Welcoming changes towards unlimited unthinkable opportunities

Most minds will tend to have fear and worry towards changes, especially letting go a familiar living environment and family/friends/social circle, as well as letting go job or business that provides ‘stable’ financial support for living, unless they have no other choices but they have to find another living environment elsewhere and to find some other job or business due to unforeseen circumstances, such as losing their beloved home or job/business unwittingly due to natural disaster, bad economy, accident, war, and etc.

This fear and worry is the instinctive fear towards the unknown/uncertainty and fear of making the wrong decision to be losing the good and comfortable condition that one has been familiar with, which one loves/enjoys very much.

Whether we are aware or unaware of it, stability is always the main element and attachment in everything in life, even though the nature of everything is impermanence. Impermanence exists even in so called ‘stability’. Most minds would think and believe that they are embracing impermanence, but most probably only embracing towards changes of improvement, while there’s great aversion towards changes of deterioration. But deterioration is the ultimate truth of everything that exist under certain name and form.

Only when the mind learns how to embrace the nature of impermanence regardless of improvement or deterioration, there’s no fear towards changes or decisions making that actually would lead towards unlimited possible opportunities that are unknown to the mind until the mind sees them upon letting go/abandoning the little box of a familiar life that the mind lives in, when the mind starts to allow itself to be opened towards all the unknown/uncertainty without fear or regret, but with great welcome.

This is also similar to the teaching of yoga about surrendering. It’s not about ‘letting God to lead life and God will look after life for us’, but it’s about letting go the attachment/identification/clinging/expectation towards ‘the existing comfort that gives rise to the sense of meaningfulness derived from particular way of living and activities that the mind enjoys very much’ and letting go the fear towards losing or no longer having ‘this comfort and the sense of meaningfulness that it has been attaching or clinging onto’.

Most people will think and say, “Unless we have to, why do we want to let go something that is good and meaningful which we love very much that is still available to us now?”

There’s nothing wrong with that, as people don’t really need to let go anything (especially ‘goodness’ that gives rise to the sense of meaningfulness) until they have to. People like to hear and say, “Appreciate all the good things until they are no longer available.” That’s very good. But for the truth seekers, the attachment/clinging towards ‘goodness or comfortable good condition that give rise to the sense of meaningfulness’ is indeed one of the great obstacles towards liberation that most minds don’t realize.

For the minds that are in searching for ‘the truth’ or ‘liberation from ignorance’, or ‘selflessness/namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness/beginninglessness/endlessness/birthlessness/deathlessness/changelessness’, there’s no waiting, as this life existence, regardless of ‘good and comfortable life’ or ‘bad and challenging life’, is passing away.

For some who believe in one life, they might think and say, “Ah! there’s only one life, why bother about anything? Enjoy as much as possible while it’s available.”

For some who believe in many continuous lives, they might think and say, “Ah! there’s so many lives, need not hurry for anything. Enjoy as much as possible while it’s available.”

For the truth seekers, “It’s NOW, and there’s only NOW.” regardless of it’s good and comfortable life or bad and challenging life, or one life, or many continuous lives, or the beginningless/endless/birthless/deathless infinite Sat-Chit-Ananda.

Hugging and touching?

In this era of the so called modern and highly developed society, most people perceive and observe the practice/habit/culture of ‘hugging’ and ‘touching’ as a form of showing love, acceptance and friendliness among beings, while they would feel awkward, bad and wrong, or even be offended, if some people don’t have or don’t observe the practice/habit/culture of hugging and touching.

Many yoga practitioners or spiritual seekers might also think and believe that ‘open mind’ and ‘loving kindness/warmness’ means people need to be affectionately hugging and touching one another to be showing non-discrimination, non-separateness, non-intimidation, love, acceptance and friendliness towards all beings, while the absence of hugging and touching is being perceived as ‘closed mind’ and ‘unloving-kindness’/’coldness’ that portrays the quality of discrimination, separateness, intimidation, lovelessness, non-acceptance and unfriendliness. Many also believe that the lack of hugging or touching by another being is highly detrimental to physical, mental and emotional health. They expect all beings, especially yoga practitioners or spiritual seekers should be constantly and actively hugging and touching all other beings that they come in contact with, to show that they are genuine yoga practitioners or spiritual seekers who embrace loving kindness, who are open minded and compassionate beings, while they would be puzzled by the very few of the yoga practitioners who don’t have or don’t observe such hugging and touching habit/culture.

For yoga practitioners who truly want to open their mind, is to be free from being conditioned by such worldly egoistic thinking, belief, values and practice, where the mind understands that ‘the existence and non-existence of open mind and compassion’ is nothing to do with ‘the presence and absence of physical hugging and touching another being’, where it’s nothing bad and there’s nothing wrong with the society having and observing the hugging and touching habit/culture, especially if the minds are pure and desireless, and it’s also nothing bad and there’s nothing wrong with those who don’t have or don’t observe the hugging and touching habit/culture either. Accepting all and everyone as they are, even though certain people behave in the way that goes against the thinking, belief, values and practice of the majority of the society.

Hugging and touching or not, doesn’t really determine the presence and absence of the quality of ‘non-discrimination’, ‘non-separateness’, ‘non-intimidation’, ‘love’, ‘acceptance’ and ‘friendliness’, while the quality of non-discrimination, non-separateness, non-intimidation, love, acceptance and friendliness aren’t necessarily have to be shown/portrayed by physical contact of hugging and touching one another.

Most people would feel rejected, unloved, left-out, depressed, lonely and meaningless upon the absence of physical/mental/emotional interaction of hugging and touching from some other beings. And hence, many people would think and believe that the solution is to be actively giving and receiving affectionate hugs and touches among beings.

It’s the ignorant egoistic passionate mind that has attachment and expectation towards the appropriateness and disappropriateness in social behavior and interaction that would feel rejected, unloved, left-out, depressed, lonely, meaningless, piteous or offended upon the absence or the lack of love and affection in the form of hugging and touching from other beings.

Contemplate upon why the ancient teachings/practice of yoga emphasized on the important observation of solitude and seclusion of non-physical/mental/emotional contact and non-physical touching with any other being, where yoga practitioners and spiritual seekers were being advised to observe solitude and seclusion for a prolonged period of time, to free the mind from the worldly habitual passionate desire of craving and clinging towards love and affection, to free the mind from ignorance and egoism, to silent/annihilate the modification of the mind.

One of the common practice/observation in the Ashrams is about none should be physically touching one another regardless of among the same or different gender, especially the swamis, monks and nuns. But, nowadays, in many of the ashrams, even many ‘modernized’ swamis, monks and nuns also don’t observe this practice anymore, and they mingling intimately with one another and the people who come to the ashrams, not to say many of the householders who identify themselves as ‘yoga practitioners’ or ‘yogis’. Many ‘yoga teacher training courses’ also emphasize on the physical hands on adjustment, where the many graduated ‘certified yoga teachers’ think and believe that it’s what a good and professional yoga teacher should be doing/practicing while teaching classes and while socializing/mingling with the students or the yoga community outside of the classes to develop stronger connection and relationship among one another.

