Hugging and touching?

In this era of the so called modern and highly developed society, most people perceive and observe the practice/habit/culture of ‘hugging’ and ‘touching’ as a form of showing love, acceptance and friendliness among beings, while they would feel awkward, bad and wrong, or even be offended, if some people don’t have or don’t observe the practice/habit/culture of hugging and touching.

Many yoga practitioners or spiritual seekers might also think and believe that ‘open mind’ and ‘loving kindness/warmness’ means people need to be affectionately hugging and touching one another to be showing non-discrimination, non-separateness, non-intimidation, love, acceptance and friendliness towards all beings, while the absence of hugging and touching is being perceived as ‘closed mind’ and ‘unloving-kindness’/’coldness’ that portrays the quality of discrimination, separateness, intimidation, lovelessness, non-acceptance and unfriendliness. Many also believe that the lack of hugging or touching by another being is highly detrimental to physical, mental and emotional health. They expect all beings, especially yoga practitioners or spiritual seekers should be constantly and actively hugging and touching all other beings that they come in contact with, to show that they are genuine yoga practitioners or spiritual seekers who embrace loving kindness, who are open minded and compassionate beings, while they would be puzzled by the very few of the yoga practitioners who don’t have or don’t observe such hugging and touching habit/culture.

For yoga practitioners who truly want to open their mind, is to be free from being conditioned by such worldly egoistic thinking, belief, values and practice, where the mind understands that ‘the existence and non-existence of open mind and compassion’ is nothing to do with ‘the presence and absence of physical hugging and touching another being’, where it’s nothing bad and there’s nothing wrong with the society having and observing the hugging and touching habit/culture, especially if the minds are pure and desireless, and it’s also nothing bad and there’s nothing wrong with those who don’t have or don’t observe the hugging and touching habit/culture either. Accepting all and everyone as they are, even though certain people behave in the way that goes against the thinking, belief, values and practice of the majority of the society.

Hugging and touching or not, doesn’t really determine the presence and absence of the quality of ‘non-discrimination’, ‘non-separateness’, ‘non-intimidation’, ‘love’, ‘acceptance’ and ‘friendliness’, while the quality of non-discrimination, non-separateness, non-intimidation, love, acceptance and friendliness aren’t necessarily have to be shown/portrayed by physical contact of hugging and touching one another.

Most people would feel rejected, unloved, left-out, depressed, lonely and meaningless upon the absence of physical/mental/emotional interaction of hugging and touching from some other beings. And hence, many people would think and believe that the solution is to be actively giving and receiving affectionate hugs and touches among beings.

It’s the ignorant egoistic passionate mind that has attachment and expectation towards the appropriateness and disappropriateness in social behavior and interaction that would feel rejected, unloved, left-out, depressed, lonely, meaningless, piteous or offended upon the absence or the lack of love and affection in the form of hugging and touching from other beings.

Contemplate upon why the ancient teachings/practice of yoga emphasized on the important observation of solitude and seclusion of non-physical/mental/emotional contact and non-physical touching with any other being, where yoga practitioners and spiritual seekers were being advised to observe solitude and seclusion for a prolonged period of time, to free the mind from the worldly habitual passionate desire of craving and clinging towards love and affection, to free the mind from ignorance and egoism, to silent/annihilate the modification of the mind.

One of the common practice/observation in the Ashrams is about none should be physically touching one another regardless of among the same or different gender, especially the swamis, monks and nuns. But, nowadays, in many of the ashrams, even many ‘modernized’ swamis, monks and nuns also don’t observe this practice anymore, and they mingling intimately with one another and the people who come to the ashrams, not to say many of the householders who identify themselves as ‘yoga practitioners’ or ‘yogis’. Many ‘yoga teacher training courses’ also emphasize on the physical hands on adjustment, where the many graduated ‘certified yoga teachers’ think and believe that it’s what a good and professional yoga teacher should be doing/practicing while teaching classes and while socializing/mingling with the students or the yoga community outside of the classes to develop stronger connection and relationship among one another.

