Yoga classes, yoga courses and yoga retreats?

Those (the minds) who are free, who are peaceful, who are free from ignorance, egoism, doubts and impurities, they don’t need to learn or practice yoga. They don’t need to attend yoga classes, or yoga courses, or yoga retreats.

Those (the minds) who are not free, who are not peaceful, who are not free from ignorance, egoism, doubts and impurities, they might want to learn and practice yoga, by attending yoga classes, or yoga courses, or yoga retreats, to learn and practice yoga under one or a few yoga practitioner(s) (teachers) who know the teachings and practice of yoga.

Somehow, some of those (the minds) who are not free from ignorance and egoism, who are not peaceful, who are interested in attending yoga classes, or yoga courses, or yoga retreats, are ignorant towards oneself is being over-powered by pride and arrogance. They are not really interested in ‘learning’ and ‘practicing’ yoga under the guidance of other yoga practitioners. They think they know quite a lot about the teachings and practice. They think they have been doing yoga for quite some time or a long time. They think they are quite ‘experienced’ and ‘qualified’ yoga practitioners or yoga teachers, as they have attended one or many yoga workshops, yoga courses, or yoga teachers training courses. They think they are quite ‘advanced’ on the path of yoga. They are not ‘open-minded’ to learn and practice yoga under other people’s guidance to be free from ignorance, egoism, doubts and impurities. They attached strongly onto their habitual mind behavior pattern and their way of thinking and belief and practice. They cannot be opened to investigate or experience something that is different from their thinking, belief and practice.

They want to interfere with how the people running the yoga schools, the yoga studios, or the yoga retreat centres, and what the teachers teach and how the teachers teach the classes, or courses, or retreats. They criticize the way of the people running and teaching the classes, courses, or retreats, about the format, the schedule, the accommodation, the facilities, the environment, the staff, or anything that they think it’s not the way that they like it to be, or not the way that they think or expect it should be. There are many things that they dislike and disagree with, that they cannot tolerate or accommodate. They reluctant to adjust, adapt and accommodate something that is different from their habitual comfort zone, thinking, belief and practice.

They expect/demand the people to run the yoga schools, the yoga studios, or the yoga retreat centres the way that they like it to be, and they expect/demand the teachers to teach what they like and want to practice and don’t teach what they don’t like or don’t want to practice. They expect/demand the teachers to teach the classes, the courses, the retreats the way that they like it to be. They get very annoyed and irritated when the teachers teach something that they don’t like and don’t want to learn or practice, or the people running the classes, the courses, or the retreats the way that they don’t like and don’t agree with. They expect/demand everything about the entire space of learning and practicing yoga to be the way that they like it to be, or the way that they think it should be.

These people (the minds) don’t just not really learning or practicing yoga, though they think and believe that they are very ‘serious and advanced and certified’ yoga practitioners and yoga teachers, but they also generate inconvenience, disturbance, doubt and obstacle for others who are interested to learn and practice yoga, those who ‘are aware of’ or ‘know’ their minds are not yet completely free from ignorance, egoism, doubts and impurities. The minds that are free, they won’t be affected or influenced by the ignorance and impurities of others, but most minds are not free yet, they will still be affected and influenced by the ignorance and impurities of others. But, it doesn’t mean that these minds are bad or negative. All minds are free to behave the way that they want to behave and react the way that they want to react, whether they are aware of their own behavior and reaction, or not.

And hence, when one thinks and believes that oneself is an ‘experienced’ and ‘advanced’ and ‘certified’ yoga practitioner or yoga teacher, and one wants to inform/tell other people about how experienced and advanced one is on the path of yoga, then know that one doesn’t know what is yoga, yet. Those who know yoga, they have no attachment or identification towards the experiences or levels of their practice, or be proud and arrogant about what they know or realize from their practice. They mind their own practice and they don’t need to attend yoga classes, yoga courses, or yoga retreats.

Those who are not sure or have doubts about their practice or what they think they know, and are interested in attending yoga classes, yoga courses, or yoga retreats to learn and practice yoga under the guidance of other people, must learn how to allow the mind to be opened to learn and practice yoga under another person or other people, while not by pushing away or arguing about something that the mind dislikes and disagrees with, but to investigate the truth of everything that the mind comes in contact with through direct experience.

What the mind agrees with and what the mind disagrees with, are not necessarily the truth.

One doesn’t need to like and agree with everything, even if it’s part of the teachings and practice of yoga, but remain equanimous, being undisturbed or undetermined by what the mind dislikes and disagrees with, is already what yoga practice is about.

Be free.

Feel offended by something that the mind doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with?

It’s normal and common that the mind easily feels offended or intimidated or angered by something that the mind doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with. That’s the normal behavior of most minds that are under the influence of egoism.

