How to break free from fear towards letting go certain thinking and belief?

There’s no comment/judgment towards any thinking and belief as true or untrue. Learn to see things as they are. Need not judging or categorizing everything into ‘this’ or ‘that’. Everything is just what it is. Neither good nor bad. Neither right nor wrong. All are impermanent and selfless. Whatever being perceived through the mind in this worldly life existence of names and forms, are all subject to impermanence and selflessness, including all kinds of thinking, beliefs, values and practices.

All kinds of thinking and belief existing for their own reason, for the minds that are under the influence of egoism and impurities to hang onto, to have a sense of direction, while navigating their way in the worldly life existence that is subject to uncertainty, impermanence and selflessness.

It’s all about whether the mind is free from egoistic attachment and identification, or not. It’s not about which thinking and belief is true or untrue, or which is truer and better than all the others.

Asians are bound by Asian cultural thinking and belief, but are not being bound by the western cultural thinking and belief to live life and behave in certain way. Westerners are bound by the western cultural thinking and belief, but are not being bound by the Asian cultural thinking and belief to live life and behave in certain way. Though both can respect each other’s different ways of life and behavior due to the influence of different cultural thinking and belief.

The mind took up and attached onto Christianity or Hinduism thinking and belief and practice, and identifying itself as a ‘Christian’ or ‘Hindu’, or as a ‘follower’ of ‘Christianity’ or ‘Hinduism’. Christians are bound by Christianity thinking and belief and practice, but are not being bound by the Hinduism thinking and belief and practice. Hindus are bound by Hinduism thinking and belief and practice, but are not being bound by Christianity thinking and belief and practice.

Christians have no fear of ‘not following’ Hinduism thinking and belief and practice at all, but there’s fear of ‘unfollow’ Christianity thinking and belief and practice, fear of sin and punishment and ‘The hell for (bad) Christians’. Hindus have no fear of ‘not following’ Christianity thinking and belief and practice at all, but there’s fear of ‘unfollow’ Hinduism thinking and belief and practice, fear of sin and punishment and ‘The hell for (bad) Hindus’. Though both can respect each other’s different way of thinking and belief and practice, and their respective ‘Hell for their (bad) followers’.

Without taking up or without attachment and identification towards any particular thinking and belief and practice, there’s no binding by any thinking and belief and practice, and there’s no need of ‘unfollow’ any thinking and belief and practice, as there’s no particular thinking and belief and practice that need to be ‘unfollowed’. What is fear of ‘unfollow’ any thinking and belief and practice?

Those who were never being exposed to or never picked up any particular thinking and belief and practice, or those who have no attachment and identification towards any particular thinking and belief and practice are not being bound by any particular thinking and belief and practice, to live life and behave in certain way. The notion of ‘unfollowing’ or ‘letting go’ or ‘abandoning’ certain thinking and belief and practice doesn’t exist at all. Though one can respect all the others with their particular thinking and belief and practice, to live life and behave in certain way, as most egoistic minds/people need to hang onto certain thinking and belief to have a sense of direction in life, but it’s unnecessarily for the minds that are free from ignorance and egoism.

Ignorance and how to be free from ignorance

Most minds/people don’t like to be related to ‘ignorance’ or what they understood as ‘being stupid’ or ‘lack of knowledge’. But ‘ignorance’ in the teachings of yoga and Buddhism is not about ‘being stupid’ or ‘lack of knowledge’. As many of those who are not ‘stupid’ at all, who are very smart and intelligent and knowledgeable are not necessarily free from the veil of ignorance.

People would like to think and believe and be acknowledged by oneself and others as somebody who is nothing to do with ‘ignorance’, or ‘I am not ignorant’, which they think and believe that they are smart and intelligent enough, and are highly educated and knowledgeable enough to not be related to ‘ignorance’. They think and believe that only those whom they think and believe are somehow less smart or less intelligent than them, and are less educated or less knowledgeable than them are most probably related to ignorance, where they understood ‘ignorance’ as something to do with ‘bad/negative’ genetic inheritance, improper brain development, influence from bad surrounding environment, lack of knowledge/skill/talent, uneducated or insufficiency of education, incompetency, being lazy or demotivated to learn and acquire knowledge, being stupid, or lack of social interaction and connection, or lack of stimulation, or inability to comprehend something or solve problem, and so on.

