Self-esteem and confidence

Any issues regarding self-esteem and confidence shouldn’t and doesn’t need to be existing at all. But due to ignorance and egoism, many people depend on self-esteem and confidence to be who they are, to be happy and feel meaningful, or not. Many people are suffering from mild to severe low self-esteem or low confidence that leads to the sense of meaninglessness and depression. Even many mental and psychological related studies and professionals also preach, think and believe that the development and empowerment of self-esteem and confidence is very important in life existence as human beings and it’s the key to personal and global growth, success and happiness.

Real confidence has nothing to do with self-esteem or confidence that builds on physical appearance, condition, ability and achievement, or mental state, ability and achievement, or desirable and undesirable life experiences, or good and bad relationships with parents, family, friends and the rest of the world. It is beyond all these names and forms, when the mind has gone beyond the identification of what the mind thinks is ‘I’ and ‘my’, where this identification of ‘I’ and ‘my’ with the different qualities of names and forms is just a by-product of the worldly thinking and belief, or family, cultural, social and religious belief.

It’s the ego that feels it has to be good enough for something, or for somebody, or for oneself. It also feels that it might be not good enough for something, or for somebody, or for oneself, based on what the thinking and belief recognize as ‘good’ and ‘good enough’, or what is ‘self-esteem and confidence’, ‘success’, ‘happiness’ and ‘meaningfulness’, and the relationship between them, where most people think and believe that ‘high self-esteem and confidence’ is related to ‘success’, and ‘success’ is related to ‘happiness’, while ‘happiness’ is related to ‘meaningfulness’. And many people are suffering because of this thinking and belief or trying to live up to this thinking and belief for their entire life, and passing this thinking and belief from generation to generation.

It’s the idea of ‘I’, or the ego, that needs to feel good about oneself, and wants other people to perceive oneself as good enough, and needs to attain or possess certain qualities of names and forms to be identifying with, that would make one feels good and proud of oneself and also would make other people feel good and proud of oneself, in order to be happy and live life meaningfully.

And all these qualities of names and forms are impermanent and there is no ‘I’ to be found in any of these names and forms, or to be in control of the impermanent changes, to be the way that ‘I’ like it to be. No matter how much influences we can influence the condition of the physical body and the state of the mind, to maintain the function and the life span of the body and the mind, the body and mind will still have to go through inevitable changes of decay, old age, discomfort, illness, weakness, ceased functioning, and decompose, or death.

Once the mind fully understood this, it will be free from the bondage of self-esteem and confidence. There’s no ‘I’ being good or not good enough. There’s neither high nor low self-esteem. There’s neither high nor low confidence.

One doesn’t need to be somebody with particular appearance, condition, ability or achievement, or have certain good and positive life experiences, or good relationships with anyone, in order to feel confident, happy, satisfied or meaningful.

One can have and appreciate all the attention, affection, support, agreement, acknowledgement, love or companionship that is available in the present, but one doesn’t need other people’s attention, affection, support, agreement, acknowledgement, love or companionship in order to feel confident, love, happy or meaningful. If all these qualities of names and forms are not available, one is still happy and peaceful as one is. One doesn’t feel lack of something or missing out anything, or one is not good enough to deserve love, happiness and meaningfulness.

And that’s real confidence. One doesn’t need to be confident or satisfied about oneself at all. One doesn’t need to feel proud of oneself, and doesn’t need other people to feel proud of oneself, to be ‘I’, or the good ‘I’, the successful ‘I’, the happy ‘I’, the meaningful ‘I’. One is happy and peaceful as one is, without any identification with any quality as ‘I’.

There is no thinking or identification of “I am a good and kind human being. I want to do good and be kind and be able to contribute towards humanity.” but goodness, kindness and contribution towards humanity are being manifested and performed through the body and mind out of wisdom and compassion.

If one doesn’t know this, one will always looking for or craving for attaining and possessing certain qualities of names and forms that one would like to relate oneself with, to be identifying with, to feel good and satisfied about oneself, to boost up one’s self-esteem and confidence to be who ‘I’ am, thinking that by attaining and possessing such qualities of names and forms will also make other people to give them the attention, affection, support, agreement, acknowledgement, love or companionship that they want from other people, in order to be happy and feel meaningful. But then one is not free. And that’s one’s freedom of thinking and action.

Be free.

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Observe all the names and forms as they are

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

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

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

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

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

It has many forms of desires and great ambitions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t be ambitious.

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

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

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

Be free.

Being peaceful and compassionate doesn’t mean that the body and mind don’t experience unpleasantness

Whether we feel comfortable or uncomfortable being in a yoga pose or in a particular position, or in a situation in life, it has nothing to do with peace and compassion.

Being peaceful and compassionate doesn’t mean that the body and mind don’t or won’t experience or perceive unpleasantness.

