Looking for yoga school or yoga teacher training course?

Imperfection exists in all and everything including different yoga schools or yoga teacher training courses and the people involving in running the yoga schools and yoga courses.

With an open mind, without expectation, be ready to inquire the truth of everything, including all the teachings and practice presented by the yoga school or in the yoga teacher training course, and without regret towards one’s decision of choosing the particular yoga school or yoga teacher training course.

Dealing with all the pros and cons or imperfections existing in the yoga school or the yoga teacher training course with an open mind, and be able to make decision without regret, is indeed the practice.

Follow one’s conscience towards finding which lineage of yoga that one would like to explore and experience. It’s okay if one finds that after experiencing a particular lineage of yoga, one realizes it doesn’t suit oneself. If so, be open to experience some other kind of lineage of yoga, until one finds the most suitable one. In the end, it’s not about which lineage of yoga or yoga school that is the best among all, but it’s whether the mind is being unattached towards and unidentified with the particular lineage of yoga, the yoga school, the teachers, the yoga teacher training course, and all the desirable/undesirable or agreeable/disagreeable experiences.

Above all, it’s not about getting the best ‘Internationally recognized yoga teacher certification affiliated with such and such yoga alliance/organization’ from the best yoga school and yoga teacher, but it’s about being open-minded upon coming in contact with the different kinds of teachings and practice from the different lineage of yoga, to be purifying and quieting the mind, inquire towards the truth of all the teachings, and the truth of ‘I’ or ‘who am I/what is the ego’, realizing selflessness/egolessness, be free from ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering.

Attending many yoga teacher training courses in certain yoga schools and attaining many yoga teacher certifications and teaching many hours of yoga classes doesn’t determine whether the mind is free from ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering, or not.

In the end, one will realize the greatest teacher and the greatest ‘yoga course’ is the mind itself upon being rendered pure and quiet through the different kinds of persevered practice, being unattached towards and undisturbed by all the mind perception of names and forms or the activities/modification of the mind, of all the agreeable/disagreeable, pleasant/unpleasant, desirable/undesirable experiences, and be able to see the truth of things as it is, be free from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance.

Those who are free from ignorance and egoism don’t need to attend yoga teacher training course or attain ‘Internationally recognized yoga teacher certification’ to be peaceful and compassionate, or to disseminate the knowledge of yoga to those who are in need of the teachings and practice to be free from ignorance and egoism.

The ‘real’ Guru/teacher is the one without a ‘certificate’/’recognition’, without a ‘school’/’ashram’ and without giving ‘certification’/’recognition’ to anyone.

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Practitioner / Adhikari vs follower / disciple / worshiper / admirer / supporter

Those who truly want to practice yoga to free the mind from ignorance to know thyself, they need to know how to free the mind from the egoistic tendency of unwittingly becoming a passionate follower/disciple/worshiper/admirer/supporter.

Be a dispassionate ‘practitioner’ or ‘Adhikari‘ of the teachings of yoga, inquiring the truth of everything, including whatever the teachers/gurus/scriptures teach, attaining self-realization via self-effort and self-inquiry, and not to be a passionate ‘follower’, ‘disciple’, ‘worshiper’, ‘admirer’, or ‘supporter’ towards the teacher/guru/yogi/saint/sage, or the scriptures/teachings of yoga, or the stories of many great minds/teachers/gurus/yogis/saints/sages.

By following, or becoming a disciple of, or worshiping, or admiring, or supporting the teacher/guru/yogi/saint/sage, or the scriptures/teachings of yoga, or the stories of many great minds/teachers/gurus/yogis/saints/sages, and awaiting/requesting/expecting ‘answers’, or ‘blessings’, or ‘miracles’, or ‘transcendental experiences’ from the teacher/guru/yogi/saint/sage or from ‘God’, doesn’t free the mind from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance. There’s attachment that gives rise to the sense of separateness/duality between ‘I’ and ‘the teacher’, or ‘the guru’, or ‘the teachings’, or ‘the practice’, or ‘the experience’, or ‘the fruit of practice’.

