Self-righteousness is not yoga practice

Self-righteousness is part of the egoism acting in conjunction with worldly thinking and belief about what is right and wrong/good and bad, it’s not part of the yoga practice. In yoga practice, the mind disciplines itself to be free from the cause of suffering – Ignorance, egoism and impurities, to see the truth as it is, going beyond all kinds of thinking and belief about what is right and wrong/good and bad, being free from egoism of attachment, identification, craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation. This is not the same as egoistic self-righteousness that is based on particular worldly thinking and belief about what is right and wrong/good and bad, to judge, criticize, discipline and punish oneself and/or others, or out of the sense of pride and superiority, one interferes with other minds/people, with intention to influence/control/change/discipline/punish other minds/people that one doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with.

Under the many different cultures, many people growing up being encouraged to develop self-righteousness to uphold what they believe as right and good. It’s regarded as a ‘good quality’ that someone should possess, to discipline oneself. It’s fine if people just stop at ‘disciplining’ oneself in accordance to one’s belief and practice about ‘what is right and wrong/good and bad’. But most people don’t just stop there, but they also want to self-appoint themselves as ‘morality guardian/hero’ to ‘discipline’ others whom they know or don’t know, whom are different from them, whom they dislike and disagree with, whom they think and believe are ‘wrong’ and ‘bad’ in accordance to their own cultural/religious/social/political/personal thinking and belief or practice.

People are being encouraged to develop a strong self-identity/family identity/national identity/cultural identity/religious identity/political identity/social identity and have strong sense of pride towards their identity of that particular thinking and belief, values and practice, and then based on that particular thinking and belief, values and practice, people judge all and everything, and expect themselves and others in the society or the world to somehow comply to that particular thinking and belief, values and practice to think, to behave and to live life the way that they can agree with/accept.

People also like to talk about personal/family/social/national/global ‘development’ and ‘peace and happiness’, but mostly are being influenced by self-righteousness based on their particular cultural/religious/social/political/personal thinking and belief, values and practice about what are ‘good/right/positive/progressive development’ and ‘peace and happiness’ to them. It’s not so much about universal selfless development, peace and happiness for all kinds of diversity beyond all the different names and forms, unlimited by any particular cultural/religious/social/political/personal point of view, thinking and belief, values and practice.

If someone truly/sincerely wants to have peace in oneself and wish to contribute peace into the world that one is living in, the mind needs to be free from self-righteousness based on a particular values of life existence, way of life and conduct, thinking and belief about what is right and wrong/good and bad.

Though it’s not necessary, but most minds/people think and believe that as ‘an individual among the species of human beings’, they need to rely/attach onto a particular values, way of life and conduct, cultural/religious/social/political/personal thinking and belief to nurture/build a personal/worldly identity to be existing as who they are, and to think, to behave and to live life complying to that particular values, way of life and conduct, cultural/religious/social/political/personal thinking and belief.

Most minds/people don’t just keep their values of life existence, way of life and conduct, cultural/religious/social/political thinking and belief only to themselves, but they want to interfere with others who are different from them. Out of survival instinct and fear of extinction, people want to gather/invite more other people into their ‘group’ to form a ‘strong and powerful group’ by converting/recruiting many others to ‘join’ their group, to adopt and support their vision. People also have the tendency of self-righteousness to control/change/condemn/punish others for being different from themselves, which they dislike and disagree with, where they feel that their values, belief and practice are being threatened/intimidated by the other values, beliefs and practices.

  • The idea of ‘I’.
  • Attachment and identification onto certain qualities of names and forms to ‘support’ the existence of a self-identity of ‘I’.
  • Possessiveness and pride towards the self-identity and the possessions of ‘my life’, ‘my body’, ‘my mind’, ‘my thinking and belief’, ‘my culture’, ‘my religion’, ‘my God’, ‘my wealth and health’, ‘my success and happiness’, ‘my accreditation and reputation’, ‘my virtues and merits’, ‘my home’, ‘my family’, ‘my parents’, ‘my partner’, ‘my relationship’, ‘my children’, ‘my friends and relatives’, ‘my country’, ‘my world’, ‘my practice’, ‘my contribution’, ‘my teacher’, ‘my students’, and so on.
  • Desire of craving and aversion of “I want ‘I’ and all that is ‘mine’ to be like this and I don’t want ‘I’ and all that is ‘mine’ to be like that.”
  • Fear of losing the identity of ‘I’ and all that is ‘mine’ the way that ‘I’ like it to be.
  • Defensiveness/protection towards the identity of ‘I’ and all that is ‘mine’.

“This is my home/my country/my world. I want my home/my country/my world to be like this and not like that. I don’t like and don’t agree with all the others who are different from me, who’s vision is contradicting to my vision of the perfect home/country/world that I want to have. I want everyone to comply to my values of life existence, way of life and conduct, thinking and belief. If they don’t, I won’t be able to have my home/my country/my world exactly the way that I want it to be. And I don’t want that. I don’t want these people being here ‘polluting’ my beloved home/my good country/my beautiful world.”

