Video – My daily asana practice 2020 (11)

This is part of my daily asana practice.

Wishing everyone peace during this time being.

In this present time

In this present time

Life might not be easy or pleasant for many people

Some are getting too busy and tired working at home while looking after the entire household

Some are getting too free and bored being cutting off from most of their habitual physical leisure activities

Some are struggling to have a reasonable shelter and food on the table

Unwittingly, there are many things that everyone needs to make adjustment, adaptation and accommodation

Everyone don’t have the same degree of adaptation and tolerance as one another

And it’s okay

There is stress

Consciously and subconsciously

Wittingly and unwittingly

One just be in the present as it is

Need not judging oneself or others

Good or not good enough

Need not comparing oneself with one another

Need not expecting oneself or others

To be good or better

One doesn’t need to try to be a better version of oneself

One doesn’t need to try to be somebody that one is not

One doesn’t need to try to be productive or creative

One doesn’t need to be positive or stay positive

One doesn’t need to be happy or stay happy at all time

One is fine as one is

Dealing with whatever arise in the mind in this present

If one chooses to react, let it be

If one chooses not to react, let it be

Dealing with whatever arise in life in this present

If one feels need to be busy doing something, it’s okay

If one feels need to be lazy not doing anything, it’s okay

It’s neither right nor wrong

Neither good nor bad

It’s just finding a comfortable space for oneself

To get through this

By oneself

Along with all the others

Looking after oneself

By looking after oneself

Simultaneously

Unintentionally

One is looking after the others

Lockdown expose mental state of many people

After many days/weeks of observing lockdown in many different countries, not just that the process of lockdown could help to contain the global epidemic effectively, but unintentionally, it also helps to expose the mental state of many people, where many people themselves are not aware of their own mental state that is not so well. Some people appreciate and enjoy the many days/weeks being with their family/relative/friend physically under the same roof at this time being, but there are also many more people are starting to behave in the way that is not how they usually behaved due to being physically constraint in a limited space all the time being with the family/relatives/friends.

People are worried about those who lives alone during this time being, and encourage companionship of family, relatives or friends staying close together under the same roof during the lockdown for a prolonged period of time, but actually, that could be generating or exposing more ‘human interactive problems’ among one another physically/mentally/emotionally than those who lives alone.

Some people are developing momentary mild mental stress/instability due to anxiety towards the present situation, but some are already suffering from mental illness/breakdown even before the lockdown that never been treated properly as they weren’t even aware of it, but now, it’s being ‘forced’ to be exposed due to there’s not enough personal time and space where two or more people are being ‘stuck’ together physically sharing the same limited living space under the same roof being refrained from their many out of the house social leisure activity with some other ‘beings’ or just to be having some personal time and space being alone by themselves to ‘escape’ the ‘tension/stress’ built up at home being with the people that they live with.

The accumulating tension, stress, frustration and dissatisfaction are not only deriving from anxiety generated towards the pandemic situation, but also from dealing with the ‘normal yet abnormal’ human’s behavior of the other members living in the same house undergoing the process of lockdown. People under stress are starting to loose their limited patience/tolerance and behaving aggressively towards one another who live under the same roof. It’s not strange that there will be more and more family/relationship problem brewing slowly/rapidly and domestic abuse are increasingly happening everywhere.

Meanwhile there will be somewhat ‘mentally/emotionally healthy’ people are appreciating the ‘enforced’ time and space being with their loved ones and learn how to be more patient and tolerant under this lockdown situation for a prolonged period of time.

Self-esteem, pride and arrogance

Many people growing up being told to take pride or shame in what they do/don’t do, what they eat/don’t eat, what they achieve/don’t achieve, how they look and conduct, what and who they think and believe and identify as ‘who I am’ of a personal and community identity, taking pride/shame in ‘I’, ‘family’, ‘siblings’, ‘parenting’, ‘children’, ‘friends’, ‘school’, ‘social circle’, ‘career’, ‘nationality’, ‘race/tribe’, ‘culture’, ‘religion’, ‘spirituality’, ‘belief’, ‘political view’, ‘the actions and the result of actions’, ‘social status’, ‘financial status’, ‘possession’, ‘the sense of belonging’, ‘the sense of meaningfulness’, ‘the sense of achievement’, ‘social activity/contribution’, ‘recognition’, ‘appreciation’, ‘acknowledgement’, ‘qualification’, ‘certification’, ‘title’, ‘talent’, ‘skill’, ‘profession’, ‘knowledge’, ‘intelligence’, ‘righteousness’, ‘appearance’, ‘charisma’, ‘personality’, ‘life style’, ‘food choices’, ‘aspiration’, and so on.

The basic yoga practice is to let go and be free from that.

There’s neither pride nor shame.

All is impermanent and selfless.

This is true renunciation – Renouncing the ego and egoism.

There won’t be any personal/family/relationship/social/national/racial/religious/global issue that relates to self-esteem, pride and arrogance deriving from the ego and egoism.

The world could have more egoless human beings.

Low self-esteem, pride and arrogance

胜不骄 败不馁 parenting method vs “Good job, well done, we are so proud of you and you should be so proud of yourself” kind of parenting method.

If more people understand 胜不骄 败不馁 rather than “I need to achieve something and be somebody that will make myself and other people feel proud of”, then the psychologists in the world will be out of job.

Letting go and let it be, it’s okay

Human beings might be having the opportunity and financial ability to enjoy a higher standard of living with all kinds of education, entertainment, gadget, equipment, comfort, convenience and enjoyment for the senses while living in the modern society of higher technology and creativity, but it doesn’t determine that the minds are free from restlessness/disturbs and other impurities deriving from ignorance and egoism, where there’s so much tension in the minds resulting in losing the ability to think clearly and act properly, affecting the interactions with others in the daily affairs that human beings have to deal with, may it be in relationships or at work, during the process to achieve whatever they want to achieve in life and the world, with great expectation/aspiration towards life and the world to be in certain way that they desire and not to be in certain way that they don’t desire.

It has to come from the mind itself to realize the urgency to be looking after itself before it’s too late, to learn how to let go and let it be, that it’s okay, when things in life are not being the way that the mind would like them to be, even after oneself had tried the best and very hard to achieve a life and a world that one thinks and believes how it should be.

What’s the point of all kinds of opportunity, education, aspiration and effort, but losing the clarity and sanity of the mind while trying to achieve a life and a world that one’s thinking and belief categorized as good, righteous, positive, successful and meaningful life/living/way of life, as the mind couldn’t let go, or let things being what they are, not necessarily pleasant/desirable/agreeable in the way that the mind would like it to be, where the mind is being over-powered by the desire of craving and aversion and great expectation, and drowning itself in frustration, disappointment, dissatisfaction, anger, hatred, hurt, fear and worry?

Just do one’s best, but also be able to let go and let it be, being free from attachment, identification, craving and aversion, and expectation.

The so called ‘negative/bad/wrong/unpleasant/undesirable/disagreeable’ things in life or the world don’t hurt the mind or what the mind thinks and believes as ‘I’, but it’s the egoistic attachment, identification, craving and aversion and expectation in the mind that is hurting the mind.

It’s everyone’s freedom whether they want to let go, to maintain the clarity and sanity of the thinking mind, or not.

Freeing the mind from being conditioned by worldly thinking and belief

The minds that are under the influence of ignorance, that are ignorant towards itself is being conditioned by worldly egoistic social/cultural/religious thinking and belief, are being limited to be in certain ways and not to be in certain ways to feel good, happy and meaningful, or not. There will be judgment or identification of “If I’m like this, I’ll be okay, good and happy. And if I’m not like this, I’ll be not okay, not good and not happy.” or “If life is like this, it’s good and meaningful. And if life is not like this, it’s not good and meaningless.” or “Things/people should be like this or shouldn’t be like that, then it’s right and good, or else it’s bad and wrong.”

Such as many ‘yoga teachers’ would think and believe that they need to attend Internationally recognized ‘yoga teachers training courses’ and be ‘qualified’ and ‘certified’ to be ‘yoga teachers’, to be ‘authorized’ and ‘allowed’ to teach yoga to other people, and need to be attending ongoing ‘yoga courses’ to be upgrading one’s knowledge and teaching skills, and also believing that ‘possessing all these names and forms’ would also make them responsible ‘good’, ‘well-trained’ and ‘well-informed’ yoga teachers. Or, many ‘yoga students’ who think and believe that ‘yoga teachers’ who attended Internationally recognized ‘yoga teachers training courses’ to be ‘qualified’ and ‘certified’ to be ‘Internationally recognized yoga teachers affiliated with such and such yoga alliance/association/organization’ as well as attending ongoing ‘yoga courses’ to be upgrading their knowledge and teaching skills or those who have been ‘teaching yoga’ for such and such years, that they must be ‘good and responsible yoga teachers’, or else, they are not good or responsible yoga teachers. But yoga and teaching yoga to others are not determined by all these names and forms at all.

Such as many people including many yoga enthusiasts and physical/mental health professionals, who think and believe that ‘the practice of silence’, ‘seclusion’, ‘solitude’, ‘dispassion’, ‘renunciation from worldly affairs/ties/connections/relationships/activities/interactions/communications’, ‘refraining the mind from going out chasing after the objects of the senses that stimulate the mind and to gratify the desire of craving and aversion which empower the ego/egoism that feed the ignorance’, or ‘reducing/limiting mind imprints of ceaseless inputs and outputs to silent the restless modification of the mind’ are something ‘sad’, ‘bad’, ‘wrong’, ‘unhealthy’, ‘insane’, ‘mad’, or ‘meaningless’, as all these observances appeared to be contradicted with the ‘normal’ and ‘healthy’ worldly thinking/belief/values/behavior/practice/way of living. But, these are the observances that would free the mind from ignorance and suffering.

The egoistic minds that are under the influence of ignorance and egoism need the presence of someone else or something to be constantly acknowledging/validating one’s existence or purpose, or to feel ‘needed/wanted’ by other people, to be acknowledged and identified by oneself and others as “I am a lovable, knowledgeable, intelligent, generous, friendly, helpful, good, kind and caring person who is needed/wanted by other people to be there in their life.”

Meanwhile, the minds that are free from ignorance, that are not being conditioned by worldly egoistic thinking and belief, are free being anyway, being undetermined by the quality of names and forms, impermanent changes, time, space and causation (actions and the consequences of actions), without judgment or identification of “If I’m like this, I’ll be okay, good and happy. And if I’m like that, I’ll be not okay, not good and not happy.” or “If life is like this, it’s good and meaningful. And if life is not like this, it’s not good and meaningless.” or “Things/people should be like this or shouldn’t be like that, then it’s right and good, or else it’s bad and wrong.”