‘Ignorance’ in the teachings of yoga and Buddhism is about the mind being ignorant towards or ‘not knowing’ the truth of names and forms/existence/suffering, or ‘not knowing’ Thyself or the misidentification with the mind and the modification of the mind perceiving a worldly life existence of names and forms that is subject to impermanence and selflessness as ‘I’, or ‘not knowing’ who/what is the ‘I’ that the minds identifying/acknowledging as who ‘I’ am, as an individual being possessing certain quality of names and forms that distinguishing oneself from all the others that are not ‘I’, or ‘not knowing’ who/what is the ‘God’ or what are the ‘gods’ that many minds have been believing in and praying to, or ‘not knowing’ the truth of all the social/cultural/spiritual beliefs and practice that have been passing down from generation to generation that influencing how the minds think, act, react, feel, judge, expect, behave and live life in certain way.

Many minds believe in certain beliefs just because it’s propagated by their ancestors, parents, teachers, leaders, favorite famous people, idols, friends, philosophers, or particular social/cultural/spiritual/religious background, and there’s great fear of ‘letting go’ those beliefs and practice, being afraid of ‘sin’, or ‘bad happening’/’punishment’ might happen to them or their life or their loved ones, if they cease believing in/respecting/following/propagating those beliefs and practice to think, behave and live life. And it has to come from the mind itself realizing the truth of all those beliefs and practice. It’s not hard to inquire the truth, but most minds reluctant to inquire the truth of the existing beliefs and practice in their minds or lives, and it’s unthinkable for them to question the truth of their beliefs and practice, as it means that they are ‘disrespecting’/’offending’ those ‘sacred’ beliefs and practice for inquiring into the truth of it, which is ‘sinful’ and ‘punishable’ according to those beliefs and practice.

Being talented/skillful/knowledgeable in certain things or many things doesn’t guarantee that the mind is free from ignorance, where the mind is being disturbed/offended/hurt/disappointed/dissatisfied/angry/frustrated/hating/fearful/intimidated/insulted/humiliated/bullied by names and forms that the mind perceives/recognizes as bad, wrong, negative, unpleasant, undesirable, undeserving, disappointing, frustrating, intimidating or hurtful, and out of these impurities, it might generate actions and speech that might cause further consequences to oneself and/or others.

The minds that are not free from ignorance might be unwittingly ‘following’ a set of ‘rules and regulations of certain social/cultural/religious/spiritual belief and practice’ to live life and behave in certain way, and might be proud of having a specific type of food consumption of what they eat and don’t eat for certain spiritual/cultural/religious/environmental/ethical/health/personal reason, and they could be expecting the others (as human beings) should also be following the similar rules and regulations to live life and behave, as well as following their specific type of food consumption, or else, it will be mocked/criticized by them as ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’, or ‘sinful’ way of life and behavior and food consumption.

The ignorant impure egoistic mind unwittingly perceiving/experiencing a personal reality of a worldly life existence that consists of ‘I’ and everything that ‘I’ perceive/experience/know/acknowledge that the thinking mind refers as ‘this is me and my life experiences’ with all and everything that directly/indirectly relate to ‘I’ and ‘my life’, and perceives/experiences all kinds of duality derived from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance, and generate attachment and desire of craving and aversion towards the perceived reality of duality, not knowing Thyself or the truth of a worldly life existence of names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, not knowing impermanence and selflessness of the mind perception of a worldly life existence, constantly being disturbed and determined very much by the mind perception of pleasant/unpleasant, agreeable/disagreeable, desirable/undesirable names and forms or life experiences, being restless swaying between satisfaction and dissatisfaction, happiness and unhappiness, pleasurable enjoyment and painful sorrow determined by the gratification and non-gratification of the desire of craving and aversion, ceaselessly.

Transcending this restlessness of ignorance, silencing the mind, annihilating the modification of the mind of restless countless births and deaths nurtured by egoism, desires and impurities, is the ultimate goal of yoga and meditation practice. Any other forms of benefits/effects derived from the regular yoga and meditation practice are just some momentary side-effects of better health/fitness condition and pleasant good feelings that are impermanent.