There’s nothing wrong with the worldly egoistic thinking, belief, values and practice that propagates widely about “Everyone needs love, affection, hugs and touches.” But that is not yoga practice at all, as that is indeed empowering ignorance and egoism. It’s not any different from keep feeding sugary drinks to the children or keep providing drugs to the people to make them feel ‘happy and good’ from the momentary effects of sugary drinks or drugs and from the gratification of desires by giving people what they like and want. The yoga practice is to free the mind from ignorance and egoism, to realize selflessness/oneness/non-separateness, where there’s absence of needing/craving/clinging towards physical/mental/emotional love, affection, hugs and touches from other beings. There’s no need of developing stronger connection or relationship between ‘I’ and ‘the others’ in selflessness/oneness/non-separateness, as connection or relationship doesn’t exist in selflessness/oneness/non-separateness. There’s neither ‘I’ nor ‘the others’. There’s no ‘I’ need to be healed by ‘spiritual healing hugs and touches’.

A truly ‘healthy and compassionate’ society exists along with the minds that are free from ignorance and egoism. Everyone can be kind and loving towards one another out of selfless compassion, not because everyone ‘needs’ to give and receive love and affection to and from one another through certain action in order to make the egoistic minds feel good, happy, love and meaningful, or not to feel rejected, unloved, left-out, depressed, lonely, meaningless, piteous or offended upon the absence/lack of love and affection through certain action from other beings, as the ignorant egoistic minds think and believe that it’s so bad and terrible if there’s absence/lack of any form of love and affection among one another.

Be free.

Be strong and feel empowered?

Many people want to be ‘strong’ and feel ’empowered’, as they think and believe that if they are ‘weak’ and ‘vulnerable’, they will be ‘belittled’ or ‘intimidated’ by those who are stronger than them, and if they are strong, they won’t become a ‘target’ or ‘victim’ of other people’s ‘intimidation/belittling’.

In yoga, one doesn’t need to be ‘strong’ or feel ’empowered’ so that one doesn’t become a ‘target’ or ‘victim’ of what most minds think and believe as a form of ‘intimidation/belittling’.

One just needs to stop seeing/thinking/believing/identifying oneself as ‘weak’ and ‘vulnerable’ and one is naturally a ‘target’ or ‘victim’ of other people’s ‘intimidation/belittling’ that needs to be toughen up and be empowered. One also needs to be free from self-pity as well as expectation or longing for receiving sympathy, empathy, protection, acknowledgement, support, attention, understanding, praise, liking, appreciation, encouragement, or empowerment from others.

It’s stop thinking/believing that oneself or ‘all human beings’ should be treated in certain ways and shouldn’t be treated in certain ways, or oneself deserves to be treated in certain ways while doesn’t deserve to be treated in certain ways.

If the mind is not free from such thinking/belief/identification of “I am weak and vulnerable and being a target/victim of other people’s intimidation/belittling.” then even though other people are not being intimidating/belittling oneself at all, but one will always feel ‘intimidated’ or ‘belittled’ by other people’s confidence, courage, credibility and straightforwardness, which the perception of being intimidated or belittled is not coming from others, but from within constantly feeling “I am weak and vulnerable and being a target/victim of other people’s intimidation/belittling.”

Even if other people’s action/speech/behavior is truly unpleasant/unreasonable with the intention to intimidate or belittling oneself, one won’t be intimidated/belittled by that at all, if oneself is free from the thinking/belief/identification of “I am weak and vulnerable and being a target/victim of other people’s intimidation/belittling.” and would allow other people to act/speak/behave the way as they are, but one is not determined or disturbed by it. Neither does one need to be ‘protected’ from it.

One would stop seeing/perceiving ‘intimidation/belittling’ here and there, but just being aware of people are either being confident, courageous, credible and straightforward as they are which is nothing ‘intimidating/belittling’, or people are acting/speaking/behaving in the way that reflects their state of mind under the influence of ignorance, egoism, impurities, unhappiness, or suffering. Instead of feeling being a ‘target’ or ‘victim’ of other people’s intimidation/belittling, one will be compassionate towards other people’s unhappiness and suffering.