The selfless minds that are void of ignorance and egoism don’t need the presence of anyone or anything to be constantly acknowledging/validating one’s existence or purpose, or to feel ‘needed/wanted’ by other people, to be acknowledged and identified by oneself and others as “I am a lovable, knowledgeable, intelligent, generous, friendly, helpful, good, kind and caring person who is needed/wanted by other people to be there in their life.” even though they might be performing actions that are ‘helping’/’supporting’/’benefiting’ other people, without attachment, identification or association.

The minds that are void of ignorance and egoism have no ‘problems/troubles/disturbs/hurts/disappointment/dissatisfaction’ that need to be ‘shared with’ or ‘heard by’ other people, and don’t need other people keep asking oneself “How are you/Are you okay?”, to feel being noticed, acknowledged, heard, understood, sympathized, empathized, cared, liked, loved, helped, supported or touched by ‘other people’.

It’s everyone’s freedom for what and how they think/believe/behave/desire/don’t desire. Only those who have sufficient awareness to be aware of and acknowledge the ignorance in one’s mind would have initiative to free the mind from ignorance.

Being alone doesn’t induce the sense of ‘loneliness’. Being alone is not something sad, bad, or unhealthy. It’s the thinking that is under the influence of worldly social/cultural/religious thinking and belief about “Loneliness is deriving from being alone, and being alone is something sad, bad and unhealthy.” that causing the mind thinks and feels lonely, sad, bad and unhealthy for being alone. As there are many people who are not alone also would suffer from ‘loneliness’, while there are people who often being alone by oneself don’t suffer from ‘loneliness’, neither will they feel disturbed when surrounded by other people, just that they don’t associate/involve with other people’s actions and reactions, and they do not interfere with other people’s different ways of thinking/belief/behavior/practice/living.

Most mental health professionals would suggest and encourage people who suffer from ‘loneliness’ to be with other people, to talk to other people, to interact with other people, or to engage in some form of physical/mental/emotional activities with other people so that they will feel less lonely, and it might make people feel less lonely when their minds are being busy with the engagement with physical/mental/emotional activities with some other people, but it doesn’t really free the mind from the suffering of ‘loneliness’. Because ‘loneliness’ is not caused by being alone, or isolation from other people, or not engaging in any activities with other people.

It’s the egoism of attachment/clinging towards the presence of other people being around and the desire of craving for receiving acknowledgement, attention, empathy, sympathy, love, care, liking, understanding, or support from other people and the attachment/craving towards the mind stimulation of inputs and outputs derived from engaging in social physical/mental/emotional interactions/activities with other people, that the mind feels lonely/miserable/sad/wrong/unhealthy for being alone without any physical/mental/emotional contact with ‘someone’ or ‘something’ for an extended period of time. It’s like the addiction towards certain substances and the mind will feel great/satisfied/happy/relieved momentarily within the effectiveness of the substances, but once the effect of the substances is gone, the mind will crave for getting the effect of the substances again, and again, and it will feel uneasy/unhappy/dissatisfied/irritated/agitated/anxious/aggressive/sad/miserable/sicked if it’s craving for the effect of the substances is not being gratified over an extended period of time.

Just like low self-esteem, dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurts, anger, fear, worry, guilt, regret, pride, arrogance, unhappiness, meaninglessness and etc, ‘loneliness’ is the by-products of ignorance and egoism and being conditioned by worldly egoistic thinking and belief to think/feel/analyze/judge/behave/desire/act and react towards all the mind perception of names and forms or life experiences in certain ways, it’s not coming from particular environment, condition, situation, people, things or happening being sad, bad, wrong, negative, depressing, disappointing, disturbing, hurtful or unhealthy. Such as by giving the mind what it likes and wants and not giving the mind what it doesn’t like and doesn’t want would give momentary satisfaction to the mind, but it doesn’t free the mind from ‘dissatisfaction’. By doing what the mind likes to do and achieving what the mind wants to achieve might give the mind the momentary sense of confidence, happiness and meaningfulness, but it doesn’t free the mind from the sense of ‘low self-esteem’, ‘unhappiness’ and ‘meaninglessness’.

‘Loneliness’ doesn’t exist in the selfless/’I’less/egoless and silent mind. In silence and selflessness, who is there to perceive/experience/feel/identify with loneliness, low self-esteem, dissatisfaction, disappointment, unhappiness, meaninglessness, hurts, anger, fear, worry, guilt, regret, pride, arrogance and etc?

Be free.

Teach the children to accept and love themselves as they are

If we want to help to build a more peaceful and compassionate society, it’s very important to have young generations that are selfless, peaceful, wise and compassionate, and hence, how the parents or caretakers and the influence of the surrounding environment for the children growing up to be adults/leaders that are endowed with awareness, self-discipline, self-control, independence, truthfulness, honesty, peace, wisdom and compassion is very crucial.

We need to teach the children how to accept and love themselves as they are, to develop awareness, independence, self-discipline and self-control, to inquire the truth of everything, to realize the truth of impermanence and selflessness, to be free from craving and aversion, to have unconditional peace and compassion, so that they don’t need to depend on the qualities of names and forms that are impermanent to be who they are. They don’t need to depend on receiving other people’s love, kindness, acknowledgement, compliments, supports, friendships, relationships and companionship, or depending on a wishful desirable perfect world, to be who they are, to be proud, to be confident, to feel meaningful, to be happy, and to perform actions that are wholesome to themselves and others, out of free-will, out of compassion towards oneself and others, without attachment or identification towards the actions and the result of the actions to be who they are.

They know what are their ability and limitation. They are not defined by their ability and limitation to be who they are. They do their best to achieve what they want to achieve, but they have no attachment or identification towards the ability or limitation, the achievement or non-achievement. They allow other people to think, to judge, to compare, to expect, to like and dislike, to agree and disagree with towards their ability and limitation, but they are not affected or defined by other people’s thinking, judgment, comparison, expectation, likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements.

Being free from pride and arrogance, they know how to take consideration towards other people’s advice, but without taking other people’s advice blindly, and they know how to make use of the opportunity that is available to make decision and perform actions that they think are the best, without attachment or expectation towards the outcome of the decision made and the actions performed.

They can work in a group, cooperating with all levels and respecting all levels as equally important, without the sense of superiority or inferiority, knowing that the entire system requires every levels to work together for it to be functioning, but at the same time, they can work independently as well, when cooperation from others is not available.

The society will naturally have more peace and harmony by having less personal, family, relationship, social, political and religious problems if the children grow up to be adults/leaders in the society who are endowed with peace, wisdom and compassion, being free from ignorance, egoism and impurities.

Unfortunately, most people who became parents are not free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, and are being conditioned and influenced by worldly, cultural, social and religious thinking and belief to live their life and how they bring up their children. Many children grow up to be adults/leaders living in the society with some sorts of psychological issues and behavior problems, full of discrimination, pride, arrogance, dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hatred, greed, jealousy, selfishness, aggression, violence, corruption, untruthfulness, dishonesty, offensiveness, defensiveness, animosity, depression, low self-esteem, hurts, regret, guilt, fear and worry. And then, when they try to runaway from or cover up what they think is not good or bad or negative or imperfect about themselves, that they don’t like about themselves, that they don’t want any others to know about it, they might create further and deeper problems for themselves and others, in their life and relationships, and in the society.

This is due to many parenting are influenced by the worldly, cultural, social and religious thinking and belief that emphasizing on empowering the ego of the children to boost their self-esteem or self-confidence or self-image by giving them praise and compliment and rewards to motivate and encourage them to be what the parents expect them to be and by giving them criticism and threat and punishment to discourage them to be what the parents don’t want them to be, telling them that they need to do well and be good but also always be better and better, so that they can please other people, to attain praise and compliment, love, support, approval, agreement, acknowledgement and friendship or relationship from others to be who they are.

Whether they are aware of unaware of it, many parents bring up their children by emphasizing on the empowerment of the worldly egoistic nature with great attachment and identification towards the qualities of names and forms, to be somebody that the children and their parents and other people would be proud of. This empowerment of egoism generates separateness and discrimination, that give rise to many personal, family, relationship and social problems in one’s life and in the society.

If children start early to develop correct understanding towards the thinking and behavior pattern, actions and reactions, craving and aversion, feelings and emotions, all sorts of mind activities and impurities, the ego and egoism, and train to eradicate egoistic thinking and behavior that give rise to restlessness and the impurities of dissatisfaction, disappointment, greed, anger, hatred, jealousy, corruption, untruthfulness, dishonesty, violence, animosity, offensiveness, defensiveness, hurts, regret, guilt, fear and worry, they can be kind and compassionate towards other beings, but without expecting or craving for love and kindness and appreciation from other people in return, without clinging onto other people’s love and kindness and appreciation to be who they are.

Children growing up suffering from low self-esteem is because of the parents make them think and believe that they have to be in certain ways and achieve certain qualities, in order to be accepted and be loved by their parents and other people. They were told that they don’t deserve love and they shouldn’t love themselves if they are not good enough, that they shouldn’t accept themselves as they are, as they need to be better and better, and never stop being better. There will never a point that they are good enough so that they can accept and love themselves, as they are. Because the parents are so afraid that their children will stop improving themselves if they think they are good enough. And so, the parents make sure that their children never think that they are good enough.

When these children couldn’t be in certain ways or achieve certain qualities, their parents will show dissatisfaction, disappointment and aggressiveness towards them, and this make them think and believe that they are not good enough, that they don’t deserve acceptance and love from their parents and other people, or even from themselves. They don’t know how to love themselves and they also don’t know how to accept or love other people as they are, as they will also be like their parents, that they will also have expectation towards other people to meet up with their expectation towards other people, that they have to be in certain ways and achieve certain qualities, to be good enough, but they will never be good enough, as they need to be better and better.

If the children grow up knowing how to accept and love themselves as they are, unconditionally, they will always accept and love themselves as they are, regardless they are being in the way that their parents or other people expect them to be, or not, and whether they achieve the qualities that their parents and other people expect them to achieve, or not. And they will also know how to accept and love other people as they are, without expecting other people have to be the way that they think they should be, or to achieve certain qualities that they like and agree with.

It’s not easy to guide children. Parents or caretakers who devote their time, effort, patience, love and acceptance towards the children unconditionally, is a great yoga practice. They don’t need to be regularly doing some forms of yoga exercise, or breathing exercise, or chanting and prayer, or ritual, or to call themselves yoga practitioners or yogis, but by nurturing young children to grow up becoming responsible, peaceful and compassionate members of the family and the society, without egoism of attachment, identification and expectation, just do their best, and let go of the outcome, allowing the children to learn and evolve as they are, and love them as they are, unconditionally, is a great yoga practice and great contribution to humanity.