It’s everyone’s freedom for how/what they think, believe, act, react, feel, behave, live life, consume and desire, or not. There’s nothing wrong if people just want to live a particular lifestyle in accordance to certain belief and practice, and do some yoga exercises to attain better health/fitness condition and pleasant good feelings, even if they are momentary and perishable.

The minds that are ignorant towards ignorance, or thinking and believing that oneself is void of ignorance due to one’s intelligence, talent, skill, education, knowledge, ability or achievement in certain things, would not be interested in yoga practice of dispassion, renunciation, silence, seclusion and solitude for mind purification, self-discipline, self-inquiry and self-realization.

Renunciation is not about abandoning existing worldly duty and responsibility to be in a monastery/forest/cave to be full time monk or nun, but it’s renouncing or letting go worldly social/cultural/spiritual/religious thinking and belief, values and practice, to open the mind to allow the mind to see things as they are, regardless of living among the society or away from the society. If the mind is not opened, then even if living away from the society, but the mind is still very much being conditioned by the worldly thinking and belief, values and practice to perceive, think, analyze and judge towards everything, and couldn’t allow the mind to see things as they are, even after many years of performing yoga and meditation practice, and getting all kinds of momentary effect/benefit from that.

For those who want to know Thyself or inquire the truth of names and forms, who are aware of ignorance, who have intense yearning for liberation from restlessness of the impermanent and selfless modification of the mind, they can practice yoga of mind purification, self-discipline, self-inquiry and self-realization. The journey might appear to be long, hard and unpleasant due to the ‘stubborn’ veil of ignorance, but be determined to keep disciplining, purifying and silencing the restless impure egoistic modification of the mind.

Appreciating what matter to us in life without attachment

Most of the time we don’t really know what matter to us in life until the moment we lost something that we didn’t realize it matters to us very much, or at the moment ‘death’ is approaching.

If we know what matter to us in life, and what doesn’t matter, we can have a clear direction of life and make all decisions without any doubt or regret.

We can put aside or go beyond many difficulties/challenges/fear because what matter to us in life is more important than anything else, but it also could lead us to the biggest fear/aversion towards losing what matters most to us.

That biggest fear towards losing what matters most to us in life can be overcome by being able to appreciate everything that matter to us in life in this present moment without attachment/clinging, which allows us to be able to let go what matter to us in peace, when impermanence strikes.

Many people would say that ‘appreciation without attachment’ is easy to say but difficult to do.

That’s why we need ‘practice’/’training’ and certain degrees of ‘patience’/’perseverance’/’determination’/’non-judgment’/’non-comparison’/’non-expectation’.

It takes time for the mind to be ‘trained’ to be unattached towards all the names and forms, and be undetermined/undisturbed by the truth of impermanence and selflessness, and things that are not necessarily the way that we would like it to be, and be able to let go everything in peace.

‘Non-attachment’ manifest as it is, naturally/effortlessly/intentionlessly, when the mind is free from ignorance, knowing the truth of impermanence and selflessness.

It’s okay that there are things that matter to us more than some other things and there are things that don’t matter at all to us, despite that we would more likely hearing many people say that everything matters. As surviving life is already challenging enough for many people. Sometimes we need to let go certain things to allow the mind/the thinking faculty to maintain certain degrees of sanity and clarity.

In the end, everything is equally matters and doesn’t matter at the same time upon realization of selflessness.

It’s good that human beings have the loving kindness for helping and supporting one another, but it’s okay that there are times we can’t help, or we can’t help as much as we would like it to be. We also need to allow everyone to learn how to look after themselves and take responsibility for their desires/actions and the consequences of their desires/actions.

Meanwhile some people don’t mind being attached strongly onto everything and suffering for the loss of what matter to them very much, or suffering for the things that are not necessarily the way that they would like it to be, as they think and believe that “That’s life and life should be like that.” And that’s their freedom of thinking/feeling/action/reaction.

Self-impose imaginary imprisonment of fear

what the mind categorizes asMost minds appear to be calmed and relaxed when they are being in a space or environment that is within their comfort zone and familiarity. But once they are out of their comfort zone and have to confront with a space or environment that is unknown or unfamiliar to them, and dealing with the condition and situation that is not the way that they like it to be, all kinds of fear will over-powering the mind in the form of imagination, anticipation, speculation and projection. They are no longer calmed or relaxed being outside of their comfort zone.

