Loving kindness?

Many people who think and believe themselves are ‘unselfish kind and loving beings’ would react and feel disturbed or angered or hurt by other people’s behavior that they perceive or acknowledge as ‘selfish’, ‘unkind’, ‘unloving’, ‘disturbing’, ‘hurtful’, ‘bad’, or ‘wrong’, and they would express their ‘concern’ by expecting these ‘unkind and unloving beings’ would somehow be criticized or punished for being unkind and unloving, or be disciplined or trained to be (more) kind and loving.

But, ‘loving kindness’ is about how one’s mind behaves or reacts with ‘loving kindness’ towards other people’s behavior that one’s mind dislikes and disagrees with, that one’s mind perceives and acknowledges as ‘selfish’, ‘unkind’, ‘unloving’, ‘disturbing’, ‘hurtful’, ‘bad’, or ‘wrong’, without being disturbed or angered or hurt by other people’s behavior that one’s mind dislikes and disagrees with, without expectation towards how other people should and shouldn’t behave according to one’s particular thinking and belief, understanding that all forms of ‘unkind’ and ‘unloving’ behavior as well as one’s mind’s reaction of being disturbed, angered and hurt by other people’s ‘selfish’, ‘unkind’ and ‘unloving’ behavior and the expectation towards how other people should or shouldn’t behave according to one’s particular thinking and belief, are all deriving from ignorance.

Loving kindness is really not about “How human beings should behave in the way that is loving and kind” or “Other people whom one’s mind thinks and believes as unkind and unloving need to be (more) kind and loving” at all, but it’s about “This mind being kind and loving, where this mind understands towards ignorance and the consequences of ignorance, of egoistic actions and reactions, and how this mind reacts with loving kindness towards other people’s unloving and unkind actions and reactions under the influence of ignorance. Being undisturbed and unhurt by all the disagreeable/undesirable/unpleasant names and forms or experiences that the mind perceives through the senses. Without expectation towards other beings should or shouldn’t behave in certain way. Without expectation towards the world must be in certain way, or not to be in certain way.”

When the mind is disturbed, angered and hurt by other people’s unloving unkind actions and reactions, loving kindness is absent in this mind as well, then how could this mind criticize other minds for being unloving and unkind, and expect other minds to be loving and kind?

Non-attachment and dispassion is true loving kindness, but somehow this observation is being perceived and acknowledged by the world of egoistic minds as a form of ‘lack of loving kindness’, ‘unconcern’, ‘uncaring’, ‘selfish’ and ‘wrong’.

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they think and believe, for how they act and react. In yoga, it’s never about ‘how the others behave’, but it’s about ‘how this mind behaves’.

Contemplate on this, and be free.

Be free from craving and aversion towards identification with good or bad quality

None need to be ‘good’ or ‘good enough’ to have peace, not to say to be ‘perfect’.

Free this mind from egoism of craving towards certain quality of names and forms that the mind would like to possess or be identifying with as ‘I’.

Free this mind from egoism of aversion towards certain quality of names and forms that the mind wouldn’t like to possess or be identifying with as ‘I’.

Accepting the imperfection of all kinds of names and forms as it is.

All the ‘perfect’ and ‘imperfect’ qualities of names and forms are impermanent and they are not ‘I’. There’s needless of the egoistic identification with any quality of names and forms as ‘I’, or ‘I am this/I am not that’.

Be free from aversion towards the acknowledgement of ‘being stupid’ or ‘not smart enough’ in learning or doing something in this world. One doesn’t need to try very hard to ‘not being stupid’ or try to ‘be smart’.

It’s okay sometimes the egoistic mind realizes and acknowledges itself is being stupid or not as smart as one would like oneself to be, and would make certain mistake unwittingly or doesn’t understand about something and doesn’t know how to do certain things. Whether it’s something that the mind perceives or acknowledges as ‘perfection’ or ‘imperfection’, ‘good’ or ‘bad’, it’s impermanent and it’s not ‘I’. The mind that is free from the idea of ‘I’ or the ego, has no such ‘problem’ or ‘reaction’ towards the quality of names and forms that is impermanent and selfless.

Then even though one is aware of oneself is not as smart as one would like oneself to be or is less smart than many other people, but the understanding of non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment, non-comparison and non-expectation, is already being wiser than many people who are under the influence of ignorance and egoism, who try very hard to ‘be smart’ or try to ‘outsmart’ other people in order not to be acknowledged by oneself and others as ‘I am stupid’ or ‘I am not smart enough’, or to be acknowledged by oneself and others as ‘I am not stupid’ or ‘I am smart enough’, and would be very disappointed, frustrated and unhappy with oneself for being acknowledged as ‘being stupid’ or ‘being not smart enough’.

Be free.

Karma – Cause and effect – Action and consequences of action

Those who know karma, or cause and effect, or action and the consequences of action, and have realized non-duality, selflessness, namelessness, formlessness, attributelessness, there’s no craving towards ‘good’ karma and there’s no aversion towards ‘bad’ karma. There’s neither ‘good’ karma nor ‘bad’ karma. Karma is not a belief. It’s just how things are. Whether people understand or don’t understand, agree with or disagree with karma, impermanence or selflessness, the truth of karma, impermanence and selflessness is still what it is. Just like all kinds of names and forms exist and cease existing due to cause and effect, and they are impermanent and selfless, all actions and the fruit of actions are also impermanent and selfless. All actions bring consequences of actions, maybe pleasant experiences, maybe unpleasant experiences. Karma/cause and effect is just being what it is. It’s neither good nor bad, neither right nor wrong, neither positive nor negative, neither agreeable nor disagreeable, neither enjoyment nor suffering, neither happiness nor unhappiness.

