This is part of my daily asana practice.
Wishing everyone peace during this time being.
This is part of my daily asana practice.
Wishing everyone peace during this time being.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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, and nothing bad and evil.
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 intention/aspiration of ‘wishful thinking’ to be ‘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 challenging 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 different countries or communities or families or species or tribes or genders, and within a country or community or family or tribe or specie 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 worldly 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 some others who also wished to attain liberation from ignorance and 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 attaining liberation from ignorance and the consequences of ignorance but only wanted to create a ‘better world with higher quality of life and more pleasurable enjoyment that they desired’, to also be interested in attaining liberation from ignorance and the consequences of ignorance. They didn’t ‘get angry with’ or ‘disappointed with’ or ‘frustrated with’ or ‘condemn’ 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 to be in certain way that is likable, desirable and agreeable for the mind.
There’s no frustration or dissatisfaction or disappointment or anger or unhappiness or sorrow when one doesn’t get the cooperation or support or appreciation 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.
Be free from the idea of ‘the need to be empowered/inspired’ or ‘the necessity of empowerment/inspiration’.
The sun, the space, the earth, the water and the wind don’t need to be empowered/inspired for being what they are. They are what they are, being there allowing all and everything to be forming and disintegrating, selflessly, intentionlessly and unconditionally.
Human beings with the impure egoistic thinking mind (men, women, old people, young people, teenagers, children, or anybody) think and believe that all human beings need some kind of empowerment/inspiration to be empowered/inspired to be performing actions that would benefit themselves and/or others, or to be somebody that they want to be (other than what they are, as they are), or to attain better quality of life and higher sense of happiness/satisfaction/achievement/worthiness/meaningfulness, to build a higher personal development that contributes to a better society in the world.
Human beings are indeed being ’empowered/inspired’ to develop a strong egoism since the day they were born, to develop a strong personal and worldly attachment, identity, self-image, personality, nationality, thinking, belief, culture, religion, family ties, social interaction, education, ambition, desire, aspiration, creativity, achievement, possession, success, enjoyment, confidence, pride, sense of meaningfulness, satisfaction, happiness, and so on.
Minds are being influenced/empowered from everywhere to think and believe that “Even when this is very good, but there will always something better, that this is never good enough, that they should never be contented with themselves or everything as they are, that they need to continuously strive to be better, and better, and there’s no end to higher ambition/achievement/enjoyment/pleasure/happiness/satisfaction, and etc.”
All those empowerment ideas are nothing but empowering the egoism of greed, dissatisfaction, pride, personal identity, self-image, gratification of worldly desires and ambitions, and etc, and the consequences of that – restlessness, so that the world economy/materialism/commercialism can continue to survive for the wealthy people continue to amass more wealth under the ‘support’ of all the ’empowered’ human beings with all their ‘inspired’ great desires and worldly ambitions.
Many people don’t really love themselves, even though they might think that they love themselves very much, but actually they love what they like and want (their desires and the gratification of desires) more than loving themselves as they are. They want/expect their body and mind to be like this and not like that, or to be able to do/achieve this and that. The ever dissatisfied and greedy ego doesn’t/won’t/can’t love the body and mind as it is.
While some people can’t love themselves as they are because they think and believe that ‘they are not good enough’ or ‘they will never be good enough’, and so, they can’t like or love themselves as they are (dissatisfaction or dislike towards the qualities of names and forms that they identified with as ‘I’).
And hence, all those ’empowerment ideas’ are ‘blooming’ or ‘trending’ in this world, to inspire/motivate/encourage people to think and believe that they can desire/achieve whatever they desire/want to achieve, that they can be strong and powerful to attain a higher quality and comfort of life, that they will be treated/respected/loved/supported the way that they deserve if they possess those higher qualities, so that they will feel good, satisfied, confident and meaningful about themselves, in order to like and love themselves, or to receive love, respect, compliment, support, acknowledgement or friendship/companionship from other(s).
