How to stop/not feeling hurt in love relationship?

Many people experience hurtful feeling or ‘heartbroken’ derived from love relationship that is not the way that they like/expect it to be, or it didn’t have a happy ever after ending. In the beginning it was all good and happy, but after some time, something changed, it’s not the same as before, and it turns sour and bitter, and then completely broken. It’s quite painful/hurtful/sorrowful.

Some people would like to know how yoga can help them to be ‘healed’ from hurts, or how to be free from getting hurt in love relationship, or how to stop/not feeling hurt in love relationship?

The yogic way to be free from all suffering is through understanding/knowing the truth of suffering. It’s not about ‘healing’ as many would think what it is. All suffering derived from ignorance and egoism. Once ignorance and egoism is annihilated, there’s nothing or none needs to be ‘healed’.

Some people had tried to let go after they learned about the teachings of yoga about letting go, but they found that it’s very difficult or impossible to let go. This is because they don’t have the correct understanding of what is going on in the mind. Upon understanding what is going on in the mind (all the impermanent selfless modification and changes in the mind and the real cause of pain/hurt/sorrow/bitterness), all the pain/hurt/sorrow/bitterness ceased existing, there’s needless to let go anything.

It’s not an obligation or compulsory duty as a human being to must possess one or many love relationship/friendship to live life ‘happily’ or ‘normally’.

One doesn’t need to possess one or many love relationship/friendship to live life happily as one is, if the mind is free from being conditioned by worldly/cultural thinking and belief. It’s merely part of the worldly/cultural thinking and belief that many people think and believe that everyone must possess one or many love relationship/friendship to live life happily and meaningfully. Most people’s values of life, self-worth, success, confidence, happiness and the senses of meaningfulness are very much being determined by having one or many (good) love relationship/friendship, which is unnecessary at all if one’s mind is free from ignorance and egoism. If people don’t have any love relationship/friendship or they have bad/unhappy/broken love relationship/friendship, they would think and feel bad, unworthy, low confident, failing, depressed, or meaningless about themselves and their life. This is truly unnecessary. One can be friendly to all beings without the need of possessing one or many (good) ‘committed love relationship’ or ‘friendship’, and still be happy as one is.

If we really want to be in a love relationship, we must first learn how to respect everyone and love everyone as they are.

When we feel unhappy/dissatisfied/disappointed/angry/hurt in a love relationship, ask ourselves this, “Do we love them as they are? Are we being possessive towards the people in a relationship with us and have expectation towards everyone about how they should behave or feel?”

Even if we dislike and disagree with this, everyone has the freedom to behave or feel the way that they (want to) behave and feel, even if they are being in a ‘committed’ relationship with somebody. No one is obliged to respect ‘commitment in a relationship’. True relationship where two parties truly love each other and want to stay together out of their own freewill, doesn’t have ‘commitment’ to be respected. Even after being in a relationship, people have the freedom of how they feel and what they want, whether they want to love someone, or stop loving someone, or don’t want to love someone, or they changed from being loving/caring to unloving/uncaring, or they want to stay in a relationship or end a relationship, or they merely want to be single again even though they still love the person in the relationship with them, or they want to be with someone else, or they couldn’t help themselves being selfish/abusive, or they are suffering from depression/emotional problem/behavior problem/greed/dissatisfaction/lustful desire, and etc.

Meanwhile, we also have the freedom and rights for how we want to feel (whether okay or not okay) and what we want to do with the relationship, to decide whether to let go or continue the ‘broken’ relationship depending on what is best for everyone, especially when it includes children. There’s neither right nor wrong, neither good nor bad in any decision made. If we truly know what we want and don’t want, and what is best for everyone, there’s no difficulty in making decision and there’s no guilt or regret in any decision made. Such like, ending a ‘violent/abusive’ relationship is better for oneself and the children, without hurtful/revengeful/fearful feelings due to compassion and understanding in oneself, being compassionate towards the person in the relationship with us is suffering from mental/emotional/behavior problem.

Find out the truth of our feelings of love towards the person in the relationship with us.

Do we really love the person in the relationship with us, or we only love what we like and want from being in the relationship with someone? When ‘we’ feel angry/disappointed/betrayed/unhappy/hurt in a ‘broken’ relationship, it’s really nothing to do with how the people in a relationship with us behave in the relationship, whether they didn’t treat us nicely or they treat us badly, or how they want to feel, whether they feel love or don’t feel love for us, or what is their decision/desire, whether to continue staying in or ending the relationship with us. When we feel angry/disappointed/betrayed/unhappy/hurt, it’s because ‘I don’t like/want/agree with this’ – Things are not being the way that we want it to be, or the relationship is not going to the direction that we want it to be.

If we truly know what is love, self love, unconditional love and what is relationship, then how we feel won’t be determined by how other people behave or feel towards us and whether the relationship is perfect or imperfect. We would love and accept them as they are, even if they don’t love us, or don’t want to love us, or don’t want to be in a relationship with us, or want to love someone else, or want to be in a relationship with someone else. We don’t and shouldn’t agree with or support or encourage any ‘hurtful/wrongful/abusive’ treatment or behavior from anyone, but at the same time, we don’t have to be influenced or determined by other people’s ‘hurtful/wrongful/abusive’ treatment and behavior. We won’t do or say things that would hurt them or those whom they love. We also won’t hurt ourselves in order to hurt them or make them feel bad/guilty/disturbed. We would wish everyone (whom we love or don’t love) peace and happiness whether they love us/be nice to us, or not.

Understand/Inquire the root cause of hurtful feeling in love relationship.

All hurtful feelings derived from ungratified desire of craving and aversion in our own mind (not getting what we like and want and getting what we don’t like and don’t want, and losing what we like and want), it’s not caused by bad relationship/bad life experience of bad people/partner/spouse/lover and their wrong doings or bad behavior. It’s how the mind reacts towards what it experiences or perceives that it doesn’t like, doesn’t want and doesn’t agree with. It’s the responsibility of the mind itself whether to be disturbed or be undisturbed by all the unpleasant/challenging experiences.

If we truly love the person in the love relationship with us, we won’t feel hurt even if they don’t love us, or stop loving us, or love someone else.

Most minds/human beings are not perfect, full of ignorance, selfishness and impurities.

