Admirable leader?

It’s common for most minds being unwittingly attracted to and generate admiration towards others with certain qualities of names and forms that one desires, likes and agrees with, that inspires oneself in certain ways, that appears to be admirable and inspirational for oneself. Most minds also want to equip oneself with certain qualities of names and forms to be able to inspire others, that would attract admiration from others.

For the minds that are free from ignorance and egoism, there’s neither admiration towards any qualities of names and forms that appear to be higher quality, superior, admirable or attractive, nor there’s longing to be attracting admiration from others by possessing certain qualities of names and forms that appear to be higher quality, superior, admirable or attractive. Though without any intention, or expectation, or longing to make oneself being admirable or inspirational to attract any admiration from others, or to inspire anyone, one allows others to perceive and react towards oneself the way that they perceive and react.

Many people would think and believe and promote that if someone wants to be doing something in this world to make the world ‘a better place’, one should do one’s best to be a highly admirable/inspirational person who can inspire and be admired by as many people as possible, in order to become ‘an admirable leader’ to be propagating one’s vision to ‘attract’/’recruit’/’leading’ many people to also ‘follow’/’adopt’/’practice’/’perform action according to’ one’s vision to make the world ‘a better place’. As most people would be ‘blindly’ listening to and following those whom they admired or attracted to very much, regardless of whether it’s something true, or not true.

In the path of yoga and Buddhism, it’s not like that at all. In any circumstances, none should be encouraged to ‘admire’ anyone, to ‘follow’/’adopt’/’practice’/’perform action according to’ any teachings or visions from anyone who portrays certain qualities of names and forms that the mind desires, likes, and agrees with, that the mind admires or falls in love with, but everyone must investigate and inquire the truth of everything, including all the teachings of yoga and Buddhism, to attain self-realization, to free the mind from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance.

If the minds are free from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance through self-inquiry and self-realization by disciplining/purifying/silencing one’s mind, then there’s no need of anybody to be setting an intention/aspiration to be ‘an admirable leader’ to be attracting/recruiting/leading many others to ‘follow’/’adopt’/’practice’/’perform action according to’ a particular vision of making the world to be in a particular way that one desires, that one thinks and believes is ‘the way to a better world’, but without the need to be following any leaders, everyone who is free from ignorance will naturally stop generating unnecessary ‘problems’ or ‘unrest’ into the world, to be performing action, to live life, act and react selflessly in this world out of wisdom and compassion, without any intention, or aspiration, or desire, or ambition to make the world to be in any particular way, but allowing the world to be what it is, while accommodating and respecting everyone being what they are, having their own different ways of life/thinking/belief/practice/action/reaction.

It’s never about training or being ‘a leader with admirable charisma/quality’ that would be ‘attracting’/’recruiting’/’leading’ many other people to be ‘following’/’adopting’/’practicing’/’performing action according to’ certain egoistic thinking and beliefs or visions about ‘how the world should be like’ and leading other people to be making the world to be ‘the way that the mind thinks and believes how it should be’, where there are many different egoistic thinking and beliefs or visions existing in the world that desire ‘a world’ that are very different from one another, where all kinds of corruptions, conflicts, clashes, discrimination, hatred, oppression, intrusion, violence and unrest exist due to different leaders desire/aspire to make the world to be the way that they think and believe how it should be, to be ‘a world’ that they desire.

“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.” – Swami Sivananda

“Do not hoard disciples. Do not build ashrams.” – Swami Sivananda

Siddhartha Gautama Buddha was never a ‘leader’ ‘leading’ a group of ‘followers’ who ‘followed’ his path, teachings, or disciplines. He taught, “Inquire the truth of everything. Discipline one’s mind. Purify one’s mind. Silent one’s mind. Liberate one’s mind from attachment. When there’s attachment towards ‘this worldly life existence’, one is not a ‘practitioner’. Do not blind-believing, blind-following, blind-preaching, blind-practicing, blind-agreeing/disagreeing.”

Without ‘leader’, what is ‘follower’ or ‘disciple’, and vice versa?

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Worldly self-identity and group identity

As soon as one identifies with a quality of name and form, not to say, most minds identify with different qualities of names and forms simultaneously as ‘This is I with such and such qualities’, one generates separateness between ‘I’ and others who don’t identify with the similar qualities of names and forms, or who identify with some other kinds of quality of names and forms that are different from oneself.

