Changing the conditioned thinking pattern of the mind

The thinking pattern of the untrained minds is unwittingly being conditioned by certain worldly social cultural or religious/spiritual thinking/belief/disbelief/ideas/values/practice, including the minds that think and believe that they are ‘good minds’ or ‘good beings’ with ‘good ideas’, ‘good merits’, ‘good virtues’, ‘good belief’, ‘good conduct’, ‘good personality’, or ‘good characteristic’, that identify themselves as ‘good people’ with ‘good and righteous behavior’ in the world, or the minds that think and believe that they are not ‘good enough’ and they aspire to be ‘good enough’ to be identified/recognized/acknowledged as ‘good minds’, ‘good beings’, or ‘good people with good and righteous behavior’.

Not that ‘being good’ or ‘doing good’ or ‘good behavior’ is something bad or wrong, but the minds that are free from ignorance and egoism, are free from such identification/recognition/acknowledgement attached onto any quality of names and forms complying to certain worldly/social/cultural or religious/spiritual thinking/belief/disbelief/ideas/values/practice about what is good and bad, right and wrong, positive and negative, or meaningfulness and meaninglessness.

Those who sincerely want to transcend the modification of the mind, who are determined to free the mind from ignorance and all kinds of suffering that derived from ignorance, need to work diligently on changing the thinking pattern of the mind, freeing the mind from such conditioned thinking/belief/values/practice/identification.

Those who just want to do some yoga practice regularly to attain some impermanent physical and mental health and fitness benefits, as well as those who just want to be good and do good to accumulate good karma/virtues/merits as much as possible hoping to have a better next life ‘transition/incarnation’ or entering ‘blissful heaven’, they don’t need to inquire into this basic yet important teaching and practice of yoga.

The untrained ignorant egoistic minds are like a ‘sponge’ that absorbs everything that is possible whether wittingly or unwittingly, while thinking and believing and identifying itself as ‘the sponge that filled with whatever it absorbs/contains/holds’, such like, ‘I am a good sponge that absorbs/contains/holds all the good elements’ or ‘I am a bad sponge that absorbs/contains/holds all the bad elements’.

The selfless minds are free from such thinking/belief/identification.

Contemplate on this, and be free.

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Yoga teacher certification and teaching yoga

If one knows yoga, one doesn’t need to attend any ‘yoga teachers training course’ to attain any ‘yoga teacher certification’ to ‘qualify’ or ‘authorize’ one to share the wisdom/knowledge of yoga with anyone and guide others onto the path of yoga to realize yoga of oneness/non-separateness/selflessness/namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness/unconditional peace.

Those who think and believe that one must attend ‘Internationally recognized yoga teachers training course’ and attain ‘Internationally recognized yoga teacher certification’ and be affiliated to or be sanctioned/authorized by such and such ‘yoga alliance’, ‘yoga association’, or ‘sports council’ to be allowed or qualified to ‘teach yoga’, it shows that the ‘yoga’ that they know/practice/teach is not about ‘Yoga of self-inquiry, self-realization, oneness, non-separateness, selflessness, namelessness, formlessness, attributelessness, birthlessness, deathlessness, beginninglessness, endlessness, silence, liberation from ignorance and suffering, the conquest of mind, or the annihilation of the modification of the mind’.

Attending many ‘yoga teachers training course’ and attaining many ‘yoga teacher certification’ and studying/practicing/teaching ‘yoga’ for such and such period of time also doesn’t determine/guarantee that the mind is free or will be free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, or one knows yoga.

One who knows yoga, there’s no such idea/identification of “I want to be a yoga teacher. I want to teach yoga. Teaching yoga is so meaningful.” or “I am a certified and qualified and experienced yoga teacher. I have attended such and such ‘yoga teachers training course’ under such and such ‘teachers’ or ‘Gurus’, and attained such and such ‘yoga teacher certification’. I have been practicing and teaching yoga for such and such years.”