We would understand that due to ignorance and egoism, people would behave selfishly and irrationally, and be unloving towards the people in a relationship with them, regardless whether they think they love or don’t love the person in the relationship with them. People would do and say things that would cause physical/mental/emotional pain, even when they think they love the person in the relationship with them, not to say especially when they don’t really love the person in the relationship with them. We are hurting ourselves if we expect everyone to be perfectly ‘good’ and ‘loving’ the way that we think it should be, the way that we want them to be.

Respecting the law of impermanence.

The nature of minds/feelings/relationship/togetherness is impermanence, forever changing.

Everyone has the freedom and rights to love or not to love someone, or stop loving someone whom they used to love. Feelings will change. What we want in life will change. Life will change. Condition and situation will change. There’s nothing wrong with feelings changing from time to time. Most minds/human beings are not free from ignorance and egoism and are identifying strongly/passionately with fleeting feelings as ‘who they are’, their relationship with everyone and life existence are very much being influenced and determined by those fleeting feelings.

We would let go this relationship and the person in the relationship with us, in peace, if this relationship doesn’t work, even when two people still love each other, but couldn’t continue the relationship for some good reasons, not to say when one person in the relationship doesn’t feel love for the other person and doesn’t want to be in the relationship anymore, or prefer to love someone else and be with someone else.

We will wish the person in the relationship with us and the people whom they love/cherish peace and happiness. Ourselves would also have peace and happiness being free from anger, hatred, jealousy, regret, guilt, disappointment, dissatisfaction, or hurts.

There is nothing wrong and it’s okay and we have the freedom and rights to feel angry, disappointed and hurt, but we don’t have to, if we understand.

If we feel angry, disappointed and hurt in a broken love relationship (when the relationship turns into something that we don’t like and don’t want, or the person in the relationship with us doesn’t behave or feel the way that we expect/would like them to behave or feel,) it’s because we think we love the person in the relationship with us, but we don’t really love them. We don’t even love ourselves. We only love what we like and want of what we experience/get from being in the love relationship the way that we like and want it to be.

We are the one who is selfish, as we have expectation towards how the relationship should be like and how the person in the relationship with us should feel or behave, or how they should treat us in the way that we like and want. And when we don’t get what we like and want, and are getting what we don’t like and don’t want, or we are losing what we like and want towards the relationship and the love from the person in the relationship with us, we (the egoistic mind) feel betrayed, ill-treated, angry, jealous, dissatisfied, disappointed and hurt.

Who is feeling hurt?

It’s the ego, or the identification of ‘I’ who feels hurt by the perception of hurtful/wrongful/undeserving experiences under the influence of ignorance and egoism.

If the mind is free from ignorance (knowing the truth of suffering) and egoism (free from the idea of ‘I’, attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation), this mind won’t perceive hurtful/wrongful/undeserving experiences and react with hurtful feelings. This mind won’t be/feel hurt by anything, even if the perceptions of names and forms or life experiences are very unpleasant and challenging, when everything is not the way that we would like it to be.

Realize selflessness, the truth of ‘I’ and ‘I am hurt by something hurtful’.

‘I’ and ‘I am hurt by something hurtful’ doesn’t exist upon the realization of the truth. There’s no ‘I’ existing. There’s no one existing to be hurt, or experiencing hurt, or feeling hurt. There’s no one needs to be healed from hurt. All experiences are just what they are, neither hurtful nor not hurtful, upon the annihilation of ignorance and egoism. If anyone still feels hurt by something being perceived as ‘hurtful’, and believes that ‘I’ need to be healed from hurt, it’s due to ignorance and egoism.

Realize non-separateness or oneness of unconditional love.

One doesn’t need to rely/depend on receiving love/relationship/friendship/companionship/acknowledgement from anyone (not even ‘God’) to feel loved/confident/complete/satisfied/meaningful, if one realized non-separateness/oneness of unconditional love, without discrimination of self and not-self/others, conditions, possessiveness, attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison, or expectation. There’s no unhappiness, anger, hatred, jealousy, disappointment, dissatisfaction, or hurt. It doesn’t matter we have or don’t have any love relationship, and whether the love relationship turns out well or not well. One is still happy and peaceful as one is.

If we don’t know what is love or how to love, we will only end up unwittingly and ceaselessly hurting ourselves and those whom we think we love very much, especially those in a relationship with us. It’s because we don’t love ourselves and we don’t love those whom we think we love. We don’t love anyone, not even ‘God’, we only love the desires of what we like and want.

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.

Feel offended by other people’s ‘non-sociable’ personality or practice of silence?

Walk alone, live alone, eat alone and meditate alone. Cut off all connections ruthlessly. Hide yourself away. Do not build ashram. Do not hoard disciples. Do not mix. Do not associate.

– Swami Sivananda (excerpts from Concentration and Meditation)

Many friendly sociable good people who are interested in yoga and meditation practice, but somehow, they don’t really understand the core teachings and practice of yoga and meditation of silencing the mind, would feel very intimidated or offended by the teachings and practice of turning the mind inwards for self-introspection and silencing the mind, through the practice of seclusion and solitude (cutting off from all social interactions and connections), where the sociable friendly good people would feel very uncomfortable and intimidated being with those who do not engage in social interactive activity and conversation. They criticize people who observe silence, seclusion and solitude as being ‘unfriendly’, as their minds are being conditioned by certain ideas and standards to categorize people into ‘friendly people’ or ‘unfriendly people’ in the social world based on what they think is friendliness and unfriendliness.

Those who don’t talk much, or don’t engage in a social interactive conversation with other people, or don’t invade or interfere with other people’s way of life, thinking and behavior, who don’t comment or acknowledge about other people (whether it’s something good or bad), are being recognized as ‘unfriendly’ or ‘uncaring’ in the sociable society.

“People in a room do not talk to each other is so wrong.” This is the thinking and belief of the worldly minded people.

People attending a ‘silent meditation retreat/course’ complain about people in the retreat/course are so unfriendly because they don’t talk or interactive with one another?!