Practically practicing the teachings of yoga in NOW, this very existence of the mind functioning perceiving a life existence of names and forms of cause and effect/impermanence/selflessness, of disciplining the mind, quieting the mind, purifying the mind, freeing the mind from egoistic worldly/spiritual attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation, refraining the mind from going out through the sense organs chasing after the objects of the senses, renouncing worldly egoistic passions/desires/objects/activities/social interactions and connections, silencing the modification of the mind, and upon the annihilation of the veil of ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness completely, and knowing thyself – Selflessness/egolessness/’I’lessness, or YOGA of oneness, non-separateness, namelessness, formlessness, attributelessness, birthlessness, deathlessness, beginninglessness, endlessness, there’s no separateness of ‘practitioner/action of practice/fruit of the practice’ or between ‘I’ and what is not ‘I’ or ‘the perceiver and the perceived’ to be found in the selfless, nameless, formless, attributeless, birthless, deathless, beginningless, endless universal consciousness (Atman).

This is nothing to do with the worldly attachment/passionate love and ‘heroic’ ambition/aspiration of the egoistic thinking minds desire to be ‘saving the world’ by making/changing/influencing the world to be ‘a better place than what it is’, but just do one’s best focusing on freeing one’s mind from ignorance to attain self-realization, is the greatest and most efficient way to contribute to ‘a world free from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance’, selflessly, desirelessly and intentionlessly, being free from disturbs, disappointment, dissatisfaction, hurts, offensiveness, anger, hatred, aggressiveness or violence to fight against what the mind dislikes and disagrees with, that the mind thinks and believes as ‘bad’, ‘wrong’, ‘hurtful’, ‘negative’, ‘unjust’, ‘disappointing’ or ‘meaningless’.

Real teacher or guru doesn’t attract/recruit/accumulate ‘followers’, ‘disciples’, ‘worshipers’, ‘admirers’, or ‘supporters’. They are just being what they are, just like the sun, the air, the water, the earth and the space. They don’t even have any intention/aspiration/desire to be ‘teaching’/’sharing’/’helping’/’uplifting’ anyone, not to say to be ‘saving the world’ to make/change/influence the world to be ‘a place different from what it is’.

“He is extremely humble. He appears to be quite an ordinary man. He never advertises that he is a Sat-Guru or a knower of Brahman. He never says, “I am an illumined sage. I am an Avatara. I will give Mukti for many persons. I possess many Siddhis.” He is perfectly desireless. He has no craving for money or name and fame. He has no desire to establish cult or Ashram. He simply works for solidarity of the world and elevates people. He says, “I have neither followers nor disciples, neither possession nor Mutts of my own.” He has no attachment to any person or any object. He never tries to establish cult or Ashram. He is absolutely free from ‘I-ness’ or ‘mine-ness’. He never allows those around him to tell people that he got Siddhis, that he is a great Mahatma. He does not like to come in the lime-light of publicity. He always hides himself. If he becomes famous in a place, he leaves the place at once. If a man says, “I am a Mahatma, I am a realised soul, I am a Sat-Guru,” if his disciples advertise that their teacher is a Sat-Guru with many Siddhis, that he has exhibited many Siddhis, know that this man is an empty vessel that makes much noise. The Sruti emphatically declares “He who says ‘I know Brahman‘ does not know Brahman, he who says ‘I do not know Brahman‘ knows Brahman.” This world abounds with psuedo-Gurus. Beware of such persons. They exploit the innocent and credulous and throw them in the dark abyss. They will mislead people. It is like a blind man leading the blind. Siddhis keep a man far from God and God-realisation. Do not be carried away by the Siddhis of a man.” – Swami Sivananda

 

Jnana is the greatest purifier. There is no salvation without knowledge. Knowledge of Atman destroys ignorance, pain, sorrow and stops the wheel of births and deaths.

Attain this knowledge through Satsanga, service of the Guru, study of Vedantic books, hearing of Srutis, reflection and constant meditation.

Sorrow is for one who has the notion of self in the body, not for the sage who identifies himself with the all-blissful Atman.” – Swami Sivananda

 

“Neither charity, nor sacrifice, nor fame, nor fasting, nor begetting a good son, nor control of breath, nor victory over the enemy, nor the society of friends, nor Siddhis like Anima can stand in comparison with realisation of the Self.

You may cross the sea by walking or float in the air or support on hands the great mountain Maha Meru or drink poison like milk or eat fire like fried grains or fly in the sky or stand on fire or break iron or get wealth by the power of magic ointment. Yet can all these give you liberation?

You can become a king or Indra or a Sannyasin. You can stun others by Mantra-sakti or aim accurately or know the past, present and the future.

You can reduce anger by destroying lust or eradicating greed. Yet can all these help you in the attainment of liberation?

You might have conquered pride, delusion and envy. You might have dwelt in Brahma-loka or Vaikuntha-loka or Kailasa. Yet can all these stand in comparison with liberation? He is fit for liberation who regards all these as nothing.

