Online yoga class?

“Do you offer any ‘online yoga class’?”

What other yoga teachers do and don’t do is their freedom. What yoga practitioners/enthusiasts desire and don’t desire is their freedom. There’s neither right nor wrong.

I don’t have any interest or intention to run or teach ‘yoga classes’, not to say to organize ‘online yoga class’.

There were/are different type of people with different temperament/understanding and state of the mind, who want to learn yoga from us by participating in a compact yoga course in the form of yoga retreat over a few days to a few weeks. The yoga retreats emphasize on guiding and allowing the yoga practitioners/students to develop correct understanding, dispassion, right discrimination, self-inquiry, self-control, self-discipline and self-independence to be able to perform mental/physical self-practice internally/externally wherever they are without the need of attending ‘yoga classes’, by performing the different practices that serve the purpose of purifying and quieting the impure outgoing egoistic mind, to work on eliminating the ego and egoism diligently and independently, to be opened and turning the mind inward to investigate/inquire into the truth of everything, allowing the mind to see/realize the truth of names and forms as it is, to know what is going on in the restless self-cognitive thinking mind or knowing Thyself, be free from ignorance and the consequences of ignorance.

How everyone reacts towards the teachings and the different practices, or whether the students would be interested in developing the correct understanding, dispassion, right discrimination, self-inquiry, self-control, self-discipline and self-independence, or not, and whether they developed the correct understanding, dispassion, right discrimination, self-inquiry, self-control, self-discipline and self-independence, or not, it’s their own freedom, effort and responsibility. Everyone has their own pace treading the path of yoga.

Many of those who ‘expect’ the ‘yoga retreat’ or the ‘yoga practice’ to be the way that they desire it to be, that gives them what they think they should be getting/enjoying from ‘joining yoga retreat and performing yoga practice’ the way that they like and want, that gives them pleasurable sensual enjoyments, that gratifies their desire of craving and aversion, that makes them feel pampered and loved, wouldn’t appreciate and would reject this kind of ‘yoga retreat’ or ‘yoga practice’, and they would complain and criticize this kind of ‘yoga retreat’ or ‘yoga practice’ that they don’t like, don’t agree with and don’t want. And that’s their freedom.

Those who allowed their mind to be opened to inquire the truth of everything, while being self-initiated to perform yoga practice practically in everyday life to work on eliminating the ego and egoism diligently and independently, to free the mind from ignorance and the consequences of ignorance, who understand/realize the importance of dispassion, renunciation, seclusion, solitude and silence, would appreciate this type of ‘yoga retreat’ and ‘yoga practice’. They would have the basic understanding, dispassion, right discrimination, self-inquiry, self-control and self-discipline to be performing the internal/external practice accordingly. They don’t need to attend ‘yoga classes’, not to say ‘online yoga classes’ to be following some verbal/visual instructions/motivations to be motivated to perform some yoga practice or exercises, in order to stay calm/positive and healthy by keeping the body and mind busy engaging/occupying with some ‘healthy positive mental/physical activity’, to get rid of negativity, anxiety, boredom, or the sense of loneliness/meaninglessness due to the present global epidemic situation and prolonged social/physical distancing/isolation.

The existence of ‘yoga classes’, and particularly ‘online yoga classes’ in this present situation are very good for those who don’t have the basic understanding, dispassion, right discrimination, self-control, self-discipline and self-independence, who need to receive motivations/encouragements/guidance to be doing some healthy physical activity, to keep occupying the mind with healthy mental/physical activity, particularly in this present global epidemic situation, where people are being isolated/refrained from their everyday habitual social/mental/physical/emotional activity and interaction. Sort of like experiencing the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms of breaking away from certain mental/physical/emotional/relationship addiction/attachment/craving/desire, which is something very common that happens to many people who attend silent meditation retreats.

There’s nothing wrong with many yoga practitioners/enthusiasts who can’t or reluctant to perform self-practice independently, as they don’t have the basic understanding, dispassion, right discrimination, self-control, self-discipline and self-independence, and they don’t have the knowledge and confidence to perform the yoga practice by themselves, even after have been attending regular ‘yoga classes’ for many months/years, that mostly emphasize on social/mental/emotional/physical ‘connection’, ‘sharing’, ‘companionship’, ‘encouragement/motivation’ and ‘interaction’ among the community of the yoga teachers and the fellow yoga students while attending yoga classes/yoga retreats. That’s their freedom of thinking, belief, desire, action and reaction.

Those who know this, and/or who have been practicing yoga of renunciation, dispassion, solitude, seclusion and silence as it is, will not have any issue dealing with this global epidemic situation that requires efficient prolonged social/physical isolation/distancing for weeks/months or even years. They are free from boredom, anxiety, fear, worry, loneliness, or meaninglessness.

The sincere yoga practitioners can make use of this time being, or this great opportunity from this global epidemic situation to be starting practicing silence.

Those who aren’t interested in the yoga practice of disciplining and quieting the mind, don’t have to practice silence. They can continue to entertain the mind to keep the mind busy mingling and interacting with one another through all kinds of social media. It’s everyone’s freedom what they desire and don’t desire.

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.

Truthfulness?

The path of yoga and Buddhism is about realizing the Truth and respecting the Truth as it is, regardless of whether the Truth is being perceived as something pleasant or unpleasant, agreeable or disagreeable, desirable or undesirable to the worldly impure egoistic minds.