But what kind of bad actions have these people who are being perceived by friendly sociable good people as ‘unfriendly and uncaring people’ done to other people? Nothing. In fact, they are helping the world to have less conflict and have more peace by observing silence when they do not go around judging or expecting other people to be in certain ways that they think it should be. They do their own things and don’t invade or interfere with other people’s way of life and do not generate inconvenience for other people. That is already a great contribution to the society. We should be grateful and thankful to them.

The nature of those who observe silence appear to be ‘not fun’, non-concerning and non-engaging with other friendly sociable people who expect all human beings should be fun to hang out with, should be active in social interaction, to be talkative, to be engaging and connecting with other human beings physically and verbally, it’s not surprised that why people feel ‘wrong’, ‘awkward’, ‘unwelcome’, ‘disrespected’, ‘hurt’, ‘offended’, ‘intimidated’, ‘unconcerned’, ‘unnoticed’, ‘unacknowledged’, and so on, when they come in contact with those who observe silence. All these reactions of a disturbed state of the mind are coming from their own minds reacting towards something that they dislike and disagree with, and it’s nothing to do with whether other people are being ‘friendly’ to them, or not.

People would feel disturbed and offended by other people whom they think are not being ‘friendly’ enough towards them, as they expect friendly treatment from others the way that they think it should be. There’s an issue with themselves, not with other people. Other people have the freedom to be friendly or unfriendly towards anyone.

Because of most friendly sociable good people would feel greatly disturbed and offended by other people who observe silence of the mind, that’s why it’s better for yoga and meditation practitioners to retreat from the society to observe seclusion and solitude.

‘Friendliness’ in the path of yoga and meditation is nothing to do with accumulating friendships, constantly visiting each other to stay connecting, to be hanging out from time to time to do some social activities together, and get into worldly conversation of commentary, criticism, mocking, flirting, boasting, story telling, mourning, grumbling, debate and discussion, and so on. ‘Friendliness’ in Yoga is when the mind is being free from ill-thinking, ill-will, anger, hatred, jealousy, dissatisfaction, disappointment, fear, offensiveness, defensiveness, judgment, expectation, interference, invasion, violence or hostility towards all and everyone, free from discrimination of friends or not friends, superiority or inferiority that based on personal likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements.

When people don’t do anything that intentionally to hurt us, or disturb our peaceful life, or cause inconvenience to us, or interfere with our freedom of thinking, action and speech or way of life and conduct, that is what true friendliness is about.

When people in the society who think they are friendly people criticizing or mocking those whom they think are unfriendly people, then they don’t know the true meaning of friendliness, as themselves are being unfriendly, by having such ill-thinking and criticism towards other people whom they feel offended or intimidated by their silence of action and speech, and they interfere with other people’s freedom of actions, to act or not to act (whether to talk to another being, or not talking to anyone, where not talking to other people when there are people around expecting people should talk to one another is being perceived as unfriendly, offensive and wrong for the worldly friendly sociable good people.)

There is nothing wrong, offensive or intimidating when people have no interest to engage in any ‘friendly’ and ‘caring’ conversation with us. But the expectation from us towards other people that all ‘normal’ and ‘good’ people must somehow be engaging in interactive conversation with us to show friendliness to us, is what make us feel offended, intimidated, or wrong, when we don’t receive the interaction the way that we expect it to be. We are the one who is intimidating and offending other people’s freedom of behavior. But we don’t see it this way.

If people truly love the world and want to build a peaceful harmony society, it’s not about expecting other people to conform to our own way of life, thinking, belief, culture and behavior that we think is the way it should be. But it’s to respect everyone to be different and allowing everyone to be different, without invading or interfering with other people’s way of life, thinking, belief and behavior that are different from ours.

It’s okay if people don’t want to be sociable with other people. It’s okay if people are not interested in engaging in some forms of interactive activities or conversation with us. It’s okay if people keep to themselves and are not interested to connect with anyone to live a quiet secluded life. At least they don’t do anything intentionally that would hurt or disturb our life or the environment. If we feel disturbed is because we are disturbed by our own mind reaction towards their behavior that we dislike and disagree with.

When people talk too much, or talk non-sense or subject that we aren’t interested in, especially when we want some quiet time to ourselves, or people want to know too many things that we prefer to keep to ourselves, we complain about them for being overly warm and too friendly and busybody.

When people don’t talk to us or interact with us, and don’t ask anything about us that we would like to share with other people, we also complain about them for being ‘cold’ and ‘unfriendly’ and ‘uncaring’.

Be free.

Be free from craving for love

Some feel hurt when they think there’s no one love them. Some feel hurt when they think they love someone whom they don’t really love. Some feel hurt when they are loved by someone who doesn’t really love them. Some feel hurt when they aren’t getting the love that they want. Some feel hurt when they are losing the love that they like. No matter what, people will feel hurt, whether they want to love someone, or they want to be loved by someone.

There’s nothing wrong with ‘love’. People say ‘love’ hurts and advise other people not to love, if they don’t want hurt. This is incorrect understanding.

It’s the desires of craving towards ‘love’ and the aversion towards ‘love-less’, and the expectation towards how ‘love’ should be like, is why people feel hurt, or lonely, dissatisfied, disappointed, unhappy, depressed, meaningless, miserable, or suffer, when they want to love or be loved by someone.

Realize what is ‘love’ and learn how to love, is yoga.

Be free from craving for love, whether from family, love relationship, friendship, community, or any other forms of beings and objects of names and forms.

When the mind is free from craving for love, there is peace, it doesn’t matter one is loving someone, or not, and whether one is loved by someone, or not.

Treat others the way that how we would like to be treated?

“Treat others the way that how we would like to be treated?”

Though this is a good and positive thinking we hear very often from here and there, but we are not free, as we still have expectation towards how others should treat us the way we would like to be treated in return. We will be very disappointed if after we treat others the way that we would also like to be treated the same by them, but they don’t. And most of the time, they don’t.

Even when we think we have shown lots of love and cares to another being, it’s not necessarily that this being will treat us the way how we treat them, or how we would like to be treated in return.

Be free. Just be ourselves. And let others to treat us the way that they want to treat us. It’s their freedom of thinking, action and speech. We can only appreciate if others treat us the way we like them to treat us, and if they don’t, let them be.

Om shanti.