You took bath in the Ganga, you did all the sixteen kinds of charity. You did crores of Japa. What is the use of all these things if you do not attain Self-realisation?

Can you acquire eternal bliss and supreme peace from the attainment of vast erudition or from possession of immense wealth or from the enjoyment of beautiful young ladies? No. The supreme undying bliss can be obtained only by realisation of the Self.

Who is wife? Who is son? Who are you? Wherefrom did you come? How wonderful is this Samsara? How are you related to one another? Think deeply on these matters.

Who are you? Who am I? Wherefrom have we come? Who is mother? Who is father? Think deeply on all these. Leave off this world which is a dream and seek the eternal.

Vairagya is the rein by which the uncontrollable mind is restrained. Ripe Vairagya is intense attachment to Atman bliss and strong dispassion for anything other than Atman.

If one considers even the position and happiness of Brahma as the dung of a cow, then only he has developed a real lasting Vairagya. Temporary fleeting dispassion is not Vairagya. It will not help the aspirant in the attainment of Self-realisation.

It is common to have dispassion for some particular objects by some cause or other. But by having dispassion for all objects at all times, one will get knowledge of the Self. You may get Atma-Jnana soon by the grace of the Guru, by devotion to him, and by practice of what he instructs.” – Swami Sivananda

 

“Life is short and fleeting like that drop of water on the lotus leaf. This mundane life is filled with egoism, delusion and diseases. When will you be free from all these? The deer falls a prey to the sense of sound; the elephant to that of touch; the moth to that of form; the fish to that of taste; and the bee to that of smell. But man falls a prey to all these five senses. Therefore how difficult it is for man to free itself from the clutches of these five senses and obtain liberation? When wells and ponds are full in rainy season, the water is muddy and not fit for drinking. In summer the water gets decreased and is sweet. So also when the mind is filled with Vasanas, it is clouded with Tamoguna. When it is free from sensual desires by the practice of dispassion it is filled with pure Sattva.” – Swami Sivananda

Self-righteousness is not yoga practice (2)

Teaching yoga, or practicing yoga, is not about ‘I am an unique spiritual being’ being chosen by ‘God’ or ‘Guru’, being initiated/assigned/given a righteous ‘duty’ from ‘God’ or ‘Guru’, being ‘self-righteous’ for helping ‘God’ or ‘Guru’ to patrol/judge/control/criticize/discipline/punish other people’s actions and reactions, or to be interfering with other people’s thinking/belief/behavior/practice that are different from one’s thinking/belief/behavior/practice, that the mind thinks and believes as ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’, and interfering with other people’s different ways of life, actions and reactions, mental and physical activities that one’s mind doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with, that one’s mind thinks and believes as ‘contradicting’ with the teachings and practice of yoga.

As all these ‘thinking’ and ‘actions’ coming from the mind acting and reacting towards the world of names and forms that the mind comes in contact with/perceives/experiences/acknowledges are nothing but the play of egoism born out of ignorance. Although most minds would think and believe that they are being the ‘good spiritual beings’ acting on behalf of ‘God’ or ‘Guru’, or upholding what they think and believe is ‘supremacy’, ‘authority’, or ‘righteousness’.

Teaching yoga is merely sharing the knowledge derived from one’s direct experience and self-realization, to give guidance to those who come to them to seek guidance to be learning and practicing yoga, while allowing everyone to be what they are, whether they want to take the guidance, or not; whether they want to learn and practice yoga as it is, or not; whether they want to develop awareness, correct understanding, initiative and self-discipline to discipline their own minds, or not; whether they are aware of all the egoistic urges/intentions behind all their actions and reactions, or not; whether they want to restrict their own mental and physical activities, to purify their minds to be free from egoism, impurities and restlessness, to silent the modifications of the mind, or not; and whether they want to perform inquiry towards the truth of everything and be free from ignorance, or not.

There’s no egoistic idea/desire/intention of “I want to be a yoga teacher to teach yoga to other people.” or “I am a yoga teacher performing action of teaching yoga to other people.”

Practicing yoga is also about allowing everyone and everything to be what they are, that everyone and everything are impermanent and selfless, while ‘working’ diligently to free one’s mind from ignorance and the consequences of ignorance.

Those who understand this, either they don’t need to perform any practice at all as they are peaceful as they are where their minds are free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, or if they are aware of the existence of ignorance, egoism and impurities in the minds, they will mind their own practice to discipline, to purify and to silent their own minds, while allowing all the other minds to be what they are, to be evolving as they are.