Those who think they know karma, and they haven’t transcended/gone beyond the modification of the mind that gives rise to duality, egoism, names and forms and quality, there’s attachment and identification towards actions and the fruit of actions, or cause and effect, or karma. There’s craving towards ‘good’ karma and aversion towards ‘bad’ karma. For them, karma is a belief where they think they believe in karma. They would think and believe that the accumulation of ‘good’ karma will bring happiness and pleasurable enjoyment and will be void of unhappiness and painful suffering, while the accumulation of ‘bad’ karma will bring unhappiness and painful suffering and will be void of happiness and pleasurable enjoyment. And what is good and bad for them is based on their particular social/cultural/spiritual/religious thinking and belief.

To those who are free from ignorance and egoism, karma or cause and effect is not a belief but it’s the truth of things along with impermanence and selflessness. There’s no attachment towards action as well as the pleasant or unpleasant consequences of action. The minds that are free from ignorance and egoism are undisturbed and undetermined by the actions and the fruit of actions, or cause and effect, or karma. There’s no judgment towards this and that action are good or bad, right or wrong that based on a particular social/cultural/spiritual/religious thinking and belief. There’s no expectation towards this is good action that will bring pleasant fruit of action, and that is bad action that will bring unpleasant fruit of action. It’s just action and the fruit of action, regardless of pleasant or unpleasant.

Only those who are not free from ignorance and egoism will have such idea or thinking about “This is my good/bad action, and this is my good/bad fruit of action. I am enjoying the pleasant fruit of good action and I am suffering from the unpleasant fruit of bad action.”

An apple seed brings the fruit of an apple tree.

An orange seed brings the fruit of an orange tree.

Apple seed won’t bring the fruit of orange tree and orange seed won’t bring the fruit of apple tree.

Neither apple or orange is ‘good’. Neither apple or orange is ‘bad’.

Different apple trees bring the fruit of different tastes and textures apples. Some like it sweeter and softer, while some like it tangier and crispier. Neither sweet and soft apples or tangy and crisp apples are ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

Different orange trees bring the fruit of different tastes oranges. Some like it sweeter, while some like it tangier. Neither sweet oranges or tangy oranges are ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

Some people like and enjoy eating apples and don’t like/don’t enjoy eating oranges, while some like and enjoy eating oranges and don’t like/don’t enjoy eating apples.

Neither the apples or oranges have the quality or intention to bring happiness or unhappiness, enjoyment or non-enjoyment to anyone who like or doesn’t like eating apples or oranges, who enjoy or doesn’t enjoy eating apples or oranges.

Many people who think and believe that they have been doing many ‘good’ actions and believe that they should be enjoying the fruit of ‘good’ karma derived from ‘good’ actions are not necessarily peaceful and happy being free from disturbs, hurts, disappointment, anger, fear and painful suffering. Peaceful and happy, or not, and being free from disturbs, hurts, disappointment, anger, fear and painful suffering, or not, is undetermined by actions and the fruit of actions, or cause and effect, or karma. It’s whether the mind is free from ignorance and egoism, or not. Some people have to go through many unpleasant experiences and don’t experience much pleasant experiences, but still can be peaceful as they are. Some people go through many pleasant experiences and don’t experience much unpleasant experiences, but are not necessarily peaceful.

Even if one strongly believes in one has lots of ‘bad’ karma as life is full of hardship, obstacles and difficulties, one can still be free and have peace, if one knows how to be free from ignorance and egoism. Even if one strongly believes in one has lots of ‘good’ karma as life is easy and comfortable, one won’t be free or peaceful, if one doesn’t know how to be free from ignorance and egoism.

Siddhartha Gautama Buddha, Gurus, and many saints and sages in the past had to go through many difficulties, challenges, threats, or unpleasant physical/mental/emotional painful experiences before they attained liberation, does that means they all had had lots of ‘bad karma’? If so, it’s not a bad thing at all having ‘bad karma’.

Inquire the truth of everything. Do not blind-believing, blind-following, blind-propagating, or blind-practicing anything.

Be free.

“He who is devoid of ‘mine-ness’ will not be bound by Karma whether he dwells in his house or wanders in a forest.” – Swami Sivananda

Just be kind and friendly without expecting kindness and friendliness in return

“Be kind and friendly to others and others will be kind and friendly in return. Treat others the way that we want to be treated.” This is the common saying that is wide spread or shared among people or on social medias.

Many yoga enthusiasts or practitioners/teachers might not be aware of this is not part of the yoga practice, but actually it’s empowering egoism and ignorance, hindering the mind from realizing yoga of selflessness/non-attachment/non-identification/non-craving/non-aversion/non-expectation. Just like, most people who like to perform some kind of yoga practice would expect certain health and fitness benefits coming from performing the yoga practice regularly. There’s nothing wrong with that kind of intention/expectation, but it’s moving away from what yoga practice is about. People would feel disappointed or demotivated once they think they are not getting what they expected to be getting.

