Ego, more than self-esteem, self-worth, pride and arrogance

In the world, ‘ego’ is mostly being interpreted as the quality of a prideful ambitious overly confident high self-esteemed and self-centered person who thinks and believes oneself possesses certain qualities or achievements that one and others would be proud of and should deserve respect, appreciation, acknowledgement, or glorification.

When people say, “He/She has a big/bad ego,” usually it refers to this is a proud and arrogant self-centered, self-obsessed, or overly confident and ambitious person that boasts and glorifies about one’s contributions or achievements.

When people say, “He/She doesn’t have an ego or he/she has a small/good ego,” usually it refers to this is a down to earth, humble and unselfish person, who keeps quiet about one’s contributions and achievements.

‘Ego’, is more than the reflection of self-esteem, self-worth, pride and arrogance of a person under the teachings of yoga and Buddhism. It’s not a quality to reflect whether a person is being arrogant and self-centered or being humble and non self-centered.

‘Ego’, is an idea of ‘I’ derived from ignorance and exists in the form of a continuous stream of thought-current in the thinking mind, that feeds on egoism, attached onto and identifies with certain qualities of names and forms to be existing as an individual being experiencing life, either enjoying pleasant/desirable/agreeable/joyful experiences or suffering unpleasant/undesirable/disagreeable/painful experiences, identifies as ‘the perceiver that perceives/experiences/thinks/feels’ and ‘the perceived names and forms of perceptions/experiences/thinking/feelings’ as well as ‘the performer of actions’ and ‘the receiver of the fruit of actions’, who desires and doesn’t desire, who agrees and disagrees, who fights and protects, who enjoys and suffers. It appears to be existing and real due to ignorance.

The ego exists and identifies/acknowledges itself as ‘I am good’ or ‘I am bad’, ‘I know’ or ‘I don’t know’, ‘I am confident’ and ‘I am not confident’, ‘I like, agree and desire’ or ‘I don’t like, don’t agree and don’t desire’, ‘I deserve’ or ‘I don’t deserve’, ‘I am proud’ or ‘I am humble’, ‘I am happy’ or ‘I am unhappy’, ‘I am positive’ or ‘I am negative’, ‘I am meaningful’ and ‘I am meaningless’, ‘I enjoy’ or ‘I suffer’, ‘I am selfish’ or ‘I am unselfish’, ‘I am highly confident, ambitious and self-centered’ or ‘I am non confident, non ambitious and non self-centered’, and etc.

The end of yoga or Buddhism practice, is upon the annihilation of the modification of the mind or restless thought-currents, when the veil of ignorance vanished, where the mind sees itself as it is, attaining Self-realization, or knowing thyself, or knowing who ‘I’ am, where the annihilation of the ego/the idea of ‘I’, or the realization of selflessness/egolessness/’I’lessness takes place, transcending ‘the wheel of births and deaths of the egoistic impure consciousness powered by ignorance and the by-products of ignorance that generates ceaseless cause and effect/good and bad karma that feeds the loop of births and deaths of ignorance and the by-products of that’, ‘returning’ to oneness, non-separateness, namelessness, formlessness, attributelessness, birthlessness, deathlessness, void of/untouched by cause and effect/good or bad karma/merits and virtues.

It’s not about trying to be as ‘good’ as possible, where a ‘soul/mind’ will be judged as a ‘good or bad soul/mind’ upon the death of the physical body based on accumulated virtues and merits or good/bad karma, either to be sent to ‘heaven’ or ‘hell’ or ‘somewhere in between’, or to be reborn into respective higher or lower realm of beings experiencing life existence via the mind perceiving pleasant/unpleasant names and forms through the senses that are all subject to impermanence and selflessness, to be continuously ‘ignorantly’/’helplessly’/’unwittingly’ generating further ceaseless good/bad actions along with the consequences of actions, or cause and effect, or good/bad karma, that keeps fueling the wheel of restless births and deaths (restless transitions of life existence reaping the fruit of good/bad actions) that is subject to impermanence and selflessness, regardless of good or bad, desirable or undesirable, enjoyable or sufferable transitions.

Forgo the momentary ‘pleasantness’, ‘happiness’, ‘meaningfulness’ or ‘goodness’ of a conditional fleeting worldly life existence of restless selfless transitions. Even so called ‘heaven’ or ‘higher realms’ are impermanent transitions reaping the fruit of ‘good’ actions. It’s not liberation at all. Know thyself, the beginningless and endless infinite silent witness of all impermanent and selfless transitions.

The ego constant acts and reacts to create a condition or a world that ‘I’ desires, based on the endless desire of craving (What I want) and aversion (What I don’t want). The silent witness neither act or react nor there’s an ‘I’ aspiring/desiring to create a condition or a world that ‘I’ desires. There’s neither “I will be or I am missing all the people of family and friends, or names and forms of the objects of the senses/qualities/conditions/things/actions/enjoyments/pets/places/realms/world that I love very much.” where only the very few dispassionate ones can go beyond all the worldly connections/relationships/names and forms transcending all kinds of worldly social/cultural/spiritual/religious thinking and belief, actions and achievements (the fruit of actions).

“The knowledge of the Self, or Self-realization, or the annihilation of the mind, or Samadhi, is the only way to be free from the wheel of births and deaths.” as taught by Swami Sivananda.

Never tell people who live in difficult life condition about what they should and shouldn’t eat

The realization of unconditional peace is not determined by what people eat or don’t eat, or whether one is eating ‘pure non-animal products vegetarian food’ or ‘animal products non-vegetarian food’.

By consuming ‘pure and clean food’ or ‘non-animal products vegetarian diet’ doesn’t guarantee that one is or will be free from ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering. Just like by performing many years of ‘yoga practice’ also doesn’t guarantee that one is free from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance. One might still be overpowered by the sense of self-righteousness, pride and superiority, and hence, be disturbed very much by what the mind perceives/recognizes as bad, wrong, negativity, inferiority, hurtful, offensive, insulting, disrespectful, undeserving, disappointing, painful sorrow, or suffering. People can be observing vegetarian diet due to cultural/religious practice for many years, and feel proud for being ‘compassionate vegetarian’ or being one of the member of a culture/religion, but still the mind might be not free from ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering.