The practice of letting go and free ourselves from continue being hurt by past unhappy experiences…

There is no doubt that when somebody does something through speech or action that is hurtful to our feelings, we will feel hurt, upset and angry…

We have the rights to feel hurt, upset and angry in this very moment when somebody does or says something that is hurtful in this present moment… As that painful feeling of being hurt is a normal reaction towards some speech and action that our mind/ego recognizes as something “hurtful”, or it is a consequence derives from somebody’s “hurtful” speech and action.

In this very moment when the hurtful speech or action is happening, it is the responsible of that person for his or her “hurtful” speech and action that is causing us to feel hurt in this present moment… But, this is only valid in this very moment when it is happening. Afterwards, if we still continue to feel hurt, upset and angry, then it will be our own responsibility for allowing ourselves continue to be hurt and feel hurt, even though that “hurtful” incident has already gone, it doesn’t exist in the reality of the present moment now, but it only exists as part of our memories…

We are the one who is responsible for allowing ourselves continue to be hurt repeatedly over and over again by our own attachment towards our past unhappy memories… This hurt is no longer the responsibility or consequences of other people’s hurtful speech and action, but it is our own responsibility…

To love ourselves, to be kind and compassionate towards ourselves, it is our own choice and freedom to free ourselves from continue being hurt by past unhappy happenings or past painful experiences by forgive other people’s hurtful speech and action or wrong doings, by letting go of the past instantly…

Memories will still be there, either it will get stronger or gradually fade away, depending on how much energy we feed to them, but they are just a bunch of happy and unhappy memories… We cannot erase all the unhappy memories that we don’t like… But for sure, we can practice letting go of the past instantly by letting go of the attachment towards the past experiences whether they are good or bad experiences… Memories will be there coming and going in our mind, but they have no more power to influence us for how we feel in the present moment now…

And in order for us to be able to let go of the past unhappy experiences, we need to know the truth about how come we feel hurt and who is responsible for it?

By understanding the connection between the past memories and our emotions and feelings, and knowing what is going on when we felt hurt in the past and why we continue to feel hurt by the past unhappy experiences in the present moment now, and knowing what is being kind and compassionate towards all being including ourselves is also one of the beings, we need to be kind and compassionate towards ourselves, and love ourselves, we will know that the only way to heal ourselves from painful experiences is by letting go of the past instantly, by practicing forgiveness and letting go…

To forgive other people’s wrong and hurtful actions and speech, is being kind and compassionate towards ourselves… Let go of anger and hatred… Free ourselves from continue being hurt by past unhappy experiences which don’t exist in the reality of the present moment now, but only exist as a phantom that lives in our memories playing tricks onto our feelings in the present moment now, which is meaningless and wasting our energy to entertain it…

It is not about denying or ignoring our feelings. It is about to feel or be aware of what we are feeling now in the present moment, allow all these feelings to arise and pass away, and let them go…. It doesn’t matter if they are good feelings or bad feelings, happy feelings or unhappy feelings, pleasant feelings or unpleasant feelings, feel or be aware of their presence in this very moment, and let them go…

Be happy.

 

What does “friends” means on the path of compassion?

In the path of yoga and meditation or Buddhism or compassion, friendliness is part of our practice. But we might get confused as at the same time, we also always read or hear about the practice of seclusion or retreat from active sociable lifestyle, for any sincere Sadhakas to be able to go deeper into our yoga and meditation practice.

At some stage in our life, we will need to let go of our worldly duties and live a secluded life to concentrate on our own Sadhana.

Being “friendly” towards all beings on the path of compassion, is different from the worldly perception of what “friends” means. In the worldly perception or understanding, “friendships” might means getting to meet up with other people, to know and interact with other people, making and accumulating “friends” with those who can share with each other, to care for each other, to support each other, to hang out with, to spend time with, to do some activities with, to eat, drink, play and chat with, to cry and laugh with, somebody to talk to, somebody whom we can count on and lean on, to help each other during difficulties, to be there for each other during good and bad times, to celebrate or to mourn together… Or we can only be “friend” with people whom we like and agree with, and we cannot be “friend” with whom we don’t like and disagree with… Or “friends” means those who have similar believes, thinking, point of view that can “work” or “do things” together… And, anyone who are not in these “categories” or if they are very different from us, then they are “not friends” or they are “enemies”. There are conditions in looking for “friends” or being “friendly” towards another being.

We have attachment towards “friends” or “friendships”. We have so much expectation towards what a “friend” or a “good friend” or a “true friend” should be like… Such like when something not very nice happens, we would likely to say this, “You are “my” friend, why you treat me like this? You shouldn’t do this to me…” We’ll get disappointed by “our” friends many times, but that disappointment is coming from our own expectation towards how “our” friends should behave or treat us. It is not coming from “our” friends being not nice or not friendly to us or not being a “friend” for us… If we like “our friends” very much, we enjoy the times being together, we will generate clinging and craving towards this “friend” or this “friendship”… If we don’t like “our friends”, we didn’t enjoy the times being together, we will generate aversion towards this “friend” or this “friendship”…

In the path of compassion, yoga, meditation or Buddhism (all these different names and forms are not different from each other – it’s all about realizing egolessness or selflessness to transcend “suffering”), “friendliness” towards all beings means not having any ill-will or hatred or discrimination towards all beings whether “good or bad” beings, “human or non-human” beings, without judgment, expectation, likes and dislikes, agreement or disagreement… We are able to be kind and compassionate towards all beings…

In another terms, all are “friends” to us, we are “friends” for all beings, whether beings I like or not, whether beings I agree with or not, whether beings I know or not, whether human or non-human beings, whether “good” or “bad” beings, there is no difference… And not limited to social “friends” whom we like, whom we agree with, whom we know, whom we spend time with, share life with, do things with, hang out with, get together with, chat with, eat with, drink with, adventure with, growth with, enjoy with, suffer with and so on…

It also means, it is not necessarily that there have to be some people in our life whom we can hang out with, do things with, share life with and so on, to have “friends”, to be “friendly”…

And there is a greatest friend or “being” for us to love, to share with, to be there for good and bad times, is ourselves… But, how many of us know about this friend… We keep looking out for another being as “friend” who will love and care for us… And when we try to “love” ourselves, we tend to become selfish, only think and concern about our own feelings, desires and benefits… We “love” ourselves with selfishness which is the cause of our own unhappiness…