Be free.

The connection between low self-esteem and parenting

There’s a huge connection between low self-esteem and the way of the parents bring up their children.

Low self-esteem is a form of mental illness. And there are quite many of the world population are suffering from some forms of mental illness, especially low self-esteem.

The main element that contributes to low self-esteem is the family brought up of how the parents bring up their children, where people are being influenced by the trends of the society on how they bring up their children, where the society emphasize on appearance, performance and achievements to be the important values of a society.

People feel that they need to look and behave and carry themselves in certain ways so that they will be accepted and respected by the family and the society. Their perception towards themselves of what they think is who they are and their life existence is very much being defined by their appearance, performance and achievements that is determined by the expectation, opinion, commentary, judgment and criticism from themselves and other people towards them.

Proudness is the shadow that follows low self-esteem. If low self-esteem is absent, proudness doesn’t exist.

Those who suffer from low self-esteem need to feel proud of oneself. This is mainly the responsibility of how their parents brought them up. The parents have expectation towards their children and whether they are aware or unaware, whether intentionally or unintentionally, they are influencing the thinking and belief of their children to become the person that they want them to be and the way that they like it to be, and the way that they think is good for their children. They try to motivate their children to be they way that they like them to be by giving them praise and compliment, and they try to demotivate their children to be the way that they don’t like it to be by giving them criticism and punishment. There’s always assessment and judgment coming from the parents towards their children for how they look and behave, how they perform physically and mentally, and what they achieve or can’t achieve. They will be happy and be nice to their children when their children fulfill their expectation, that they behave and achieve something the way that they like it to be. They won’t be happy or be nice to their children when their children didn’t fulfill their expectation, that they didn’t behave or achieve something the way that they like it to be.

The parents hope that their children are ‘good’ enough and be competent to be able to compete with other people in the society to excel among the others and to be able to fit in into the higher or better class of the society. They want their children to be successful to be respected by the society and live life meaningfully, according to their thinking and belief about what is success and live life meaningfully.

Many parents will say this to their children, whether they are aware or unaware of the consequences of their action and speech, and whether they really mean what they say, or not. But the children will take it seriously, even if the parents didn’t really mean what they say.

“You need to have some sorts of expectation towards yourself to improve and be better. Set up your goal and expectation and strive to achieve your goal and expectation. Then you are considered successful and well-deserved lots of love and happiness and respect from everyone.”

“Good boy/girl! Well done! You make us so proud, mummy and daddy love you so much. Keep it up and be better and better.”

“You are so bad and terrible. Can’t make anyone proud of you. You don’t deserve love from anyone. Mummy and daddy don’t want you anymore. We are so disappointed in you.”

“If you are like this, mummy and daddy don’t want to love you. Look at your sister/brother/friend, they are so much better than you.”

“If you achieve this result, we will give you this and bring you there. If you don’t, we won’t give you this or bring you there. Let you stay at home by yourself. We only bring your brother and sister.”

“Say please and thank you, or else, I won’t give you what you want.”

“Come on, you can do better than this, and you will make everyone proud of you.”

“Are you a good boy/girl, or not? This is not good enough, you can be better than this. If you are very good, then people will love you. If you are not good, then no one will love you.”

This is how the parents nurture their children to grow up becoming people who suffer from all sorts of mental illness.

They always feel bad and dissatisfied with themselves towards the ability, performance and achievements of their physical body and their mind. They always feel that they need to compare and compete with other people, including their siblings, their spouse, their friends, their classmates, their colleagues, their neighbours, and anybody. There is an instinct to constantly judge their and other people’s appearance, ability, performances and achievements to compare and compete with one another. They were being told by their parents to think and believe that they are always not good enough and will never be good enough, that they always have to be better than what they are now. They want to be loved by their parents and everyone, but they think they must first be good enough, and they always afraid of being not good enough for their parents and other people, even though they know they are good enough for themselves. They always longing for praise and compliment, liking, support, agreement and acknowledgement from other people, especially the parents, siblings, friends and spouse. Or else, they will feel very dissatisfied, disappointed and depressed about themselves and their life.

It’s so tiring to try to fulfill the expectation from their parents and the society and themselves, to be good enough that they can be proud of themselves in order to love themselves, and to please everyone expecting people will like and love and be nice to them, for their whole life, in the family, in love relationship, in friendships, in the school, in the workplace, or in the community. They are defined and determined by their actions and the result of their actions, and other people’s reaction and treatment towards them to be who they are, to be happy and feel meaningful, or not.

Those who are free from low self-esteem don’t need to feel proud of anything. They don’t feel bad or dissatisfied about themselves for being what they are, as they are. They know what they can achieve and what is their limitation. But they are not defined or determined by their achievement or limitation to be who they are. They don’t need praise and compliment, liking, support, agreement and acknowledgement from anyone. They are not affected or disturbed or determined by other people’s expectation, opinion, commentary, judgment or criticism towards them. They are not determined or affected by their actions and the result of their actions. They don’t need to be good enough the way that how the world think and believe as good enough in order to love themselves. They love themselves as they are, and they love everyone as they are.

This is the essence of yoga.

There are yoga practitioners including some yoga teachers are not free from the suffering of some forms of mental illness, and it’s okay. There’s nothing to be ashamed about if the mind is not free. Everyone takes their own time to practice and realize the truth and be free.

Low self-esteem and the state of being free from pride are two different things

The minds are being conditioned to think and believe in a particular way to categorize everything into good and bad, right and wrong, meaningfulness and meaninglessness, positiveness and negativeness, happiness and unhappiness, appropriateness and disappropriateness, and so on. And once the mind is being conditioned to think and believe in a particular way, it’s not easy to allow the mind to be opened to see things as they are, because the mind naturally and autonomously reasons and analyzes everything based on that particular thinking and belief.

People growing up being fed with many information coming from their parents, care taker, friends, religious teachers, society, medias, and went to school/college/university to learn about many things/subjects and gathering all kind of information, and all these information become part of the thinking and belief to reason and analyze everything. But how many would reason the truth of all these information that is influencing them to reason and analyze everything?

Practicing yoga is to learn to inquire the truth of everything, without the influence of the thinking and belief in the mind, but just to see things as they are. Most of the time, people are just being different from one another, and there’s nothing wrong or sick for being different from one another. But, those who attached strongly onto their own way of thinking, belief and behavior, will perceive other people who think, believe and behave differently from them as something wrong or sick.

Low self-esteem is being categorized as something not good, bad, or negative in the worldly thinking and belief. It is being treated as a form of physical/mental/emotional weakness that they think it would make a person inferior than other people. But, low self-esteem is just another by-product of ignorance and egoism, just like pride, arrogance, unhappiness, anger, hatred, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurt, animosity, offensiveness, defensiveness, violence, grief, sorrow, agitation, meaninglessness, worthlessness, loneliness, fear and worry, and so on.

If the mind is free from ignorance and egoism, low self-esteem as well as all the other form of impurities won’t exist in the mind.

Worldly minded people think that in order to counter or conquest low self-esteem, they need to develop confidence and proudness through accumulating knowledge, skills, achievements, friendships and widening the social interaction network. But they don’t see where does low self-esteem come from.

The cause of low self-esteem is not because of lack of knowledge, skill, achievement, friendship or limited social interaction network. It is the worldly thinking and belief that is based on egoism about how a person should think, belief and behave in the society that categorize people into ‘normal’, ‘rightful’, ‘positive’ and ‘healthy’, or ‘abnormal’, ‘wrongful’, ‘negative’ and ‘unhealthy’, is the real cause of why people are suffering from low self-esteem when they try to comply to all the standards of the worldly thinking and belief that is based on egoism about what is a good and meaningful life that people would feel proud of, but somehow they think they are not good enough when they are unable to achieve the standard of a good and meaningful life that everyone could feel proud of. They were being told to believe that they are not good enough and their life is meaningless, if they don’t achieve something that they can feel proud of themselves, or if they are unable to make other people to feel proud of them.

Even many of the yoga practitioners and teachers in the world are not free from being influence by the worldly thinking and belief that is based on egoism.
This is a common and ‘normal’ and ‘right’ thing to say in everyday life,
“I am so proud of myself.”
“I am so proud of you.”
“You must be so proud of yourself.”
“My parents are very proud of me.”
“You should be so proud of yourself. How is it possible that you are not proud of yourself?” and so on.

If people didn’t make a statement about “I am so proud of you.” after other people have achieved or done something that they believe as ‘good’ or ‘great’, they will be considered as lack of empathy, unappreciative, stingy to say nice things, or being ‘abnormal’. And people would feel disappointed or upset if other people didn’t say anything about being proud of them, and it makes them think that maybe they are not good enough to be proud of themselves, or they are not good enough to make other people to be proud of them.

And, in order to help people who they think is suffering from low self-esteem, they think that they should constantly telling people, “I am so proud of you.” thinking that this will help people to be free from low self-esteem, so that people won’t feel bad about themselves, and feel good about themselves. What can really help people who are suffering from low self-esteem is allowing them to understand that they are fine as they are, that they can just do their best without the intention of doing something to feel proud of themselves, and they don’t need to make other people to feel proud of them, or they don’t need to keep hearing other people to tell them, “I am so proud of you.” to be happy or to live a meaningful life.

It’s like some people always looking for love and affection or attention from other people. If they don’t hear from other people, “I love you.” or “I miss you.” for some time, they will feel unloved, left out and miserable. And people think that by constantly showing and telling people, “I love you.” will help people to be free from unhappiness or suffering from unloved or low self-esteem, but it doesn’t, because it only empowers the attachment and the craving for love and acknowledgement from others to feel loved and meaningful. What can really help people to be free from the unhappiness or suffering from unloved or lack of love, is allowing them to understand that they don’t need love from others at all, through realizing unconditional love in themselves, by freeing the mind from ignorance and egoism.

It’s the worldly thinking and belief that is why people create unnecessary unhappiness or suffering in themselves, drowning in the desire of craving and ceaselessly longing for love and acknowledgement from other beings, by thinking that human beings should attain love and acknowledgement from one another, to feel loved and meaningful.

Those who are free, They are happy and peaceful as they are. They appreciate all love and acknowledgement from everyone as it is, but they don’t need love or acknowledgement from others to be happy, to feel meaningful, or to be who they are. Even if they have no parents, siblings, children, friends or anyone being there, to show love and care for them or to acknowledged them, they are peaceful as they are.

