Reform ourselves first, if we truly want to see reformation in the society…

Free ourselves from ignorance first, if we wish the world to be free from ignorant beings and happenings.

Have peace in ourselves first, if we want a peaceful world.

We cannot expect everyone else, except ourselves should be changing, so that we can have a better society that is free from ignorant beings and happenings, so that we can have a peaceful world to live in.

Out of pride and arrogance, we think that we are better human beings than others. We think that we are ‘good’ people, and we are angry with all the ‘bad’ people in the society. Thinking that everyone else except ourselves, are contributing and being responsible for the problems in the society or in the world.

The restlessness in us that comes from dissatisfaction, discrimination, anger and hatred towards other people’s ignorance are in fact polluting the society and the world, not any less than those who we think they are responsible for all the ‘problems’ that we have.

Reform ourselves first, if we truly want to see positive changes, or reformation in the society.

If we, or every beings know how to ‘clean up’ and ‘control’ ourselves, the world will start to change. It is not about ‘changing’ others, or ‘clean up’ others, or ‘control’ others…

In tradition, whether in Buddhism, or Yoga teachings and practice, is all about ‘reforming’ or ‘transforming’ ourselves. We retreat ourselves from the world, or worldly affairs, to concentrate on our own ‘reformation’, remove ignorance and egoism, until we are free, and have peace. Being undisturbed, unaffected, uninfluenced, and undetermined by all the qualities of names and forms in the world, then only we can ‘help’ to bring certain awareness into the world to ‘help’ other beings to be free from ignorance and egoism, and attain wisdom, or correct understanding, and thus will have correct thinking, actions and speech. And so, the society will start to change or reform.

Om shanti.

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Quality of life?

Quality of life is not determined by life conditions, wealth status, health status, possessions, social status, success in education or career, relationships, material and sensual enjoyments, physical conditions or abilities, and etc.Without the correct understanding about things, or not knowing the truth of things, all these impermanent good and bad qualities of names and forms do not guarantee us peace and happiness. We still can be dissatisfied and be disturbed by anger, hatred, greed, jealousy, dissatisfaction, disappointment, pride, arrogance, agitation, depression, fear and worry, and etc, as we have attachment, craving and aversion towards things that we like and dislike, things that we agree with and disagree with…

Peace of mind doesn’t come from good quality of names and forms. It is going beyond the identification with all these impermanent good and bad qualities to determine who we are or what we are… It is non-attachment towards all these names and forms. We are able to accept the reality of everything as it is, not necessarily the way that we like it to be or what we think it should be…

Only when we are not attached to, nor determined by all these impermanent qualities of names and forms of good and bad, positive and negative, happiness and suffering, as who we are or how we should feel, then we can fully make the maximum out of this life existence…

We are leading our life to do our best in what we can do with this life, this body and this mind. But if we depend on all these impermanent qualities of names and forms to determine us, then it will be the opposite, we will be lead by all these impermanent changes of names and forms…

We will never have peace nor be truly happy as we will be forever restless and dissatisfied because the nature of life and all the things that come along with life are impermanent. Even if everything is the way that we like it to be in the moment, we might feel satisfied and happy about all these good quality of names and forms that we like and want in the moment, but this satisfaction and happy feelings are not pure. It is a mixture of dissatisfaction, fear and worry. It’s because everything is impermanent, constantly changing. And we have attachment towards this good quality of things to feel good and meaningful. Due to craving and clinging towards all these good qualities of names and forms, we don’t want them to change into something else that we don’t like, but we couldn’t stop all these things to go through changes or impermanence… Eventually when all these good or happy things changed or disappeared, we will feel dissatisfied, disappointed, lost and empty…

And even if we don’t experience any things that are not good in the moment, we are still full of aversion towards bad things, bad happenings or bad conditions. We are full of fear and worry even though nothing bad is happening now. We are disturbed by imaginations and anticipations about bad things, bad happenings and bad conditions that might going to happen on us…