The mind that practice yoga of non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment, non-comparison and non-expectation, that is free from pride and arrogance, wouldn’t be offended or intimidated or angered by something that is different from its thinking and behavior, and allowing others to be different and to have the freedom to express their thinking and behavior that is different from this mind.

Even when other people have no intention to offend anyone, and the names and forms have no quality to be offensive, the mind that is under the influence of egoism will still be offended by this or that, due to pride and arrogance. This mind also puts the responsibility of its reactions of being offended, intimidated or angered onto the names and forms that it doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with.

Yoga practice is about purifying and quieting the mind, and developing awareness and correct understanding towards the mind activities that are under the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities, through self-control, self-introspection, self-inquiry and self-realization, to free the mind from ignorance and egoism and impurities.

Minds that have no awareness towards the ignorance, egoism or impurities in the mind and have no idea about the practice of non-attachment, non-identification, desireless, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment, non-comparison or non-expectation, might be doing some forms of yoga exercises regularly, but there is no peace or compassion, when the minds are easily be disturbed, offended, intimidated or angered when coming in contact with names and forms that the minds dislike and disagree with, being over-powered by ill-thinking and ill-will.

If someone wants to know what is the yoga practice of freeing the mind from ignorance, egoism and impurities, one can contemplate on this,

One can choose to smile or not to smile to the world. There’s nothing wrong when one chooses not to smile. There’s no obligation that one has to smile to the world, and when one chooses to smile to the world, there’s no expectation that the world will smile back. The world is not obligated to smile back. If the world smiles back, let it be. If it doesn’t, let it be. If the world is offended or intimidated by one’s smile or smile-less to the world, let it be.

Understanding unhappiness

“I am not happy is because of this. This is bad. This is wrong. This is hurting me. This makes me unhappy.”
“I am not happy is because of you. You are bad. You are wrong. You are hurting me. You make me unhappy.”

This is incorrect understanding towards unhappiness, or ignorant towards the truth of what is going on in the mind, that generates ceaseless reactions of unhappiness in our minds.

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

“I am not happy is because I don’t like this. I don’t agree with this. I don’t want this. It’s nothing to do with whether this is bad and wrong, or being hurtful. This doesn’t make me unhappy. It’s my ungratified desire of what I like and don’t like, what I want and don’t want, that makes me unhappy.”

“I am not happy is because I don’t like something about you. I don’t agree with you. I don’t want you to behave in such way. It’s nothing to do with whether you are bad and wrong, or being hurtful. You don’t make me unhappy. It’s my ungratified desire of what I like and don’t like, what I want and don’t want, that makes me unhappy.”

This is the correct understanding that will free our minds from experiencing unhappiness due to ignorance.

Be free.

How to see the truth of everything as it is and be free

People grieve and cry for the death of someone or something that they think and believe as good and right, that they love very much, that they think it doesn’t deserve to die. People feel glad and cheer for the death of someone or something that they think and believe as bad and wrong, that they hate very much, that they think it deserves to die.

Death is neither good nor bad, neither positive nor negative, neither happiness nor suffering, neither right nor wrong. It’s all about what we like and don’t like. When we feel grief and cry for ‘death’ is because we are losing something that we like. When we feel glad and cheer for ‘death’ is because we are getting rid of something that we don’t like.

Whenever we feel angry, upset, disturbed, hurt, sad or disagree about something, it’s not because people or things are being ‘bad’, ‘wrong’, ‘negative’, or ‘suffering’. It’s because we come in contact with something that we disagree with based on our thinking and belief of what is right and wrong, good and bad, or we are not getting what we like and want, we are losing what we like and want, and we are getting what we don’t like and don’t want.

People mourn for the death of those whom they love, that matter to them (people or animals or insects), and don’t mourn for the death of those whom they have no likes or dislikes, that don’t matter to them, and cheer for the death of those whom they hate and disagree with.

And hence, this allows us to understand that ‘death’ is neither good nor bad, neither happiness nor suffering, neither right nor wrong, neither positive nor negative. It’s all subjective reactions influenced by attachment towards the likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, based on a particular personal thinking and belief.

It’s the desire of craving and aversion that generates unhappiness, disturb, hurts, resentment, painful sorrow and suffering in the mind. It is ignorance that causes the mind to think and believe that unhappiness, disturb, hurts, resentment, painful sorrow and suffering are caused by something bad, wrong, horrible, inhumane, negative or suffering.

Perform this inquiry into everything that our minds perceive and judge as good and bad, positive and negative, right and wrong, happiness and suffering.

Everything is just what it is. People are just being what they are. Things are just what they are. The world is just what it is.