People ceaselessly and restlessly pushing their body and mind to go beyond its limitation, with the help of special diet/supplement/drugs/training/higher education, technology and equipment, until the function of the body and mind breakdown, until they need to depend on more drugs for the body and mind to be able to function properly, to be ‘normal’ again, to relieve tension, to unwind, to have a few moments of rest, until the life force depleted and death takes place, and the body and mind ceased functioning and existing.
The bodily systems and the mind are unwittingly suffering from restlessness, overuse, sleep deprivation, hyperactive, lethargic, mood swing, depression, anxiety, nervous breakdown, immune system breakdown, indigestion, hormone imbalance, in focus, cloudiness, stress and stress related physical illness and different forms of mental illness, due to the empowered ego is being empowered/inspired to push the limits of the body and mind to achieve or fulfill unlimited and higher worldly desires and ambitions of the empowered ego. Again, it’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to do with their life existence, their body and mind.
Meanwhile, out of good intention, some people try to empower others by telling others that “You are good, you are good enough, you are more than good enough. You deserve more.” by empowering them to think and believe that they are good and strong and worthy, so that they are empowered/motivated to be able to achieve something that they want to achieve, so that they will feel better, satisfied, happy, confident and meaningful about themselves by being able to achieve something or fulfill their desires, so that they will like and love themselves. But that’s not liberation or the end of suffering for these people if they need to rely on attaining/possessing certain qualities of names and forms, or achievements and gratification of desires in order to think and believe that they are good, or good enough, or more than good enough, or they deserve much more, to feel better, satisfied, happy, confident and meaningful about themselves, so that they can like and love themselves.
Yoga and yoga practice is to free the mind from all those restlessness derived from ignorance and egoism empowered by worldly endless passionate desires, ambitions, ideas, thinking, belief and values.
Be free from attachment and identification with qualities of names and forms as ‘I’, and be free from all the worldly ideas and beliefs about “One shouldn’t be content with what one is and has, that oneself and all these will never be good enough, that one should always strive to be better, and better, and there’s no ending of higher achievement/desire/happiness/success/satisfaction/pleasure.” or “Be empowered. Be inspired. You are good. You are strong. You can achieve all your desires.” and be free from clinging/craving towards the need of appreciation, compliment, acknowledgement, love, support, friendship, or companionship from other(s), in order to live life happily, confidently and meaningfully.
Those who practice yoga don’t need to be empowered or inspired by anyone or anything, to feel good, confident, successful, or meaningful about oneself or life existence upon the realization of non-separateness, attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness. One doesn’t need to be ‘somebody identifying with/possessing certain qualities of names and forms or achievements’, in order to live life happily, confidently and meaningfully. One is peaceful as one is, unconditionally.
It doesn’t mean that one doesn’t perform any actions that would benefit oneself and/or others. One can be actively performing actions that would benefit oneself and others, but without pushing the body and mind beyond its limitation, without stress, without intention/expectation/craving for receiving appreciation, compliment, acknowledgement, love, support, friendship, or companionship from others in return, in order to feel happy, confident and meaningful.
There’s no dissatisfaction, discontentment, fear, low self-esteem, low confidence, depression, self-hate, unloved, loneliness, meaninglessness, or lack of something that isn’t here.
There’s no aversion towards impermanent changes, old age, illness, weakness, aloneness, separation from things and beings that one cherished, or death.
It doesn’t mean that the world is moving backward or stagnant, if everyone loves themselves as they are, in fact, it’s the opposite. The world will be full of peaceful and compassionate people, and hence the world will be free from all sorts of mental illness, stress, depression, low self-esteem, low confidence, pride, arrogance, greed, corruption, exploitation, offensiveness, self-harm, discrimination, violence, wars, and etc. But, most minds are not free from ignorance, egoism and impurities.
