Knowledge, talents and skills

Having some knowledge, talents and skills is very useful and helpful for people to be doing something in life. But it’s okay and one doesn’t need to feel bad about oneself, if one thinks oneself doesn’t have much knowledge, talents or skills to be doing something in life.

As by having knowledge, talents and skills also doesn’t guarantee that the mind is free from ignorance and suffering, or is peaceful and be able to forgive and let go something that the mind perceives as ‘wrong’, ‘bad’, or ‘hurtful’. The mind might still be disturbed or determined by all the qualities of names and forms that are impermanent and selfless. Some people even use the knowledge, talents and skills that they have to be doing something that cause damages or harmful effects in the world.

Regardless of whether one is knowledgeable, talented and skillful to be doing something constructive/destructive in life, or not, it’s about whether the mind is or isn’t free from ignorance and egoism, that determines whether the mind will be disturbed or undisturbed by all the mind perceptions of names and forms, and whether the mind will have peace, being free from impurities, restlessness and suffering, or not.

People might have the knowledge, talent, skill or money to build the most beautiful functional house to live in, and people might attain some momentary satisfaction and happy feelings for being able to build a beautiful functional house to live in, but it doesn’t guarantee that the people who build the house and those who live in the house are all free from ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering, or won’t be disturbed by all the perceptions of names and forms, and are peaceful and compassionate and be able to forgive and let go something that the mind perceives as ‘wrong’, ‘bad’ and ‘hurtful’.

Make good use of the knowledge, talents and skills that one have to be doing something constructive in life, if possible, but without attachment and identification towards the knowledge, talents and skills as ‘who I am’, without pride or the sense of superiority, and without being determined by one’s action and the fruit of one’s action coming from the knowledge, talents and skills that one have, to feel meaningful and happy, or not.

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The mind only knows what it knows

Different people teach and guide other people in different ways or methods to perform the yoga practice, to inquire and reflect upon the teachings of yoga, to purify their minds, to eliminate ignorance, egoism and impurities, to realize unconditional love and peace that is undetermined by the qualities of names and forms that are impermanent and selfless, that is always there as it is, but this unconditional love and peace is unknown to the mind due to the veil of ignorance and impurities.

Not all who teach yoga to other people are evolving simultaneously with the similar realization through their own sincere practice. It’s like peeling away many different layers of ignorance/impurities to allow the mind to see the one knowledge but it appears to be in many different names and forms due to the different layers of ignorance and impurities. Meanwhile, all these knowledge appear in different names and forms will continue to lead the impure, but open mind towards the pure consciousness, until the deepest/last layer of ignorance/impurities is completely removed, the mind sees the truth as it is, selfless, oneness, nameless, formless, attributeless, birthless and deathless.

When different people learn and practice yoga under different people, they might learn different teachings and ways of practice that are distinct from one another. Some might like and agree with certain teachings and ways of practice, while some others don’t like and disagree with the same teachings and ways of practice. It is not because these teachings and ways of practice are good or not good, are right or not right, but they are mere different degrees/stages of realization. Also, different minds have different life experiences, temperament and personality, and hence, different minds react differently towards the different teachings and ways of practice taught by different people.

It’s the matter of whether the minds are open, or not, towards the different teachings/knowledge/ways of practice, by investigate/inquire/reflect upon the truth of all the different teachings/knowledge/ways of practice that they come in contact with from different people with different degrees/stages of realization.

There is nothing to be compared or argued about. The mind only knows what it knows, and what it doesn’t know, it doesn’t know. And there’s nothing wrong with there are things that the mind doesn’t know. It’s more harmful/dangerous when the mind is blind-believing in or propagating many things that it doesn’t really know whether they are true or untrue, just because those were what they heard from or taught by their beloved elders or teachers, or knowledge that they had read and accumulated from books, or the opinions and points of view that are agreed, liked, shared and supported by many other people or majority of the people. More important is that what the mind agrees or disagrees with and what the mind likes or dislikes under the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities, are not necessarily true/untrue.

It’s a great obstacle for the mind to evolve, to go beyond the ‘partial/incomplete/impure’ reality that the mind perceives under the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities, if the mind is not open towards what is unknown to the mind, to investigate the truth of something that is unknown or unfamiliar to the mind, but it reacts with intense rejection/disagreement towards something that it doesn’t know, or that is different from or contradicted with its existing thinking and belief and familiarity.