If we know this selfless “friend” who is there with us all the time, there is no loneliness whether we have “friends” or not…

That’s why being “friendly” to all beings and live in seclusion is not contradict with one another on the path of compassion…

Some people get confused with or reject towards some teachings or advice coming from some great Gurus or Yogis or saints and sages in the past telling us about practice “friendliness” and be “friendly” towards all beings, but don’t “mix” with people or don’t “make friends”, live a secluded life concentrate on performing our own Sadhana… What it means is, treat all beings equally, respect all beings, have no ill-will or hatred towards any beings, no differences or separation between those I categorized as “my friends” or “not my friends”…

All these great saints and sages, those who were living in the world, doing a lot of karma yoga (selfless service) serving the world, being with and dealing with different types of beings, they were friends to all beings, but they “didn’t” desire to make or accumulate “friends” to spend time with, to hang out with, to do things with, to chat with, to eat and drink with, to play with, to enjoy with, to share with, to practice with, and so on… And yet they are sharing with all beings all the time, they are “friendly” towards all beings, close or far away, known or unknown, be seen or unseen, in actions or in inactions…

The practice of seclusion, it doesn’t mean that we have no more friends and be lonely being alone by ourselves without any friends… But there is no loneliness and all are friends, without the “necessity” of having a so called “social life” which means having some “friends” or people whom we missed without their presence in our life, whom we want to spent time with or hang out with or do things with, for us to attain some sort of excitement or to remove unhappiness or loneliness… There is no distractions of anything that can cause restlessness… There is no vain talks, gossips, slandering, back-bitting, criticisms, judgments, discriminations, complaints, hypocrisy, lies, untruthfulness, politics, exploitations, and etc that generate disharmony in ourselves and in others…

Our Guru Swami Sivanandaji told us to be “care-less” in order to succeed in our Sadhana, it doesn’t mean that we don’t care for other beings, but it means “Care for all beings without attachment, without being disturbed, nor distracted, nor affected, nor influenced by other beings and social activities, which derives from knowing what is real “friendliness”… He also mentioned in his books or teachings repeatedly many times, about don’t make or accumulate “friends” or do not mix, as one of the important observations in order to be succeed in meditation, it is not contradictory with the practice of “friendliness” and compassion at all, as “friendliness” and compassion is not about having a social life or accumulating “friends”… It is free from ill-will or hatred towards all beings whether they are “good” or “evil”, whether we like them or not, agree with them or not, or whether they like us and agree with us or not…

Evil is “evil” as it appears to be opposite to what is “good and kind” to allow us to be justified as good and kind, and so, “evil” is not really evil… And “good” is not really good when there is hatred towards “evil” as hatred is associate with “evil”…

Of course, there is nothing wrong with having a “social life” and involved with “social activities” as long as there is no attachment… As social life and activities don’t give us “distractions” unless we (the mind) are being distracted and influenced by them…

As we can be having many “friends” in life, but not necessarily that we are completely be free from ill-will or hatred towards other beings… By making and accumulating many “friends” also doesn’t guarantee that we will be free from “loneliness” or we are being “friendly”…

We might be “friendly” towards those whom we like and agree with, but we might not necessarily be “friendly” towards those whom we dislike and disagree with, especially those whom we “think” that they are “bad” or “evil” or “wrong”, those who are not nice and not kind to us and others, and those who hurt us and others physically or emotionally… Look at ourselves, how often that we are easily being disturbed or angry with somebody that we don’t know personally, nor who comes in contact with us personally, but whom we “think” or “heard” that they are “bad and evil” beings who perform “bad and evil” actions but it is not necessarily the truth as what we think it is…

Restlessness, anxieties, agitation, depression, fear, worries, disturbs, troubles, conflicts, arguments, debates, anger, dissatisfaction, disappointment, violence, ill-will, energy deprivation, jealousy, envy, desires, distractions or lack of concentration that derives from worldly “social life” and “social activities” which are the main obstacles in the path of yoga and meditation, can be reduced to minimum when we practice seclusion from “social lifestyle” and yet living in the world performing actions serving the world without attachment and distractions… Especially those of us who are still easily being distracted, or disturbed, or influenced, or affected, or determined by other beings and social activities due to lack of non-attachment or detachment, lack of wisdom and compassion… As we are still being over-powered by ignorance, desires, craving and aversion and all other impurities like anger, hatred, greed, dissatisfaction, jealousy, pride, arrogance, fear, worry, expectation, and etc…

We can try to meditate everyday but still, our mind is restless, our ego is strong… We continue to experience suffering or unhappiness, and be miserable… We keep judging ourselves and others as good or bad… We keep having expectation towards ourselves and others about this and that… We still have ceaseless desires to be fulfilled, to be satisfied… Forever restless…

Until one day, when the ego and selfish desires have completely vanished, then there is no difference at all whether having an active social lifestyle or not, as by then we are no longer being distracted or influenced by anybody or anything, and we can mix freely with anybody whether positive or negative beings, active or inactive beings, wise or ignorant beings, happy or unhappy beings… We are always full of energy and yet be in calmness… We might be performing actions in life for other beings, but we also have time and space for our own Sadhana, not neglecting ourselves nor being distracted from perfoming our own Sadhana…

Not performing any actions for other beings doesn’t mean that we didn’t perform karma yoga as part of our practice. It’s because by taking care of our own Sadhana is the greatest karma yoga selfless service being perform onto ourselves and will be benefiting other beings naturally, when we have peace and compassion in us.

Again, this practice is only an advice to those who are sincere to transcend “suffering”, to be free from restlessness, discontentment, low self-esteem, anger, hatred, fear, worry, and etc…

Om shanti.

Be happy.

My life stories – Part 2

My life stories – Part 2
Stories from my past memories – childhood, family, friends, growing up, poverty, integrity, dreams come true, finding peace and happiness, Buddhism, Yoga, and now…

I went to an English medium preschool kindergarten for one year before I entered a Chinese medium primary school for six years. I met and mixed with other children who were same age as me and from multi races. I made some good friends and learned about life from these friendships.

