attachment/identification/values/meaningfulness/gratefulness/appreciation towards good relationships with family, friends and relatives, and other form of beings and things exist in the minds that are under the influence of ignorance and egoism.

It’s very difficult for the minds to see the truth when there is intense attachment/identification/clinging/craving/aversion towards the existence or absence of all kinds of good and bad relationship with different form of beings and things that the mind likes and dislikes, agrees with and disagrees with, and desires and doesn’t desire. These minds sway restlessly and ceaselessly between happiness/joy/meaningfulness and unhappiness/painful sorrow/meaninglessness, being determined by the existence or absence of desirable and undesirable ‘relationships’ with all beings and things.

The body and mind that was born into a ‘family’ and a living environment with many kinds of difficulty, challenge and suffering, and be surrounded by ‘friends’ and ‘relatives’ that are under the influence of ignorance and egoism, is considered ‘a good and auspicious transition’ on the path of yoga, that helps this mind to be determined and undistracted towards transcending the mind perception/modification of impermanent and selfless worldly life existence of names and forms.

When the mind is still under the influence of ignorance and egoism, this kind of difficult/challenging/disharmony ‘relationships’ with ‘family’, ‘friends’ and ‘relatives’ are being perceived as the cause of ‘suffering’ for this mind. The mind falls into a state of bitterness/dissatisfaction/disappointment/meaninglessness/depression/anger.

When this mind is free from ignorance and egoism, this kind of difficult/challenging/disharmony ‘relationships’ with ‘family’, ‘friends’ and ‘relatives’ are indeed ‘the teachings’, ‘the Dharma’, ‘the teacher’ and ‘the stepping stones’ that lead the mind towards liberation. There’s no bitterness/dissatisfaction/disappointment/meaninglessness/depression/anger exists in this mind.

Most minds forgo the path of dispassion and renunciation to silent/annihilate the modification of the mind to transcend impermanent and selfless worldly life existence due to attachment/identification/clinging onto and appreciating/indulging in good/harmonious/desirable ‘relationships’ with ‘family’, ‘friends’ and ‘relatives’ as well as other beings and things that are impermanent. And that’s their freedom for what they think and feel and desire.

The dispassionate minds see the truth of all kind of ‘good or bad relationships’, and be free.

Mental and emotional independence

The core/essential teachings and practice of yoga is about purification of the mind transcending the human egoistic nature/worldly thinking and belief/feelings and emotions/behavior/action and reaction, the impermanent condition, ability and limitation of the physical body of birth, growth, changes, sickness, weakness, old age and decomposition (death), the selfless function of the mind, the states of the mind, the modifications/activities of the mind, the mind perception of names and forms through the senses, the egoism, the impurities, the veil of ignorance and attaining liberation from the suffering of the mind perception of a worldly life existence that is subject to impermanence and selflessness.

In the process of the transformation from the lower human nature (selfishness/tendency to hurt oneself and/or others) to the higher human nature (unselfishness/tendency not to hurt oneself and/or others), and then transcending even the higher nature to go beyond the lower/higher or the bad/good human nature (selflessness/attributelessness), the thinking mind needs to be disciplined for developing certain essential qualities that allow the mind to go beyond the impermanent and selfless mind perception of a worldly life existence of qualities of names and forms.

These essential qualities are the basic foundation of both the practice of Yoga and Buddhism for mind purification, such like dispassion, correct understanding, right view, right effort, right livelihood, truthfulness, honesty, simplicity, austerity, contentment, non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment, non-comparison, non-expectation, intentionlessness, patience, perseverance, determination, acceptance, detachment/letting go, forgiveness, tolerance, forbearance, adjustment, adaptation, accommodation, one-pointedness, right concentration, care-free, fearlessness, renunciation, solitude, seclusion, calmness, self-discipline, self-control, self-inquiry, self-effort, self-realization, or being unaffected/undisturbed/undetermined/uninfluenced by the mind perception of pleasant/unpleasant, agreeable/disagreeable, likeable/dislikeable impermanent qualities of names and forms through the senses.

All these qualities existing in the mind are also reflecting as mental and emotional independence in a being. One will know how to deal with challenging or difficult condition and situation equanimously and solve problems by oneself.

