Purifying, calming and quieting the restless mind efficiently

All the different forms of external yoga practice must be accompanied by the internal yoga practice of annihilating egoism of attachment, identification, craving, aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation, supported by the internal mental strength, flexibility and stamina of patience, perseverance, determination, tolerance, forbearance, acceptance, adjustment, adaptation and accommodation, as well as cultivating the essential tools for self-inquiry and self-realization, such as awareness, dispassion, desireless, renunciation, self-discipline, self-reliance, seclusion, solitude, care-free, fearlessness and equanimity, to be efficiently purifying, calming and quieting the impure egoistic restless mind, to prepare the mind for spontaneous meditation into Silence (complete annihilation of the mind/birthlessness and deathlessness/attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness/oneness or non-separateness).

Even if one’s physical body is unable to perform any external yoga practice, it doesn’t stop the mind from performing internal yoga practice to annihilate egoism, impurities and restlessness, and be free.

Without the internal yoga practice of annihilating egoism and impurities which is nothing to do with the impermanent and selfless physical and mental condition, ability and limitation, the mind will always be disturbed by the mind perception of names and forms of all kinds of pleasant and unpleasant, desirable and undesirable, agreeable and disagreeable life experiences, where there’s clinging and craving towards pleasant/desirable/agreeable experiences and aversion towards unpleasant/undesirable/disagreeable experiences, even after many years and huge amount of external yoga practice that one has been performing or many years of teaching yoga and meditation practice to many other people, and getting all the momentary effects and benefits from the regular external form of yoga practice.

The mind might be rendered calm and quiet momentarily during and after all those external yoga and meditation practice, but it doesn’t last long, as very soon, the mind would unwittingly slip back into restlessness due to the stubborn egoistic mind habits of chasing after the objects of the senses, worldly enjoyments and stimulation, passionate desires of worldly and/or spiritual aspirations and ambitions, worldly social interactions and activities, and the ceaseless impurities generated through countless actions and reactions towards the mind perceptions of names and forms due to egoism of attachment, identification, craving, aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation, where the mind is restless most of the time, even if the mind can attain certain degrees of relief from restlessness for a short period of time during deep sleep state, or during and after the different forms of external yoga practice.

By freeing the mind from egoism would allow the mind to be undetermined or undisturbed by the mind perception of names and forms, of quality and duality, or the good and bad/positive and negative/pleasant and unpleasant/desirable and undesirable life experiences, that allow the mind to be free from impurities and restlessness thoroughly.

And hence, the importance of the practice of silence for those who truly want to conquer the restless modification of the mind, to attain Silence.

After some time of practicing some kind of yoga and meditation practice regularly, one needs to perform self-introspection, “Is the mind still being determined or affected by the impermanent and selfless physical and mental condition, ability and limitation, as well as the worldly affairs, relationship, friendship, social activities and interactions, and worldly and/or spiritual achievements and acknowledgements to feel good, confident and meaningful, or not?” and “Is the mind still being determined by duality of good and bad/positive and negative/right and wrong/meaningfulness and meaninglessness/happiness and unhappiness, or all the mind perceptions of different qualities of names and forms, to feel good, positive, rightful, joyful and meaningful, or not?” or “Is the mind still being disturbed by what the mind thinks and believes as bad, wrong, negative, unhappiness and hurtful?” If the answer is yes, it means the mind is still not free, even if one has been performing yoga practice for a long time, or possessing many ‘yoga certifications’, and believing in ‘goodness’, ‘righteousness’ and ‘positiveness’.

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they want and don’t want to practice.

Conflict between the practice of influencing the state of the mind and observing the mind perception as it is?

Some people get confused by the yoga asana, pranayama and concentration practice that is about influencing the state of the mind (intentionally changing the state of the mind to be something different by purifying and rendering the impure restless wandering mind to be pure and calm and focus) and the practice of observing the mind perception of names and forms/thought activities and allowing the mind perception of names and forms/thought activities to be there as it is, without attachment, identification, judgment, expectation, craving or aversion towards the function/modification/thought activities of the mind, and allowing all the impermanent changes of all the names and forms to be there, as they are.

It seems like a contradiction of practice, but it’s not really.

The mind is like the lake and the state of the mind is like the surface of the lake. The reflections are being reflected as they are when the surface of the lake is still, and the reflections are contorted when the surface of the lake is moving. By rendering the state of the mind calm and still will allow the mind to see things as they are or allowing the perception of names and forms to be reflected as it is, but it doesn’t change the truth of the names and forms being what they are.

The modification/thoughts activities/perception of an individual reality of the mind is like the image/reflection of the sky or the sun or the moon being reflected on the surface of the lake, and no matter the images reflected on the lake is as they are or are contorted, (and if the lake has an egoistic thinking mind of likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, craving and aversion towards the reflection of the sky, the sun or the moon on itself, and desires to change the sky, the sun or the moon to be the way that it likes it to be,) the lake doesn’t change the sky or the sun or the moon. And if the lake doesn’t exist, there’s no reflection of the sky, the sun or the moon, it still doesn’t affect the sky, the sun or the moon being there as they are.

The reflection on the surface of the lake doesn’t belong to the lake. The modification of the mind or the mind perception of pleasant/unpleasant/agreeable/disagreeable names and forms doesn’t belong to the mind.

Just like all the contents of good and bad qualities of names and forms existing in this space cannot affect the space and they don’t belong to the space. Neither will the space has desire to interfere with all the contents in it.

The space and the mind is still what it is, whether the mind perceives something as good or not good existing in the space. The space and the mind is still what it is, whether the mind perceives pleasant smells or unpleasant smells in the air. The space and the mind is still what it is, whether the mind perceives beautiful happening or disgusting/horrible happening in this space.

Different minds perceive its personal/individual reality differently under the same condition and situation. Such like, different minds feel differently while being in a place full of ‘good’ happenings or being in a place full of ‘bad’ happenings. Death is neither good nor bad. Some people are sad and mourn for the death of the leader of the country/party/ideal/vision that they supported, while some other people are glad and celebrating it. Positive minds perceive names and forms positively, while negative minds perceive names and forms negatively, but it’s not the truth, as all the names and forms are just what they are, they are neither positive nor negative. The reality is just what it is, but qualities are being projected onto the perceived reality of the mind perception of names and forms out of the different states of the mind.

The modification/thought activities/perception of an individual pleasant or unpleasant reality, is like the reflections on the surface of the lake. The state of the mind (pure or impure, peaceful or peaceless, with good/bad attributes or attributeless) influences how the mind understands/reacts towards the perception of names and forms perceived through the senses, or life experiences, but all the perception of names and forms, or life experiences, or the understanding/reactions/modifications/activities cannot affect/hurt/disturb/change the mind, except due to ignorance and egoism, there’s a false identity in the mind (the ego) is being disturbed and determined by all the perception of names and forms, and has the desire/idea of changing the perceived reality to be the way that it likes it to be.