People who consume ‘particular type of non-animal products vegetarian food’ with the sense of self-righteousness, pride and superiority, might be over-powered by self-righteousness and would criticize/condemn others who consume ‘animal products non-vegetarian food’, or vice versa. This is not part of the yoga practice.

Whether it’s part of the spiritual/cultural/religious/environmental/ethical practice, or due to some other reasons that people choose to adopt a particular type of food choice based on one’s thinking/belief/thoughtfulness/conscience, but we cannot tell or interfere with people what they should or shouldn’t eat, or ‘criticizing’ or ‘condemning’ those whom we think they don’t adopt ‘that particular type of food choice’ for some reasons, as we think that we are somehow more superior than others because of our superior food choice.

Just like we ourselves want to practice yoga, but we can’t go into people’s life and tell people what they should and shouldn’t practice, or how people should and shouldn’t think/believe/behave/act and react, and we can’t criticize/condemn anyone who don’t like yoga, or who don’t practice yoga, or who aren’t interested in yoga, or who don’t practice yoga as it is, even though we see yoga as something good and beneficial for many people, provided if people allow their minds to be open, unattached towards any particular thinking and belief that has been conditioning/influencing how they think, judge, feel, expect, act and react towards all the names and forms, as those who attached strongly onto their particular thinking and belief cannot be open to inquire the truth of other teachings/practice that are different from their own thinking and belief, as they would instantly reject and object what is different from and contradicted with their existing social/cultural/religious/spiritual thinking and belief, of what they think they know, and do not want to learn/inquire/know any further about other teachings/practice that they disagree with based on their own thinking and belief, as well as there’s fear towards knowing the truth of what if their own thinking and belief from young until now is not necessarily true, but people just blind-believing and blind-following those thinking and beliefs, and fear of ‘sin’ and ‘punishment’ due to ‘losing faith in their thinking and belief’, if they start questioning the truth of their thinking and belief. We can only share our knowledge and experience in yoga with those who are interested in yoga and they want to learn from our knowledge and experience, and they are ready to allow their minds to be open to inquire the truth of everything. Even so, we can’t expect anyone of them to practice yoga diligently as it is. It’s their own freedom and responsibility whether they want to practice yoga diligently as it is, or not, after we share the knowledge and experience with them.

People have the rights or freedom to choose what they want to eat or don’t eat, even if our minds feel disagree with and disturbed by other people’s choice of food consumption.

Although it’s everyone’s freedom if they want to interfere with other people’s life, but those who truly practice yoga will not be interested in interfering with other people’s life. Never tell people who live in difficult life condition, who are or have been going through many difficulties and hardship in life about what they should eat or shouldn’t eat. People might be suffering and dying from hunger and malnutrition or diseases, due to poverty and lack of educational background being bullied, discriminated and exploited by the commercial world, and most probably don’t make enough ‘money’ to buy/get enough food not to say ‘clean’ and ‘nutritious’ food even after working very hard for many hours a day. Imagine people who have a rather easy comfortable life, who don’t need to suffer much hardship and difficult condition in life, go around and tell other people who have no choice but have to be doing hard labour work with very low income for survival while struggling to provide food and shelter for oneself and/or the family about what they should eat and shouldn’t eat.

Keep one’s thinking/belief/practice/food choice/way of life to oneself, and respect other people’s different thinking/beliefs/practices/food choices/ways of life, even if they are contradicted with our thinking/belief/practice/food choice/way of life. If people want to follow our way of life/practice/food choice, that’s their freedom, but not because we expect and believe that everyone should be like us.

There’s nothing wrong if out of our own conscience/ethical reason that we want to adopt a particular type of food choice, but we also respect others for their different type of food choice, without criticizing/condemning other people’s choices of food consumption that we don’t like or don’t agree with, that we think is bad and wrong, unethical or unhealthy.

Go beyond the name and form of ‘vegetarian’ and ‘non-vegetarian’. It’s not who you are/what you are, as many people, including yoga enthusiasts like to say, “You are what you eat.” No doubt that food intake directly influences the energy field, the physical condition and the state of the mind, but the minds that have realized selflessness/namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness/non-separateness, it goes beyond all the identifications, names, forms, attributes, dualities, separateness, energy field, the physical condition, the state of the mind, good and bad karma, easy and difficult life condition, desirable and undesirable life experiences. It’s part of the teaching of yoga of ‘Transcending all the Gunas, energy field, names and forms, attributes/qualities, dualities, the physical condition and the states of the mind’. Whatever the mind thinks and identifies as ‘I’, is merely ignorance.

Be open-minded, not to be limited by any thinking and belief

Most of the ‘unnecessary problems’ in the world, of fear, animosity, hostility, discrimination, prejudice, racism, hatred, unjust, bullying, invasion, intrusion, condemn, unrest, violence, oppression, clashes, conflicts, killings, wars, and etc, is due to most minds are limited by a particular thinking and belief that influence one’s judgment towards everything, way of life, way of doing things, behavior, action and reaction. It’s not because there are many different kinds of thinking and belief that create the sense of separateness that is responsible for the ‘problems’ in the world. It’s not that there will be no more ‘problems’ in the world if all minds have one same thinking and belief.

The sense of separateness is coming from the mind itself due to ignorance and egoism, it’s not coming from the different qualities of names and forms. The minds that are free from ignorance and egoism are free from the sense of separateness even though the minds perceive all the names and forms that are different from one another.

The different kinds of thinking and belief are just what they are. They are neither good nor bad. It doesn’t matter there is only one type of thinking and belief exists in the world, or there are many types of thinking and belief co-exist in the world, they are not the ‘problem’.