There is no peace no matter everything is good now and nothing bad is happening, because we cannot avoid fear and worry and dissatisfaction that derived from attachment, craving and aversion, due to being ignorant about the truth of things. If we are able to let go of craving and aversion that comes from attachment towards the qualities of names and forms, then naturally peace and happiness is here, unconditioned and undetermined by all the impermanent qualities of things…

That should be the guideline for quality of life (existence)… It is not determined by whether our living condition is abundance or scarcity (in terms of all the basic needs and wants in life, such as food, clothing, shelter, things, education, career, wealth, possessions, relationships, friendships, enjoyments, physical health and abilities, and etc…). People who live a life of luxury and enjoy high quality things don’t necessarily have a high quality of life. A monk who renounced the worldly way of life, or even a man living on the streets can have a high quality of life. People who have very good physics, health condition and physical abilities don’t necessarily have a high quality of life. People who have poor physics, health condition and physical abilities can have a high quality of life. We are able to live life to the maximum and meaningfully without being determined by the different qualities of things, conditions, situations, physical conditions and abilities, and etc, that we have or don’t have…

There is nothing wrong with people who believe in accumulation of wealth, good condition of health, good physics and abilities, success in relationships or career, material possessions and sensual enjoyments as the foundation of happiness and value of life… There is nothing wrong also with people who believe in contentment, generosity and kindness as the source of happiness and value of life… It can be anything depending on what we really want. At the end it is our own choice and believe in what we want and whether we are going to be happy with what we want and what we can achieve… Most people don’t really happy or be satisfied with what they want… Some people think having more things in life will be happy but not necessarily. Some people think having less things in life will be happy but not necessarily… It is up to us whether we are satisfied and be happy with what we have and what we don’t have in the present moment now…

Happiness and value of life is not to be judged or determined by how the society think or believe what happiness and value of life are… Our life is centered on how we feel and think, and not how other people feel and think… This is not selfishness or being unthoughtful… Everyone is responsible for themselves for how they feel and think… Even if other people intentionally throw some abusive words and actions towards us, we don’t have to be disturbed or determined by it… We can choose to move away… We can still be peaceful as we are… When we are not happy and angry about certain things, it is coming from our own mind… It’s not caused by what other people say or do. We are not happy and angry is because what other people say or do is not something that our mind can agree with or it is not how our mind like it to be…

Be confident in our own belief and our belief should not be influenced or shattered by the thinking and belief of the society…

Om shanti.

Implement the teachings of yoga philosophy into our everyday life existence…

Hearing, or reading, or studying, or talking, or discussing, or debating about tonnes of philosophy of the mind and the ego is useless, unless we implement the philosophy into our everyday life existence…

The yoga philosophy or the teachings of yoga is there for us to implement them into our everyday life existence to realize the truth about suffering and how to transcend suffering. Suffering exists due to the veil of ignorance in the egoistic mind. Once we let go of the ego, remove the veil of ignorance, there is no suffering…

Yoga and meditation practice is changing the habits of the mind, changing how we think and behave… It is not about changing other people’s thinking and behavior to become like us, or become something that we can agree with, or to change the world to be the way that we like it to be… If we don’t like our mind being in a state of “dissatisfaction”, or “disappointment”, or “unhappiness”, we change how our mind feels and transform this unhappy or discomfortable state of mind into something “contented”, or “peaceful”, or “happy” which we prefer it to be… Nobody can change our mind for us…

If we think we are happy with the way that we are, and think that our thinking and behavior is fine, we don’t need to change anything about our thinking and behavior, then there’s nothing wrong about it. But when we start to feel dissatisfy or unhappy with how we feel or think about ourselves and other people, or disturb by how other people feel and think about ourselves, then know that it is our own responsibility for “being happy with the way that we are”, and it is us who decided that we don’t need to change anything about our own way of thinking and behavior. Be happy with our own decision made… Nobody is going to punish us if we don’t want to change our own habits of the mind… If we ever feel unhappy, it is coming from our own ignorance about the truth of things. It is due to the veil of ignorance, we generate or inflict suffering onto ourselves…

If we are happy with our mind being in a state of dissatisfaction, disappointment, frustration, agitation, restlessness, or unhappiness, then be happy with it… But then be responsible not to “punish” or “hurt” other people with this state of mind…

Om shanti.