There’s nothing wrong with the worldly egoistic thinking, belief, values and practice that propagates widely about “Everyone needs love, affection, hugs and touches.” But that is not yoga practice at all, as that is indeed empowering ignorance and egoism. It’s not any different from keep feeding sugary drinks to the children or keep providing drugs to the people to make them feel ‘happy and good’ from the momentary effects of sugary drinks or drugs and from the gratification of desires by giving people what they like and want. The yoga practice is to free the mind from ignorance and egoism, to realize selflessness/oneness/non-separateness, where there’s absence of needing/craving/clinging towards physical/mental/emotional love, affection, hugs and touches from other beings. There’s no need of developing stronger connection or relationship between ‘I’ and ‘the others’ in selflessness/oneness/non-separateness, as connection or relationship doesn’t exist in selflessness/oneness/non-separateness. There’s neither ‘I’ nor ‘the others’. There’s no ‘I’ need to be healed by ‘spiritual healing hugs and touches’.

A truly ‘healthy and compassionate’ society exists along with the minds that are free from ignorance and egoism. Everyone can be kind and loving towards one another out of selfless compassion, not because everyone ‘needs’ to give and receive love and affection to and from one another through certain action in order to make the egoistic minds feel good, happy, love and meaningful, or not to feel rejected, unloved, left-out, depressed, lonely, meaningless, piteous or offended upon the absence/lack of love and affection through certain action from other beings, as the ignorant egoistic minds think and believe that it’s so bad and terrible if there’s absence/lack of any form of love and affection among one another.

Be free.

Looking for yoga school or yoga teacher training course?

Imperfection exists in all and everything including different yoga schools or yoga teacher training courses and the people involving in running the yoga schools and yoga courses.

With an open mind, without expectation, be ready to inquire the truth of everything, including all the teachings and practice presented by the yoga school or in the yoga teacher training course, and without regret towards one’s decision of choosing the particular yoga school or yoga teacher training course.

Dealing with all the pros and cons or imperfections existing in the yoga school or the yoga teacher training course with an open mind, and be able to make decision without regret, is indeed the practice.

Follow one’s conscience towards finding which lineage of yoga that one would like to explore and experience. It’s okay if one finds that after experiencing a particular lineage of yoga, one realizes it doesn’t suit oneself. If so, be open to experience some other kind of lineage of yoga, until one finds the most suitable one. In the end, it’s not about which lineage of yoga or yoga school that is the best among all, but it’s whether the mind is being unattached towards and unidentified with the particular lineage of yoga, the yoga school, the teachers, the yoga teacher training course, and all the desirable/undesirable or agreeable/disagreeable experiences.

Above all, it’s not about getting the best ‘Internationally recognized yoga teacher certification affiliated with such and such yoga alliance/organization’ from the best yoga school and yoga teacher, but it’s about being open-minded upon coming in contact with the different kinds of teachings and practice from the different lineage of yoga, to be purifying and quieting the mind, inquire towards the truth of all the teachings, and the truth of ‘I’ or ‘who am I/what is the ego’, realizing selflessness/egolessness, be free from ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering.

Attending many yoga teacher training courses in certain yoga schools and attaining many yoga teacher certifications and teaching many hours of yoga classes doesn’t determine whether the mind is free from ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering, or not.

In the end, one will realize the greatest teacher and the greatest ‘yoga course’ is the mind itself upon being rendered pure and quiet through the different kinds of persevered practice, being unattached towards and undisturbed by all the mind perception of names and forms or the activities/modification of the mind, of all the agreeable/disagreeable, pleasant/unpleasant, desirable/undesirable experiences, and be able to see the truth of things as it is, be free from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance.

Those who are free from ignorance and egoism don’t need to attend yoga teacher training course or attain ‘Internationally recognized yoga teacher certification’ to be peaceful and compassionate, or to disseminate the knowledge of yoga to those who are in need of the teachings and practice to be free from ignorance and egoism.

The ‘real’ Guru/teacher is the one without a ‘certificate’/’recognition’, without a ‘school’/’ashram’ and without giving ‘certification’/’recognition’ to anyone.

Approaching a teacher asking to be accepted as student of yoga

Traditionally, when someone is interested in finding a teacher to learn, study and practice yoga and meditation under the guidance of this person (the teacher), one needs to approach the teacher humbly asking to be accepted as a student of yoga under this teacher, serving the teacher without asking/expecting “What am I getting from learning yoga under you?” or “What can you (the teacher) give me in return for offering fees/donations to you to be learning and practicing yoga from you and serving you?”

The teacher will then observe and test this person to see whether this person is fit to be a student of yoga. Once the person is accepted to be a student of yoga, this person will live closely to the teacher for many years, where in the first few years are merely doing some random ‘work/service’ in daily life, such like housekeeping/cooking/gardening/cleaning/washing serving the teacher (very important/efficient initial purification to eliminate worldly habits of egoism and impurities) before being initiated into the practice. There’s high degree of segregation/non-physical contact among the teacher and the student. It’s not like nowadays, most people are looking forward to be touching and hugging as the way to show friendliness, love and care.

The teacher doesn’t advertise/boast about “I am a certified/qualified/experienced/internationally recognized/affiliated yoga teacher” and “What kind of benefits/certification/qualification/result/achievement you will get if you attend my classes/courses learning yoga from me.” but instead, “It’s a hard-work. There will be lots of unpleasantness/pain and hardships/obstacles that you need to deal with by yourself. You have to walk the path alone by yourself. You need to be determined, persevered and vigilant to discipline your own mind until you attain self-realization.” And the students of yoga will be determined to finish their learning under the teacher no matter how much difficulties and obstacles arise during the physical/mental/emotional purification process, while developing discipline and independence in their own practice, as one day, they will have to leave the teacher, or the teacher will leave.

It’s not about to be ‘qualified’ as ‘yoga teachers/masters’, be ‘affiliated’ with ‘yoga alliance’ to be ‘conducting yoga classes’ to teach ‘yoga classes’ or ‘conducting yoga courses’ to be ‘training yoga teachers to teach yoga or conduct yoga classes/yoga courses to other people’. As a ‘yogi’ who knows yoga doesn’t need to be ‘trained’ to be ‘qualified’ to be ‘certified yoga teacher’ and ‘affiliated with’ such and such ‘yoga organization/alliance’ to be ‘recognized/authorized’ to teach yoga to anyone. It’s neither about ‘correct/proper physical alignments’, ‘teaching techniques’, ‘effects/benefits of the yoga practice’, ‘healing’, ‘connecting’, ‘sharing’, ‘hugging’ and ‘touching’.

Nowadays, this tradition is no longer be seen/practiced/appreciated. One of the reason would be the existence of ‘sincere teacher of yoga’ and ‘sincere student of yoga’ is very rare now.

In this modern commercialized world of ‘higher education and higher quality of life with worldly social values and practice’, the ‘yoga teachers’ have to ‘advertise’ or ‘boast’ about their ‘certification/qualification/recognition/affiliation/experiences/achievements’ and ‘to be presenting’ something ‘unique, enjoyable, innovative and attractive’ to attract people to be interested to come to attend the ‘yoga classes’ or ‘yoga courses’ conducted by them, while gratifying the people’s desire of craving and aversion, by giving them what they want/like and don’t give them what they don’t want/like, to make them feel treasured, appreciated, valued, pampered, satisfied and empowered. Both the teacher and the students also want to develop and maintain an inter-dependent ‘connection/relationship’ where the students ceaselessly need to receive attention, love, care, support, acknowledgement, advice or feedback from the teacher, while the teacher wants to ‘be close’ to the students, ‘be there’ for the students, ‘be connecting’ with the students, or ‘be loved/needed/glorified/supported/respected’ by the students.