Most minds are outgoing and desire to be engaged in community or worldly affair with very strong self-righteousness towards how the community or the world should be like, where they feel proud towards their thinking and belief and towards their identification with that thinking and belief as who they are, that they believe that they are being ‘assigned’ with the responsibility to ‘save’ the world (their world the way that they prefer) by ‘disciplining’ or ‘teaching’ others about what is right and wrong/good and bad based on their particular thinking and belief, to eliminate what they think and believe as ‘wrong’ and ‘bad’ from the society or the world.

Yoga practice is turning the mind inward, focusing on eliminating ignorance and egoism in this mind, to go beyond all the ‘right and wrong’/’good and bad’/’positive and negative’, to free this mind from being limited by any thinking and belief, values and practice (including the teachings of yoga) judging all and everything including this body and this mind, or expecting oneself and/or others and the world to be in certain ways that the egoistic mind likes/agrees with/desires based on those thinking and belief, values and practice. It’s not about enhancing health and fitness, to look good and feel good, or to create a ‘good’ world with everyone behaving in the way that we think it should be. Though there’s nothing wrong with that aspiration, but all these qualities of names and forms are impermanent, and it’s not the goal of yoga practice.

The freedom of being free from being limited or determined by any thinking and belief or identification with qualities of names and forms is unthinkable/unperceivable for the minds that attached strongly onto the thinking and belief to be who they are.

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to do with their life, body and mind, and whether to practice yoga, or not.

Be free.

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My ego?

Some think and say, “I have a good, happy and kind mind. My mind is good, happy and kind.”

Some also think and say, “I have a good, happy and kind ego. My ego is good, happy and kind.”

The one who claims possession or ownership towards the mind or the ego, and being satisfied and proud of ‘my good, happy and kind mind/ego’, is the ego itself.

There is a separateness between ‘I’ and the object that ‘I’ thinks it belongs to ‘I’, that ‘I’ thinks and believes as ‘mine’, but at the same time, there is also self-identification that identifies itself as the object that ‘I’ think it’s ‘mine’. Such like, “I have a beautiful body and my mind is happy. I am beautiful and happy.” or “I don’t have a beautiful body and my mind is not happy. I am not beautiful and not happy.”

Whatever names and forms that the ego claims ownership and identification are just what they are and they are impermanent. They change as they are, they come and go as they are, they don’t belong to ‘I’, and they are not ‘I’. There is no ‘I’ in control of all the impermanent changes in all the names and forms.

Somehow, there is this idea of ‘I’ exists in the mind claiming identification, possession, ownership and control towards all these impermanent names and forms. Such like, “I want myself, my life, my mind and my body to be like this and not like that.” or, “I want my appearance and my relationships to be like this and not like that.” and so on. And the consequences of the idea of ‘I’ and the desire of ‘I want everything to be the way that I like it to be’ are restlessness full of mind impurities of dissatisfaction, disappointment, frustration, annoyance, anger, hatred, jealousy, hurt, regret, guilt, animosity, ill-will, offensiveness, defensiveness, pride, arrogance, depression, aggression, violence, discrimination, grief, sadness, painful sorrow, loneliness, meaninglessness, fear and worry. All these are the by-products of egoism of attachment, clinging, identification, desires of craving and aversion, judgment and expectation.

Meanwhile, when the ego wants to claim ownership and identification with certain qualities of names and forms, it also doesn’t want to be related or connected to, or be identified with certain qualities of names and forms that it doesn’t like or doesn’t want, that it perceives as something ‘bad’, ‘wrong’, ‘negative’, ‘meaninglessness’, ‘unhappiness’ and ‘suffering’, based on a particular thinking, belief, cultural or religious teaching and practice about what is ‘good and bad’, ‘right and wrong’, ‘positive and negative’, ‘meaningfulness and meaninglessness’, ‘happiness and unhappiness’, ‘pleasurable enjoyment and painful suffering’.

None can liberate another being. None can free the mind from ignorance and egoism, but the mind itself.

There is no ‘I’. There is no ‘my mind’ or ‘my ego’ or ‘my body’. It’s just the mind, the ego and the body. And they are impermanent.

The mind, the ego and the body are just what they are. They are neither good nor bad. But due to ignorance and egoism, suffering arise. That’s all.

Reflect and realize and be free.

Let go attachment, identification and expectation in all relationships

If we truly love those who are in all kinds of relationships with us, whom we think we love, and if we love them, we will wish everyone be peaceful and be happy while being in the relationships with us, then we need to let go attachment, identification and expectation towards ourselves, the relationships and the people in the relationships with us. Otherwise, whether intentionally or unintentionally, we will keep hurting ourselves and everyone whom we think we love, who are in a form of relationship/connection with us. There’s no love. There’s only possessiveness and endless selfish desires (towards the people whom we think we love and the relationships we have with everyone) waiting to be gratified.