Being at the present moment

Before we start to learn any physical movements in performing any yoga practices, we must know what is yoga all about. All the yoga practices like asana, pranayama, concentration, meditation, yama, niyama, selfless service, chanting and etc, are there to help us to develop self-awareness and non-attachment.

The purpose of the asana practice is not about trying to achieve a perfect body, perfect strength and flexibility, or trying to go beyond the physical limitations.

The asana practice and pranayama, the breathing exercises are there to influence the energy, balance the energy, purify the energy, conserve the energy, stimulate the energy centers, restore the energy, and unblock any energy blockages in our system. This will directly influence the state of the mind and make the mind free from tensions, being calm and balanced.

When the mind is calm and balanced, wisdom will arise. We will know the truth of ourselves and everything else. When we know the truth, all kinds of ill-wills, ignorance and suffering will disappear. The world is still being what it is, but we will not be influenced by the world anymore whether to be happy or unhappy.

The very basic practice is to learn how to be at the present moment, observe the present moment, accept the present moment, and let go of the past instantly without attachment. Not project into the future. Not being disturbed or affected or influenced by the past experiences or the future imaginations.

Not being disturbed, or affected, or influenced by what the mind perceives through the senses of what we see, hear, smell, taste, touch and think. Remain equanimous, calm and at peace not being disturbed by all the happenings and experiences in the body, in the mind, in our life, in the surrounding, and in the world.

We are not the body, the body is not us and it doesn’t belong to us. We are not the mind, the mind is not us and it doesn’t belong to us either. The body and the mind is subject to impermanence. It is not in our control to want it to be the way that we like it to be. By understand this, we stop attaching to the body and the mind. We truly appreciate and be grateful of having this body and the mind for us to be here to experience so many things, to learn, to share, and to realize our true nature is not different from the universal consciousness. We take good care of this body and the mind without attachment, so that we can fully make good use of this life existence to be in the world to do so many things and to perform selfless service for ourselves and for all other beings.

This body and this mind doesn’t belong to us and what to say about relationships and all other things in the world that we can attain? We cannot control all these things to be the way that we want it to be. All these things are subject to impermanence. They will change and sooner or later they will be apart from us. we can only appreciate and enjoy while we are still being with all these things, temporarily. Once they have changed or gone, we have to let them go. If we couldn’t let go, that will create so much suffering and unhappiness in us.

Not attach to the body and the mind. Not attach to the thoughts, feelings and sensations that come from the body and the mind. Not attach to the likes and dislikes that come from the ego. Not attach to whatever the mind perceives through the senses. Not attach to what is happening in our life and in the world.

That is real non-attachment. There is no judgment, no comparison, no competition, no expectation towards ourselves or other people and things. All these judgment, comparison, competition and expectation come from the ego.

It doesn’t mean that we become selfish and doesn’t care for the world, and runaway from our duty and responsibility just like there are many people misunderstanding about the terms of non-attachment. It doesn’t mean that we ignore or deny the world, or don’t care for ourselves and other beings in the world.

We care a lot for ourselves and for all other beings, out of great compassion without selfish intention. We can perform so many beneficial actions for the well-being of ourselves and other beings. We can do whatever is possible to help the world to evolve and to become a better place. But without attachment. Without the intention to help ourselves, to help other beings or to help the world. Intention-less. Without the expectation that we or other beings or the world be will benefited from our compassionate actions. Non-expectation.

Just like the sun, the air, the water, the earth and the space. They just give, provide and support all living and non-living beings unlimitedly, unconditionally, unceasingly, tirelessly, inexhaustibly without discrimination of good or bad beings, ignorant or wise beings, pure or impure beings, happy or unhappy beings, ancient or modern beings… They embrace all and everything.