Because most egoistic impure minds are being conditioned deeply by the worldly thinking behavior pattern, almost all of the ‘yoga enthusiasts’ or the ‘prospect/potential students/clients’ of the ‘yoga school/yoga studio/yoga centre’ will have some kind of ‘request’ or ‘expectation’ towards the ‘yoga school’, ‘yoga studio’, ‘yoga center’, ‘yoga classes’, ‘yoga courses’ or ‘yoga teachers’ to meet up their ‘requests’ and ‘expectation’ in terms of the ‘quality’ of the ‘professional profile/image’, ‘qualification’, ‘certification’, ‘recognition’, ‘affiliation’, ‘organization’, ‘experience’, ‘achievement’, or ‘result orientation’, and above all, “How much and what do I get from paying this amount of ‘fees’/’donation’ to the ‘yoga school’/’yoga studio’/’yoga centre’/’yoga teacher’ for attending the ‘yoga classes’/’yoga courses’.”

Many of the untrained worldly egoistic impure minds will have doubt/insecurity towards their own ‘determination’ being determined by whether they will like/enjoy ‘the teacher’s over-all presentation/image/charm/professionalism/credibility/teaching style’ or ‘the classes’ or ‘the practice’, or not, where they are unsure/unwilling to pay fees in advance which might be ‘non-refundable’ if they want to ‘give up’ when they experience discomfort or difficulty, or when they ‘don’t like/enjoy’ the ‘teacher/classes/practice’, while the truth of the purification process deriving from performing ‘serious/intense/persevered yoga and meditation practice to eliminate ignorance/egoism/impurities/restlessness’ is inevitably ‘unpleasant’ and ‘painful’ physically/mentally/emotionally for all egoistic impure minds. Even before the students come to the ‘yoga school/yoga studio/yoga centre’ to begin learning and practicing yoga under the teacher, the test/obstacle derived from the purification process already started. All kinds of obstacles manifest in the form of physical/mental/emotional discomfort and doubt.

Unfortunately, there are quite many stories of ‘impure yoga teachers’ existing in the world ‘taking advantage’ of the attention/love seeking ‘yoga students’, where people looking forward to be ‘touched’, creating many forms of ‘corruption’, and then there are ‘impure yoga students’ who didn’t get what they like and want from the teachers and they criticized and bitched about the teachers with the intention to hurt/damage the teacher’s reputation, that makes it even harder and more challenging for ‘yoga enthusiasts’ to ‘surrender’ all doubts/insecurity, to be opened to approach a teacher to ask to be accepted as ‘student of yoga’ and to ‘serve’ the teacher without attachment, identification and expectation, to be effectively purifying and eliminating egoism and impurities, to free the mind from restlessness and the veil of ignorance.

There’s neither right nor wrong, neither good nor bad. It’s just how things are in this world.

Anyway, ‘sincere teachers of yoga’ and ‘sincere students of yoga’ will meet each other in due time and due cause. There’s no ‘attachment’, ‘identification’ or ‘expectation’ towards each other. The students/practitioners ‘serve’ the teacher humbly for years, surrendering the ego and worldly passionate desire/ambition/thinking/belief/social behavior pattern, and developing self-discipline. After learning/receiving the teachings from the teachers, the students retreat into seclusion and solitude, working diligently and independently towards purifying and silencing the modification of the mind, to perform self-inquiry upon the truth of everything, to attain self-realization and total annihilation of the mind or the mind perception of an impermanent and selfless worldly life existence of countless ‘births’ and ‘deaths’ of names and forms (thoughts/feelings/emotions/relationships) arising and passing away, of ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering.

“You are left alone now.” – Swami Sivananda

Respect everyone being what they are

For the minds that attached onto and identified with the qualities of names and forms to be who/what they are, ‘respect’ is about showing admiration or acknowledgement towards oneself or others who possess or achieve certain qualities of names and forms that the minds think and believe as ‘superior quality’, ‘higher ability’, or ‘higher achievement’ that deserve ‘respect’ from others or the world. Most people ‘work’ very hard throughout their life to earn or gain ‘respect’ or ‘admiration/acknowledgement’ from the world, or others, especially those who are ‘related’ to them in their personal/community/social/professional life.

Whether wittingly or unwittingly, there is discrimination towards the different qualities, abilities/disabilities and achievement/non-achievement determining what and who are worthy or unworthy to be receiving respect from oneself and others.

Most people think and believe that showing/giving ‘respect’/’admiration’/’acknowledgement’ towards certain higher/superior quality, ability and achievement is a form of generosity/kindness/goodness or positive encouragement to motivate oneself or other people (to be continuously) to strive to be good or be better.

For the minds that (truly) practice yoga, that are free from attachment towards and identification with any qualities of names and forms, that are free from discrimination towards all the different qualities of names and forms, ‘respect’ is not about showing admiration or acknowledgement towards ‘higher’ or ‘superior’ quality, ability or achievement, but instead, it’s abandoning such worldly thinking and belief, values and practice that empowers egoism and ignorance. It’s transcending the discrimination towards what the worldly egoistic thinking and belief categorizing as ‘respectable’ and ‘non-respectable’. The mind is free from the desire of craving and aversion towards the worldly idea/values/practice of ‘respect and disrespect’, ‘praise and condemn’, ‘superiority and inferiority’, ‘meaningfulness and meaninglessness’, and so on.

The one who needs to earn or gain ‘respect’/admiration’/’acknowledgement’ from others or the world, by possessing or attaining certain higher/superior quality, ability or achievement, in order to be motivated (to be continuously) to strive to be good or be better, the one who needs ‘positive inputs/influences’, ‘positive thinking’, ‘positive encouragements’ and ‘the sense of meaningfulness’, is the ego. Those who are free from the ego and egoism don’t need to be receiving ‘respect’/’admiration’/’acknowledgement’ from anyone for anything, to motivate them (to be continuously) to be good, or be better. The selfless/egoless minds don’t need to have ‘positive inputs/influences’, ‘positive thinking’, ‘positive encouragements’ and ‘the sense of meaningfulness’.

Those who know yoga aren’t interested at all towards the worldly idea/values/practice of ‘one must work hard to be earning or gaining ‘respect’/’admiration’/’acknowledgement’ from oneself or others by possessing or attaining certain higher/superior worldly or spiritual quality, ability and achievement, and void of lower/inferior quality, disability and non-achievement.

In yoga, ‘respect’ is part of the effortless manifestation of compassion derived from a selfless ‘open-mind’ that unattached towards any quality of name and form, being ‘non-discriminative’ towards all and ‘accepting’ everyone being what they are, as they are, regardless of all the different higher and lower worldly or spiritual qualities, abilities and disabilities, achievements and non-achievements that present or absent in everyone, even if the worldly minds think and believe and recognize that there is the presence of certain qualities of ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’ and the absence of certain qualities of ‘good’ and ‘right’ based on a particular social/cultural/religious/spiritual/political/philosophical thinking and belief about what is good and bad, what is right and wrong, where the minds generate dislike and disagreement, where the minds think and believe that they are ‘unworthy’ of receiving ‘respect’/’admiration’/’acknowledgement’ from anyone.

Respecting everyone being what they are doesn’t mean that one is agreeing and supporting others’ thinking, belief, behavior, values and practice that the minds think and believe as ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’, but one is undetermined or undisturbed by the existing and non-existing higher/lower quality, ability/disability, achievement/non-achievement that the world think and believe are ‘worthy’ or ‘unworthy’ of ‘respect’, without interference/discrimination/intimidation towards everyone being what they are, as they are. And all are impermanent.