Worldly minded people would relate or refer the people or children who are being free from pride, who don’t have the need/desire/craving to feel proud about anything as a form of suffering from low self-esteem, lack of self-respect/self-love, or worthlessness. They believe that ‘normal’ and ‘mentally healthy’ people must have some sort of pride or proudness about themselves or towards something that is related to them in life, such like be proud of their family background, culture, religion, country, nationality, parents, siblings, children, friends, or things that they like to do or things that they can do, and etc.

Or else, they suggest that people must be suffering from low self-esteem, lack of self-respect/self-love, or worthlessness, and it’s ‘abnormal’ and ‘mentally unhealthy’ for someone who doesn’t have the need/desire/craving to feel proud of anything, who response to the question of “Do you feel proud of yourself? You must be so proud of yourself. Your parents and friends must be so proud of you for your achievement.” with the answer of “No. I never feel proud of myself or anything. Why do I need to feel proud of myself? I don’t need anyone to be proud of me either. People can be proud of me if they want. It’s their freedom. It doesn’t matter to me whether people are proud of me, or not. I am what I am. I’m not interested to be what other people want me to be, so that they will be proud of me.”

There are children or people whom the worldly minded think that they are suffering from low self-esteem (which they are not), when they don’t need to feel proud about themselves even when they had achieved great results in school or in career, as the worldly minded think and believe that every normal and mentally healthy person should feel proud of themselves or feel proud of other people around them for being ‘good’ and for achieving ‘great results’ or ‘success’, that it’s something wrong in their brain or mind for not feeling proud for something that the worldly minded think is good and great. But actually, people are peaceful and happy as they are, when they are free from pride or the need/desire/craving to feel proud and meaningful about anything towards oneself and others, which the worldly minded have no understanding at all due to ignorance. These people or children are aware of themselves of what they achieve or don’t achieve, but there’s no identification or attachment towards the quality of names and forms that they possessed or don’t possessed, and there’s no need to depend on anything to feel proud, in order to feel good or meaningful about themselves or about life.

The needlessness to feel proud of anything and the absence of meaninglessness due to the mind is free from ignorance and egoism, and the low self-esteem or the sense of meaninglessness that is due to being informed by the worldly minded to believe that they shouldn’t be contented with being what they are, that they always have to be better than what they are, that they have to achieve certain standards and higher performances to feel good and meaningful, is two completely different things. And, most people become mentally disturbed, when they start to believe what they have been told by other worldly minded people that it’s ‘abnormal’ and ‘wrong’, that they are mentally sick for being different from other ‘normal’ people.

There are children or people who don’t feel the need of friends or companionship from others, who are happy being alone by themselves, or they feel fine and happy without mixing or playing or interacting with other children or people, and there’s nothing wrong with that, and it’s not a form of mental illness to be alone, to feel needless to have friends, or it’s needless to be mixing and playing and interacting with other children or people in order to be happy, to feel meaningful, to not feel lonely, or to be ‘normal’.

The children or people who are fine and happy being alone by oneself and don’t need to feel proud or meaningful about anything, they are not mentally sick or in suffering at all. They are happy and peaceful as they are. But worldly minded people don’t think so. They think that these people or children must be so lonely and miserable and meaningless without any friends to play with or interacting with, because that is being planted in their mind, “If you don’t have friends to play with or interacting with, you must be lonely and miserable and meaningless.”

There are people who don’t need to feel sad or grief or mourn for the dead, and being indifferent towards birth and death, it’s not that they are lack of empathy or mentally sick, but they have realized the truth of life existence and have gone beyond ‘normal’ worldly thinking and belief about birth and death, where ‘normal’ people would cheer and celebrate for the newborns as a form of happiness and blessing, and they would grieve and mourn for the dead as a form of painful sorrow and suffering.

Meanwhile, ‘normal’ worldly minded people would feel so unhappy, meaningless, lonely and miserable when they are alone by themselves, when they are not being with other people, thinking that they are being left out and unloved, that no one notice or appreciate them, that no one is there to love and care for them, to be friend with them, or to play and interact with them, constantly craving for and clinging onto ‘friends’ and ‘social interactions’, in order to feel happy, meaningful, loved and ‘normal’, and there is fear and sadness towards solitude, illness, old age, death and separation from the people and things that they love, constantly missing the people and things that they loved when they are out of sight or unavailable. But for them, this is ‘normal’ and ‘mentally healthy’.

No wonder the saints and sages in the past declared that “The awakened ones are awake while the others are asleep.” and “The unawakened ones take suffering as bliss and take bliss as suffering.” There’s no debate can change another person’s mind. It has to come from everyone’s self-realization to realize what is going on in their minds.

Everyone is free for how they want to feel and what they want to do with their body and mind. Allowing everyone to feel what they feel and be different from one another, even if people believe that being prideful and full of passionate desires is ‘normal’ and ‘healthy’, while thinking that it’s ‘abnormal’ and ‘unhealthy’ for other people who are free from pride and passionate desires.

Take care of this mind before it’s too late

If we truly want to do something good for ourselves and for the world, the best thing to do is to take care of this mind before it’s too late. It’s not about trying to interfere with or to control or to change other people’s mind, to try to make the world to be the way that we like it to be or what we think it should be. When we are too busy trying to interfere with other people’s mind (their thinking, belief and behavior), judging everyone and everything as good or bad and right or wrong, and expecting everyone and everything to be the way that we like it to be, or the way that we think it should be, trying to ‘save’ the world or to make the world a better place, in pursue for a world that we think is good and meaningful, to be able to achieve all our ambitions to live a life that we want, we might not realize that our minds are lost and drowning in restlessness of all sorts of egoism and impurities, where the mind loses the stability and clarity to think and act properly.

Those who know how to take care of their own minds, they won’t be disturbed, or offended, or intimidated, or disappointed by all the different names and forms, or what is happening in the world. There’s no fear or worry towards what the mind perceives as ‘not good’ or ‘not right’. There’s no clinging and craving towards what the mind perceives as pleasant, nice, enjoyable, agreeable, good, right, positive and happiness. There’s no aversion towards what the mind perceives as unpleasant, not nice, not enjoyable, not agreeable, not good, not right, negative and unhappiness.

They can perform actions to benefit the world, but there’s no attachment or identification or expectation towards the actions and the result of the actions.

They allow the result of the actions to be there as it is and they allow everyone to be what they are, as they are.

All suffering, conflicts, violence, or hurtful wrong doings derived from ignorance and egoism. Those who know the truth has no anger or hatred towards all kinds of ignorant behavior, neither be disturbed nor determined by it. One is peaceful as one is, disregards all the chaos and unrest in the world due to ignorance, egoism and impurities in people’s mind.

If one is disturbed or offended or intimidated by something or some other people that the mind thinks is ‘not good’ and ‘not right’, then it is better for this mind to take time and space to retreat from the world or the society of all kinds of worldly activities for some time, to allow the mind to find its way back to stability and clarity before it’s too late. When it’s too late, the mind loses completely the ability to inquire the truth, and might lost in wild and restless random thought activities or imagination, and requires special mental care treatment and drugs to ‘control’ the restless mind so that one doesn’t hurt oneself or others, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

What’s the point of while trying to save the world from restlessness and disharmony, with great interest to know and care for what is going on in the world, and trying to be ‘good people’ and ‘good friend’ to show ‘love’ and ‘care’ for family and friends, but neglecting one’s mind, losing one’s peace and harmony, and losing one’s own mind in restlessness and impurities of ceaseless mind reactions towards all the inputs from social interactions and medias and activities? One can’t help the world but adding another ‘disturbed’ mind into the world that is already full of many ‘disturbed’ minds. The family and friends who truly care, they would understand and be supportive that we might need some time and space to be away from the worldly life to take care of this mind. Those who don’t really care for us and they don’t understand and being unsupportive, we don’t need to mind about how they think and what they do, as taking care of our mind is more important.

One can do more to benefit the world when one’s mind is in peace and harmony without being disturbed or determined by what is going in the world that the mind doesn’t like or doesn’t agree with, through purifying and quieting and opening the mind to perform self-inquiry and attain self-realization via the practice of eliminating the egoism of attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation.

And this is nothing to do with the knowledge and experience of practicing and teaching the yoga poses, or the possession or accumulation of different types of qualifications and certifications, or the knowledge of physiology and anatomy, physical alignment, skills, techniques, strength and flexibility in performing the yoga asana poses, or the knowledge of different meditation techniques, or the knowledge of the different chanting and prayers, or knowing how to chant and pray correctly and nicely, or not. It also has nothing to do with whether one is a Hindu, or not, has a religion belief, or not, and believes in God, or not.

Disregards what the mind knows, experiences, thinks and believes, or not, all minds can be free, if one knows how to free one’s mind from ignorance and egoism.

If ‘yoga teachers’ don’t know this, then what do ‘yoga teachers’ teach to the people who come to learn ‘yoga’? If the minds of the ‘yoga teachers’ are restless, impure and passionate, full of worldly passionate desires, ambitions and stimulation, full of egoistic attachments, identifications and expectations, then what do the ‘yoga teachers’ teach in the ‘yoga class’?

May all be free.

Fear and worry?

Usually when we have fear and worry, it is because we are imagining or anticipating about something that we don’t like and don’t want that may or may not happen on us, or onto the people and things that we strongly attached to.

We generate so much unnecessary tension in ourselves and onto other beings who come in contact with us, when we are over-powered by intense fear and worry.

Fear and worry consumes and drains lots of energy from us, physically and mentally, resulting in physical and mental illness.

By having fear and worry, won’t help at all, in the ‘attempt’ of trying to prevent the things that we don’t want to experience to be happening, if they are meant to be happening. It will still be happening, no matter how much we don’t want it to happen. By having so much attention and focus onto things that we don’t want to experience, it actually attract all these things to come into our life eventually.

If it’s just some imaginations and anticipations about something that won’t be happening, but then we are over-powered by fear and worry in the present moment now, being ‘disturbed’ by something that won’t be happening at all. It is so meaningless and wasting energy.

And hence, why do we ‘hold on’ to fear and worry, wouldn’t let them go?

Most of the time, fear and worry exists or manifests in the mind, when the mind wanders to the past memories about certain unpleasant experiences which don’t exist anymore in the present moment, or when the mind wanders to the future imaginations and anticipations which also don’t exist at all in the present moment now.

If we are living in fear and worry all the time in the present moment, being affected, disturbed, influenced and determined by our past memories, future imaginations and anticipations, we cannot pay attention, nor concentrate in our relationships with other people, nor can we be efficient in what we are doing in the present moment, nor can we enjoy our life in the present moment, as the mind is too busy with fear and worry, occupied by fearful imaginations and anticipations.