The practice of yoga asana, pranayama, concentration and self-inquiry serves as the tool to maintain and render the mind pure and calm to be fit for higher realization of freedom from ignorance and suffering. The yoga asana and pranayama practice is to prepare the mind to be fit/ready for self-inquiry and meditation by balancing the restless/agitated/dulled state of the mind via body positions/movements (yoga asana practice) and control of the breath (pranayama practice), to render the mind calm and quiet.

The concentration practice/exercises/training is to restraint the mind to focus at one point for a prolonged period of time, and to keep the mind in the present refraining the mind from wandering into the past or the future, or getting lost in random ceaseless thinking and imaginations. Meanwhile the practice of renunciation/solitude/seclusion is to free the mind from getting entangled in the mind perception of a worldly life existence.

These practice/training are developing the awareness to be aware of or to observe the modifications of the mind, rendering the mind to be calm and quiet, to be free from restlessness and to be open to inquire the truth/nature of everything, preparing the mind for meditation – seeing the truth as it is.

The inquiry into the truth/nature of names and forms will help to strengthen dispassion, right discrimination, non-attachment, non-identification, free from craving and aversion, judgment and expectation, and this will lead the mind to be less disturbed or completely undisturbed by all the perception of names and forms of a worldly life existence, and generate less impurities or completely be free from impurities, which eventually lead to the annihilation of ignorance and suffering of the mind perception of a worldly life existence of impermanence and selflessness.

The pure egoless mind stands as a witness witnessing/observing the mind perception of a reality as it is, or observing the mind perception of names and forms/the states of the mind/the activities in the mind/the thoughts/the feelings/the physical sensations, condition, ability and limitation/all the selfless impermanent changes, as they are, without interfering with all these modifications of the mind.

Whatever the mind perceives through the senses or comes in contact with, all the perceptions of names and forms/thoughts activities/images/individual reality, and all states of the mind are just what they are. They are impermanent and selfless. They don’t belong to the mind. The worldly life existence perceived by the mind is impermanent and selfless. It doesn’t belong to the mind. It’s neither ‘I’ nor ‘mine’. Suffering and all kind of corrupted thinking and behavior arise when there is ignorance, egoism and impurities in the mind that generate attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, judgment and expectation, thinking and believing that there’s ‘I’ and ‘mine’.

Without a calm and quiet mind, when the mind is in a state of impurity and restlessness due to egoism and impurities, it’s impossible for the mind to inquire the truth of things to be free from ignorance, as whatever is being perceived/understood through the senses are under the influence of or being contaminated by the impurities and restlessness. Just like a dirty, dusty and moving mirror cannot reflect the image of an object placed in front of it as it is. The mirror also cannot/doesn’t see itself without the help of another ‘mirror’ or ‘reflector’. And all the dirt, dust and movements don’t belong to the mirror. All the yoga, pranayama and concentration practice act as the tool to render the mind to be free from impurities and restlessness (cleaning up and stilling the ‘mirror’ to reflect the images as they are), and meditation is the ‘mirror’/’reflector’ to allow the pure and calm mind to see itself, as it is, beyond all the modifications of the mind.

That’s why it is very important to render the state of the mind pure and calm, in order to allow the mind to inquire the truth of names and forms, to be free from ignorance, and thus, allowing all the names and forms to be what they are. Or else, the ignorant egoistic minds desire to interfere with the names and forms that it doesn’t like to change/control it to be the way that it likes it to be, and there arise all sorts of suffering of discrimination, intolerance, interference, offensiveness, defensiveness, hostility, hatred, fear, violence, wars and etc.

It’s up to everyone to work on their own liberation through their own effort and pace.

Root out the root cause of suffering – ignorance and egoism

No doubt that by doing some yoga asana and pranayama practice regularly can gives some momentary effects of calmness, relaxation, pleasant sensations, good feelings, and many health and fitness benefits to the practitioner, but, it doesn’t stop one’s mind from being influenced, or disturbed, or determined by all the perceptions of names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses based on what the ego likes and dislikes, agrees and disagrees with, wants and doesn’t want under the influence of a particular worldly egoistic thinking and belief, if one doesn’t work on the annihilation of ignorance by eliminating the ego and egoism of attachment, identification, and desire of craving and aversion.

The ego is the idea of ‘I’ exists as an individual being that identifies with and attaches onto particular worldly egoistic thinking and belief, culture, family brought up, education system, accumulated knowledge and life experiences, the actions and the result of actions, duties, responsibilities, achievements, contributions, family ties, friends and social circle, relationships, personality, interest and liking, social identity and image, personal identity and image, physical appearance, physical and mental condition and ability, gender, and so on, to be ‘I’.

Those who have strong attachment and identification with particular worldly thinking and belief and all kinds of qualities of names and forms might have been practicing yoga asana and pranayama practice for many years, but due to the worldly attachment and identification, they might still be influenced, be disturbed, and be determined by all the perception of names and forms, and feel dissatisfied, or disappointed, or offended, or hurt by the names and forms that the ego doesn’t like, doesn’t agree with and doesn’t want, if they didn’t work on eliminating the egoism (the fuel that feeds ignorance) and the annihilation of ignorance.

Attending yoga asana and pranayama classes for many years regularly doesn’t guarantee that one is free from being disturbed by the by-products of ignorance and egoism – the ceaseless reactions of impurities of dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hatred, jealousy, lust, pride, arrogance, offensiveness, defensiveness, feelings of hurt, guilt, regrets, fear and worry, and so on. The mind is restless, swaying between the calmness effect of the yoga asana and pranayama practice and the disturbance of the ceaseless egoistic reactions of impurities.

The ego also constantly looking for love, attention, affection, connection, companionship, sense of belonging, accomplishment, acceptance, respect, agreement, acknowledgment, approval, support, liking and compliment to feel ‘I’ exist, ‘I’ am somebody, ‘I’ am loved, ‘I’ am good, ‘I’ am right, ‘I’ am confident, ‘I’ am happy, ‘I’ am complete, or ‘I’ am meaningful. Root out this ego, one will be free and peaceful as one is.

If the mind is not free from ignorance and egoism, everyone will keep hurting oneself and others out of selfish desires and impurities, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Everyone is looking for ‘love’ and they frequently fall in love with something or someone, but then, out of ignorance and egoism, they keep hurting the thing or person that they think they ‘loved’ very much. It’s all about ‘me’, ‘my feelings’, ‘my happiness’, and what ‘I’ like and what ‘I’ want. When we don’t get what we like and want, and we are getting what we don’t like and don’t want, we will feel disappointed and dissatisfied, and we will hurt anything and everyone, including ourselves. There’s no love. Just possessiveness. To possess something or someone to make us feel good and meaningful about ourselves, to be existing. When our desires or wishes are not being gratified, we feel disturbed, dissatisfied, disappointed, hurt, angry and unhappy. We don’t love anything or anyone, not even ourselves.

One will only know what is love and how to love, when the mind is free from ignorance and egoism.