Yoga practice isn’t limited to be performing some yoga practice in a calming, relaxing and hassle-free environment, that make the mind feels safe, convenient, good and comfortable, but, yoga practitioners should learn how to confront with condition and situation that is not necessarily the way that they would like it to be, that is outside their comfort zone, and still be able to be calmed and relaxed outside their comfort zone.

Most minds feel good, calmed and relaxed when they attend a retreat in a ‘safe’, ‘hassle-free’, ‘protected’, ‘convenient’ and ‘enjoyable’ environment. But then the minds will not progress further in yoga, if they prefer not to step outside their comfort zone, and didn’t learn how to be ‘okay’ under challenging condition and situation that is outside their comfort zone and familiarity.

Fear towards the unknown, unfamiliarity and what the mind categorizes as ‘unsafe’ environment is indeed a self-impose imaginary imprisonment from the mind to itself, even when there’s nothing ‘fearful’, ‘bad’, or ‘dangerous’ really happening in the present moment.

Even though the minds might feel calmed and relaxed performing the yoga practice and be able to perform the yoga practice nicely and effortlessly, and feel ‘safe’ and ‘comfortable’ being in a space within their comfort zone and under a ‘safe’ environment, but the minds are not free at all, as the minds won’t be calmed and relaxed anymore once it’s out of their comfort zone having to deal with condition and situation that is not necessarily the way that they like it to be.

Those who are free from being over-powered by fear of all kinds of fearful imagination, they deal with whatever needs to be deal with that is existing in the present moment, calmly. The mind is free from all kinds of ‘fearful’ imagination, anticipation, speculation and projection towards something that isn’t existing in the present moment.

People who really want to practice yoga and know what is yoga, must allow themselves to step outside their comfort zone, to confront with condition and situation that they don’t feel comfortable with, that they aren’t familiar with, and learn to be ‘okay’ outside their comfort zone and familiarity. Though there’s nothing wrong if people reluctant to step outside their comfort zone. Be happy.

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.

Suffering is the greatest motivation for the path of liberation

People might think that love, happiness, kindness and all kinds of goodness are inspiring people to take up yoga practice. Though it’s true, but they are not the motivations to motivate people to live a life of dispassion to transcend the mind perception of a worldly life existence of names and forms that is subject to impermanence and selflessness.

Suffering is the greatest inspiration or motivation for people to be determined to work diligently and seriously towards liberation from the mind perception of a worldly life existence of names and forms, or the modifications of the mind under the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities.

Just like a country that is full of corruptions, it’s similar to a fruit tree that is sicked from the root to the branches to the leaves and to the flowers and the fruits. Nothing is going to change, or move forward towards liberation from corruptions, when everyone is enjoying the fruits of the sicked tree, even though they are bitter and sour and are infested by worms, but at least it can feed their hunger. They are reluctant to let go of this tree as they don’t know if there will be another tree that can provide them with enough fruits that can feed their hunger, and so, they are ‘comfortable and satisfied enough’ to hang on to this tree, even though they would complain about the fruits are bitter and sour and have worms in them.

The condition or situation has to be so bad, so bad that there’s no fruit at all for anyone, not even bitter and sour fruits with worms, or the tree dropped dead completely, then everyone will have no choice but to abandon this tree to look for some other fruit trees that might provide them fruits to feed their hunger. Or else, they will keep watering the tree keeping the tree alive, hoping the tree continues to provide them with enough fruits, even if they are bitter and sour and are infested by worms. From time to time, they might consider giving up the tree out of frustration and disappointment, but in the end, they won’t give it up, as long as the tree will continue to provide them with the ‘fruit’ that can feed their hunger, especially sometimes the tree would occasionally give fruits that might still infested by worms, but they are less bitter and sour, and even slightly sweet. As everyone is already used to the fruits with worms, and so, they are very happy and satisfied with the less bitter and sour, and sweeter fruits once in a while.

Under good life condition and not too much difficulties in the moment, when the life situation is not very good but not too bad either, where people can still ‘enjoy life’ even though there are many problems or corruptions everywhere due to ignorance, egoism and impurities, people would just enjoy the seemingly ‘good condition’ of comforts, enjoyments and conveniences in life, even though all these are impermanent, hoping that the good life condition will last as long as possible, or will become even better, and they will be reluctant to let go all the impermanent comforts, enjoyments and conveniences to tread the path that is not necessarily pleasant, while it could be very unpleasant and challenging, but would lead them towards highest liberation.

