It’s better not to teach yoga than teaching yoga without correct understanding

Yoga and its practice is neither good nor bad. Teaching yoga is also neither good nor bad.

If people practice yoga with the correct understanding, and if people teach yoga to many more other people with the correct understanding, then yoga appears to be something good. There will be more wise people and less ignorant thinking and behavior in the world.

If people practice yoga without the correct understanding, and if people teach yoga to many more other people without the correct understanding, then yoga appears to be something not so good. There will be stronger ignorance in people with ignorant thinking and behavior in the world.

No doubt that there are many people interested in yoga and love to do yoga practice, and many are also interested in teaching yoga, but it’s not necessarily a good thing if the people have no correct understanding.

It’s normal and understandable that there are many people who think they love yoga are still very much under the influence of ignorance, they are not free from egoism and attachment towards worldly thinking and belief and behavior.

Many existing yoga teachers are teaching yoga to other people with what they think is yoga, that is influenced a lot by their worldly egoistic nature of social and cultural and spiritual thinking and belief and behavior that is full of passionate love and affection and clinging, desires of craving and aversion, personal and worldly identification, attachment and identification towards qualities of names and forms, attachment towards actions and the fruit of actions, and etc. And hence, they are actually feeding the world with deeper ignorance instead of wisdom, and empowering other people’s ignorance and egoism with their own ignorance and egoism.

Many yoga practitioners and yoga teachers mistaken worldly egoistic attachment and clinging of passionate love and affection as compassion.

For example, it’s normal for most people to fall in love with other people or animals or things. When someone meets another person who has something in common with mutual feelings of similar interest and liking towards each other, and they want to be friends, stay connected, be interacting with one another, see each other, talk to each other and do some activities together, know that it’s nothing to do with compassion. It’s just egoistic attachment and clinging of passionate love and affection towards something that the mind feels inclined or attracted to. Compassion is nothing to do with falling in love with people or animals or things.

Compassion is nothing to do with passionate love and affection towards people, animals or things that the mind likes and agrees with, that the minds perceives and recognizes as ‘cute’, ‘pretty’, ‘beautiful’, ‘adorable’, ‘friendly’, ‘lovely’, ‘good’, ‘positive’, ‘right’, ‘happiness’, or ‘meaningfulness’.

Compassion is nothing to do with sympathetic feelings towards people, animals or things that the mind thinks and believes as pitiful and sympathy deserving. Those who have lots of sympathy and affection towards certain people or animals that they like and love are not necessarily compassionate. There are people love and be nice to their friends and pets more than their own parents or children. They would treat their friends and pets like king and queen, but yet, they would neglect or abuse or abandon their parents and children.

People can be very kind and loving towards their own particular community but they would have animosity or ill-will towards other communities. People can be very sympathetic and loving towards someone’s suffering, and be very violent and hating towards those whom they think and believe are the ones who are responsible for the suffering of that someone. This is the manifestation of passionate love and affection that based on personal likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements. This is nothing to do with compassion.

Compassionate minds are free from attachment, identification, clinging, desires of craving and aversion, and are free from impurities of anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurt, regret, guilt, fear, worry, offensiveness, defensiveness, aggressiveness, depression, painful sorrow, grief, vengeance, ill-will and ill-thinking towards all and everything without discrimination of good and bad, superiority and inferiority.

Compassion is equanimity towards ‘good’ and ‘bad’ qualities, condition and situation. Free from craving or aversion towards ‘good’ qualities, condition and situation. Free from aversion or craving towards ‘bad’ qualities, condition and situation. Actions being performed out of compassion is free from ignorance and egoism and impurities. It’s not about “I will be nice to you and you will be nice to me.” There’s no craving or expectation to be receiving love and kindness or friendship and companionship from other beings.