Even if there are more and higher technologies existing in the world for certain people to enjoy a more comfortable and advanced lifestyle, they can live longer, younger and healthier, it doesn’t guarantee that the mind will be free from ignorance, egoism, impurities and suffering from restlessness, anger, hatred, jealousy, dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurts, regret, guilt, fear, worry, boredom, loneliness, hostility, unrest, discrimination, violence, doubts, conflicts, disagreement, and etc.
There’s nothing wrong with good condition, comfort and convenience deriving from higher technologies and the ability to attain the higher quality of life. If one knows how to unattached or not clinging onto all the good condition, comfort and convenience in one’s life, but making use of the good condition to work on attaining salvation transcending the mind of life existence, that’s great. But, how many attached or cling onto the good condition, comfort and convenience, and got lost in all the pleasurable indulgence and enjoyment? And how many would be grateful and thankful for all the bad condition, discomfort and hardship in their life allowing them to detach from worldly life existence to work on transcending the mind of ignorance, egoism and impurities?
It’s everyone’s freedom for how they want to think, believe and feel, or what they want to do with their life, body and mind.
Yoga Chitta Vritti Nirodha – Yoga is the restraint/annihilation of the modification of the mind – The entire worldly idea of ‘I’ and life existence cease existing. The perception of separateness and duality of good and bad, right and wrong, positive and negative, happiness and unhappiness, enjoyment and suffering, birth and death, and so on, vanished.
This is an important practice in yoga to silent the mind by stop feeding the thought current or thought activities by restraining the mind from projecting or expressing the thinking via speech and action. It’s the practice of awareness, non-attachment and letting go that eventually leads to complete silence or the annihilation of the entire worldly idea of ‘I’ and life existence. People who are passionate towards worldly idea of life existence, who aspire to build a positive world that is free from what they think is negative, would interpret this practice as oppression or suppression or degradation of the mind or human life existence or humanity, which the worldly minded think it’s something inhuman, abnormal, unhealthy, non-progressive and wrong. Those who are not interested in yoga and meditation practice, who are passionate about worldly idea of life existence, they don’t need to perform this practice. Those who think they are free from suffering or they don’t mind suffering, or who had transcended suffering, also don’t need to perform this practice.
Even the teachings and practice of yoga can be something ‘good’ and ‘amazing’ for some people, but it can also be something ‘not good’ and ‘wrong’ for many other people. It’s up to everyone on how the mind perceives and reacts towards everything, and whether the mind needs the teachings and practice of yoga to realize unconditional peace.
The practice of silencing the mind is greatly contradicted with the existing worldly ideas and values that emphasize on empowering self-identification, self-worth, self-development, personal and global achievement, and social community development, where people think human beings should progress forward by constant stimulating their minds and projecting their thoughts freely through expressing their ideas and feelings via speech and action, especially if it’s something ‘good’, ‘right’ and ‘positive’ according to the thinking and belief consists of certain worldly ideas and values, cultural and religious belief and practice that people think it would benefit all humanity.
What most worldly minds don’t realize is that silencing the mind is the greatest form of serving humanity. There’s less a being under the influence of ignorance to generate ignorant actions into the world. All the higher technologies and engineering derived from high creativity and intelligence, doesn’t remove the ignorance, egoism and impurities in people’s mind and it doesn’t make the world to be free from what the impure minds recognize as ‘bad’, ‘negative’, ‘unhappiness’, ‘wrong’, ‘suffering’, and all sorts of ‘fear’ and ‘violence’. People can enjoy the higher technology to live longer or younger or healthier or to enjoy higher standard of living and lifestyle, but it doesn’t guarantee that the mind will be free from suffering, if the mind is not free from ignorance, egoism and impurities. As the highest technology also can’t alter the truth of impermanence. People will still hurt each other out of fear, in order to survive or to protect themselves and their loved ones and what they think is ‘good’, if the mind is not free from ignorance.
Many people who are interested in doing some form of yoga exercises regularly are either ignorant towards this teaching and practice, as the yoga teachers don’t teach this teaching in the yoga exercise classes, or, people know, but they don’t like and disagree with this teaching and practice. Whether people know or don’t know, like or dislike, agree or disagree, this is what yoga is about – Annihilation of mind activities.
