Unattached towards any thinking and belief, including the teachings of yoga

Why is it important to be unattached towards any thinking and belief, including the teachings of yoga?

We all need to make some unavoidable important decisions to suit the impermanent changes from time to time in our life. We will also come in contact with other people who have different thinking, belief and practice from us, from time to time, living in this space of the universe, whether we like it, or not.

If we attached strongly onto a particular thinking and belief in our mind that put importance and unimportance onto certain action, reaction, behavior and values, then we might have expectation towards ourselves and/or others to live life or behave in the way according to that thinking and belief. We will be very dissatisfied and disappointed with ourselves and/or other people if we or other people don’t live life or behave exactly in the way according to that thinking and belief. We might easily be disturbed or offended by other people’s different thinking and belief that put importance and unimportance onto certain action, reaction, behavior and values that are very different from ours. We would want to argue about whose thinking and belief is better or trying to persuade other people to take up our thinking and belief that we think is better, that we think is correct, that we feel very proud of. There’s disturbance, dissatisfaction, disappointment, frustration, irritation, anger, hatred, offensiveness, defensiveness, hurts, fear and worry in the mind due to couldn’t accept or allow or respect other people to be different from us.

Due to ignorance, our perception or understanding towards the teachings of yoga might not necessarily be something that we can agree with, like or want to practice.

If we attached strongly onto the teachings of yoga based on how we perceive or understand the teachings, we might not want to practice yoga if we have certain disagreements or dislikes towards the teachings of yoga that we think is wrong or incorrect because it is contradicted with our own existing thinking/belief/practice. Or, we might want to change yoga into something else that we can agree with, like and want to practice. And if our minds agree with, like and want to practice the teachings of yoga as it is, then there might be inner conflict arise when we need to make a decision for something that might go against the teachings of yoga. We would feel very disturbed, confused, guilty or regret for being unable to practice yoga ‘perfectly’ or ‘exactly’ in accordance to the teachings of yoga as it is. And then, the impure egoistic mind that attached strongly onto the teachings of yoga might unwittingly judging others, both yoga practitioners or non-yoga practitioners, out of self-righteousness based on what the mind thinks it knows about the teachings of yoga.

It doesn’t mean that if we don’t attach onto the teachings of yoga, then we don’t need to respect the teachings of yoga and do whatever we like, even if it goes against the teachings of yoga. We should do our best to practice yoga as it is according to the ancient teachings of yoga, if the life condition and situation allows us to do that. But, life is impermanent.

There will always be some challenging unfavorable circumstances that we need to deal with from time to time. If we attached strongly onto the teachings of yoga, expecting ourselves to be able to follow ‘perfectly’ all the teachings of yoga to live life and practice yoga as it ‘supposed’ to be all the time, then we might not be able to continue our yoga practice or will give up the path of yoga entirely, when we think we can’t or it’s wrong to make adjustments in our life or in our practice to adapt and accommodate the challenging condition and situation that is also impermanent.

It’s about the inner stamina, strength and flexibility of patience, perseverance, determination, acceptance, forbearance and tolerance to accept the reality that is not necessarily in favor to our preferred way of life or our yoga practice in accordance to the teachings of yoga as it is, and be able to make suitable momentary adjustments to adapt and accommodate any challenging conditions or situations that arise from time to time in our life and in our practice. But, with correct understanding that these adjustments are also impermanent, as well as do our best to respect the teachings of yoga as it is if the condition permits. Yoga is still what it is, whether we need to make some adjustments, or not. It doesn’t change into something else, whether people agree or disagree with it, or whether people practice yoga as it is, or not.

It’s about being compassionate, respectful and non-discriminating towards this life, this body and this mind that is not perfectly the way that we would like it to be and towards others who are different from us, who have different thinking, belief and practice that put different importance and unimportance onto certain action, reaction, behavior and values that are different from ours. Being undisturbed or unoffended by other people’s thinking, belief, practice, values, behavior, action and reaction that are different from ours. Being undisturbed or unoffended by our impure perception/understanding of the teachings of yoga that our mind disagree with, doesn’t like and doesn’t want to practice.

Non-attachment is about being able to adjust, to adapt and accommodate any unforeseen circumstances of challenging condition and situation that arise in our life and our practice, whether it’s about the physical/mental condition, livelihood, sickness, injury, aging, or any issues with family/neighbourhood/environment/weather/religion/area/getting the basic needs for life maintenance, that need us to make some necessary adjustments on the path of yoga whether in terms of livelihood, or performing our own yoga practice, or teaching yoga to other people, to adapt and accommodate the impermanent changes of challenging condition and situation.

It allows us to continue our practice in a slightly different way than what we would like it to be, but at least we didn’t give it up just because we think it’s impossible to practice yoga under certain challenging condition or situation, due to we think we must follow exactly the teachings of yoga as it is, that we think we can’t or it’s wrong/impossible to make any adjustments. More importantly, it allows the mind to be opened to inquire/investigate/experience the truth of the teachings of yoga, without blind-believing or blind-following.

Be free.

Advertisements

Compassion and yoga practice

“It’s not easy to be free from the ego and the side products of the egoism like anger, hatred, jealousy, dissatisfaction, disappointment, feelings of hurt, fear and worry… But, keep practice. Keep letting go as much as we can. Try our best. No judgment. No expectation. Just keep practice and keep trying… And from time to time, without any expectation, we will see that our mind has changed its thinking pattern and reactions towards all the names and forms that it perceives through the senses due to the enhanced self-awareness, self-control and self-discipline… All our practice and efforts are not wasted.”