If ‘God’ or ‘Guru’ exists, they are ‘the selfless/mindless silent witness of pure consciousness’, being undisturbed/unaffected/uninfluenced/unchanged/unbothered by all the existing impermanent and selfless names and forms of different thinking/belief/behavior/way of life/actions/reactions of everyone and the consequences of that, or whatever is happening in ‘the world of ignorant egoistic impure minds functioning under ignorance, egoism and impurities’. If ‘God’ and ‘Guru’ exist, they don’t have egoism, or the ‘self-righteous’ urge or intention derived from egoism to be interfering with/patrolling/judging/controlling/criticizing/disciplining/punishing anyone or anything. If they have egoism, or the ‘self-righteous’ urge or intention derived from egoism to be interfering with/patrolling/judging/controlling/criticizing/disciplining/punishing everyone or everything, making sure everyone and everything ‘to be the way that I think it should be’, then they are not really God or Guru.

Such like some people would inflict anger, hatred, ill-will and violence towards others out of the excuse of ‘upholding peace’ or ‘upholding righteousness’. This is not yoga practice, although it’s everyone’s freedom for what they think and believe, and how they behave, act and react.

“In the name of God, I condemn you to hell.” or “These are bad and evil people, I hope that they will be punished with great suffering that they deserved.” Quite many minds/people would think and speak in such way ‘proudly’. No wonder, many of the saints and sages in the past renounced the world and retreated from the society/community to avoid wasting energy from dealing with such affairs.

Those who truly practice yoga, they withdraw the outgoing tendency of the mind, turning the mind inward to be ‘working’ diligently towards attaining/reaching that ‘pure consciousness of the selfless/mindless silent witness’, where they go beyond the egoistic urge/intention of interfering with/patrolling/judging/controlling/criticizing/disciplining/punishing anyone or anything.

If one is aware of this ‘self-righteous’ thinking and behavior existing in one’s mind, and is aware of oneself constantly feels dissatisfied, or frustrated, or disturbed, or angered, or offended by other people’s different thinking/belief/practice/behavior/way of life/actions and reactions that one’s mind dislikes and disagrees with, and couldn’t help oneself being over-powered by the ‘self-righteous’ urge or intention to be interfering with other people’s different thinking/belief/practice/behavior/way of life/actions and reactions, then either one can try to help oneself by developing will-power to free one’s mind from this self-righteous thinking and behavior, or one can try to seek ‘professional helps’ from the many ‘psychiatric professionals’, to have peace in oneself and stop generating ‘disharmony’ and ‘unrest’ into the surrounding environment, being free from restless impurities of dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hatred, jealousy, possessiveness, authoritarianism, offensiveness, defensiveness, hurts, hostility, animosity, aggressiveness, violence, ill-will, ill-thinking, fear and worry. That itself is a great contribution towards peace in oneself and peace in the world.

Look after one’s mind before it’s too late where one might be completely losing the reasoning power that allow yoga practice to be taking place, even if one is interested in yoga, or strongly believe in ‘God’ or ‘Guru’. One might be doing some form of ‘yoga practice’ or ‘rituals’ regularly, but couldn’t help being busy looking at other people and shouting at other people, “You people should be like this and shouldn’t be like that,” expecting everyone and everything ‘to be the way that I think it should be’. That’s everyone’s freedom of thinking and behavior. It’s everyone’s freedom whether to look after one’s mind, or they prefer to be busy minding about other people’s minds, and losing the sanity of their own mind being lost in ignorance.

Be free.

Looking for ‘Guru’ in this era?

Is it important to have a Guru? Yes. But not looking out. Look within.

The one and only real and reliable ‘Guru’ is the mind itself through persist mind purification and self-inquiry/reasoning the truth of everything to attain self-realization, not someone puts on a ‘Guru/Yogi appearance’ in the public who claimed to be enlightened ‘Guru’ with ‘supernatural healing power’ that can take away your doubt and ignorance to give you ‘shortcut’ to enlightenment, or heal your pain and suffering. This one and only ‘Guru’ is with you all the time, you (the mind) just didn’t/haven’t realize it yet.

There are plenty of ‘Dharma teachers’ and so called ‘certified yoga teachers’ in the world nowadays to give people some kind of guidance towards the path of transcending the mind perception of names and forms/births and deaths, but this mind itself is the only real and reliable ‘Guru’.