Very few would just be kind and friendly to others, and allowing others to be what they are, to be kind or unkind, to be friendly or unfriendly towards oneself or others, without attachment/judgment/craving/aversion towards all the different treatments from different people, without craving towards certain pleasant or agreeable treatments, without aversion towards certain unpleasant or disagreeable treatments, without being disturbed or determined by other people’s different states of the mind that manifest in particular behavior, action and reaction, without expectation that everyone should think/feel/behave/act and react in certain ways, or everyone should treat one another in certain ways that the mind thinks and believes how it should be.

This doesn’t mean that we are supporting/encouraging people to behave ‘badly’ or ‘wrongly’, but it’s not to be disturbed or determined by other people’s behavior that we think is ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’. By trying to change or condemn other people’s behavior that we think is ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ won’t stop people from behaving in such way, but actually it empowers the ‘motivation’ of those who deliberately want to behave in such way to gain certain ‘response’, or ‘satisfaction’, or ‘accomplishment’, or ‘revenge’, or ‘excitement’, where they would be more motivated to behave in such way.

Just like, by having good intention telling ignorant minds that they are ignorant won’t stop the minds from being ignorant, but most probably, it might provoke more ignorant reactions in these minds under the influence of ignorance.

Most people who would behave in a destructive way won’t care at all about being condemned or punished or hurt. Their minds are not able to think and act rationally, where they don’t care about their own personal life and death, not to say about other people’s life and death. It would make them feel more happy and fulfill if other people are being ‘disturbed’ or ‘hurt’ by their intentional destructive behavior or action. If people are looking for peace, they would deliberately generate unpeacefulness in the world. If people are looking for non-violence, they would generate more violence in the world. If people are looking for good economy, they would induce bad economy.

It has to come from everyone’s own self-realization and self-control to not behave in certain ways with the intention to disturb or hurt or annoy others. If those who are being disturbed or hurt by other people’s destructive behavior would also behave in a destructive way with the intention to hurt them in return, that doesn’t help the world to have less ignorant destructive behavior. It only adds more unrest, disturb, anger and hatred, and the consequences of that into the world. Everyone keep trying to hurt one another to redeem something, or to express/relieve their frustration, agitation, anger and hatred.

Being deep rooted in worldly social cultural thinking, belief, values and practice, people expect all human beings should treat one another in certain ways that they think and believe as ‘the right and good way’. People feel disappointed or offended or hurt if some other people don’t behave in such way.

Most minds/people want to feel “I am someone special and important and meaningful in other people’s heart or life” to feel meaningful in life or to feel ‘I am existing’ and don’t want to feel ‘meaningless’ or ‘non-existence’. Oneself is discriminating ‘oneself’ that one doesn’t like and doesn’t want to be.

People would feel being ‘unloved’, ‘unnoticed’, ‘unattended’, ‘left out’, ‘low self-esteem’, ‘undeserving’, ‘disrespected’, ‘discriminated’, ‘belittled’, ‘humiliated’, ‘insulted’, ‘hurt’, ‘disappointed’, ‘angry’, ‘unworthy’, ‘unappreciated’, ‘abandoned’, ‘unheard’, and so on, when they think they are not receiving the ‘rightful’ and ‘deserving’ treatments that they expect how themselves or everyone should be treated, or when they think they are receiving treatment from others that they think is ‘wrong’ or ‘undeserving’.

There’s nothing wrong with the worldly social cultural practice where ‘good and kind’ people would try their best to give other people what they want and don’t give other people what they don’t want in order to ‘make’ other people feel ‘loved, supported, good and meaningful’ and to ‘make sure’ that they don’t feel ‘unloved, unsupported, bad and meaningless’, with the intention to stop/prevent people from behaving in a destructive way towards themselves and others. Just that it doesn’t help people to be free from the root cause of suffering and destructive behavior – ignorance and egoism and impurities, where people are being determined by the gratification of the desire of craving and aversion, by getting what they like and what they think they deserved, and not getting what they don’t like or what they think they don’t deserved, and vice versa, to feel loved, supported, good, happy, satisfied, worthy, confident and meaningful, or not.

The teaching and practice of yoga emphasize on dispassion and renunciation which will lead towards the realization of compassion. Being dispassionate is also being compassionate towards the mind perception of an impermanent and selfless worldly life existence of all kind of agreeable and disagreeable names and forms that are not necessarily the way that the mind would like it to be. Abandoning the worldly habitual egoistic actions and reactions based on worldly social and cultural thinking/belief/values/practice.

Many people are unwittingly attached onto the worldly social and cultural thinking/belief/values/practice, influencing how they think, feel, act and react, being passionate towards ‘changing’ the world to be the way that they would like it to be, or ‘building’ a world that they think is better than ‘this one’, or preparing themselves to ‘enter’ into a ‘world’ that is ‘all good and nothing bad’. People feel frustrated and hurt by the world that is not the way that they think and believe how it should be, and hence, they aspire to change or control the world to be the way that they think and believe how it should be, the way that they desire it to be. That’s the beginning of all kinds of discrimination.

All lives/beings/objects exist in this space due to the selfless intentionless support from the sun, the air, the water, the earth and the space. The sun, the air, the water, the earth and the space don’t have an ego being there to discriminate anyone, to have any desire/intention/expectation to change/control the world to be in certain ways. But somehow, there’s the idea of ‘I’ or the ego existing in the form of thinking in human minds being there discriminating everyone and everything into good and bad, right and wrong, should and shouldn’t, having the desire/intention/expectation to change/control the world to be in certain ways, or more precisely, to be ‘my way’, and being interfering/intrusive/oppressive/violent towards ‘other ways’ that are not in line with ‘my way’, that are opposing/obstructing ‘my way’.

