Go beyond the sense of contentment, joy and meaningfulness

This teaching is for those who want to go beyond the limited mind perception of ‘good and bad’, ‘right and wrong’, ‘meaningfulness and meaninglessness’, who are interested in transcending worldly life existence of the function of an impermanent and selfless physical body and the mind perception of names and forms that is subject to the suffering of ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness, birth, hunger, thirst, ungratified desires, separation from people and things that one loves, coming in contact with people and things that one dislikes and disagrees with, impermanent changes, decay, old age, illness and death, but somehow, the mind is still being determined by the qualities of names and forms, and be disturbed by the situation in the world that is not the way that the mind would like it to be.

Those who have already gone beyond ‘goodness’ and ‘badness’, ‘meaningfulness’ and meaninglessness’, being peaceful as they are, being undisturbed or undetermined by all the qualities of names and forms, they don’t need this teaching.

Those who are aware of the truth of impermanence and selflessness, but they are not interested in silencing the modification of the mind to transcend the mind perception of a worldly life existence of restless ceaseless births and deaths, instead, they just want to enjoy life to the maximum. That’s their freedom.

Those who are not interested in transcending the worldly life existence of a body and mind that is subject to suffering, who believe in positive thinking/mind power to change the world to be a better place, who attached onto the presence of ‘goodness’ or ‘meaningfulness’ and the absence of ‘badness’ or ‘meaninglessness’, to feel good, content, happy and meaningful in life, they don’t need to take up this teaching and practice. Be happy.

The teaching and practice of yoga to eliminate ignorance and egoism is beyond the desire of craving and aversion towards names and forms. There’s neither clinging onto pleasant/desirable worldly life experiences nor aversion towards unpleasant/undesirable worldly life experiences. But merely seeing the truth of impermanence and selflessness of the body and mind as it is, and making use of this worldly life existence as the precious platform to transcend the mind perception of a worldly life existence of an impermanent selfless body and mind that is subject to the suffering of ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness.

One can develop great tolerance and forbearance to endure suffering when suffering arise, repeatedly, without aversion, but one doesn’t have to endure any suffering at all. Suffering doesn’t exist upon the annihilation of the cause of suffering – The modification of the mind under the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities.

There is hidden attachment that bind the mind to worldly life existence that is unaware by the mind that attached onto ‘goodness’ and ‘righteousness’ that give rise to the sense of ‘contentment, joy and meaningfulness’ towards the ‘achievement’ of “I am living a good and meaningful life doing the good and the right things. Life is good and meaningful.”

Just as the impure mind easily falls in love with or attached onto the objects of names and forms that appear to be good, pleasant, attractive, beautiful, lovable, enjoyable, fun, or cute. The mind naturally attached onto the sense of ‘contentment, joy and meaningfulness’ deriving from “I am doing the good and the right thing” achieving what the mind perceives as ‘goodness’ and ‘righteousness’.

There’s nothing wrong with appreciating ‘goodness’ and it’s very good to feel ‘contentment, joy and meaningfulness’ due to the presence of ‘goodness’ and the absence of ‘badness’. Just that the mind could unwittingly attached onto the presence of ‘goodness’ that give rise to the sense of ‘contentment, joy and meaningfulness’, where the mind will be disturbed/disappointed/dissatisfied when the presence of goodness is disturbed/interrupted/unavailable.

Many people like to engage in community works because the minds can easily find the sense of ‘contentment, joy and meaningfulness’ working or serving in a particular community, to be able to contribute to the community and seeing others getting the help/assistance that they need to achieve a similar goal. This is very good especially for those who suffer depression.

Within a particular community, even though everyone is not perfect and there might be conflicts of different opinions and personal desires of want and doesn’t want, but all are following the similar values, thinking and belief, and are doing their best to work their way towards the same goal under the same vision of that particular community. For example, a Buddhist engaging in selfless service/karma yoga to serve the others in the Buddhist community, or a Muslim engaging in serving the others in the Muslim community, or a Christian engaging in serving the others in the Christian community, or someone engaging in serving a particular community in need of shelter, food, love and care.

It’s even better, as what most people would hope for, if regardless of all the different religious/cultural/spiritual/social/national/political thinking and belief, everyone has one similar universal goal of achieving the similar ‘good and meaningful life’, where everyone works together to maintain peace and harmony in the diverse world of different groups of communities with different thinking and belief, values and way of life, while respecting each other for being different from one another without interference/intrusion towards others who are different from ‘I’ or ‘my thinking and belief’ and ‘my community of a particular values, thinking and belief’. That would be so nice, a world without fear, discrimination, prejudice, hatred, unrest, animosity, invasion, intrusion, clashes, violence, wars, killings, and etc.

But the reality is not necessarily the way that the mind would like it to be. For those who don’t know yoga/dharma, this is depressing and negative. For those who know yoga/dharma, this is not depressing or negative. It’s just the truth of the world of impure minds functioning under the influence of ignorance and egoism.

The different communities of different thinking and belief, values and way of life, goal and vision that are under the influence of ignorance and egoism will most likely being protective/defensive towards their own community out of survival instinct, discriminating/condemning/bullying/attacking others who are not from one’s community, and treating the other communities that are different from oneself as potential enemies that might generate threats to one’s community. There is always unrest, distrust, offensiveness, animosity, tension and fear towards the others might offend/intrude/invade/conquer oneself. This is truly unnecessary, but that’s the way it is in this world due to ignorance and egoism.

It’s not difficult to attain the sense of ‘contentment, joy and meaningfulness’ while serving in a particular community that has the similar goal and vision, thinking and belief, even though everyone is not perfect. But when come to the reality of a world of diversity, of different communities with different thinking and belief about what is right and wrong/good and bad, having different ways of cultural/religious/social/spiritual practice, different values and ways of life with different goals and visions that give rise to different meanings of ‘good and meaningful life’, where most of the minds are not free from the influence of ignorance and egoism, there will be many challenges and difficulties and frustration.

The mind would feel disappointed, tired, frustrated and depressed about the situation in the world that is under the deep influence of ignorance and egoism, that is not in the control/desire of ‘I’ about how ‘I’ would like it to be, no matter how good ‘I’ am, how much good actions/sacrifices ‘I’ have done, how positive/optimism is my mind, or how much ‘I’ want to help to bring peace and harmony into the world.

The mind will be in great disappointment, tiredness, frustration and depression, if one has ‘wishful thinking’ or expectation towards all beings in the world should put aside all the differences and work together towards living in peace and harmony among all the different communities.

If the mind can be free from attachment and ‘wishful thinking’ or expectation, and goes beyond that ‘disappointed, tired, frustrated and depressed’ reaction in the mind, and starts to see the truth of the nature of the impure minds and understand that this is the nature of the beings in the world under the influence of ignorance and egoism, it will let go the ‘wishful thinking’ of hoping everyone will be free from selfishness to work together to make the world a peaceful harmony place that is free from fear, discrimination, hatred, prejudice, unjust, corruption, violence, bullying, oppression, invasion, intrusion, killings, wars and all sorts of human religious/cultural/racial/national/social/political tension, clashes and conflicts.

When the mind is free from ignorance and egoistic attachment, there’s no difference between ‘good life’ and ‘not good life’, or ‘meaningfulness’ and ‘meaninglessness’. Life is just what it is. It’s neither good nor not good, neither meaningful nor meaningless. This mind will be free from disappointment, tiredness, frustration and depression towards the reality of a world of diversity under the influence of ignorance and egoism that is not necessarily the way that it would like it to be based on certain thinking and belief about what is ‘good and bad’, ‘right and wrong’ and ‘meaningful and meaningless’.

Once the mind is free from the attachment towards a particular thinking and belief about ‘goodness or badness’ and ‘righteousness or wrongfulness’, this mind can serve the world of different diversities, without attachment towards a particular thinking and belief, without discrimination/interference towards the different thinking and beliefs, without being disturbed by the reality that is not necessary pleasant or nice. There’s neither contentment nor discontentment, neither meaningfulness nor meaninglessness. The world is just what it is. Minds are just what they are, mostly behaving under the influence of ignorance and egoism restlessly.

Even those who are highly educated are not necessary free from ignorance and egoism that generate discrimination, prejudice, hatred, violence, or intrusion towards others who are different from them whom they disagree with and dislike, as they attached onto their own thinking and belief about what is ‘goodness and badness’ or ‘righteousness and wrongfulness’ to judge and condemn everyone and everything. And that’s their freedom. But they have no peace due to the egoistic reactions and impurities in their minds towards names and forms that they dislike and disagree with.