Just like people who never come in contact with apples before, would deny the existence of apples when being informed by other people whom have come in contact with apples. The minds that are open, neither believe nor disbelieve towards the existence of apples, until they directly come in contact with apples. Even so, the apples that were informed by others might appear to be different from the apples that they experience, but the origin of the different varieties (names and forms) of apples is rooted in the one same source, or else it’s not apple, it’s something else. Even if it’s something else, such like oranges, all kinds of names and forms are still existing on the one same truth – impermanence and selflessness. Beyond different kinds of impermanent and selfless names and forms, it’s namelessness, formlessness, attributelessness, birthlessness and deathlessness. Realizing this, all kinds of fear and superstitious beliefs vanished. All kinds of positiveness/negativeness, meaningfulness/meaninglessness, goodness/badness, auspiciousness/inauspiciousness, happiness/unhappiness, suffering/non-suffering are nothing but the products of ignorant and impure minds.

Many ‘yoga teachers’ teach or guide other people about yoga that is about promoting positive thinking and good actions, accumulating good karma and developing ‘positive mind power’ to fulfill the desire of achieving a good and meaningful life, because that is all that they know about yoga, so far. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

While some teach or guide other people about yoga that is beyond ‘promoting positive thinking and good actions, accumulating good karma and developing ‘positive mind power’ to fulfill the desire of achieving a good and meaningful life’, because they have realized the higher knowledge of oneness, namelessness, formlessness, attributelessness, selflessness, desirelessness, birthlessness and deathlessness. There’s neither positive nor negative. There’s neither good nor bad. There’s neither enjoyment nor non-enjoyment. There’s neither suffering nor end of suffering. There’s nothing to be known, nothing to be understood, nothing to be perceived, nothing to be connected with. There’s no other(s).

‘Yoga teachers’ must be vigilant to be cautious of (tiny) pride arising in one’s mind due to accumulated knowledge and achievements deriving from ‘reading books on yoga’, ‘attending yoga courses’, ‘attaining certifications’, or ‘teaching yoga/yoga classes to other people’. Praise, compliments, supports, agreements, appreciation, honour, respect, glorification or idolization from the yoga students, might be feeding the sense of pride in the mind unwittingly, if one is not cautious of it. One would think and feel that ‘I am a good yoga teacher’ or ‘I am an experienced yoga teacher’ or ‘I am well-loved and appreciated by all these students’. Those who are aware of the mischievous egoistic nature in one’s mind, will allow other people to show praise, compliments, supports, agreements, appreciation, honour, respect, glorification or idolization, or not, but one doesn’t interested in receiving any of these at all, and there’s neither attachment nor identification towards all these names and forms, then one is considered ‘safe’.

It’s the same as ‘yoga students’ who receive praise and compliments from the teachers or other fellow students, who have been accumulated knowledge and achievements deriving from ‘reading books on yoga’, ‘attending yoga courses’ or ‘attaining certifications’, who think and believe that oneself is ‘advanced yogi/yoga practitioner’ after practicing yoga for a long time, or having attended many ‘advanced yoga classes/courses’ and attaining many ‘yoga certificates’.

Those who are wise, won’t be telling themselves and others that “I am a wise being. I am very wise.”
Those who have been advancing in their yoga practice, won’t be telling themselves and others that “I am an advanced yogi. I am very advanced in yoga practice. I am practicing advanced yoga.”

Beware of pride and self-glorification.

Be free.

Ignorance?

Ignorance is not so much about not knowing much or knowing very little. Ignorance is not knowing the truth of what is going on in the mind. The truth is nothing to do with how much or how little the mind thinks it knows or doesn’t know about this and that.

Acquiring and knowing lots of knowledge doesn’t necessarily mean that one is free from ignorance. It is possible that one acquires and knows lots of knowledge but is ignorant of the truth.

Without inquiring the truth of the acquired knowledge and blind-believing in the acquired knowledge is ignorance. One who is proud and arrogant towards one’s acquired and accumulated knowledge, will feel disturbed by other people who don’t know what one knows which one thinks and believes it’s true and correct. And hence, one wants to make other people to ‘know’ or to ‘believe in’ what one knows that one thinks and believes it’s true and correct, and will again feel disturbed when other people disagree with one’s knowledge, or don’t blind-believe in what one knows.