“Come to us. Join us. You won’t be alone. We will help you and support you. We will be there for you. We will grow strong and powerful as one big community and we can conquer the world to be ‘ours’. But, you must listen to our instructions. You must obey, follow, support and propagate our belief, vision, values and practice.”

“Support us by voting for us to be in power. And we will do our best to help you to achieve what you want. If you didn’t support or vote for us, why should we do anything for you?”

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to think/believe/follow/participate/associate with/support, or how they feel/behave/act and react, but for those who want to practice yoga, who want to realize yoga, who really want to be free from the inevitable suffering of the mind perception of a worldly life existence that is subject to impermanence and selflessness, who really wish for peace in the world, they can try to inquire into this teaching.

Just do one’s best to perform ‘wholesome actions’ that might benefit the world but without the expectation towards how people should be treating one another or behaving in certain ways, and let go the intention/desire/expectation to change or control the world to be the way that ‘I’ think and believe how it should be. Respecting everyone being what they are, as they are. If all minds know this, there won’t be discrimination, hatred, offensiveness, interference, intrusion, oppression, prejudice, violence or war existing among all the different names and forms. But most minds are ignorant of this. Whether aware or unaware, everyone try to be in power and in control of others. And that’s the way the world is. Ignorance bring along discrimination which lead to anger and hatred that lead to deeper ignorance and more discrimination and more anger and hatred, it never ends.

Peace to all, starting from oneself, this mind, this existence.

Need not conquer the world. Just need to conquer this mind.

Inquire the truth of everything

The prerequisites for the mind to inquire the truth of everything –

An open mind that is unattached towards any particular way of thinking and belief to analyze or judge everything. Letting go all kinds of subjective judgment and comparison.

Free from expectation towards everything that everything has to be/not to be in certain ways. Allowing everything to be what they are, even if the mind dislikes and disagrees with it. Being undisturbed by names and forms that the mind dislikes, disagrees with and doesn’t want.

Free from pride and arrogance or low self-esteem (they both are the same thing.)

Free from blind-believing, blind-following, blind-practicing, blind-preaching, blind-sharing.

Free from fear towards ‘religious authority’, ‘superstitions’, ‘criticism’, ‘condemn’, or ‘the truth that is not necessarily the way that the mind believes what it is or how the mind would like it to be’.

Being aware of the mind is ignorant towards the unknown, or many things that are beyond the knowledge of the mind, and is aware of the mind is functioning/perceiving/understanding everything under a particular way of thinking and belief in the mind that influence how the mind perceives, analyzes, judges, feels, acts and reacts towards all the mind perception of names and forms, which is nothing to do with the truth of what things are.

The state of the mind of calmness, quietness and purity, being free from stimulation, incorrect/corrupted thinking, restlessness and impurities.

It’s like the function of a mirror.

The mirror that is cracked/contorted, or is shaky, or is full of dust and dirt, cannot reflect the image of things as it is. The reflection of things is distorted/contorted, or blurred, or not what it is. Even though the reflection/image of things are distorted/contorted, blurred and not what it is, being reflected onto a cracked/contorted, shaky and dirty mirror, it doesn’t change the truth of the things. The truth of things is still what it is, being undetermined, unaffected, undisturbed, or unaltered by the cracked/contorted, shaky and dirty mirror.

Just like a mind that is functioning under the influence of the defilement of ignorance or incorrect and corrupted thinking, or is restless, or is under the influence of egoism and impurities, cannot reflect the truth of things as it is. The perception or understanding of things are incorrect, corrupted, blurred, or not what it is. Even though the perception or understanding of things is incorrect, corrupted, blurred and not what it is, being perceived under a mind that is over-powered by ignorance/incorrect or corrupted thinking, restlessness and impurity, it doesn’t change the truth of things. The truth of things is still what it is, being undetermined, unaffected, undisturbed, or unaltered by the ignorant, corrupted, restless and impure state of the mind.

And thus, all the different forms of yoga practice is to be calming, quieting and purifying the mind, to free the mind from ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness, to allow the mind to reflect/see things as they are, being free from the influence of any particular worldly cultural/social/religious/spiritual/national/racial/political/educational/philosophical idea, accumulated knowledge, thinking, belief, value and practice to analyze or judge everything.

Reflect upon the truth of things as it is. Everything is just what they are. Neither good nor bad. Neither right nor wrong. Neither positive nor negative. Neither meaningful nor meaningless. Neither happiness nor unhappiness. Neither spiritual nor non-spiritual. Neither superior nor inferior.

Be free.

Go beyond all kinds of belief and disbelief

There are many different kinds of belief and disbelief existing in the world, but whether they are true or untrue, it’s not important for those who want to practice yoga to conquer the restless impure egoistic mind. As all kinds of belief and disbelief are all part of the modification of the mind. And yoga practice is to allow the mind to go beyond all kinds of belief and disbelief, allowing everything to be what they are, without judgment or expectation that everything has to be/not to be in certain ways. More importantly, is not to blind-believing, blind-following, or blind-preaching any belief or disbelief.

The truth of names and forms is not a belief. The truth is just what things are. Regardless of whether the mind believes or disbelieves in something that the mind comes in contact with, the mind can’t see the truth of names and forms as it is when it is functioning under the influence of certain belief or disbelief to analyze and judge everything, to act and react complying to those belief and disbelief.