If one thinks one is full of love and kindness towards ‘all beings’, including animals, and has lots of love and affection towards particular animal, that one is keeping the animal as pet, receiving the pet animal as a family member, accepting all the good and bad of the pet animal as well as taking full responsibility towards the consequences of keeping a pet animal, showing lots of love and affection towards the pet animal and enduring the potential difficulties that may arise due to the pet animal’s imperfect nature and behavior, but one couldn’t respect other beings for being different from oneself, one couldn’t accept and love all human beings as they are, including those whose one’s mind perceives, recognizes, thinks and believes as ‘wrong’, ‘selfish’, ‘bad’ and ‘evil’, one discriminates towards other people whom one doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with, and being impatient, frustrated, angry and hating towards certain people’s imperfection and the consequences of their imperfect thinking and behavior, having ill-will and ill-thinking towards people who inflict problems and troubles and damages to one’s life existence, wishing these people to be punished and suffer for their imperfect thinking and behavior, that one doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with, but then one doesn’t mind at all for all the troubles and problems and damages that the pet animal brings into one’s life existence, as one has so much love and affection towards the pet animal to tolerate and accommodate the imperfection of the pet animal, then know that this is not what compassion or loving kindness towards all beings is about.

Most people, including many yoga practitioners and yoga teachers would disagree with this teaching and practice of yoga, and generate intense disgust and aversion towards this very important yoga practice of renouncing all kind of worldly attachment and clinging of passionate love and affection. People will give themselves many reasonable excuses to avoid this teaching and practice. There’s nothing wrong with people’s such reaction and it’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to do with their life existence and how they want to react and feel about everything.

In yoga, one needs to be able to abandon ‘worldly attachment and clinging of passionate love and affection’ if one wants to realize unconditional love or compassion. Or else, one couldn’t be truly compassionate even one would like to be compassionate, as one ignorantly mistakes ‘worldly attachment and clinging of passionate love and affection’ as compassion.

Yoga is about dispassion. Dispassion leads to wisdom and compassion. Wisdom and compassion leads to liberation from suffering.

Compassion doesn’t bring painful sorrow and suffering, but ‘worldly attachment and clinging of passionate love and affection’ will lead to painful sorrow and suffering.

In yoga practice, when one is truly and sincerely yearning for liberation, one not just renounces the worldly attachment and clinging of ties and relationships with other human beings and things, and cutting off all kind of social connections, interactions and activities, to retreat into seclusion and solitude to silent the mind, but one also renounces attachment and clinging of passionate love and affection towards all kind of animals, insects or nature.

If one thinks one is practicing yoga of renunciation of seclusion and solitude by staying away from other human beings and worldly connection of social interactions and activities, but one feels so lonely and bored being away from other human beings and social interactions and activities, and wants to keep one or few pet animal in one’s life to accompany and entertain oneself so that one doesn’t feel so lonely and bored, as well as to feel love and connection with the pet animal, then one isn’t practicing yoga at all.

Those who can’t bear to see or hear or come in contact with all kind of suffering that exist in the world, and feel very disturbed by one’s suffering and other’s suffering, and be offended by all kinds of ignorant behaviors that lead to great suffering in oneself and other beings, then know that it’s not compassion, but it’s mere passionate love and affection.

Not many yoga practitioners are yearning for liberation. They just want to get some good feelings and benefits from doing the yoga practice. And that’s their freedom.

Contemplate on this and be free.

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Passionate mind and dispassionate mind

There’s nothing wrong with passionate mind or dispassionate mind. They just have different prospect and interest towards life existence, and how they live and act in the world.

Both minds can also be endowed with kindness and generosity and good will, to be good, to do good and to hope for the best for the world. Though the meanings of what is best for the world and the way of achieving what is best for the world can be very different for the passionate minds and the dispassionate minds.

In terms of Satsanga as one of the important elements for the yoga practitioners to progress in the path of yoga, especially those who haven’t develop a strong foundation of non-attachment and they are easily be affected or influenced by other people’s thinking, belief and behavior, and they attached onto their actions that are being performed out of good intention and they are affected or determined by the outcome of their actions very much, then they need the company of the dispassionate (less conflicts), and avoid the company of the passionate (more conflicts). Satsanga doesn’t matter for those who had developed strong non-attachment, who are not affected or influenced by other people’s thinking, belief and behavior, who don’t attach onto their action and are not affected or determined by the outcome of the action, there’s no difference between the company of the passionate or the dispassionate for them, but for the sake of conserving energy to not wasting energy into unnecessary issues created by the passionate minds, the yoga practitioners should also avoid the company of the passionate.

Those who are passionate are not bad people. They can be very good people who believe in goodness and righteousness and maintaining the order of the society or the environment. They can be doing many good actions in the world that they think are the best for the world. Just that the passion or intense love towards what they love, what they believe in, or what they think how the world should be like and how people should think and behave (act and react), could generate unnecessary disturbance or disharmony in themselves, and create disturbance and disharmony for others.

Passionate mind will feel hurt, frustrated, irritated, disappointed, distressed, depressed and angry, when things are not the way that it thinks they should be, or the way that it wants them to be, and under the influence of impurities, it will generate hurtful or violent action and speech to project the disturbed state of mind. There’s attachment towards the action being performed, and there’s expectation towards the fruit of action has to be the way that it thinks it should be. This is a mind that changes according to whether the experiences are something that it likes and wants, or something that it doesn’t like and doesn’t want. This mind projects kind qualities when it is happy and satisfied, when things are the way that it likes them to be, but it projects unkind qualities when it is upset and dissatisfied when things are not the way that it likes them to be. At one moment, it can be very kind and friendly, and in another moment, it can be very unkind and hostile.

Dispassionate mind won’t feel hurt, frustrated, irritated, disappointed, distressed, depressed or angry, when things are not the way that it thinks they should be, or the way that it would prefer them to be, and won’t generate hurtful or violent action and speech as the mind is free from disturb, ill-thinking or ill-will. This mind projects kind qualities disregard whether things are the way that it likes them to be, or not. Even when things are not the way that it would like them to be, this mind is still kind and compassionate. It doesn’t have ill-thinking or ill-will to hurt those who are different from them, who dislike or disagree with them, and who against them or hurt them.

There might be necessary action being performed, to bring awareness to others who are under the influence of ignorance, but there’s no attachment or expectation towards the action and the fruit of action. If others are getting offended and upset for being ‘lectured’ by other people and they continue to be ignorant, let them be. None can change another being, or remove the ignorance in others. None can change the world to be the way that one thinks it should be.

Yoga teachings doesn’t discriminate good or bad people. But it points out the distinction between passionate minds and dispassionate minds on the path of yoga towards peace and harmony in the society or in the world. Even good people who have good intention to perform good action might be under the influence of passion. These minds are not free. Yoga practice is to free the mind from passion, to be dispassionate, while living in the world, do one best performing necessary actions for the sake of peace and harmony in oneself and in the world, and let it go.

Be free.

Be free from egoism of attachment and identification is the yoga practice

Suffering of restlessness, dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hatred, jealousy, hurts, guilt, regret, fear, worry, low self-esteem, meaninglessness, boredom, loneliness, unhappiness, grief, and so on is the outcome of ignorance and egoism.

The ego attached onto the qualities of names and forms that are directly or indirectly connected or related to the body and mind. Such like, the thinking and belief in the mind, the state of the mind, the past memories, the present experiences, the future imaginations, the cultural background, the religious background, the educational background, the profession, the possession, the perception of names and forms of what the mind sees, hears, smells, tastes, senses and thinks, all the feelings and emotions, the likes and dislikes, the habits, the personality, the ambitions, the actions and the result of the actions, the knowledge, the physical appearance, physical condition, physical ability and limitation, and all the relationships that are connected or related to this body and mind, friends circle, social life and activities, the living environment, the lifestyle, the condition and situation of the world, and so on, to be identified as what/who I am.