Some people try to convert or reform everyone in their society or in the world to have only one uniform of thinking and belief to solve ‘problems’ in their society or in the world. It doesn’t help, as even under the same family, the same culture, the same religion, the same society, the same race, the same nationality, or the same political party, there will always be different opinions/points of view/likes and dislikes/agreements and disagreements that generate conflicts/discrimination/bullying/oppression/unrest/tension among one another due to ignorance and egoism of pride and arrogance, superiority and defensiveness towards ‘I’.

Even children would hurt their own parents, and vice versa, or lovers/spouse/siblings will hurt each other either intentionally or unintentionally due to ignorance and egoism. Out of ignorance, there are painful consequences onto oneself and others derived from actions being performed under the influence of passionate lustful desires, intoxicants and drugs abuse, mischievous and destructive urge, survival instinct, fear, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, jealousy, hurts, irritation, agitation, obsession, possessiveness, pride, boredom, mental illness, ill-will and ill-thinking, and all sorts of impurities.

The ‘problem’ is ignorance and egoism, regardless of what type of thinking and belief/disbelief.

It’s when the mind attached onto and identified with any particular thinking and belief and certain qualities of names and forms as ‘I’ or ‘my family/community/race/culture/nation/religion’, and generates pride and arrogance, superiority and defensiveness towards the attachment and identification towards such thinking and belief and qualities of names and forms to judge and condemn and interfere with others whom are different from oneself, whom one dislikes and disagrees with, based on one’s particular thinking and belief, that’s where all the problems begin.

It’s not about not thinking in certain ways or not believe in anything. Autonomously, the mind will be thinking in certain ways and believing/disbelieving in certain things. And it’s fine, as long as there’s no attachment or identification, the sense of pride and arrogance, superiority and defensiveness towards that particular way of thinking and the belief and disbelief about certain things in the mind. This mind won’t be offended/threatened/intimidated by any other kinds of thinking and belief that are different from it’s thinking and what it believes or disbelieves.

It’s about being open-minded, unattached towards any particular thinking and belief to be identifying as ‘I’, and see things as they are, without being limited by any particular thinking and belief to judge and interfere with everyone and everything, allowing everyone and everything to be different from one another, to be what they are, as they are, without expecting everyone and everything has to be the way according to any particular kind of thinking and belief/disbelief.

Yoga and meditation practice is about freeing the mind from ignorance and egoism of attachment and identification towards any particular thinking and belief, letting go or be free from being limited or determined by any family/cultural/social/religious/spiritual/racial/national/political thinking and belief, to allow the mind to be opened to see things as they are, be free from judgment and expectation. The mind will also be free from desire of craving and aversion towards what the mind likes and dislikes, agrees with and disagrees with, that are based on particular thinking and belief.

This mind will have peace, regardless of how many kinds of thinking and belief that are different from one another are existing in the world.

More important is that, regardless of all the different kinds of thinking and belief/disbelief, whether the mind believes or disbelieves in ‘God’, ‘spirituality’, ‘ghost’, ‘evil spirits’, ‘angels’, ‘karma’, ‘reincarnation’, ‘heaven and hell’, ‘black magic’, ‘astrology’, ‘miracles’, ‘auspiciousness/inauspiciousness’, and so on, the truth is still the same – The existence and function of the body and mind, and all the names and forms (quality of good or bad) is subject to impermanence and selflessness.

Be free from feeling being intimidated, offended, disrespected, belittled, insulted, unloved, and etc

If the mind feels being intimidated, offended, disrespected, belittled, insulted, unloved, and etc, by what it experiences/perceives, it’s coming from the mind itself reacting in such way towards the perceived names and forms that the mind recognized/categorized as intimidation, offensiveness, disrespectfulness, belittling, insulting, unloving, and so on. It’s not coming from the names and forms that the mind perceives/experiences through the senses.

This conditioned reaction is due to the egoistic impure mind is functioning under the influence of pride and arrogance and expectation. The ego doesn’t like or doesn’t want to come in contact with the unpleasant/undesirable/’hurtful’ experiences of what the mind recognizes/categorizes as intimidation, offensiveness, disrespectfulness, belittling, insulting, unloving, and so on.

The ego thinks and believes and expects that it deserves certain kinds of treatment/interaction and doesn’t deserves certain kinds of treatment/interaction.

“I don’t like this. I don’t agree with this. I don’t want this.” and “I think/believe/expect/want all beings/humans/people should think/believe/react/behave like this and shouldn’t think/believe/react/behave like that.”

It’s the prideful/self-assured/self-glorified ego that feels being intimidated/encouraged, offended/pleased, disrespected/respected, belittled/flattered, insulted/praised, unloved/loved, and etc. When the ego is annihilated, all these qualities of names and forms vanished.

The mind doesn’t need to feel/react in such way and just allows all the perceived experiences/names and forms to be there as they are. There’s no intimidation, offensiveness, disrespectfulness, belittling, insult, unloving, and etc, if the mind is free from egoistic pride, arrogance and expectation. Other beings/humans/people are just behaving in the way that they want to behave, and their behavior is their own responsibility and freedom of actions.

Why allowing other people’s thinking/belief/reactions/behavior to determine one’s state of the mind or reactions? Especially if one thinks and strongly believes that oneself is all good and righteous and didn’t do anything bad or wrong, but one is suffering/unhappy/disturbed by other people’s thinking/belief/behavior that one thinks/believes/perceives/recognizes as bad/wrong/negative/hurtful.

If the mind still couldn’t understand this and feels annoyed/offended by this teaching, then this mind doesn’t need to practice this teaching. It’s the freedom of this mind of how it wants/doesn’t want to think/believe/react/behave.

The minds that are not free from ignorance and egoism, that are not free from pride/arrogance/superiority/self-assurance/self-glorification/expectation will always easily be disturbed/offended/intimidated/belittled/hurt/insulted by anything, at anywhere and anytime.

Those who have realized the magnificent of oneness/non-separateness beyond all the different qualities of names and forms, will not spend even a tiny drop of attention/interest/effort/energy onto all these worldly names and forms of thinking/belief/behavior/reaction generated/sprung from ignorance and egoism. There’s no difference between intimidation and encouragement, offensive and pleasing, disrespectfulness and respectfulness, belittling and flattering, insult and praise, unloving and loving, and so on. There’s neither craving nor aversion towards all these qualities of names and forms.