Being ‘non-discriminative’ and ‘respectful’ towards all and everyone, or the mind is being ‘open’, doesn’t mean that one should be generously showing/giving ‘supports’ towards all kinds of thinking, belief, behavior, values and practice in the world, or blind-following, blind-practicing, blind-preaching and blind-promoting all the different kinds of thinking, belief, behavior, values and practice, but it’s about being unattached towards or non-associating with all the different kinds of thinking, belief, behavior, values and practice, regardless of whether the worldly thinking and belief referring something as ‘good and right’ or ‘bad and wrong’, while being non-discriminative ‘respecting’ and ‘allowing’ all these different kinds of thinking, belief, behavior, values and practice being there existing in this world as they are.

This kind of ‘respect’ of non-discriminative/non-interference/non-intimidation towards everyone regardless of all the different qualities of names and forms is essential for maintaining peace and harmony among all in the world. Be free from the worldly egoistic thinking/belief/practice of “Certain people deserve (higher) respect from others while some others don’t, being determined by who/what they are, of their particular background, gender, sexual orientation, way of life, race, belief/disbelief, position, status, caste, profession, ability, achievement, behavior, action and reaction, including what the world think is merit and virtue.”

Seeing the truth of names and forms as they are. They are just what they are, neither good nor bad, neither right nor wrong, neither positive nor negative, neither meaningful nor meaningless.

Those who truly want to realize yoga of selflessness/oneness/compassion/unconditional peace need to be aware of the subtle attachment, identification and desire of craving and aversion towards the quality of names and forms projected by the ignorant impure egoistic mind. Learn how to transcend the modification of the mind of all kinds of thinking/belief/values/practice/behavior/habit/desire/intention/expectation/action and reaction.

The freedom of being free from ignorance and the suffering of the consequences of ignorance is attained through the realization of selflessness/oneness/attributelessness/namelessness/formlessness by transcending/going beyond/subjugating the modification of the mind that generates the separateness/duality manifested in the form of thinking and belief that gives rise to the notion of a worldly life existence consisting of ‘I and all the others’, ‘I and my world’, ‘I and my life’, ‘good and bad’, ‘right and wrong’, ‘positive and negative’, ‘meaningfulness and meaninglessness’, ‘respectable and non-respectable’, ‘praise and condemn’, and so on.

Those who know this, they allow everyone being what they are, including whether people want to show ‘respect’ towards one another, or not. Those who don’t know this, they would feel disappointed, offended, disrespected, humiliated, belittled, hurt and angry when they think they aren’t getting the ‘respect’ that they expect to be getting, and they expect all ‘good’ human beings should behave in certain way to show ‘respect’ to one another, or else, those who don’t behave in such way would be labeled/condemned as ‘bad’ human beings.

Be free.

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.

Wise vs intelligent

The minds that are intelligent, upon coming in contact with something, will analyze it based on the accumulated knowledge under the influence of a particular thinking and belief to apply judgment of right or wrong/true or untrue/good or bad/positive or negative, and followed by asserting agreement (towards what is corroborating with the thinking and belief) and disagreement (towards what is contradicting with the thinking and belief), and generating liking, admiration and support towards the agreeable, while generating disliking, disgust and oppose towards the disagreeable. Being attached onto and identifying with the accumulated knowledge or what the mind thinks it knows (even though there are many things are unknown to the mind), the mind doesn’t bother to inquire the truth of something agreeable or disagreeable, that either corroborates or contradicts with the accumulated knowledge under the influence of a particular thinking and belief in the mind.

The minds that are wise, upon coming in contact with something, will be aware of or seeing the thing as it is, without generating liking, admiration and support or disliking, disgust and oppose, being free from agreement and disagreement based on judgment deriving from analysis that is limited by the accumulated knowledge under the influence of a particular thinking and belief. Via insight that is free from attachment or identification towards the accumulated knowledge under the influence of any thinking and belief, the mind is opened to inquire the truth of everything, including what it knows and doesn’t know, whether it is something corroborating or contradicting with the accumulated knowledge under the influence of a particular thinking and belief in the mind.

Being intelligent doesn’t guarantee that the mind is free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, or is free from disturb, restlessness and suffering.

Being wise allows the mind to be free from disturb, restlessness and suffering.

What the mind agrees with or disagrees with, is not necessary the truth or not the truth.

Yoga and meditation practice serves the purpose to transform the egoistic intellectual thinking into selfless intuitive insight, provided if yoga and meditation practice is being performed with the correct understanding and attitude. Otherwise, even after many years of yoga and meditation practice also doesn’t lead the mind into silence or towards liberation from ignorance and suffering, but instead empowering restlessness, egoism and ignorance.

Unattached towards any thinking and belief, including the teachings of yoga

Why is it important to be unattached towards any thinking and belief, including the teachings of yoga?

We all need to make some unavoidable important decisions to suit the impermanent changes from time to time in our life. We will also come in contact with other people who have different thinking, belief and practice from us, from time to time, living in this space of the universe, whether we like it, or not.

If we attached strongly onto a particular thinking and belief in our mind that put importance and unimportance onto certain action, reaction, behavior and values, then we might have expectation towards ourselves and/or others to live life or behave in the way according to that thinking and belief. We will be very dissatisfied and disappointed with ourselves and/or other people if we or other people don’t live life or behave exactly in the way according to that thinking and belief. We might easily be disturbed or offended by other people’s different thinking and belief that put importance and unimportance onto certain action, reaction, behavior and values that are very different from ours. We would want to argue about whose thinking and belief is better or trying to persuade other people to take up our thinking and belief that we think is better, that we think is correct, that we feel very proud of. There’s disturbance, dissatisfaction, disappointment, frustration, irritation, anger, hatred, offensiveness, defensiveness, hurts, fear and worry in the mind due to couldn’t accept or allow or respect other people to be different from us.

Due to ignorance, our perception or understanding towards the teachings of yoga might not necessarily be something that we can agree with, like or want to practice.

If we attached strongly onto the teachings of yoga based on how we perceive or understand the teachings, we might not want to practice yoga if we have certain disagreements or dislikes towards the teachings of yoga that we think is wrong or incorrect because it is contradicted with our own existing thinking/belief/practice. Or, we might want to change yoga into something else that we can agree with, like and want to practice. And if our minds agree with, like and want to practice the teachings of yoga as it is, then there might be inner conflict arise when we need to make a decision for something that might go against the teachings of yoga. We would feel very disturbed, confused, guilty or regret for being unable to practice yoga ‘perfectly’ or ‘exactly’ in accordance to the teachings of yoga as it is. And then, the impure egoistic mind that attached strongly onto the teachings of yoga might unwittingly judging others, both yoga practitioners or non-yoga practitioners, out of self-righteousness based on what the mind thinks it knows about the teachings of yoga.

It doesn’t mean that if we don’t attach onto the teachings of yoga, then we don’t need to respect the teachings of yoga and do whatever we like, even if it goes against the teachings of yoga. We should do our best to practice yoga as it is according to the ancient teachings of yoga, if the life condition and situation allows us to do that. But, life is impermanent.

There will always be some challenging unfavorable circumstances that we need to deal with from time to time. If we attached strongly onto the teachings of yoga, expecting ourselves to be able to follow ‘perfectly’ all the teachings of yoga to live life and practice yoga as it ‘supposed’ to be all the time, then we might not be able to continue our yoga practice or will give up the path of yoga entirely, when we think we can’t or it’s wrong to make adjustments in our life or in our practice to adapt and accommodate the challenging condition and situation that is also impermanent.