Whether I was born this way, or I was brainwashed and taught to be like this, there is something that I always strongly believe in – truthfulness and honesty. I was always very careful about not committing any wrong or immoral doings. If I realized I did something that I believed was wrong, I would admit my wrong doings and ask for forgiveness immediately. Though during the two years when I was disturbed by unhappiness, anger and hatred, I had intentionally hurt other people through my thoughts, actions and speech, especially to my parents.

Sometimes I forgot to do my homework, I went to inform the teacher that I hadn’t done my homework and gave my palm to the teacher to discipline me with a stroke of caning. When the marked exam paper came back to us, I would go to the teacher and asked for remarking and to deduct the extra points if I found out that the teacher mistakenly gave me more points than it should be. We don’t take what doesn’t belong to us. This might be referred as “stupid honesty” by some people, but it’s a great virtue in the teachings of Buddhism and Yoga.

If I found something left unattended in the school compound, I would bring it to the teacher. When the cashiers in the shops carelessly gave me extra change, I would give it back to them so that they wouldn’t get into trouble for losing money from the cash machine. I wouldn’t take anything that doesn’t belong to me. I wouldn’t accept any gifts or receive help from anyone, unless I knew the person who wanted to give me something or help me was pure and sincere.

I was very self-independent and self-initiative. I didn’t need my parents to wake me up in the morning to prepare myself to go to school. I was always punctual and be responsible for myself and all my duties. I always kept my promises that I made to other people. I would show up on time after I had arranged a date to meet up with my friends, even if the date was months later. I would do what I said I wanted to do for myself or for others. That’s why I don’t simply make promises to anybody unless I know I can do it.

My primary school’s class teacher was aware of the truthfulness and honesty in me. One day, she granted me an honour for being honest – In front of all the classmates, she stood up for me and guaranteed that I am an honest and truthful person who won’t tell lies or steal anything, to defend my innocence because of a little incident that happened in our classroom that day.

Someone in the class had been stealing things from most of the classmates from time to time. Things had been missing from our bags or desks. My colour pencils and water bottle also went missing.

One day, my classmate who sat in front of me told our teacher that his exercise book was missing. And so, our teacher called upon everyone and asked whoever took his exercise book to come forward and return the book. He or she would be excused and be forgiven. But there was nobody stepped forward or said anything. The entire class was never been so quiet. Then the teacher asked everyone to search their bags to see if there might be a chance that the exercise book was in one of our bags. I didn’t know what happened, but surprisingly, I found the exercise book in my bag.

Without any fear or guilt I told the teacher and everyone that the exercise book was in my bag and I honestly didn’t know why it was in my bag. I might have put it in my bag accidentally, or someone might had put it into my bag unintentionally or intentionally. For me, it really didn’t matter because I knew I didn’t take it or steal it. But then everyone had the same reaction of thinking that I must be the thief who had stolen the exercise book. The entire class went from silent to noisy. Everyone was pointing their fingers at me and whispering to each other, as if I was guilty for stealing the book. But because I was always being truthful, honest and straightforward, my teacher immediately stood up for me and defend my innocence. She asked everyone to believe in me that I was innocent and I was an honest and truthful person that I wouldn’t tell any lies or steal anything, and she would guarantee that. And so, everyone stopped judging me, but respected me for being a truthful and honest person from that moment.

Since then, my belief about being truthful and honest became stronger than before. By observing truthfulness and honesty will gain such trustworthy and respect from everyone. If somebody who was jealous of me tried to accuse me for something that I wasn’t responsible for, or if someone questioned about my honesty, the people who knew me would believe in me and stood up for me. That’s the power of truthfulness and honesty.

For the first three years in the primary school, I was very bad at Mandarin, but I was good at Malay and English. This was because I had went to an English medium kindergarten. I was good at mathematics and science too. I always paid attention in the class and would asked the teacher immediately after class if there was anything that I missed out or didn’t understand. I seldom study after school, but I could get good results for the examinations.

I was never being close to my two brothers and my sister. We seldom played together when I was growing up. I guess one of the reasons was because there were many years difference between me and them. It’s also because they went to English and Malay medium’s school. They didn’t know Chinese at all. And so, they couldn’t help me in my homework and study as all my subjects were in Chinese. Anyway, I didn’t need anyone to help me in my homework and study. I never needed to go for extra tuition classes like most of my classmates.

I also had very good image memory to remember what I had read. I didn’t need to revise what the teachers taught us in school everyday. I just needed to go to sleep early on the night before the exam, and got up at three in the morning. I browsed through the text book while listening to some music. I would remember page by page of what I had read and could answer the questions exactly like a print out from the book. Though I never bothered about the results and placing in the class, I often had very good results from the examinations. Maybe it was because my parents never pressured us and we didn’t feel that we needed to compete with other people or among our siblings. I never felt that I needed to be good enough so that I would receive love and attention from my parents. My parents never tried to bribe us with things or presents to encourage us to get good results in school examinations. They just told us to do our best. Even though my parents never pressured me to achieve good results, I was self-initiated to do well most of the time, not that I needed to prove to my parents or myself, but naturally, I just did well because I wanted to. My parents loved us the same even though my brothers weren’t very smart and always failed in most of the subjects in school examinations. I am really glad we have such parents.

On one of the celebration days where everyone cooked and ate glutinous rice dumpling, my family had came together to tease me. The lesson was we shouldn’t eat too much glutinous rice dumpling at one time no matter how delicious they are, as eating too much glutinous rice is indigestible and will cause drowsiness. When I came back from school that afternoon, I ate a few of the dumplings my mother made for the family and they were really delicious. Not long after eating, I felt really drowsy and I went for a nap which turned into a deep sleep for a few hours.

Then my mother came to my room to wake me up and told me that it was time to go to school. I was still in a very drowsy condition. I was blur-blur. I didn’t know what was going on and I believed what my mother said to me. I turned to look at the clock, it was six something. Usually the school bus came around that time in the morning to pick me up. At that moment, I heard the bus went passed our house.

I panicked. I was never late for anything. I quickly jumped off the bed and ran to the bathroom. I washed my face and brushed my teeth, ran back to my room and changed into my school uniform, took my school bag and ran out to the gate, and stood there waiting for the school bus to come back for me. I remembered that I was telling myself, “I haven’t done all my homework yet!”

