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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be free.

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Positive thinking is not the goal of yoga practice or the end of suffering

We don’t teach positive thinking in our yoga classes and retreats, although for those who are under the influence of ‘negative thinking’, whom are being very negative towards everything that they perceive, we would encourage them to develop ‘positive thinking’ to counter the ‘negative thinking’. But that is not the goal of yoga practice.

In the beginning of yoga practice, when the mind is still influenced or over-powered by what the mind believes or recognizes as negative names and forms, we need to develop positive thinking to counter any negative thinking, but that is not what yoga is about – liberation from ignorance or the end of suffering.

When people try to be positive, think positive and stay positive, it’s because these minds are not free from ignorance and are being ignorant of the truth of names and forms. The mind perceives or recognizes quality of ‘negative’ in the objects of names and forms projected from the mind based on what the mind believes as something ‘negative’. The perception of negativity is still existing in the mind, but the mind tries to push away or deny the perception of names and forms that it believes as ‘negative’, and tries to convince itself that everything is ‘positive’ and good. It’s denying and running away from the reality that it perceives and believes as ‘negative’ that it doesn’t like and doesn’t want.

The mind is not free constantly trying to ‘turn’ everything that it recognizes as ‘negative’ into something that the mind believes as ‘positive’. But as long as the mind still thinks and believes that there’s quality of ‘negative’ and ‘positive’, and it doesn’t want something ‘negative’, but it wants everything ‘positive’, the mind will be forever restless as it tries to maintain ‘positive’.

Everything is just what it is, it is neither positive nor negative. But the mind projects the qualities of ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ onto everything that it perceives based on what the mind thinks and believes as ‘positive’ and ‘negative’.

Trying to stay positive is not freedom at all. The mind is not free, constantly being in a state of craving towards quality of ‘positive’ and aversion towards quality of ‘negative’.

In the end, we will see that be positive, think positive and stay positive is not the end of suffering.

Yoga is going beyond what the mind believes and recognizes as ‘positive’ and ‘negative’. It is awareness being aware of the perception of names and forms without projecting qualities of ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ onto all the objects of names and forms, and allows everything to be what it is – neither positive nor negative.

The realization of non-duality, or attributelessness, or non-separateness, or oneness is real freedom that allows the mind to be in peace, being free from restlessness.

There’s no need to generate clinging or craving towards what the mind used to believe as ‘positive’, and there’s no need to generate aversion towards what the mind used to believe as ‘negative’. The mind will be free from restlessness coming from aversion towards quality of ‘negative’, or fear of being negative, and be free from clinging or craving towards quality of ‘positive’.

There’s no need to think and stay positive to counter negativity as ‘negative’ and ‘positive’ doesn’t exist in the objects of names and forms. They only exist in the mind when the mind is under the influence of ignorance. There’s no need to turn ‘negative’ into ‘positive’, when the mind is free.

Om shanti.

Param Vairagya – Absolute Dispassion – Neither attachment nor non-attachment

When all the duality of

Good and bad

Right and wrong

Positive and negative

Happiness and suffering

Light and darkness

Gain and loss

Praise and condemn

Success and failure

Appropriateness and inappropriateness

Norm and abnormal

Sane and insane

Birth and death

Are not different from one another

All fear and worry vanished

There’s neither craving nor aversion

There’s no attachment towards either side

Detachment doesn’t exist

There’s neither attachment nor non-attachment

Neither positive nor negative, everything is just what it is…

The teaching of yoga and Buddhism is about seeing the truth of things as they are, and allow all the names and forms to be what they are, without generate clinging or craving towards what the mind wants to think and believe as positive, good and happiness, without generate aversion towards what the mind wants to think and believe as negative, bad and unhappiness.

Everything is just what it is. It is neither positive nor negative, neither good nor bad, neither happiness nor unhappiness.

The truth is still the truth, whether we know about it, or not; whether we like it, or not; whether we agree with it, or not. Everything is subject to impermanence. This life existence comprising the body and mind is subject to changes, discomfort, old age, sickness, weakness and death, or decomposition. The truth doesn’t change according to whether our mind is being positive or negative, good or bad, happy or unhappy.

Being super positive, super good and super happy, while denying something that the mind recognizes as negative, bad and unhappiness, won’t bring the dead back to life, nor prevent the body and mind from experiencing pain or unpleasantness, or else there won’t be painful sorrow exists in the world due to losing someone whom we love very much. It won’t make other beings to be free from negativity, anger and hatred, or stop being bad and unhappy.