In the beginning, the ego might be very hard and stubborn. Through ceaseless practice, this ego will be soften and less stubborn. Eventually this ego will ‘dissolve’ completely, and the mind will be free from egoism, and just being what it is.

Anger is a by-product of the egoism. They exist together. Unless the egoism is completely gone, there will always be anger manifests in the mind from time to time whenever the mind experiences or perceives something that the ego doesn’t like, doesn’t want and disagrees with. Same as all the other impurities like hatred, greed, jealousy, stinginess, fear, worry, pride, arrogance, feelings of hurt, feelings of guilt, agitation, depression, dissatisfaction, disappointment, and so on, are all the by-products of the egoism.

Anger is not a negative or bad thing. It is neither good nor bad.

We were often being told by some other people that anger is not good, that we should not express anger as it will hurt ourselves and others. There is some truth in this saying, but, we were not told how to deal with anger, or how to be free from anger. We tend to suppress anger, and this doesn’t help at all, but instead it may cause further damage to ourselves (mental and physical health) and eventually it will become the main cause of conflict in our relationships with others.

The existence of anger allows us to know what is compassion.

If we don’t have self-awareness and self-control, then when our mind is over-powered by anger, we might be doing or saying something violent and hurtful that might hurt ourselves and others under the influence of this anger, which we might regret afterwards when our mind calms down.

If we have self-awareness and self-control, we will know how to be aware of anger when it manifests in the mind, acknowledge it and observe it with compassion towards ourselves and others so that we don’t generate actions and speech that will hurt ourselves and others. Be acknowledged that this mind is disturbed and upset in this present moment, and it’s okay. Knowing that this is impermanent. Without pushing away or suppressing this anger or agitation. Without identification with this anger. Without feeding or strengthening this anger with further negative thinking. Without judgment about this mind or this anger is not good, or it’s bad. Without expectation towards this mind that it has to be good and calm all the time, and anger shouldn’t exist in the mind at all. We allow this anger to be there, change and pass away, without being over-powered or influenced by it. Without hurting ourselves and others. In this way, we won’t be generating and accumulating tension into the body and mind.

Compassion is yoga practice. It’s the entire yoga practice.

For example, when someone is unhappy, dissatisfied and agitated, is showing anger to us, and blames us for his/her unhappiness, dissatisfaction and frustration. There might be two reactions coming from our minds –

1.) This being (I), the ego feels being victimized, attacked and hurt, and will react like this – ‘I’ did nothing wrong. ‘I’ don’t deserve to be treated like this. Why are you angry with me? It’s not my fault. Do not be angry with me. Angry is evil behavior. You shouldn’t be angry. You shouldn’t express your anger. And now, I am disturbed by your bad behavior, I am really ‘angry’ and ‘upset’ with you for you being angry and upset with me.

This is selfish thinking and reaction of self-protection without correct understanding of the mind and its modifications.

There’s no compassion in this being (I). Only selfish thinking and concerns about ‘I’ and ‘my feelings’.

This doesn’t help the person who is angry and unhappy to stop being angry and unhappy, and it doesn’t help this person to come out from the suffering of anger and unhappiness. As ourselves, are also influenced by ignorance and egoism, we are not free.

2.) The egoless and compassionate mind of this being (I) is aware of this person is suffering, is disturbed, unhappy and upset. Even though it is not the fault of this being (I), it is okay for this person to express his/her anger and unhappiness onto this being (I). He/she might get some reliefs from the tension of anger and unhappiness to a certain extend. Allow this person to express and behave as he/she is. This egoless mind is undisturbed, unaffected, undetermined, unhurt by this person’s expression and behavior out of anger and unhappiness. Without judgment towards this person as bad person, or judging this behavior as wrong or bad. Without expectation that this person should not be angry or unhappy, or shouldn’t express anger and unhappiness. Without identification as a victim of other people’s anger and unhappiness. Allow this person to express freely what is disturbing or upsetting him/her. Embrace him/her as he/she is, especially when his/her mind is disturbed, unhappy and frustrated. Being compassionate towards this being who is in suffering.

When this person starts to calm down as the anger and unhappiness fade away, this person might be able to see the truth of what is really happening, and be aware of the unconditional love coming from this being (I), and starts to be compassionate towards oneself and others, by seeing the truth of anger and unhappiness is coming from our own egoism, it’s not coming from anyone or anything that we dislike and disagree with. This person might start to be aware of the mind and the reactions of the mind, to develop self-awareness and self-control, and stop hurting oneself and others out of any impurities that manifest in the mind from time to time, due to the reactions of the ego towards the objects of names and forms that it doesn’t like, doesn’t want and disagrees with.

This might help someone who is suffering to come out from suffering.

Even if this person doesn’t come out from suffering after we showed compassion towards him/her, it’s okay. There’s no attachment, no judgment, no expectation. Let it be.

This is compassion. This is our yoga practice.

Keep trying and keep practicing. Soften the ego, and there will be less such reactions and impurities to arise in the mind. And upon the annihilation of the ego, there will be no such egoistic reactions in the mind for any impurities to arise in the mind, to influence the mind to behave violently and hurtfully towards oneself and others.

Om shanti.