One who knows yoga, is not necessarily a ‘yoga teacher’ who ‘teach yoga’, or what most people understand as ‘conducting or teaching yoga classes/courses’, but one might be ‘teaching yoga’, selflessly, intentionlessly and spontaneously.

One doesn’t need any ‘yoga teacher certification’ to be in the present, to be unattached towards all the mind perception of names and forms, to be free from the desire of craving and aversion.

One doesn’t need any ‘yoga teacher certification’ to be undetermined and undisturbed by all the qualities and dualities of pleasantness and unpleasantness, good and bad, right and wrong, positive and negative, success and failure, praise and condemn, enjoyment and suffering, births and deaths.

One doesn’t need any ‘yoga teacher certification’ to forgive and let go what the mind perceives as ‘unpleasantness’, ‘bad’, ‘wrong’, or ‘hurtful’.

One doesn’t need any ‘yoga teacher certification’ to be dispassionate and renounce worldly attachment and identification/ideas/thinking/belief/objects/relationships, to free the mind from ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness.

One doesn’t need any ‘yoga teacher certification’ to realize peace, selflessness and compassion, as well as guiding others to also realize peace, selflessness and compassion.

One doesn’t need any ‘yoga teacher certification’ to be kind and compassionate towards all without discrimination of good and bad, likes and dislikes, or deserving and undeserving.

One doesn’t need any ‘yoga teacher certification’ to breathe, to eat, to live, to see/hear/smell/taste/touch/think, to be aware, to be in the present, to be peaceful, to let go, or to be confronting death/disintegration in peace.

After all, none need any ‘certification of ignorance/unhappiness/misery/suffering’ to be ignorant, unhappy, miserable and suffering.

Be free.

The mirror and the mind

The mirror is just what it is, having the function of reflecting all kinds of image of the objects of different names and forms in front of it.

The mirror is not being contaminated/influenced/changed by the presence of the reflection of all the different objects of names and forms being reflected on it. Neither is the mirror being contaminated/influenced/changed by the absence of the reflection of any particular object of names and forms that is not present.

The mirror doesn’t analyze/judge/compare the different objects of names and forms.

The mirror has no likes or dislikes, agreements or disagreements and desires of want and doesn’t want towards the objects of names and forms.

The mirror has no intention or expectation to be reflecting/not reflecting any particular object of names and forms.

The mirror doesn’t have desire/intention/aspiration/expectation to be good or bad, or to influence/change/control all the names and forms to be the way that ‘I’ want them to be, or the way that ‘I’ think and believe how they should be.

The mirror doesn’t interfere with/influence/change the objects of names and forms being what they are, as they are.

The mirror doesn’t ‘hold on’, or ‘cling onto’, or ‘possess’, or ‘identifying with’ any particular reflection/image of the different objects of names and forms being reflected on it.

The mirror doesn’t enjoy or suffer and doesn’t become good or bad, positive or negative, happy or unhappy, meaningful or meaningless, useful or useless, regardless of the presence or absence of any kind of objects of names and forms being reflected/not being reflected on it.

As the mirror is selfless/egoless/’I’less/intentionless/desireless. It doesn’t has a self-identity, or self-image, or intentional duty/action of “I am a ‘beautiful’ and ‘useful’ mirror being here to ‘reflect’ the image of names and forms.”

Although the reflections/images of the objects of names and forms might be distorted/contorted/corrupted/blurred by some cracks/dirt/dust/stains/movements of the cracked/dirty/dusty/stained/non-stilled mirror, but the mirror is neither enjoying nor suffering, neither it’s being pleased or displeased by the crack/dirt/dust/stain/movements on it or the distorted/contorted/corrupted/blurred reflections/images being reflected on it. Neither will the selfless/egoless/’I’less objects of names and forms are being changed/influenced/contaminated by their distorted/contorted/corrupted/blurred reflections/images being reflected on the cracked/dirty/dusty/stained/non-stilled mirror.

