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.

Go beyond positive and negative, be free from craving and aversion, there’s no fear and worry…

Yoga is not really about being positive, or try to think positive, or want to attract positive things into our life by thinking positively. Although there’s nothing wrong with want to be positive, and having positive things in our life.

Even if we don’t have intention to find a teacher to teach us something, naturally the teacher will be there when the time is right.

When we say the thoughts in our mind will determine our life experiences, it actually means that the positive or negative thinking will determine how our mind perceives all the names and forms that the mind comes in contact with through the senses. If our mind is positive, then it will perceive everything positively. If our mind is negative, then it will perceive everything negatively. But the mind being positive or negative doesn’t really make the objects to become something positive or negative. Everything will still be what it is. It is neither positive nor negative.

If the mind is positive and endowed with good qualities, it can’t change the world or other beings to become positive or good, just like Buddha was peaceful and free from suffering, but he couldn’t change the world or other beings to be peaceful and be free from suffering.

Same as if the mind is negative and endowed with evil qualities, it can’t change the world or other beings to become negative or evil. Just like there are many people doing bad and evil actions in the world, but there are still many people performing good and kind actions in the world.

The point is, once the mind is purified, and ignorance, impurities and egoism are eliminated, and it realized the truth about all the names and forms, and goes beyond dualities or judgment of good and bad, positive and negative, happiness and suffering that come from what the mind believes what things are, but which is not the truth of things of what they really are, then naturally there will be no craving towards something that the mind believes as ‘good’, ‘positive’ and ‘happiness’. There will be no aversion towards something that the mind believes as ‘bad’, ‘negative’ and ‘suffering’.

That is real freedom.

If we try to avoid negative thinking, and try to cultivate positive thinking, as we believe that if our mind is having negative thinking, it will attract negative things into our life. And if our mind is having positive thinking, it will attract positive things into our life. We only want to have positive things, and don’t want to have negative things in our life. It shows that we are not free.

We are being conditioned by what the mind believes what things are (categorizing and labeling everything into positive and negative), and have craving towards the ‘positive’ things, and have aversion towards the ‘negative’ things. Our mind also will be tensed all the time, as we have fear that once there is some ‘negative’ thinking appears in the mind, then something negative will come into our life sooner or later. There is no peace, as fear arise in the mind due to attachment (craving and aversion) towards the qualities of good and bad, positive and negative, happiness and suffering, which is not the truth of what things really are.

In yoga and meditation practice, we are letting go of attachment towards the qualities of names and forms, and stop generating craving towards qualities that our ego likes and agrees with, and stop generating aversion towards qualities that our ego doesn’t like and disagrees with.

Being aware of all the qualities of names and forms, but not being affected, nor disturbed, nor influenced, nor determined by the qualities of names and forms. And allow all the names and forms with different qualities to be what they are, and allow everything with different qualities to be exist at the same time under the perception of worldly existence.

There is no fear and worry towards bad experiences, negative things or suffering.

When fear disappears, compassion will be there naturally. When we realize compassion, fear will disappear naturally. They don’t exist at the same time. If one of them manifests in the mind, the other one disappears from the mind.

When there is attachment towards the qualities of names and forms of the body, the mind, the ego, the intellect, relationships, actions and objects exists in the mind, fear follows tightly, and compassion is absent. When all kinds of attachment disappear from the mind, fear disappears as well, and compassion takes over our life existence.

Om shanti.