No one should blind-believe in anything, but to inquire the truth of everything and realize the truth by oneself. Buddha didn’t get disturbed by other people who disagreed with or didn’t believe in what he knows or realized. Buddha didn’t expect or didn’t want people should believe in whatever he realized and said or told or taught to other people. Instead, he taught everyone to inquire the truth of everything without blind-believe in anything, including whatever he realized and said or told or taught to other people.

One can be highly knowledgeable and intelligent, but might not necessarily is happy or has peace, being restless, be disturbed, offended and hurt by the perceptions of names and forms that one dislikes and disagrees with, or doesn’t desire. One doesn’t know what is going on in one’s mind or doesn’t know the cause of restlessness and suffering.

Being proud and arrogant towards oneself being knowledgeable and be disturbed or offended or hurt by what one doesn’t desire, doesn’t like and disagrees with, is ignorance.

The one who is free from ignorance, doesn’t expect and couldn’t make other people be free from ignorance, but allowing everyone to realize the truth through self-realization and be free from ignorance, or not.

Being a ‘good’ and ‘righteous’ person who do ‘good’ and do the ‘right’ thing is not necessarily peaceful and be free from ignorance, egoism, disturbance, restlessness, impurities and suffering.

Being highly knowledgeable, knowing lots of information and facts about this and that, and have been reading many books about this and that also doesn’t guarantee that one is peaceful and be free from ignorance, egoism, disturbance, restlessness, impurities and suffering. If one isn’t free from ignorance and egoism, if one isn’t free from anger, hatred, jealousy, feelings of hurts, pride, arrogance, desires of craving and aversion, fear and worry, one has no peace and might cause harm to oneself and others, whether intentionally or unintentionally, even if one acquired and accumulated and memorizes lots of information and facts about this and that, and can do many things with the knowledge that one has. One is not free at all.

One needs to know about one’s mind, or know oneself. The highest knowledge that would bring peace and harmony to oneself is the knowledge of knowing oneself, where ‘I’ doesn’t exist to be good or bad, to be right or wrong, to be positive or negative, to be happy or unhappy, to enjoy or suffer.

Practicing yoga is not about trying to acquire superhuman power to have all our wishes come true and changing the world to be the way that we like it to be, but it’s to reform one’s mind by purifying and eliminating the ignorance and impurities in one’s mind to acquire the knowledge of oneself.

Teaching yoga to other people is not about trying to reform other people’s mind. But allowing other people to willingly to reform their own minds, or not, with the knowledge of oneself that one shares with others.

Be free.

Self-inquiry – The path of yoga and meditation

The most basic and yet most important teaching and practice of yoga and meditation is Self-inquiry to transcend the modification of the mind, to be free from ignorance and egoism and the consequences of ignorance and egoism – suffering. All the other different types of yoga practice is to help to purify and quiet the mind to allow the mind to perform the task of self-inquiry.

Self-inquiry is withdrawing the senses from the sense objects and turning the outgoing mind inward to attain self-realization and be free from ignorance.

There are lots of things that are beyond our knowledge or awareness, or there are many things that we don’t know, that are unknown to us.

There are things that we think we know, that we are aware of, but we might not truly understand or we don’t know whether it’s true or false.

There’s nothing wrong and it’s common that people will try to gain knowledge or accumulate information and data through reading and studying books on subjects that they are interested in. We might analyze and apply agreement or disagreement towards the knowledge of information that we come in contact with from reading books and hearing from others. But by gaining knowledge and accumulating information and data through reading and studying the knowledge or research coming from other people doesn’t determine that one will be free from ignorance and egoism and suffering.

There’s nothing wrong and it’s common as well that people like to ask some other people questions about things that they want to know with the intention to get some answers or explanations for things that they don’t know or don’t understand, in hope that it will clear their doubts. But by getting some answers or explanations from other people for all our questions won’t remove our ignorance because we will never know whether the answers that we get from other people are true or not.