If there is an external ‘Guru’ of yours, the ‘Guru’ will come to you when the cause is ripen, without the Guru’s intention to be coming to you and without your intention to be looking for someone to be your ‘Guru’. If someone comes to you and try very hard to persuade you to believe that “I am your Guru”, then you should runaway from this person/being as far/soon as possible. Because real ‘Guru’ doesn’t need to do anything to persuade anyone that this is your Guru. One will know that “This is the Guru”, when the time has come. If you still don’t know and have doubt, that means the time hasn’t come yet.

If people still think and believe that there’s somebody who ‘looks’ and ‘acts’ like a ‘Guru’ with some kind of ‘supernatural healing power’ is a great ‘Guru’ somewhere in this world, and hoping that this ‘Guru’ will free them from suffering, or lead them towards enlightenment, that’s their freedom of thinking and belief.

Some desperate suffering minds take those with dreadlocks on the head and tattoos all over the body and either be naked or wear orange robes while put themselves in a particular ‘yoga pose’ or perform some sort of ritual and dance, who are stoned smoking ganja most of the time as ‘Gurus’. While some others take those who are the leader of a particular ‘yoga community’ or ‘yoga organization’ or ‘yoga school’ as ‘Gurus’. That’s their freedom of thinking and belief and action.

Seek the ‘Guru’ within by developing the basic foundation of self-discipline, self-control, self-inquiry, right discrimination and self-independence, and contemplate upon the instructions from the ancient Scriptures to guide one’s mind onto the path of yoga, refrain from misconducts, drugs and intoxicants, practice dispassion and renunciation, retreat into solitude and seclusion, to silent the restless modification of the mind, to move the mind away from worldliness, to annihilate egoism, to contemplate upon the truth of everything and attain self-realization of the truth of Dharma, to realize the one and only ‘Guru’ which is the mind itself.

It’s only those who reluctant to let go worldly ideas, activities, objects, desires, enjoyments, comforts and all kind of relationships will try to find an external superhuman ‘Guru’ with ‘supernatural healing power’ in the world in this era.

Those who are passionate, who don’t like ‘unpleasantness’ or ‘hard work’, and always looking for ‘miracles’ or ‘easy way out’ or ‘shortcuts’ or ‘magic pill’ to solve all their ‘problems’, while still indulging in their everyday life worldly activities without letting go their worldly enjoyments, relationships, comforts, desires, habits and ideas, will try to look for an external ‘superhuman Guru’ to show them ‘miracles’. And that’s how people are easily be manipulated and exploited in this world that is full of ignorance, greed and lust.

Inquire the ancient teachings and practice of yoga – “NO PHYSICAL TOUCHING”, “OBSERVE CELIBACY”, “DISPASSION”, “RENUNCIATION”, “DESIRELESSNESS”, “SECLUSION”, “SOLITUDE” and “SILENCE”.

Take a look at the world of yoga nowadays, is all about ‘hugging’ to show love and care, and ‘touching’ especially in the yoga asana class to make ‘physical adjustments/corrections’ for the students, and then continuing ‘hugging’ and ‘touching’ each other outside the yoga class as a form of love sharing and healing process, or even giving and receiving ‘special healing touch’ or ‘special healing massage’.

People say, “All beings need love, touches and hugs. All beings will be sick and die out of touchlessness, huglessness, lovelessness and loneliness.” That is part of the worldly idea, belief and practice. It’s not what yoga teaching and practice is about.

When the mind is pure and free from lustful desire, there’s nothing wrong with physical ‘hugging and touching’, but how many minds in this world are pure and free from lustful desire? Very few indeed.

How many desperate suffering confused minds were/are being taken advantage or being exploited and abused physically/mentally/psychologically/sexually/financially by greedy lustful people because all these desperate suffering confused minds try to look for and depend on a ‘superhuman Guru’ to ‘guide’ them onto the path of enlightenment, to liberate them from pain and suffering, or to ‘heal’ them from something that they think it has to be ‘healed’ by a ‘Guru’ with ‘supernatural healing power’?

Everyone was/is looking forward to be ‘touched’ or ‘healed’ by a ‘superhuman Guru’. And they got/get what they want, in a different way – Some people were/are physically ‘touched/molested/raped’ by lustful people who claimed themselves as ‘Gurus’ with ‘spiritual enlightenment’, where people are being sexually taken for granted/assaulted, wittingly or unwittingly. This is pure ignorance of both parties – People who are looking forward to be ‘touched’ or ‘healed’ by someone who claimed to be a ‘Guru’ with ‘supernatural healing power’, and those lustful people who claimed to be ‘Gurus’ who can ‘touch’ or ‘heal’ what people believe that need to be ‘touched’ or ‘healed’.