The mind that is void of ignorance and egoism, is not different from the mirror, reflecting all kinds of names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, selflessly/intentionlessly/desirelessly, being undetermined/uncontaminated/uninfluenced/unchanged/undisturbed by the presence or absence of all kinds of names and forms, of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations, feelings, emotions, thoughts/thinking/belief/knowledge, all kinds of action/reaction, behavior, relationship, way of life, condition and situation, and all the impermanent changes of all and everything.

The selfless/egoless/’I’less mind is not being determined/contaminated/influenced/changed/disturbed/enjoyed or suffered/pleased or displeased by the presence or absence of any impurity.

Neither is the selfless/egoless/’I’less mind and the selfless objects of different names and forms being determined/contaminated/influenced/changed/disturbed/enjoyed or suffered/pleased or displeased by the distorted/contorted/corrupted/blurred/incorrect/false thinking or understanding towards the names and forms being perceived under the presence of impurities, or the truth of things as it is when the names and forms are being perceived under the absence of impurities, or the impermanent changes of all the names and forms.

The perception of the ‘existence’/’presence’/’experience’ of all kinds of goodness and badness, rightfulness and wrongfulness, positiveness and negativeness, fullness and emptiness, happiness and unhappiness, meaningfulness and meaninglessness, loved and unloved, deserving and undeserving, enjoyments and suffering is merely the mind is being ignorant towards ignorance, being limited by the particular passionate worldly egoistic thinking and belief to analyze, judge, compare, expect, desire, feel, aspire, inspire, act and react, enjoy and suffer, ceaselessly.

The ignorant egoistic minds argue – “We are living beings with a soul, thinking, passion, feelings and emotions. We are not a thing like the mirror that has no soul, thinking, passion, feelings and emotions.” If so, it shows that it’s the existence of a soul, thinking, passion, feelings and emotions are the ‘culprit’ of all kinds of disturbs, evilness, wrongfulness, hurtfulness, dramas, discrimination, anger, hatred, violence, conflicts, afflictions, miseries, or suffering.

After all, the mirror is not ‘the mirror’ and the mind is not ‘the mind’. They are just what they are.

Be free.

Freedom?

Freedom is not ‘something’ to be found in the past or to be attaining in the future, or being determined by whether one has been ‘good’ by performing many ‘good actions’ and has not been ‘bad’ by not performing any ‘bad actions’, or not.

Freedom is nothing to do with ‘attaining extraordinary physical or mental ability/achievement’, or ‘exemption from undesirable impermanent changes, hunger, thirst, discomfort, unhappiness, disability, imperfection, decay, old age, pain, illness and death/decomposition’, or ‘freedom of all desires are being gratified’, or ‘unrestricted freedom of movements/actions/speech/thinking/belief’, or ‘free from boundary, natural disasters, discrimination, bad happenings, unjust, violence or wars’, or ‘free from the law of cause and effect’, or ‘free from bad, wrongful, hurtful or harsh experiences’.

Freedom is the moment when the mind/life existence is undetermined by any qualities of names and forms that are impermanent and selfless.

Freedom is always here, in this present moment, when the mind is being free and peaceful as it is, regardless of all kinds of good or bad condition and situation that is subject to impermanent changes and selflessness.

Being free from ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness.

Being free from attachment, identification, craving, aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation.

Being undetermined/undisturbed/uninfluenced by all the impermanent changes of the selfless existence and function of the physical body and modification of the mind, of all the mind perception of different qualities of names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses.

Being unattached towards and unidentified with all kinds of worldly social/cultural/racial/religious/spiritual/philosophical thinking and belief, identification, accumulated knowledge, practice, values, conduct and way of life.

Going beyond all the abilities and disabilities, possibilities and impossibilities, availability and non-availability, pleasantness and unpleasantness, deserving and undeserving treatment/result, achievement and non-achievement, good or bad/happy or unhappy/desirable or undesirable experiences/relationships/contacts.

Transcending the perception of duality/separateness, time, space and causation, of births and deaths, goodness and badness, rightfulness and wrongfulness, auspiciousness and inauspiciousness, positiveness and negativeness, meaningfulness and meaninglessness, joyfulness and joylessness, pleasurable enjoyment and suffering, praise and condemn, belief and disbelief, trust and distrust, togetherness and separateness, presence and absence, existence and non-existence.