Unconditional peace, unconditional love (compassion) and the ability to forgive and let go something that the worldly thinking mind perceives as ‘wrong’, ‘bad’, ‘disturbing’ or ‘hurtful’, to surrender/give up all the desires of craving and aversion, and to be free from disturbs, pride, arrogance, offensiveness, defensiveness, dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hatred, jealousy, hurts, guilt, regret, painful sorrow, grief, fear and worry, are nothing to do with whether the mind believes or disbelieves in something.

For those who truly want to practice yoga and meditation to conquer the modifications of the mind, it’s about going beyond all kinds of belief and disbelief, freeing the mind from egoistic judgment, comparison and expectation based on those belief and disbelief, to allow the mind to see things as they are.

Regardless of all kinds of belief and disbelief, everyone still have to live life as they are, dealing with the truth of impermanence and selflessness of a life existence of the body and mind. The modification of the mind as well as the consequence of all the actions and reactions (cause and effect) of the impure egoistic mind is still what it is. It doesn’t determine that everyone who believe or disbelieve in something are all free/not free from ignorance and the suffering that derived from ignorance.

There’s nothing wrong with the existence of many kinds of distinct thinking/belief/disbelief. It’s just something there influencing how the minds/people think, feel, behave, analyze, judge, expect, act, react and live life.

Different minds/people think, feel, behave, act, react and live life differently from one another. But beyond all the different kinds of thinking, feeling, behavior, action, reaction and way of life, out of ignorance, all beings think and believe that ‘I’ exist under the function of a thinking mind perceiving a world of names and forms through the senses under the influence of ignorance/egoism/impurities where the mind or what the mind thinks and believes as ‘I’, constantly acts and reacts restlessly towards all the mind perceptions of names and forms.

All kinds of distinct thinking/belief doesn’t change the truth of impermanence and selflessness, or the truth of suffering and the cause of suffering – Ignorance and its by-products of egoism (attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation), all kinds of impurities, disturbance and restlessness, and the existence and function of an impermanent and selfless physical body of countless births and deaths, of blood, flesh, shit, pee, pus, hunger, thirst, decaying, aging, illness, pain and decompose. The inevitable fundamental suffering of all living beings, hunger/thirst – eat/drink – shit/pee – and repeat, over and over again, until the body stops functioning/existing. It’s the truth of the physical body and the restless selfless modification of a thinking mind. All these are nothing to do with the world of names and forms that the mind perceives through the sense, or the belief and disbelief in the mind. Even if the mind strongly believes in ‘positive thinking’, ‘righteousness’, ‘kindness’ and ‘goodness’, the truth of the impermanent and selfless physical body and the thinking mind is still what it is. Enjoyment and suffering, good and bad, happiness and unhappiness, they all happen in the thinking mind. They exist as part of the modifications of the mind, in the form of thought-current/thought-wave arising and passing away, ceaselessly.

All kinds of disturbs/hurts/disappointment/depression/anger/hatred/jealousy/animosity/fear/unhappiness/painful sorrow/suffering/and etc, exist in the form of thought-current/though-wave.

And hence the teachings of yoga and Buddhism – Annihilate this thinking mind/thought-current, and the world of names and forms, births and deaths, of enjoyment and suffering, good and bad, happiness and unhappiness, cease existing.

Purifying, calming and quieting the restless mind efficiently

All the different forms of external yoga practice must be accompanied by the internal yoga practice of annihilating egoism of attachment, identification, craving, aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation, supported by the internal mental strength, flexibility and stamina of patience, perseverance, determination, tolerance, forbearance, acceptance, adjustment, adaptation and accommodation, as well as cultivating the essential tools for self-inquiry and self-realization, such as awareness, dispassion, desireless, renunciation, self-discipline, self-reliance, seclusion, solitude, care-free, fearlessness and equanimity, to be efficiently purifying, calming and quieting the impure egoistic restless mind, to prepare the mind for spontaneous meditation into Silence (complete annihilation of the mind/birthlessness and deathlessness/attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness/oneness or non-separateness).

Even if one’s physical body is unable to perform any external yoga practice, it doesn’t stop the mind from performing internal yoga practice to annihilate egoism, impurities and restlessness, and be free.

Without the internal yoga practice of annihilating egoism and impurities which is nothing to do with the impermanent and selfless physical and mental condition, ability and limitation, the mind will always be disturbed by the mind perception of names and forms of all kinds of pleasant and unpleasant, desirable and undesirable, agreeable and disagreeable life experiences, where there’s clinging and craving towards pleasant/desirable/agreeable experiences and aversion towards unpleasant/undesirable/disagreeable experiences, even after many years and huge amount of external yoga practice that one has been performing or many years of teaching yoga and meditation practice to many other people, and getting all the momentary effects and benefits from the regular external form of yoga practice.

The mind might be rendered calm and quiet momentarily during and after all those external yoga and meditation practice, but it doesn’t last long, as very soon, the mind would unwittingly slip back into restlessness due to the stubborn egoistic mind habits of chasing after the objects of the senses, worldly enjoyments and stimulation, passionate desires of worldly and/or spiritual aspirations and ambitions, worldly social interactions and activities, and the ceaseless impurities generated through countless actions and reactions towards the mind perceptions of names and forms due to egoism of attachment, identification, craving, aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation, where the mind is restless most of the time, even if the mind can attain certain degrees of relief from restlessness for a short period of time during deep sleep state, or during and after the different forms of external yoga practice.