It’s only when the beings experience great suffering, not just a little suffering or unhappiness, then they would be inspired, or be motivated, or be determined to work their very best seriously for attaining liberation from suffering of a worldly life existence of a limited body with an impure egoistic thinking mind that is impermanent and selfless.

The experience or the perception of great suffering is not a bad thing at all when it motivates the beings to live a life of dispassion that leads towards highest liberation from the modifications of the mind, or the mind perception of an impermanent and selfless worldly life existence of names and forms.

Be free.

Untruthfulness and dishonesty

Whether we like it or not, most people have been being untruthful or dishonest every once in a while or regularly. It’s a habit that has been building up since childhood where the children are being brought up by their parents or elders with the habit of fictional and fantasized stories making and telling (untrue), joking (untrue), white lies (untrue), hypocrisy (untrue), boasting (not necessarily true), pleasing (most probably untrue), or acting (untrue) as something ‘normal’, ‘appropriate manners’ or ‘play safe’ to be interacting with other people in the family, in the relationships, in the society, in the social media, in the politics.

The children are being taught to be untruthful, dishonest and hypocrite by telling (white) lies, boasting, joking, pleasing or acting so that they do not upset or offend other people, or they should please other people, as one of the manners/politeness/appropriate behavior in their cultural and social practice.

A lot of time, untruthfulness and dishonesty is the by-product of fear.

Whenever the children are being aware of they might have done something they shouldn’t be doing that they think it would upset their parents or their friends, and most probably, out of fear of being criticized, or scolded, or punished, or unloved by their parents or their friends, and fear of losing the supportive treatments from their parents or their friends, children would tell lies to hide the truth, being untruthful or dishonest. And this untruthful and dishonest behavior becomes a natural habit to ‘play safe’ and to ‘please other people’ in their childhood and continue to follow them into their adulthood.

When the children have the initiative to tell the truth or admit to their parents that they might have done something that they think it might upset their parents, and if the parents react with anger and aggressiveness towards the children or the incident, or inflict punishment onto the children, the children will tend to be untruthful or dishonest from then on. Instead, if the parents react with calmness, acceptance, forgiveness and letting go, knowing that by getting upset and angry won’t undo what had happened, then the children will tend to be truthful and honest from then on. It also allows the children to learn to appreciate truthfulness and honesty, and learn about acceptance, forgiveness and letting go. Children making mistakes is a great learning process for both the parents and the children, to become responsible compassionate people, who accept and love themselves and other people as they are, even though they are not perfect.

Truthfulness and honesty is one of the important basic practice in yoga. Without it, numerous of other yoga practice are meaningless. But for many people who grew up under that kind of parenting or upbringing to behave ‘appropriately’ and ‘politely’ in their relationships with everyone, in the family, in the school, in the workplace, or in the society, being untruthful and dishonest is something ‘right’ and ‘good’, while being truthful and honest is something ‘wrong’ and ‘bad’. They think that it’s needless to abandon untruthfulness and dishonesty when they take up yoga practice, thinking that it’s the ‘normal’ and ‘correct’ way of living and interacting with everyone in the society in order to have ‘healthy’ and ‘happy’ relationships with everyone.

How many conversations between people don’t contain any untruthfulness or dishonesty?

Many people who are under the influence of the ego are either don’t like the truth or being afraid of the truth. As most of the time, the truth is something difficult or unpleasant or painful for the untrained minds.

When people try to tell the truth of a ‘good son’ to his parents that their ‘good son’ isn’t really good, the parents say, “No. Don’t tell us (the truth). We don’t want to know about it. Our son is all good. We brought him up to be good. He is a good boy.”

People can’t live and interact with other people ‘normally’ in this world without being untruthful or dishonest a little bit here and there.

While yoga is about the truth. No matter how difficult or unpleasant or painful is the truth, one has no fear of the truth.

And hence, those who truly practice yoga, they stay away from the society and observe seclusion and solitude, to avoid unnecessary untruthfulness and dishonesty.

The difference between non-attachment and positive thinking

It’s good and helpful to develop positive thinking especially when the mind is being influenced by negative thinking that generates unnecessary tension, fear, worry or unhappiness in the mind and further projecting all these impurities through speech and action into the environment in the relationships with others in everyday life.