Being free from clinging, missing, craving, longing towards something that is not here, that is unavailable or absent in this present moment.

Being free from self-image, self-esteem, loneliness, incompleteness, meaninglessness, fear, worry, lust, dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hatred, discrimination, jealousy, envy, pride, animosity, hostility, offensiveness, defensiveness, hurts, regret, guilt, painful sorrow, grief, misery, bitterness, violence and ill-will.

Being in the present.

Desireless.

Mind and life existence with all kinds of experience/relationship, are one.

Absence of ignorance and egoism, the mind is free, as it is. So as life existence with all kinds of experience/relationship.

Life existence with all kinds of experience/relationship are just what they are. Neither good nor bad. Neither joyful nor joyless. Neither meaningful nor meaningless. Neither positive nor negative. Neither rightful nor wrongful. Neither deserving nor non-deserving. Neither enjoyable nor miserable.

The physical body is limited by the law of nature, of impermanence and selflessness. The physical body of all the saints and sages was/is not exempted from the law of impermanence and selflessness.

The mind perception of a life existence is although under the influence of the law of nature, but yet, it doesn’t have to be determined by impermanence and selflessness, if the mind is free from ignorance.

Life existence appears to be limited/not free, as it is being perceived or reflected ‘in a particular way’ by the ignorant/egoistic/impure thinking pattern or modification of the mind that is under the influence of ignorance that gives rise to egoism and impurities of ceaseless desire/clinging/longing/craving/duality/separateness/dissatisfaction/disappointment/unhappiness/meaninglessness/loneliness/misery/fear and so on.

The ignorant/egoistic/impure mind projects goodness/badness, joyfulness/joylessness, meaningfulness/meaninglessness, positiveness/negativeness, rightfulness/wrongfulness and enjoyment/misery onto all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the sense.

Life existence with all the different qualities of names and forms are being limited merely by the ignorant/egoistic/impure thinking pattern or modification of the mind under the influence of particular worldly social/cultural/racial/religious/spiritual/philosophical thinking and belief, identification, accumulated knowledge, practice, values, conduct and way of life.

The mind is free, or not free, in this moment, is beyond the law of cause and effect, or ‘the accumulated good or bad karma’, or whether someone ‘believes or disbelieves in God’, or is practicing some kind of ‘religious/non-religious’, or ‘spiritual/non-spiritual’, or ‘cultural/non-cultural’ belief and practice, or not.

As long as the mind is under the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities, the mind is not free.

As soon as there’s attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, clinging, longing, judgment and expectation, there’s bondage or absence of freedom.

Be free from the egoistic intention to be interfering with/controlling/wishing/expecting everything to be the way that ‘I’ want/desire/like/agree with, or the way that the mind thinks and believes how it should be.

Respecting all lives and deaths as they are.

Respecting all kinds of belief and disbelief and way of life as they are.

Respecting all the thoughts, feelings and sensations coming and going as they are.

Respecting all the impermanent changes in all kinds of relationship with all and everything as they are.

Contemplate on this, and realize freedom.

If this is not ‘the freedom’ that the mind thinks and believes what it is, that’s everyone’s freedom of desire, thinking and belief.

The yoga class

Teaching yoga or practicing yoga is nothing to do with money, ‘fees’, or ‘donation’. No one can sell or buy yoga, or peace, or compassion, or wisdom, or liberation from suffering with any amount of money, or ‘fees’, or ‘donation’.

Meanwhile, running ‘yoga classes’ or ‘yoga courses’ that involve a lot of expenses/maintenance/labour/management/coordination requires money in the form of ‘fees’ or ‘donation’ for it to be happening. It doesn’t necessarily mean that if the money received is in the form of ‘donation’, it means ‘non-commercialized yoga’ or ‘authentic yoga’, or if the money received is in the form of ‘fees’, it means ‘commercialized yoga’ or ‘inauthentic yoga’. Such a simple understanding, but due to ignorance, many minds/people do not understand this.