No doubt that living in the modern society, everyone need to have a personal identity that allows people to have a registered given name and identity number, to be legalized to apply for a citizenship, to open a bank account, to enroll for school education, to find a job, to purchase property, to have a passport to travel, to be monitored/controlled by ‘certain organizations’, and so on.

For many people, personal identity doesn’t just stop at the legality purpose to be living and moving around in this world ‘legally’ and ‘conveniently’, but many people put high importance/necessity onto the self/group identification with certain qualities of names and forms to be acknowledged by oneself and others as ‘I’ or ‘This is I with such and such qualities’, to nurture/empower self-esteem and take pride in being ‘somebody with such and such qualities’ and to attain the recognition/respect/approval as ‘somebody with such and such qualities’ to feel satisfy, confident, happy and meaningful towards oneself and one’s life existence, which is truly unnecessary.

Self/group identification with qualities of names and forms gives rise to the sense of separateness that generate many side-effects of unnecessary ‘problems’ of discrimination/prejudice/hatred/bullying/violence in the world.

In the world where most minds are functioning under the influence of ignorance and egoism, and most people deliberately teaching/encouraging/influencing everyone to develop and empower a strong self and group identity that attached onto certain qualities of names and forms from very young age to be who they are, or ‘This is I’ and ‘This is my origin/ancestor/race/tribe/family/friends/relatives/community/social circle/culture/religion/spirituality/gender/sexuality/education/qualification/nationality/political stand, and so on, and that they should take pride for being identifying with those qualities of names and forms as ‘who they are’, and that they should protect/defend those qualities of names and forms AT ALL COST. And hence, all kinds of fear, discrimination, defensiveness, animosity, intimidation, offensiveness, prejudice, hatred, bullying and violence exist due to this ignorant egoistic prideful ‘self/group identity’.

People don’t need to discriminate, intimidate, condemn, bully and attack other beings just because one dislikes and disagrees with the others based on one’s attachment and identification with certain qualities of names and forms that is different from the others. But due to ignorance and egoism of attachment and identification with the sense of pride, arrogance and superiority towards certain qualities of names and forms, there are those who feel proudness and superiority towards their particular thinking and belief, as well as there are those who want their identification with certain qualities of names and forms that are different from the others to be verified, approved, acknowledged, accepted and respected by the others who are different from them in the society, to receive understanding, equal treatment, kindness and friendliness from others, to feel satisfy, happy, confident and meaningful about themselves and their life existence, but this actually creates the opportunity for discrimination to be existing.

One can have a particular way of thinking and belief/disbelief, way of life and way of doing things, skin colour, sexual orientation, genital organ, physical appearance, physical ability/disability, action and reaction. But, all these qualities of names and forms are not ‘I’ or ‘who I am’. One doesn’t need to be verified, approved, acknowledged, accepted and respected by the others who are different from oneself in the society, and one doesn’t need to rely on receiving understanding, equal treatment, kindness and friendship from others, to feel happy, satisfy, confident and meaningful about oneself and one’s life existence, if one knows yoga/dharma, or namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness/selflessness.

What other people want to think, believe, feel, act and react is their freedom, even when they are discriminating others who are different from them, whom they dislike and disagree with, but one doesn’t need to be determined or disturbed by other people’s thinking, belief, feeling, action and reaction that are not necessarily agreeable, pleasant, friendly, nice or kind, if oneself is free from ignorance and egoism of attachment and identification, or free from expectation towards how other people should and shouldn’t think and behave and treat others.

Anyone who identifies with any qualities of names and forms as ‘This is who I am with such and such qualities’, and expect to be verified, approved, acknowledged, accepted and respected by others, will never be free from generate discrimination towards others and perceive discrimination from others. This is a ‘natural’ behavior of all minds under the influence of ignorance and egoism. Most minds don’t like to be discriminated and will feel angry, disrespected, insulted, bullied, attacked and hurt when being discriminated, but then they don’t mind discriminating others, whether wittingly or unwittingly.