One can be doing lots of selfless service/karma yoga to serve others in a community under one similar thinking and belief (not too challenging), or serve others in the world of different communities under different thinking and belief (extremely challenging), but one is undetermined or undisturbed by one’s action and the fruit of action.

Not even attached onto, “Even if I can bring joy/goodness/happiness/meaningfulness/awareness to just one person, and change this person’s life, it’s already good enough.” Let it go.

There’s no disappointment, tiredness, frustration or depression, if the world is still full of fear, discrimination, hatred, prejudice, unjust, corruption, violence, bullying, oppression, killings, wars and all sorts of human religious/cultural/racial/national/social/political tension, clashes and conflicts everywhere, even though one has done a lot to serve others in the world, to bring awareness, peace and harmony into the world.

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About separateness, racism, discrimination and hatred…

Unity doesn’t come from making everyone going to the same school getting the same type of education, nor learning and speaking the same language, nor having the same economical and social status, nor having the same cultural values, religion practice, personal thinking and beliefs. It is about learning to allow and respect everyone to be different from one another, to have the different qualities of names and forms, allow everyone to be learning and speaking different languages, to have different economical and social status, cultural values, religion practice, personal thinking and beliefs.

The schools with different types of medium in our multi racial country is definitely not the cause of separateness, racism, discrimination or hatred as some people might think it is.

In the school with a specific medium that emphasizes on certain traditional cultural values, language and writing gives us the opportunity to learn about the important traditional values comes from a certain cultural background, and to be able to preserve and pass on all these cultural values, language and writing to the next generations. At the same time, we are also being taught to respect other people with different languages, cultures, religions practice and ways of living, even though we don’t know much about all these different qualities of names and forms that everyone has. And it’s not necessarily that we have to learn and practice about different types of languages, cultures, religion practice, or ways of living, for us to show respect to anyone who is different from us.

No matter how much differences there is among the different languages, cultural backgrounds or religion practices, we do have one same traditional humanity values that is beyond all the different qualities of names and forms, which is in-discriminative love, tolerance and respect, to live in peace and harmony among all beings who are different from one another.

I had my primary education in Chinese medium and secondary education in Malay medium. My elder sister had both her primary and secondary education in English medium. My two brothers had their primary and secondary education in Malay medium.

In school and outside of school, we all have friends from different religions, racial, educational and cultural backgrounds. In our Chinese family, we have mix marriages with Malays, Indians and Europeans. We have many mix parentage cousins.

If we don’t have French friends, or Thai friends, or any other different nationalities friends, it doesn’t mean that we discriminate or hate them. It is not necessarily that we have to have personal friendships with all and everyone to show that we are free from discrimination and hatred. It is no matter we have personal friendships with different types of people or not, we can be friendly and open-minded towards everyone, allowing and respecting all and everyone to be who and what they are.

Even though in Chinese medium schools, the majority of the students are Chinese, as the Chinese would like to preserve and pass on the Chinese language, writing and culture. In Tamil medium schools, the majority of the students are Indians, as the Indians would like to preserve and pass on the Indian language, writing and culture. And in Malay medium schools, the majority of the students are Malays, as the Malays would like to preserve and pass on the Malay language, writing and culture. But, this doesn’t mean that we dislike and disrespect other different languages, writings and cultures, if we don’t learn or know about them. This is not a reason for anyone to have discrimination or hatred towards other races who are different from us in this country.

For example, although we don’t know about some other countries, or their people, language and culture, but that can’t be a reason for us to feel separateness from these countries, or to discriminate and hate their people, language and culture. We don’t need to know about certain country, their history background, language, religion and culture, for us to be friendly and respect the people from that country, who are having different qualities of names and forms from us.

Our parents, our ancestor’s culture, and our schools teachers (at that time) never told us or taught us to have racism, or discrimination, or hatred towards others who have different religions, races, social status, educational and cultural backgrounds from us.

Sometimes, even among the same nationality, same race, same culture, same religion, speaking the same language, or having the same education, people still have discrimination and hatred among each other. This reflects that discrimination and hatred is an issue of personal thinking and behavior (the egoism). It is not because of the existence of different types of nationalities, races, cultures, religions, languages and educations.