One doesn’t need to rely on or depend on attaining/possessing, or experiencing, or coming in contact with the impermanent quality of names and forms of good condition, good environment, good life experience, good livelihood, good standard of living, good relationships, perfect unbroken family/society, good image, good reputation, social status, health status, possessions, knowledge, skill, gratification of desire (of getting what I like/not getting what I don’t like/not losing what I like/losing what I don’t like), achievements, physical and mental abilities, or getting attention, love, liking, agreement, support, appreciation, acknowledgment, kindness, respect, comfort, friendship, companionship from anyone or anything, to feel good, happy, confident, love and meaningful, or to perform necessary actions that would benefit oneself and/or others.

One is peaceful as one is, being mentally and emotionally independent, where the mind processes all the mind perception of names and forms or thought activities/feelings/emotions as it is, uninfluenced by egoism or worldly family/racial/social/cultural/religious/spiritual thinking and belief, being open-minded to inquire/question/investigate the truth of everything, including the teachings of Yoga and Buddhism, without blind-believing, blind-following, blind faith, or blind-actions and reactions, and being free from emotional exploitation/burden/blockage.

This is also what and why most people fear of – Mental and emotional independence in people could also means that those impure selfish greedy ambitious minds are losing the ‘power’ or ‘opportunity’ to control/influence/manipulate/exploit/threaten other people to be the way that ‘I’ like it to be, to help ‘I’ to get what ‘I’ want, or gratify ‘my’ desires, or achieve ‘my’ ambitions, or create the life/relationship/family/parenthood/business/career/community/society/politic/nation/world/security/enjoyment/situation that ‘I’ desire, that would help me to achieve what I want to achieve. Regardless whether this ‘I’ is a partner, a spouse, a parent, a child, a sibling, a friend, a teacher, a student, a member of the community/society, a citizen of a country, a leader of a country, a business person, an employer, an employee, a politician, a political party, a society, a group of people, an association, an affiliation, a company, and etc.

Whether people are aware or unaware of themselves having personal goal/ambition/agenda, they don’t like the idea of mental and emotional independence, as it would threaten/obstruct their personal goal/ambition/agenda.

Most parenting methods and children psychological development/training and education are mostly about empowering egoistic human nature that is empowering/encouraging mental and emotional dependence, as mental and emotional independence is ‘threatening’ the egoistic worldly family/cultural/social/religious/political/commercial thinking/belief/values/behavior of attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion and expectation in all the relationships/dealings among people.

Contemplate on these familiar worldly thinking/belief/practice/values -:

“Of course I want my children/my partner/my friends/my teachers/my students/my community/my employee/my employer/my clients/my followers/my disciples/my supporters to attached onto me, to hold on to me, to need me, to rely on me. They need me to be there for them. They need my presence, my attention, my love, my care, my affection and my guidance/advice/approval/agreement/consent/opinion/support/help/service. I am needed by them. I will feel so worthless, lonely, bored, unloved, demotivated, depressed, empty and meaningless if I am not needed by anybody.”

“I love my children and my children will love me.”

“I am nice to you and you will be nice to me too.”

“I am giving you something nice and you will give me something nice too.”

“I will be disappointed, unhappy and angry, and I won’t be nice to you, if you don’t love me, or are being ungrateful/unappreciative, or are not nice to me.”

“This is who you are. Don’t forget or abandon this. This is your root, your ancestors, your name, your gender, your role, your obligated behavior, your thinking, your belief, your culture, your spirituality, your religion, your God, your parents, your family, your friends and relatives, your community, your nationality, your motherland, your dignity, your pride, your duty and this is your life. All these are who and what you are. You need love and consent from all these that make you who you are, or else you will be sick and die due to lack of love, loneliness and meaninglessness. You need to attain love, support, agreement, acknowledgement, cooperation, companionship from them. You must love them and they will love you and bless you with your desires come true, happiness, goodness and prosperity. You should fight/hurt/destroy the threats upon you and them at all cost to protect all these values of what make you who you are.”

The impure egoistic possessive minds want and expect strong attachment and dependence among family members, community members, parents and children, siblings, friends, citizens, human beings, and etc. They encourage the development/empowerment of a strong personal/cultural/religious/family/worldly/community/national identity that build on mental and emotional dependence among each other. Mental and emotional independence appears to be something ‘wrong’, ‘unhealthy’, ‘bad, ‘crazy’, ‘inappropriate’, ‘sickness’, or ‘impossible’ for many people even though different people come from different backgrounds of culture/thinking/belief/practice. Reasoning, or analytical thinking, or questioning the truth of things are being considered as ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’ for many people who have personal goal/ambition/agenda that depend on the ‘support’ from other people.