There’s no clinging, craving, aversion, discrimination, hatred, fear, painful sorrow, or suffering.

There’s no good death or bad death. Everything is just arising and passing away.

If one doesn’t know this, one doesn’t know what is compassion, even though one identifies oneself as a compassionate being, and tries to be compassionate or practice compassion or perform compassionate actions.

Allow the mind to be open and see things as they are, uninfluenced by the conditioned/limited/subjective personal thinking and belief, egoism of attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, judgment and expectation, and ceaseless autonomous reactions of impurities.

If people don’t like or don’t agree with this, that’s their freedom of thinking, belief, actions and reactions.

Be free.

May all be happy and peaceful as we are…

There’s nothing wrong with being happy when we are doing something that we like to do, or being with people whom we like to be with, or being at places that we like to be at, or achieving something that we like to achieve. We should appreciate and enjoy all these names and forms that we like when they are here.

If we are still happy and peaceful as we are, when all these names and forms are not available to us in the present moment, we realize the freedom of non-attachment, and unconditional peace and happiness that is beyond all the egoistic likes and dislikes, craving and aversion towards any names and forms.

May all be free.

Love vs possessiveness

When we tell somebody, “I love you…”
Do we really love this person? Or we love the qualities in this person that we like and agree with? Or we love what we like and want from this person?

And when we tell this person whom we love, “I want to be in a relationship with you…”
Do we really just want to be with this person? Or we want to possess this person to be ‘mine’? Or we love what we like and want from being in a relationship with this person?

x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Out of ‘love’ towards a person or an object, naturally we (the ego) will have the desire to ‘own’ this person or this object to be ‘mine’.

Out of this ‘love’ or more accurately, possessiveness, we will have fear of losing this person or this object.

When somebody or something comes in between this person or this object and ‘I’, ‘I’ will be very unhappy and angry.

For example, if we are in a relationship with somebody, and one day our partner fell in love with another person. He or she desires to be with the other person and doesn’t want to continue to be in the relationship with us anymore. Or there’s no third party, but just simply because our partner stops having passionate love feelings for us.

Our mind is being conditioned to react in certain ways. We (the ego) might feel hurt, disappointed and sad, and we might do something ignorant that will hurt ourselves and some other people. Or we will feel very hurt, disappointed and angry, and have anger and hatred towards our partner for stopped loving us or being ‘unfaithful’ to us, and be angry and jealous towards the other person who has ‘taken away’ the person whom ‘I’ love very much, and we might say or do something that will hurt ourselves, and hurt our partner and the other person.

As our mind is being conditioned to think how a relationship should be like. We expect the person in the relationship with us should be faithful and loyal to us, or there should be some sorts of commitment between the two of us, and we should be faithful and loyal to each other.

Our mind also being conditioned to think that if we don’t ‘love’ our partner so much, we won’t be feeling so unhappy, if our partner wants to be with another person. And because we ‘love’ our partner so much, that’s why we feel so hurt. People like to say, the stronger the love is, the deeper the hatred will be. But this doesn’t seem right. Why?

If we truly love our partner, we love him or her unconditionally, without expecting him or her to love us in return, or love us the way that we want them to love us. We will only wish him or her happiness. Even if he or she chooses to be with another person and not us. We will let go of him or her in peace, as he or she feels that to be with the other person is more happy than to be with us. We wish him or her peace and happiness for being with the person that he or she loves, if we truly love him or her unconditionally.

There won’t be any disappointment, anger, hurt or jealousy if we truly love somebody unconditionally. As if we are over-powered by anger and jealousy, we might say or do something that will hurt our partner and the person whom he or she loves. Then how can we say we ‘love’ our partner, if we will do or say something that will hurt him or her, and the person whom he or she loves so much? It clearly indicates that we don’t really love our partner, but we only want to possess him or her to be ‘mine’. And if somebody is going to take away something that belongs to ‘I’, ‘I’ will be angry and unhappy.

Out of attachment and possessiveness towards the relationship and the person in the relationship with us, we feel the need to ‘protect’ this relationship, we will have fear and worry of losing this person and the relationship that we have. We might do something that will hurt ourselves, or the person whom we think we ‘love’ so much, and those whom he or she loves so much, when things don’t happen the way that we would like them to be.

This type of ‘love’ is purely egoistic selfish passionate possessiveness and attachment, with selfish desires and expectations. This type of selfish love only bring unhappiness in ourselves and in the person whom we think we ‘love’ so much. We are being not free to love somebody, full of doubts, jealousy, fear and worry all the time, and the person whom we ‘love’ also is not free being ‘loved’ or ‘possessed’ by us.