It’s about the inner stamina, strength and flexibility of patience, perseverance, determination, acceptance, forbearance and tolerance to accept the reality that is not necessarily in favor to our preferred way of life or our yoga practice in accordance to the teachings of yoga as it is, and be able to make suitable momentary adjustments to adapt and accommodate any challenging conditions or situations that arise from time to time in our life and in our practice. But, with correct understanding that these adjustments are also impermanent, as well as do our best to respect the teachings of yoga as it is if the condition permits. Yoga is still what it is, whether we need to make some adjustments, or not. It doesn’t change into something else, whether people agree or disagree with it, or whether people practice yoga as it is, or not.

It’s about being compassionate, respectful and non-discriminating towards this life, this body and this mind that is not perfectly the way that we would like it to be and towards others who are different from us, who have different thinking, belief and practice that put different importance and unimportance onto certain action, reaction, behavior and values that are different from ours. Being undisturbed or unoffended by other people’s thinking, belief, practice, values, behavior, action and reaction that are different from ours. Being undisturbed or unoffended by our impure perception/understanding of the teachings of yoga that our mind disagree with, doesn’t like and doesn’t want to practice.

Non-attachment is about being able to adjust, to adapt and accommodate any unforeseen circumstances of challenging condition and situation that arise in our life and our practice, whether it’s about the physical/mental condition, livelihood, sickness, injury, aging, or any issues with family/neighbourhood/environment/weather/religion/area/getting the basic needs for life maintenance, that need us to make some necessary adjustments on the path of yoga whether in terms of livelihood, or performing our own yoga practice, or teaching yoga to other people, to adapt and accommodate the impermanent changes of challenging condition and situation.

It allows us to continue our practice in a slightly different way than what we would like it to be, but at least we didn’t give it up just because we think it’s impossible to practice yoga under certain challenging condition or situation, due to we think we must follow exactly the teachings of yoga as it is, that we think we can’t or it’s wrong/impossible to make any adjustments. More importantly, it allows the mind to be opened to inquire/investigate/experience the truth of the teachings of yoga, without blind-believing or blind-following.

Be free.

Root out pride and arrogance

For some reasons people are aspired to attain or possess certain qualities in order to be eligible or qualified to feel proud and arrogant towards themselves and/or others.

People are being encouraged to cultivate pride and arrogance as well, as somehow they think it’s very good/important to be able to be proud and arrogant about something that they think it deserves to be proud of, that would make them feel somehow more stand out, unique and better than some others.

“Do something and be someone that make yourself and other people feel proud of.”

People like to encourage and support other people to stay motivated and to be better by telling people, “I’m so proud of you!” People grew up with the thinking/belief/values/aspiration of need to be attaining or possessing certain qualities to feel proud of themselves and also make other people feel proud of them.

“I want to be proud of myself. I want other people to be proud of me.”

People would feel inferior, bad, depressed and disappointed towards themselves when they think they haven’t or couldn’t attain or possess certain qualities that allow themselves and others to feel proud of.

Those who want to attain liberation must contemplate on all these worldly social cultural thinking/belief/expectation, to see the truth of it. All these are nothing but the play of egoism – It’s merely the ego that needs to feel proud and needs others to feel proud of ‘I’ in order to feel satisfied, loved, motivated, appreciated, acknowledged, good, happy, confident and meaningful.

Meanwhile, some people think and believe that they are not at all proud and arrogant, as they are aware of the downside of pride and arrogance, and they don’t want to be associated with pride and arrogance, but they aren’t aware of themselves are already being over-powered by pride and arrogance. Without awareness, people can be proud of the thinking of ‘I am not a proud and arrogant person. I practice humility. I am very humble.’

In Yoga, pride and arrogance is the by-product of egoism born out of ignorance. It’s one of the great obstacles that hinders the mind to be opened to learn and practice yoga and meditation, to inquire the truth.

If we sincerely want to learn and practice yoga and meditation, we need to first learn how to identify pride and arrogance and free the mind from it. But, it’s really not easy for people to let go pride and arrogance, as it is a part of their strong identity of themselves.

Even many ‘graduated/certified/qualified/experienced yoga teachers’ are being proud and arrogant towards themselves for having attended one or many ‘yoga teachers training courses’ attaining one or many certifications or qualifications in this or that, that they had studied and practiced yoga under one or many ‘famous’ or ‘popular’ yoga teachers/Gurus/schools, as well as their years of experience in practicing and teaching yoga, or they have recruited certain numbers of yoga students, or they had taught in certain yoga schools or yoga centres or yoga festivals or yoga conventions, or they had participated in some ‘yoga competitions’ and won certain awards, or they have done such and such charity works, or they have been contributing articles of yoga or being ‘interviewed’ in such and such magazine or social media, and so on. Most people would justify that their intention of getting all the attention, admiration and publicity is for promoting yoga to more people in the world. But, how pure and true is that?

Two of the common characteristics of pride and arrogance that exist in many yoga practitioners who already have been practicing certain style(s) of yoga for some time, or ‘graduated/certified/qualified/experienced yoga teachers’ who have attained many certifications/qualifications/experiences from attending different yoga courses and have been teaching ‘yoga classes’ or ‘yoga courses’ for some time :-

“I am experienced/qualified/knowledgeable/advanced yoga practitioner/yoga teacher. I know enough and I have long time experience in practicing/teaching yoga. I don’t need someone to lecture me about yoga/yoga practice/teaching yoga, or tell/teach me the many things that I already knew.”

“This is different from the yoga that I have been learning/practicing/teaching for many years. I don’t agree with this, I don’t like this. I don’t want this.”

When there is such pride and arrogance, the mind is closed, being unable to be opened to inquire/investigate the truth of something that is beyond what the mind thinks it knows, or something that is different from or contradicted with the existing familiar practice, thinking and belief in the mind, that the mind doesn’t know or doesn’t familiar with. We won’t/can’t learn anything that we actually didn’t know but we think and believe that we already knew very well, even if there’s a great teacher or great teaching in front of us.

Be free.

The mind only knows what it knows

Different people teach and guide other people in different ways or methods to perform the yoga practice, to inquire and reflect upon the teachings of yoga, to purify their minds, to eliminate ignorance, egoism and impurities, to realize unconditional love and peace that is undetermined by the qualities of names and forms that are impermanent and selfless, that is always there as it is, but this unconditional love and peace is unknown to the mind due to the veil of ignorance and impurities.

Not all who teach yoga to other people are evolving simultaneously with the similar realization through their own sincere practice. It’s like peeling away many different layers of ignorance/impurities to allow the mind to see the one knowledge but it appears to be in many different names and forms due to the different layers of ignorance and impurities. Meanwhile, all these knowledge appear in different names and forms will continue to lead the impure, but open mind towards the pure consciousness, until the deepest/last layer of ignorance/impurities is completely removed, the mind sees the truth as it is, selfless, oneness, nameless, formless, attributeless, birthless and deathless.

When different people learn and practice yoga under different people, they might learn different teachings and ways of practice that are distinct from one another. Some might like and agree with certain teachings and ways of practice, while some others don’t like and disagree with the same teachings and ways of practice. It is not because these teachings and ways of practice are good or not good, are right or not right, but they are mere different degrees/stages of realization. Also, different minds have different life experiences, temperament and personality, and hence, different minds react differently towards the different teachings and ways of practice taught by different people.