Many minds/people like to talk about ‘truthfulness’ and see it as an important value of life, but then ironically, most minds/people don’t welcome and can’t handle certain ‘truthfulness’ or ‘the truth’ being something that they don’t like and don’t want. Many people prefer themselves and everyone else to be playing a game of ‘untruthfulness/lies/hypocrisy/pretension/acting’ in all forms of relationship that would portray “Everything being the way that they like and want, that would appear to be all good and positive and nothing bad and negative”, or they would try to ignore, or deny, or hideaway whatever that they don’t like and don’t want, such as “Don’t tell me about it. I don’t want to know anything about it.” so that they can have ‘the peace and harmony’ in their lives, in their relationships with their family, relatives and friends. There’s plentiful of untruthfulness/lies/secrets/manipulation in all kinds of human’s relationship except in the rare ones that are free from the influence of the ego and egoism. Back-biting exists in many relationships as well, where people pretend to be nice to one another in front of everyone, saying only nice and positive things in front of people in order to maintain ‘peace and harmony’ in the family, work place, friends circle, personal relationship and the society, but then, many minds/people couldn’t avoid back-biting behind people’s back to express and/or release their frustration, dissatisfaction and disappointment towards what they don’t like and disagree with.

The mind can never avoid some kinds of interaction that involve certain ‘untruthfulness/lies/hypocrisy/manipulation’ dealing with all kinds of human’s relationship.

There’s nothing wrong with trying to present many different images of certain ‘quality’ on different occasions that conform to the many different thinking and beliefs of the many different minds/people that one comes in contact with and interacts with, in order to please everyone, to not offending anyone, to not making anyone feel unhappy, dissatisfy, disappointed or upset, to maintain ‘peace and harmony’, or to be surviving in a competitive world of names and forms, or to gain love, liking, help, support and comfort from others, but that would be supporting and empowering ignorance and egoism in oneself and others, while yoga practice is mainly to free the mind from ignorance and egoism.

The minds that would be disturbed, offended and upset easily by what the minds don’t like and disagree with, or what the minds perceive as unpleasant, disagreeable, bad, wrong, negative or inappropriate, is due to ignorance and egoism. None need to be untruthful, hypocrite, lie, pretend or act while being or interacting with other minds that are free from ignorance and egoism, as these minds won’t be disturbed nor offended nor upset by all kinds of name and form that are being perceived by the worldly impure egoistic minds as unpleasant, disagreeable, bad, wrong, negative or inappropriate.

In Buddha or Satguru, or any beings that are free from ignorance and egoism, the mind is undetermined and undisturbed by all the selfless impermanent names and forms, being free from the desire of craving and aversion and expectation towards all and everything to be in certain way. All kinds of suffering/unhappiness/painful sorrow/hurts/depression/loneliness/meaninglessness don’t exist in them, as there’s neither craving for something pleasant and agreeable nor aversion towards something unpleasant and disagreeable. And hence, there’s needless of the existence of any other being or family and friends being there to be loving/liking/supporting/helping/comforting them, although they would allow anyone to be kind and friendly supporting or helping them and/or other beings in many ways, while without encouraging or empowering the ignorance and egoism in the beings, but allowing the beings to also realize selflessness and compassion, being free from all kinds of suffering/unhappiness/painful sorrow/hurts/depression/loneliness/meaninglessness, being undetermined and undisturbed by all the pleasant/unpleasant, agreeable/disagreeable, desirable/undesirable names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, where the need of gaining love, liking, support, help or comfort from some others is absent, and without egoistic intention to be making and accumulating ‘family ties and friendships’, they can be ‘kind’ and ‘friendly’ towards all and everyone unconditionally without discrimination of ‘friends or not friends’, ‘family or not family’ and ‘good or bad beings’, without the need or craving of gaining love, liking, help, support and comfort from others.

Real peace and harmony is unconditional, derived from the absence of ignorance and egoism, being undisturbed by the mind perception of names and forms through the senses that is subject to impermanence and selflessness. It’s being free from all kinds of suffering, restlessness and impurities upon the annihilation of ignorance and egoism. ‘Peace and harmony’ that is subject to the existence and non-existence of certain quality of names and forms, being determined by certain condition and situation that the mind desires, likes and agrees with, that is achieved and needs to be maintained through certain actions, is not real.

Those who are free from being conditioned by worldly thinking and belief would understand this and are free from the sense of loneliness and meaninglessness. Those who are being conditioned strongly by worldly thinking and belief wouldn’t or couldn’t understand this and would be perceiving the sense of loneliness and meaninglessness from time to time or most of the time. And hence, the importance of renunciation to free the mind from being conditioned by worldly thinking and belief for sincere yoga practitioners.

One can choose to perform certain actions in the world and be engaging in certain forms of relationship and interactive activity with some others selflessly without any attachment, but not because of one thinks and believes that one has to perform such actions in the world and must be engaging in certain forms of relationship and interactive activity, as one would think and feel bad, wrong, negative, meaningless, unhappy or suffering if one doesn’t or couldn’t perform such actions in the world, or doesn’t engage in certain forms of relationship and interactive activity with some others. That is freedom in yoga or Buddhism.