We have fear and worry, it is because we are ignorant about the truth of things. Out of ignorance, we generate attachment towards our body and mind, towards the conditions and qualities of names and forms, towards all the objects that we come in contact with, and towards all the relationships with other beings. We have craving and clinging onto the things and relationships that we like, and afraid of losing them. We have aversion towards the things and relationships that we don’t like, and afraid of come in contact with them. We generate ‘protection shields’ over our body and mind, and the things and conditions that we like. And thus we have fear towards what our mind believes as ‘bad’, ‘negative’, ‘painful’ and ‘suffering’. We have fear of losing what our mind believes as ‘good’, ‘positive’, ‘pleasurable’ and ‘happiness’.

If we are over-powered by fear, we cannot be truly compassionate, even if we want to be compassionate. As we will generate actions and reactions that might cause harmful effects onto ourselves and other beings out of fear. If we have fear towards certain people, insects and animals, we will attack and hurt these people, insects and animals first, even when they don’t have intention to hurt us at all.

Be kind and compassionate towards ourselves and other beings by letting go of fear and worry. Relax, and allow things to be what they are. Accept the reality as it is, not necessary the way that we like it to be, or how we want it to be.

There is no fear towards losing the ‘good’ conditions, or experiencing the ‘bad’ conditions, when we realize the truth. There is no fear towards separation from our loved ones, losing the things that we like, or old age, illness, weakness, injuries, immobility, and death. This will allow us to be truly appreciate and be grateful for the good conditions that we have, and make good use of the good conditions to be performing actions that will be benefiting ourselves and other beings, but without attachment, fear and worry. When the good conditions change, or disappear due to impermanence, we are able to let them go in peace.

Nobody can remove fear and worry in us. Only ourselves can free ourselves from fear and worry by willingly to let it go, through realization of the truth.

Free ourselves from hurting ourselves with fear and worry in the mind, and free other beings from being affected and hurt by the fear and worry in us.

Om shanti.

How are you? Are you okay?

Many people like to greet another person with this common greeting sentence “How are you?” or “Are you okay?”

Most people don’t really interested to know how we are, but it’s just a common natural greeting sentence when we see somebody. It is not a question at all.

There are some people who really care and they really mean it, when they ask “How are you?” or “Are you okay?”

Some people don’t just ask people “How are you?”, but also to the other beings, like insects and animals, or plants, or even things.

Are we ready to listen, when we ask somebody “How are you?” or “Are you okay?”

Some people don’t mind when sharing other people’s stories and feelings that are uplifting and cheerful, but they mind when other people start to complain and mourn about negative things.

As there will always be somebody who needs to talk to someone, and needs someone to be there to listen to them about how they feel and what is troubling them, especially when they feel disturbed and unhappy.

Sometimes we only feel comfortable to talk about what is going on in our life and how we really feel, to someone who we know close enough that we feel comfortable to share with.

But sometimes, we rather talk to somebody who don’t really know about us, about what is going on in our life and how we really feel. We just want to let out some frustration, to get some relieves from stress, without being judged, nor getting more unnecessary troubles coming from gossips among family and friends who know us.

Sometimes complete strangers who are selfless and wise can be good listeners. They are the third party who don’t really involve in what is going on in our personal life, who will not give one-sided judgment and opinion. It’s not an obligation for them to be listening to our frustration, unhappy feelings and problems. They don’t really get any incentive or advantage from listening to our problems, but spending their time and energy to listen to our frustration, unhappy feelings and problems. They also have to withstand the negative vibrations from us for being unhappy and frustrated. They also will wish for us all the kind wishes without expecting anything in return.

Anybody whom we know or don’t know, who is selfless and wise, can be a good listener. Their presence for being there, and their free will to share our ‘unhappiness’ by being a listener, will help us to reduce and minimize our ‘problems’, or to be free from what we think is ‘problem’.

Somebody whom we know or don’t know, who is impure, might not be a good listener. Their presence and their sharing our ‘unhappiness’ by listening to our ‘problems’, might not help us to reduce or minimize our ‘problems’, but might make our ‘problems’ become greater.

How many of us truly care for other people and ask them “How are you?” or “Are you okay?” when we see them?

Are we just saying it as a greeting sentence, but we are not really interested in knowing what is happening to them, or how they actually feel?

Are we having selfish intention and expectation by showing ‘care’ to other people, by expecting something in return? Such like expecting someone to be there for us in return, when we need to talk to somebody, or when we feel lonely and bored.

Are we doing it for any personal benefits or business incentive in return, when we show interest to know about other people’s stories of their life and how they feel?

Are we just being busybody and like to gossip about other people’s problems in life, when we expect someone to talk about themselves by asking them “How are you?” or “Are you okay?”

Or are we being compassionate and sincerely want to show care for anybody whom we meet in the present moment now, really care to know if they are fine and at peace? Being ready to spend some of our time and energy to be there for these people if they need to talk to us, who happen to ask them “How are you?” or “Are you okay?”

Out of compassion, without any selfish intention, without any expectation, without judgment, without getting attached, nor disturbed, nor influenced, nor annoyed by listening to other people’s unhappy feelings and problems, just be there for somebody who needs a good listener to release what is troubling them at that very moment. Sometimes they will know what they need to do after the relief from talking to somebody. They don’t need a judge or an adviser.

About twenty years ago, there was a woman who suffered long term depression. Whenever somebody greeted her with “How are you?”, she would burst into tears and started to talk about her problems and unhappiness in life. But, gradually nobody wanted to greet her with “How are you?” anymore. They just said “Hi!” or “Good morning or good afternoon” to her. Some people even tried to avoid her when they saw her coming. Such is the world.

Be ready, even if we are not really interested in knowing about what is going on in other people’s life or how they feel, when we greet them with this sentence “How are you?” or “Are you okay?”, as somebody might breakdown in tears and couldn’t stop talking about their problems, frustration and complaints. Be compassionate, as that is why we are the one to be there for that person, at that moment. Be unattached, just be a listener.

Sometimes people want to share their success, joy and happiness with us when we greet them with “How are you?” Then be happy for them. Be a good listener. Do not feel intimidated nor be jealous about other people’s success, joy and happiness.

This is part of our yoga practice.

Om shanti.

How to be happy or have a happy mind?

Before we can go beyond the identification with the mind or the ego, we identify with the mind and all its modifications as “I”, or “me”, or “my thinking and my feelings”… And we want to feel pleasantness, or we want to feel good, or we want happiness, or we want to be happy. And actually what we want is a happy mind. We like ourselves when we are happy, and other people will also like us when we are happy. And we will be more happy when other people like us when we are happy, and so on…

If so, we need to start with understanding the elements or qualities that influence or determine the states of mind. And try to remove, or eliminate, or reduce the qualities that make the mind feels bad and unhappy, and try to cultivate, or develop, or increase the qualities that make the mind feels good and happy.

Most of the time, the mind is swaying between the state of happiness and unhappiness. Occasionally, the mind is in a state of neutralness, neither happiness nor unhappiness, as there is no elements of happiness or unhappiness occupying the mind. There is no reason or cause for the mind to feel happy or unhappy. That is similar to momentary peacefulness, neither elevated nor depressed… But all these states of mind are impermanent. They will change and disappear. That’s why we can never be truly satisfied if we identify with the fluctuating mind as “I” or “me”.

An unhappy mind is when the mind is being occupied by impurities like anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, pride, arrogance, agitation, depression, anxiety, irritation, frustration, insecurity, fear, worry, craving, aversion, hurts, resentment, vengefulness, emptiness, meaninglessness, low self-esteem, cowardness, non-accomplishment, non-productiveness, suppression, offensiveness, defensiveness, doubts and etc that make our mind feels unhappy or feels bad… And so, when the mind is being free from these impurities, elements or qualities that give rise to unhappy or unpleasant sensations, the mind will be in a state of being absent of unhappiness… That’s why we try to avoid these elements, as we don’t like or don’t enjoy the state of unhappiness.

A happy mind is when the mind is being in a state of calmness, contentment, satisfaction, high self-esteem, courageous, clarity, joyfulness, love, meaningfulness, creativeness, productiveness, blessedness, gratefulness, thankfulness, appreciativeness, accomplishment, doubtless, fearless, worriless, and etc that make our mind feels happy or feels good… And so, when these elements or qualities that contribute happy or pleasant sensations are absent from the mind, the mind will be in a state of being absent of happiness… That’s why we keep looking for all these elements and try to maintain them, as we like and enjoy the state of happiness.

But know that these two elements that give rise to either happiness or unhappiness are impermanent, it doesn’t give true and lasting satisfaction… It is non-identification with the mind and its modifications that will bring realization of our true nature, which is attributeless, beginningless and endless, which is unconditional and unlimited peace and contentment…

There are many different elements or qualities that are influencing or determining the state of our mind. And all these elements or qualities can be cultivated, as well as can be eliminated… Sometimes when we don’t relate any of these elements with how we feel, we will say it is the hormonal system controlling how we feel. Sometimes we just feel depressed without any particular reasons… But know that the hormonal system is also influenced by the energy fields and the inputs that we feed the mind… And so, by influence or changing the energy fields or restrain what types of inputs that we feed to the mind, by performing physical activities or yoga exercises, controlling the breath, controlling our diet, controlling what we read and listen, controlling who we mix with, and etc, can help us to have control of how we (the mind) feel…

Usually our mind is in a mixture of these elements or qualities. That’s why we feel confused (not sure about whether we are happy or unhappy) and keep swaying between the state of happiness and unhappiness unceasingly, or we are not being purely happy or unhappy… Sometimes we feel happy and some other times we feel unhappy. We can’t really tell or distinguish whether we are happy or unhappy people.

When qualities that give rise to good and happy feelings are predominant in the moment, then we can say that we have a rather happy mind in the present moment…

These qualities that give rise to good and happy feelings usually are (but not limited to) positive thinking, optimism, patience, tolerance, acceptance, adaptation, adjustment, accommodation, forgiveness, cheerfulness, loving kindness, friendliness, thoughtfulness, respect, self-discipline, self-control, empathy, confidence, faith, correct understanding, right views, calmness, non-offensiveness, non-defensiveness, good-wills, unselfishness, humility, forbearance, and etc… As all these qualities make our mind not so easily to be annoyed, disturbed, irritated, frustrated, disappointed, upset, angry, depressed, unhappy and any other unpleasant feelings, whenever the mind comes in contact with the objects of the senses that the mind doesn’t like, doesn’t want and disagrees with, or when our mind doesn’t come in contact with the objects of the senses that the mind likes, wants and agrees with.