If the mind tries to ignore or deny the names and forms that the mind perceives as bad/wrong/negative/unpleasant/meaningless, but it doesn’t stop chasing after or clinging onto the names and forms that the mind perceives as good/right/positive/pleasant/meaningful, then this mind is not free yet. Though that is the freedom of this mind to be what it is.

One doesn’t need to stand there to allow/receive treatments/behavior/interactions that are abusive coming from ignorant impure minds. One can move away or stay away from ignorant minds and ignorant behavior, to conserve energy, to not waste energy into dealing/affliction/conflict with ignorant minds and ignorant behavior. Just like standing under hot sun for more than certain time will burn the skin badly, one moves away from the hot sun and takes shelter under the shade. It’s ignorance to think, “I am practicing non-attachment and non-reaction, I should stand here under the hot sun even if it will burn my skin.”

Be free.

 

The mind only knows what it knows

Different people teach and guide other people in different ways or methods to perform the yoga practice, to inquire and reflect upon the teachings of yoga, to purify their minds, to eliminate ignorance, egoism and impurities, to realize unconditional love and peace that is undetermined by the qualities of names and forms that are impermanent and selfless, that is always there as it is, but this unconditional love and peace is unknown to the mind due to the veil of ignorance and impurities.

Not all who teach yoga to other people are evolving simultaneously with the similar realization through their own sincere practice. It’s like peeling away many different layers of ignorance/impurities to allow the mind to see the one knowledge but it appears to be in many different names and forms due to the different layers of ignorance and impurities. Meanwhile, all these knowledge appear in different names and forms will continue to lead the impure, but open mind towards the pure consciousness, until the deepest/last layer of ignorance/impurities is completely removed, the mind sees the truth as it is, selfless, oneness, nameless, formless, attributeless, birthless and deathless.

When different people learn and practice yoga under different people, they might learn different teachings and ways of practice that are distinct from one another. Some might like and agree with certain teachings and ways of practice, while some others don’t like and disagree with the same teachings and ways of practice. It is not because these teachings and ways of practice are good or not good, are right or not right, but they are mere different degrees/stages of realization. Also, different minds have different life experiences, temperament and personality, and hence, different minds react differently towards the different teachings and ways of practice taught by different people.

It’s the matter of whether the minds are open, or not, towards the different teachings/knowledge/ways of practice, by investigate/inquire/reflect upon the truth of all the different teachings/knowledge/ways of practice that they come in contact with from different people with different degrees/stages of realization.

There is nothing to be compared or argued about. The mind only knows what it knows, and what it doesn’t know, it doesn’t know. And there’s nothing wrong with there are things that the mind doesn’t know. It’s more harmful/dangerous when the mind is blind-believing in or propagating many things that it doesn’t really know whether they are true or untrue, just because those were what they heard from or taught by their beloved elders or teachers, or knowledge that they had read and accumulated from books, or the opinions and points of view that are agreed, liked, shared and supported by many other people or majority of the people. More important is that what the mind agrees or disagrees with and what the mind likes or dislikes under the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities, are not necessarily true/untrue.

It’s a great obstacle for the mind to evolve, to go beyond the ‘partial/incomplete/impure’ reality that the mind perceives under the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities, if the mind is not open towards what is unknown to the mind, to investigate the truth of something that is unknown or unfamiliar to the mind, but it reacts with intense rejection/disagreement towards something that it doesn’t know, or that is different from or contradicted with its existing thinking and belief and familiarity.

Just like people who never come in contact with apples before, would deny the existence of apples when being informed by other people whom have come in contact with apples. The minds that are open, neither believe nor disbelieve towards the existence of apples, until they directly come in contact with apples. Even so, the apples that were informed by others might appear to be different from the apples that they experience, but the origin of the different varieties (names and forms) of apples is rooted in the one same source, or else it’s not apple, it’s something else. Even if it’s something else, such like oranges, all kinds of names and forms are still existing on the one same truth – impermanence and selflessness. Beyond different kinds of impermanent and selfless names and forms, it’s namelessness, formlessness, attributelessness, birthlessness and deathlessness. Realizing this, all kinds of fear and superstitious beliefs vanished. All kinds of positiveness/negativeness, meaningfulness/meaninglessness, goodness/badness, auspiciousness/inauspiciousness, happiness/unhappiness, suffering/non-suffering are nothing but the products of ignorant and impure minds.

Many ‘yoga teachers’ teach or guide other people about yoga that is about promoting positive thinking and good actions, accumulating good karma and developing ‘positive mind power’ to fulfill the desire of achieving a good and meaningful life, because that is all that they know about yoga, so far. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

While some teach or guide other people about yoga that is beyond ‘promoting positive thinking and good actions, accumulating good karma and developing ‘positive mind power’ to fulfill the desire of achieving a good and meaningful life’, because they have realized the higher knowledge of oneness, namelessness, formlessness, attributelessness, selflessness, desirelessness, birthlessness and deathlessness. There’s neither positive nor negative. There’s neither good nor bad. There’s neither enjoyment nor non-enjoyment. There’s neither suffering nor end of suffering. There’s nothing to be known, nothing to be understood, nothing to be perceived, nothing to be connected with. There’s no other(s).

‘Yoga teachers’ must be vigilant to be cautious of (tiny) pride arising in one’s mind due to accumulated knowledge and achievements deriving from ‘reading books on yoga’, ‘attending yoga courses’, ‘attaining certifications’, or ‘teaching yoga/yoga classes to other people’. Praise, compliments, supports, agreements, appreciation, honour, respect, glorification or idolization from the yoga students, might be feeding the sense of pride in the mind unwittingly, if one is not cautious of it. One would think and feel that ‘I am a good yoga teacher’ or ‘I am an experienced yoga teacher’ or ‘I am well-loved and appreciated by all these students’. Those who are aware of the mischievous egoistic nature in one’s mind, will allow other people to show praise, compliments, supports, agreements, appreciation, honour, respect, glorification or idolization, or not, but one doesn’t interested in receiving any of these at all, and there’s neither attachment nor identification towards all these names and forms, then one is considered ‘safe’.