When I was running to the bathroom which was located at the back of our house, I passed by the living hall and the kitchen. I saw my brother was in the living hall pumping the kerosene lamp for the house. Our house didn’t have electricity supply yet at that time. Meanwhile, my mother was cooking in the kitchen. Usually they wouldn’t be awake and do all these things in the early morning. When I ran out to the gate I also saw some children were talking and playing around. Usually nobody would be playing and making noise in the early hours. It all didn’t make sense, but I didn’t suspect anything because I was panicking about being late for school. I still hadn’t a clue what was going on. I was so blurred by the drowsiness and so naive to believe what my mother said to me – “It’s time to go to school.”

I was standing in front of the gate in my school uniform with my school bag.

A few moments later, everyone started to look at me and laughed. My mother came out from the house, grabbed me with her strong arms and carried me back into the house while telling me the truth that it was evening time, not morning! It was dinner time. That’s why there were children playing out there! That’s why my mother was cooking and my brother was pumping the kerosene lamp to light up the house! And the school bus that I heard was sending school children back home.

Until now we still remember what happened that day and we would laugh about it.

I was an outgoing girl who liked to ride my bicycle and went everywhere. I danced most of the time, climbed up the trees, and played with boys and fought with them playing “kung fu fighting”. I played football, basketball, baseball, badminton, flying kites and catching butterflies. I also played rope jumping, hide and seek, slippers throwing, hopscotch, ‘five stones’, and etc. I liked to hang out on the sand hills and the wood factory on top the hill opposite our house. Sometimes I hung out at my friend’s house. I was the leader of the gang of our friends in the village. Among of them were two sisters named Ya Li and Ya Fang. They lived further inside the village closer to the Klang river. There was a Sikh family who had a small cowshed near the river. They bred some cows for fresh milk and sold it in a big milk can placed on top of a bicycle going around the village. I liked to organize games like playing court case, where each of us played a character in the court. We also liked to sing in the school bus. Because of my energetic activities, I had several scars on my knees coming from falling onto the ground while playing and fell off the bicycle many times.

One day, I went to my friend’s house to sleep over. I brought my own pillow and bolster with me. I walked to her house which was about 200 meters away from our house. I was seven years old then. I was so embarrassed that day because I had peed on her bed in the middle of the night. I apologized to her parents the next morning. Everyone knew about it and teased me for that incident and laughed about it for some time. Though this childhood good friend of mine whose name was Lye Wan didn’t go to the school that I went to, she and I had spent so much time together as we grew up together in Kampung Pinang. We lost contact for more than 23 years after the village was gone. One day, she found me on Facebook in 2009.

I befriended a few other kids who were living in the same village, but not from the same school or taking the same school bus. I was good friend with a girl named Shi Huey who was five years younger than me whose house was right behind our house. She always came over to my house to play with me. She fell down on our terrace and lost two of her front teeth on my twelfth birthday’s party. I also knew a girl named Sally who was one year older than me. She came from a Catholic family. I spent lots of time hanging out with her for many years. She became a hairdresser and had her own hair salon near Old Klang Road. I even rented a room in her hair salon to set up my first aerobics dance studio when I was eighteen years old.

There was a Punjabi girl named Sonny who lived opposite my house had picked up Cantonese from being friend with me. We spent lots of time together cycling in and around the village. Sometimes I went to her house for Punjabi meal and she also came to our house for Chinese meal.

I was good friend with a brother and sister named Ah Sang and Ah Fong who were a few years younger than me. They lived next door to our house and we have the same surname. Our surname ‘Lai’ was not a common surname. In the Chinese tradition, those who have the same surname will treat each other like brother and sister even though they might not related to each other. They always came over to our house and we liked to climb up the big cherry tree in our garden. I even organized a ‘bank saving account’ game. I was the banker and a few of my friends would save some coins with me every day. I kept a note book and wrote down the amount of money that they gave me, or took out. Sometimes we would use the total savings to buy some snacks and shared among ourselves. Those were such happy days.

All these childhood happy days disappeared when my family suffered from financial problem for some reasons related to my sister and her late husband, which made me very angry and unhappy for more than two years. Anyway, he died from a horrific work accident years later.

During the financial difficult moments in our family, I had shut myself off from everybody. I was full of anger and hatred and I was very depressed. I didn’t want to talk to my family for a long time. I locked myself in the bedroom and danced every night for a few hours to release my unhappiness. I developed a very special affection for small insects during that time and would prefer to talk to little insects especially bugs, than talking to people. I went out in the middle of the night and sat on the hilltop by myself watching the stars in the sky. I was not afraid of anything.

It is true that a person who is full of anger and hatred will not be afraid of anything, not even God, Devil, or Hell. When a person has intense anger and hatred in the heart, he or she doesn’t believe in anything at all. And so, what is hell and what is God are meaningless to this person. I prayed to Devil when I was very angry and I cursed everything and everyone, including my parents, my family, the people on the street, the sun, the moon, the stars, and God, even though all these things, people and the universe has nothing to do with my unhappiness. I was so unhappy, angry and full of hatred.

My second elder brother was three years older than me. He was also disturbed by our family financial problems and became very cold and rebellious. He couldn’t forgive our parents and our sister and her late husband for many years. I left school a year before the secondary school final year, which was a pity, but I never regret about it because in the end, wisdom and peace and happiness are not coming from school education, but it’s coming from within ourselves through life experiences and self-realization. No doubt that school education is very important to learn how to read and write and communicate, to learn about different languages, cultures, religions, sports, morality, geography, history, mathematics, science and professional skills for living, but how many schools teach us how to be happy and have peace, or teach us how to transcend suffering and be free from unhappiness, ignorance, anger, hatred, greed, fear and worry?

We may have read a lot of books, have many talented skills, speak many languages, know about many things, have been to many places in the world, and have many friends, but it doesn’t guarantee that we will be free from suffering of anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, doubts, fear and worry, and will have peace and be happy in life.

I was lucky to be able to transform myself and came out from misery that had kept me in two years of darkness. I started to talk to my parents again and showed love and care for them. But my brother was continuing to be very unhappy for many years. Only until recently he forgave my family and started to care for my parents again just a couple of years before my mother died, which was good for him and my parents. Or else, he would regret for the rest of his life, if he hadn’t forgave my parents before my mother died, and she wouldn’t have peace as well.