Not all who think themselves are ‘yogi/yoga practitioner’ or ‘Buddhist’ are all really practicing yoga and Buddhism. Those who truly practice yoga or Buddhism, they go beyond all the mind perception of different qualities of names and forms. They don’t have identification as ‘yogi’ or ‘Buddhist’. They only see a whole bunch of mortal beings that are subject to the suffering of ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness, and all kind of names and forms are subject to impermanence and selflessness. All beings are mere moving skeletons covered with skin, flesh, blood, organs, nerves, glands, pus, pee and shit with limited life span that is subject to changes, decay, illness, old age and death/decomposition. There’s no superiority or inferiority. There’s no good people or bad people. There’s no black or white. There’s no male or female. There’s no enjoyable or non-enjoyable. There’s no separateness or discrimination or fear or hatred. The physical body that comes in different qualities of names and forms is being born to change, decay and decompose from the very beginning of it’s existence, regardless of what qualities of names and forms that everyone identify themselves with as ‘who they are’.

All these identifications and discrimination towards different identifications are truly unnecessary, if one knows how to transcend all the different qualities of names and forms. All these different qualities of names and forms are not ‘I’. Be free from any self/group identity with any qualities of names and forms. Neither this or that is ‘I’. Who and what is there to receive discrimination from anybody, if there’s no ‘I’ or ‘This is I with certain qualities of names and forms’?

If people want to discriminate others, or they are being discriminated by others due to attachment and identification with the qualities of names and forms to be who they are, and they are longing for endorsement, acknowledgement, acceptance, respect, approval, understanding or friendliness from others, that’s their freedom.

The mind that knows the truth of ignorance and egoism is free from any self/group identity. One will be free and peaceful, and allow others to be what/who they think they are, thinking and behaving as they are. None can remove or take away the ignorance and egoism in others, not even enlightened beings who were/are free from ignorance and egoism.

Those who know, some of them retreat from the worldly minded society that emphasizes on developing/empowering self/group identity, to conserve energy, to live a simple quiet life. Those who remain in the society, they are not determined or disturbed by the ignorance of others.

Good life?

Despite a small group of people in the world of ignorance, greed and selfishness who would wish for bad condition and situation in the world so that they can make profits/benefits out of the bad condition and situation of the world and other people’s suffering, painful sorrow, difficulties and hardships, most people would appreciate and be grateful and wish for good life, good condition and situation, good relationships and enjoyments for everyone.

There’s nothing wrong with joy and happiness, good life, good condition and situation, good relationships and enjoyments, just that it can easily become one of the great hindrances for those who are on the path of yoga to progress towards the highest aim of yoga of transcending the mind and the yearning for liberation is no longer the highest motivation for performing the yoga practice and would eventually disappear from the mind completely, unwittingly, where performing yoga practice is only one of the healthy leisure activities in life.

“Oh, what a wonderful life and beautiful world we have here. Good family, good friends, good condition, good activities and plenty of good enjoyments. We should just enjoy all the good things that we have as much as we can. We should make use of the opportunity of good life, good condition and situation to do so many things in this world. Why bother about all those unpleasant yoga practice about silencing/transcending the mind of letting go this beautiful wonderful happy world?”

Everything is impermanent. Because of the impermanent nature of everything, we should appreciate the precious moments of good life, good condition and situation, good relationships and enjoyments even though knowing that it’s impermanent, that it will change and pass away. And this statement is not something negative, or depressing, or bitter at all. It’s the truth of everything.

If people realize the fleeting impermanence of everything, it could inspire them to work diligently towards transcending the mind perception of worldly life existence even though they are enjoying good life, good condition and situation, good relationship and enjoyments that they know all are impermanent. If there’s no attachment towards all the impermanent good enjoyments and happy joyful moments, it’s fine. There’s no suffering when impermanence strikes. But, when there is attachment and suffering arise, how many people would cry, “OH! Dear God/Guru/anyone, help me please! Save me please! Take away all these suffering from me. I don’t want them. Please bring back the joy and happiness to me!”

Suffering, painful sorrow, bad condition and situation, disappointment, bad relationships, difficulties and hardships are not something negative, depressing or bitter at all, it’s indeed the great motivation/inspiration for people to let go the world (regardless good or bad condition/happy or unhappy experiences), to be determined to perform yoga practice to transcend the mind perception of an impermanent selfless worldly life existence of names and forms, and be free from the suffering of restlessness swaying in between satisfaction and dissatisfaction, happiness and unhappiness, due to endless desires of craving and aversion waiting to be gratified under the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities.