It’s the same as ‘yoga students’ who receive praise and compliments from the teachers or other fellow students, who have been accumulated knowledge and achievements deriving from ‘reading books on yoga’, ‘attending yoga courses’ or ‘attaining certifications’, who think and believe that oneself is ‘advanced yogi/yoga practitioner’ after practicing yoga for a long time, or having attended many ‘advanced yoga classes/courses’ and attaining many ‘yoga certificates’.

Those who are wise, won’t be telling themselves and others that “I am a wise being. I am very wise.”
Those who have been advancing in their yoga practice, won’t be telling themselves and others that “I am an advanced yogi. I am very advanced in yoga practice. I am practicing advanced yoga.”

Beware of pride and self-glorification.

Be free.

Yoga classes, yoga courses and yoga retreats?

Those (the minds) who are free, who are peaceful, who are free from ignorance, egoism, doubts and impurities, they don’t need to learn or practice yoga. They don’t need to attend yoga classes, or yoga courses, or yoga retreats.

Those (the minds) who are not free, who are not peaceful, who are not free from ignorance, egoism, doubts and impurities, they might want to learn and practice yoga, by attending yoga classes, or yoga courses, or yoga retreats, to learn and practice yoga under one or a few yoga practitioner(s) (teachers) who know the teachings and practice of yoga.

Somehow, some of those (the minds) who are not free from ignorance and egoism, who are not peaceful, who are interested in attending yoga classes, or yoga courses, or yoga retreats, are ignorant towards oneself is being over-powered by pride and arrogance. They are not really interested in ‘learning’ and ‘practicing’ yoga under the guidance of other yoga practitioners. They think they know quite a lot about the teachings and practice. They think they have been doing yoga for quite some time or a long time. They think they are quite ‘experienced’ and ‘qualified’ yoga practitioners or yoga teachers, as they have attended one or many yoga workshops, yoga courses, or yoga teachers training courses. They think they are quite ‘advanced’ on the path of yoga. They are not ‘open-minded’ to learn and practice yoga under other people’s guidance to be free from ignorance, egoism, doubts and impurities. They attached strongly onto their habitual mind behavior pattern and their way of thinking and belief and practice. They cannot be opened to investigate or experience something that is different from their thinking, belief and practice.

They want to interfere with how the people running the yoga schools, the yoga studios, or the yoga retreat centres, and what the teachers teach and how the teachers teach the classes, or courses, or retreats. They criticize the way of the people running and teaching the classes, courses, or retreats, about the format, the schedule, the accommodation, the facilities, the environment, the staff, or anything that they think it’s not the way that they like it to be, or not the way that they think or expect it should be. There are many things that they dislike and disagree with, that they cannot tolerate or accommodate. They reluctant to adjust, adapt and accommodate something that is different from their habitual comfort zone, thinking, belief and practice.

They expect/demand the people to run the yoga schools, the yoga studios, or the yoga retreat centres the way that they like it to be, and they expect/demand the teachers to teach what they like and want to practice and don’t teach what they don’t like or don’t want to practice. They expect/demand the teachers to teach the classes, the courses, the retreats the way that they like it to be. They get very annoyed and irritated when the teachers teach something that they don’t like and don’t want to learn or practice, or the people running the classes, the courses, or the retreats the way that they don’t like and don’t agree with. They expect/demand everything about the entire space of learning and practicing yoga to be the way that they like it to be, or the way that they think it should be.

These people (the minds) don’t just not really learning or practicing yoga, though they think and believe that they are very ‘serious and advanced and certified’ yoga practitioners and yoga teachers, but they also generate inconvenience, disturbance, doubt and obstacle for others who are interested to learn and practice yoga, those who ‘are aware of’ or ‘know’ their minds are not yet completely free from ignorance, egoism, doubts and impurities. The minds that are free, they won’t be affected or influenced by the ignorance and impurities of others, but most minds are not free yet, they will still be affected and influenced by the ignorance and impurities of others. But, it doesn’t mean that these minds are bad or negative. All minds are free to behave the way that they want to behave and react the way that they want to react, whether they are aware of their own behavior and reaction, or not.

And hence, when one thinks and believes that oneself is an ‘experienced’ and ‘advanced’ and ‘certified’ yoga practitioner or yoga teacher, and one wants to inform/tell other people about how experienced and advanced one is on the path of yoga, then know that one doesn’t know what is yoga, yet. Those who know yoga, they have no attachment or identification towards the experiences or levels of their practice, or be proud and arrogant about what they know or realize from their practice. They mind their own practice and they don’t need to attend yoga classes, yoga courses, or yoga retreats.

Those who are not sure or have doubts about their practice or what they think they know, and are interested in attending yoga classes, yoga courses, or yoga retreats to learn and practice yoga under the guidance of other people, must learn how to allow the mind to be opened to learn and practice yoga under another person or other people, while not by pushing away or arguing about something that the mind dislikes and disagrees with, but to investigate the truth of everything that the mind comes in contact with through direct experience.

What the mind agrees with and what the mind disagrees with, are not necessarily the truth.

One doesn’t need to like and agree with everything, even if it’s part of the teachings and practice of yoga, but remain equanimous, being undisturbed or undetermined by what the mind dislikes and disagrees with, is already what yoga practice is about.

Be free.

Pride and arrogance

One of the significant characteristics of the ego is pride and arrogance.

The ego is being proud and arrogant about one’s worldly identity, personal thinking and belief, cultural practice, spiritual practice, religion, family background, origin, nationality, race, standard of living, lifestyle, conducts, way of doing things, social circle, social status, profession, career, special talent or skill, position held in a community or company or organization, intelligence, accumulated knowledge and experience, qualifications and achievements, social image, physical appearance and condition, physical and mental ability, relationships, contributions, self-righteousness, and etc, thinking that ‘I’ am better and more superior than other people, as well as this ego has the urge to interfere with other people’s thinking and belief, way of doing things, lifestyle, conducts and everything thing else that are different from oneself, that the ego thinks they are less good and more inferior than all the qualities that it possessed and identified with.

