Ignorance and how to be free from ignorance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Karma – Cause and effect – Action and consequences of action

Those who know karma, or cause and effect, or action and the consequences of action, and have realized non-duality, selflessness, namelessness, formlessness, attributelessness, there’s no craving towards ‘good’ karma and there’s no aversion towards ‘bad’ karma. There’s neither ‘good’ karma nor ‘bad’ karma. Karma is not a belief. It’s just how things are. Whether people understand or don’t understand, agree with or disagree with karma, impermanence or selflessness, the truth of karma, impermanence and selflessness is still what it is. Just like all kinds of names and forms exist and cease existing due to cause and effect, and they are impermanent and selfless, all actions and the fruit of actions are also impermanent and selfless. All actions bring consequences of actions, maybe pleasant experiences, maybe unpleasant experiences. Karma/cause and effect is just being what it is. It’s neither good nor bad, neither right nor wrong, neither positive nor negative, neither agreeable nor disagreeable, neither enjoyment nor suffering, neither happiness nor unhappiness.

Those who think they know karma, and they haven’t transcended/gone beyond the modification of the mind that gives rise to duality, egoism, names and forms and quality, there’s attachment and identification towards actions and the fruit of actions, or cause and effect, or karma. There’s craving towards ‘good’ karma and aversion towards ‘bad’ karma. For them, karma is a belief where they think they believe in karma. They would think and believe that the accumulation of ‘good’ karma will bring happiness and pleasurable enjoyment and will be void of unhappiness and painful suffering, while the accumulation of ‘bad’ karma will bring unhappiness and painful suffering and will be void of happiness and pleasurable enjoyment. And what is good and bad for them is based on their particular social/cultural/spiritual/religious thinking and belief.

To those who are free from ignorance and egoism, karma or cause and effect is not a belief but it’s the truth of things along with impermanence and selflessness. There’s no attachment towards action as well as the pleasant or unpleasant consequences of action. The minds that are free from ignorance and egoism are undisturbed and undetermined by the actions and the fruit of actions, or cause and effect, or karma. There’s no judgment towards this and that action are good or bad, right or wrong that based on a particular social/cultural/spiritual/religious thinking and belief. There’s no expectation towards this is good action that will bring pleasant fruit of action, and that is bad action that will bring unpleasant fruit of action. It’s just action and the fruit of action, regardless of pleasant or unpleasant.

Only those who are not free from ignorance and egoism will have such idea or thinking about “This is my good/bad action, and this is my good/bad fruit of action. I am enjoying the pleasant fruit of good action and I am suffering from the unpleasant fruit of bad action.”

An apple seed brings the fruit of an apple tree.

An orange seed brings the fruit of an orange tree.

Apple seed won’t bring the fruit of orange tree and orange seed won’t bring the fruit of apple tree.

Neither apple or orange is ‘good’. Neither apple or orange is ‘bad’.

Different apple trees bring the fruit of different tastes and textures apples. Some like it sweeter and softer, while some like it tangier and crispier. Neither sweet and soft apples or tangy and crisp apples are ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

Different orange trees bring the fruit of different tastes oranges. Some like it sweeter, while some like it tangier. Neither sweet oranges or tangy oranges are ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

Some people like and enjoy eating apples and don’t like/don’t enjoy eating oranges, while some like and enjoy eating oranges and don’t like/don’t enjoy eating apples.

Neither the apples or oranges have the quality or intention to bring happiness or unhappiness, enjoyment or non-enjoyment to anyone who like or doesn’t like eating apples or oranges, who enjoy or doesn’t enjoy eating apples or oranges.

Many people who think and believe that they have been doing many ‘good’ actions and believe that they should be enjoying the fruit of ‘good’ karma derived from ‘good’ actions are not necessarily peaceful and happy being free from disturbs, hurts, disappointment, anger, fear and painful suffering. Peaceful and happy, or not, and being free from disturbs, hurts, disappointment, anger, fear and painful suffering, or not, is undetermined by actions and the fruit of actions, or cause and effect, or karma. It’s whether the mind is free from ignorance and egoism, or not. Some people have to go through many unpleasant experiences and don’t experience much pleasant experiences, but still can be peaceful as they are. Some people go through many pleasant experiences and don’t experience much unpleasant experiences, but are not necessarily peaceful.