“The world is unreal.” – The teachings of yoga.

This is not about shunning/condemning/pushing away/denying good life, good condition and situation, good relationships, activities and enjoyments, but to remind ourselves not to be drowned in impermanent pleasurable good condition, activity and enjoyment until we forgo the highest aim of yoga. Though it’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to do with their life, body and mind.

Be free.

Suffering is the greatest motivation for the path of liberation

People might think that love, happiness, kindness and all kinds of goodness are inspiring people to take up yoga practice. Though it’s true, but they are not the motivations to motivate people to live a life of dispassion to transcend the mind perception of a worldly life existence of names and forms that is subject to impermanence and selflessness.

Suffering is the greatest inspiration or motivation for people to be determined to work diligently and seriously towards liberation from the mind perception of a worldly life existence of names and forms, or the modifications of the mind under the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities.

Just like a country that is full of corruptions, it’s similar to a fruit tree that is sicked from the root to the branches to the leaves and to the flowers and the fruits. Nothing is going to change, or move forward towards liberation from corruptions, when everyone is enjoying the fruits of the sicked tree, even though they are bitter and sour and are infested by worms, but at least it can feed their hunger. They are reluctant to let go of this tree as they don’t know if there will be another tree that can provide them with enough fruits that can feed their hunger, and so, they are ‘comfortable and satisfied enough’ to hang on to this tree, even though they would complain about the fruits are bitter and sour and have worms in them.

The condition or situation has to be so bad, so bad that there’s no fruit at all for anyone, not even bitter and sour fruits with worms, or the tree dropped dead completely, then everyone will have no choice but to abandon this tree to look for some other fruit trees that might provide them fruits to feed their hunger. Or else, they will keep watering the tree keeping the tree alive, hoping the tree continues to provide them with enough fruits, even if they are bitter and sour and are infested by worms. From time to time, they might consider giving up the tree out of frustration and disappointment, but in the end, they won’t give it up, as long as the tree will continue to provide them with the ‘fruit’ that can feed their hunger, especially sometimes the tree would occasionally give fruits that might still infested by worms, but they are less bitter and sour, and even slightly sweet. As everyone is already used to the fruits with worms, and so, they are very happy and satisfied with the less bitter and sour, and sweeter fruits once in a while.

Under good life condition and not too much difficulties in the moment, when the life situation is not very good but not too bad either, where people can still ‘enjoy life’ even though there are many problems or corruptions everywhere due to ignorance, egoism and impurities, people would just enjoy the seemingly ‘good condition’ of comforts, enjoyments and conveniences in life, even though all these are impermanent, hoping that the good life condition will last as long as possible, or will become even better, and they will be reluctant to let go all the impermanent comforts, enjoyments and conveniences to tread the path that is not necessarily pleasant, while it could be very unpleasant and challenging, but would lead them towards highest liberation.

It’s only when the beings experience great suffering, not just a little suffering or unhappiness, then they would be inspired, or be motivated, or be determined to work their very best seriously for attaining liberation from suffering of a worldly life existence of a limited body with an impure egoistic thinking mind that is impermanent and selfless.

The experience or the perception of great suffering is not a bad thing at all when it motivates the beings to live a life of dispassion that leads towards highest liberation from the modifications of the mind, or the mind perception of an impermanent and selfless worldly life existence of names and forms.

Be free.

Be free from the belief of ‘positive mind power’ to ‘change’ the world

There’s nothing wrong with ‘positive’ minds strongly believe in ‘positive thinking’ or ‘positive mind power’ to change the perceived reality that they don’t like to be something that they prefer, and wish for ‘positive qualities in the world’ to ‘change’ or ‘make’ the world to be (more) good, peaceful and harmony, or even better, if the world can be all good, peaceful and harmony.

It’s better to have ‘positive’ good and kind thoughts than ‘negative’ bad and evil thoughts, in one’s mind. And most ‘positive’ minds have ‘wishful thinking’ of ‘changing’ the world via ‘positive mind power’.

It’s just not the objective of yoga and meditation practice.