For example, if we never come in contact with ‘apple’ before, but now, it comes to our knowledge or awareness for the first time, and we want to know what is this ‘apple’. We may ask other people, “I don’t know what is ‘apple’, can you tell me what is ‘apple’?” Even though other people try to explain to us what is ‘apple’ in details, and we could imagine or visualize about ‘apple’ from what other people described to us, but we will still don’t know exactly what it is until we come in contact with an apple, looking at it, holding it, smelling it, tasting it and digesting it. And our perception of the apple can be very different from other people. Some people think it’s tasty and they like it, while some people think it’s not tasty and they don’t like it. But the apple is just what it is. It is neither good nor not good. It has no intention or quality to be tasty or not tasty, or to make anyone like it or not.

It doesn’t matter whether we think something that we come in contact with is being perceived by our minds as something good or not good, and whether our minds like it or not, agree with it or not, all the names and forms are impermanent and selfless.

By hearing other people talk or teach about the practice of non-attachment and be unaffected or undisturbed by the perception of names and forms, will not take away attachment in us, and we will still be affected and disturbed by our own perception of names and forms, unless we develop non-attachment in us. By hearing other people talk or teach about selflessness, will not take away the egoism in us, unless we realize selflessness.

And hence, the answers that will clear all our doubts have to be coming from self-inquiry and self-realization.

By reading a lot of books about the things that interest us, or going for courses to learn about everything that we want to know also won’t free our mind from suffering and the cause of suffering, which is about dealing directly with the mind and its modification.

Whether we think there are many things that we don’t know or we think we know many things, it doesn’t determine that whether one will be peaceful and compassionate, or not, and it doesn’t affect the truth to be what it is. The truth of impermanence and selflessness in all the names and forms will still be what it is. The truth doesn’t change into something different from what it is, no matter we think we know about many things or we don’t know much.

Whether we think we know or don’t know about science, anatomy, biology, chemistry, physiology, psychology, dietary, nutrition, geology, astronomy, astrology, history, mathematics, architecture, engineering, sociology, politics, and so on, it doesn’t change the truth of impermanence and selflessness. It doesn’t determine that whether we will be peaceful and compassionate, and be free from ignorance, egoism and suffering, or not. Even doctors who know about medicines and how to treat many illnesses for other people and psychologists who study about psychology and treat psychology problems for others, are not necessarily be free from impurities and suffering, unless they realize the truth of suffering and be free from the cause of suffering.

Fitness instructors who are physically fit and healthy, and have the knowledge of fitness training and are endowed with creativity for designing motivative and effective fitness exercise routines to other people to train to become fit and healthy, are not necessarily be free from impurities and suffering, unless they realize the truth of suffering and be free from the cause of suffering.

Well-trained and certified yoga teachers who have the knowledge about the teachings and practice of yoga, who teach other people about the teachings and practice of yoga also are not necessarily be free from ignorance, egoism and suffering, unless they attain self-realization and be free from ignorance and egoism.

Meditate and realize.

May all be free.

Difficult life conditions and low education level don’t make a being bad or immoral

Difficult life conditions and low education level are neither something good nor bad. It doesn’t make a being good or bad.

People might easily relate crimes and criminals with those who live in difficult life conditions or have low education level.

There are people might use the difficult life conditions and low education level as an excuse to commit crimes or immoral conducts.

But, difficult life conditions and low education level don’t make anyone a bad being or a criminal, to commit crimes or immoral conducts.

Those who might have difficult life conditions or low education level, but are endowed with integrity, self-respect and self-control, they strive diligently to improve oneself and one’s life condition, through right livelihood, morally and rightfully.

There are those who might have easier life conditions and higher education level than many others are not necessarily be free from greed or won’t be committing crimes and immoral conducts. Out of greed, they would lie, cheat, steal and harm other beings. Out of pride and arrogance, there are those who believe they are more superior than other beings would discriminate and abuse other beings whom they believe are inferior than them.

One must be endowed with integrity, self-respect and self-control, so that one won’t be over-powered by greed to commit crimes or immoral conducts, disregard the living condition and education level that one has. One must be endowed with wisdom and compassion being free from ignorance and egoism, to be free from pride and arrogance, discrimination and abuse.

There’s no superiority or inferiority. All are merely composition of elements and will decompose into elements. All are impermanent and selfless.

Those who are free, are not determined by any life conditions or education levels, and they don’t need to plead any recognition or acknowledgement from any other beings, to be ‘somebody’ who needs recognition or acknowledgement.

And this is nothing to do with religion or spirituality.

May all be free.