One will understand that one doesn’t need to be ‘strong’ or feel ’empowered’ at all, as the one who feels weak and vulnerable, who is highly sensitive, who is longing for attention and understanding from other people, who has expectation towards other people’s treatments towards oneself has to be in certain ways and not to be in certain ways, who thinks oneself deserves certain treatments/reactions and doesn’t deserve certain treatments/reactions, who constantly feels intimidated/offended/bullied/victimized/belittled/unattended/unheard/discouraged by other people, who wants to be sympathized, be protected, be heard, be understood, be noticed, be attended, be encouraged, be supported, be liked, be praised, be appreciated and be acknowledged, or who doesn’t like to be unnoticed/unattended, unheard, disliked, disagreed with or criticized, is the ego.

Free the mind from this ego.

One will no longer identify oneself as a ‘target’ or ‘victim’ of other people’s ‘intimidation/belittling’. One stops seeing other people’s action/speech/behavior that one’s mind perceives/recognizes as unpleasant/unreasonable as a form of ‘intimidation/belittling’, while allowing other people to be free to act/speak/behave the way as they are, to express their unhappiness and suffering in the way that they are, that they know.

Those who understand this, they cannot be disturbed/hurt by other people’s ‘unpleasant/unreasonable’ action/speech/behavior, but they can choose to move away in silence. It’s not a weakness to move away in silence towards other people’s ‘unpleasant/unreasonable’ action/speech/behavior, as these people are in suffering/unhappiness, and they don’t know how to express their suffering/unhappiness in a less unpleasant/unreasonable way.

Be free.

Be free from feeling being intimidated, offended, disrespected, belittled, insulted, unloved, and etc

If the mind feels being intimidated, offended, disrespected, belittled, insulted, unloved, and etc, by what it experiences/perceives, it’s coming from the mind itself reacting in such way towards the perceived names and forms that the mind recognized/categorized as intimidation, offensiveness, disrespectfulness, belittling, insulting, unloving, and so on. It’s not coming from the names and forms that the mind perceives/experiences through the senses.

This conditioned reaction is due to the egoistic impure mind is functioning under the influence of pride and arrogance and expectation. The ego doesn’t like or doesn’t want to come in contact with the unpleasant/undesirable/’hurtful’ experiences of what the mind recognizes/categorizes as intimidation, offensiveness, disrespectfulness, belittling, insulting, unloving, and so on.

The ego thinks and believes and expects that it deserves certain kinds of treatment/interaction and doesn’t deserves certain kinds of treatment/interaction.

“I don’t like this. I don’t agree with this. I don’t want this.” and “I think/believe/expect/want all beings/humans/people should think/believe/react/behave like this and shouldn’t think/believe/react/behave like that.”

It’s the prideful/self-assured/self-glorified ego that feels being intimidated/encouraged, offended/pleased, disrespected/respected, belittled/flattered, insulted/praised, unloved/loved, and etc. When the ego is annihilated, all these qualities of names and forms vanished.

The mind doesn’t need to feel/react in such way and just allows all the perceived experiences/names and forms to be there as they are. There’s no intimidation, offensiveness, disrespectfulness, belittling, insult, unloving, and etc, if the mind is free from egoistic pride, arrogance and expectation. Other beings/humans/people are just behaving in the way that they want to behave, and their behavior is their own responsibility and freedom of actions.

Why allowing other people’s thinking/belief/reactions/behavior to determine one’s state of the mind or reactions? Especially if one thinks and strongly believes that oneself is all good and righteous and didn’t do anything bad or wrong, but one is suffering/unhappy/disturbed by other people’s thinking/belief/behavior that one thinks/believes/perceives/recognizes as bad/wrong/negative/hurtful.