It’s the matter of whether the minds are open, or not, towards the different teachings/knowledge/ways of practice, by investigate/inquire/reflect upon the truth of all the different teachings/knowledge/ways of practice that they come in contact with from different people with different degrees/stages of realization.

There is nothing to be compared or argued about. The mind only knows what it knows, and what it doesn’t know, it doesn’t know. And there’s nothing wrong with there are things that the mind doesn’t know. It’s more harmful/dangerous when the mind is blind-believing in or propagating many things that it doesn’t really know whether they are true or untrue, just because those were what they heard from or taught by their beloved elders or teachers, or knowledge that they had read and accumulated from books, or the opinions and points of view that are agreed, liked, shared and supported by many other people or majority of the people. More important is that what the mind agrees or disagrees with and what the mind likes or dislikes under the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities, are not necessarily true/untrue.

It’s a great obstacle for the mind to evolve, to go beyond the ‘partial/incomplete/impure’ reality that the mind perceives under the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities, if the mind is not open towards what is unknown to the mind, to investigate the truth of something that is unknown or unfamiliar to the mind, but it reacts with intense rejection/disagreement towards something that it doesn’t know, or that is different from or contradicted with its existing thinking and belief and familiarity.

Just like people who never come in contact with apples before, would deny the existence of apples when being informed by other people whom have come in contact with apples. The minds that are open, neither believe nor disbelieve towards the existence of apples, until they directly come in contact with apples. Even so, the apples that were informed by others might appear to be different from the apples that they experience, but the origin of the different varieties (names and forms) of apples is rooted in the one same source, or else it’s not apple, it’s something else. Even if it’s something else, such like oranges, all kinds of names and forms are still existing on the one same truth – impermanence and selflessness. Beyond different kinds of impermanent and selfless names and forms, it’s namelessness, formlessness, attributelessness, birthlessness and deathlessness. Realizing this, all kinds of fear and superstitious beliefs vanished. All kinds of positiveness/negativeness, meaningfulness/meaninglessness, goodness/badness, auspiciousness/inauspiciousness, happiness/unhappiness, suffering/non-suffering are nothing but the products of ignorant and impure minds.

Many ‘yoga teachers’ teach or guide other people about yoga that is about promoting positive thinking and good actions, accumulating good karma and developing ‘positive mind power’ to fulfill the desire of achieving a good and meaningful life, because that is all that they know about yoga, so far. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

While some teach or guide other people about yoga that is beyond ‘promoting positive thinking and good actions, accumulating good karma and developing ‘positive mind power’ to fulfill the desire of achieving a good and meaningful life’, because they have realized the higher knowledge of oneness, namelessness, formlessness, attributelessness, selflessness, desirelessness, birthlessness and deathlessness. There’s neither positive nor negative. There’s neither good nor bad. There’s neither enjoyment nor non-enjoyment. There’s neither suffering nor end of suffering. There’s nothing to be known, nothing to be understood, nothing to be perceived, nothing to be connected with. There’s no other(s).

‘Yoga teachers’ must be vigilant to be cautious of (tiny) pride arising in one’s mind due to accumulated knowledge and achievements deriving from ‘reading books on yoga’, ‘attending yoga courses’, ‘attaining certifications’, or ‘teaching yoga/yoga classes to other people’. Praise, compliments, supports, agreements, appreciation, honour, respect, glorification or idolization from the yoga students, might be feeding the sense of pride in the mind unwittingly, if one is not cautious of it. One would think and feel that ‘I am a good yoga teacher’ or ‘I am an experienced yoga teacher’ or ‘I am well-loved and appreciated by all these students’. Those who are aware of the mischievous egoistic nature in one’s mind, will allow other people to show praise, compliments, supports, agreements, appreciation, honour, respect, glorification or idolization, or not, but one doesn’t interested in receiving any of these at all, and there’s neither attachment nor identification towards all these names and forms, then one is considered ‘safe’.

It’s the same as ‘yoga students’ who receive praise and compliments from the teachers or other fellow students, who have been accumulated knowledge and achievements deriving from ‘reading books on yoga’, ‘attending yoga courses’ or ‘attaining certifications’, who think and believe that oneself is ‘advanced yogi/yoga practitioner’ after practicing yoga for a long time, or having attended many ‘advanced yoga classes/courses’ and attaining many ‘yoga certificates’.

Those who are wise, won’t be telling themselves and others that “I am a wise being. I am very wise.”
Those who have been advancing in their yoga practice, won’t be telling themselves and others that “I am an advanced yogi. I am very advanced in yoga practice. I am practicing advanced yoga.”

Beware of pride and self-glorification.

Be free.

Yoga classes, yoga courses and yoga retreats?

Those (the minds) who are free, who are peaceful, who are free from ignorance, egoism, doubts and impurities, they don’t need to learn or practice yoga. They don’t need to attend yoga classes, or yoga courses, or yoga retreats.

Those (the minds) who are not free, who are not peaceful, who are not free from ignorance, egoism, doubts and impurities, they might want to learn and practice yoga, by attending yoga classes, or yoga courses, or yoga retreats, to learn and practice yoga under one or a few yoga practitioner(s) (teachers) who know the teachings and practice of yoga.

Somehow, some of those (the minds) who are not free from ignorance and egoism, who are not peaceful, who are interested in attending yoga classes, or yoga courses, or yoga retreats, are ignorant towards oneself is being over-powered by pride and arrogance. They are not really interested in ‘learning’ and ‘practicing’ yoga under the guidance of other yoga practitioners. They think they know quite a lot about the teachings and practice. They think they have been doing yoga for quite some time or a long time. They think they are quite ‘experienced’ and ‘qualified’ yoga practitioners or yoga teachers, as they have attended one or many yoga workshops, yoga courses, or yoga teachers training courses. They think they are quite ‘advanced’ on the path of yoga. They are not ‘open-minded’ to learn and practice yoga under other people’s guidance to be free from ignorance, egoism, doubts and impurities. They attached strongly onto their habitual mind behavior pattern and their way of thinking and belief and practice. They cannot be opened to investigate or experience something that is different from their thinking, belief and practice.

They want to interfere with how the people running the yoga schools, the yoga studios, or the yoga retreat centres, and what the teachers teach and how the teachers teach the classes, or courses, or retreats. They criticize the way of the people running and teaching the classes, courses, or retreats, about the format, the schedule, the accommodation, the facilities, the environment, the staff, or anything that they think it’s not the way that they like it to be, or not the way that they think or expect it should be. There are many things that they dislike and disagree with, that they cannot tolerate or accommodate. They reluctant to adjust, adapt and accommodate something that is different from their habitual comfort zone, thinking, belief and practice.

They expect/demand the people to run the yoga schools, the yoga studios, or the yoga retreat centres the way that they like it to be, and they expect/demand the teachers to teach what they like and want to practice and don’t teach what they don’t like or don’t want to practice. They expect/demand the teachers to teach the classes, the courses, the retreats the way that they like it to be. They get very annoyed and irritated when the teachers teach something that they don’t like and don’t want to learn or practice, or the people running the classes, the courses, or the retreats the way that they don’t like and don’t agree with. They expect/demand everything about the entire space of learning and practicing yoga to be the way that they like it to be, or the way that they think it should be.

