The consequences of pride and self-righteousness

Intelligence + education + knowledge + awareness + ability + opportunity
+ passion + ambitious + idealistic positive thinking to create a ‘perfect’ world the way that ‘I’ think it should be + craving and aversion + impurities of anger, hatred, frustration, dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurt, guilt, fear and worry + pride + self-righteousness + trying to ‘educate’ or ‘change’ other people’s thinking, belief or behavior that ‘I’ don’t like and don’t agree with to be the way that ‘I’ like and agree with
= egoistic actions derived from selfish intention and aspiration based on personal thinking, belief, desires, ideal, attachment, identification, judgment, expectation
= the possibility of a more messy world with more impurities and ignorant behavior/actions/reactions

Intelligence + education + knowledge + awareness + ability + opportunity
– passion – ambitious – idealistic positive thinking to create a ‘perfect’ world the way that ‘I’ think it should be – craving and aversion – impurities of anger, hatred, frustration, dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurt, guilt, fear and worry – pride – self-righteousness – trying to ‘educate’ or ‘change’ other people’s thinking, belief or behavior that ‘I’ don’t like and don’t agree with to be the way that ‘I’ like and agree with
= selfless actions derived from selflessness, wisdom and compassion
= the possibility of a less messy world with less impurities or ignorant behavior/actions/reactions

When we don’t like and disagree with the world being what it is and want to change the world to be the way that we think it should be, when we think there are people in the world are ignorant and selfish who behave ignorantly and selfishly, and we try to perform ‘good’ and ‘righteous’ actions to ‘educate’ or ‘change’ those whom we think are ignorant and selfish, with intention or hope or expectation to change their thinking, belief and behavior to be less ignorant and selfish (because we think we are better than them or we know better than them), will only provoke/generate more impurities and ignorant behavior in the world. This is because due to ignorance, selfishness and pride, people don’t like to be ‘educated’ or ‘changed’ or ‘controlled’ or ‘interfered’ by anybody, they will be very offended and feel being challenged or insulted or humiliated, and hence, they will react under the influence of unhappiness, dissatisfaction, defensiveness, pride and anger, and be inclined/provoked to perform more ignorant actions and selfish behavior.

None can take away another being’s ignorance. It has to come from oneself being aware of ignorance in oneself and self-initiated to be free from ignorance.

If we really want (to help) the world to be free from all sorts of ignorant thinking, belief and behavior, then mind our own mind, to free one’s mind from ignorance and ignorant thinking, belief and behavior, is the most efficient way to help the world to have less ignorant beings and less ignorant thinking, belief and behavior.

Have peace in oneself if we want (to help) the world to have (more) peace.

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Watch how the mind reacts towards all the perception of names and forms

What is yoga and what is the practice to realize yoga?

Yoga is the realization of unconditional peace and love that is undetermined and uncontaminated by what the mind thinks and believes as good and bad, right and wrong, positive and negative, happiness and unhappiness, pleasantness and unpleasantness, enjoyment and suffering, meaningfulness and meaninglessness.

The yoga practice is turning the outgoing mind inwards, purifying and silencing the mind to allow the mind to see the truth as it is, be free from ignorance and egoism of attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, judgment and expectation, that give rise to suffering.

Developing the awareness that is being aware of or watching how the mind reacts towards all the perception of names and forms of what it sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches/feels, and thinks, without identification with the impermanent states of the mind or the mind perceptions and reactions that ceaselessly arising and passing away, without judgment or expectation towards the function and the states of the mind and the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, without craving and aversion towards all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses.

It doesn’t matter what the mind thinks and analyzes towards all the perception of names and forms as true or false, right or wrong, the yoga practice is training the mind to be open, being unattached towards the thinking and belief in the mind that is influencing the mind to judge and analyze everything as good and bad, right and wrong, positive and negative, happiness and unhappiness, pleasantness and unpleasantness, enjoyment and suffering, meaningfulness and meaninglessness. Being undisturbed by something that the mind doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with, being unattached towards what the mind perceives as nice and good, without clinging or craving towards what the mind likes and agrees with, and being unattached towards what the mind perceives as not nice and not good, without aversion towards what the mind doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with. Training the mind how to be at peace living in the world that is not necessarily the way that the mind thinks it should be or how the mind likes it to be.

Ask the mind, what really happens when the mind feels disturbed, offended, insulted, hurt, upset, disappointed, or angry? It’s when the mind comes in contact with something that the mind doesn’t like, doesn’t agree with and doesn’t want, or when the mind doesn’t come in contact with what the mind likes, agrees with and wants. “I am disturbed, offended, insulted, hurt, upset, disappointed and angry is not because life and things are not good, people are not good, or the world is not good, but it’s because I am experiencing something that I don’t like, that I don’t agree with, that I don’t want, or I am not experiencing what I like, what I agree with and what I want.”