There is no doubt that physical, mental and emotional independence can be limited and restricted due to circumstances. Such like infants and young children/physically or mentally ill or injured or disabled people/old people/emotionally or mentally disturbed people will need special attention and care, physical help, mental help, emotional support from other people to support and help them in their everyday living, to go through difficult moments, or need to be physically depending on other people for many things during the time of young age, sickness, injuries, weakness, old age, immobility, or suffering from mental or emotional disability.

One can be mentally and emotionally independent even though one is physically depending on other people for many things in life, unless one is suffering from mental and emotional disability. Just like those who are not suffering physical limitation or disability don’t need to rely or depend on others physically, so as, those who are not suffering from mental or emotional disability don’t need to rely on or depend on others mentally or emotionally. But then, how come so many people glorify and advocate mental and emotional dependence among each other, thinking that it’s not possible or it’s not good for human beings to be mentally and emotionally independent?

Be free.

It’s better not to teach yoga than teaching yoga without correct understanding

Yoga and its practice is neither good nor bad. Teaching yoga is also neither good nor bad.

If people practice yoga with the correct understanding, and if people teach yoga to many more other people with the correct understanding, then yoga appears to be something good. There will be more wise people and less ignorant thinking and behavior in the world.

If people practice yoga without the correct understanding, and if people teach yoga to many more other people without the correct understanding, then yoga appears to be something not so good. There will be stronger ignorance in people with ignorant thinking and behavior in the world.

No doubt that there are many people interested in yoga and love to do yoga practice, and many are also interested in teaching yoga, but it’s not necessarily a good thing if the people have no correct understanding.

It’s normal and understandable that there are many people who think they love yoga are still very much under the influence of ignorance, they are not free from egoism and attachment towards worldly thinking and belief and behavior.

Many existing yoga teachers are teaching yoga to other people with what they think is yoga, that is influenced a lot by their worldly egoistic nature of social and cultural and spiritual thinking and belief and behavior that is full of passionate love and affection and clinging, desires of craving and aversion, personal and worldly identification, attachment and identification towards qualities of names and forms, attachment towards actions and the fruit of actions, and etc. And hence, they are actually feeding the world with deeper ignorance instead of wisdom, and empowering other people’s ignorance and egoism with their own ignorance and egoism.

Many yoga practitioners and yoga teachers mistaken worldly egoistic attachment and clinging of passionate love and affection as compassion.

For example, it’s normal for most people to fall in love with other people or animals or things. When someone meets another person who has something in common with mutual feelings of similar interest and liking towards each other, and they want to be friends, stay connected, be interacting with one another, see each other, talk to each other and do some activities together, know that it’s nothing to do with compassion. It’s just egoistic attachment and clinging of passionate love and affection towards something that the mind feels inclined or attracted to. Compassion is nothing to do with falling in love with people or animals or things.

Compassion is nothing to do with passionate love and affection towards people, animals or things that the mind likes and agrees with, that the minds perceives and recognizes as ‘cute’, ‘pretty’, ‘beautiful’, ‘adorable’, ‘friendly’, ‘lovely’, ‘good’, ‘positive’, ‘right’, ‘happiness’, or ‘meaningfulness’.

Compassion is nothing to do with sympathetic feelings towards people, animals or things that the mind thinks and believes as pitiful and sympathy deserving. Those who have lots of sympathy and affection towards certain people or animals that they like and love are not necessarily compassionate. There are people love and be nice to their friends and pets more than their own parents or children. They would treat their friends and pets like king and queen, but yet, they would neglect or abuse or abandon their parents and children.

People can be very kind and loving towards their own particular community but they would have animosity or ill-will towards other communities. People can be very sympathetic and loving towards someone’s suffering, and be very violent and hating towards those whom they think and believe are the ones who are responsible for the suffering of that someone. This is the manifestation of passionate love and affection that based on personal likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements. This is nothing to do with compassion.