Yoga classes/courses based on ‘donation’ without requesting a specific fees are not necessarily pure and authentic, or it’s being free from any form of ‘corruptions’. While yoga classes/courses required specific amount of fees are not necessarily impure, inauthentic, or corrupted.

People would perceive ‘yoga classes’ based on ‘donation’ or ‘small amount of fees’ that they think is ‘appropriate’ or ‘acceptable’ as ‘authentic yoga’ conducted by ‘compassionate’ yoga teachers, while ‘yoga classes’ required ‘certain amount of fees’ that they think is ‘inappropriate’ or ‘unacceptable’ as ‘inauthentic yoga’ conducted by ‘money minded’ yoga teachers.

Yoga students come to the yoga teacher to study yoga and seek guidance from the teacher and they give some fees/money to the teacher to support the teacher’s living is nothing to do with ‘commercial’ or ‘inauthenticity’. It’s like grown up working children give their parents some money regularly to support their parents’ living, there’s nothing wrong and nothing commercial. It’s a form of love, kindness, generosity, sharing, gratitude and gratefulness, even though the parents bring up the children out of love, without expecting anything in return. If the children grown up and are working, but only want to keep all that they earn for themselves, for they own living enjoyments and social expenses, and they refuse to support their own parents’ living, or those who are grown up but are lazy to work or spent all their earned money on non-essential things and enjoyments, couldn’t support their own living and need to depend on other people’s charity for living, not to say to support their parents’ living, then that is something ‘absurd’.

Many people who only want to pay very little ‘fees’ to attend ‘yoga classes’ or who prefer to attend ‘free yoga classes based on donation’ would think and expect that ‘yoga teachers’ should all be beggars to beg for donation, food, clothing and shelter on the street while giving ‘yoga classes’ for free or on donation basis. This type of ‘yoga classes’ is most probably unwittingly empowering ‘ignorance’ and supporting ‘corruption’, supporting people who would spend money generously on their personal worldly indulgence/enjoyment/social life activities, but would think and believe that it’s ‘wrong’ or ‘inappropriate’ to pay certain amount of fees to attend ‘yoga classes’ or ‘yoga courses’.

There are some people who already have a good financial support for their living, where they don’t need to depend on receiving any ‘fees’ or ‘donation’ from teaching or running ‘yoga classes’ as a form of charity coming from them to other people. That’s very good, but not many people are having such financial-free living condition. Many people need to somehow ‘make a living’ to support themselves and also maybe some other people under their care. If the basic living necessity is not available, people need to be spending time and energy to ‘make a living’ in order to ‘survive’, not to say to have the spare money, time and energy to ‘organize’ charity yoga classes for people who want to enjoy cheap or free yoga classes.

Meanwhile, there are those who think and believe that they are ‘highly spiritual beings’, would perceive receiving ‘money’ in the form of ‘fees’ for conducting ‘yoga classes’ or ‘yoga courses’ as a form of ‘evilness’, ‘wrongfulness’, ‘impurity’, ‘corruption’, ‘greed’, ‘down fall’, or ‘non-spiritual’, that ‘yoga classes’ or ‘spiritual activities’ shouldn’t be ‘tainted’ by ‘money’ or ‘fees’. They don’t mind receiving ‘donations’ from anyone, but they don’t want to get involved in ‘money matters’ personally. They don’t want to be physically touching any money or keeping any money under their names, or keeping any money close to their body or their ‘spiritual practice space’, but they need some other people who look after them to handle the money in the form of ‘donation’ that support their living and all kind of expenses.

Many good people who try to be good and do good and work very hard to make an honest living in this world are not exempted from the suffering of poverty or hunger/thirst and exploitation by others. People want to enjoy cheap goods, enjoyments, conveniences and services, and that’s how all kinds of exploitation started in this world of commercialism.