Yoga practice about the annihilation of ignorance and egoism to transcend suffering, is universal. It is beyond all the different qualities of names and forms.

It doesn’t matter whether we have a religious belief and practice and believe in God, or not. It doesn’t matter we eat vegetarian food or non-vegetarian food. It doesn’t matter we think we are good or bad. It doesn’t matter how long we have been practicing yoga and meditation. As long as the mind is functioning under the influence of ignorance and egoism, the mind will perceive suffering and has no peace. The mind will always be disturbed and determined by the qualities of names and forms (mind perceptions of everything and all kinds of life experiences) that the ego doesn’t like, doesn’t agree with and doesn’t want.

It’s everyone’s freedom whether they want to free the mind from ignorance and egoism, or not, or they just want to attain the momentary effects of calmness, relaxation, pleasant sensations, good feelings, and health and fitness benefits from doing the yoga asana and pranayama practice. There’s no right or wrong, no good or bad. It’s just what everyone wants to do with their life, their body and mind.

Be free.

Yoga teachers?

A person who can teach a “good yoga class” with some “good or correct techniques” on asana, pranayama, chanting and meditation practice, who knows about anatomy and physiology about this physical body, it doesn’t make him/her a yoga teacher if he/her doesn’t know what is chastity or morality in his/her personal life. A person who leads a life of purity in thoughts, actions and speech, who is free from lustful desires, can guide other people to live a life of purity in thoughts, actions and speech, and be free from lustful desires, is not different from a yoga teacher, even though he/she cannot or doesn’t teach other people to do asana, pranayama, chanting or meditation practice, and doesn’t know anything about anatomy and physiology about this physical body…

Whether we practice yoga with pure or impure intention, all is good…

It really doesn’t matter if people practice yoga or just the yoga asana exercises with pure intention or impure intention, all is good…

At least during that few moments of yoga practice or performing the yoga asana exercises, whether we do it with pure intention or selfish intention, we are moving the body and mind away from committing worldly passionate activities and unwholesome activities…

We are not taking any intoxicants or drugs. (Except for those who cannot live without intoxicants or drugs even for a few moments…)

We are not indulging in sensual enjoyments of sights, sounds, smells, taste, touch and thoughts… (Except in certain modernized yoga classes nowadays which include passionate sensual decorations, aromatic incense or fragrances, musics, beautifully designed yoga clothings and accessories, special materials for cushioning and positioning, temperature control and etc, into the yoga class or the space for yoga practice)

We are not engaging in gossiping or slandering or back-bitting or criticizing or scolding or blaming (we should be in silence while performing yoga practice being busy observing and minding our breath and stay focus on what we are doing)… We are not talking, expressing, arguing, discussing, debating, teasing, mocking, boasting, lying, justifying and etc… All these restrictions are there to restrict the speech organ and silent the thought currents, as well as eliminating the ego… (Except in some of the yoga group class where complete silence is not being observed. For example, chitchatting or socializing during the class with the other practitioners or continue to be communicating with somebody outside the class through the phone… Or even in our own self-practice at home, we couldn’t let go of the phone calls or messages… Or imagine that we try to hold our breath (Pranayama) and being angry and arguing with somebody at the same time? It’s an extremely difficult task to do…)

While performing the yoga practice (self-control over the thoughts, actions and speech, self-introspection and observation, mindfulness, chantings, prayers, study of the yoga scriptures, practice of asana and pranayama, limiting and restricting the senses inputs, practice of concentration and meditation, performing Kriya yoga, performing selfless service or Karma yoga and etc…) or just performing the yoga asana practice, we are not engaging in watching movies or show performances; reading novels or magazines or newspapers; eating or drinking; listening to music (There’s no special music background in traditional yoga practice like in most of the yoga classes nowadays conducted in many yoga centres. There’s only natural sounds of nature and the environment in the background. Some yoga teachers even cracked their head in search for different music albums for their classes because the yoga students might be complaining for playing the same music over and over again…); lying on soft bed; thinking; worrying; imagining; anticipating; speculating; planning; scheming; creating; interacting; socializing; committing sexual or reproduction activities; or doing any worldly passionate social activities apart from exercising and training the body and mind to be pure, calm and still, and be free from thinking or possessing worldly objects… All these are the practice of controlling the senses and withdrawing the senses from the sense objects. This is practicing self-control, control of the mind, purification, dispassion and detachment…

In those moments of yoga practice, worldly connections or relationships with “this and that” disappear… There is no easy life or hard life, there is no good relationship or bad relationship, there is no happy moments or unhappy moments, there is no enjoyment or suffering, there is no good people or bad people… Just the body and mind performing the yoga practice…

In those moments while we are engaging in sincere yoga practice, we are not creating any disturbance or bad influences into the environment or the world…

The entire yoga practice itself is nothing but bringing positive benefits or impacts into our own body and mind, and the world…

When we perform any yoga practice whether with pure or impure intention, we are purifying, harmonizing, charging, balancing and calming the energy fields in our body and mind, and naturally this will be benefiting the entire world…

In those few moments, there is less a being generating harms or damages into the world…

At least during those few moments of yoga practice while being silent and being attentive in performing the physical movements of the yoga practice, we control and restrain our body and mind from performing any evil thoughts, actions and speech that will cause disharmony in ourselves and other people or the world…

We are not committing or involved physically or mentally in wars, killings, lying, hatred, greed, jealousy, gossips, criticisms, slandering, back-bitting, violence, sexual misconducts, hypocrisy, stealing, politics, agendas, propagandas, power, position and etc… We are temporary being moved away from any worldly egoistic activities… (Except in those whose mind is still busy with thinking about worldly activities and sense objects while performing the yoga practice… That means they are not really concentrating on what they are doing…)

And so, it really doesn’t matter what are the intentions or motives or reasons or desires that bring people to be practicing yoga, whether it is pure or impure, authentic or inauthentic, for spirituality, for physical fitness, for beauty, for youthfulness, for mobility, for strength, for health, for wealth, for fame, for satisfaction, for achievement, or for anything, it is all good…

It is better than engaging in unwholesome activities that will harm ourselves and others…

Those few moments of sincere yoga practice is actually being compassionate towards ourselves and the world…

The mind can only do one thing at one time… Even just by observing the breath for one tiny moment… That is already the greatest moment of peace and compassion…

Be happy…

Om shanti.

Why do we practice yoga?