Even if one strongly believes in one has lots of ‘bad’ karma as life is full of hardship, obstacles and difficulties, one can still be free and have peace, if one knows how to be free from ignorance and egoism. Even if one strongly believes in one has lots of ‘good’ karma as life is easy and comfortable, one won’t be free or peaceful, if one doesn’t know how to be free from ignorance and egoism.

Siddhartha Gautama Buddha, Gurus, and many saints and sages in the past had to go through many difficulties, challenges, threats, or unpleasant physical/mental/emotional painful experiences before they attained liberation, does that means they all had had lots of ‘bad karma’? If so, it’s not a bad thing at all having ‘bad karma’.

Inquire the truth of everything. Do not blind-believing, blind-following, blind-propagating, or blind-practicing anything.

Be free.

“He who is devoid of ‘mine-ness’ will not be bound by Karma whether he dwells in his house or wanders in a forest.” – Swami Sivananda

Beginner, intermediate, advanced yoga practitioner?

Just as the name and form of ‘Buddhist’ doesn’t mean anything for those who truly practice ‘Buddhism’, the worldly name and form of ‘yoga practitioner’ or ‘yoga teacher’ also doesn’t really mean anything in yoga of selflessness/namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness, not to say ‘experienced’, ‘inexperienced’, ‘certified’, ‘qualified’, ‘good’, ‘bad’ yoga practitioner/yoga teacher, or even ‘beginner’, ‘intermediate’ and ‘advanced’ yoga practitioner.

Some people never done any ‘yoga practice’ before, but they know what is non-attachment and they are peaceful as they are. Some due to physical limitation/sickness/injury/weakness that they can’t do much physical ‘yoga practice’, but they know what is non-attachment and they are also peaceful as they are. The mind is free from disturbs/hurts/dissatisfaction/disappointment/anger/hatred/jealousy/fear/worry/offensiveness/defensiveness/loneliness/depression/hostility/animosity, and etc, being undetermined by the mind perception of names and forms under any circumstances in life or the condition of the world that one is living in.

There’s neither beginner/intermediate/advanced yoga practitioners or yoga practice. It’s either one is practicing yoga or one is not practicing yoga, in this present moment.

It’s neither about how long one has been ‘practicing yoga’, nor how much ‘physical yoga practice’ one has done in the past, nor how much physical/mental benefits one has been receiving from performing the ‘physical yoga practice’ regularly. Whether one is practicing yoga, or not, is undetermined by the selfless impermanent physical and mental condition/ability/disability/limitation to be performing certain actions/movements in the world, or whether one is highly intelligent, knowledgeable, educated and talented, or not.

In this present moment, despite how long one has been ‘practicing yoga’ and how much ‘physical yoga practice’ one has been doing, when there’s egoism of attachment/identification/desire of craving and aversion/judgment/comparison/expectation influencing/over-powering the function of the mind, the mind is not free, unwittingly being in a state of restlessness occupying by ceaseless desires/actions/reactions/impurities being determined by the selfless impermanent qualities of names and forms that the mind perceives/experiences through the senses of what the mind sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches, feels or thinks. The mind is missing someone or something that the mind likes and desires but is absence/unavailable to the mind in the present moment, may it be a person, an animal, plant, food, house, toy, music, sport, climate, thing, scenery, sound, smell, taste, sensation, feeling, and etc. There’s clinging/craving/longing towards the names and forms/experiences that give rise to the sense of confidence, pride, goodness, happiness, meaningfulness, positiveness, togetherness, rightfulness, worthiness, success, accomplishment, satisfaction, well-treated, well-deserved, well-loved, well-lived, and etc. Then even though one has been performing certain ‘physical yoga practice’ for a few hours a day regularly for a long time, one isn’t practicing yoga at all, as one is being passionate towards the worldly life/ideas/values/relationships/activities and being busy/restless chasing after the objects of the senses to gratify the endless desire/craving/longing, and doesn’t know what is non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment, non-comparison, or non-expectation.

