Watch how the mind reacts towards all the perception of names and forms

What is yoga and what is the practice to realize yoga?

Yoga is the realization of unconditional peace and love that is undetermined and uncontaminated by what the mind thinks and believes as good and bad, right and wrong, positive and negative, happiness and unhappiness, pleasantness and unpleasantness, enjoyment and suffering, meaningfulness and meaninglessness.

The yoga practice is turning the outgoing mind inwards, purifying and silencing the mind to allow the mind to see the truth as it is, be free from ignorance and egoism of attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, judgment and expectation, that give rise to suffering.

Developing the awareness that is being aware of or watching how the mind reacts towards all the perception of names and forms of what it sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches/feels, and thinks, without identification with the impermanent states of the mind or the mind perceptions and reactions that ceaselessly arising and passing away, without judgment or expectation towards the function and the states of the mind and the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, without craving and aversion towards all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses.

It doesn’t matter what the mind thinks and analyzes towards all the perception of names and forms as true or false, right or wrong, the yoga practice is training the mind to be open, being unattached towards the thinking and belief in the mind that is influencing the mind to judge and analyze everything as good and bad, right and wrong, positive and negative, happiness and unhappiness, pleasantness and unpleasantness, enjoyment and suffering, meaningfulness and meaninglessness. Being undisturbed by something that the mind doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with, being unattached towards what the mind perceives as nice and good, without clinging or craving towards what the mind likes and agrees with, and being unattached towards what the mind perceives as not nice and not good, without aversion towards what the mind doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with. Training the mind how to be at peace living in the world that is not necessarily the way that the mind thinks it should be or how the mind likes it to be.

Ask the mind, what really happens when the mind feels disturbed, offended, insulted, hurt, upset, disappointed, or angry? It’s when the mind comes in contact with something that the mind doesn’t like, doesn’t agree with and doesn’t want, or when the mind doesn’t come in contact with what the mind likes, agrees with and wants. “I am disturbed, offended, insulted, hurt, upset, disappointed and angry is not because life and things are not good, people are not good, or the world is not good, but it’s because I am experiencing something that I don’t like, that I don’t agree with, that I don’t want, or I am not experiencing what I like, what I agree with and what I want.”

If there are minds don’t like or disagree with this teaching and practice of yoga, they don’t have to take up this teaching or practice. But the ability of being undisturbed by what the mind doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with, is what the yoga practice is about, even if it’s about the teaching and practice of yoga. It’s everyone’s freedom for how their mind reacts, thinks and feels.

The minds that are peaceful, being free from ignorance, egoism, impurities or suffering, being undisturbed or undetermined by all the perception of names and forms don’t need to practice yoga. There’s no fear, no loneliness, no meaninglessness, no dissatisfaction, no disappointment, no painful sorrow, no suffering or the end of suffering. There’s no need to practice anything to be free from suffering.

The mind that doesn’t know this, then even after long time of ‘doing some forms of yoga practice regularly’, there’s no peace, as the mind is restless constantly attaching onto the mind perception of names and forms and generates craving and aversion towards the names and forms, being disturbed and determined by the likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, wants and don’t wants towards all the perception of names and forms, that is coming from the mind itself of how the mind reacts, and it’s not coming from the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses.

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Suffering is not due to bad karma, but ignorance

Not everyone believe in karma, but there are quite some people believe in karma, especially in Asian culture.

A lot of time, people would relate or refer any kind of suffering as the result of bad karma (the consequences of bad actions). If someone is going through some kinds of difficult situation or very unpleasant condition or painful experiences in life, where the body and/or the mind has to go through certain difficulty or pain, people would say, “Oh, this is due to bad karma. And it’s good to go through suffering to burn-off the past accumulated bad karma.” Although by saying so, it might make the person who is suffering feels a little better and make it easier to deal with suffering, but most suffering is unnecessary and can be avoided if we know how to avoid behaving ignorantly.

People like to give their opinion and say, “Oh. Such a terrible bad karma exists in your family. Your family has to go through all these suffering is because of your family past bad karma. You all must have done lots of bad things in the past. That’s why your family has to suffer so much for it in this life.” This is such ignorant thinking and belief and saying.

Even good people who have been doing a lot of good and right actions, and didn’t do much bad or wrong in this world, and for those who believe that they have been accumulated lots of good karma in their past life are not excluded from experiencing physical, emotional and mental suffering if their minds are not free from ignorance and egoism. People like to say, “You are such a good person. You don’t deserve all these suffering. It must be bad karma from your past life.” And this is ignorant thinking and belief and saying.

For the strong ego, it would prefer to blame on past life bad karma for its suffering, than to acknowledge and admit that it’s due to its ignorance in the present.

Those who know about suffering and the cause of suffering do not blame on past life and bad karma. It’s ignorant behavior of actions and reactions in this life existence that people end up in many unnecessary suffering.

Most suffering is truly unnecessary, and the cause of these suffering is ignorance that gives rise to ignorant behavior, that leads to the consequences of ignorant behavior, which is unnecessary suffering that doesn’t has to be existing in the first place.