Positive thinking is part of the many yoga practice, but it’s not the goal or the end of yoga practice, as the mind is still not free from attachment and identification towards names and forms that the mind perceives as positive and negative, and there is craving and clinging towards what the mind perceives as positive, and there’s aversion towards what the mind perceives as negative. The mind is not free from desire, duality and separateness. There’s desire of craving or longing for positiveness or goodness and there’s clinging onto positiveness or goodness with intention or expectation to control the reality to be the way that the mind thinks it should be and likes it to be.

There’s nothing wrong with “Think positively and optimistically, and everything will be good in your life and you can achieve anything that you want.” especially for the minds that are easily be disturbed or determined by names and forms that the worldly thinking and belief categorized as bad, negative, unhappiness and wrong. Just that the mind is not free from desires, even though the mind would feel happy and satisfied when the desires are being gratified, and its impermanent. Then pride might arise in this mind, “I am superhuman. I have superpower. I can control everything to be the way that I like it to be.” This mind is not free. And it’s okay, if that is what the mind wants. It’s everyone’s freedom for how the mind thinks and what it wants.

The mind that is free, is undetermined by gratifying desires of likes and dislikes, wants and don’t wants, to be happy, confident, meaningful or peaceful. It is peaceful as it is, undetermined by the world or the worldly thinking and belief, ideas and values, good and bad condition and situation.

Non-attachment is nothing to do with positive thinking. The mind that knows non-attachment doesn’t need to think positively. The thinking is just what it is. It is neither positive nor negative.

It’s about unattached towards what the intellect recognizes as positive or negative, good or bad, happiness and unhappiness, right and wrong. Undisturbed or undetermined by all the perceptions of name and form that are pleasant or unpleasant. Without attachment or identification towards the different states of the mind or the mind activities. Without intention or expectation towards the perceived reality to control the reality to be the way that the mind likes it to be. Allowing the reality to be what it is, and allowing the reality to change as it is.

The mind is free from being determined by coming in contact with positiveness and goodness and not coming in contact with negativeness and badness, to be peaceful. The mind is peaceful as it is.

The mind is free from desire, duality and separateness. Knowing that the quality of positiveness and negativeness are both impermanent. But, beyond positiveness and negativeness, is unconditional peace, that is undetermined by the qualities of name and form that the mind perceives through the senses, whether it’s positive or negative elements, good or bad condition and situation, and desirable/pleasant or undesirable/unpleasant life experiences.

If the reality is nice and pleasant, let it be. It will change, and allow it to change, without intention or expectation to control the reality not to be bad and negative.
If the reality is not nice and unpleasant, let it be. It will change, and allow it to change, without intention or expectation to control the reality to be all good and positive.

There are actions being performed out of compassion in everyday life, but there’s no attachment, identification, desires, intention or expectation towards the action and the fruit of action. There are beneficial actions being performed but there’s no intention or expectation that the fruit of actions will be all good and positive, or nothing bad and negative. Allowing the fruit of action to be what it is.

There’s no identification with all the impermanent changes of names and forms to be existing as ‘I’.

Life might be good and easy, enjoy and appreciate without attachment. It’s impermanent, and it doesn’t matter.
Life might be not so good and full of difficulties, but it’s okay. It’s impermanent, and it doesn’t matter.

Be free.

The mind and the worldly life existence of enjoyment and suffering

The entire worldly life existence is nothing but mind activities powered by the mind perceptions of names and forms through the senses of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations and thoughts/feelings/imaginations/dreams.

If there is absence of the function of mind perception through the senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, sensing/touching and thinking, there are no mind activities, there’s no worldly life experience. There’s no good life or bad life. There’s no good being or bad being. There’s no good world or bad world. There’s no enjoyment or suffering.

The worldly life existence that the mind perceives or experiences, whether it’s pleasant or unpleasant, and whether the mind enjoys or suffers, it’s all in the mind itself, and it’s in now and it’s impermanent. It’s nothing to do with the names and forms that the mind perceives. The names and forms are just what they are. Duality doesn’t exist in the names and forms, but only in the mind itself. Duality exists in the mind, not in the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses.

Without the sense of seeing, the mind won’t perceive sights or images of colours and shapes. What is beautiful or ugliness? What is attractive or unattractive? What is respectful or disrespectful?