Compassionate minds are free from attachment, identification, clinging, desires of craving and aversion, and are free from impurities of anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurt, regret, guilt, fear, worry, offensiveness, defensiveness, aggressiveness, depression, painful sorrow, grief, vengeance, ill-will and ill-thinking towards all and everything without discrimination of good and bad, superiority and inferiority.

Compassion is equanimity towards ‘good’ and ‘bad’ qualities, condition and situation. Free from craving or aversion towards ‘good’ qualities, condition and situation. Free from aversion or craving towards ‘bad’ qualities, condition and situation. Actions being performed out of compassion is free from ignorance and egoism and impurities. It’s not about “I will be nice to you and you will be nice to me.” There’s no craving or expectation to be receiving love and kindness or friendship and companionship from other beings.

If one thinks one is full of love and kindness towards ‘all beings’, including animals, and has lots of love and affection towards particular animal, that one is keeping the animal as pet, receiving the pet animal as a family member, accepting all the good and bad of the pet animal as well as taking full responsibility towards the consequences of keeping a pet animal, showing lots of love and affection towards the pet animal and enduring the potential difficulties that may arise due to the pet animal’s imperfect nature and behavior, but one couldn’t respect other beings for being different from oneself, one couldn’t accept and love all human beings as they are, including those whose one’s mind perceives, recognizes, thinks and believes as ‘wrong’, ‘selfish’, ‘bad’ and ‘evil’, one discriminates towards other people whom one doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with, and being impatient, frustrated, angry and hating towards certain people’s imperfection and the consequences of their imperfect thinking and behavior, having ill-will and ill-thinking towards people who inflict problems and troubles and damages to one’s life existence, wishing these people to be punished and suffer for their imperfect thinking and behavior, that one doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with, but then one doesn’t mind at all for all the troubles and problems and damages that the pet animal brings into one’s life existence, as one has so much love and affection towards the pet animal to tolerate and accommodate the imperfection of the pet animal, then know that this is not what compassion or loving kindness towards all beings is about.

Most people, including many yoga practitioners and yoga teachers would disagree with this teaching and practice of yoga, and generate intense disgust and aversion towards this very important yoga practice of renouncing all kind of worldly attachment and clinging of passionate love and affection. People will give themselves many reasonable excuses to avoid this teaching and practice. There’s nothing wrong with people’s such reaction and it’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to do with their life existence and how they want to react and feel about everything.

In yoga, one needs to be able to abandon ‘worldly attachment and clinging of passionate love and affection’ if one wants to realize unconditional love or compassion. Or else, one couldn’t be truly compassionate even one would like to be compassionate, as one ignorantly mistakes ‘worldly attachment and clinging of passionate love and affection’ as compassion.

Yoga is about dispassion. Dispassion leads to wisdom and compassion. Wisdom and compassion leads to liberation from suffering.

Compassion doesn’t bring painful sorrow and suffering, but ‘worldly attachment and clinging of passionate love and affection’ will lead to painful sorrow and suffering.

In yoga practice, when one is truly and sincerely yearning for liberation, one not just renounces the worldly attachment and clinging of ties and relationships with other human beings and things, and cutting off all kind of social connections, interactions and activities, to retreat into seclusion and solitude to silent the mind, but one also renounces attachment and clinging of passionate love and affection towards all kind of animals, insects or nature.

If one thinks one is practicing yoga of renunciation of seclusion and solitude by staying away from other human beings and worldly connection of social interactions and activities, but one feels so lonely and bored being away from other human beings and social interactions and activities, and wants to keep one or few pet animal in one’s life to accompany and entertain oneself so that one doesn’t feel so lonely and bored, as well as to feel love and connection with the pet animal, then one isn’t practicing yoga at all.

Those who can’t bear to see or hear or come in contact with all kind of suffering that exist in the world, and feel very disturbed by one’s suffering and other’s suffering, and be offended by all kinds of ignorant behaviors that lead to great suffering in oneself and other beings, then know that it’s not compassion, but it’s mere passionate love and affection.

Not many yoga practitioners are yearning for liberation. They just want to get some good feelings and benefits from doing the yoga practice. And that’s their freedom.

Contemplate on this and be free.

