The difference between non-attachment and positive thinking

It’s good and helpful to develop positive thinking especially when the mind is being influenced by negative thinking that generates unnecessary tension, fear, worry or unhappiness in the mind and further projecting all these impurities through speech and action into the environment in the relationships with others in everyday life.

Positive thinking is part of the many yoga practice, but it’s not the goal or the end of yoga practice, as the mind is still not free from attachment and identification towards names and forms that the mind perceives as positive and negative, and there is craving and clinging towards what the mind perceives as positive, and there’s aversion towards what the mind perceives as negative. The mind is not free from desire, duality and separateness. There’s desire of craving or longing for positiveness or goodness and there’s clinging onto positiveness or goodness with intention or expectation to control the reality to be the way that the mind thinks it should be and likes it to be.

There’s nothing wrong with “Think positively and optimistically, and everything will be good in your life and you can achieve anything that you want.” especially for the minds that are easily be disturbed or determined by names and forms that the worldly thinking and belief categorized as bad, negative, unhappiness and wrong. Just that the mind is not free from desires, even though the mind would feel happy and satisfied when the desires are being gratified, and its impermanent. Then pride might arise in this mind, “I am superhuman. I have superpower. I can control everything to be the way that I like it to be.” This mind is not free. And it’s okay, if that is what the mind wants. It’s everyone’s freedom for how the mind thinks and what it wants.

The mind that is free, is undetermined by gratifying desires of likes and dislikes, wants and don’t wants, to be happy, confident, meaningful or peaceful. It is peaceful as it is, undetermined by the world or the worldly thinking and belief, ideas and values, good and bad condition and situation.

Non-attachment is nothing to do with positive thinking. The mind that knows non-attachment doesn’t need to think positively. The thinking is just what it is. It is neither positive nor negative.

It’s about unattached towards what the intellect recognizes as positive or negative, good or bad, happiness and unhappiness, right and wrong. Undisturbed or undetermined by all the perceptions of name and form that are pleasant or unpleasant. Without attachment or identification towards the different states of the mind or the mind activities. Without intention or expectation towards the perceived reality to control the reality to be the way that the mind likes it to be. Allowing the reality to be what it is, and allowing the reality to change as it is.

The mind is free from being determined by coming in contact with positiveness and goodness and not coming in contact with negativeness and badness, to be peaceful. The mind is peaceful as it is.

The mind is free from desire, duality and separateness. Knowing that the quality of positiveness and negativeness are both impermanent. But, beyond positiveness and negativeness, is unconditional peace, that is undetermined by the qualities of name and form that the mind perceives through the senses, whether it’s positive or negative elements, good or bad condition and situation, and desirable/pleasant or undesirable/unpleasant life experiences.

If the reality is nice and pleasant, let it be. It will change, and allow it to change, without intention or expectation to control the reality not to be bad and negative.
If the reality is not nice and unpleasant, let it be. It will change, and allow it to change, without intention or expectation to control the reality to be all good and positive.

There are actions being performed out of compassion in everyday life, but there’s no attachment, identification, desires, intention or expectation towards the action and the fruit of action. There are beneficial actions being performed but there’s no intention or expectation that the fruit of actions will be all good and positive, or nothing bad and negative. Allowing the fruit of action to be what it is.

There’s no identification with all the impermanent changes of names and forms to be existing as ‘I’.

Life might be good and easy, enjoy and appreciate without attachment. It’s impermanent, and it doesn’t matter.
Life might be not so good and full of difficulties, but it’s okay. It’s impermanent, and it doesn’t matter.

Be free.

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Observe all the names and forms as they are

The worldly restless impure egoistic minds keep looking for stimulation of inputs and outputs.

It doesn’t like to observe names and forms as they are.

It projects quality and duality onto all the perceived names and forms based on its likes and dislikes influencing by its thinking and belief.

Through remembering what it perceived or what it knows, it judges, compares and expects.

It clings, craves, rejects, agrees, disagrees, wants, doesn’t want, creates and destroys.

It has many forms of desires and great ambitions.

There’s aspiration and intention to perform actions and inactions motivated by its desires and ambitions.

It has ‘passionate’ aspiration and intention to ‘share’ what it knows and has, and ‘share’ what others know and have.

There’s nothing wrong with that, just that the mind is not free.

Even the mind that projects ‘good’ and ‘kind’ quality onto itself, desires to be ‘good and kind’ and thinking ‘positively and optimistically’, and performing good and kind actions to benefit the world, is not necessarily be free from selfishness. The one who thinks “I am not selfish. I want to be unselfish.” and recognizing other people are being selfish, is not necessarily be free from selfishness.

“I want the world to be good and I want to make the world good, so that I and my loved ones can have a good world to live in and have a good life.”

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to think and believe, and what they want to do with their life existence.

Silent the restless mind, abandon ‘positive thinking’ and ‘optimism’, be free from desires, and even the desire to be free from suffering, if one truly wishes to realize yoga.