If there are minds don’t like or disagree with this teaching and practice of yoga, they don’t have to take up this teaching or practice. But the ability of being undisturbed by what the mind doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with, is what the yoga practice is about, even if it’s about the teaching and practice of yoga. It’s everyone’s freedom for how their mind reacts, thinks and feels.

The minds that are peaceful, being free from ignorance, egoism, impurities or suffering, being undisturbed or undetermined by all the perception of names and forms don’t need to practice yoga. There’s no fear, no loneliness, no meaninglessness, no dissatisfaction, no disappointment, no painful sorrow, no suffering or the end of suffering. There’s no need to practice anything to be free from suffering.

The mind that doesn’t know this, then even after long time of ‘doing some forms of yoga practice regularly’, there’s no peace, as the mind is restless constantly attaching onto the mind perception of names and forms and generates craving and aversion towards the names and forms, being disturbed and determined by the likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, wants and don’t wants towards all the perception of names and forms, that is coming from the mind itself of how the mind reacts, and it’s not coming from the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses.

Feel offended by something that the mind doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with?

It’s normal and common that the mind easily feels offended or intimidated or angered by something that the mind doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with. That’s the normal behavior of most minds that are under the influence of egoism.

The mind that practice yoga of non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment, non-comparison and non-expectation, that is free from pride and arrogance, wouldn’t be offended or intimidated or angered by something that is different from its thinking and behavior, and allowing others to be different and to have the freedom to express their thinking and behavior that is different from this mind.

Even when other people have no intention to offend anyone, and the names and forms have no quality to be offensive, the mind that is under the influence of egoism will still be offended by this or that, due to pride and arrogance. This mind also puts the responsibility of its reactions of being offended, intimidated or angered onto the names and forms that it doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with.

Yoga practice is about purifying and quieting the mind, and developing awareness and correct understanding towards the mind activities that are under the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities, through self-control, self-introspection, self-inquiry and self-realization, to free the mind from ignorance and egoism and impurities.

Minds that have no awareness towards the ignorance, egoism or impurities in the mind and have no idea about the practice of non-attachment, non-identification, desireless, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment, non-comparison or non-expectation, might be doing some forms of yoga exercises regularly, but there is no peace or compassion, when the minds are easily be disturbed, offended, intimidated or angered when coming in contact with names and forms that the minds dislike and disagree with, being over-powered by ill-thinking and ill-will.

If someone wants to know what is the yoga practice of freeing the mind from ignorance, egoism and impurities, one can contemplate on this,

One can choose to smile or not to smile to the world. There’s nothing wrong when one chooses not to smile. There’s no obligation that one has to smile to the world, and when one chooses to smile to the world, there’s no expectation that the world will smile back. The world is not obligated to smile back. If the world smiles back, let it be. If it doesn’t, let it be. If the world is offended or intimidated by one’s smile or smile-less to the world, let it be.

Be good, do good?

In the ‘civilized’ society, it’s a courteousness to tell someone, “You are such a good and wonderful person.” when we see this person behaves nicely and does something good.

Many people from ‘civilized’ background would feel awkward or disturbed or unappreciated or discouraged when they come to the traditional yoga ashram, the people from the ashram seldom praise or compliment the visitors/guests/students after they have done something nice or achieve something good in the ashram. They think that these swamis/teachers/workers maybe either are unaware of the visitors/guests/students’ good behavior, intention, contribution and achievement, or they are very stingy to give praise or compliment to other people, or they don’t want to encourage the people to do more good or achieve higher results, or they don’t appreciate the goodness and achievement of other people. They expect ‘nice’ reaction from other people, such like, “You are good!”, “Well done!”, “Thank you!”, “You are so nice!”, “You are such a lovely and helpful person!”, and etc.

This expectation towards particular ‘nice’ reaction from other people is coming from ignorance and egoism. It’s the ego that wants and needs to be acknowledged that they are good, that they have done something good, that they have achieved something good, so that they would feel being appreciated and encouraged for their good action and effort to continue to be good and do more good. There’s nothing wrong with this worldly egoistic courteousness. Just that those who truly practice yoga and know what is yoga, they won’t judge anyone or empower the ignorance and egoism in the people who come to them to learn and practice yoga.

Those who are free from ignorance and egoism don’t need any acknowledgement or appreciation or encouragement from others to be good, to do good or to achieve something. Only those who are not free from ignorance and egoism would need acknowledgment, appreciation and encouragement from others to motivate them to be nice, to do good, or to achieve something, or else they would feel disappointed, discouraged. By giving them what they want (acknowledgment, appreciation and encouragement), might encourage them to do good and to improve, but it doesn’t help them to be free from ignorance and egoism, instead it is empowering or strengthening the ignorance and egoism in them. This is not what compassion or kindness is about. It doesn’t help the society or the world to be better even though there are some ‘nice’ people trying to do ