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.

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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.

Be ourselves, but also be opened, let go of self-righteousness…

If we identified with and attached to certain ideology, ways of thinking, ways of living, ideas, beliefs, actions and reactions to live our life, to be who we are, about how we as “human beings” should behave, but we also expect other people or other living beings in the world to be agree with and live up to the same ideology or beliefs as we do, then we are not just generating affliction and unhappiness (Such like anger, hatred, fear, worry, dissatisfaction, disappointment, feelings of hurt, and etc) in ourselves, but also generating unnecessary conflicts with other people.

Sometimes, or, most of the time, while we are looking for freedom of thinking, action and expression to be what we want to be, we are not aware that we are “violating” other people’s or other living beings’ freedom of thinking, actions and expression, if ourselves is strongly attached to our own ideology and being self-righteous.

We get offended, feel insulted or humiliated, or feel hurt easily by other people or other living beings who have different ideology than us, who think, behave, act and react differently from us, which is contradicting with our own points of view and beliefs.

We’ll get angry and upset easily, hurting ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally, disturbing the equilibrium of the body and mind, as well as we might be hurting other beings, if we don’t have awareness and self-control over our own anger, irritation and frustration whenever our egoistic minds come in contact with something (names and forms) that our mind strongly dislike and disagree with, based on what our minds believe what things are, or how things should be like.

And that’s where anger and hatred begins, where arguments and clashes begin, where wars and violence begin…

Have our own ideology, be ourselves, as we are, but also be opened, let go of self-righteousness.

Allow and respect other people or other living beings to be what they are, to be different from us… It doesn’t mean that we have to agree with other people’s thinking and behavior that we cannot agree with, nor are we supporting other people to behave the way that we think is “wrong” or “not right” based on what our minds believe what is right and wrong…

Have peace in ourselves, before we can “expect” or “hope for” peace in the world, if we think we are so right and so good human beings.

Be in harmony with ourselves and with others. Let go of expectation towards other people or other living beings that they should behave in certain ways that our mind can agree with, no matter how “great” we think our ideology is…

Learn how to love unconditionally before we can “expect” or “hope for” peace and harmony in our relationships with anyone.

This is yoga practice.

Om shanti.