For example, if a person is suffering from an illness, which is treatable and not too complicated, if the illness is being treated properly and immediately, but for some reasons, due to ignorance, one is not getting the proper treatment immediately, and this person has to suffer more painful consequences that could be avoided in the first place, and/or it might be too late to do anything even though one tries to get the proper treatment later on.

Another example, one who ignores the little small problems that arise in life which could be solved easily and immediately, but for some reasons, due to ignorance, all the unattended little small problems would turn into serious unsolvable big problems. And it might be too late to do anything even if one realizes and regrets towards one’s ignorance.

Another example, one who knows that by mixing with those who have strong influence in getting into unnecessary troubles and by taking certain substances to get high can turn into addiction that would cause many forms of complication in health, life and relationship with others, but still want to take those substances to get high and hang out with those who have strong influence in getting into unnecessary troubles, and ends up in unnecessary suffering and troubles. That’s pure ignorance.

And for another example, due to the strong ego, one pushes the body and mind beyond its limitation to achieve what the ego wants to achieve, and causing unnecessary damages into the body and mind, losing one’s mobility and sanity, and requiring intensive care from others. This is not because bad karma. It’s purely ignorance.

Due to ignorance, egoism and impurities of dissatisfaction, disappointment, lust, desires, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, hurt, guilt, offensiveness, defensiveness, pride, arrogance, fear and worry, and so on, one would generate actions and reactions that give rise to unnecessary suffering onto oneself and affecting others either directly or indirectly.

Even the most intelligent or virtue person in this world also can’t escape the fundamental suffering of a life existence that is under the function of the physical body and mind perception of names and forms that is subject to impermanent changes and selflessness (All the impermanent changes and perception of names and forms are not in the control of an ‘I’, or how ‘I’ would like it to be).

If one is free from ignorance, then even though one is going through some kind of physical and/or mental suffering, one will not generate or react with further ignorant reactions that would bring further ignorant consequences. One would know how to transcend or go beyond the difficult condition, or unpleasant and painful experiences with correct understanding, wisdom and compassion, and remain equanimous being at peace, being undisturbed or undetermined by it, while being aware of the difficult condition, or unpleasant and painful experiences are impermanent and it’s not ‘I’.

Past life and karma (whether good or bad, easy or difficult) doesn’t mean anything to the one who has realized unconditional peace and love, who is free from ignorance. There’s no fear or aversion towards difficult condition, or unpleasant and painful experiences. There’s no clinging or craving towards easy condition, or pleasant and enjoyable experiences.

It’s really irrelevant and unimportant about how long one has been doing/practicing/teaching yoga

It’s really irrelevant and unimportant about how long one has been doing/practicing/teaching yoga, as to whether one’s mind is free from ignorance, egoism, impurities, disturbs, unhappiness and suffering, or not.

When attending a yoga class or a yoga retreat, most people would like to address about how long they have been doing/practicing yoga, and they want to know how long the yoga teachers have been doing/practicing/teaching yoga. And some people would feel strange and even offended when the yoga teachers who know what is the teachings and practice of yoga don’t bring up the question about how long the students have been doing/practicing yoga.

People who have not been doing/practicing yoga, don’t necessarily means that they are not free from ignorance and egoism, or are not peaceful, wise and compassionate. While those who have been doing/practicing yoga for some time or a long time, don’t necessarily means that they are free from ignorance and egoism, and are peaceful, wise and compassionate.

Those who are free, peaceful, wise and compassionate, then it doesn’t matter how long they have been doing/practicing yoga and they don’t mind about what the teacher teaches in the class, and it doesn’t matter whether their body is strong and flexible enough to do all the yoga poses, or not, as well as how long the teacher has been doing/practicing/teaching yoga.

Those who are not free, they will learn and practice yoga under the guidance of a teacher disregard how long they have been doing/practicing yoga. Yoga practice is in the present moment, doing one’s best to take care of the well-being of the body and mind, without straining the body and mind, being compassionate towards this mind perception of life existence and accepting the body and mind and all kinds of life experience as they are, from moment to moment. It’s nothing to do with how long one has been doing/practicing yoga. If one is already free, one doesn’t even need to do/practice yoga. If one is not free, then keep practicing without judgment or expectation. It’s okay if the mind is not free in the present moment, and this is impermanent.

It’s the same as how long the yoga teachers have been doing/practicing/teaching yoga is also irrelevant and unimportant as to whether the yoga teachers are free, peaceful, wise and compassionate, or not, and whether the yoga teachers are teaching yoga and guiding the yoga students towards liberation from ignorance and egoism, to realize unconditional peace, wisdom and compassion, or not.

If people couldn’t figure this out, or couldn’t understand about this, then even though they think they have been doing/practicing yoga for a long time, and they have been reading and hearing about the teachings/philosophy of yoga, but they are not free. And it’s okay if the mind is not free yet after one has been doing/practicing yoga for a long time, and one has been reading and hearing about the teachings/philosophy of yoga. Just keep practicing, without judgment, comparison or expectation.