By freeing the mind from egoism would allow the mind to be undetermined or undisturbed by the mind perception of names and forms, of quality and duality, or the good and bad/positive and negative/pleasant and unpleasant/desirable and undesirable life experiences, that allow the mind to be free from impurities and restlessness thoroughly.

And hence, the importance of the practice of silence for those who truly want to conquer the restless modification of the mind, to attain Silence.

After some time of practicing some kind of yoga and meditation practice regularly, one needs to perform self-introspection, “Is the mind still being determined or affected by the impermanent and selfless physical and mental condition, ability and limitation, as well as the worldly affairs, relationship, friendship, social activities and interactions, and worldly and/or spiritual achievements and acknowledgements to feel good, confident and meaningful, or not?” and “Is the mind still being determined by duality of good and bad/positive and negative/right and wrong/meaningfulness and meaninglessness/happiness and unhappiness, or all the mind perceptions of different qualities of names and forms, to feel good, positive, rightful, joyful and meaningful, or not?” or “Is the mind still being disturbed by what the mind thinks and believes as bad, wrong, negative, unhappiness and hurtful?” If the answer is yes, it means the mind is still not free, even if one has been performing yoga practice for a long time, or possessing many ‘yoga certifications’, and believing in ‘goodness’, ‘righteousness’ and ‘positiveness’.

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they want and don’t want to practice.

Selfless actions influence others without the intention to change or control others

Selfless actions could influence others as well as the condition or situation in the world, but without the egoistic intention to change or control others and the condition or situation in the world to be the way that the egoistic minds would like it to be, or think and believe how it should be.

There’s no disappointment, frustration, anger, hatred, or depression when things are not ‘being’ or ‘changing’ to be the way that the egoistic minds would like it to be, if actions that could influence others and the condition or situation in the world are being performed out of selflessness and compassion, selflessly and intentionlessly, without ‘good intention’ to be performing ‘good actions’ that the egoistic minds ‘desire’ or ‘hope’ to ‘change’ others and the condition or situation in the world to be ‘good’ the way that the minds think and believe what is good.

Similarly, most of the time, when ‘good minds’ have ‘good intention’ to tell the truth of ‘something not good’ about somebody or some organization might provoke the dissatisfaction, frustration, anger and hatred in the egoistic minds where their desires or agendas are being affected directly or indirectly by ‘the intentional good action’ of ‘telling the truth of something not good’.

Just look at our everyday life interaction with people around us, especially those whom we know. When we see someone whom we know does something that we think is wrong out of ignorance, we might have ‘good intention’ to tell the truth of ‘someone is doing something wrong out of ignorance’ and the consequence of that is usually very ‘unpleasant’ as either the person might react with feelings of hurt, shame, guilt, regret or self-blame towards oneself if this person suffers from low self-esteem, depression or over sensitive, or this person might react with feelings of being insulted, humiliated, belittled, intimidated, anger and hatred, if this person suffers from pride and arrogance. Unless the minds are free from ignorance and egoism, and be able to see, or hear, or coming in contact with the truth and allowing the truth to be what it is, but if people would do something wrong/bad out of ignorance it also means that they are not free from ignorance. And the minds that are not free from ignorance don’t have the ‘understanding’ and ‘ability’ to deal with ‘the truth’ openly and peacefully.

Most of the time, ‘the truth of something not nice’ told by others appears to be something hard, or harsh, or cruel, or dislikable, or disagreeable, or offensive, or hurtful, or insulting, or humiliating, or inappreciative, or ungrateful, or unsupportive, or negative, or unloving, or unkind to the egoistic minds, including knowledgeable and intelligent minds. Most egoistic prideful minds prefer to hear ‘nice things’ or ‘kind words’ about themselves. Many people say, “Don’t say anything ‘not nice’.”

And hence, ‘the truth’ must be self-aware or self-realized.

More importantly, the truth is just what it is. It’s neither positive nor negative, neither right nor wrong, neither good nor bad, neither nice nor not nice. But impure egoistic minds that are functioning under the influence of duality interpret everything as positive and negative, right and wrong, good and bad, nice and not nice, and react spontaneously and emotionally influenced by the likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements coming from the egoistic mind based on the thinking and believe in the mind to judge and react towards all the perceived names and forms or experiences, to feel pleased or displeased.

That’s why the relation between ‘the truth’ and ‘silence’. And hence, the practice of ‘silence’ is very important and relevant in the path of yoga and Buddhism of self-inquiry and self-realization of the truth to attain liberation from ignorance and suffering.

This ‘silence’ doesn’t mean intentionally not seeing, not hearing, not smelling, not tasting, not feeling/sensing or not thinking ‘something that the mind thinks and believes as bad/wrong/negative/not nice’, or not performing any necessary actions. This ‘silence’ also doesn’t mean intentionally denying ‘the truth of something’.

Without any of the senses functioning, or without the idea of denying ‘the truth of something’, or being unable/unwilling to perform any physical or verbal actions doesn’t mean that the mind is free from the suffering of ignorance, egoism, restlessness and impurities. But, there’s no ego or ‘I’ being there to ceaselessly act and react out of ‘intention’ or ‘aspiration’ to change or control others or the world to be in certain ways, to be attaining or not attaining ‘certain qualities of names and forms’ that the ego desires or doesn’t desire to be identifying with or to be possessing when there is an ego, or the idea of ‘I’, existing and identifying with the modification of the mind, attaching onto and identifying with the actions and the fruit of actions (being passionate towards one’s actions and there’s attachment, identification and expectation towards the fruit of one’s actions.)