Even if we get everyone to be learning the same language, same culture, same religion practice, or same education system, but that doesn’t guarantee that everyone will have the same thinking, behavior, personality, values of life existence, and will be respecting and live in harmony with each other. Again, it’s about respect all the different qualities of names and forms that everyone has, and it’s not about only to have one same quality of name and form in everyone.

Once we allow and respect all the different qualities of names and forms to be existing in this world, do not try to interfere with one another different types of thinking, beliefs and behavior, nor try to change others who are different from us to be like us, then we are going beyond all the qualities of names and forms, realizing the oneness or non-separateness of attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness, which is the true nature in all beings of who we really are.

My parents never went to schools, but we were taught to be kind, to love and respect one another without discrimination, and be tolerant towards others with different skin colours, race, appearances, languages spoken, thinking, beliefs, religion practice, social status, educational and cultural backgrounds. My parents gave helps to many people who needed help or assistance without any discriminations or preferences of race or religion. My parents taught us that we don’t have to look down on ourselves or anyone else, nor do we need to envy anyone else. Whenever they came in contact with beings who encountered difficulty and needed help, they gave their assistance without asking anything in return, even though they were not educated nor rich.

Our schools teachers (with different races and religions) and the text books in different mediums at schools (at that time) taught us to be tolerant and respect one another, and to learn how to live in harmony with other people within the family, the neighbourhood, the country, and the world. We were taught to help each other when in difficulties. We were never taught to feel and think that we are somehow more superior than anyone, nor be arrogant, discriminative, racist, or to have hatred towards others who are different from us.

Our teachers (at that time) didn’t teach us to discriminate or to hate anyone, not to our family members, our neighbours, our community, other schools students, other races, other religions, other cultures, or other nationalities, even though at schools, we learn about history, geography, science, mathematics, arts, morality and living skills in a specific language and writing. We have different types of competitions at our own school and inter schools, but we were also being taught about sportsmanships.

We don’t need to be able to speak specific language or to practice their culture and beliefs to show love and respect to other people who speak that particular language, and having that particular culture and beliefs. Love and respect is beyond languages, cultures and beliefs.

We might say that our thinking, beliefs and behavior can be influenced a lot by our parents, our friends, our neighbourhood, our community, our teachers, our education, our cultural values, our religion practice, our social network, our political leaders and public medias, but that only happens to those who are not free from ignorance and impurities yet, who are still identifying with the mind, the thinking, the beliefs and the egoism that attached to certain qualities of names and forms to be who we are.

If we know the truth of names and forms, if we are free from ignorance and impurities, if we let go of the identification with the mind, the thinking, the beliefs and the ego with certain qualities of names and forms, then we are who we are. We are not affected, nor influenced, nor determined by any different qualities of names and forms, ideas, thinking, beliefs, cultural and religion practice.

When we know the truth, we don’t need to identify ourselves with any qualities of names and forms. If there’s no identification with the different qualities of names and forms, there’s no separateness between us and everyone else. It doesn’t matter from the appearance, we all are having different types of qualities of names and forms.

Separateness, racism, discrimination and hatred exist in us due to individual veil of ignorance in the mind. Because of ignorance, we are over-powered and influenced by impurities in our own mind, especially fear, as well as our untrained mind is easily being manipulated and influenced by external ideas and information, social and public medias, and political influences. Fear is the foundation for separateness, racism, discrimination, hatred, jealousy, animosity, self-protection, defensiveness and offensiveness to arise in us.

If we are free from ignorance and impurities, if we know the true nature of everyone and everything, we won’t be manipulated nor influenced by any ideas, information, social and public medias, or political influences coming from anybody or any organizations, whether they are true or false, whether they are right or wrong.

Have peace in ourselves by allowing and respecting other beings to be different from us, and not trying to make other beings to be the same like us.

There is nothing wrong with everyone having different qualities of names and forms. It is okay to be different from one another. We just need to allow and respect ourselves and others to be different from one another. Beyond all the different qualities of names and forms, all beings have the same attributeless, nameless and formless nature.

If we don’t want to see discrimination, racism and hatred in our society, then stop being one. Most of the time, we don’t realize ourselves is also being discriminating when we criticize others for their cultural values, religious practice and beliefs that we disagree with and dislike. If others want to be discriminating and racist, that is their freedom of thinking, action and speech.

Om shanti.