No doubt that ‘positive thinking’ in one’s mind can motivate oneself to perform actions that ‘might’ benefit oneself and the world in certain ways, but developing ‘positive mind power’ with the intention/wish/desire to change the world to be the way that the mind would like it to be, is not part of the yoga and meditation practice. If one’s mind is free from ignorance and impurities, it would definitely help the world to have less an ignorant and impure being, but it doesn’t take away or eliminate ignorance and impurities from other beings in the world.

The ‘positive thinking’ in yoga practice is to allow the mind to counter ‘negative thinking’ and to ‘cheerfully’ deal with difficult condition and situation that is not necessarily the way that the mind would like it to be, to be persevered in one’s yoga and meditation practice on the path towards self-realization and liberation from ignorance and suffering. It’s not about to develop ‘positive super mind power’ to ‘wish’ and ‘change’ the world to be something that it is not, or ‘wish’ and ‘change’ other beings to be someone whom they are not.

The space is still what it is, whether people think it is too small and wish that it is bigger, or people think that it is too big and wish that it is smaller.

The sun is still what it is, whether people think it is not the way that it should be and wish that the sun to be something else that it is not.

The world is still what it is, whether people think that it has too much bad and wish that it has less bad and more good, or people think that it has too much good and wish that it has less good and more bad.

The world will still be full of ignorant and selfish and impure beings with ignorant thinking, belief and behavior, and the consequences of ignorance, no matter how many ‘positive and kind’ people try to collect ‘positive mind power’ with positive intention/hope/wish for ‘world peace’ or ‘a world free from ignorance’. Wars/riots/conflicts/discrimination/unjust/violence/greed were/are/will be still going on here and there, among countries or communities or families or species or tribes or genders, and within a country or community or family or tribe or species or gender, due to ignorance, egoism and impurities in all the minds.

People think and believe, “I am inspired by Buddha.” But Buddha didn’t intent to ‘inspire’ anyone. There are many weren’t inspired by Buddha. But Buddha didn’t intent to ‘not inspire’ anyone.

The real practice of yoga and meditation is to silent this restless mind, that is here, functioning and perceiving all the good and bad qualities of names and forms. All the other aspirations and inspirations are merely the play of ignorance/egoism or Maya. Yoga and meditation practice is not about developing or attaining ‘positive thinking super mind power’ to be ‘wishing’ or ‘changing’ the ‘worldly life existence’ or ‘the world of human beings existence’ to be the way that ‘I’ think it should be – All good and nothing bad, or The world should be a place of more happiness or enjoyment and less unhappiness or suffering.

The world is still what it was/is/will be. Buddha and other saints and sages didn’t wish or change the world to be something different than what it was/is/will be. They didn’t ‘change’ or ‘take away’ the ignorance and suffering in the beings through generating ‘intention’ or ‘wish’ or ‘resolution’ or ‘positive thinking’ or ‘super mind power’ to make all beings in the world be free from ignorance and suffering. If they could, they would already have ‘made’ the entire world free from all ignorance and the consequences of ignorance. There won’t be any ignorance or suffering in any beings or in the world. They could only work on self-realization and upon the attainment of liberation, out of compassion, selflessly, they shared their path or knowledge and experience with others who also wished to attain liberation from suffering to work on their own salvation via self-effort, self-purification, self-discipline, self-inquiry and self-realization.

They didn’t or couldn’t ‘change’ or ‘interfere with’ or ‘influence’ those who weren’t interested in liberation, but only wanted to create a ‘better world of higher quality of life and pleasurable enjoyment that they desired’, to also be interested in the liberation from ignorance and suffering. They didn’t ‘get angry with’ or ‘disappointed with’ or ‘punish’ those who were ignorant and selfish, who weren’t interested in purity, purification of the mind, dispassion, desireless, self-discipline, self-control, self-inquiry, self-realization and silence of the mind.

There’s no ‘heroism’ to try to ‘save’ the world from ‘inhumanity, evilness and destruction’, but compassionate actions are being performed selflessly, without expectation to ‘change’ the world.

There’s no frustration or dissatisfaction or disappointment or anger or unhappiness or sorrow when one doesn’t get the cooperation or support from others for something that one thinks and believes as good and right.

There’s no pushing away or denial towards something that the worldly minded would perceive as ‘negative’, as this mind perceives everything as it is, neither positive nor negative.

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to think and believe, and what they want to do with their life, body and mind.

This teaching is a contemplation for those who want to practice yoga.