Be free from the idea or thinking of “I want others and the world to be like this and I don’t want others and the world to be like that.”

Suffering is not due to bad karma, but ignorance

Not everyone believe in karma, but there are quite some people believe in karma, especially in Asian culture.

A lot of time, people would relate or refer any kind of suffering as the result of bad karma (the consequences of bad actions). If someone is going through some kinds of difficult situation or very unpleasant condition or painful experiences in life, where the body and/or the mind has to go through certain difficulty or pain, people would say, “Oh, this is due to bad karma. And it’s good to go through suffering to burn-off the past accumulated bad karma.” Although by saying so, it might make the person who is suffering feels a little better and make it easier to deal with suffering, but most suffering is unnecessary and can be avoided if we know how to avoid behaving ignorantly.

People like to give their opinion and say, “Oh. Such a terrible bad karma exists in your family. Your family has to go through all these suffering is because of your family past bad karma. You all must have done lots of bad things in the past. That’s why your family has to suffer so much for it in this life.” This is such ignorant thinking and belief and saying.

Even good people who have been doing a lot of good and right actions, and didn’t do much bad or wrong in this world, and for those who believe that they have been accumulated lots of good karma in their past life are not excluded from experiencing physical, emotional and mental suffering if their minds are not free from ignorance and egoism. People like to say, “You are such a good person. You don’t deserve all these suffering. It must be bad karma from your past life.” And this is ignorant thinking and belief and saying.

For the strong ego, it would prefer to blame on past life bad karma for its suffering, than to acknowledge and admit that it’s due to its ignorance in the present.

Those who know about suffering and the cause of suffering do not blame on past life and bad karma. It’s ignorant behavior of actions and reactions in this life existence that people end up in many unnecessary suffering.

Most suffering is truly unnecessary, and the cause of these suffering is ignorance that gives rise to ignorant behavior, that leads to the consequences of ignorant behavior, which is unnecessary suffering that doesn’t has to be existing in the first place.

For example, if a person is suffering from an illness, which is treatable and not too complicated, if the illness is being treated properly and immediately, but for some reasons, due to ignorance, one is not getting the proper treatment immediately, and this person has to suffer more painful consequences that could be avoided in the first place, and/or it might be too late to do anything even though one tries to get the proper treatment later on.

Another example, one who ignores the little small problems that arise in life which could be solved easily and immediately, but for some reasons, due to ignorance, all the unattended little small problems would turn into serious unsolvable big problems. And it might be too late to do anything even if one realizes and regrets towards one’s ignorance.

Another example, one who knows that by mixing with those who have strong influence in getting into unnecessary troubles and by taking certain substances to get high can turn into addiction that would cause many forms of complication in health, life and relationship with others, but still want to take those substances to get high and hang out with those who have strong influence in getting into unnecessary troubles, and ends up in unnecessary suffering and troubles. That’s pure ignorance.

And for another example, due to the strong ego, one pushes the body and mind beyond its limitation to achieve what the ego wants to achieve, and causing unnecessary damages into the body and mind, losing one’s mobility and sanity, and requiring intensive care from others. This is not because bad karma. It’s purely ignorance.

Due to ignorance, egoism and impurities of dissatisfaction, disappointment, lust, desires, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, hurt, guilt, offensiveness, defensiveness, pride, arrogance, fear and worry, and so on, one would generate actions and reactions that give rise to unnecessary suffering onto oneself and affecting others either directly or indirectly.

Even the most intelligent or virtue person in this world also can’t escape the fundamental suffering of a life existence that is under the function of the physical body and mind perception of names and forms that is subject to impermanent changes and selflessness (All the impermanent changes and perception of names and forms are not in the control of an ‘I’, or how ‘I’ would like it to be).

If one is free from ignorance, then even though one is going through some kind of physical and/or mental suffering, one will not generate or react with further ignorant reactions that would bring further ignorant consequences. One would know how to transcend or go beyond the difficult condition, or unpleasant and painful experiences with correct understanding, wisdom and compassion, and remain equanimous being at peace, being undisturbed or undetermined by it, while being aware of the difficult condition, or unpleasant and painful experiences are impermanent and it’s not ‘I’.

Past life and karma (whether good or bad, easy or difficult) doesn’t mean anything to the one who has realized unconditional peace and love, who is free from ignorance. There’s no fear or aversion towards difficult condition, or unpleasant and painful experiences. There’s no clinging or craving towards easy condition, or pleasant and enjoyable experiences.

Feel offended by other people’s ‘non-sociable’ personality or practice of silence?

Walk alone, live alone, eat alone and meditate alone. Cut off all connections ruthlessly. Hide yourself away. Do not build ashram. Do not hoard disciples. Do not mix. Do not associate.

– Swami Sivananda (excerpts from Concentration and Meditation)

Many friendly sociable good people who are interested in yoga and meditation practice, but somehow, they don’t really understand the core teachings and practice of yoga and meditation of silencing the mind, would feel very intimidated or offended by the teachings and practice of turning the mind inwards for self-introspection and silencing the mind, through the practice of seclusion and solitude (cutting off from all social interactions and connections), where the sociable friendly good people would feel very uncomfortable and intimidated being with those who do not engage in social interactive activity and conversation. They criticize people who observe silence, seclusion and solitude as being ‘unfriendly’, as their minds are being conditioned by certain ideas and standards to categorize people into ‘friendly people’ or ‘unfriendly people’ in the social world based on what they think is friendliness and unfriendliness.