The positive and optimistic people need to be positive and optimistic shows that they do perceive and recognize something as negative, bad and unhappiness, but they want to convince that everything that they are going to experience will be all positive, good and happy, and they don’t want to experience something that they perceive and recognize as negative, bad and unhappiness. They are not free from the perception of duality, craving and aversion. Or else, they don’t need to be positive and optimistic at all, if truly there is no negative, bad and unhappiness existing in their mind perception.

Impermanent changes are always there. ‘Good’ things are changing. ‘Bad’ things are changing. They change due to their respective cause and at their own pace. If somebody who claims to be having the ‘super mind power’ to influence and change something to be all good and nothing bad, then the world is already all good and nothing bad.

There are many ‘good’ people everywhere in the world always wishing or praying for the best and goodness in oneself and in others. It’s very good, but it doesn’t stop ‘bad’, ‘miserable’ and ‘undesirable’ things and happenings continue to be existing here and there. It doesn’t make all kinds of suffering and painful sorrow to disappear from everyone’s life. It doesn’t remove ignorance and egoism in all beings. Or else, every beings in the world will be selfless, peaceful, wise and compassionate.

Practicing yoga or Buddhism is not about to be positive and optimistic, but to see the truth of things as they are (whether it is something pleasant or unpleasant, whether we like or dislike, agree or disagree with it), without attachment, craving or aversion, without identification with the impermanent body and mind to be who we are, without being affected or determined by all the impermanent qualities of name and form to be peaceful, happy, confident and to feel meaningful, or not.

Before we see the truth of things as they are, we need to stay positive and to counter negative thinking with positive thinking, so that we won’t be ‘drowned’ by negative thinking. When we see the truth of things as they are, there is no need to be positive or to have positive thinking.

Be free from ignorance, egoism and all the modifications of the egoism is the ultimate freedom. It’s not about denying or keep away from something that the mind perceives and recognizes as negative, bad and unhappiness, or changing something that we don’t want into what we would like it to be.

Om shanti.

Non-comparison and non-judgment…

Not long after the teacher mentioned about let go of comparison during the yoga asana practice, the student saw the teacher was teaching some of the movements being different from some other teachers, and started to compare and asked the teacher, “I saw you bring the feet in when you do this. My teachers at home said we should not bring the feet in.”

The teacher replied, “Your teachers must have their good reason why they tell the students that they should not bring the feet in while doing this movement. There’s nothing wrong in their teaching.

In the yoga asana practice here, it’s about using the yoga asana practice to help to balance and quiet the mind, to prepare the mind for meditation, to free the mind from ignorance and egoism, identification and attachment, craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation. It’s nothing to do with achieving the perfect physical alignment at all.

If by having perfect alignment while performing all these yoga exercises will bring peace and compassion, then all those people who perform physical movements with perfect alignment are all peaceful and compassionate, be free from unhappiness and suffering, be free from anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, feelings of hurt, feelings of guilt, fear and worry.

People who don’t have the flexibility or strength to put their bodies into so call perfect alignment in the yoga asana practice can still be free from ignorance and suffering, realize unconditional love and peace, if they know what is non-attachment and non-identification, if they know how to free the mind from egoism and all sorts of defilements and impurities, and realize the truth, be free from ignorance.

It depends on each individual whether they will be comfortable or not in any physical movements. Everyone has a different body and different physical flexibility and limitations. We cannot tell the students that they have to do the movements in such and such way. By bringing the feet in or not in this movement, has nothing to do with peace and compassion. It’s about whether your body is comfortable or not while performing all these movements, and it’s about do what your body can do in the present moment now without forcing your body to go beyond its limitation. It’s not about trying to imitate other people especially the teacher, to be doing the exercises exactly the same like how other people do. We might be doing the same exercises, but everyone might look differently from one another.”

When we see two things that appear to be different, the mind is conditioned to make comparison and judgment, to decide which one is right, and then the mind will judge the other one that is different from this one must be wrong then.

But the truth of everything is that they are neither right nor wrong. Everything has their different reasons to be existing.

Once we know how to train the mind to let go of this habit of comparing and judging, we will start to see the truth of things as they are, and be free from ignorance.

Om shanti.