Yoga practice is for all types of people or beings with different characteristics, personalities, believes, motives and expectations or desires…

Whatever we think yoga is, whatever we want yoga to be, or however we want to be benefited from yoga practice, whether for selfish intention or for selfless intention, it is fine. Yoga is there for us for anything that we desire (what we want) or do not desire (what we don’t want)…

Some people do the yoga asana exercises as a fitness exercise to look good and feel good; for sustaining and improving physical and mental health and fitness; for slimming or to put on weight; for countering illnesses; for easier breathing; for detoxification remove toxic substances from our system; for countering stress; for better quality of sleep; for rehabilitation from physical and emotional injuries; for having better body alignments and posture; for over-all beauty and sense of well-being; for personal satisfaction and achievements; for passing time; for removing boredom or loneliness; for building self-esteem or confidence; for coming out from certain addictions; for healing purposes; for exploring and unfolding “things” beyond what our mind can perceive; for playing with the energy fields in our body; for attaining calmness and peacefulness; for relaxation; for creativity; for self-image; for socializing; for finding the better half; for pleasing somebody; for humanity; for ourselves; for the world; for being able to stand on our hands and our head, or to be able to bring our feet towards our head from behind; or mainly out of curiosity to try it out, since it is quite a popular “thing to do” and “topic to gossip about”; for fun; or just to do “something”, and etc…

Some people do yoga asana for the purpose of balancing, purifying and calming the energy fields; stimulating and energizing the energy centres; unblocked any energy blockage; channeling the energy for higher spiritual realization; generate and conserving energy; changing the habits of the mind; changing how the mind feels and thinks; developing concentration, awareness and mindfulness; developing non-identification with the body and mind, letting go of the ego; letting go of judgment, comparison and expectation; letting go of pride and arrogance; letting go of discontentment and greed; letting go of craving and aversion; letting go of frustration, anger and hatred; developing patience, forbearance, non-attachment, adjustment, adaptation, accommodation, cheerfulness, vitality, acceptance, and etc; being in the present moment now, accepting the present moment now as it is, accepting ourselves as we are in the present moment now as it is; letting go of physical, mental and emotional tensions; letting go of jealousy, dissatisfaction, disappointment, anxiety, agitation, depression, negative thinking, low self-esteem, fear and worry; removing restlessness; purifying the mind remove impurities, and etc…, as part of the yoga practice, to prepare the body and mind for meditation to contemplate on the Truth of who we really are, to realize selflessness or compassion, and be free from ignorance and suffering that derived from ignorance, and realize eternal and unconditional peace, transcending birth and death, worldly existence, names and forms, qualities and dualities…

Beside the yoga asana as part of yoga practice, yoga practice consists of but not limiting to – observing ethical moral conducts (Yama & Niyama); restraining wants and desires; renunciation from worldly activities; renounce from the fruit of actions; restricting senses inputs; controlling the thoughts, actions and speech; performing Japas, Bhajans, Kirtans, chantings and prayers; performing Kriyas; study and contemplating on the Yoga Scriptures or the teachings of yoga; practice loving kindness, forgiveness, tolerance, honesty, truthfulness, simplicity, compassion, wisdom, dispassion, detachment, solitude, silence, austerity, celibacy, selfless service, faith and devotion towards the Truth and the universal consciousness, breath control – Pranayama, withdrawal of the senses from the objects of the senses – Pratyahara, concentration – Dharana, meditation – Dhyana, and annihilation of the mind – Samadhi…

There are also many other unlimited intentions, motives and expectations in people who practice yoga or just the yoga asana exercises, such as :-

To teach yoga exercises as livelihood, or to start yoga school(s) or yoga centre(s) as a money making business, to attain wealth, name and fame, or mainly to share the greatness of yoga with many other beings…

To train the body and mind to be able to do some artistic or acrobatic moves for show performances, or as personal achievement and satisfaction, or for entertainment, or for competition, or for taking photos or making videos to share with others or to make some profits, or for any other reasons…

To enhance memories, brains activities, mind’s clarity, productivity and creativity…

To improve relationship, quality of life and quality of work…

To be able to sleep better, to balance up imbalanced hormones, to deal with everyday stress and frustration…

To tap the power of thoughts to make our wishes come true…

To let go of physical, mental or emotional pain, hurts and suffering…

To be a better person or human being…

To be able to say “no” without feeling guilty…

To be open-minded…

To be able to receive and give…

To be able to love and receive love…

To accept ourselves…

To be ourselves…

To love ourselves…

To be kind and compassionate towards ourselves and other beings…

To be what we want to be even if we think we are not “good” at it…

To be happy…

To be truly confident…

To know the truth of suffering…

To know the truth of existence…

To know who we really are…

To connect with the source in us…

To be pure…

To be free, to be liberated…

For humanity and world peace…

Or just be…

Om shanti.

Yoga practice exists to transcend ignorance and suffering…

Yoga practice exists for beings who are in suffering and who wish to transcend suffering…

If somebody who is peaceful, who is free from suffering, then this being doesn’t need to practice yoga… Because this being already knew the Truth about suffering, which is the end of yoga practice…

If our body is sick, then we need to consult a medical doctor and take some medicine to cure whatever sickness that we have and be free from sickness… If our body is not sick, we don’t need to consult any doctor or take any medicine to cure anything…

We are not peaceful and not happy, that’s why we are looking for peace and happiness… If we are already peaceful and happy, we don’t need to look for peace and happiness…

Suffering derives from ignorance…

Ignorance is not knowing the Truth of things…

If we know the Truth of things, there is no ignorance, there is no suffering, there is no need of yoga practice…

If we are free from suffering and are in peace, we don’t need to learn or practice yoga… We are already one with yoga, not separated from yoga…

If we are peaceful and happy, we don’t need to do something or not doing something to have peace or to attain peace…

We will be peaceful and happy no matter what we do or don’t do…

The looking, searching and craving for peace and happiness have come to an end…

Yoga practice is there to help us to remove ignorance, to transcend suffering… Without ignorance, there’s no suffering… Without suffering, peace is there…

If we have been performing a lot of yoga and meditation practice, but as long as we are not completely be free from ignorance, we will still be conditioned by unhappiness and suffering because we have craving, clinging, aversion or attachment, that derive from not knowing the Truth of things – being ignorant of the Truth of things…

And the greatest ignorance is being ignorant of ignorance…

When the mind is full of impurities, and is agitated and not calm, then we need to practice yoga and meditation to help to purify the mind and to render it calm and still… If the mind is free from impurities and is calm and in peace, there is no need of any “actions” or “practice” to make the mind pure and calm… It is pure and calm…

When the body and the mind is full of tensions, we need to perform some “actions” or “practice” or “relaxation” to help to release tensions in the body and the mind… If there is no tensions in the body and the mind, there is no need of relaxation or practice or “actions” to release anything… We need relaxation because we are not relaxed… If we are relaxed, do we still need “relaxation” to be relaxed?

And beyond the impermanent forever changing states of the mind, beyond the conditional momentary peaceful calmness of the mind that derives from performing yoga practice, pranayama practice, concentration and meditation practice, is our true nature – unconditional and unlimited real peace that is always there, unchanging, untouched by all states of the mind… It is neither good nor bad, neither positive nor negative, neither happiness nor suffering…

The peaceful calmness feeling that comes from the mind after some yoga, pranayama, concentration and meditation practice is impermanent… It will be disturbed and will disappear…

If we are able to go beyond this peaceful state of mind and not attached or clinging onto it, just be aware of the mind being calm or not calm, we are free from being conditioned by any names and forms that the mind is experiencing from moment to moment through the body and the senses of what we see, hear, smell, taste, touch and think… We are always peaceful… That is our true nature, unconditional peace… This peace doesn’t exist nor stop existing… It is not a quality that arise, change and pass away… It is beyond birth and death, beyond existence and non-existence…

There is no craving for peacefulness or happiness… There is no aversion towards unpeacefulness or unhappiness… It is full, content and whole…

Om shanti…

The practice of mind control (Raja Yoga) – Renunciation and Silence

There are many different types of personality or temperament in those who are interested in learning and practicing the ancient yoga technique of how to control the mind and how to be really peaceful and happy unconditionally through the path of yoga and meditation.