When qualities that give rise to bad and unhappy feelings are predominant in the moment, then we can say that we have a rather “unhappy” mind in the present moment…

These qualities that give rise to bad and unhappy feelings usually are (but not limited to) negative thinking, pessimism, impatience, intolerance, non-acceptance, non-adaptation, non-adjustment, non-accommodation, resentment, anger, hatred, animosity, greed, jealousy, pride, arrogance, impulsiveness, apathy, low self-esteem, faithlessness, incorrect understanding, wrong views, aggressiveness, offensiveness, defensiveness, ill-wills, selfishness, and etc… As all these qualities make our mind easily to be annoyed, disturbed, irritated, frustrated, disappointed, upset, angry, depressed, unhappy and any other unpleasant feelings, whenever our mind comes in contact with the objects of the senses that the mind doesn’t like, doesn’t want and disagree with, or when the mind doesn’t come in contact with the objects of the senses that the mind likes, wants and agrees with.

Our personalities, behavior, actions and reactions, feelings and emotions are reflected upon all these elements or qualities in our mind in the present moment…

It also depends on how strong is our attachment towards our mind or the ego, or attachment towards all the believes, educations, religious, cultures, social and family background that make up this “I”, to determine or influence us whether our mind will easily be happy or be unhappy…

A person who was very calm and happy can become very agitated or disturbed. A person who was agitated or disturbed can become very calm and happy. This is all due to the fluctuation of the different qualities in the mind…

Usually when we get the things that we agree with, that we like and want, we (our mind) will feel good and happy… And when we don’t get the things that we agree with, that we like and want, we (our mind) will feel bad and unhappy… When we get the things that we disagree with, that we don’t like and don’t want, we (our mind) will feel bad and unhappy… And when we don’t get the things that we disagree with, that we don’t like and don’t want, we (our mind) will feel good and happy…

It is about what our mind likes and dislikes, wants and doesn’t want, agreements and disagreements… It is not necessarily because of the things that we come in contact with are “good” or “not good”… As everyone has different points of views and categorizations about what is “good” and what is “not good”… And so, if we ever feel unhappy about something, it is because our mind doesn’t like and doesn’t want or disagree with the things and happenings that we come in contact with. It is not the things and happenings that make us unhappy. Like wise, if we ever feel happy about something, it is because our mind likes and wants, or agree with the things and happenings that we come in contact with. It is not the things and happenings that make us happy.

All these things and happenings have no qualities or intentions to make anyone happy or unhappy. For the same thing and same happening, some people will feel happy, but some other people will feel unhappy…

If we truly want to have sustainable happiness that lasts long, we need to work with reducing, minimizing or eliminating the qualities that give rise to bad and unhappy feelings, and increase, maximize or cultivate the qualities that give rise to good and happy feelings… As well as working on letting go of craving and clinging towards what we like and agree with, and letting go of aversion towards what we don’t like and disagree with…

And this practice is similar to letting go of the ego, as likes and dislikes, wants and don’t wants, agreements and disagreements, are all coming from the ego…

If we have a mind with lots of elements or qualities that contribute good and happy feelings, then we can say that, we are happy people with happy personality and behavior. But this won’t guarantee us pure happiness if we are still influenced by the qualities that give rise to bad and unhappy feelings that are existing in the mind together with the qualities that contribute good and happy feelings… And so, it is very important to try to eliminate all the qualities that give rise to bad and unhappy feelings.

Ultimately, if we know how to let go of the identification with the mind, then all these qualities are just qualities, they have no value or power to determine or influence us to be happy or not… There’s no need to hold onto, or identify with, or associate with, or attached to all these good and bad feelings that keep arising and passing away, as their essential nature is impermanent… It is just the mind being happy or unhappy being influenced or determined by all these qualities in this moment, it is not “I”, it is not “me”… There is no “I” or “me” being there experiencing all these impermanent feelings, but there’s an awareness that is aware of the mind is experiencing all these feelings and emotions… And this awareness is a silent witness or observer… It is unaffected, undisturbed, undetermined, uninfluenced, uncontaminated by all the modifications of the mind about good or bad, happiness or unhappiness, positive or negative…

But before we are able to be completely unattached to the mind and the ego, as long as we are still identifying with the mind and ego as “I” or “me”, and thinking that “I” am experiencing all these feelings and emotions, then we can work on countering negativities with positivities, or eliminating the “negative”, “bad” and “unhappy” elements or qualities from the mind, and replace with “positive”, “good” and “happy” elements or qualities… And be a happy person with a happy mind. Or else we can still be happy with ourselves for being an unhappy person with an unhappy mind… Or allowing ourselves (the mind) to be happy sometimes and be unhappy some other times…

Most important is that we are aware of all these good and bad feelings, and accept ourselves (the mind or ego) as we are, and have control over our actions and speech, so that we do not generate or inflict harmful, hurtful or disharmonious actions and speech onto other people or beings that we come in contact with, especially when our mind is in a disturbed or unhappy state of mind…

Sometimes when our mind is over-powered by impurities or qualities that are “unpleasant”, we are not happy, we might intentionally do or say something that will irritate or hurt some other people to feel good and excited, as that will make our ego feels strong and powerful by bullying other people or beings, by inflicting painful sorrow onto other beings physically or mentally, to get some sort of satisfaction, excitement, stimulation, or happy sensations… And sometimes we like the sensations that come from being angry and jealous. It gives the mind some sorts of stimulation or excitement… We enjoy being in a state of anger and jealousy. It makes our mind feels stimulated. We constantly looking for contradictions and arguments with other people to excite or stimulate our mind… Especially when we “think” we win over the arguments, it really empowering our ego, to feel “I” am strong, “I” am superior… Most of the time, it isn’t because we are right and intelligent, and other people don’t want to argue with us and let us “win”, but it is actually other people being emotionally matured and are smarter than us, and don’t need this kind of mind games to boost their egos, to feel strong, to feel superior…

If that is the case, we really need to seek consultations from somebody who doesn’t need to depend on hurting or harming other beings to be happy, who is self-controlled and is happy as he is or as she is… Or else when we are totally or completely over-powered by this type of behavior, we can’t control our own behavior anymore, then we might have to end up in mental institution or psychiatric hospital, and be controlled by drugs, and this will be wasting our life time and life existence to have the opportunity to do so many meaningful things for ourselves and other beings… In the beginning, we are behaving like this because we want to be strong, we want to have control over things or other people, we want to be the one in control of everything, but we end up lost control over ourselves (our mind), our sanity, our strength to be “what we want to be”… What a destructive way to try to gain control and power…

Om shanti.

Quality of life?

Quality of life is not determined by life conditions, wealth status, health status, possessions, social status, success in education or career, relationships, material and sensual enjoyments, physical conditions or abilities, and etc.Without the correct understanding about things, or not knowing the truth of things, all these impermanent good and bad qualities of names and forms do not guarantee us peace and happiness. We still can be dissatisfied and be disturbed by anger, hatred, greed, jealousy, dissatisfaction, disappointment, pride, arrogance, agitation, depression, fear and worry, and etc, as we have attachment, craving and aversion towards things that we like and dislike, things that we agree with and disagree with…

Peace of mind doesn’t come from good quality of names and forms. It is going beyond the identification with all these impermanent good and bad qualities to determine who we are or what we are… It is non-attachment towards all these names and forms. We are able to accept the reality of everything as it is, not necessarily the way that we like it to be or what we think it should be…

Only when we are not attached to, nor determined by all these impermanent qualities of names and forms of good and bad, positive and negative, happiness and suffering, as who we are or how we should feel, then we can fully make the maximum out of this life existence…

We are leading our life to do our best in what we can do with this life, this body and this mind. But if we depend on all these impermanent qualities of names and forms to determine us, then it will be the opposite, we will be lead by all these impermanent changes of names and forms…

We will never have peace nor be truly happy as we will be forever restless and dissatisfied because the nature of life and all the things that come along with life are impermanent. Even if everything is the way that we like it to be in the moment, we might feel satisfied and happy about all these good quality of names and forms that we like and want in the moment, but this satisfaction and happy feelings are not pure. It is a mixture of dissatisfaction, fear and worry. It’s because everything is impermanent, constantly changing. And we have attachment towards this good quality of things to feel good and meaningful. Due to craving and clinging towards all these good qualities of names and forms, we don’t want them to change into something else that we don’t like, but we couldn’t stop all these things to go through changes or impermanence… Eventually when all these good or happy things changed or disappeared, we will feel dissatisfied, disappointed, lost and empty…

And even if we don’t experience any things that are not good in the moment, we are still full of aversion towards bad things, bad happenings or bad conditions. We are full of fear and worry even though nothing bad is happening now. We are disturbed by imaginations and anticipations about bad things, bad happenings and bad conditions that might going to happen on us…

There is no peace no matter everything is good now and nothing bad is happening, because we cannot avoid fear and worry and dissatisfaction that derived from attachment, craving and aversion, due to being ignorant about the truth of things. If we are able to let go of craving and aversion that comes from attachment towards the qualities of names and forms, then naturally peace and happiness is here, unconditioned and undetermined by all the impermanent qualities of things…

That should be the guideline for quality of life (existence)… It is not determined by whether our living condition is abundance or scarcity (in terms of all the basic needs and wants in life, such as food, clothing, shelter, things, education, career, wealth, possessions, relationships, friendships, enjoyments, physical health and abilities, and etc…). People who live a life of luxury and enjoy high quality things don’t necessarily have a high quality of life. A monk who renounced the worldly way of life, or even a man living on the streets can have a high quality of life. People who have very good physics, health condition and physical abilities don’t necessarily have a high quality of life. People who have poor physics, health condition and physical abilities can have a high quality of life. We are able to live life to the maximum and meaningfully without being determined by the different qualities of things, conditions, situations, physical conditions and abilities, and etc, that we have or don’t have…

There is nothing wrong with people who believe in accumulation of wealth, good condition of health, good physics and abilities, success in relationships or career, material possessions and sensual enjoyments as the foundation of happiness and value of life… There is nothing wrong also with people who believe in contentment, generosity and kindness as the source of happiness and value of life… It can be anything depending on what we really want. At the end it is our own choice and believe in what we want and whether we are going to be happy with what we want and what we can achieve… Most people don’t really happy or be satisfied with what they want… Some people think having more things in life will be happy but not necessarily. Some people think having less things in life will be happy but not necessarily… It is up to us whether we are satisfied and be happy with what we have and what we don’t have in the present moment now…

Happiness and value of life is not to be judged or determined by how the society think or believe what happiness and value of life are… Our life is centered on how we feel and think, and not how other people feel and think… This is not selfishness or being unthoughtful… Everyone is responsible for themselves for how they feel and think… Even if other people intentionally throw some abusive words and actions towards us, we don’t have to be disturbed or determined by it… We can choose to move away… We can still be peaceful as we are… When we are not happy and angry about certain things, it is coming from our own mind… It’s not caused by what other people say or do. We are not happy and angry is because what other people say or do is not something that our mind can agree with or it is not how our mind like it to be…

Be confident in our own belief and our belief should not be influenced or shattered by the thinking and belief of the society…

Om shanti.