People who are busy in life need the existence of the convenience and service of shops/eateries, which rely on the people who devote their time, effort, attention and money into running shops/eateries to provide the convenience and service to the people while taking the risk of running business. The existence of shops/eateries also need to depend on other people who work or run business that provide everything from farming and harvesting to transportation and providing all kinds of shop, kitchen and dining equipment, that allow the shops to put goods on their shelves for people to buy and allow the eateries to put meals on the table for the people to consume. Even though it’s a business or work involved with money transactions, but still it’s a form of ‘convenience and service’ that benefits many people. If nobody interested in taking the risk of running a business and devoting their time, energy and money into starting a shop/eatery, or if nobody is involving in farming/harvesting/transportation/providing shop, kitchen and dining equipment, or food production is not available due to any natural/technical cause, people won’t be able to enjoy such convenience and service. It doesn’t mean that any form of ‘business’ involved with money transaction is ‘non-giving to the society’ or ‘non-compassionate’.

Compassionate actions are not necessarily have to be free from any involvement with ‘money’. Even when there are some good and kind people want to help other unfortunate people in this world, they also need to gather money in the form of donation/contribution/funding from somewhere in order to help other people. Selfless actions are also not necessarily have to be free from the involvement of ‘money’, it’s about non-attachment and non-identification towards one’s actions and the fruit of the actions. It doesn’t mean that when people are working and getting some monthly salary for living, or people who run business and getting some yearly profits for living, that their action of contributing their time, energy, attention, knowledge, skill or talent into their work or business is nothing to do with ‘selfless service’. If everyone doesn’t work or run any business, this society that builds on social economy that provides all kind of conveniences and services will collapse.

Any kinds of work, or duty and responsibility towards oneself and others, or business, can turn into a form of selfless service even when there are involvement of ‘money’, if people know what is performing actions without egoism. Volunteering work doesn’t necessarily means ‘selfless service’ when it’s done with attachment and identification. Non-expectation also doesn’t mean that ‘not receiving anything in return’. As all actions will bring the fruit of actions as it is, whether people have expectation, or not. Those who are free from expectation, they allow the fruit of actions to be what it is, it’s not about ‘I don’t want any fruit of actions after I performed actions’. That is ignorant understanding influenced by egoism of ‘I want to give without getting anything in return as it’s not selfless service anymore if I am getting something in return’.

People don’t really need to attend any ‘yoga classes’, or ‘yoga courses’, or ‘yoga retreats’ to be learning and practicing yoga, or to be peaceful, compassionate, wise, forgiving and be able to let go what the world categorize as ‘bad’, ‘wrong’, or ‘hurtful’. People can be attending many yoga classes and yoga courses regularly for many years, or teaching yoga for a long time, but still, the mind is not free from ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness, still being determined by worldly idea, thinking, belief and practice, and are under the influence of the desire of craving and aversion towards dualities and qualities of names and forms very much, as the mind still couldn’t go beyond the mind perception of the duality of ‘good and bad’, ‘right and wrong’, ‘positive and negative’ and ‘happiness and unhappiness, and hence, unwittingly chasing after what the mind categorizes as ‘goodness’, ‘rightfulness’, ‘positiveness’ and ‘happiness’, while rejecting what the mind categorizes as ‘badness’, ‘wrongfulness’, negativeness’ and ‘unhappiness’. The mind couldn’t see things as they are, or allow everything to be what they are, as they are. That’s nothing wrong, as the mind misunderstood the teaching of yoga about ‘positive thinking’. Many yoga enthusiasts, including ‘yoga teachers’, think and believe that it’s about influencing/making/changing everything to become ‘positive’ or ‘good’. But actually it’s merely about when the mind is over-powered by ‘negative thinking’, then the mind can cultivate positive thinking to counter negative thinking, and when the mind is free from negative thinking, there’s no need of positive thinking, as everything is just what they are, neither positive nor negative, neither good nor bad.

Although there’s nothing wrong with sincerely looking for a teacher to learn and practice yoga, to seek guidance of how to free the mind from ignorance and its by-products of egoism, impurities and restlessness – the root cause of suffering.

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to think, believe, behave, act and react.

Contemplate on this, and be free.