It doesn’t matter what type of personality that we have, some of us (the mind and the ego) might prefer a passionate outgoing life and like to be active and sociable, some of us might prefer to live a quiet inner life and have less social activities for conserving energy and focusing on the yoga and meditation practice for attaining Self-realization, and some of us find a balance point between the active sociable outgoing life and the quiet inner life (this exists in those who have self-discipline and self-control).

There is nothing right or wrong with all these different types of personality and temperament in different people.

That’s why there are many different paths in yoga to suit everyone of all types of personality and temperament.

People who are outgoing and like to be active and sociable are suitable for Karma Yoga (the path of selfless action, or renouncing the action and the fruit of action) and Bhakti Yoga (the path of devotion).

People who are not outgoing are suitable for Raja Yoga (the path of mind control) and Jnana Yoga (the path of wisdom).

All paths are not separated from each other and will lead to mental peace, contentment and annihilation of the ego (the realization of selflessness and compassion) if the practice is being performed with the correct attitude and effort. You’ll see Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Raja Yoga existing in one another. All these paths are being practiced at the same time when the mind has reached the state of purity and selflessness, or oneness/non-separateness/namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness.

But, no matter which type of yoga or what type of path, the upmost important practice of non-attachment, dispassion and right discrimination, having intense yearning for liberation and the cultivation of the sixfold paths – tranquility of mind, control of the senses, satiety (renouncing from worldly affairs, objects, enjoyments and activities), the power of endurance and forbearance, immovable faith (in God for those who believe in God, or in Self for those who disbelieve in God, in the teacher, in the teachings), and indifference (balance state of the mind, or equanimous), are the essential basic qualities or cultivation in a Sadhaka/Yogi.

The path of mind control is to turn the outgoing mind inward and making the mind introspective.

In order to achieve this inward state of mind, the observation of self-restraint (control of our own thoughts, action and speech), morality, silence (Mauna) and celibacy (control of sexual desire), the practice of Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses from the objects of the senses) and one-pointedness of mind (concentration), lessening the number of thought activities, the cultivation of physical/mental/emotional non-attachment and the reduction of wants and desires, avoid too much talking and walking, avoid too much eating or fasting, avoid too much physical activities, avoid too much mixing with worldly minded people, avoid novel and newspaper reading, avoid visiting theatres, cinemas or movies watching, develop Antarmukha-Vritti (making the outgoing tendency of the mind turn inward upon itself), and etc, all these are the very important practice in the path of yoga and meditation.

These practice are not just to purify and calming the mind, but also to conserve energy and channel the externalizing energy inward for spiritual Sadhana to realize the Truth.

All these practice can be performed and should be performed while living in the midst of the distracting world of names and forms. If we only can observe these practice while in an Ashram or in a retreat centre for a short period of time, but once we go back into the worldly life, we cannot or do not follow or continue all these practice, and are constantly being distracted and disturbed by all the names and forms, then whatever kind of yoga practice we perform will not bring us to the realization of unconditional peace (free from doubts, ignorance, hurts, fear and worry).

At one moment we might feel peaceful and at some other times, we might feel unpeaceful and restless due to the fluctuation of the mind activities or mental thought-waves (come from ceaseless egoistic actions and reactions towards all the mind inputs – perception of names and forms through the senses; as well as the mind outputs – expression of ideas, thoughts, feelings, emotions and egoism through action and speech, physically, mentally and emotionally).

Yoga and meditation is to starve the mind or deprive the mind from activities (ideas and thoughts) by the practice of Vairagya and Tyaga (renunciation of desires, objects and egoism).

But this type of inner life is being criticized by the passionate worldly people as “anti-social”. But a true Yogi or Sadhaka is not a bit disturbed or moved by this type of criticism that comes from the worldly minded people, as they cannot understand the importance of the practice of renunciation and silence, and they have not yet experience the eternal and unconditional inner peace that comes from renunciation and silence. Worldly minded passionate people seek after the momentary and conditional satisfaction and happy feelings that come from the gratification of desires by doing the things and getting the objects that we want and like. There is nothing wrong with this. But when things don’t turn out the way that we want them to be, we’ll get disappointed, frustrated and unhappy, forever restless being influenced and over-powered by all the attachments and the desire of craving and aversion in our own mind.

When the mind is rendered pure, calm and at peace, undisturbed nor distracted by all the names and forms, then this Yogi or Sadhaka can mix freely in the world to perform selfless service but will not be influenced nor affected by the world and the fruit of action, as he is firmly established in non-attachment and renunciation. He can be truly compassionate when he knows non-attachment and renunciation. He won’t be disturbed nor affected by the result of the selfless compassionate actions. There is no difference between respectful and disrespectful, success and failure, good and bad beings, censure and praise, pleasurable enjoyment and suffering. He is unconditioned by all the names and forms projecting the quality of good and bad.

Be free. Be really peaceful and happy unconditionally.

Om shanti.

 

When the outgoing tendencies of the mind are arrested, when the mind is restrained within the heart, when all its attention is turned on itself alone, that condition is Antarmukha-Vritti. The Sadhaka can do a lot of Sadhana when he has this inward Vritti. Vairagya and introspection help a lot in the attainment of this mental state.

He who has controlled his mind is really happy and free.

Concentration and Meditation – Swami Sivananda

The Dharma of Vedanta – Basic understanding of yoga practice

Sit in any comfortable sitting position or lie on the floor in Savasana. Bring the mind focus at the present moment now, on the natural breath. Be aware of the air coming in and going out from the nostrils.

Let go of any tensions – physical, mental and emotional tensions. All these tensions are inter-related. By releasing one of these tensions will also help to release the other tensions. That’s why yoga exercises or yoga practice is a great purification process for the body and the mind.

We don’t just learn how to let go of tensions, but more important is, we learn how to not generate tensions at the first place by practicing non-attachment. When there is no attachment, there is no need letting go. When there is no tensions, there is no need relaxation. When there is no ignorance, there is no need wisdom. When there is no impurities, there is no need purification. When there is no suffering, there is no need liberation…

Observe the natural breath as it is. Not comparing each breath, not judging the breath as slow or fast. In fact, the breath itself, it is not slow nor fast. The breath has no quality or intention to be slow or fast. It is just being what it is. The idea of “slow” or “fast” is a condition or quality that comes from the mind, when the mind is having comparison and will judge such speed is slow and such speed is fast. But the breath itself, it’s not slow nor fast.