Some teachers/yoga schools teach that everyone need to start with ‘beginner physical yoga practice’ for certain years then they can begin learning/practicing the nameless/formless ‘advanced mental yoga practice’. Some teachers/yoga schools even teach about ‘yoga practice’ should be done during certain ‘auspicious hours’ and one shouldn’t practice yoga during the ‘inauspicious hours’. There’s neither right nor wrong with that. Just that, when someone is suffering from great mental disturbs, distress, restlessness, unhappiness, dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurts, fear, painful sorrow and etc, in this present moment, does this person need to wait for many years later to be allowed to start practicing non-attachment and letting go as well as looking/inquiring into the truth of the mental modification to free the mind from the root cause of all suffering? Just like if the hand is contacting with fire, do you have to wait for a few more minutes/hours to move the hand out of the fire? Or when someone is suffering a condition/injury that needs emergency medical operation, does this person need to wait for an ‘auspicious timing’ which can be a few days/weeks/months later to allow the doctor to perform the operation?

Inquire the truth of everything. Do not blind-believing, blind-following, blind-practicing, blind-propagating, blind-agreeing/disagreeing with anything.

The one who is practicing yoga eliminating egoism/restlessness/impurities or purifying/quieting the modification of the mind is the mind itself.

The mind that is practicing yoga is free from any identification with any quality of names and forms that are impermanent and selfless, such as the physical body, the function/modification of the mind, the yoga practice/duty/responsibility, all kinds of worldly social/cultural/religious/political/commercial thinking/belief/practice/values/image, or the knowledge/intelligence/talent/skill/relationships/ties/connections/way of life/actions and the fruit of actions/pleasant or unpleasant experiences as ‘I’.

One might be performing many ‘good actions’, but there’s no attachment/identification of “I am a good person who do many good actions and I will be receiving all the goodness in return.”

There’s no expectation towards other people must also perform ‘good actions’ that ‘I’ believe as ‘good’.

The mind is okay and has no problems under any condition and situation, where one can have many things or few things or nothing in life, without being determined by it, as the mind is free from attachment, desires, craving and aversion, being unlimited/undetermined by all the selfless impermanent changes of pleasant/unpleasant, agreeable/disagreeable, desirable/undesirable experiences/condition/situation/relationship.

One doesn’t miss anyone or anything that the mind perceives/recognizes as good, pleasant, meaningful, agreeable and enjoyable, but is absent/unavailable in the present moment.

One might perform actions that would benefit oneself and others, but without identification towards the actions or expectation towards the fruit of actions.

One does one’s best when performing any actions/duties/responsibilities and allowing the fruit of actions to be what it is, without attachment/identification/judgment/expectation, being undetermined by the fruit of actions.

One is not determined/disturbed/offended/hurt/intimidated/depressed/unhappy/dissatisfied/disappointed by the perception of all kinds of names and forms of unpleasant/undesirable/disagreeable sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations, feelings/emotions/thoughts, or the world is not being the way that the mind would like it to be.

One doesn’t need to be empowered to achieve/attain/possess certain quality of names and forms that give rise to the sense of confidence, pride, goodness, happiness, meaningfulness, positiveness, togetherness, rightfulness, worthiness, success, satisfaction, well-deserved, well-loved, and etc, although one can be very successful in whatever one does in life and enjoying good relationships with someone. Being undetermined by the sense of confidence/goodness/meaningfulness and etc, doesn’t mean that one doesn’t perform any actions that would bring benefits and improvement in life, or one doesn’t have a particular way of life that is most suitable and beneficial for oneself.

Loneliness, or depression, or dissatisfaction, or disappointment, or fear, is absent in the mind that is free from egoism, under any circumstances, condition, situation, environment, restriction or limitation.

The mind remains equanimous and clear under extreme difficult or challenging condition or situation.

There’s need not to forgive or let go anything, as the mind is unhurt/unoffended/undisturbed/undetermined by all the names and forms that are not the way that the mind would like it to be, as the mind is free from attachment/identification/craving/aversion/judgment/expectation towards any names and forms, but allowing the names and forms to be what they are, as they are.

One is not determined by the presence or absence of family ties, relationships, friendships, companionship, community, society, connections, duty, responsibility, ability/disability, achievement/non-achievement, good/bad conditions, pleasant/unpleasant experiences, actions or the fruit of actions.

The mind is free from passionate aspiration/ambition/desire to change/control/influence the world to be the way that ‘I’ think how it should be, but allowing the world to be what it is, even though one can be performing actions that are beneficial to the world.

One doesn’t need to be relaxed/unwind/entertained/pampered from time to time, as there’s no tension building up/accumulated.

One doesn’t need to attain love, support, agreement, acknowledgement, recognition, validation, sympathy, empathy or understanding from anyone, or to be ‘somebody’ that one and others would be proud of.