Without intention, they give. Without expectation, they give. Without attachment, they give…

That is selflessness, compassion, non-attachment…

We need to be able to take care of ourselves, know how to love and be kind and compassionate towards ourselves unselfishly, then only we can take care of others and will know how to love, be kind and compassionate towards all other beings. If we ourselves are not peaceful, not happy, full of selfishness, anger and hatred, don’t even like or love our own self, then how are we going to help others and share love, happiness and peace with others?

Without the expectation for the result of all our actions. Renounce the fruit of action. We perform all the actions that need to be done, but let the nature or the universal consciousness to take care of the result.

Just like shooting the arrow from the bow in our hand. We aim the arrow to the target with full attention, full sincerity, full effort. And then we let go of the arrow. Once we let go of the arrow, it is not in our control anymore whether the arrow will hit the target or not. There might be strong wind blew the arrow to the side. Maybe the target fall onto the ground due to certain reason. Maybe a bird just came in between the arrow and the target unexpectedly and got hit by the arrow…

And this is what we say, do our duty and carry out our responsibility sincerely with full attention and effort but without the identification as the doer of the action (merely performing action in serving the universal consciousness selflessly) and without attaching to the fruit of the action. Let the universal consciousness to take care of the result.

Without the identification as the doer of all these actions, this is actionless or more precise, inaction in action. This will stop the wheel of karma, the wheel of cause and effect, the wheel of birth and death.

Intentionless, non-expectation of the result, renounce the fruit of action, non-identification as the doer of the action. This is non-attachment that we are practicing all the time unceasingly in our heart, in our life, from moment to moment.

Observing everything at the present moment now as it is. Accept everything in the present moment now as it is. But at the same time allow changes or impermanence to happen, without resistance. Allow the opportunity for ourselves and everything to evolve, to improve and to become better, but without attachment, clinging, craving and aversion.

Without the intention to make things better, we are making things better. Without expectation for the result, we bring love, peace and happiness into people’s hearts. Without fear, worry, dissatisfaction and disappointment, we perform all our duty and responsibility. Free from tensions and unhappiness.

This will free us from the condition of the body and the mind, the condition of our life existence and the condition of the world that we are living in. The body and the mind is still being what it is, the life is still being what it is, the world is still being what it is, but we are not being disturbed, or affected, or influenced by all these things. There is no more fear, worry, doubt, irritation, frustration, dissatisfaction, disappointment, craving, aversion, unhappiness and ill-will etc…

When we are free from all tensions, the mind is calm and at peace. Wisdom will arise within us. With the presence of wisdom, ignorance disappears. We will know the truth of everything and able to accept the reality of everything as it is. We will become fearless and worry-less.

Without fear and worry, true happiness is here. Long and lasting peacefulness that is not subject to impermanence, is here. This true happiness and peacefulness is beyond the three states of the mind (actionless and dullness, action and passionate, calmness and lightness).

The states of the mind is subject to impermanence. They will change and disappear. But true happiness and peacefulness which is within ourselves all the time, they never disappear or change. They are always here in us. But when we are being disturbed by all the impurities in the mind, we are disconnected with this happiness and peacefulness which is our true nature. It is our true Self. It is not something that we attain from the outside, nor something that is given to us by somebody.

Our true Self is nothing but love, peace, compassion and wisdom. All these nature are not a quality. They are always here from before life existence, during and after life existence. They are always here unaffected by impermanence, qualities of good and bad, positive and negative, pleasant and unpleasant. They are always here uninfluenced by elements and energy. They are always here undisturbed by whatever the mind perceives through the senses, undisturbed by the thoughts, feelings and sensations, undisturbed by all the names and forms.

It is beginningless and endless. It is beyond birth and death. It is beyond name and form. It is beyond happiness and unhappiness.

It is pure existence, pure consciousness, pure knowledge, pure bliss.

If we know our true Self, we will be free from all the impurities that arise in the mind.

Nothing in the world can guarantee us true and lasting happiness. Not the knowledge, wealth, health, beauty, youthfulness, strength, mobility, relationship, success and achievement that we can attain in the world with this body and mind. It’s because the happiness that comes from all these things are subject to impermanence, it will change and disappear. They are dissatisfaction in nature from the beginning and until the end of life existence.