Those who don’t talk much, or don’t engage in a social interactive conversation with other people, or don’t invade or interfere with other people’s way of life, thinking and behavior, who don’t comment or acknowledge about other people (whether it’s something good or bad), are being recognized as ‘unfriendly’ or ‘uncaring’ in the sociable society.

“People in a room do not talk to each other is so wrong.” This is the thinking and belief of the worldly minded people.

People attending a ‘silent meditation retreat/course’ complain about people in the retreat/course are so unfriendly because they don’t talk or interactive with one another?!

But what kind of bad actions have these people who are being perceived by friendly sociable good people as ‘unfriendly and uncaring people’ done to other people? Nothing. In fact, they are helping the world to have less conflict and have more peace by observing silence when they do not go around judging or expecting other people to be in certain ways that they think it should be. They do their own things and don’t invade or interfere with other people’s way of life and do not generate inconvenience for other people. That is already a great contribution to the society. We should be grateful and thankful to them.

The nature of those who observe silence appear to be ‘not fun’, non-concerning and non-engaging with other friendly sociable people who expect all human beings should be fun to hang out with, should be active in social interaction, to be talkative, to be engaging and connecting with other human beings physically and verbally, it’s not surprised that why people feel ‘wrong’, ‘awkward’, ‘unwelcome’, ‘disrespected’, ‘hurt’, ‘offended’, ‘intimidated’, ‘unconcerned’, ‘unnoticed’, ‘unacknowledged’, and so on, when they come in contact with those who observe silence. All these reactions of a disturbed state of the mind are coming from their own minds reacting towards something that they dislike and disagree with, and it’s nothing to do with whether other people are being ‘friendly’ to them, or not.

People would feel disturbed and offended by other people whom they think are not being ‘friendly’ enough towards them, as they expect friendly treatment from others the way that they think it should be. There’s an issue with themselves, not with other people. Other people have the freedom to be friendly or unfriendly towards anyone.

Because of most friendly sociable good people would feel greatly disturbed and offended by other people who observe silence of the mind, that’s why it’s better for yoga and meditation practitioners to retreat from the society to observe seclusion and solitude.

‘Friendliness’ in the path of yoga and meditation is nothing to do with accumulating friendships, constantly visiting each other to stay connecting, to be hanging out from time to time to do some social activities together, and get into worldly conversation of commentary, criticism, mocking, flirting, boasting, story telling, mourning, grumbling, debate and discussion, and so on. ‘Friendliness’ in Yoga is when the mind is being free from ill-thinking, ill-will, anger, hatred, jealousy, dissatisfaction, disappointment, fear, offensiveness, defensiveness, judgment, expectation, interference, invasion, violence or hostility towards all and everyone, free from discrimination of friends or not friends, superiority or inferiority that based on personal likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements.

When people don’t do anything that intentionally to hurt us, or disturb our peaceful life, or cause inconvenience to us, or interfere with our freedom of thinking, action and speech or way of life and conduct, that is what true friendliness is about.

When people in the society who think they are friendly people criticizing or mocking those whom they think are unfriendly people, then they don’t know the true meaning of friendliness, as themselves are being unfriendly, by having such ill-thinking and criticism towards other people whom they feel offended or intimidated by their silence of action and speech, and they interfere with other people’s freedom of actions, to act or not to act (whether to talk to another being, or not talking to anyone, where not talking to other people when there are people around expecting people should talk to one another is being perceived as unfriendly, offensive and wrong for the worldly friendly sociable good people.)

There is nothing wrong, offensive or intimidating when people have no interest to engage in any ‘friendly’ and ‘caring’ conversation with us. But the expectation from us towards other people that all ‘normal’ and ‘good’ people must somehow be engaging in interactive conversation with us to show friendliness to us, is what make us feel offended, intimidated, or wrong, when we don’t receive the interaction the way that we expect it to be. We are the one who is intimidating and offending other people’s freedom of behavior. But we don’t see it this way.

If people truly love the world and want to build a peaceful harmony society, it’s not about expecting other people to conform to our own way of life, thinking, belief, culture and behavior that we think is the way it should be. But it’s to respect everyone to be different and allowing everyone to be different, without invading or interfering with other people’s way of life, thinking, belief and behavior that are different from ours.

It’s okay if people don’t want to be sociable with other people. It’s okay if people are not interested in engaging in some forms of interactive activities or conversation with us. It’s okay if people keep to themselves and are not interested to connect with anyone to live a quiet secluded life. At least they don’t do anything intentionally that would hurt or disturb our life or the environment. If we feel disturbed is because we are disturbed by our own mind reaction towards their behavior that we dislike and disagree with.

When people talk too much, or talk non-sense or subject that we aren’t interested in, especially when we want some quiet time to ourselves, or people want to know too many things that we prefer to keep to ourselves, we complain about them for being overly warm and too friendly and busybody.

When people don’t talk to us or interact with us, and don’t ask anything about us that we would like to share with other people, we also complain about them for being ‘cold’ and ‘unfriendly’ and ‘uncaring’.

Be free.