The worldly idea of life existence appears when the mind moves, where there is habitual attachment and reaction towards the mind perception of names and forms through the senses. The worldly idea of life existence disappears when the mind is stilled, where there is pure awareness of mind perceptions without attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, judgement, intention or expectation.
A lot of time, the thinking and judgment from the impure mind is only partially true, or may not be true at all. The mind reaction of likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, is also the by-product of ignorance, being influenced by egoism and impurities.
There’s nothing wrong when the mind thinks and believes that it has some ‘good’, ‘right’ and ‘positive’ qualities, ideas and values that are worth to be shared with the world, and there is strong urge to project what it thinks and believes as ‘good’, ‘right’ and ‘positive’ through speech and action, thinking that this would bring positive goodness to the society or the world, so that other people will also be inspired or be endowed with the same qualities, ideas and values. There’s good and generous intention or aspiration to share something great with the world to inspire others.
Everyone has the freedom to express their thinking through speech and action, there’s nothing wrong and it really doesn’t matter to those who are free from the influence of ignorance and egoism because they will not be affected or disturbed by other people’s thinking, ideas or feelings being projected through their speech and action. But in reality, there are many minds functioning under the influence of ignorance and egoism, that are not free from being disturbed by ungratified desires, likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, who will be disturbed or intimidated or offended or hurt by other people of their thinking, ideas and feelings. Again, there’s nothing wrong with people expressing their thinking freely, as well as it’s people’s freedom and responsibility for how people react towards other people’s thinking, ideas and feelings. Just that impure minds can get very confused when being disturbed or intimidated, and might unwittingly or spontaneously hurt themselves or others out of the disturbed and confused state of the mind.
For example, there are women who don’t have or don’t want to have children would express their ideas or feelings about how ‘good’ and ‘blessed’ for them to have the joy of not having children. While the women who have or want to have children would express their ideas or feelings about how ‘good’ and ‘blessed’ for them to have the joy of having children. And sometimes, they might mock each other for justifying their respective ideology is somehow more superior or better than the other.
There’s nothing wrong with both different ideas or feelings towards the joy of having or not having children. It’s all good that some women find joy in not having children, while some women find joy in having children, as long as there’s no attachment or identification towards this idea or value to be who they are. Then it doesn’t matter whether they have or don’t have children, they are fine, being undetermined by any ideology to feel worthy, happy, confident, or meaningful, or not.
There are women who think and believe that having children is something ‘good’ and ‘blessed’, and they would love to have children, but for some reasons they couldn’t have any children, or they have children, but it’s not the way that they like it to be, and their minds are being in a state of suffering due to ungratified desires. Under the imbalanced state of the mind, they would feel greatly disturbed when women who have children keep boasting about their joy of having children, thinking that it’s something good and positive to inspire and encourage other women to also have the joy of having children, but it’s actually generating great disturbance for the women who would love to have children but they couldn’t. And then, there are some women who have children, but for some reasons, they feel regret about having children, and their minds are being in a state of dissatisfaction, frustration and regret, they might feel more disturbed for having children that they don’t really want, when the women who don’t have children keep boasting about their joy of not having children.
It’s not the fault of the people who boast or share about their thinking, values and feelings, when other people attach onto whatever they perceive and react towards what they perceive, taking other people’s expression of thinking and point of view seriously and personally, and feel disturbed or intimidated or hurt. Though there are many minds that are easily be affected, disturbed and intimidated by other people’s freedom of expression. For the mind that is free, it won’t be affected or disturbed or intimidated by other people’s freedom of expression. This mind doesn’t need to stay away from something that the worldly minded perceive as ‘bad’, ‘negative’, ‘unhappiness’, ‘depressing’, or ‘meaninglessness’.