For example, in the same speed of walking, it might be slow for some people, but it might be fast for some other people. Slow or fast is very subjective to the speed that we are familiar with, not because it is a certain quality. When the speed is slightly slower than what we are familiar with, we will judge it as “slow”. When the speed is slightly faster than what we are familiar with, we will judge it as “fast”. This is a common reaction of judgment coming from the mind, especially when we perform the sun salutation at different speed or when we hold the asana for different length of time.

As well as the differences of “easy” and “difficult” level in the exercises in a yoga asana class. The exercise itself is not easy nor difficult. The poses or exercises have no quality or intention to make us feel easy or difficult. It is when our body can perform the exercise easily and feels comfortable in performing the pose or the exercise, our mind will judge that pose or exercise as “easy”. But when our body cannot perform the pose or the exercise, or when it feels discomfort while performing the pose or the exercise, then our mind will judge that pose or exercise as “difficult”. But the exercise itself has no quality or intention to be “easy” or “difficult”. The same exercise can be very “easy” for certain people but it can be very “difficult” for some other people.

By observing and accepting the natural breath as it is, we are learning to observe and accept the reality as it is. When we can accept the reality as it is, the mind will be at peace, no disturbance. There is no judgment, comparison, expectation, or any craving nor aversion. Everything is just being what it is. There is no duality when we can observe everything as it is.

Not expecting what benefits that we are going to get from performing this action of observing the breath. Let the benefits or the result come naturally. We don’t expect nor crave for anything to happen. When we know how to let go of all these mind’s activities and speculations, the mind will quiet down. when the mind is quiet, the Truth will reveals itself to us, even though we didn’t expect to know the Truth…

Apply this truth onto all the other things (all the names and forms) that we perceive in the mind through the senses of what we see, hear, smell, taste, touch and think. We will stop judging about “this is good” or “that is bad”, and “this is easy” or “that is difficult”. This non-judgmental attitude will be a very effective practice for us to be able to let go of craving and aversion towards all the names and forms that are being labelled as “good” or “bad” by our own mind. All the things with different names and forms have no quality nor intention to be “good” or “bad”, to be “pleasant” or “unpleasant”. They have no quality or intention to make us happy or to make us suffer.

We will stop prejudge things as “this” and “that”, and have no expectation about things that they have to be like “this” or like “that”.

Once we let go of judgment, comparison and expectation, then everything is just being what it is, they are not something good nor bad. All these names and forms cannot affect us nor disturb us, nor to determine us for how we are or who we really are.

We are being conditioned by our own mind with the functions of the intellect (recognition and judgment of names and forms that creates duality) and the ego (the one who asserts likes and dislikes that creates craving and aversion).

When we come in contact with what the intellect recognized as “good”, “pleasant”, “happy” and “positive”, then the ego will feel good and happy. But when we come in contact with what the intellect recognized as “bad”, “unpleasant”, “unhappy” and “negative”, then the ego will feel bad and unhappy.

If we hear some words in the language that our intellect cannot recognize what does it means, then we won’t react towards what we heard. If somebody said something nasty to us in a language that we don’t recognize, we won’t get disturbed or upset about it. But when someone translates the meaning of those nasty words to us in a language that we can recognize, then we will be so disturbed and furious.

It is all come from our own mind, not from the things out there. It is not the things out there that make us happy or upset. It is us, being attached to the mind, identify with the mind, associate with the mind, and react towards the mind’s activities and impurities, that create the momentary pleasant or unpleasant feelings and emotions. We think we are happy or we are not happy according to how the mind recognizes and feels. But the things have no intention or quality to make us happy or unhappy.

Truly we are being conditioned and limited by our own mind. So many things that the ego likes and dislikes, they are meaninglessly determining how we should feel. Whether we get the things that we like or the things that we don’t like, we are also not satisfied, full of tensions, fear and worry. Even before we get the things that we like or don’t like, we are also full of tensions, discontentment, fear and worry. Either we are being disturbed by the craving for the things that we like, or the aversion towards the things that we don’t like. We are constantly getting frustrated if we don’t get the things that we like, or afraid of losing the things that we like, or we are missing the things that we had lost and which we like. And we are getting frustrated when we get the things that we don’t like, or are afraid of getting the things that we don’t like, and when we couldn’t get rid of the things that we don’t like…

Go beyond this mind. Be the witness of this mind and not identify with the mind, the intellect, the ego and its activities or impurities (anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, fear, worry, frustration, irritation, agitation, excitement, depression…), the likes and dislikes, the craving and aversion, and be free…

Go beyond this body. Be the witness of this body and not identify with the body, and not being affected nor determined by the condition of this body, and be free…

This is our yoga practice. From moment to moment, we are practicing non-attachment towards the body and the mind. Not generate reaction of craving and aversion towards what the mind perceives through the senses. Remain unaffected nor disturbed by all the names and forms that we see, hear, smell, taste, touch and think. Become selfless and know who we really are, and realize our true nature (compassion and wisdom) – Selflessness.

When we practice yoga and meditation from moment to moment (not just during a yoga class of asana, pranayama, concentration, meditation, selfless service, chanting, prayers, study of the scriptures…), actually we are maintaining this awareness as the witness of all the experiences that the body and the mind is experiencing from moment to moment, whether when we are awake or asleep, whether we are in action or in actionless.

We are not affected nor disturbed by our own mind. This mind will always be disturbed by “this” and “that”. But it is not us being disturbed. It is just the mind being disturbed by what it perceives through the senses. We will not be disturbed by all these names and forms.

The body and the mind will go through impermanence or changes, and are affected and determined by elements, energy and karma. But our true Self is not affected nor disturbed nor determined by all these things. It is uncontaminated by good or bad karma that comes from the body and the mind.

This body and this mind is depending on the elements and energy to be exist. Without elements and energy, nothing can exist. But the true Self is not depending on elements and energy, nor affected or determined by them. The true Self is beyond existence and non-existence. Anything that exist is subject to impermanence and will cease existing (form and deforming). It has a beginning and an end. But the true Self is without beginning, without ending, infinite, absolute. It is not affected by impermanence. The true Self is nameless and formless, without quality, without birth and death, without the thinking mind, the selfish ego, the limited intellect, the impermanent body and senses that are determined by elements and energy and are subject to form and deforming, “birth” and “death”, the law of impermanence…

The body and the mind will go through birth and death. But not our true Self. It is beyond birth and death, beyond existence and non-existence. In fact, there is no “birth” or “death”. Everything is just forming and deforming. Transition from one form to another form. That’s all.

Be grateful and thankful, and appreciate this life existence, this body and mind, for us to be here to experience, to learn, to share, to evolve, and to go back to our true nature of who we really are.

When there is no mind, there is no perception of names and forms. There is no perception of good and bad, happiness and unhappiness. There is no world.

What is good? What is bad? What is “auspiciousness”? What is “inauspiciousness”? What is “happy”? What is “sad”?