Positive thinking and optimism is just an counteract for ‘negative thinking’ and ‘hopelessness’. It’s not the truth nor the end of suffering.

If ‘God’ exists, ‘God’ doesn’t have intention to make anyone or anything to be good or bad, positive or negative, happy or unhappy.

There’s neither positive nor negative, neither good nor bad, neither happiness nor unhappiness, neither elation nor depression.

Dharma doesn’t need to be shared, if one knows Dharma.

Peace and love doesn’t need to be shared, if one knows peace and love.

Be free from aspiration and intention, if one truly wants to realize yoga.

Don’t be ambitious.

‘Sharing’, ‘connecting’, ‘giving’ and ‘receiving’ are reflections of separateness.

‘Sharing’, ‘connecting’, ‘giving’ and ‘receiving’ don’t exist in oneness.

Who is sharing with whom? Who is connecting with whom? Who is giving? Who is receiving?

Be free.

Positive thinking is not the goal of yoga practice or the end of suffering

We don’t teach positive thinking in our yoga classes and retreats, although for those who are under the influence of ‘negative thinking’, whom are being very negative towards everything that they perceive, we would encourage them to develop ‘positive thinking’ to counter the ‘negative thinking’. But that is not the goal of yoga practice.

In the beginning of yoga practice, when the mind is still influenced or over-powered by what the mind believes or recognizes as negative names and forms, we need to develop positive thinking to counter any negative thinking, but that is not what yoga is about – liberation from ignorance or the end of suffering.

When people try to be positive, think positive and stay positive, it’s because these minds are not free from ignorance and are being ignorant of the truth of names and forms. The mind perceives or recognizes quality of ‘negative’ in the objects of names and forms projected from the mind based on what the mind believes as something ‘negative’. The perception of negativity is still existing in the mind, but the mind tries to push away or deny the perception of names and forms that it believes as ‘negative’, and tries to convince itself that everything is ‘positive’ and good. It’s denying and running away from the reality that it perceives and believes as ‘negative’ that it doesn’t like and doesn’t want.

The mind is not free constantly trying to ‘turn’ everything that it recognizes as ‘negative’ into something that the mind believes as ‘positive’. But as long as the mind still thinks and believes that there’s quality of ‘negative’ and ‘positive’, and it doesn’t want something ‘negative’, but it wants everything ‘positive’, the mind will be forever restless as it tries to maintain ‘positive’.

Everything is just what it is, it is neither positive nor negative. But the mind projects the qualities of ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ onto everything that it perceives based on what the mind thinks and believes as ‘positive’ and ‘negative’.

Trying to stay positive is not freedom at all. The mind is not free, constantly being in a state of craving towards quality of ‘positive’ and aversion towards quality of ‘negative’.

In the end, we will see that be positive, think positive and stay positive is not the end of suffering.

Yoga is going beyond what the mind believes and recognizes as ‘positive’ and ‘negative’. It is awareness being aware of the perception of names and forms without projecting qualities of ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ onto all the objects of names and forms, and allows everything to be what it is – neither positive nor negative.

The realization of non-duality, or attributelessness, or non-separateness, or oneness is real freedom that allows the mind to be in peace, being free from restlessness.

There’s no need to generate clinging or craving towards what the mind used to believe as ‘positive’, and there’s no need to generate aversion towards what the mind used to believe as ‘negative’. The mind will be free from restlessness coming from aversion towards quality of ‘negative’, or fear of being negative, and be free from clinging or craving towards quality of ‘positive’.

There’s no need to think and stay positive to counter negativity as ‘negative’ and ‘positive’ doesn’t exist in the objects of names and forms. They only exist in the mind when the mind is under the influence of ignorance. There’s no need to turn ‘negative’ into ‘positive’, when the mind is free.

Om shanti.

Be anything that we want to be?

“Be anything that we want to be”

We hear this very often from yoga classes, or positive thinking and motivational classes to encourage people to be positive and confident about themselves, and strive to become who they want to be.

There’s nothing wrong with “Be anything that we want to be” as long as we know that “Whatever we want to be, is not who we are”

There’s no attachment or identification towards what we think we were, or what we are, or what we want to be.

All the names and forms that we think we are, or we could be, or we want to be, are impermanent and there’s no ‘I’ exists in these names and forms.

Om shanti.

Peace and compassion

Just by having peace and compassion in oneself, being kind to oneself by stop ‘hurting’ oneself, being free from negative thinking, action and speech, or be free from anger, hatred, discrimination, jealousy, fear and worry, is already helping the world to be a better place. It’s not necessarily that one has to be ‘out there’ doing something in order to help the world to be a better place.

It doesn’t matter whether we are yogi or not, Buddhist or not, religious or not, spiritual or not, if we don’t have ill wills or ill thinking about anyone and anything, and have kind thoughts for all beings to be free (from ignorance and suffering), it doesn’t matter if it’s driven by the ego, or it’s out of compassion or selflessness, it’s all good.

Om shanti.