If the mind still couldn’t understand this and feels annoyed/offended by this teaching, then this mind doesn’t need to practice this teaching. It’s the freedom of this mind of how it wants/doesn’t want to think/believe/react/behave.

The minds that are not free from ignorance and egoism, that are not free from pride/arrogance/superiority/self-assurance/self-glorification/expectation will always easily be disturbed/offended/intimidated/belittled/hurt/insulted by anything, at anywhere and anytime.

Those who have realized the magnificent of oneness/non-separateness beyond all the different qualities of names and forms, will not spend even a tiny drop of attention/interest/effort/energy onto all these worldly names and forms of thinking/belief/behavior/reaction generated/sprung from ignorance and egoism. There’s no difference between intimidation and encouragement, offensive and pleasing, disrespectfulness and respectfulness, belittling and flattering, insult and praise, unloving and loving, and so on. There’s neither craving nor aversion towards all these qualities of names and forms.

If the mind tries to ignore or deny the names and forms that the mind perceives as bad/wrong/negative/unpleasant/meaningless, but it doesn’t stop chasing after or clinging onto the names and forms that the mind perceives as good/right/positive/pleasant/meaningful, then this mind is not free yet. Though that is the freedom of this mind to be what it is.

One doesn’t need to stand there to allow/receive treatments/behavior/interactions that are abusive coming from ignorant impure minds. One can move away or stay away from ignorant minds and ignorant behavior, to conserve energy, to not waste energy into dealing/affliction/conflict with ignorant minds and ignorant behavior. Just like standing under hot sun for more than certain time will burn the skin badly, one moves away from the hot sun and takes shelter under the shade. It’s ignorance to think, “I am practicing non-attachment and non-reaction, I should stand here under the hot sun even if it will burn my skin.”

Be free.


Ignorant towards ignorance

The power of ignorance is so great that the mind doesn’t even know it is under the influence of ignorance, thinking that it is wise or smart enough, or it is wiser or smarter than others. And the ego doesn’t like to hear or be pointed out that it is the product of ignorance, and would feel offended or humiliated or intimidated.

Those who are aware of there’s ignorance in themselves would be able to learn and evolve.

Be free.

Egoistic mind can be hurt, offended, intimidated/threatened by anything

If the mind is not free from ignorance and egoism, it will easily feel hurt, or offended, or intimidated/threatened by anything, even when nothing is being hurtful, offensive or intimidating/threatening.

The teachings of yoga is just being what it is. It has no intention or quality to hurt, offend or intimidate anyone. But some minds who have strong attachment towards a particular personal/cultural/religious thinking and belief that is different from the teachings of yoga might feel hurt, or offended, or intimidated/threatened by some of the teachings of yoga, that is contradicted with their personal/cultural/religious thinking and belief, thinking that their thinking and belief is somehow being insulted/offended/intimidated/threatened by some of the teachings of yoga.

Minds that are not free from ignorance and egoism can be offended, or intimidated, or hurt, or upset, or disturbed by anything in anyway. It can be a particular look, or shape, or colour, or sound, or volume, or word, or smell, or sensation, or gesture, or facial expression, or action and reaction, or idea, or philosophy, or behavior, or speech, or thinking, or belief, or culture, or religion, or race, or nationality, or language, or lifestyle, or music, or story, or dance, or way of doing something, or sexual orientation, or clothing, or animal, or insect, or plant, or tree, or flower, or fruit, or car, or fish, or rock/stone, or door, or chair, or the wind, or the ocean, or the rain, or the heat, and all and everything.

No one can please another person. No one can make another person happy or to be free from unhappiness. No one can free another person from the suffering of ignorance and egoism and impurities of anger, hatred, jealousy, pride, arrogance, dissatisfaction, disappointment, feelings of hurt, fear and worry.

One needs to help oneself, be kind and compassionate towards oneself, and free oneself from the suffering that derives from ignorance, egoism and impurities.