Knowing that all desperate suffering confused minds that are under the influence of ignorance want to be someone ‘special’ in the world, to be loved by ‘someone special’, to be treated/healed with ‘special love and care’ and ‘miracles’, these ‘superhuman Gurus’ manipulate and take advantage of the desperate suffering confused minds to satisfy their lustful desire and greed.

When people have the intention to go to a ‘superhuman Guru’, they have something that they want/expect from the ‘superhuman Guru’. “Oh Guru, please bless me this and that.” While pseudo ‘Gurus’ also want/expect something from them, as well.

Those who are peaceful being free from suffering, ignorance and egoism of attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion and expectation, who are desireless, who don’t need to see/experience ‘miracles’, there’s no need to go to a ‘superhuman Guru’. ‘Miracles’ and ‘superhuman Guru’ are useless to them.

For those who have intense yearning for liberation, all and everything that the mind comes in contact with will naturally become ‘the Guru’ that allows the mind to see/reflect upon itself (knowing thyself) and seeing the Dharma/the truth of impermanence and selflessness in all the names and forms. ‘The Guru’ manifests in all and everything, when the mind is ready to ‘see’. Be patient, be persevered, while keep purifying and disciplining the mind. Without intention/expectation to find a ‘Guru’, the Guru is (already) here.

Your own mind and all your mind perception/experiences of everything, your perception/experience of painful sorrow and suffering, your actions and the consequences of your actions, and the self-realization of the selfless impermanent changes within the body and mind through self-inquiry, is your greatest Guru, your real Guru. None other than this mind and the realization of the truth from within, is your ‘Guru’.

Want to attain peace through yoga and meditation practice?

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.

Om shanti.

Yogi? Guru? Yoga school? Ashram?

A (real) yogi is not determined by all the qualities of names and forms, nor to be judged by their actions and speech, personality or behavior, physical conditions or appearances, attires or accessories, actions or inactions…

If anyone try to look out for a yogi, or try to identify a yogi, and start looking at all these qualities of names and forms to judge and determine whether this or that being is a yogi or not, or is a “good” yogi or not, then we will never find it…

The real search is to find the “yogi” in ourselves… It is not looking out to see who is yogi and who is not… It is finding or realizing the highest teacher in us, and it’s not looking for teachers from the outside to set as an example, or to give us a lift, or to motivate us, or to push us to realize what we are here for.

That is what yoga practice is about. It is for us to realize the attributeless Self unconditioned by the qualities of names and forms, in us, beyond our egoistic thinking mind, conditioned and limited physical body, impermanent physical conditions and abilities, appearances, features, shapes, colours, language, personality, characteristic, actions and inactions, short lived or long lived, solitude or amongst the world, real or unreal, as all are here to serve the universe…

Real yoga practice is not necessarily to be found and learned from some other people (so called yoga teachers, or Gurus, or yogis), or from yoga schools, or from Ashrams. As the entire (pure) teachings of yoga is already within us, as our true nature is identical with the universal consciousness… This is the fundamental essential teachings of yoga. Our higher pure Self will guide the impure lower self when the time is right. And when the lower self become pure (the ego is eliminated) and it becomes one with the higher Self, there is no more separation or duality. There is no pure or impure self, higher or lower self, inferiority or superiority, good or evil, wise or ignorant, compassionate or selfish…

All our experiences through this body and mind, whatever we feel, see, hear, smell, taste, touch and think are our Gurus. When we experience suffering and painful sorrow, that is where the teachings and practice is. We don’t need to ask somebody else to inflict pain or suffering on us for us to learn about something or to realize about the Truth. Our own egoistic mind itself is the cause of all sorts of pain and suffering.

It is not about looking out at other beings, trying to find out, or judge, or determine each and everyone as good beings or bad beings, as saintly beings or evil beings, as selfish beings or selfless beings, as enlightened beings or ignorant beings, as compassionate beings or uncompassionate beings, as yogi or not yogi, as pure yogi or impure yogi, as Guru or not Guru, as real Guru or fake Guru, as yoga teacher or not yoga teacher, as good yoga teacher or bad yoga teacher, and so on…

Look within. That is the only real and pure yogi, Guru, yoga teacher, yoga teachings, yoga practice that we can rely on…

Take care of our own mind, our own actions and speech, why bother or be disturbed by other people’s mind, their actions and their speech?

Om shanti.