These people (the minds) don’t just not really learning or practicing yoga, though they think and believe that they are very ‘serious and advanced and certified’ yoga practitioners and yoga teachers, but they also generate inconvenience, disturbance, doubt and obstacle for others who are interested to learn and practice yoga, those who ‘are aware of’ or ‘know’ their minds are not yet completely free from ignorance, egoism, doubts and impurities. The minds that are free, they won’t be affected or influenced by the ignorance and impurities of others, but most minds are not free yet, they will still be affected and influenced by the ignorance and impurities of others. But, it doesn’t mean that these minds are bad or negative. All minds are free to behave the way that they want to behave and react the way that they want to react, whether they are aware of their own behavior and reaction, or not.

And hence, when one thinks and believes that oneself is an ‘experienced’ and ‘advanced’ and ‘certified’ yoga practitioner or yoga teacher, and one wants to inform/tell other people about how experienced and advanced one is on the path of yoga, then know that one doesn’t know what is yoga, yet. Those who know yoga, they have no attachment or identification towards the experiences or levels of their practice, or be proud and arrogant about what they know or realize from their practice. They mind their own practice and they don’t need to attend yoga classes, yoga courses, or yoga retreats.

Those who are not sure or have doubts about their practice or what they think they know, and are interested in attending yoga classes, yoga courses, or yoga retreats to learn and practice yoga under the guidance of other people, must learn how to allow the mind to be opened to learn and practice yoga under another person or other people, while not by pushing away or arguing about something that the mind dislikes and disagrees with, but to investigate the truth of everything that the mind comes in contact with through direct experience.

What the mind agrees with and what the mind disagrees with, are not necessarily the truth.

One doesn’t need to like and agree with everything, even if it’s part of the teachings and practice of yoga, but remain equanimous, being undisturbed or undetermined by what the mind dislikes and disagrees with, is already what yoga practice is about.

Be free.

Friendliness is about respecting everyone to be different from oneself, to be what they are, as they are

Friendliness doesn’t necessarily mean making social contacts or personal friendships and hanging out together, connecting, interacting and socializing with other like-minded people. It is about respecting everyone, whom we know or don’t know, to be different from oneself, to be what they are, as they are, being free from discrimination, judgment, expectation, superiority/inferiority and self-righteousness.

Those who are open-minded and free from egoism will not interfere with other people’s thinking and belief that are different from them, and won’t be disturbed or offended by other people’s thinking and belief that one doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with, and have peace and harmony in oneself. And they allow other people to dislike or disagree with their thinking and belief, being undisturbed and not be offended or insulted by other people’s dislike and disagreement towards oneself. But not many are open-minded and egoless. Lots of conflict, argument and violence derived from closed-minded and egoistic mind reactions towards what the ego doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with, being disturbed and offended by one’s dislike and disagreement towards other people’s thinking and belief that is different from oneself, or be disturbed and offended or insulted by other people’s dislikes and disagreements towards one’s thinking and belief which one thinks is right, or true, or superior.

Putting the blame onto other people’s thinking and belief and behavior that our minds think and believe as wrong and bad, that we don’t like and don’t agree with, for the peacelessness and disharmony in us, is ignorance. It’s how the ego reacts towards something that it doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with, that causes the peacelessness and disharmony in the mind.

In yoga or Buddhism, friendliness is the ability to be able to be aware of all the different qualities of names and forms in different people or beings, and be able to respect everyone as they are, even though we might not like or agree with them of their thinking, their beliefs, or their behavior, without judgment or criticism, without trying to change or control those whom we dislike or disagree with to be what we would like them to be, or to be the way that we think they should be. Instead, we have self-awareness, self-discipline and self-control over our own thoughts, actions and speech, being free from discrimination or prejudice that based on our personal likes and dislikes or agreements and disagreements influenced by our own personal thinking and belief about what things are and how things should be like.

One can keep one’s personal thinking and belief as well as what one practices or doesn’t practice to oneself, and allows other people or beings to have their own thinking and belief, and what they practice or don’t practice that are different from oneself, without interfering with other people’s freedom of thinking, actions and speech, even if their thinking, actions and speech might cause disturbs or harmful damages to themselves and other beings. But, allowing everyone to develop self-awareness, self-discipline and self-control over their own thoughts, actions and speech via self-realization for the well-being of themselves and others.

The pride and arrogance towards ‘I’ am better and more superior than all the others is why the ego constantly judging and criticizing and interfering with other people or beings that one doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with. The thinking and belief of ‘I’ am good and right, ‘I’ want the world to be good and right, ‘I’ want other people to be good and right, ‘I’ should correct these people or beings whom ‘I’ think they are not good and wrong, whom I think their thinking and belief and behavior are inferior than mine, is merely coming from the ego, it’s not the teachings or the practice of yoga.

In yoga and Buddhism, if one truly wants to do good and be good and wants the world to be good, one focuses and works diligently on self-inquiry by taming and quieting one’s mind through self-discipline and self-control, to be determined to free one’s mind from ignorance and egoism, and allows everyone to be what they are, as they are, and allows the world to be what it is, as it is. If everyone knows this and frees their minds from ignorance and egoism, the world will be free from all kinds of discrimination, prejudice, hatred, jealousy, greed, possessiveness, fear, exploitation, conflict, war, or violence. All these affliction arise due to people want to interfere with other people’s thinking, belief and behavior that one doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with.

Find out what really happens when there is conflict or argument or unrest between two people? May it be between the parents and their children, the husband and the wife, two friends, two strangers, two neighbours, two religions, two communities, or two countries. It’s all deriving from ignorance and egoism and impurities of dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, possessiveness, exploitation, selfish desires and expectations, feelings of hurt and insult, pride and arrogance, offensiveness and defensiveness, or fear and worry. It’s not because one party is ‘good and right’ and the other party is ‘bad and wrong’. If either one party is truly ‘good and right’, there’s no conflict or argument at all. There will be peace and harmony in oneself even when the mind perceives and is aware of something is ‘not good or wrong’ based on the thinking and belief in one’s mind.

If people want to believe or disbelieve in God, that’s everyone’s freedom.

Be truly friendly. Only when one knows what is true friendliness, one will also know what is compassion. Or else, even though one talks about and promotes compassion, and wants to be compassionate, but one couldn’t be truly compassionate if one’s mind isn’t free from ignorance and egoism yet.

Be free.

Looking for yoga?

It’s common that people who are interested in yoga and have the desire to learn and practice yoga in order to know what yoga really is about, they will try to go to a ‘place’, or ‘school’, or ‘ashram’, or ‘person’, where they think and expect that it would deliver them what they are looking for. Some people might found what they were looking for. But for some others, they are disappointed as they couldn’t find what they are looking for.

It is not whether a particular place, or school, or ashram, or person, has the power or quality to make people ‘see’ or ‘find’ yoga, or not. People might go to the same place, or same school, or same ashram, or same person, and some would ‘find’ yoga there, while others couldn’t. This is due to whether our minds are being opened, or not.

Yoga could be ‘found’ or ‘seen’ in anywhere and everywhere, but, if we try to look for yoga in a particular place, or school, or ashram, or person, most likely we will be disappointed, because the mind is not opened. But, when we let go of any expectation towards ‘finding yoga’ in a particular place, school, ashram, or person, and stop trying to look for yoga in a particular place, school, ashram, or person, but, just allowing our minds to be open and observe what is going on in our own minds, in this present, from moment to moment, observing all the impermanent changes of the states of mind, actions and reactions, thoughts and feelings that ceaselessly coming and going which are not in the control of ‘I’ of how ‘I’ would like it to be, we will start to ‘see’ yoga here and there, anywhere and everywhere. There’s no separation from yoga. There’s no ‘I’ am looking for ‘yoga’, or, ‘I’ found ‘yoga’.