Being strong vs real strength…

We think that we need to be strong, hard and aggressive to protect ourselves from being bullied or hurt by other people… But if we are really that strong, why do we still need to “be” strong, hard and aggressive to “protect” ourselves?

That means we are not really strong. We “pretend” to be strong. This is due to low self-esteem, not trusting ourselves, and need to depend on some external “protection shields” of being hard and aggressive to “protect” or to defend ourselves from potential bullies and hurts. Because of this sense of defensiveness, we will become offensive even before other people try to “bully” or “offend” us. In fact, nobody has the intention to bully us, it is our own fear and projection, thinking that “All these people are going to bully me, and so, I have to defend myself, I need to be strong and aggressive, so that I attack them first before anyone attacks me…”

Those who are truly strong, they don’t need to show that they are strong by being hard, aggressive, offensive or defensive. Instead their whole being projects gentleness and calmness.

Real strength comes from compassion and wisdom. It is being compassionate and wise. It is being free from doubts, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, pride, arrogance, low self-esteem, aggressiveness, violence, offensiveness, defensiveness, agitation, depression, fear, worry, craving, aversion, and attachment towards qualities of names and forms… There is no fear towards other people’s harshness, aggressiveness, bully or “potential” bully, offensiveness, arrogance, jealousy, criticism, condemn, slander, unfriendliness, and etc…

We are able to tolerate, adjust, adapt, accommodate, withstand, forbear and accept…

We are able to accept the reality of the present moment now as it is, not necessarily the way that we like it to be. We are able to adjust, adapt, accommodate, withstand and forbear any uncomfortable conditions and situations that we don’t like or disagree with…

We are able to perform actions without being influenced by any impurities in the mind. We are able to perform actions to help everyone including ourselves to evolve, to be peaceful and happy…

We are able to perform all our duties and responsibilities without attachment, without judgment, comparison and expectation. We perform actions and renounce from the result or the fruit of actions…

This is real strength.

We don’t need to be hard, aggressive, offensive or defensive to “protect” ourselves from getting bully or hurt from anyone…

It doesn’t matter what are the behaviors, actions and reactions of other people towards us, it is our own ego doesn’t like or disagree with their behaviors, actions and reactions, and feels irritated and unhappy about them. It is our ego that feels that we are weak, but we don’t like to be weak and don’t want other people to think that we are weak, and so we “pretend” to be strong, by being hard and aggressive to defend ourselves from any potential “attacks” from anyone…

No one can bully or hurt us but our own mind creations of fear. It is our own mind being ignorant and influenced by impurities… It is absence of compassion and wisdom.

Whenever we feel irritated or getting angry about other people’s offensive behavior, it is ourselves being defensive… We feel offended by other people’s actions and speech… It is coming from being low self-esteem and feel being intimidated by other people’s confidence all the time. This intimidation is not coming from other people. No one can intimidate us unless we allow that to happen by being low self-esteem. It is our own low self-esteem thinking that other people are trying to press us down, or bully us, or hurt us… Even if other people have the intention to intimidate us, but it won’t affect us if we are truly confident…

If  we don’t like other people to contradict with our actions and speech, we like and want other people to agree and support our actions and speech, as we will feel irritated, frustrated and unhappy when other people don’t like and disagree with us or our actions and speech, but out of our own offensiveness and defensiveness, we constantly contradict with other people’s actions and speech, criticize and attack other people with harsh speech and aggressiveness, then how can we expect other people not to be offended by our own offensiveness and aggressiveness? And when other people feel offended by our own offensiveness and aggressiveness, and react by being aggressive towards us, and we criticize them as “aggressive people” who bully and hurt us, and blame them for causing us painful sorrow and unhappiness?

When we start to attack other people with aggressiveness to show that “I am stronger than you, and I won’t let you bully or hurt me…”, then make sure that we will take full responsibility towards the consequences of our aggressive behavior… Don’t blame other people for being aggressive towards us.

And if there’s somebody is being aggressive towards us even though we didn’t offend anyone intentionally, we can choose to be gentle and remain calm, and move away… Allow this person to express what he or she wants to express, and let him or her be irritated and unhappy for being aggressive. We don’t have to disturb our own peace and happiness by throwing back aggressiveness towards him or her… Or we can choose to feel offended and start to be aggressive and offensive to defend ourselves and be irritated, frustrated and unhappy.

Om shanti.

Why do we practice yoga?

Yoga practice is for all types of people or beings with different characteristics, personalities, believes, motives and expectations or desires…

Whatever we think yoga is, whatever we want yoga to be, or however we want to be benefited from yoga practice, whether for selfish intention or for selfless intention, it is fine. Yoga is there for us for anything that we desire (what we want) or do not desire (what we don’t want)…

Some people do the yoga asana exercises as a fitness exercise to look good and feel good; for sustaining and improving physical and mental health and fitness; for slimming or to put on weight; for countering illnesses; for easier breathing; for detoxification remove toxic substances from our system; for countering stress; for better quality of sleep; for rehabilitation from physical and emotional injuries; for having better body alignments and posture; for over-all beauty and sense of well-being; for personal satisfaction and achievements; for passing time; for removing boredom or loneliness; for building self-esteem or confidence; for coming out from certain addictions; for healing purposes; for exploring and unfolding “things” beyond what our mind can perceive; for playing with the energy fields in our body; for attaining calmness and peacefulness; for relaxation; for creativity; for self-image; for socializing; for finding the better half; for pleasing somebody; for humanity; for ourselves; for the world; for being able to stand on our hands and our head, or to be able to bring our feet towards our head from behind; or mainly out of curiosity to try it out, since it is quite a popular “thing to do” and “topic to gossip about”; for fun; or just to do “something”, and etc…

Some people do yoga asana for the purpose of balancing, purifying and calming the energy fields; stimulating and energizing the energy centres; unblocked any energy blockage; channeling the energy for higher spiritual realization; generate and conserving energy; changing the habits of the mind; changing how the mind feels and thinks; developing concentration, awareness and mindfulness; developing non-identification with the body and mind, letting go of the ego; letting go of judgment, comparison and expectation; letting go of pride and arrogance; letting go of discontentment and greed; letting go of craving and aversion; letting go of frustration, anger and hatred; developing patience, forbearance, non-attachment, adjustment, adaptation, accommodation, cheerfulness, vitality, acceptance, and etc; being in the present moment now, accepting the present moment now as it is, accepting ourselves as we are in the present moment now as it is; letting go of physical, mental and emotional tensions; letting go of jealousy, dissatisfaction, disappointment, anxiety, agitation, depression, negative thinking, low self-esteem, fear and worry; removing restlessness; purifying the mind remove impurities, and etc…, as part of the yoga practice, to prepare the body and mind for meditation to contemplate on the Truth of who we really are, to realize selflessness or compassion, and be free from ignorance and suffering that derived from ignorance, and realize eternal and unconditional peace, transcending birth and death, worldly existence, names and forms, qualities and dualities…

Beside the yoga asana as part of yoga practice, yoga practice consists of but not limiting to – observing ethical moral conducts (Yama & Niyama); restraining wants and desires; renunciation from worldly activities; renounce from the fruit of actions; restricting senses inputs; controlling the thoughts, actions and speech; performing Japas, Bhajans, Kirtans, chantings and prayers; performing Kriyas; study and contemplating on the Yoga Scriptures or the teachings of yoga; practice loving kindness, forgiveness, tolerance, honesty, truthfulness, simplicity, compassion, wisdom, dispassion, detachment, solitude, silence, austerity, celibacy, selfless service, faith and devotion towards the Truth and the universal consciousness, breath control – Pranayama, withdrawal of the senses from the objects of the senses – Pratyahara, concentration – Dharana, meditation – Dhyana, and annihilation of the mind – Samadhi…

There are also many other unlimited intentions, motives and expectations in people who practice yoga or just the yoga asana exercises, such as :-

To teach yoga exercises as livelihood, or to start yoga school(s) or yoga centre(s) as a money making business, to attain wealth, name and fame, or mainly to share the greatness of yoga with many other beings…

To train the body and mind to be able to do some artistic or acrobatic moves for show performances, or as personal achievement and satisfaction, or for entertainment, or for competition, or for taking photos or making videos to share with others or to make some profits, or for any other reasons…

To enhance memories, brains activities, mind’s clarity, productivity and creativity…

To improve relationship, quality of life and quality of work…

To be able to sleep better, to balance up imbalanced hormones, to deal with everyday stress and frustration…

To tap the power of thoughts to make our wishes come true…

To let go of physical, mental or emotional pain, hurts and suffering…

To be a better person or human being…

To be able to say “no” without feeling guilty…

To be open-minded…

To be able to receive and give…

To be able to love and receive love…

To accept ourselves…

To be ourselves…

To love ourselves…

To be kind and compassionate towards ourselves and other beings…

To be what we want to be even if we think we are not “good” at it…

To be happy…

To be truly confident…

To know the truth of suffering…

To know the truth of existence…

To know who we really are…

To connect with the source in us…

To be pure…

To be free, to be liberated…

For humanity and world peace…

Or just be…

Om shanti.

Audio – The practice of yoga

This is a mp3 audio file of one of the talks about the practice of yoga at the beginning of the yoga class.

http://www.yogaretreatmalaysia.com/yogatalk.mp3

Please click on the link above to download the mp3 file.

Om shanti.

Being at the present moment

Before we start to learn any physical movements in performing any yoga practices, we must know what is yoga all about. All the yoga practices like asana, pranayama, concentration, meditation, yama, niyama, selfless service, chanting and etc, are there to help us to develop self-awareness and non-attachment.

The purpose of the asana practice is not about trying to achieve a perfect body, perfect strength and flexibility, or trying to go beyond the physical limitations.

The asana practice and pranayama, the breathing exercises are there to influence the energy, balance the energy, purify the energy, conserve the energy, stimulate the energy centers, restore the energy, and unblock any energy blockages in our system. This will directly influence the state of the mind and make the mind free from tensions, being calm and balanced.

When the mind is calm and balanced, wisdom will arise. We will know the truth of ourselves and everything else. When we know the truth, all kinds of ill-wills, ignorance and suffering will disappear. The world is still being what it is, but we will not be influenced by the world anymore whether to be happy or unhappy.

The very basic practice is to learn how to be at the present moment, observe the present moment, accept the present moment, and let go of the past instantly without attachment. Not project into the future. Not being disturbed or affected or influenced by the past experiences or the future imaginations.