Without the sense of hearing, the mind won’t perceive sounds. What is pleasantness or unpleasantness? What is compliment or insult? What is calming or disturbing?

Without the sense of taste, the mind won’t perceive tastes. What is tasty or not tasty?

Without the sense of smell, the mind won’t perceive smells. What is nice smell or bad smell?

Without the sense of touch/sensing, the mind won’t perceive sensations. What is pleasure or displeasure? What is comfortable or discomfortable?

Without the thinking faculty and memory function, there’s no thinking and belief, culture and religion, or imaginations, or thoughts/ideas, or feelings. What is good or bad? What is right or wrong? What is positive or negative? What is satisfaction or dissatisfaction? What is joy or grief? What is happiness or unhappiness? What is believe or disbelieve? What is fear or fearlessness? What is birth and death? What is existence or non-existence?

The one who experiences suffering, is the mind that is under the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities. The one who performs yoga and meditation practice to be free from suffering, is the mind that is experiencing suffering. The one who is liberated from suffering, is the mind that is being free from ignorance, egoism and impurities through persevered discipline and practice. There’s no ‘I’ experience suffering, or ‘I’ perform yoga and meditation practice, or ‘I’ am liberated from suffering.

The mind that is NOT free from ignorance and egoism, there is an idea of ‘I’ existing to be identified as the one who perceives names and forms, who is aware of the mind activities, and who experiences worldly life existence, to enjoy or suffer based on the reaction towards the perception of names and forms (mind activities of worldly life experiences). The mind is being in a state of restlessness due to ceaseless passionate reactions of egoistic desires of craving and aversion from ‘I’ towards all the perceived names and forms (sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations, thoughts/ideas/feelings/imaginations/dreams).

The mind that is free from ignorance and egoism, there is no ‘I’ existing to experience worldly life existence, there’s no ‘I’ am perceiving names and forms, or ‘I’ enjoy or suffer. It’s just the mind functioning and perceiving names and forms through the senses via the sense organs. There is mind awareness being aware of the mind activities, but there’s no ‘I’ am aware of the mind activities. The selfless/egoless mind is undetermined or uninfluenced by the perception of names and forms due to the absence of egoism of attachment, identification, clinging, longing, craving or aversion towards the perceived names and forms, and thus, it’s free from restlessness. There’s no clinging or craving towards the objects of name and form that are pleasant and there’s no aversion towards the objects of name and form that are unpleasant.

Practice yoga of annihilating egoism, to purify and discipline and quiet the mind to allow the mind to see the truth of things as it is, to be free from ignorance – the root cause of suffering. All the other effects/benefits derived from the many forms of yoga practice are just some by-products, and they are impermanent and they are not the end of suffering. Even the positive effects of good feelings, pleasant sensations, enhanced physical condition and ability, calmness and positive thinking derived from many different forms of yoga practice are impermanent. They will change and pass away.

Attaining all kinds of impermanent effects/benefits from the yoga practice doesn’t guarantee that the mind will be free from being determined or disturbed by the mind perception of names and forms of a life existence that is impermanent and it doesn’t stop the mind to experience suffering, if the mind is still under the influence of ignorance and egoism.

It’s through the elimination of ignorance and egoism that will lead the mind towards the realization of unconditional peace that is not subject to impermanence, that is nothing to do with the qualities of name and form, good and bad condition, and pleasant/desirable or unpleasant/undesirable life experiences. The selfless/egoless mind is peaceful as it is, while witnessing all the perceived impermanent changes of names and forms, or the countless births and deaths of mind activities arising and passing away.

The mind that is not free from ignorance and egoism will be involuntarily and restlessly swaying back and forth between the state of elevation and depression, satisfaction and dissatisfaction, happiness and unhappiness. The mind will feel good, satisfied and happy when its desires of craving and aversion are being gratified, but the good or happy feelings and satisfaction derived from experiencing good condition or pleasant/desirable experiences doesn’t stop the mind from feeling bad, dissatisfied and unhappy when the desires of craving and aversion are not being gratified, or when good condition or pleasant/desirable experiences are not available or no longer available, as the mind is not free from egoism of attachment, identification, clinging, longing, craving and aversion towards life experiences of names and forms. And thus the mind is restless or peaceless, even though the mind attains some momentary effects/benefits from the regular yoga practice.