Know who we really are and be free…

* * * * * * * * * *

*Practice this concentration of observing the natural breath, being at the present moment now, for as long as we are comfortable at, for as many times as we want. Keep observing the breath naturally without any effort, strain or struggle. It doesn’t matter for how many times the mind might wanders away, we bring it back onto observing the breath patiently and persistently. Until we forget the environment, forget the body, forget the action of observing the breath, and the mind is calm and still. No past, no future, no judgment, no expectation, no intention, no duality, no meditator who meditate, no action of meditating, no object of meditation… Insight or wisdom will arise naturally.

During yoga practice session – non-attachment and letting go

Initial relaxation practice for the body and the mind – non-attachment & letting go

Stay focus and pay attention onto where we are, how we are and what we are doing at the present moment now. Letting go of the past and the future.

The most present thing is our breath. Be aware of the inhalation and the exhalation, without judgment whether the breath is slow or fast. Without comparing each breath. Without expectation towards the result or what benefits are we going to get from observing the breath. Letting go of judgment, comparison and expectation.

This will become a new habit for the mind to be able to let go of the past instantly from moment to moment, in our everyday life, not just during the yoga practice session. This will train the mind to let go of the habits that like to judge, to compare and to expect.

All our actions are intention-less, surrendering the fruit of action. Non-identification as the doer of the action. All actions are nameless and formless.

If the mind wanders to the past or the future, we bring the mind concentrate back onto the present moment on the breath, patiently. Knowing that it is the habit of the mind that it doesn’t like to stay focus at one point for a long time. It is the characteristic of the mind to jump from one thought to another thought unceasingly. Be very patient with the mind. Not judging the mind as something bad or negative. The mind is just being what it is. It is neither good nor bad. It is neither negative nor positive. We don’t have to attach to the mind and just observe the mind as it is.

Be aware of the movement of the abdomen as we inhale and exhale. The abdomen relax during inhalation, and it contracts during exhalation.

If at this present moment now, the mind is agitated, not calm, then we can control the breath to influence the energy or the prana, which will influence the state of the mind. We can slow down the breathing, prolong the exhalation to help to calm down the body, the energy and the mind.

By the chanting of Om will also help to calm down the mind. Beside the powerful sound vibration of Om that will stimulate and purify the energy centres and to chanel the energy for higher spiritual purposes, chanting of Om is also one of the pranayama that is controlling the breath especially during the exhalation, which can give calming effect to the mind. When the mind is calm and relaxed, then allow the breathing to be natural, and continue to observe the breath as it is.

If at this present moment now, the mind is calm and relaxed, then allow the breathing to be natural, just be aware, observe the natural breath as it is without interference, or to control or to change the breathing pattern.

By observing the breath as it is, we are learning to observe the nature as it is, observing the reality or the truth as it is, observing the present moment as it is, observing the world as it is, observing everything as it is, observing everyone as it is, observing the body and the mind as it is, observing ourselves as we are. Being aware that at this present moment now, this is the condition of our body, this is the condition of our mind, this is what our body can do and cannot do, this is where we are and how we are. And most important is, to accept ourselves as we are at this present moment now, without craving or aversion.

Not to take simple or easy movements for granted. Being aware of different sensations that arise in different parts of the body while performing any movements for the yoga practices. It might be some pleasant sensations at certain parts of the body, and some unpleasant sensations at the other parts of the body while performing any yoga practice or asana practice or meditation practice.

Keep the mind stay focus and concentrate on what we are doing. Beside being aware of the sensations that arise throughout the body, at the sametime also being aware of what is going on in the mind.

Maybe the mind is resisting certain positions or movements. Maybe the mind generates craving towards what the mind and the body like about. Maybe the mind is craving to perform certain movements that will make the body and mind feel good. Maybe the mind is having aversion towards certain positions and movements that will cause discomfortable sensations in the body. Maybe the mind disagrees or rejects what the teacher is telling the students to do or what the teacher is explaining about the yoga philosophy. Maybe the mind agrees with and like what the teacher teaches in the class and generates craving towards what the mind likes to hear and like to do.

There is nothing wrong with feeling good and want to feel good. It is our basic craving.

Allow ourselves to feel good and to enjoy all the good feelings but without attachment, clinging and craving. And let it go when these good feelings are gone.

Allow the bad feelings to arise as well. We don’t have to enjoy bad feelings, but we don’t have to generate aversion towards them nor need to push them away. Don’t suppress them nor denying them. We just observe all these bad feelings and let them go. And they will be gone too. Not to judge these unpleasant feelings as something bad and negative.

Just be aware of all these mind activities in the mind but not attach to them, not associate with them and not generate reaction towards them. Allow them to arise in the mind, let them stay and pass away. No craving, no aversion. Not resisting, rejecting nor trying to push them away. All these mind activities are influnced by the elements and energy. It is not in our control that we want the mind to have such activities and not to have certain activities.

If we are able not to attach to the mind, and undisturbed or affected by the mind activities, then we are beyond the mind. We are the one who is in control of ourselves and not the mind controlling us or influencing us. Let the mind be the mind. We don’t need to react to the mind and not generate actions that are influencing by the mind and the ego.

We are just the witness witnessing what is going on in the mind, what the mind likes and dislikes, what the mind wants and doesn’t want, what the mind feels and doesn’t feel.

Observe any thoughts, feelings and sensations that may arise without identification with them, not associate with them, not attach to them, not generate reaction (craving and aversion) towards them.

No craving towards the positive thoughts, good feelings and pleasant sensations. Allow ourselves to enjoy any good feelings and pleasant sensations without generate craving. No attachment, no clinging and let them go when they change and disappear.

No aversion towards the negative thoughts, bad feelings and unpleasant sensations. We don’t have to force ourselves to enjoy any of these unpleasant experiences in our body and mind, but we don’t have to generate aversion towards them either. Just observe all these unpleasant experiences, and allowing them to arise, change and disappear by themselves naturally.

Know that all these positive or negative thoughts, good or bad feelings, pleasant or unpleasant sensations, that they all are very temporary, they will change and they won’t last forever. They don’t belong to us and they are not us. It is not in our control that we only want to have positive thoughts, good feelings and pleasant sensations. It is not in our control that we don’t want to have negative thoughts, bad feelings and unpleasant sensations. All these things come and go as they like. They don’t ask for our permission to come, to stay, to change and to go.

We cannot attach to them. We will be in trouble or make ourselves full of tensions, disappointment, frustration and unhappiness if we attach to either the positive or the negative things. We will be so unhappy if we want to have positive or pleasant experiences but it didn’t happen. We will be unhappy if the positive and pleasant experiences change and disappear. We will be unhappy if the negative or unpleasant experiences appear in our body and mind. We will be unhappy if we try to get rid of these negative and unpleasant experiences but we couldn’t make them disappear from our body and mind.

* * * * * * * *

These are the basic yoga practice from moment to moment.