The ego thinks that it is better, more intelligent and experienced, and more successful than other people, that it has a ‘duty’ or ‘responsibility’ to interfere with other people’s choice of way of living and conduct that is different from its own. It thinks that it is instilled with some kind of ‘authority’ or ‘aspiration’ from ‘something higher above all human beings’ to ‘guide’ or ‘inspire’ other people’s life by ‘helping’ them to ‘change’ everything about them that the ego thinks is less good and inferior than itself.

If other people don’t agree with, or follow, or show interest in the ‘kind’ advice or suggestion from this ego, it will feel disturbed, offended, disappointed, disrespected, or humiliated. “I am giving you ‘something very good’, how come you don’t appreciate?”

Meanwhile, this prideful and arrogant ego doesn’t like it when other people try to interfere with it’s thinking and belief, way of life and conduct, or giving advice, suggestion or opinion to this ego that they think is ‘better’ or ‘more superior’.

Those who are free from pride and arrogance will allow other people to be prideful and arrogant, to give their advice, suggestion or opinion, but one is undetermined by it. One will consider the advice that is useful, but ignore the advice that is irrelevant.

‘Yoga practitioners’ and those who identifies themselves as ‘yoga teachers’ who are sincere in the path of yoga, are not being here to ‘interfere’ or ‘change’ or ‘influence’ or ‘advise’ everyone to also practice yoga and follow the way of life of yoga, it doesn’t matter it’s out of loving kindness or goodwill or good intention. ‘Yoga teachers’ or ‘yoga practitioners’ are just being here to sincerely perform their own practice to be free from ignorance and egoism and realize selflessness and unconditional peace. At the same time, ‘yoga practitioners’ or ‘yoga teachers’ who have the opportunity to ‘share’ their own practice and realization or insights with other people can disseminate the teachings of yoga without the sense of ‘duty’, attachment, identification and expectation, and selflessly guide those who are interested in yoga onto the path of yoga, without pride and arrogance of oneself being a ‘yoga practitioner’ or ‘yoga teacher’, and towards one’s actions and the fruit of one’s actions.

It’s everyone’s freedom whether one performs actions out of egoism, pride and arrogance, or being free from egoism, pride and arrogance.

Beware of the characteristics of the ego. Such like, “I am doing something good and meaningful.”, “I am contributing to the society or the world.”, “I am a good being and I ‘want’ other people also to be good beings.”, “Yoga is so good, everyone should also practice yoga.”, and so on.

Be free.

Pride and arrogance is a great obstacle for self-realization

Pride and arrogance is part of the plays of the egoism. The ego takes prides in certain qualities that it possessed and what it can achieve whether it is worldly achievement or spiritual achievement. Arrogance co-exist with pride as the ego thinks and believes that by having the qualities and achievements that it has, it is somehow more superior, greater and better than others.

This is like the ‘header’ wind that is pulling the aspirants further away from self-realization. It’s like the aspirant is looking at the destination (self-realization) with a binocular (pride and arrogance about certain good qualities and spiritual achievement), thinking it is already very close to the destination, but actually it is still a very long long way to go and require greater effort, especially with the wind pulling it back from moving forward towards the destination.

Pride and arrogance will dissolve naturally when the mind is able to let go of worldly and spiritual identifications and letting go of attachment towards qualities of names and forms to be existing, to be somebody, to be acknowledged, to gain liking, support and approval, or to attract attention.

The termination of pride and arrogance is the dawn of right conduct, right view and correct understanding. This is like the ‘lift’ wind that helps to push the aspirants closer towards self-realization with less effort.

Om shanti.

Worldly knowledge?

There’s nothing wrong with accumulating worldly knowledge about this or that. Although worldly knowledge doesn’t guarantee us peace and compassion, or be free from ignorance, egoism, impurities, unhappiness or suffering.

We can make good use of the knowledge that we have, to be doing something great and meaningful for ourselves and other beings in this life.

Worldly knowledge allows us to be able to create something, or to be doing something, which will give us certain degrees of satisfaction and meaningfulness, but it doesn’t guarantee us that we will be free from being disturbed or determined by qualities of names and forms, and be free from anger, hatred, jealousy, pride, arrogance, disappointment, dissatisfaction, feelings of hurt, ill-will, ill-thinking, fear and worry.

For example, it is very good and useful, if we have the knowledge and skill to design and build a house. After building a functional house for ourselves or for somebody else, we will feel there’s some happiness, joy, achievement, success, satisfaction and meaningfulness. The house can provide shelter for those who live in it, but, it doesn’t guarantee us peace and happiness, nor will make all our doubts, craving, aversion, fear and worry disappear. No matter we have a big house or small house, luxury house or simple house, or we have no house at all, we will be peaceful as we are, if we are free from ignorance, egoism and attachment. But, if we are not free from ignorance, egoism and attachment, then no matter we have a big house or small house, luxury house or simple house, or we have no house at all, we will not have peace.

Knowledge is neither good nor bad. It depends on how we use it and the purity of our mind. We can be using knowledge to be doing something beneficial, creative and constructive for ourselves and others, but sometimes we can be using knowledge to be doing something that will generate disharmony or hurt to ourselves and other beings.

Make good use of the knowledge, but not being determined by the knowledge to be who we are. Be free from egoism, attachment, pride and arrogance.

Om shanti.