When there’s a voice coming from within, “I don’t like myself. I want to change (into something else that I prefer to be, that is different from what I am now.)” or “I like myself. I don’t want to change (into something else that I don’t prefer to be, that is different from what I am now.)” This actually means that the ego is either satisfied with or dissatisfied with and likes or doesn’t like one or more of those qualities of names and forms that the ego attached onto and identified with. The ego is either satisfied with or dissatisfied with and likes or doesn’t like the physical appearance, condition, ability and limitation, or what it knows and doesn’t know, or the state of the mind, or certain feelings and emotions, or certain names and forms that the mind comes in contact with, or certain experiences, or certain habits, or certain friends or social circle, or certain actions and the result of actions, or certain relationships, and so on.

The ego might feel satisfied, good, happy, confident, motivated and meaningful when it achieved or possessed the qualities that it likes and wants to be identifying with. But it is not free, as all these qualities that it likes and wants to be identifying with, are impermanent. When all these qualities that it likes and wants to be identifying with changed into something else or are no longer available, or when it couldn’t achieve the qualities that it likes and wants, the ego will feel dissatisfied, disappointment, bad, unhappy, low confident, demotivated and meaningless. If there’s no attachment or identification towards all these qualities, then there’s no dissatisfaction and disappointment, or bad and unhappy feelings, or the sense of low confidence and meaninglessness. The existence of life is not affected or determined by any qualities of names and forms that are directly or indirectly connected or related to the body and mind. In fact, it is the ego that needs to attached onto and identifying with certain qualities to feel confident and meaningful about itself and the worldly life existence through achieving or possessing those qualities. Once the ego is annihilated, the sense of confidence and meaningfulness about oneself and the worldly life existence doesn’t exist at all.

There’s nothing wrong with the ego reacting towards the different qualities of names and forms that the mind comes in contact with, based on the qualities that the mind projects onto all the names and forms influenced by the thinking and belief in the mind, of what the ego likes and doesn’t like, agrees and disagrees with, and wants and doesn’t want. And hence, the mind is not free, being restless ceaselessly, swaying in between satisfaction and dissatisfaction, proudness and disappointment, happiness and unhappiness, positive thinking and negative thinking, elevation and depression, meaningfulness and meaninglessness, and etc.

There are many people don’t mind being not free being determined by all and everything that they experience. being restless and peaceless. They call this “Life and human nature.” They believe “Life has to be full of passion and it’s about fulfillment of desires, or else it’s meaningless.” That’s their freedom.

There’s nothing wrong when some ‘yoga teachers/instructors’ practice and teach about “Live life passionately” and “Change into what ‘I’ like and want myself (my body and mind) to be” and “Life is short, fulfill all desires and indulge in what ‘I’ like and want” as the meaning of life existence, and they might consume only ‘pure and clean food’ and ‘do yoga’ everyday, but that is not the teaching or practice of yoga. The teaching and practice of yoga is mainly about dispassion, renunciation from worldly social life, objects, ideas and activities, and the annihilation of egoism.

For those who are looking for peace or liberation from restlessness, they can try to practice yoga of dispassion, renunciation and annihilation of egoism.

The existence of life will be peaceful as it is, without being determined by any qualities of names and forms. Peace is beyond all the impermanent qualities of names and forms that the body and mind comes in contact with or doesn’t come in contact with.

Be free.

Love vs possessiveness

When we tell somebody, “I love you…”
Do we really love this person? Or we love the qualities in this person that we like and agree with? Or we love what we like and want from this person?

And when we tell this person whom we love, “I want to be in a relationship with you…”
Do we really just want to be with this person? Or we want to possess this person to be ‘mine’? Or we love what we like and want from being in a relationship with this person?

x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Out of ‘love’ towards a person or an object, naturally we (the ego) will have the desire to ‘own’ this person or this object to be ‘mine’.

