If we want to have peace, it is not necessarily that we have to be attending some sort of yoga classes or yoga courses, or to learn yoga from some ‘yoga teachers’ or ‘Gurus’.
There are people who do not attend yoga classes or yoga courses, and never have a yoga teacher or Guru, but it won’t stop them from realizing the truth, realizing unconditional love and peace, and be free.
Peace is not only be found within certain types of spiritual practice, nor does it limited by time, space and causation. It is not attained from the outside through somebody’s else effort to give us peace.
Peace is always here within us. Wherever we are, whatever we do, peace has never left us.
Even Buddha, the enlightened one, couldn’t give enlightenment to anybody, or remove ignorance or suffering from anyone, or to give peace to anyone.
Buddha attained liberation, through his own effort and contemplation upon the truth, out of great will power, determination, and perseverance.
It is not necessarily that we need a teacher to be there to show us how to bring our mind to be in the present moment, or to be aware of what is going on in our mind.
We are our own teacher, when we are able to be aware of our own mind activities just by restricting the mind from its usual inputs and outputs for a period of time. We will start to understand and be aware of how our mind works, or functions. We can develop self-awareness and mindfulness through our own experience in our everyday life even without any teachers to teach us anything about reflection or contemplation.
Even if a teacher is in front of us, being very close to us, but the teacher cannot eliminate our ego for us. The teacher cannot purify our mind for us. The teacher cannot stop our mind from generating attachment, craving, clinging, and aversion.
Everything and everyone that we come in contact with, and every experience that we go through in life, is our natural Dharma teachers, whether all these different names and forms are something agreeable or disagreeable, pleasant or unpleasant, happy or unhappy, as we wish or not as we wish. They are here to ignite us to develop self-awareness and mindfulness, to reflect upon the truth.
Be our own teacher.
Without self-discipline or self-control, it is useless even if we have many teachers being here to guide and show us about many types of practices that can be helpful to us to conquer our own mind.
It isn’t necessarily that we have to be doing some yoga poses to be free.
It isn’t necessarily that we have to be performing some forms of ritual ceremonies to be free.
It isn’t necessarily that we have to know all the Sanskrit names and words to be free.
It isn’t necessarily that we have to know about anatomy and physiology to be free.
It isn’t necessarily that we have to be physically healthy, strong and flexible to be free.
And so on.
Being a person with such and such ‘educational backgrounds’, ‘social status’, ‘beliefs’, ‘cultures’, ‘qualities’, ‘personalities’, ‘experiences’, ‘qualifications’, ‘names and forms’, do not guarantee us liberation from ignorance and egoism.
Being able to debate about worldly or spiritual matters also doesn’t guarantee us peace and compassion.
It is all happening in our own mind, observing all the mind perception of names and forms, without generate attachment towards whatever the mind perceives through the senses, without generate reactions of craving and aversion. Being aware of reality as it is, without trying to control or change the reality that we don’t like or don’t want to be something that we like or want it to be.
Constantly inquire about ‘Who am I?’, or who is this one whom we identify as ‘I’, who we think is the doer of actions, and the enjoyer of the fruit of actions?
If we realize and see ‘God’ or the universal consciousness in everything, love and peace is beyond all the names and forms, unconditioned or uncontaminated by any good and bad qualities of names and forms. We will respect all beings as they are without discrimination, not necessarily that we are agreeing with everyone’s thinking and behavior.
No matter how many yoga classes or discourses we have attended in the past, or how many yoga books we have read, or how many times we have heard about the teachings of yoga and vedanta, or how many ‘yoga teachers’ or ‘Gurus’ we have, it all comes back to our own faith, determination, perseverance, will power, forbearance, patience, self-discipline, self-control, non-attachment, non-identification, non-judgment, non-comparison, non-expectation, letting go of the ego, desires, craving and aversion, to purify the mind, to stop stimulating the mind, to render the mind calm and pure, to be free from egoism, ignorance, attachment, restlessness and impurities, to contemplate upon the truth, to realize the truth by ourselves, and be free.
As we can accumulate and memorize all the knowledge or information that we gathered from reading and hearing, but it won’t free us from egoism and attachment. We will have doubts, as all these knowledge is not coming from our own self-realization. We will have pride and arrogance, if we attached to the knowledge that we have gathered through reading and hearing.
Until we realize the truth by ourselves, we will still be affected, disturbed, influenced and determined by all the qualities of names and forms due to ignorance and egoism, wrong identification and attachment towards the body and the mind, and being over-powered by impurities, such like anger and hatred, dissatisfaction and disappointment, pride and arrogance, fear and worry.
No body can purify our mind for us, or can take away fear and worry in us, or can give us unconditional peace and love, or can remove egoism and ignorance in us to realize the truth. We need to purify our mind to remove ignorance, to let go of egoism and attachment, and realize the truth which is already there in us, through our own effort and persistent practice, and be truly free.
Sufficient amount of solitude, silence, renunciation from worldly activities, such like, giving up newspaper or magazine reading, novel reading, movies watching, partying, mingling, publicity, arguing, criticism, slandering, vain talk, telling lies, gossiping, backbiting, boasting, avoid too much eating, fasting, sleeping, awaking, idling, moving, walking, talking, or heavy physical activities, are all important practice for render the mind calm and clear, which is nothing to do with attending yoga and meditation classes or courses from a teacher.
This is not being shallow-minded or closed-minded, as this is a common basic teaching from many different saints and sages who have walked the path before us.
We think we are so great and smart. We think that we are now living in a modern world, and all these old-fashioned practice are no longer suitable to be practiced in modern life society, and we criticize all these traditional teachings as outdated and useless. We (the egoistic mind) love the world so much. We care about what is going on in the world and we want to be the world saver. We want to demolish all the bad people, stupid people, bad things, corruption, injustice, violence, and all other evil doings. Well, if we think we are so right and so good, then be happy with the ‘modern’ lifestyle and ‘modernized’ spiritual practice, and what we believe is the best to ‘save’ the world from getting worst.
As all the saints and sages in the past never insisted on trying to persuade, or to convert anyone to be like them. It is everyone’s freedom to do what they want to do, live how they want to live their life, believe in what they want to believe, and be what they want to be.