One can tolerate, forbear, adjust, adapt and accommodate what might ‘appear’ to be hurtful, offensive, intimidating, threatening, upsetting, or disturbing to the mind. The truth of everything is just what it is. It is neither hurtful nor non-hurtful, neither offensive nor non-offensive, neither intimidating nor non-intimidating, neither threatening nor non-threatening, neither disturbing nor non-disturbing. It is how the mind reacts towards all and everything that the mind perceives through the senses, based on the likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, wants and don’t wants of the mind, that generates the reactions of hurt, offended, intimidated, threatened, upset, disturbed or anger.

It is coming from the mind generates aversion towards something that the mind doesn’t like, doesn’t agree with and doesn’t want that make the mind feels hurt, offended, intimidated, threatened, upset, disturbed or angry. Such like, “I don’t like this.”, “I don’t agree with this.” and “I don’t want this.” or “This is not what I like.”, or “This is something wrong or bad.” and “This is not what I want.”

How the mind wants to react towards everything that it perceives through the senses is its own responsibility. One can choose to be undetermined and undisturbed by other people’s ignorant or abusive behavior. It doesn’t mean that one is agreeing with, or supporting, or encouraging ignorant/abusive behavior, or allowing oneself to be treated/abused by ignorant/abusive behavior from other people if one isn’t determined by it and doesn’t feel hurt, or offended, or intimidated, or threatened, or disturbed, or angry with other people’s ignorant/abusive behavior.

Look into this mind, and learn about the truth of what is going on in this mind and all kinds of suffering that exist in this mind. It’s nothing to do with all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses (all kinds of pleasant and unpleasant, or agreeable and disagreeable life experiences). It is coming from the mind itself for being ignorant, egoistic and impure.

Even though one has been following yoga classes, learning and practicing yoga asana exercises regularly for many years, and can perform many of the yoga asana poses, and receiving lots of benefits from the yoga asana exercises, but if one doesn’t know this, one isn’t really practicing yoga.

Be free.

Intimidated by other people’s physical conditions and abilities in yoga (asana) practice?

If we have been putting in the same amount of time, discipline and effort into our daily yoga (asana) practice, just like those who have been spending lots of time, discipline and effort to keep the body and mind busy engaging in regular yoga (asana) practice, whether for spiritual growth, or for health and fitness reason, or for both;
we won’t have the free space in the mind, nor have the free time to be busy looking at other people’s ‘performance’ or result of a persistent and regular practice, and feel either envy, or intimidated by other people’s physical conditions and abilities, and spiritual improvement.

Although yoga, or unconditional love and peace is nothing to do with the levels of physical conditions and abilities, but naturally, there will be certain amount of improvement in physical conditions and abilities, as an ‘unavoidable’ side effect coming from regular yoga (asana) practice, whether we are aiming at it or not, or whether we like it or not.

We do not intent nor expect to gain any physical fitness, strength and flexibility while performing the yoga (asana) practice, as that is not the objective or goal of performing yoga (asana) practice, and our basic yoga practice is non-identification with the impermanent conditional physical body and the thinking mind. But the physical and mental effect coming from the regular yoga (asana) practice is still there.

The body will gain certain degrees of fitness, strength and flexibility, and the mind will gain certain degrees of calmness and peace. But that is not the end of our yoga practice. We need to use that physical condition and state of mind that is conducive for meditation, to contemplate upon the truth, to go beyond the body and mind, to remove ignorance, to be free from being conditioned by egoism, duality, qualities of names and forms.

We will never feel intimidated by anyone or anything, if we truly practice yoga and meditation.

Om shanti.

Being strong vs real strength…

We think that we need to be strong, hard and aggressive to protect ourselves from being bullied or hurt by other people… But if we are really that strong, why do we still need to “be” strong, hard and aggressive to “protect” ourselves?