When the mind is greatly disturbed by the inputs from social medias

Compassion is reflected in an equanimous mind that remains undisturbed under any difficult or challenging conditions and situations.

If the mind is greatly disturbed by the inputs from social medias, may it be worldly issues or regional issues or personal issues, then out of compassion towards oneself and others, it’s better for the mind to stay away from social medias for some time. Be kind to this mind and take care of this mind.

Losing the balanced state of the mind doesn’t help the world that one loves and cares very much to be better or to be free from suffering, no matter how intense that one loves and cares towards other beings or the world. It’s everyone’s freedom for how they feel and what they want to do. Those who practice yoga is to maintain equanimous and undisturbed under any condition and situation, that allows the mind to be compassionate and have the clarity to perform necessary actions out of wisdom.

One doesn’t need to react with great disturbance of anger, hatred, disappointment, distress, depression, ill-thinking and ill-will, to show that one cares a lot for the world or sympathizes towards other people’s suffering. The disturbed reactions of the mind towards something that the mind dislikes and disagrees with is nothing to do with compassion.

Being compassionate towards oneself and others, is reflected in a peaceful mind, where there is awareness of the inputs or the knowledge of names and forms, and there might be action need to be performed to deal with difficult condition or situation, but there’s no disturbed reaction of impurities arise in the mind towards something that the intellect recognizes as ‘bad’, ‘horrible’, ‘terrible’, ‘negative’, ‘wrong’, ‘depressing’ or ‘sorrowful’.

When the mind doesn’t react with anger, hatred, disappointment, distress, depression, grief, or sorrow, it doesn’t mean that this mind is unconcerned or cruel or discompassionate. The mind can be compassionate and sympathize towards the suffering of oneself and others, but it doesn’t has to be reflected with impurities of anger, hatred, disappointment, distress, depression, grief, or sorrow. There’s nothing wrong with the reflection of anger, hatred, disappointment, distress, depression, grief, or sorrow in the mind towards something that the intellect recognizes as ‘bad’, ‘horrible’, ‘terrible’, ‘negative’, ‘wrong’, ‘depressing’ or ‘sorrowful’, but it has nothing to do with compassion.

Impurities are the product of ignorance and egoism. When the mind is under the influence of ignorance and egoism, this mind is unable to be compassionate, even though it might show sympathy and empathy towards the suffering in oneself and others, while being disturbed by the unpleasant difficult condition and situation.

To realize the distinct between compassion (that is undisturbed by the object of suffering) and passionate sympathy/empathy (that is physically, mentally, emotionally be disturbed by the object of suffering), is the yoga practice.

Many people who attached onto worldly thinking and belief might interpret this undisturbed state of mind as unsympathetic or unempathetic, as they think and believe human beings should react with anger, hatred, disappointment, distress, depression, grief, or sorrow towards something that they think is ‘bad’, ‘horrible’, ‘terrible’, ‘negative’, ‘wrong’, ‘depressing’ or ‘sorrowful’, otherwise, it’s abnormal, uncivilized, insane, inhuman or wrong, if people don’t react in such way. And that’s okay. It’s everyone’s freedom for what they think and how they want to feel and react towards everything that they perceive.

Those who know, they know. Those who don’t know, they don’t know. Can’t do anything about it

Feel offended by something that the mind doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with?

It’s normal and common that the mind easily feels offended or intimidated or angered by something that the mind doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with. That’s the normal behavior of most minds that are under the influence of egoism.

The mind that practice yoga of non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment, non-comparison and non-expectation, that is free from pride and arrogance, wouldn’t be offended or intimidated or angered by something that is different from its thinking and behavior, and allowing others to be different and to have the freedom to express their thinking and behavior that is different from this mind.

Even when other people have no intention to offend anyone, and the names and forms have no quality to be offensive, the mind that is under the influence of egoism will still be offended by this or that, due to pride and arrogance. This mind also puts the responsibility of its reactions of being offended, intimidated or angered onto the names and forms that it doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with.

Yoga practice is about purifying and quieting the mind, and developing awareness and correct understanding towards the mind activities that are under the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities, through self-control, self-introspection, self-inquiry and self-realization, to free the mind from ignorance and egoism and impurities.

Minds that have no awareness towards the ignorance, egoism or impurities in the mind and have no idea about the practice of non-attachment, non-identification, desireless, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment, non-comparison or non-expectation, might be doing some forms of yoga exercises regularly, but there is no peace or compassion, when the minds are easily be disturbed, offended, intimidated or angered when coming in contact with names and forms that the minds dislike and disagree with, being over-powered by ill-thinking and ill-will.

If someone wants to know what is the yoga practice of freeing the mind from ignorance, egoism and impurities, one can contemplate on this,

One can choose to smile or not to smile to the world. There’s nothing wrong when one chooses not to smile. There’s no obligation that one has to smile to the world, and when one chooses to smile to the world, there’s no expectation that the world will smile back. The world is not obligated to smile back. If the world smiles back, let it be. If it doesn’t, let it be. If the world is offended or intimidated by one’s smile or smile-less to the world, let it be.