Letting go of the ego – Letting go of pride and arrogance…

This is not as easy as it says…

At least if we want, we can try our best…

To let go of the ego…

Letting go of pride and arrogance…

We don’t really need pride and arrogance to be “somebody”…

We don’t even need to be “somebody” to be living in this world…

This life existence do not exist without the sun, the air, the water, the earth and the space providing and supporting all beings to be exist in this world…

Life can be without pride and arrogance…

It will be less tensions and more peaceful…

 

If anyone is being happy and peaceful by possessing pride and arrogance, and wants to continue to be proud and arrogant, there is nothing wrong with that… Be happy being proud and arrogant…

Deep inside us, we know that actually we are not really confident and are not happy about ourselves, that’s why we need to possess pride and arrogance to feel good about ourselves, and to feel we are stronger and better than anyone else…

The ego is neither good nor bad. If we identify with the ego, we will be over-powered by the idea of “I” and “mine”, desires, cravings and aversions, and being restless busy with building up a worldly self-image or social status, and getting what we desire, and busy protecting the self-image that we built up for ourselves and protecting all the attachments, possessions and belongings, and be in fear and worry of losing what we think is “I” (that “built” on self-image, self-esteem, self-worth, accumulation of knowledge, wealth, health, relationships, achievements and etc…) If we know how to not identify with it, and just let it performs its necessary function for maintaining this life existence, we will be free and happy being “what we are”, and not trying to become somebody with certain image and qualities…


If we want to be truly confident and happy, we really need to let go of the identification with the ego, letting go of pride and arrogance that comes along with the ego…

We need to be able to accept ourselves as we are, and not looking forward trying to be somebody else that we are not, even if we “think” that we are not perfect… And when we realize the true nature of who we really are, which is perfect, attributeless, nameless and formless, there is no need of attaining “good qualities” to be proud and arrogant, to support us or to determine us to be “what we are”…

Before we can “let go of the ego”, we need to know who or what is this ego…

Whenever there is cognition about “I”, “my”, “mine”, “I am”, “I am not”, “I feel”, “I don’t feel”, “I like”, “I don’t like”, “I want”, “I don’t want”, “I agree”, “I don’t agree”, “I am peaceful”, “I am not peaceful”, “I am good”, “I am not good”, “I am positive”, “I am negative”, “I am happy”, “I am not happy”, “I am wise”, “I am not wise”, “I am compassionate”, “I am not compassionate”, “I am superior”, I am inferior”, “I am special”, “I am not special”, “I am a yogi”, “I am a yoga teacher”, “I am strong”, “I am not strong”, “I am so and so”, “I am this or that”, “I practice yoga”, “I don’t practice yoga”, “I am a vegetarian”, “I am not a vegetarian”, “I meditate”, “I don’t meditate”, “I did, I do, I will do”, “I didn’t do, I don’t do, I will not do”, “I have to”, “I need to”, “I wish to”, “I don’t wish to”, “I have”, “I don’t have”, “I am loved”, “I am not loved”, “I am accepted”, “I am rejected”, “I’ve succeeded”, “I’ve failed”, and in any other forms of identifications, qualities and perceptions about “I” or “me” or “my” or “mine”… Know that all these are the plays of the ego…

By surrendering the ego, we are letting go of the identification with all these “names and forms”, “qualities”, “self-judgment”, “self-evaluation”, “self-image”, “self-esteem”, “selfish desires”, “expectation”, and so on… This looks like it’s going against the worldly thinking of “Everyone needs to have certain self-image, self-evaluation and self-esteem to be somebody…” or “Everyone needs to have certain expectations to set as a goal to strive to be better and to be successful in life…”

In the path of yoga and meditation, we are going to let go of all these worldly thinking and concepts about “who we should be” and “how we should be”…

We don’t just expect ourselves to have certain self-image, but we also project qualities onto other people and give them certain image… And usually we will project an image with certain qualities that comes from our own mind perception onto other people, judging this person as “this” and that person as “that”, judging everyone “you are good” and “you are not good” based on what our mind believes what things are… But, how true is our belief, perception and judgment?

For example, we will expect a “yoga teacher” should have certain “yoga teacher” image, and he or she should behave or present himself or herself as what a “yoga teacher” should be behaving… We will expect a “yogi” should have certain “yogi” image, and he or she should behave or present himself or herself as what a “yogi” should be behaving…

And it’s not just that, we also think that a “yoga teacher” or a “yogi” should behave as what a “yoga teacher” or “yogi” should behave appropriately, so that other people can follow and imitate that appropriate “image”, and learn to become a “proper” yoga teacher or “proper” yogi…

And we get so disappointed by our own expectation onto how other people should behave, when other people didn’t “behave” the way that what we think they should be behaving…

We also get so annoyed and unhappy when other people project different images or judgments onto us, which are contradicted or different from what we think we are… Such like, when we think we are “a nice and good person”, but other people didn’t think so, and they think that we are “not nice and not good”… And if we identify with the ego, we will be so unhappy and upset when we are being projected by other people as “somebody who is not what we think we are”…

We expect other people to see us or judge us exactly as what we think we are or “what we want” them to think what we are, “a nice and good person”… We want to have a “good” image in other people’s mind… We want other people to think that we are “nice and good people”… And we have been doing lots of good, and have been nice and good to other people, how could they possibly think that “I am not nice and not good”…? They are wrong and misunderstood about “me”… And then we will want to justify ourselves or try to convince other people that we are what we think we are, “a nice and good person”, and not what they thought what we are not… And if other people still “judge” us differently from what we think we are, we’ll be more disappointed, unhappy and upset…

Those who have gone beyond the ego, they will not be bothered by how other people think about them, or judge them, or misunderstood them… Criticism, slandering or condemn won’t affect them, nor damage their confidence, nor change who they are and how they are… Neither praise and compliments will affect them, nor increase their confidence, nor change who they are and how they are… They are not determined, nor defined, nor conditioned by praise and condemn…

The one who is getting upset and feels insulted is the ego… The one who is getting delighted and feels appreciated is the ego… This is one of the characteristics of the ego…

The ego also likes to compare with others, having jealousy towards other people who are somehow “better”, or “happier”, or “smarter”, or “luckier”, or “stronger”, “fitter”, “wealthier”, or “more superior” than us…

The ego will look down on other people who are somehow “less good”, “less happy”, “less smart”, “less lucky”, “less strong”, “less fit”, “less wealthy”, or “more inferior” than us…

The ego will feel so happy and delighted when things turn out to be the way that it wants it to be…

The ego will feel so unhappy and disappointed if things didn’t turn out to be the way that it wants it to be…