Practicing non-attachment and letting go.

This will stop more tensions building up in the body and the mind. At the same time it will help us to relieve the existing accumulated tensions in the body and the mind.

When we know how to stop generating tensions into the body and the mind, we don’t even need relaxation because there is no tensions at all.

And before we want to pursue any other yoga practices that will give us good benefits, we need to know how to relax the body and the mind, so that the body and the mind is ready to receive all the goodness that yoga practice is bringing us.

Or else if the body and the mind is full of tensions, how can they absorb the goodness from the yoga practice? It is like wearing a very tight thick jeans, there’s no room or space for the air to come through the jeans to let the skin breath freely.

* * * * * * * *

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.

Initial understanding about daily yoga practice

People frequently ask us about do we have a fixed “yoga practice routine” on certain time during the day to do our own yoga practice beside teaching yoga classes, to maintain our physical strength and flexibility as well as to upkeep our “skill” in performing the asana poses.

This is what I tell them.

Yoga is not about the physical strength and flexibility but it’s about the inner strength and inner flexibility.

Someone who is not strong and is not flexible, and who cannot perform any physical activities like asana practice or cannot perform sitting postures for meditation due to physical limitation or injuries or illnesses are still able to be practicing yoga. While someone who is very fit physically, and can perform lots of complicated movements or skillfully required kind of yoga poses may not be practicing yoga at all.

Yoga is nothing to do with the condition or the ability of the physical body to perform such and such actions. It is nothing to do with what our bodies can do and cannot do.

No doubt that yoga practices are important sequences or steps for helping us to reach to the higher state of consciousness, but they are not the guarantee of true happiness if we didn’t know what is the law of impermanence, non-attachment, acceptance, letting go and surrendering the ego.

But a person who is constantly practicing non-attachment, acceptance, letting go and surrendering the ego, is the guarantee of true happiness even if this person doesn’t know or cannot perform any “yoga practices”, such like asana practice, pranayama and meditation.

Non-attachment, acceptance, letting go and surrendering the ego are the real meditation in our heart from moment to moment in everyday lives.

Even if we practice a lot of asana poses and our bodies become very strong, flexible and healthy, this still won’t change the truth of impermanence and the law of cause and effect. We will still be affected by our past accumulated karma and are affected by all the impermanent changes in our bodies and minds all the time, unless we are practicing non-attachment, acceptance, letting go and surrendering the ego. This body will still have to go through impermanence, changes, decaying, weakening, illnesses, pain and decomposition sooner or later, no matter how much we try to preserve it through the good and beneficial yoga practices. The mind is still going through impermanence, changes, experiencing happiness and unhappiness, having craving and aversion, and is continuing having tensions that derive from impurities like anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, arrogance, dissatisfaction, disappointment, irritation, frustration, expectation, fear and worry.

From moment to moment our bodies are going through changes. The condition of the physical body may vary from time to time. How can we have a fixed “routine” to meet the requirement of the different conditions of the physical body. Everyday we may be doing different practices at different timing to adapt to the needs of the present condition of the body and mind.

Of course all the asana poses, pranayama, concentration exercises and meditation practice are there to help us to balance up the energy in our bodies and minds, to help purifying the body and mind, so that the body and mind get relieved from physical and mental tensions and becoming calm and relax. But what is the meaning of making effort to relieve tensions, when we continue to generate tensions into the body and mind all the time if we don’t know what is non-attachment, acceptance, letting go and surrendering the ego?

If we are practicing non-attachment, acceptance, letting go and surrendering the ego from moment to moment, and are at peace, free from tensions, undisturbed by all the changes that are happening in our bodies and minds, unaffected by whatever is happening in our lives and in the world, then what are the “fixed routines” that we need to “practice” everyday?

Non-attachment is not about running away from our lives, our families, our responsibilities and duties, but it is about not attaching to the body and mind, not attaching to our actions, not attaching to what the mind perceives through the senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and thinking), remain equanimous and peaceful not generating craving towards the pleasant experiences or aversion towards the unpleasant experiences.

Acceptance and letting go are not about giving up ourselves and not improving ourselves, but it’s about accepting the truth or reality as it is without any dissatisfaction and yet continue to strive for improvement to become better without any tensions that derive from expectation, fear and worry. When we cannot accept the truth as it is, and are dissatisfied with the present moment now of how we are, who we are and where we are, and we are looking for changes or try to runaway from what we don’t like about, then we will be full of tensions that derive from judgment, comparison, expectation, dissatisfaction, fear and worry. And so, we again try to free ourselves from tensions by doing some yogic practices but at the same time, we are continuing generating more tensions into the body and mind endlessly. The bucket that has a big hole underneath can never fill up whatever we want to put in.

Surrendering the ego is not about negating or neglecting ourselves and put ourselves in a bad condition, but it is about letting go of selfishness, fear and worry, and allowing the universal consciousness to take care of everything. We just do our best in whatever we are doing for the benefits for ourselves and for other beings, but without the identification as the doer of the actions without any judgment and expectations. Just like the sun, the air, the water, the earth and the space. They give, provide and support all and everything to be exist in the world motivelessly, intentionlessly, selflessly, endlessly, unlimitedly, unconditionally, tirelessly, without any discrimination of good and bad beings, and without any expectation for the results or rewards.

All these are great compassion and wisdom. These are the essence of yoga practice. This is the goal of yoga practice.

So, does the sun or the air or the water or the earth or the space practice any so called “yoga routines” everyday? Or are they performing nameless and formless compassionate actions all the time unceasingly?

Doing adequate of yoga exercises for maintaining the good health and the fitness level of the physical body is certainly a very good thing to do, so that we can appreciate this body and its life existence for us to continue to perform selfless service to ourselves and to other beings. We follow whatever the needs of the body and mind are, when it is needed, and practice accordingly to the present condition of the body and mind. And when the time comes for us to let go of this body, we have no clinging towards this body and the relationships with others that spring from this body and its life existence.

Never see ourselves as separated or different from other beings. There is no superiority or inferiority. There is no giver and receiver. There is no “teacher” and “student”. There is no “I’m helping somebody” and “somebody is benefited from my action”. There is no motive and expectation. Every action is out of compassion and egoless. We wish all beings be free from ignorance and be happy including “this” being. Be compassionate towards all beings including “this” being also. “This” being is also one of all beings.

Be the witness witnessing whatever the body and the mind are experiencing from moment to moment. The mind feels good or bad, it’s just the mind, not us. The mind feels comfortable or discomfortable, it’s just the mind, not us. The mind gets agitated, it’s just the mind, not us. The mind feels peaceful and happy, it’s just the mind, not us. The body is in pain and is ill, it’s just the body, not us. We are the witness of all these phenomena but we are not identifying nor associating nor affected by them.

Be the witness of the body and mind, and not being overpowered by the body and mind.

This is the yoga practice that we all are practicing unceasingly from moment to moment. There’s no trace of “doing yoga practice” and no one knows nor needs to know but “myself”.

Be Happy.