One doesn’t need to be in certain ways or achieve something to please oneself or others.

There’s neither gratefulness nor ungratefulness, appreciation nor inappreciation, deserving nor non-deserving.

There’s no low self-esteem, pride or arrogance. There’s no need empowerment to develop/attain the sense of confidence.

The mind is unattached towards or being free from being determined by the present and past pleasant/unpleasant/happy/unhappy experiences and future imagination/anticipation/projection.

There’s no ‘bucket list’/’to do list’ that needs to be fulfilled/accomplished before one dies. There’s no unfulfilled/ungratified desire/ambition. There’s no regret or guilt. One just performs action and achieves what is possible in this present moment.

There’s no fear/aversion towards impermanent changes, difficult condition, aging, weakening, decaying, unattractiveness, aloneness, sickness, old age, death, or separation with people and objects that one loves.

The mind is free from being determined by the perception of duality. One is free and peaceful as it is. One doesn’t interfere with other people’s different thinking/belief/values/practice/ways of life/desires/actions/reactions.

There’s nothing that the mind needs to complain/argue/debate/justify to prove that ‘I’ am right. There’s neither right nor wrong.

For many people including many yoga enthusiasts, this might not be the life or freedom that they want, and this appears to be ‘dry’, ‘cold’, ‘wrong’, ‘negative’, ‘sad’, ‘mad’, ‘insane’, ‘abnormal’, ‘joyless’, ‘lifeless’ and ‘meaningless’ to them, and that’s their freedom of thinking and desire. Many people enjoy passionate way of life indulging in all kinds of attachment/identification/expectation/relationships/desires/stimulation/enjoyment/entertainment, enjoying restlessness and emotional roller coaster, enjoying the endless gratification of desires that lead to excitement/satisfaction or disappointment/dissatisfaction, and be ambitious/empowered to ‘save the planet/the world’ or change the world to be the way that they think how it should be, as the way of living a lively and meaningful life, where many people just want to do the ‘physical yoga practice’ to get some health and fitness benefits but not interested at all in the practice of dispassion and renunciation to be quieting the mind to free the mind from ignorance/egoism/impurities/restlessness, which they perceive as ‘meaningless things to do’ and ‘a dulled way of life’, and that’s their freedom of thinking and what they want to do with their life.

There’s nothing wrong with different people with their impermanent different states of mind, sometimes positive, sometimes negative, sometimes happy, sometimes unhappy, sometimes peaceful, sometimes disturbed, sometimes cheerful, sometimes depressed, sometimes excited, sometimes angry, sometimes disappointed, sometimes motivated, sometimes demotivated, sometimes okay, sometimes not okay, and so on. Just that under the influence of ignorance/egoism/restlessness/impurities and the ambition/desire to fight for ‘a world that they think how it should be’, sometimes people would hurt themselves and/or others out of disturbs, dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, jealousy, fear, survival instinct and other impurities. For those who want to free the mind from such restlessness, who want to stop hurting themselves and others out of ignorance, egoism and impurities, they can practice yoga, if they want.

In yoga, everyone just need to ‘save oneself by freeing one’s mind from ignorance and suffering’, which is an intense challenging/painful task for most minds, in order to help the world to be a better place. It’s not about fighting against other people to ‘save the planet/the world from being the way that one thinks it shouldn’t be’. Most passionate minds couldn’t understand this, and they believe everyone should be angry with/hating/fighting against what they think and believe is ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’ to ‘save the world from badness and wrongness’, and they want to provoke anger and hatred in other people towards what they think is ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’ to be supporting their mission to ‘save the world’, and that’s their freedom.

It’s always easier to be disturbed than to be undisturbed by what the mind perceives as ‘disturbing’.

Be free.

A better meaningful way of life?

For many people, spending most of the time being with other people (family, friends, community and other communities), focusing on bonding, socializing, interacting, connecting, sharing, knowing, eating, drinking, talking, listening, looking, laughing, playing, empowering, encouraging, aspiring, inspiring, remembering, projecting, anticipating, expecting, creating, planning, plotting, suggesting, contributing, commenting, complimenting, criticizing, gossiping, complaining, entertaining, enjoying, doing social/community activities together, upgrading their quality of life/standard of living, fulfilling passionate desires and achieving personal worldly ambitions and spiritual or religious goals, getting involve with achieving a world that complies to a particular vision, to attain the sense of in control, satisfaction, goodness and meaningfulness, is living life. For them, “This is a better meaningful way of life.”