When the mind starts to develop awareness, correct understanding and compassion, it’s okay for the mind to have particular thinking and belief towards particular ideas or values, but it doesn’t need to project/express these ideas or values to inspire other people to also take up these values and ideas, even though the mind strongly believes that they are something ‘good’, ‘right’ and ‘positive’. Allowing everyone to have their own version of ideas and values, and it’s needless to boast about anything trying to inspire other people to be the same as ‘I’, to achieve what ‘I’ achieve, to live life as ‘I’ live. “I am happy. You should be like me, and you will be happy too.” But what is ‘good’ for ‘I’ might be something ‘painful’ for other people.
When teaching a yoga asana class, the yoga teacher can’t tell the students, “I can do this, so can you.” or “Nothing is impossible. You can do and achieve anything that you want.” to inspire or encourage the students to be able to do what the yoga teacher can do, because it’s not true. Not everyone has the similar physical structure, condition, ability and limitation to be able to perform the same action. People who take the teacher’s words seriously and force themselves beyond their limitation but still couldn’t achieve what they want to achieve, they might hurt themselves out of great expectation and disappointment. It’s okay that there are things that are impossible to reach or achieve due to certain circumstances. And it’s okay if people can’t perform certain actions due to certain limitation even after many years of practice and attempts. People don’t have to be able to do everything that the yoga teacher or other people can do, to have peace, or be compassionate, or to forgive someone or something that is hurtful. But the ability to go beyond all the ability and disability of the body and the mind, accepting the reality as it is, while performing actions without attachment or identification towards the actions and the fruit of actions, and allowing impermanent changes to be there as they are, that will allow the mind to be peaceful, compassionate and forgiving. And it’s okay if many people couldn’t realize this after many years of practice, and still be disturbed and determined by all the names and forms.
By accepting the reality in this present moment now, that the mind is not free, and it’s okay, and it’s impermanent and it’s not ‘I’, and without judgment or disappointment, keep practicing, without attachment or expectation towards the practice and the fruit of practice, and that is already what yoga is about.
For example, high performance and continuous achievement in any field is being perceived as something ‘good’ and ‘positive’ in the world. There’s nothing wrong with the idea of high performance and continuous achievement individually and globally, and many people can keep up with that idea with not much difficulty, but there are people couldn’t meet up with the expectation of high performance and continuous achievement, and they keep forcing the capability of the body and mind beyond its limitation to attain higher and higher performance and achievement until the function of the body and mind eventually breakdown, harming the entire body systems and suffered from restlessness, depression or insanity.
People can just do their best within their own capability, without trying to achieve what the world think is ‘good’ and ‘positive’, without pushing or forcing the body and mind beyond its limitation to compete with themselves or others to attain the sense of self-worth, achievement, confidence or meaningfulness, and without losing the clarity and sanity of the mind.
For the untrained mind, there are thought activities or thinking in the mind reacting towards the perception of names and forms, whether there is likes or dislikes and agreements or disagreements towards the perceived names and forms in the form of thinking, and naturally, there’s an urge to project/materialize this thinking through the speech and action, either intentionally or unintentionally. There’s an urge to express, to comment, to justify, to fight back, to argue, to attack, to revenge, to intimidate, to oppose, to criticize, to condemn, to aspire, to inspire, to admire, to love, to appreciate, to praise, to possess, or to control, and so on.
For the mind that has developed strong foundation in non-attachment and letting go, there is awareness towards the thought activities of the mind perception of names and forms of sight, sound, smell, taste, sensation and thinking/imagination/feeling, even though there might be likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements in the form of thinking due to the intellectual thought processing and recognizing the perceived names and forms, but it’s not necessarily that the thinking has to be projected/expressed/materialized through speech and action. In the end, all likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements in the form of thinking also will drop off. There are necessary actions being performed, without intention, attachment, identification, desires, judgment or expectation. Allowing the fruit of actions to be there as it is, allowing all the names and forms to be there as they are, and allowing them to change as they are.
