Love dispassionately, desirelessly, compassionately and unconditionally

Whether the past experiences were something good or not good, pleasant or unpleasant, happy or unhappy, desirable or undesirable, let them go.

Whether the future will be okay or not okay, let it be.

Do our best, perform all our duties and responsibilities without forcing ourselves beyond our limitation, and let go the fruit of action.

Live in the present, and whether this present is good or not good, this is also impermanent.

Live as we are, without attachment, identification, craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation.

Love everyone as they are, without attachment, identification, craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation.

Love ourselves, be free from clinging and craving towards love and kindness from others. Allow others to love and be kind to us, or not.

If one knows how to take care oneself, which is taking care of one’s mind and loving oneself, one can love others dispassionately, desirelessly, compassionately and unconditionally. One stops hurting oneself and others, especially those whom we think we love and whom are in a relationship with us.

Be free.

Observe all the names and forms as they are

The worldly restless impure egoistic minds keep looking for stimulation of inputs and outputs.

It doesn’t like to observe names and forms as they are.

It projects quality and duality onto all the perceived names and forms based on its likes and dislikes influencing by its thinking and belief.

Through remembering what it perceived or what it knows, it judges, compares and expects.

It clings, craves, rejects, agrees, disagrees, wants, doesn’t want, creates and destroys.

It has many forms of desires and great ambitions.

There’s aspiration and intention to perform actions and inactions motivated by its desires and ambitions.

It has ‘passionate’ aspiration and intention to ‘share’ what it knows and has, and ‘share’ what others know and have.

There’s nothing wrong with that, just that the mind is not free.

Even the mind that projects ‘good’ and ‘kind’ quality onto itself, desires to be ‘good and kind’ and thinking ‘positively and optimistically’, and performing good and kind actions to benefit the world, is not necessarily be free from selfishness. The one who thinks “I am not selfish. I want to be unselfish.” and recognizing other people are being selfish, is not necessarily be free from selfishness.

“I want the world to be good and I want to make the world good, so that I and my loved ones can have a good world to live in and have a good life.”

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to think and believe, and what they want to do with their life existence.

Silent the restless mind, abandon ‘positive thinking’ and ‘optimism’, be free from desires, and even the desire to be free from suffering, if one truly wishes to realize yoga.

Positive thinking and optimism is just an counteract for ‘negative thinking’ and ‘hopelessness’. It’s not the truth nor the end of suffering.

If ‘God’ exists, ‘God’ doesn’t have intention to make anyone or anything to be good or bad, positive or negative, happy or unhappy.

There’s neither positive nor negative, neither good nor bad, neither happiness nor unhappiness, neither elation nor depression.

Dharma doesn’t need to be shared, if one knows Dharma.

Peace and love doesn’t need to be shared, if one knows peace and love.

Be free from aspiration and intention, if one truly wants to realize yoga.

Don’t be ambitious.

‘Sharing’, ‘connecting’, ‘giving’ and ‘receiving’ are reflections of separateness.

‘Sharing’, ‘connecting’, ‘giving’ and ‘receiving’ don’t exist in oneness.

Who is sharing with whom? Who is connecting with whom? Who is giving? Who is receiving?

Be free.

Yoga retreat is not about running away from the reality that we don’t like and don’t want

Not running away from or denying, but confronting the reality that is not the way that we would like it to be, and being aware of this life existence, the world, the society and the surrounding environment is not necessarily ‘all good’ or perfectly the way that we would like it to be, or the way that we think it should be, with wisdom and compassion, without aversion or fear towards the reality that we think is ‘not all good’ or ‘imperfect’ or ‘challenging’, is our yoga practice.

Living in the world as we are, being aware of all kinds of uncertainty, insecurity, unrest, cautiousness, defects or imperfection in all aspects, and knowing how to remain equanimous and be in peace, without fear and worry, without being over-powered or determined by the reality that is not necessarily the way that we would like it to be, is what yoga practice is about.

This isn’t about trying to be ‘strong’. ‘Strength’ has a limit and is conditional. But wisdom and compassion is unconditional and unlimited.

Joining a yoga retreat is not about running away from the reality that we don’t like and don’t want, to be in a ‘safe and peaceful place’ without ‘bad people’ or ‘things that we don’t like and don’t want’, and be surrounded by ‘good people’ who are like-minded and doing things that make us feel good and happy.

People might think that yoga practice or yoga retreat should be conducted in a ‘special place’ or ‘out of the world place’, free from any ‘bad energy’ or ‘bad elements’, thinking that ‘yoga retreat’ means moving away from the imperfect world or running away from everyday life’s duties, responsibilities and cares, to have a few days or few weeks of ‘intentionally induced perfect form of reality’ of ‘peacefulness’ or ‘calmness’ or ‘problemless’. No doubt that being in a desirable ‘reality’ will give momentary relief or peace, but this doesn’t help us to be free from ‘fear’, ‘disturb’, ‘restlessness’ and ‘suffering’ when we go back to our everyday life living among the society or the world that is not necessarily the way that we would like it to be, that is not in our control to be the way that we would like it to be.