For some people, being by oneself most of the time, as much as possible, focusing on one’s action, practice, duty and responsibility, talk less or talk nothing, without commenting on worldly affairs, or gossiping about other people’s affairs, or criticizing/interfering with other people’s different ways of life, thinking, belief, action and reaction, minding one’s life and one’s mind, being at peace unconditionally, respecting everyone being what they are, as they are, neither admiring/praising certain qualities that appear to be superior than others nor condemning/criticizing certain qualities that appear to be inferior than others, and stop contributing impurities, unhappiness, unrest, anger, hatred, jealousy, dissatisfaction, disappointment, grudges, conflicts, discrimination, violence, disharmony and disturbance into the surrounding environment or the world, is living life. As for them, having peace in one’s mind free from desire/hostility/animosity/fear/intimidation/offensiveness/defensiveness is the highest form of contribution to the society or the world peace. It’s nothing to do with “This is a better meaningful way of life.” or “Other ways of life is less good and meaningless.”

There’s nothing selfish about that at all, though for many people, the part of ‘not mingling/mixing with the society without getting involve in any form of social activities’ might appear to be ‘selfish’ or ‘rude’ or ‘unhealthy’ or ‘non-progressive’ for those who believe in a better world is about ‘all human beings should be getting involve with the social activities’, ‘community contribution’ and ‘worldly activism’, where they need as many other people as possible to get involve in their social activities to be supporting, cooperating or working with them to create a ‘better’ world that they think how it should be.

Whether wittingly or unwittingly, there will be some people would want to interfere with others who are different from them, whom they dislike and disagree with, and they would try to influence/control/covert/discipline/condemn/punish other people who don’t support or follow their vision for creating a world that they desire, that complies to their liking, values, vision, thinking and belief.

Yoga and meditation practitioners is about having unconditional peace in oneself as contributing peace into the world by focusing on looking after, purifying and quieting one’s mind, and it’s never about trying to influence/control/convert/discipline/condemn/punish others to also be like oneself to make a ‘better’ world that complies to one’s liking, values, vision, thinking or belief, especially those who have realized Impermanence and Selflessness.

The world doesn’t belong to anyone. Many people would think and believe that the world belongs to everyone, and hence, it’s everyone’s duty and responsibility to ‘cooperate together’ to make the world ‘a better place’, but how true is that? The standard and meaning of ‘a better place’ is according to whom and what? Different people desire a world with their own particular way of life according to their own liking, values, vision, thinking and belief. If everyone insist on making the world to be the way that they desire, that they think how it should be, what will happen in the world? People are getting frustrated and fighting against one another, to over-powered one another, in order to create a world that they desire. Even so, it’s everyone’s freedom for their thinking, belief, desire, action and the consequences of their action.

Swami Sivananda taught, “Even if all the leaders are taken out of the world now, the world will run on smoothly, probably more smoothly. Even if all the people retire into the forest, the world will go on.”

The world is so quiet and peaceful when everyone have gone to sleep and there’s nobody performing any actions in the world with the great aspiration to make the world to be in any particular way that different people desire and think how it should be.

In yoga, it’s not about the sense of duty and responsibility towards the world, but out of compassion, love the world as it is, not necessarily the way that ‘I’ desire it to be. One doesn’t claim possession/ownership towards the world being ambitious to make the world to be the way that ‘I’ desire it to be and the way that ‘I’ think how it should be. One just do one’s best to look after one’s mind, to stop contributing impurities and unrest into the world, and respecting the law of nature – Impermanence and Selflessness.

Be free.

Different teachings / practices catering the different levels of understanding

Sometimes people might feel confused by the different teachings or practices in yoga that appear to be ‘contradicted’ with one another.