Not being disturbed, or affected, or influenced by what the mind perceives through the senses of what we see, hear, smell, taste, touch and think. Remain equanimous, calm and at peace not being disturbed by all the happenings and experiences in the body, in the mind, in our life, in the surrounding, and in the world.

We are not the body, the body is not us and it doesn’t belong to us. We are not the mind, the mind is not us and it doesn’t belong to us either. The body and the mind is subject to impermanence. It is not in our control to want it to be the way that we like it to be. By understand this, we stop attaching to the body and the mind. We truly appreciate and be grateful of having this body and the mind for us to be here to experience so many things, to learn, to share, and to realize our true nature is not different from the universal consciousness. We take good care of this body and the mind without attachment, so that we can fully make good use of this life existence to be in the world to do so many things and to perform selfless service for ourselves and for all other beings.

This body and this mind doesn’t belong to us and what to say about relationships and all other things in the world that we can attain? We cannot control all these things to be the way that we want it to be. All these things are subject to impermanence. They will change and sooner or later they will be apart from us. we can only appreciate and enjoy while we are still being with all these things, temporarily. Once they have changed or gone, we have to let them go. If we couldn’t let go, that will create so much suffering and unhappiness in us.

Not attach to the body and the mind. Not attach to the thoughts, feelings and sensations that come from the body and the mind. Not attach to the likes and dislikes that come from the ego. Not attach to whatever the mind perceives through the senses. Not attach to what is happening in our life and in the world.

That is real non-attachment. There is no judgment, no comparison, no competition, no expectation towards ourselves or other people and things. All these judgment, comparison, competition and expectation come from the ego.

It doesn’t mean that we become selfish and doesn’t care for the world, and runaway from our duty and responsibility just like there are many people misunderstanding about the terms of non-attachment. It doesn’t mean that we ignore or deny the world, or don’t care for ourselves and other beings in the world.

We care a lot for ourselves and for all other beings, out of great compassion without selfish intention. We can perform so many beneficial actions for the well-being of ourselves and other beings. We can do whatever is possible to help the world to evolve and to become a better place. But without attachment. Without the intention to help ourselves, to help other beings or to help the world. Intention-less. Without the expectation that we or other beings or the world be will benefited from our compassionate actions. Non-expectation.

Just like the sun, the air, the water, the earth and the space. They just give, provide and support all living and non-living beings unlimitedly, unconditionally, unceasingly, tirelessly, inexhaustibly without discrimination of good or bad beings, ignorant or wise beings, pure or impure beings, happy or unhappy beings, ancient or modern beings… They embrace all and everything.

Without intention, they give. Without expectation, they give. Without attachment, they give…

That is selflessness, compassion, non-attachment…

We need to be able to take care of ourselves, know how to love and be kind and compassionate towards ourselves unselfishly, then only we can take care of others and will know how to love, be kind and compassionate towards all other beings. If we ourselves are not peaceful, not happy, full of selfishness, anger and hatred, don’t even like or love our own self, then how are we going to help others and share love, happiness and peace with others?

Without the expectation for the result of all our actions. Renounce the fruit of action. We perform all the actions that need to be done, but let the nature or the universal consciousness to take care of the result.

Just like shooting the arrow from the bow in our hand. We aim the arrow to the target with full attention, full sincerity, full effort. And then we let go of the arrow. Once we let go of the arrow, it is not in our control anymore whether the arrow will hit the target or not. There might be strong wind blew the arrow to the side. Maybe the target fall onto the ground due to certain reason. Maybe a bird just came in between the arrow and the target unexpectedly and got hit by the arrow…

And this is what we say, do our duty and carry out our responsibility sincerely with full attention and effort but without the identification as the doer of the action (merely performing action in serving the universal consciousness selflessly) and without attaching to the fruit of the action. Let the universal consciousness to take care of the result.

Without the identification as the doer of all these actions, this is actionless or more precise, inaction in action. This will stop the wheel of karma, the wheel of cause and effect, the wheel of birth and death.

Intentionless, non-expectation of the result, renounce the fruit of action, non-identification as the doer of the action. This is non-attachment that we are practicing all the time unceasingly in our heart, in our life, from moment to moment.

Observing everything at the present moment now as it is. Accept everything in the present moment now as it is. But at the same time allow changes or impermanence to happen, without resistance. Allow the opportunity for ourselves and everything to evolve, to improve and to become better, but without attachment, clinging, craving and aversion.

Without the intention to make things better, we are making things better. Without expectation for the result, we bring love, peace and happiness into people’s hearts. Without fear, worry, dissatisfaction and disappointment, we perform all our duty and responsibility. Free from tensions and unhappiness.

This will free us from the condition of the body and the mind, the condition of our life existence and the condition of the world that we are living in. The body and the mind is still being what it is, the life is still being what it is, the world is still being what it is, but we are not being disturbed, or affected, or influenced by all these things. There is no more fear, worry, doubt, irritation, frustration, dissatisfaction, disappointment, craving, aversion, unhappiness and ill-will etc…

When we are free from all tensions, the mind is calm and at peace. Wisdom will arise within us. With the presence of wisdom, ignorance disappears. We will know the truth of everything and able to accept the reality of everything as it is. We will become fearless and worry-less.

Without fear and worry, true happiness is here. Long and lasting peacefulness that is not subject to impermanence, is here. This true happiness and peacefulness is beyond the three states of the mind (actionless and dullness, action and passionate, calmness and lightness).

The states of the mind is subject to impermanence. They will change and disappear. But true happiness and peacefulness which is within ourselves all the time, they never disappear or change. They are always here in us. But when we are being disturbed by all the impurities in the mind, we are disconnected with this happiness and peacefulness which is our true nature. It is our true Self. It is not something that we attain from the outside, nor something that is given to us by somebody.

Our true Self is nothing but love, peace, compassion and wisdom. All these nature are not a quality. They are always here from before life existence, during and after life existence. They are always here unaffected by impermanence, qualities of good and bad, positive and negative, pleasant and unpleasant. They are always here uninfluenced by elements and energy. They are always here undisturbed by whatever the mind perceives through the senses, undisturbed by the thoughts, feelings and sensations, undisturbed by all the names and forms.

It is beginningless and endless. It is beyond birth and death. It is beyond name and form. It is beyond happiness and unhappiness.

It is pure existence, pure consciousness, pure knowledge, pure bliss.

If we know our true Self, we will be free from all the impurities that arise in the mind.

Nothing in the world can guarantee us true and lasting happiness. Not the knowledge, wealth, health, beauty, youthfulness, strength, mobility, relationship, success and achievement that we can attain in the world with this body and mind. It’s because the happiness that comes from all these things are subject to impermanence, it will change and disappear. They are dissatisfaction in nature from the beginning and until the end of life existence.

We can never be satisfied with the present knowledge, wealth, health, beauty, youthfulness, strength, mobility, relationship, success and achievement, because they will change and these changes are not in our control whether they will be the way that we want them to be. The more we try to resist or avoid impermanence, or try to stop impermanence to happen, the more disappointed, dissatisfied and unhappy we are.

When we understand the truth of impermanence, we will stop looking for momentary satisfaction or happiness that comes from things that are subject to impermanence. If we do, we will be disappointed and frustrated all the time.

Be grateful and thankful for the existing good things that we have now and appreciate every little good things and opportunity for us to evolve and to perform selfless service to serve all.

And what is the one thing that is not changing, not subject to impermanence?

Our true Self. Eternal, full, whole and content. Nameless and formless. Beginningless and endless. No good, no bad. No positive, no negative. No happiness, no unhappiness. No craving, no aversion. No suffering, no cause of suffering, no path of remove suffering, no end of suffering. No ignorance, no end of ignorance. No birth, no growth, no decaying, no illness, no pain, no old age, no death. No body, no mind. No eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no skin, no thinking. No thoughts, no feelings, no sensations. No pleasant, no unpleasant. No success, no failure. No gain, no loss. No superiority, no inferiority. No existence, no non-existence. No creation, no destruction.

Realize our true Self. Go back to our true Self. Take refuge and rest in peace eternally in our Self.

How to go back to our true Self? Stop identifying with the body and the mind. Stop identifying with the ego. Rise above the ego. Be stronger than the ego. Not let the ego controlling us. Practice real non-attachment every moment in ourselves, at sleep, at awake, at lying, at standing, at sitting, at walking, at moving, at non-moving… This is real meditation.

Contemplating on the nameless and formless Self without attachment, craving, aversion, intention and expectation. Not attach to the mind. Constantly being aware of what is happening in the mind. Observing or witnessing the mind as it is. Go beyond the mind and not lost within the mind.

Without the mind, there is no perception of names and forms. There is no sights, no sounds, no smells, no taste, to touch, no thinking. What is happiness and unhappiness? What is good and bad? What is positive and negative? What is ignorance and the end of ignorance?

Only pure love, peace, compassion and wisdom present in the present moment now.

Realize our true Self of who we really are. We are not this, we are not that. We are who we are. Beyond all the qualities. Beyond all the names and forms. Beyond the body and the mind. Beyond the perception of the mind. Beyond all states of the mind.

We are not good, we are not bad. We are just who we are.

There is no past, no future. The only existence and reality is now, from moment to moment. The past and the future doesn’t exist at the present moment now. Once we understand this, time disappears, it doesn’t exist.

Keep the mind concentrate at the present moment now, not wanders to the past memories or to the future imaginations. There is no fear and worry at this present moment now. Fear and worry only exist when the mind wanders to the past or to the future.

* * * * * * * *

Yoga is not about the ability of the physical body to perform such and such actions. It is about able to observe everything as it is and accept the reality of things as it is. It is not about challenging the body to go beyond its physical limitation.

Physical ability, strength and flexibility cannot give us true and lasting happiness or peace but only momentary fleeting satisfaction about our own egoistic worldly image that we built for ourselves.

If our happiness and confidence is based on physical appearance, good health, ability, strength and flexibility, we will be so tensed trying to maintain the appearance, good health, ability, strength and flexibility in order to keep our ego satisfied and feel good, and to upkeep our false confidence about ourselves through all these impermanent names and forms. And when impermanence strikes, all these things will change and be gone no matter how much we want to retain them. We will be so disappointed, frustrated and unhappy.

* * * * * * * *

Yoga is being aware of everything without attachment, clinging, craving and aversion… Free from tensions, anxiety, fear, worry, ignorance, ill-will…

And thus, peacefulness is right here, at this present moment now, where we are beyond the mind and the perception of the mind…

Beyond all the good and bad qualities.

Beyond duality.

That is yoga.

Peace to all.