A real yoga retreat allows us to learn how to live in the world as it is, performing all our actions, duties and responsibilities without attachment or identification or expectation, without fear and worry. It’s learning about the mind and all its modification, about suffering and the cause of suffering, about how to transcend all kinds of ‘suffering’ or ‘restlessness’ or ‘impurities’ or ‘fear’, and how to confront the reality of life existence in this present moment that is not necessarily the way that we would like it to be, or the way that we think it should be, without fear and worry, and have peace wherever we are, unconditionally, being undetermined by all the impermanent changes of the qualities of names and forms.

Yoga, or unconditional peace, being free from ignorance and egoism, is not limited to a particular ‘place’, or ‘space’, or ‘activity’, or ‘condition’, or ‘quality’, or ‘name and form’.

Being positive and optimistic, denying or ignoring all kinds of ‘ignorant and unpleasant behavior and happenings’ in the world, in the society, or in the surrounding environment, and persistently thinking and believing that everyone are good, there’s no bad people; everything is good, there’s nothing bad; life is all good, there’s nothing bad; the world is all good, there’s nothing bad, and etc, doesn’t change the reality that we don’t like or don’t want to be the way that we would like it to be.

It’s like sweeping all the dust and rubbish and hide them under the cupboards and sofas, so that they are not in sight, it doesn’t mean that the room is all cleaned. And no matter how many times we sweep the floor, and throw out all the dust and rubbish out of the room, there will always be dust and rubbish accumulating here and there from time to time, unless everyone who enter the room stop bringing in dust and rubbish into the room. This is the same as looking after the mind. We do our best to ‘clean up’ the mind regularly and persistently, but impurities will still exist from time to time, until the root cause of impurities (ignorance and egoism) is uprooted completely.

When there’s no problem, there’s no need to anticipate a problem. When there’s a problem, confront it, without fear and worry.

Be free.

Take good care of the body and mind?

Learning and practicing yoga actually is also about learning how to take good care of the overall well-being of the body and the mind in everyday life, but without attachment and identification towards the impermanent condition of the body and the mind.

It’s not just about doing some yoga asana and pranayama and meditation practice for a couple of hours a day regularly as a form of taking good care of the body and the mind, but more importantly in the rest of the time in everyday life, when the body and mind are not performing physical postures, breathing exercises, concentration and meditation practice, we need to know how to live in simplicity, how to conserve energy, when to take rest, when to work more, when to work less, when to eat more, when to eat less, how to relax or let go, how to stop generate unnecessary tension into the body and mind, how to stop pushing the body and mind beyond its limitation, and etc, to truly taking good care of the overall well-being of the body and mind.

Out of laziness, or stinginess, or particular obsessive compulsive disorder, or great ambition, or sociable personality, or caring personality, or lack of self-control and self-discipline, or some other issues, people might not rest well, eat well, work well, or relax properly, and the body and mind are either being in a state of lethargic or agitation due to accumulated strain and stress or restlessness, even though people try to do yoga asana and pranayama and meditation practice regularly. It’s like, now we sweep and mop the floor, and then, we bring more dirt and dust onto the floor, and repeat this process again and again.

When the condition of the body and mind be affected by the improper or imbalanced way of living, the mind becomes tired, cloudy, unfocused, short-tempered, depressed, irritated, impatient, aggressive or anxious easily. This will affect the yoga asana and pranayama and meditation practice, as well as the ongoing function of all the support systems in the body, the sleep quality, the mood, the thinking faculty, the clarity of the mind, the physical mobility, the health condition, the energy level, and the relationships with everyone and everything.

Learn how to live a simple yet balanced lifestyle is as important as doing the yoga asana and pranayama and meditation practice regularly. Simple yet balanced lifestyle has nothing to do with the commercial products of branded and trendy hype of ‘luxurious organic living’, or ‘organic clean eating’, or ‘calorie counting eating’, or ‘precise daily consumption limits of different food intake’, or ‘health and fitness products and supplements’, but it’s about incorporating the teachings of yoga of ‘Do our best’, non-attachment, non-identification, desireless, dispassion, right discrimination, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment, non-comparison, non-expectation, renunciation, seclusion, solitude, silence, concentration or one-pointedness, contentment, generosity, forgiveness, patience, determination, perseverance, acceptance, adjustment, adaptation and accommodation into everyday life activities, to stop or minimize accumulation of unnecessary tension into the systems.

If one knows how to live a simple yet balanced lifestyle, if one knows how to conserve energy and doesn’t put unnecessary stress or strain into the body and mind, there’s no tension accumulated, and there’s no need to go anywhere or do anything to release tension, as there’s none.

“I am so busy and so stressed and so tired. I have not enough time to eat or sleep properly. I have so many friends and relatives. I need to care for so many people in my life. I have so many personal and social functions I need to attend. There’s so many things I want to do for myself and for everyone. My mind can’t turn-off. I would love a holiday but I will need time and energy for it, as I would be exhausted after coming back from holiday doing all the holiday activities and eating so much. I know I need complete rest. I need to stop doing things, physically and mentally. But then I will feel so guilty and unhappy if I didn’t manage to do my fitness workout everyday, if I didn’t meet up with my friends to stay connect, if I wasn’t there for my friends who need me to listen to their problems and complaints, if I didn’t achieve all my daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals. So how?”