There might be many intellectuals in the world would disagree with this or are against towards Silence of the mind. And that is their freedom of thinking and reaction.
This is what yoga practice is about – Yoga Chitta Vritti Nirodha
And it’s nothing to do with the physical condition, ability and limitation to do the yoga poses. It’s nothing to do with the knowledge of anatomy and physiology, or the precise physical alignment and different techniques on performing the yoga poses, or how one looks and feels in the yoga poses, or what are the names and benefits of the yoga poses, or the different types of qualifications and certifications sanctioned by such and such internationally recognized yoga alliance or association.
The mind that is free from impurities, ignorance and egoism, and is peaceful as it is being free from suffering, doesn’t need to be recognized, acknowledged, approved, authorized, or certified by anyone or any group, or any higher consciousness.
One of the significant characteristics of the ego is pride and arrogance.
The ego is being proud and arrogant about one’s worldly identity, personal thinking and belief, cultural practice, spiritual practice, religion, family background, origin, nationality, race, standard of living, lifestyle, conducts, way of doing things, social circle, social status, profession, career, special talent or skill, position held in a community or company or organization, intelligence, accumulated knowledge and experience, qualifications and achievements, social image, physical appearance and condition, physical and mental ability, relationships, contributions, self-righteousness, and etc, thinking that ‘I’ am better and more superior than other people, as well as this ego has the urge to interfere with other people’s thinking and belief, way of doing things, lifestyle, conducts and everything thing else that are different from oneself, that the ego thinks they are less good and more inferior than all the qualities that it possessed and identified with.
The ego thinks that it is better, more intelligent and experienced, and more successful than other people, that it has a ‘duty’ or ‘responsibility’ to interfere with other people’s choice of way of living and conduct that is different from its own. It thinks that it is instilled with some kind of ‘authority’ or ‘aspiration’ from ‘something higher above all human beings’ to ‘guide’ or ‘inspire’ other people’s life by ‘helping’ them to ‘change’ everything about them that the ego thinks is less good and inferior than itself.
If other people don’t agree with, or follow, or show interest in the ‘kind’ advice or suggestion from this ego, it will feel disturbed, offended, disappointed, disrespected, or humiliated. “I am giving you ‘something very good’, how come you don’t appreciate?”
Meanwhile, this prideful and arrogant ego doesn’t like it when other people try to interfere with it’s thinking and belief, way of life and conduct, or giving advice, suggestion or opinion to this ego that they think is ‘better’ or ‘more superior’.
Those who are free from pride and arrogance will allow other people to be prideful and arrogant, to give their advice, suggestion or opinion, but one is undetermined by it. One will consider the advice that is useful, but ignore the advice that is irrelevant.
‘Yoga practitioners’ and those who identifies themselves as ‘yoga teachers’ who are sincere in the path of yoga, are not being here to ‘interfere’ or ‘change’ or ‘influence’ or ‘advise’ everyone to also practice yoga and follow the way of life of yoga, it doesn’t matter it’s out of loving kindness or goodwill or good intention. ‘Yoga teachers’ or ‘yoga practitioners’ are just being here to sincerely perform their own practice to be free from ignorance and egoism and realize selflessness and unconditional peace. At the same time, ‘yoga practitioners’ or ‘yoga teachers’ who have the opportunity to ‘share’ their own practice and realization or insights with other people can disseminate the teachings of yoga without the sense of ‘duty’, attachment, identification and expectation, and selflessly guide those who are interested in yoga onto the path of yoga, without pride and arrogance of oneself being a ‘yoga practitioner’ or ‘yoga teacher’, and towards one’s actions and the fruit of one’s actions.
It’s everyone’s freedom whether one performs actions out of egoism, pride and arrogance, or being free from egoism, pride and arrogance.
Beware of the characteristics of the ego. Such like, “I am doing something good and meaningful.”, “I am contributing to the society or the world.”, “I am a good being and I ‘want’ other people also to be good beings.”, “Yoga is so good, everyone should also practice yoga.”, and so on.