Confronting death in peace

A few hours before my father passed away, I was sitting in front of him, and wrote this piece of ‘confronting death in peace’ to dedicate to my father for him to relax and let go in peace. As soon as I finished writing and looked at him, his breathing had stopped for a few seconds, I shouldn’t, but I had gently called him, “Papa.” and he started breathing again, with his eyes wide opened and fully dilated, and I stood right in front of him and gently whispered to him, “It’s okay, papa, I’m here. Just relaxed and let go.” And his eyes closed again.

After that his breathing stopped for a few more times, but it came back again when there was sound from the people in the same ward. Then, his heart rate became very unstable, dropping to 14 beats per minute and shooting up to 200 or 300 beats per minutes changing very rapidly and irregularly. I called my sister if she would want to come to the hospital. As I believed my father would pass away any moment then.

While waiting for my sister, he had stopped breathing for more than ten seconds. I thought he had gone. I went to inform the nurse. When the nurse came to check upon him, he started breathing again. I realized he couldn’t go in peace as there’s disturb of sounds and movements around him. And, it takes some time for the complete disintegration to happen even after the breathing or the heartbeat had stopped. And so, I decided to maintain very quiet if he stopped breathing again.

I told my sister and her daughter who came later, just about an hour before my father’s passing away, I asked them to do the same – If they see him stopped breathing, do not make any noise, do not call him or call the nurse to come. Just wait for at least few more minutes. To let him go in peace completely.

While the three of us sitting there watching my father, my sister couldn’t help talking about the past, and how much money she had borrowed from people due to have to look after my father. I knew my father could hear this and he wouldn’t be able to go in peace, because my sister has no awareness that she was complaining and blaming my father’s condition for her debts with relatives and friends. And so, in order to allow my father to go in peace, quietly I stood up and moved to the side where my father wouldn’t be able to see me, and waved to my sister to come to me, and quietly asked her to bring me back to the hotel to rest. So that she wouldn’t be there to talk about things that wouldn’t allow my father to go in peace. And my father finally passed away peacefully while my sister’s daughter fell asleep after my sister and I had left the hospital.

It takes years of practice to confront the last days/moments of death, calmly and peacefully.

Letting go the body, the thinking process, the perception of existence, the relationships with everyone, and all the past pleasant and unpleasant experiences and memories, in peace, without clinging onto life existence and all the relationships with everyone, without fear or aversion towards death, without painful sorrow of separation from life existence, people and things, without unfulfilled desires, without disappointment or regret.

Being aware of the process of the disintegration of the body.

Without fear and worry.
Without craving and aversion.
Without guilt and regret.

Being in the present, calm and quiet.

Though practice for years, still the mind might not be able to let go, in peace. It’s okay. Even this will pass away.

Fear, worry, clinging, attachment, craving and aversion might arise during the last moments of death. Then ask the mind, what can be done now? There is nothing but letting go. There is no need to perform any duties or responsibilities or actions anymore.

x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Dear father,

Allowing the body and the thinking mind to be what they are. They are not perfect and it’s okay. Let them go, in peace.

All kinds of thinking and feelings, all kinds of relationships with people, animals, plants, things, knowledge and memories, all the flashback of countless events, all the good and bad, the right and wrong, the happiness and unhappiness, the should have and shouldn’t have, the achievement and non-achievement, the fulfillment and disappointment, are all nothing but impermanent names and forms, forming and deforming, arising and passing away.

Be bold, be calm, and be very quiet.

There’s nothing to say, nothing to see, nothing to hear, nothing to smell, nothing to taste, nothing to think, nothing to feel, nothing to do, nothing to bring with you, nothing to regret, nothing to forgive, nothing to ask for forgiveness, and nothing to desire.

Let the world be what it is. It’s not perfect and it’s okay.

Let everyone be what they are. They are not perfect and it’s okay.

Let the memories of happy and unhappy events be what they are. They are not perfect and it’s okay.

There is only now, the present.
Be aware of the air coming in and going out.

Be aware of the process of past accumulated images arising and passing away. It’s not who ‘I’ am. It’s not ‘I’. It’s just some flashback of old and new memories, both remember and forgotten, actual events or imaginary events, understand and couldn’t understand, know and doesn’t know.

Acknowledge the unknown and allow the unknown to be what it is, without fear, as the unknown is nothing but what it is. Let the unknown be the unknown.

There is no need to perform any duties or responsibilities or actions anymore.

x x x x x x x x x x x x