Out of this ‘love’ or more accurately, possessiveness, we will have fear of losing this person or this object.

When somebody or something comes in between this person or this object and ‘I’, ‘I’ will be very unhappy and angry.

For example, if we are in a relationship with somebody, and one day our partner fell in love with another person. He or she desires to be with the other person and doesn’t want to continue to be in the relationship with us anymore. Or there’s no third party, but just simply because our partner stops having passionate love feelings for us.

Our mind is being conditioned to react in certain ways. We (the ego) might feel hurt, disappointed and sad, and we might do something ignorant that will hurt ourselves and some other people. Or we will feel very hurt, disappointed and angry, and have anger and hatred towards our partner for stopped loving us or being ‘unfaithful’ to us, and be angry and jealous towards the other person who has ‘taken away’ the person whom ‘I’ love very much, and we might say or do something that will hurt ourselves, and hurt our partner and the other person.

As our mind is being conditioned to think how a relationship should be like. We expect the person in the relationship with us should be faithful and loyal to us, or there should be some sorts of commitment between the two of us, and we should be faithful and loyal to each other.

Our mind also being conditioned to think that if we don’t ‘love’ our partner so much, we won’t be feeling so unhappy, if our partner wants to be with another person. And because we ‘love’ our partner so much, that’s why we feel so hurt. People like to say, the stronger the love is, the deeper the hatred will be. But this doesn’t seem right. Why?

If we truly love our partner, we love him or her unconditionally, without expecting him or her to love us in return, or love us the way that we want them to love us. We will only wish him or her happiness. Even if he or she chooses to be with another person and not us. We will let go of him or her in peace, as he or she feels that to be with the other person is more happy than to be with us. We wish him or her peace and happiness for being with the person that he or she loves, if we truly love him or her unconditionally.

There won’t be any disappointment, anger, hurt or jealousy if we truly love somebody unconditionally. As if we are over-powered by anger and jealousy, we might say or do something that will hurt our partner and the person whom he or she loves. Then how can we say we ‘love’ our partner, if we will do or say something that will hurt him or her, and the person whom he or she loves so much? It clearly indicates that we don’t really love our partner, but we only want to possess him or her to be ‘mine’. And if somebody is going to take away something that belongs to ‘I’, ‘I’ will be angry and unhappy.

Out of attachment and possessiveness towards the relationship and the person in the relationship with us, we feel the need to ‘protect’ this relationship, we will have fear and worry of losing this person and the relationship that we have. We might do something that will hurt ourselves, or the person whom we think we ‘love’ so much, and those whom he or she loves so much, when things don’t happen the way that we would like them to be.

This type of ‘love’ is purely egoistic selfish passionate possessiveness and attachment, with selfish desires and expectations. This type of selfish love only bring unhappiness in ourselves and in the person whom we think we ‘love’ so much. We are being not free to love somebody, full of doubts, jealousy, fear and worry all the time, and the person whom we ‘love’ also is not free being ‘loved’ or ‘possessed’ by us.

Only unconditional love without expectation will promote peace, happiness and freedom in ourselves and in the person whom we love.

If we need to change ourselves to be ‘somebody else’ whom we are not, or do something to please someone in order to have him or her to love us in return, then this also doesn’t bring peace and happiness. As he or she doesn’t really love us the way as we are, but will only ‘loves’ us when we behave the way that he or she likes and agrees with. Or else he or she doesn’t want to ‘love’ us anymore.

We need to allow the other person to be free to be who he or she is, without expecting he or she to be the way that we would like him or her to be.

And thus even though the qualities in us change all the time, our physical appearance, condition and abilities, our personality, feelings and behaviors, our likes and dislikes also will be changing from time to time, but we will love each other as we are, accepting all our changes as they are. We just love unconditionally without expecting anything in return.