We can never be satisfied with the present knowledge, wealth, health, beauty, youthfulness, strength, mobility, relationship, success and achievement, because they will change and these changes are not in our control whether they will be the way that we want them to be. The more we try to resist or avoid impermanence, or try to stop impermanence to happen, the more disappointed, dissatisfied and unhappy we are.

When we understand the truth of impermanence, we will stop looking for momentary satisfaction or happiness that comes from things that are subject to impermanence. If we do, we will be disappointed and frustrated all the time.

Be grateful and thankful for the existing good things that we have now and appreciate every little good things and opportunity for us to evolve and to perform selfless service to serve all.

And what is the one thing that is not changing, not subject to impermanence?

Our true Self. Eternal, full, whole and content. Nameless and formless. Beginningless and endless. No good, no bad. No positive, no negative. No happiness, no unhappiness. No craving, no aversion. No suffering, no cause of suffering, no path of remove suffering, no end of suffering. No ignorance, no end of ignorance. No birth, no growth, no decaying, no illness, no pain, no old age, no death. No body, no mind. No eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no skin, no thinking. No thoughts, no feelings, no sensations. No pleasant, no unpleasant. No success, no failure. No gain, no loss. No superiority, no inferiority. No existence, no non-existence. No creation, no destruction.

Realize our true Self. Go back to our true Self. Take refuge and rest in peace eternally in our Self.

How to go back to our true Self? Stop identifying with the body and the mind. Stop identifying with the ego. Rise above the ego. Be stronger than the ego. Not let the ego controlling us. Practice real non-attachment every moment in ourselves, at sleep, at awake, at lying, at standing, at sitting, at walking, at moving, at non-moving… This is real meditation.

Contemplating on the nameless and formless Self without attachment, craving, aversion, intention and expectation. Not attach to the mind. Constantly being aware of what is happening in the mind. Observing or witnessing the mind as it is. Go beyond the mind and not lost within the mind.

Without the mind, there is no perception of names and forms. There is no sights, no sounds, no smells, no taste, to touch, no thinking. What is happiness and unhappiness? What is good and bad? What is positive and negative? What is ignorance and the end of ignorance?

Only pure love, peace, compassion and wisdom present in the present moment now.

Realize our true Self of who we really are. We are not this, we are not that. We are who we are. Beyond all the qualities. Beyond all the names and forms. Beyond the body and the mind. Beyond the perception of the mind. Beyond all states of the mind.

We are not good, we are not bad. We are just who we are.

There is no past, no future. The only existence and reality is now, from moment to moment. The past and the future doesn’t exist at the present moment now. Once we understand this, time disappears, it doesn’t exist.

Keep the mind concentrate at the present moment now, not wanders to the past memories or to the future imaginations. There is no fear and worry at this present moment now. Fear and worry only exist when the mind wanders to the past or to the future.

* * * * * * * *

Yoga is not about the ability of the physical body to perform such and such actions. It is about able to observe everything as it is and accept the reality of things as it is. It is not about challenging the body to go beyond its physical limitation.

Physical ability, strength and flexibility cannot give us true and lasting happiness or peace but only momentary fleeting satisfaction about our own egoistic worldly image that we built for ourselves.

If our happiness and confidence is based on physical appearance, good health, ability, strength and flexibility, we will be so tensed trying to maintain the appearance, good health, ability, strength and flexibility in order to keep our ego satisfied and feel good, and to upkeep our false confidence about ourselves through all these impermanent names and forms. And when impermanence strikes, all these things will change and be gone no matter how much we want to retain them. We will be so disappointed, frustrated and unhappy.

* * * * * * * *

Yoga is being aware of everything without attachment, clinging, craving and aversion… Free from tensions, anxiety, fear, worry, ignorance, ill-will…

And thus, peacefulness is right here, at this present moment now, where we are beyond the mind and the perception of the mind…

Beyond all the good and bad qualities.

Beyond duality.

That is yoga.

Peace to all.