One can be peaceful and compassionate as one is, unconditionally, being undetermined or undisturbed by all the impermanent changes of the condition of the body and the state of the mind, and all the perceptions of pleasant and unpleasant sensations, sights, sounds, smells, tastes and thoughts.

If one can only be peaceful and compassionate when one perceives or experiences pleasant names and forms, and doesn’t perceive any unpleasant names and forms, but then one won’t be peaceful or compassionate when one perceives unpleasant names and forms, then that is just the momentary state of the ignorant egoistic mind being ‘peaceful and kind’ or ‘peaceless and unkind’ being conditioned and determined by the qualities of names and forms, it’s not the unconditional peace and compassion that one realizes from being free from ignorance and egoism.

The one who is free, will be peaceful and compassionate as one is under any condition or situation, no matter what is the physical condition or the state of the mind, whether it’s pleasant or unpleasant.

Be free.

Joyful and peaceful as it is, unconditionally

There’s nothing wrong and it’s very common that most minds will feel good, happy, contented and peaceful when the mind experiences something that will make it feels good, happy, contented and peaceful, or when the mind comes in contact with qualities of names and forms that it likes and wants and doesn’t come in contact with certain qualities of names and forms that it doesn’t like and doesn’t want. And the mind won’t feel good, happy, contented or peaceful, or it will feel bad, unhappy, discontented and not peaceful when the mind doesn’t experience something that will induce good, happy and peaceful feelings in the mind, or when the mind doesn’t come in contact with the qualities of names and forms that it likes and wants, and when the mind comes in contact with the qualities of names and forms that it doesn’t like and doesn’t want.

The mind that is not free from ignorance and egoism will always be conditioned or determined by the presence or absence of certain qualities of names and forms or all the mind perceptions of names and forms through the senses to feel good, happy, contented and peaceful, or not.

The mind that is free from ignorance and egoism will be joyful, contented and peaceful as it is, unconditionally, being uninfluenced and undetermined by all the perceptions or experiences of different qualities of names and forms that are impermanent. There’s no fear or grief when this mind is approaching death or when someone who is related or closed to this mind is approaching death. This freedom doesn’t come from the momentary effects of drugs or intoxication numbing the mind, but coming from the realization of the truth of life existence of the body and mind. There’s no clinging onto any names and forms, including existence and non-existence. Those who are not free from ignorance and egoism couldn’t comprehend this and they will perceive or recognize this as a form of ‘coldness’ or ‘heartlessness’ or ‘abnormality’ or ‘inhuman’ or ‘wrong’. That’s their freedom of life and thinking.

If there is thinking or identification of “I am happy and peaceful because …” or “I am not happy or peaceful because …” Then know that this mind is not free. It doesn’t matter if the reason of being happy and peaceful is ‘something is good’, or ‘everything is good’, or ‘life is good’, or ‘health is good’, or ‘the state of mind is good’, or ‘relationship is good’, or ‘children are good’, or ‘job is good’, or ‘people are nice’, or ‘the world is good and peaceful’, or ‘yoga practice is good’, or ‘meditation is good’, ‘the teacher is good’, ‘the class is good’, or ‘weather is good’, or ‘food is good’, and so on.

There’s nothing wrong with “being grateful and thankful, contented and happy when there is something good”, but the mind is still not free yet. When “there is nothing good” or “there is something not good or something bad”, but the mind is still peaceful as it is, then this mind is free.

There’s no “I am happy and peaceful because …” or “I am not happy or peaceful because …” when the mind is free from ignorance and egoism. This egoless/selfless mind itself is unconditional peace. It doesn’t need to feel or be peaceful.

The liberated mind being free from ignorance and egoism and suffering is unconditioned or undetermined by any qualities of names and forms to be happy and peaceful, or not, being aware of all the impermanent changes of all the perceptions of names and forms, without attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, judgment or expectation, allowing all the names and forms to be there as they are, to be what they are, but all these names and forms have no intention or quality to induce happiness and peacefulness or unhappiness and restlessness, without intention to change or control all the names and forms to be the way that ‘I’ like it to be, or the way that ‘I’ think it should be.

It’s the ego that wants to feel good, happy, contented and peaceful, and doesn’t want to feel bad, unhappy, discontented and not peaceful. It’s the ego that has lots of ceaseless desires of craving and aversion waiting to be gratified in order to attain good feelings and the sense of happiness, or to escape bad feelings and the sense of unhappiness. If the desires of craving and aversion are being gratified, the ego feels good, happy, contented and peaceful. If the desires of craving and aversion are not being gratified, the ego feels bad, unhappy, discontented and not peaceful. The mind is free as it is, when the ego is annihilated.

To know the truth or the root cause of suffering or unhappiness is neither complicated nor difficult. But to have the willpower to be able to free the mind from ignorance and egoism seems to be very challenging for many. And it’s okay. That’s why the yoga practice is here, without judgment or expectation, keep practicing non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment, non-comparison and non-expectation to be free from ignorance and egoism.