If somebody doesn’t love us, or doesn’t love us anymore, it is not because we are not good enough. We shouldn’t blame ourselves when relationship didn’t turn out ‘nicely’ as how we like it to be.

This is our yoga practice. It is in our relationships with everyone, to love without attachment, conditions or expectation. There’s no dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hatred, jealousy, frustration, fear, worry, and feelings of hurt, which derived from attachment and possessiveness.

The point is, in a true relationship, without expectation towards each other, out of each other’s own free will, they will be faithful and committed to each other, and won’t do anything that will hurt one another. It is not about one or both of them expect the other person should be faithful or expect the other person to give them what they want (For example, some people expect a faithful partner and a happy ‘perfect’ relationship that last forever). We will experience bitterness or unhappiness in any relationships is because the relationships didn’t turn out the way that we expect it to be, or the way that we think it supposed to be. We are let down, or disappointed by our own expectations. It is not because the person whom we love didn’t love us, or is not good enough.

We (the ego) are angry, disappointed and unhappy is because we didn’t get the things that we want, or things didn’t happen the way that we like it to be, or we have lost the things that we think they belong to us. It is not because our partner is not faithful to us, or doesn’t love us anymore.

For example, it is not necessarily that we will be satisfied and happy when somebody gives us something. The act of giving or receiving is not what make us feel happy and satisfied if we have strong ego and attachment. We only will feel happy and satisfied when we receive something that ‘we like’, from anybody, or when we receive anything from the people whom we ‘like’ to be receiving from. Sometimes we won’t feel happy and satisfied when we receive something that we ‘don’t like’, even if it is coming from the people whom we think we ‘love’. Or we won’t feel happy or satisfied even when we receive something that we ‘like’, but it is not coming from the people whom we want to be receiving from. If somebody whom we dislike gives us something that we like, we won’t feel the same as when it is given by someone whom we love very much. This indicates that we will only be happy and satisfied when we get what we want and the way that we want, it’s not because the person who loves us gives us something, and it’s not because the things that are given to us are something that we like. It is about the right person gives us the right thing the way that we want.

Can we see how selfish we are? We only ‘love’ the things that we like and want. We are happy and satisfied only when things happen the way that we like it to be. We don’t really ‘love’ the people whom we think we ‘love’ very much, if we have strong attachment and possessiveness, and have selfish desires and expectations from the people whom we think we ‘love’. And so, we stop blaming our partner for being ‘unfaithful’ or ‘not good enough’, or didn’t give us what we think he or she should give to us, or didn’t treat us the way that we want him or her to treat us, or didn’t give us the type of relationship that we want.

No one is obligated to be nice to another person. If we expect everyone should be nice to one another, especially when ourselves is nice to other people, and we expect other people should be grateful and thankful, and they should also be nice to us in return, we will be very disappointed, if they don’t. But if anyone will be nice to us out of loving kindness from their own free will, not because we have been nice to them, then we appreciate this loving kindness without attachment, without clinging onto this kindness, or craving for more. Without aversion or fear that this loving kindness is no longer available. As true loving kindness is not about something ‘in exchange’ for something. It’s not about give and take.

Be grateful for other people being nice to us out of loving kindness, not because they are obligated to be nice to us, because we have been nice to them. Give without expecting anything in return, although something might come back to us naturally, but not necessarily the way that we expect it to be. Give out of love, not because we are obligated to give back something in return after we receive something. Be nice without expecting any kind of nice reactions in return. Be nice out of love, not because we are obligated to be nice in return for other people being nice to us.

It doesn’t matter there’s nobody shows gratitude or appreciation for what we give. It doesn’t matter if other people don’t like or are dissatisfied with what we give. It doesn’t matter if other people criticize or condemn us after we give. We are not determined by praise and condemn, compliment and criticism, success and failure, if we know what is non-attachment towards our actions, and renounce the fruit of actions.

May all be free to love, and be loved.

Om shanti