Such as, there is the teachings or external practice of ‘Yama (refraining from immoral conduct) and Niyama (observances)’, ‘positive thinking’, ‘sattvic physical and mental inputs’, ‘breath control’ and ‘physical position’ to influence/balance/purify/control/manipulate the energy field to ‘change’ or ‘influence’ the state of the mind from agitation to calmness, from dullness to brightness, from restlessness to quietness, from negative to positive, from unhealthiness to healthiness, from selfishness to unselfishness, from impurity to purity, from ignorance to the end of ignorance. These are ‘the practice with names and forms’ with the intention to influence or change certain ‘lower qualities’ to be transformed into ‘higher qualities’, or to let go certain old ‘bad’ habits and to develop new ‘good’ habits. This is for the passionate ones who are being conditioned deeply by worldly egoistic thinking/belief/habits/behavior/desire/action and reaction, who still identified strongly with certain qualities of names and forms (family, relationship, given name/self-identity, gender, sexual orientation, personality, self-image, physical appearance/condition/ability/disability, states of the mind of thinking/belief/feelings/emotions, action and the fruit of action, culture, religion, spirituality, community, knowledge, experiences, relationship, nationality, political point of view, and so on), who are still looking for and being determined by the sense of love, happiness, satisfaction, success, meaningfulness, confidence, positiveness, goodness, righteousness, easiness, or pleasurable enjoyments in the qualities of names and forms.

Then, there’s the teachings and internal practice of the senses are being withdrawn from the sense objects, concentration and meditation, which include non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment, non-comparison, non-expectation, annihilating egoism or the idea of ‘I’, where there’s no ‘I’ existing being the performer of action or the receiver/enjoyer of the fruit of action. There’s neither ‘I’ am selfish nor ‘I’ am unselfish. There’s neither ‘I’ want goodness/happiness nor ‘I’ don’t want badness/unhappiness. It’s going beyond all the qualities of names and forms, being undetermined by the Gunas/energy fields, the physical condition, the state of the mind, quality of names and forms, duality, actions and the fruit of actions.

This is for the dispassionate ones who have firm determination to transcend the mind perception of a worldly life existence of impermanent and selfless names and forms, who have abandoned worldly egoistic thinking/belief/habits/behavior/desire/action and reaction, who are disinterested in chasing after worldly objects/enjoyments/relationships/satisfaction/meaningfulness/identification/recognition, who have gone beyond the sense of love, happiness, satisfaction, success, meaningfulness, confidence, positiveness, goodness, righteousness, easiness, or pleasurable enjoyments, upon the realization of selflessness, namelessness, formlessness, attributelessness, non-duality, oneness, or non-separateness derived from self-inquiry under a desireless equanimous mind, being aware of the modification of the mind or the different states of the mind allowing all the pleasant/unpleasant or desirable/undesirable names and forms of all the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations, feelings, thoughts in this present moment now being there as it is, without interfering with or controlling or changing the physical condition or the state of the mind to be something else that is not what it is, or to be ‘the way that I desire it to be’, allowing all the names and forms to be arising and passing away, allowing all the impermanent changes to be there, as they are.

There’s neither attachment towards nor identification with the impermanent and selfless physical body/the modification of the mind as ‘I’. These are ‘the nameless and formless practice’ without any intention to influence or change anything, but allowing all and everything to be there as they are, to be changing as they are, to be what they are, as they are.

If the external practice with names and forms are being practiced with the nameless formless internal practice, then one will know how to free the mind from egoism while performing all the external practice and allowing all the effects or benefits coming from the external practice to be there as they are, without intention to be receiving the effects/benefits of the practice, without desire of craving or aversion, without judgment or expectation, without attachment or identification with the practice or the result of the practice.

Just like the sun, the wind, the water, the earth and the space have no intention to be performing action, or to be interfering with one another and everything in the universe, or discriminating/judging/praising/condemning this is good or that is bad, but actions/activities are there constantly influencing each other.

All the different teachings and practices exist to accommodate different states of the mind with different degrees of attachment, openness, awareness, ignorance, understanding and/or realization. There’s no ‘contradiction’ at all. It’s just different stages of the entire yoga practice. However, many yoga enthusiasts might just stop at getting the effects/benefits from the yoga practice and don’t want to proceed any further to free the mind from egoism, impurities, restlessness or ignorance, to free the mind from being determined by the mind perception of different qualities of names and forms, and be free, as they are not interested at all in silencing the modification of the mind, as they are passionately ‘loving’ and ‘enjoying’ the impermanent and selfless worldly life existence so much. And that’s their freedom.

When the mind is being less conditioned by worldly thinking/belief/habits/action/reaction, this mind will be less disturbed by the mind perception of names and forms of all kinds of agreeable/disagreeable or pleasant/unpleasant experiences, and this will allow the mind to see the truth of things as it is, under a calm and quiet state of the mind, intentionlessly, effortlessly, spontaneously.