Contemplate on this, and be free.

If people don’t like or disagree with or don’t want this unconditional peace and happiness, but they prefer to be determined by the gratification of desires of craving and aversion through coming in contact with or non-coming in contact with certain qualities of names and forms that they like or dislike and want or don’t want to feel good, happy, contented and peaceful, or not, and if people prefer to take drugs or intoxication to get momentary relieving effect to deal with unhappiness, discontentment, disappointment, hurt, guilt, regret, grief, depression, painful sorrow, meaninglessness, loneliness, fear or suffering, that’s their freedom.

Be free from egoism of attachment and identification is the yoga practice

Suffering of restlessness, dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hatred, jealousy, hurts, guilt, regret, fear, worry, low self-esteem, meaninglessness, boredom, loneliness, unhappiness, grief, and so on is the outcome of ignorance and egoism.

The ego attached onto the qualities of names and forms that are directly or indirectly connected or related to the body and mind. Such like, the thinking and belief in the mind, the state of the mind, the past memories, the present experiences, the future imaginations, the cultural background, the religious background, the educational background, the profession, the possession, the perception of names and forms of what the mind sees, hears, smells, tastes, senses and thinks, all the feelings and emotions, the likes and dislikes, the habits, the personality, the ambitions, the actions and the result of the actions, the knowledge, the physical appearance, physical condition, physical ability and limitation, and all the relationships that are connected or related to this body and mind, friends circle, social life and activities, the living environment, the lifestyle, the condition and situation of the world, and so on, to be identified as what/who I am.

When there’s a voice coming from within, “I don’t like myself. I want to change (into something else that I prefer to be, that is different from what I am now.)” or “I like myself. I don’t want to change (into something else that I don’t prefer to be, that is different from what I am now.)” This actually means that the ego is either satisfied with or dissatisfied with and likes or doesn’t like one or more of those qualities of names and forms that the ego attached onto and identified with. The ego is either satisfied with or dissatisfied with and likes or doesn’t like the physical appearance, condition, ability and limitation, or what it knows and doesn’t know, or the state of the mind, or certain feelings and emotions, or certain names and forms that the mind comes in contact with, or certain experiences, or certain habits, or certain friends or social circle, or certain actions and the result of actions, or certain relationships, and so on.

The ego might feel satisfied, good, happy, confident, motivated and meaningful when it achieved or possessed the qualities that it likes and wants to be identifying with. But it is not free, as all these qualities that it likes and wants to be identifying with, are impermanent. When all these qualities that it likes and wants to be identifying with changed into something else or are no longer available, or when it couldn’t achieve the qualities that it likes and wants, the ego will feel dissatisfied, disappointment, bad, unhappy, low confident, demotivated and meaningless. If there’s no attachment or identification towards all these qualities, then there’s no dissatisfaction and disappointment, or bad and unhappy feelings, or the sense of low confidence and meaninglessness. The existence of life is not affected or determined by any qualities of names and forms that are directly or indirectly connected or related to the body and mind. In fact, it is the ego that needs to attached onto and identifying with certain qualities to feel confident and meaningful about itself and the worldly life existence through achieving or possessing those qualities. Once the ego is annihilated, the sense of confidence and meaningfulness about oneself and the worldly life existence doesn’t exist at all.

There’s nothing wrong with the ego reacting towards the different qualities of names and forms that the mind comes in contact with, based on the qualities that the mind projects onto all the names and forms influenced by the thinking and belief in the mind, of what the ego likes and doesn’t like, agrees and disagrees with, and wants and doesn’t want. And hence, the mind is not free, being restless ceaselessly, swaying in between satisfaction and dissatisfaction, proudness and disappointment, happiness and unhappiness, positive thinking and negative thinking, elevation and depression, meaningfulness and meaninglessness, and etc.

There are many people don’t mind being not free being determined by all and everything that they experience. being restless and peaceless. They call this “Life and human nature.” They believe “Life has to be full of passion and it’s about fulfillment of desires, or else it’s meaningless.” That’s their freedom.

There’s nothing wrong when some ‘yoga teachers/instructors’ practice and teach about “Live life passionately” and “Change into what ‘I’ like and want myself (my body and mind) to be” and “Life is short, fulfill all desires and indulge in what ‘I’ like and want” as the meaning of life existence, and they might consume only ‘pure and clean food’ and ‘do yoga’ everyday, but that is not the teaching or practice of yoga. The teaching and practice of yoga is mainly about dispassion, renunciation from worldly social life, objects, ideas and activities, and the annihilation of egoism.

For those who are looking for peace or liberation from restlessness, they can try to practice yoga of dispassion, renunciation and annihilation of egoism.

The existence of life will be peaceful as it is, without being determined by any qualities of names and forms. Peace is beyond all the impermanent qualities of names and forms that the body and mind comes in contact with or doesn’t come in contact with.

Be free.