Though I wasn’t a sociable person at school I made a few true and sincere friends after spending six years together in the same class at the primary school. We continued to be friends and kept in touch with each other once in a while after we finished primary school. Sadly, one of them killed herself in 2004 just before I went to India for the Yoga Teachers Training Course. Her sudden death gave me a great reflection about life, suffering and happiness.

She was born into a broken family. Her father was a wealthy businessman. Her parents were forced to get married as her mother was pregnant with her at young aged. They were separated when my friend was just a few months old and both of them had formed another family after their divorce. Both her parents abandoned her. Her grandmother took her in and looked after her. She was very grateful for that and she loved her grandmother very much, which was also the reason why her depression became more serious when her grandmother passed away. She was one of the top graduates of higher education. She worked as a marketing manager in a big advertising company, and smoked at least 2 packets of cigarettes a day.

Her first marriage lasted for one year. She married to the man whom she thought she knew very well after being best friend for 10 years. The husband was well-educated and had a high income nine to five office job, just like some other well-educated men.

Not long after they were married, she then realized her newly-wed husband was like a complete stranger to her. She started to discover many things that she didn’t know about him. She was so shocked with the truth of his real personality and was deeply disappointed with their relationship and marriage. She didn’t know that he was such an irresponsible man until they lived together sharing a life under the same roof. She found out that her husband was addicted to gambling seriously. She knew he gambled occasionally just like all the other Chinese community, but she thought that was just one of the leisure activities that most Chinese like to engage with. He liked to go to Genting Highlands Casino for gambling. Unfortunately, he lost a lot of money and started to borrow money from the loan sharks money lender. He lost all the money borrowed from the loan sharks and didn’t have the money to pay back the loan. He secretly went to her father and borrowed a lot of money from him. He lied to her father about why he needed to borrow so much money and convinced him not to let her know about it. He took all the money borrowed from her father to Genting Highlands again for more gambling hoping to win back what he had lost, but instead, he lost everything he had. He couldn’t pay back the loan sharks and was in debt with the father-in-law. And so, what he did? He ran away without telling her and went missing for many months without any contact from him.

What worst was, he didn’t just run away. He also took all her savings in cash which she kept in the house. She didn’t want to keep money in the banks. She said she didn’t trust the bank. She taught she could trust her husband, but she was wrong.

She only found out the truth about her husband when the loan sharks came to her house looking for the husband, and threatened her to pay back the money borrowed by her husband who had ran away shamelessly. She also found out about the husband had borrowed lots of money from her father. She was completely heartbroken.

Meanwhile she found out that she was pregnant, which the husband had no idea about it. She was supposed to be very happy for having to be pregnant because she always wanted to have her own children ever since she was a young girl. She strongly believed that a woman’s life wouldn’t be complete until she had her own children to form a perfect family. She was very worried for her unborn child to have such an irresponsible, selfish and shameless father. She made a very heart-breaking decision. She went for an abortion out of great anger and disappointment. She felt guilty for that afterwards and had regretted it for the rest of her life. She filed a divorce after her husband’s disappearance for many months. He showed up one day to sign the divorce paper, but seeing him again was like putting salt onto the existing wounds.

Few years later she met another well-educated man also with a decent high income job. She fell in love and got married again. Not long after they were married, she got pregnant not once, but twice. She was very happy to have her own children that she always dreamt of. She was determined to quit smoking while she was pregnant for the sake of the baby’s health. She continued her two boxes of cigarettes every day as soon as she stopped breast feeding.

She suffered post natal depression after the first baby. She recovered, but not for long. She wanted another baby to fulfill her wish to have a few children to complete her perfect happy family life. She was pregnant again two years later and gave birth to another baby boy. We went to her house to visit her and the baby. She didn’t talk about her problems. She seemed happy with her wishes came true and was very loving towards her new born baby boy. Her husband seemed like a good gentleman.

A few months later, one of our classmates called me in great distressed and told me that she had passed away about a month ago. The three of us used to hang out together frequently before her second marriage and the two pregnancies. We didn’t know what had happened to her or how she died. Nobody knew anything about her sudden death, not any of our classmates. The husband didn’t inform anyone of us about her death and the funeral. I had called her and texted her many times before and after her death, but there was no reply. Then only I knew why she hadn’t returned my calls and messages. Because she was dead. We couldn’t keep in the dark and wanted to find out what had happened to her.

My friend called her husband. The husband didn’t want to tell her anything about her death, but just said that the two boys were living with his parents in Penang. We were looking for an answer. Finally, we found our answer from an old newspaper dated November 9th, 2004. It was really heart-breaking and painful for us to read the article about her death. The article was about how she had jumped from her 15th floor apartment’s balcony and fell to her death instantly in the morning about 10.30 a.m. on November 8th, 2004. The neighbours told the reporters that they always heard arguments from her apartment about money issues.

We knew about her death in December 2004, and I went to India in early January 2005. I was very sad about her death, but I was more determined to find out the truth about suffering and the path of liberation from suffering. She had chosen what she wanted to do with her life. I respect her decision.

That was the past. I continued my journey in search for real peace and happiness.

Thanks to the Dhamma, Madonna and everyone who had inspired and helped me to come out from miseries. Thanks to my parents who didn’t question me for my bad behaviour and they didn’t abandon me and were very patient with me, and continued to love me and care for me, gave me their supports to pursue my dreams in dancing, and for me to have the opportunity to teach aerobics classes for making a living to support myself and my parents.

My mother was the driver who sent me everywhere to teach aerobics classes. She waited in the car park until I finished teaching and then sent me back home because I didn’t learn how to drive yet, not until I was thirty three years old. I had fear of crossing the road and fear of driving in the past because I was involved in a few car accidents as a passenger when I was a child. It would take me very long time to cross over the road. I would wait until there was completely no cars in sight to cross the road. But now it’s a different story. I love and enjoy driving very much. I’m free from fear. After I learned how to drive and bought a small car to travel in and around Kuala Lumpur, I managed to teach a lot more aerobics classes which led to a higher income that allowed me to have a little bit of savings for myself after giving money to support my parents’ living every month.

And thanks to myself, who had uplifted and loved myself and saved myself out of the ocean of ignorance and suffering.

READ ON…