Only unconditional love without expectation will promote peace, happiness and freedom in ourselves and in the person whom we love.

If we need to change ourselves to be ‘somebody else’ whom we are not, or do something to please someone in order to have him or her to love us in return, then this also doesn’t bring peace and happiness. As he or she doesn’t really love us the way as we are, but will only ‘loves’ us when we behave the way that he or she likes and agrees with. Or else he or she doesn’t want to ‘love’ us anymore.

We need to allow the other person to be free to be who he or she is, without expecting he or she to be the way that we would like him or her to be.

And thus even though the qualities in us change all the time, our physical appearance, condition and abilities, our personality, feelings and behaviors, our likes and dislikes also will be changing from time to time, but we will love each other as we are, accepting all our changes as they are. We just love unconditionally without expecting anything in return.

If somebody doesn’t love us, or doesn’t love us anymore, it is not because we are not good enough. We shouldn’t blame ourselves when relationship didn’t turn out ‘nicely’ as how we like it to be.

This is our yoga practice. It is in our relationships with everyone, to love without attachment, conditions or expectation. There’s no dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hatred, jealousy, frustration, fear, worry, and feelings of hurt, which derived from attachment and possessiveness.

The point is, in a true relationship, without expectation towards each other, out of each other’s own free will, they will be faithful and committed to each other, and won’t do anything that will hurt one another. It is not about one or both of them expect the other person should be faithful or expect the other person to give them what they want (For example, some people expect a faithful partner and a happy ‘perfect’ relationship that last forever). We will experience bitterness or unhappiness in any relationships is because the relationships didn’t turn out the way that we expect it to be, or the way that we think it supposed to be. We are let down, or disappointed by our own expectations. It is not because the person whom we love didn’t love us, or is not good enough.

We (the ego) are angry, disappointed and unhappy is because we didn’t get the things that we want, or things didn’t happen the way that we like it to be, or we have lost the things that we think they belong to us. It is not because our partner is not faithful to us, or doesn’t love us anymore.

For example, it is not necessarily that we will be satisfied and happy when somebody gives us something. The act of giving or receiving is not what make us feel happy and satisfied if we have strong ego and attachment. We only will feel happy and satisfied when we receive something that ‘we like’, from anybody, or when we receive anything from the people whom we ‘like’ to be receiving from. Sometimes we won’t feel happy and satisfied when we receive something that we ‘don’t like’, even if it is coming from the people whom we think we ‘love’. Or we won’t feel happy or satisfied even when we receive something that we ‘like’, but it is not coming from the people whom we want to be receiving from. If somebody whom we dislike gives us something that we like, we won’t feel the same as when it is given by someone whom we love very much. This indicates that we will only be happy and satisfied when we get what we want and the way that we want, it’s not because the person who loves us gives us something, and it’s not because the things that are given to us are something that we like. It is about the right person gives us the right thing the way that we want.

Can we see how selfish we are? We only ‘love’ the things that we like and want. We are happy and satisfied only when things happen the way that we like it to be. We don’t really ‘love’ the people whom we think we ‘love’ very much, if we have strong attachment and possessiveness, and have selfish desires and expectations from the people whom we think we ‘love’. And so, we stop blaming our partner for being ‘unfaithful’ or ‘not good enough’, or didn’t give us what we think he or she should give to us, or didn’t treat us the way that we want him or her to treat us, or didn’t give us the type of relationship that we want.

No one is obligated to be nice to another person. If we expect everyone should be nice to one another, especially when ourselves is nice to other people, and we expect other people should be grateful and thankful, and they should also be nice to us in return, we will be very disappointed, if they don’t. But if anyone will be nice to us out of loving kindness from their own free will, not because we have been nice to them, then we appreciate this loving kindness without attachment, without clinging onto this kindness, or craving for more. Without aversion or fear that this loving kindness is no longer available. As true loving kindness is not about something ‘in exchange’ for something. It’s not about give and take.

Be grateful for other people being nice to us out of loving kindness, not because they are obligated to be nice to us, because we have been nice to them. Give without expecting anything in return, although something might come back to us naturally, but not necessarily the way that we expect it to be. Give out of love, not because we are obligated to give back something in return after we receive something. Be nice without expecting any kind of nice reactions in return. Be nice out of love, not because we are obligated to be nice in return for other people being nice to us.

It doesn’t matter there’s nobody shows gratitude or appreciation for what we give. It doesn’t matter if other people don’t like or are dissatisfied with what we give. It doesn’t matter if other people criticize or condemn us after we give. We are not determined by praise and condemn, compliment and criticism, success and failure, if we know what is non-attachment towards our actions, and renounce the fruit of actions.

May all be free to love, and be loved.

Om shanti