The eyes serve as a tool to ‘see’ lots of names and forms of different shapes and colours, but it can’t ‘see’ itself. And yet, it was never being separated from itself.

Self-inquiry is beyond being skeptical about everything

To inquire the truth of everything without blind-believing in anything that we come in contact with, is an important part of the yoga and meditation practice. Some may interpret this as being skeptical about everything.

Self-inquiry is beyond being skeptical about everything, but it’s allowing the mind to be opened, uninfluenced by any thinking and belief, to allow the mind to see the truth of things as it is.

Being skeptical is doubting and reasoning everything that the mind perceives to find out whether the mind should believe it as true or false, right or wrong, or whether it is something agreeable or disagreeable, acceptable or unacceptable for the mind, based on the existing knowledge, thinking and belief in the mind that is influencing the mind to perform the action of doubting and reasoning. This is still under subjective reasoning.

The truth is not a belief. It is beyond reasoning based on the subjective thinking and belief in the mind about what is true and false.

Open-mind, is going beyond what the mind thinks and believes what things are. It is perceiving everything as it is, without judgment or expectation towards all the names and forms based on any existing knowledge, thinking and beliefs in the mind. It’s not about looking into everything to see whether the mind thinks and believes it’s true or false, or whether the mind should agree or disagree with it. The mind doesn’t need to agree or disagree, or to believe it’s true or false, but just seeing the truth as it is. It’s nothing to do with doubting, judging and categorizing everything as true or false, right or wrong, or what is agreeable or disagreeable, or what is acceptable or unacceptable, based on what the mind knows, expects, thinks and believes what things are, or how things should be like.

What the mind thinks and reasons towards what it perceives under the influence of what the mind believes as true and false, right and wrong, agreeable and disagreeable, acceptable and unacceptable, is not necessarily the truth of what things are.

Om shanti.

Want to practice yoga? (6)

When the mind is still under the influence of egoism, there will be dislikes and disagreements coming from the egoistic mind towards certain teachings, practices, beliefs, thinking and behavior that are contradicted with the existing teachings, practices, beliefs, thinking and behavior in one’s mind that are conditioning how one thinks, acts and reacts.

Whether our minds think that our own thinking and belief is true or false, and whether other types of thinking and beliefs that are different from ours are true or false, including the teachings and practices of yoga that are contradicted with the worldly thinking and our existing cultural and religious teachings and practices, it is not important at all.

Most important, it’s not to blind-believe in any teachings and practices, thinking and beliefs until we realize the truth through self-inquiry about the truth of everything that the mind comes in contact with, including the existing cultural and religious teachings and practices, personal thinking and belief in our minds, and all the other types of teachings, practices, thinking and beliefs that are different from ours.

It is normal that most minds will generate dislike and disagreement towards something that is different from our own cultural and religious teachings and practices, or our personal thinking and belief. And we don’t have to like and agree with everything and everyone.

It’s okay if people who haven’t realized the truth of the teachings of yoga will generate dislike and disagreement towards certain teachings and practices of yoga when our minds come in contact with the teachings and practices of yoga that are contradicted with our existing cultural and religious teachings and practices, or personal thinking and belief.

But if we know how to not generate aversion towards other thinking and beliefs that are different from ours, and we don’t apply our own cultural or religious teachings and practices, and our personal thinking and belief onto other people who are being different from us, neither trying to interfere with other people’s cultural or religious teachings and practices, and their personal thinking and belief, or try to control or change other people to be the way that we think they should be, and we aren’t being disturbed or determined by the personal egoistic and subjective likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements coming from our minds towards everything that the mind comes in contact with, and we are able to remain equanimous and be in peace, being free from anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, feelings of hurts, pride, arrogance, ill-will, violence, discrimination, fear and worry, then we are practicing yoga, even though there are some dislikes and disagreements coming from our minds towards certain teachings and practices of yoga that our minds couldn’t accept or agree with.

Allowing the mind to be opened.

When the mind perceives all the objects of names and forms under the influence of egoism, ignorance and impurities, the mind doesn’t perceive the truth of things as it is, but it perceives everything under the influence of impurities where all the names and forms are being projected with different qualities determined by the personal likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, based on what the mind believes what things are.

For example, a person who wears a pair of red coloured glasses will see an object that is seemingly blue as purple. It is true coming from the perception of this person that this person sees purple. But that is not the truth of the blue object. Meanwhile another person who wears a pair of yellow coloured glasses will see the blue object as green. It is also true coming from the perception of this person that this person sees green. But, again, it is not the truth of the blue object. They might argue with each other that one of them is correct and the other is incorrect. And each of them is correct coming from their own perception or point of view, but both perceptions about the blue object as purple and green are not the truth. Two people perceive what they are perceiving through different coloured glasses and there’s nothing to be argued about. Even when there are some other people who don’t wear any glasses, and see the blue object as blue, but different people might see different types of blue. People might argue about what type of blue it actually is. But, again, each of them is correct coming from their own perception of the blue that they see, but, it is not the truth either. The object is just what it is. It is neither purple, or green, or blue.

Some people like a particular colour while some others might hate it. The colour itself has no quality or intention to make anyone like it or hate it, or to make anyone feel pleasant or unpleasant. It is coming from each individual own mind’s reactions towards the colour and generate pleasant or unpleasant feelings based on it’s personal likes and dislikes towards certain names and forms.

Yoga and meditation practice is to remove any coloured glasses (detaching from any conditional subjective thinking and beliefs) and perceive the object of names and forms as they are, uninfluenced by any worldly thinking or cultural and religious beliefs, or personal likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements.

Om shanti.

Open mind – Unattached to what the mind thinks and believes…

There are certain types of thinking and beliefs that influence the egoistic mind to think, to behave, to act and react. The ego attached to certain thinking and beliefs, as well as certain qualities of names and forms to be ‘I’.

When we practice yoga and meditation, it is not about comparing the different types of beliefs, to find a particular belief that meets our liking or preference to believe in, to be the guidelines for how to live our lives and how we should behave.

It is letting go of attachment towards any thinking and beliefs, allow the mind to be opened, to inquire the truth of everything, including the thinking and beliefs that are existing in the mind, as well as the teachings of yoga, without judgment, comparison, nor expectation. Stand as a witness, allows all the different thinking and beliefs, or any teachings and philosophies to be there as they are, without generate attachment of clinging or aversion, without identification with any of the thinking or beliefs to be who ‘I’ am, or who ‘I’ am not.

Some people have intense disagreement or aversion towards ‘open mind’, as ‘open mind’ is being misunderstood as self-indulgent without morality and self-control, nor having any restraints to do whatever we like and want to do, completely surrender to the passionate desires of craving and aversion, to attain what we want to attain disregard whether it will generate harmful effects onto ourselves and others, as well as indulge in unrestrained love affairs or relationships with different people without responsibility nor commitment, and allowing everything that the mind comes in contact with to influence its thinking and behavior, and taking whatever kinds of thinking and beliefs to be who ‘I’ am.

The witness stays unchanged, unaffected, undisturbed, uninfluenced and undetermined by the act of witnessing, or the objects being witnessed.

Om shanti