That means we are not really strong. We “pretend” to be strong. This is due to low self-esteem, not trusting ourselves, and need to depend on some external “protection shields” of being hard and aggressive to “protect” or to defend ourselves from potential bullies and hurts. Because of this sense of defensiveness, we will become offensive even before other people try to “bully” or “offend” us. In fact, nobody has the intention to bully us, it is our own fear and projection, thinking that “All these people are going to bully me, and so, I have to defend myself, I need to be strong and aggressive, so that I attack them first before anyone attacks me…”

Those who are truly strong, they don’t need to show that they are strong by being hard, aggressive, offensive or defensive. Instead their whole being projects gentleness and calmness.

Real strength comes from compassion and wisdom. It is being compassionate and wise. It is being free from doubts, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, pride, arrogance, low self-esteem, aggressiveness, violence, offensiveness, defensiveness, agitation, depression, fear, worry, craving, aversion, and attachment towards qualities of names and forms… There is no fear towards other people’s harshness, aggressiveness, bully or “potential” bully, offensiveness, arrogance, jealousy, criticism, condemn, slander, unfriendliness, and etc…

We are able to tolerate, adjust, adapt, accommodate, withstand, forbear and accept…

We are able to accept the reality of the present moment now as it is, not necessarily the way that we like it to be. We are able to adjust, adapt, accommodate, withstand and forbear any uncomfortable conditions and situations that we don’t like or disagree with…

We are able to perform actions without being influenced by any impurities in the mind. We are able to perform actions to help everyone including ourselves to evolve, to be peaceful and happy…

We are able to perform all our duties and responsibilities without attachment, without judgment, comparison and expectation. We perform actions and renounce from the result or the fruit of actions…

This is real strength.

We don’t need to be hard, aggressive, offensive or defensive to “protect” ourselves from getting bully or hurt from anyone…

It doesn’t matter what are the behaviors, actions and reactions of other people towards us, it is our own ego doesn’t like or disagree with their behaviors, actions and reactions, and feels irritated and unhappy about them. It is our ego that feels that we are weak, but we don’t like to be weak and don’t want other people to think that we are weak, and so we “pretend” to be strong, by being hard and aggressive to defend ourselves from any potential “attacks” from anyone…

No one can bully or hurt us but our own mind creations of fear. It is our own mind being ignorant and influenced by impurities… It is absence of compassion and wisdom.

Whenever we feel irritated or getting angry about other people’s offensive behavior, it is ourselves being defensive… We feel offended by other people’s actions and speech… It is coming from being low self-esteem and feel being intimidated by other people’s confidence all the time. This intimidation is not coming from other people. No one can intimidate us unless we allow that to happen by being low self-esteem. It is our own low self-esteem thinking that other people are trying to press us down, or bully us, or hurt us… Even if other people have the intention to intimidate us, but it won’t affect us if we are truly confident…

If  we don’t like other people to contradict with our actions and speech, we like and want other people to agree and support our actions and speech, as we will feel irritated, frustrated and unhappy when other people don’t like and disagree with us or our actions and speech, but out of our own offensiveness and defensiveness, we constantly contradict with other people’s actions and speech, criticize and attack other people with harsh speech and aggressiveness, then how can we expect other people not to be offended by our own offensiveness and aggressiveness? And when other people feel offended by our own offensiveness and aggressiveness, and react by being aggressive towards us, and we criticize them as “aggressive people” who bully and hurt us, and blame them for causing us painful sorrow and unhappiness?

When we start to attack other people with aggressiveness to show that “I am stronger than you, and I won’t let you bully or hurt me…”, then make sure that we will take full responsibility towards the consequences of our aggressive behavior… Don’t blame other people for being aggressive towards us.

And if there’s somebody is being aggressive towards us even though we didn’t offend anyone intentionally, we can choose to be gentle and remain calm, and move away… Allow this person to express what he or she wants to express, and let him or her be irritated and unhappy for being aggressive. We don’t have to disturb our own peace and happiness by throwing back aggressiveness towards him or her… Or we can choose to feel offended and start to be aggressive and offensive to defend ourselves and be irritated, frustrated and unhappy.

Om shanti.