Especially in love relationships, if a person truly loves us, we don’t need to say or do anything to expect or control this person’s behavior so that he or she will not or shall not do anything that is unkind or unloving or hurtful to us. If a person would do something that is unkind or unloving or hurtful to us, out of selfish desires, dissatisfaction, greed and lust, whether within or without our knowledge, then this person doesn’t love us, even though this person thinks he or she loves us, and we love and care for this person very much, because this person doesn’t even love himself or herself. They only love what they like and want (desires). In this case, we can let this person and the relationship with this person go, even though we love this person, but we don’t have to be in a relationship with this person who doesn’t love us or appreciate us. And more importantly, it’s that we won’t feel hurt by this person’s unkind, unloving or hurtful behavior if we truly love this person as he is, as she is. We wish him or her love and peace, and let him or her go to chase after their desires that they like and want, which they can’t get (enough) from being in a relationship with us. Meanwhile, we are happy and peaceful and live life meaningfully as we are, because we don’t depend on other people’s love and kindness or any relationships to make us feel happy or meaningful about ourselves and our life existence.

If we think we love this person very much, and we reluctant to let go this person and this relationship, but, at the same time we feel disturbed and hurt by this person’s unkind, unloving and hurtful behavior, then this is our own responsibility, as we don’t want to let go. This also means that we don’t love this person either, we only love what we like and want, and we only want to possess this person to be ‘mine’, and to possess this person’s love and the relationship with this person. We want him or her to behave in certain ways. We want our relationship with him or her to be in certain ways. We want him or her to love and treat us in certain ways. It’s all about what we like and want. And when we don’t get what we like and want, but we are getting what we don’t like and don’t want, or when what we like and want has changed into something that we don’t like and don’t want, or we are losing what we like and want, we feel disturbed and hurt, disappointed and angry. It’s not because the person in the relationship with us is not loving or unkind, or their behavior is bad and wrong that is hurting us, or has the power to hurt us. It’s our own attachment, identification and expectation that hurts our ego, which is unnecessary.

This is the same as in all our relationships with everyone and everything, whether it’s with family, siblings, parents, children, friends, society, things, and the world that we live in. We think we love this and that. We think we love the world that we live in. And we constantly feel disturbed and hurt, disappointed and angry when people and things that we love, or the world that we love, are not the way that we like or want it to be. It’s merely ignorance and egoism.

Be free, whether we have any kind of relationship with anyone, or not, and whether the relationships we have with everyone are good and long lasting, or not. There’s no attachment, identification or expectation. There’s no unfulfilled desires, dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hatred, jealousy, hurts, guilt, fear and worry.

Allow everyone to love us and be kind to us, and to be in a relationship with us, or not. Love everyone as they are, even though they don’t love us, or they are unkind to us, or they don’t want to be in a relationship (anymore) with us.

Be free.

A story of egoism, possessiveness, pride, authority, sacredness, language…

Language is originally existing as a convenient tool for communication. We should have just leave it as simple as that. But our ego is always greedy for authority. It takes up a particular language that it hears, learns it, speaks it, becomes familiar with it and calls it “my language”, and takes pride in that language. And then the ego has this idea and belief that no one should insult “my language” as “my language” is something sacred, and it’s only entitled for sacred people like me to speak it. “My language” cannot be polluted or contaminated by some other languages that are not as sacred as “my language”.The ego identifies with this language as who “I” am. If anyone insults “my language” is insulting “I”. And thus “I” get very upset and angry if anyone tries to insult or pollute “my language”. Those who are not sacred beings like me, they cannot speak in “my language” as this will be polluting “my language”…

And then this ego has this idea that other languages are not as sacred as “my language”. “My language” is the one and only sacred language in the world. “I” should only speak “my language” and no other languages, as by speaking those languages will contaminate my sacredness…

In the end, the ego believes itself is the most sacred being in the world and allows no one but itself to speak this language. The ego also doesn’t want to speak other languages that it believes as not sacred. And thus verbal communication comes to an end for this proud ego with other people. This language has lost its simple purpose to serve as a convenient tool for communication.

In the beginning, nothing belongs to anyone. Everything exists for the convenience of everyone to be existing in this form, until the moment we start to take possession of any names and forms that we experience in this life existence and possess it as ours, such like “my body”, “my mind”, “my thinking”, “my feelings”, “my ideas”, “my creations”, “my achievements”, “my belongings”, “my family”, “my parents”, “my children”, “my friends”, “my partner”, “my lover”, “my pets”, “my country”, “my health”, “my strength”, “my religion”, “my culture”, “my race”, “my language”, “my pride”, “my contribution”, “my Guru”, “my school”, “my yoga”, “my teachers”, “my students”, or anything that we think it’s coming from “I” and it’s “mine”, we create inconvenience, restlessness, afflictions, unhappiness, disharmony, anger, hatred, fear and worry for ourselves and others.

End of story.

Om shanti.

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