The ego also will be so proud and arrogant about the knowledge that it has and the achievements that it attained, and it wants to be noticed and acknowledged by the world about what it knows and what it had achieved… It needs approval, agreement, attention, acknowledgment, support, appreciation and compliment from the world to be “somebody”, to feel good, to feel meaningful, to be confident, to be happy, to be special, to be important…

These are the most significant characteristic of the ego, accompanied by pride and arrogance, as well as attachment towards success and failure, praise and condemn, being conditioned and determined by success and failure, praise and condemn to be happy or not happy, to be confident or not confident, to feel meaningful or not…

When we are full of anger, we project anger onto other people, seeing and hearing everything that we see and hear as an object of anger or reason to be angry… When our mind is negative, we project everyone and everything as negative… Whatever we see and hear is negative… When our mind is positive, we project everyone and everything as positive… Whatever we see and hear is positive… But, the Truth is, everyone and everything is neither negative nor positive. Everyone and everything is just being what it is… They have no qualities nor intention to be negative or positive… They have no qualities to make us happy or unhappy…

Whenever “we” see, or hear, or experience something that “we” like and agree with, “we” feel good, excited, happy, satisfied, encouraged, motivated and so on… Actually that is the ego comes in contact with what it likes and agrees with… It is the ego feeling good, excited, happy, satisfied, encouraged, motivated and so on…

Whenever “we” see, or hear, or experience something that “we” don’t like and don’t agree with, “we” feel upset, unhappy, frustrated, irritated, agitated, discouraged, demotivated, disappointed, angry and so on… Actually that is the ego comes in contact with what it doesn’t like and disagrees with… It is the ego feeling upset, unhappy, frustrated, irritated, agitated, discouraged, demotivated, disappointed, angry and so on…

To let go of the ego, is to not identify with the ego, and not associate with its reactions towards all the names and forms that the mind perceives or experiences through the senses… And remain unattached towards all these perceptions of names and forms, being the observer or the witness of the mind and its activities…

When “we” feel hurt or feel insulted by somebody or something, that is the ego reacting when it is being challenged for its “power”, “knowledge”, “authority”, “confidence”, or “self-image”…

The ego will try its best to “make” other people to like it, to love it, to agree with it, to support it, to respect it, to trust it, to appreciate it, to compliment it, and so on…

The ego wants to be, and needs to be “somebody” with certain image and qualities that is being recognized, approved and acknowledged by family and friends, the society or the community of the world…

The ego identified and attached to certain self-image, identity, qualities, condition, abilities, thinking, concepts, believes, ideas, traditions, lifestyles, ways of doing things, judgments, possessions, achievements, and so on, to be “somebody”…

The one who wants to express thoughts, ideas, creativities, feelings, emotions, likes and dislikes, wants and don’t wants, agreements and disagreements, and so on, is the ego…

Justification and arguing is one of the characteristics of the ego… It doesn’t like to see or hear something that it doesn’t agree with…

The ego depends or relies on “personal” or “professional” image and worldly identifications and achievements, such like, personality, uniqueness, academic and sports achievements, sensual and material enjoyments, personal characteristic and physical appearance, physical and mental conditions and abilities, financial status, social status, religious status, spiritual status, work and social activities and achievements, family and love relationships, friendships, fellowships, material possessions, wealth accumulations, lifestyles, worldly point of views, judgments, expectations and so on, to be “somebody”, to be “special”, to be “important”, to feel good, to feel being needed, to feel meaningful, to feel confident, to feel worthy, and so on…

The ego being conditioned and determined by other people’s judgments, evaluations, comments, supports, attentions, liking, agreement, acknowledgment, acceptance, appreciation, and so on, to be “who we are” in this worldly existence…

The ego being conditioned and determined by “qualifications”, “certifications”, “social status”, “financial status”, “academic status”, “lifestyle status”, “leisure status”, “relationship status”, “family status”, “spiritual status”, “fitness status”, “health status”, “mental status”, “achievements”, “personalities”, “personal image”, “professional image”, and so on, to be “somebody” who is well-worth living as a “person” or “human being”…

“We” think that “we” need all these “things” to be “who we are”… But it is just the ego clinging onto, or depending on all these “things” or “qualities” to be “alive”, to be “strong” and to be “in control”…

When we identify with the ego, our confidence and sense of self-worth are swaying up and down, according to the identifications, self-image, impermanent qualities and achievements that we create for ourselves… We are restless trying to be “somebody” with such and such qualities, making ourselves so busy trying to build up a “lovable”, “perfect” and “healthy” self-image… We are also being busy trying to protect or upkeep this “self-image” that we have created for ourselves… We don’t want this “good” self-image to be damaged or contaminated by “bad” reviews or “bad” qualities…

We are full of fear and worry, craving, clinging and aversion…


We are in a state of restlessness being dissatisfied for being “who we are” and “how we are” in the present moment now, rejecting and not accepting ourselves as we are…

If we can just let go of this ego, we will be so free being who we are and how we are, in this present moment now, as we are… Not looking forward to try to become “somebody” that we are not…

We can continue to perform actions in the world, and do our best in our life to pursue all our dreams and goals, but we are no longer being determined, or defined, or conditioned by all these names and forms, and the results of our actions, what we can do and cannot do, what we can achieve and cannot achieve… We are free while at the same time performing necessary actions improving ourselves in life physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually…

We are always confident, it’s because we are free from being conditioned and determined by the ego, and not because we are “somebody” with such and such qualities and achievements…

We are always happy, it’s because we are free from tensions and discontentment that come from being dissatisfied about “who we are” and “how we are”, and not because we are “somebody”, or we are “this” and “that”, or we have “this” and “that”…

We can fully enjoy what we do in life for ourselves or for other people, but we are not determined nor defined by all these things (our actions, the fruit of our actions, and the reactions of other people towards our actions)…

Yoga and meditation practice is nothing but to eliminate this ego… And be free.

This is truly liberation, being free from the ego, be free from the “worldly standardized” self-image, social status, pride and arrogance…

Om shanti.