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to do with their life or how they spend their time and energy.

Be free.

Joyful and peaceful as it is, unconditionally

There’s nothing wrong and it’s very common that most minds will feel good, happy, contented and peaceful when the mind experiences something that will make it feels good, happy, contented and peaceful, or when the mind comes in contact with qualities of names and forms that it likes and wants and doesn’t come in contact with certain qualities of names and forms that it doesn’t like and doesn’t want. And the mind won’t feel good, happy, contented or peaceful, or it will feel bad, unhappy, discontented and not peaceful when the mind doesn’t experience something that will induce good, happy and peaceful feelings in the mind, or when the mind doesn’t come in contact with the qualities of names and forms that it likes and wants, and when the mind comes in contact with the qualities of names and forms that it doesn’t like and doesn’t want.

The mind that is not free from ignorance and egoism will always be conditioned or determined by the presence or absence of certain qualities of names and forms or all the mind perceptions of names and forms through the senses to feel good, happy, contented and peaceful, or not.

The mind that is free from ignorance and egoism will be joyful, contented and peaceful as it is, unconditionally, being uninfluenced and undetermined by all the perceptions or experiences of different qualities of names and forms that are impermanent. There’s no fear or grief when this mind is approaching death or when someone who is related or closed to this mind is approaching death. This freedom doesn’t come from the momentary effects of drugs or intoxication numbing the mind, but coming from the realization of the truth of life existence of the body and mind. There’s no clinging onto any names and forms, including existence and non-existence. Those who are not free from ignorance and egoism couldn’t comprehend this and they will perceive or recognize this as a form of ‘coldness’ or ‘heartlessness’ or ‘abnormality’ or ‘inhuman’ or ‘wrong’. That’s their freedom of life and thinking.

If there is thinking or identification of “I am happy and peaceful because …” or “I am not happy or peaceful because …” Then know that this mind is not free. It doesn’t matter if the reason of being happy and peaceful is ‘something is good’, or ‘everything is good’, or ‘life is good’, or ‘health is good’, or ‘the state of mind is good’, or ‘relationship is good’, or ‘children are good’, or ‘job is good’, or ‘people are nice’, or ‘the world is good and peaceful’, or ‘yoga practice is good’, or ‘meditation is good’, ‘the teacher is good’, ‘the class is good’, or ‘weather is good’, or ‘food is good’, and so on.

There’s nothing wrong with “being grateful and thankful, contented and happy when there is something good”, but the mind is still not free yet. When “there is nothing good” or “there is something not good or something bad”, but the mind is still peaceful as it is, then this mind is free.

There’s no “I am happy and peaceful because …” or “I am not happy or peaceful because …” when the mind is free from ignorance and egoism. This egoless/selfless mind itself is unconditional peace. It doesn’t need to feel or be peaceful.

The liberated mind being free from ignorance and egoism and suffering is unconditioned or undetermined by any qualities of names and forms to be happy and peaceful, or not, being aware of all the impermanent changes of all the perceptions of names and forms, without attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, judgment or expectation, allowing all the names and forms to be there as they are, to be what they are, but all these names and forms have no intention or quality to induce happiness and peacefulness or unhappiness and restlessness, without intention to change or control all the names and forms to be the way that ‘I’ like it to be, or the way that ‘I’ think it should be.

It’s the ego that wants to feel good, happy, contented and peaceful, and doesn’t want to feel bad, unhappy, discontented and not peaceful. It’s the ego that has lots of ceaseless desires of craving and aversion waiting to be gratified in order to attain good feelings and the sense of happiness, or to escape bad feelings and the sense of unhappiness. If the desires of craving and aversion are being gratified, the ego feels good, happy, contented and peaceful. If the desires of craving and aversion are not being gratified, the ego feels bad, unhappy, discontented and not peaceful. The mind is free as it is, when the ego is annihilated.

To know the truth or the root cause of suffering or unhappiness is neither complicated nor difficult. But to have the willpower to be able to free the mind from ignorance and egoism seems to be very challenging for many. And it’s okay. That’s why the yoga practice is here, without judgment or expectation, keep practicing non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment, non-comparison and non-expectation to be free from ignorance and egoism.

Contemplate on this, and be free.

If people don’t like or disagree with or don’t want this unconditional peace and happiness, but they prefer to be determined by the gratification of desires of craving and aversion through coming in contact with or non-coming in contact with certain qualities of names and forms that they like or dislike and want or don’t want to feel good, happy, contented and peaceful, or not, and if people prefer to take drugs or intoxication to get momentary relieving effect to deal with unhappiness, discontentment, disappointment, hurt, guilt, regret, grief, depression, painful sorrow, meaninglessness, loneliness, fear or suffering, that’s their freedom.