Upon self-realization of the truth of names and forms as it is, when the mind is free from ignorance, all kinds of names and forms that the mind perceived asĀ  suffering due to ignorance, are no longer being perceived as the objects, or the quality, or the cause of suffering, but they are just what they are. There are changes, decay, old age, sickness, weakness, discomfort, pain and the end of the existence and function of the body and mind, but all these are not suffering.

There’s neither suffering nor the end of suffering.

Be free.

Yoga retreat is not about running away from the reality that we don’t like and don’t want

Not running away from or denying, but confronting the reality that is not the way that we would like it to be, and being aware of this life existence, the world, the society and the surrounding environment is not necessarily ‘all good’ or perfectly the way that we would like it to be, or the way that we think it should be, with wisdom and compassion, without aversion or fear towards the reality that we think is ‘not all good’ or ‘imperfect’ or ‘challenging’, is our yoga practice.

Living in the world as we are, being aware of all kinds of uncertainty, insecurity, unrest, cautiousness, defects or imperfection in all aspects, and knowing how to remain equanimous and be in peace, without fear and worry, without being over-powered or determined by the reality that is not necessarily the way that we would like it to be, is what yoga practice is about.

This isn’t about trying to be ‘strong’. ‘Strength’ has a limit and is conditional. But wisdom and compassion is unconditional and unlimited.

Joining a yoga retreat is not about running away from the reality that we don’t like and don’t want, to be in a ‘safe and peaceful place’ without ‘bad people’ or ‘things that we don’t like and don’t want’, and be surrounded by ‘good people’ who are like-minded and doing things that make us feel good and happy.

People might think that yoga practice or yoga retreat should be conducted in a ‘special place’ or ‘out of the world place’, free from any ‘bad energy’ or ‘bad elements’, thinking that ‘yoga retreat’ means moving away from the imperfect world or running away from everyday life’s duties, responsibilities and cares, to have a few days or few weeks of ‘intentionally induced perfect form of reality’ of ‘peacefulness’ or ‘calmness’ or ‘problemless’. No doubt that being in a desirable ‘reality’ will give momentary relief or peace, but this doesn’t help us to be free from ‘fear’, ‘disturb’, ‘restlessness’ and ‘suffering’ when we go back to our everyday life living among the society or the world that is not necessarily the way that we would like it to be, that is not in our control to be the way that we would like it to be.

A real yoga retreat allows us to learn how to live in the world as it is, performing all our actions, duties and responsibilities without attachment or identification or expectation, without fear and worry. It’s learning about the mind and all its modification, about suffering and the cause of suffering, about how to transcend all kinds of ‘suffering’ or ‘restlessness’ or ‘impurities’ or ‘fear’, and how to confront the reality of life existence in this present moment that is not necessarily the way that we would like it to be, or the way that we think it should be, without fear and worry, and have peace wherever we are, unconditionally, being undetermined by all the impermanent changes of the qualities of names and forms.

Yoga, or unconditional peace, being free from ignorance and egoism, is not limited to a particular ‘place’, or ‘space’, or ‘activity’, or ‘condition’, or ‘quality’, or ‘name and form’.

Being positive and optimistic, denying or ignoring all kinds of ‘ignorant and unpleasant behavior and happenings’ in the world, in the society, or in the surrounding environment, and persistently thinking and believing that everyone are good, there’s no bad people; everything is good, there’s nothing bad; life is all good, there’s nothing bad; the world is all good, there’s nothing bad, and etc, doesn’t change the reality that we don’t like or don’t want to be the way that we would like it to be.

It’s like sweeping all the dust and rubbish and hide them under the cupboards and sofas, so that they are not in sight, it doesn’t mean that the room is all cleaned. And no matter how many times we sweep the floor, and throw out all the dust and rubbish out of the room, there will always be dust and rubbish accumulating here and there from time to time, unless everyone who enter the room stop bringing in dust and rubbish into the room. This is the same as looking after the mind. We do our best to ‘clean up’ the mind regularly and persistently, but impurities will still exist from time to time, until the root cause of impurities (ignorance and egoism) is uprooted completely.

When there’s no problem, there’s no need to anticipate a problem. When there’s a problem, confront it, without fear and worry.

Be free.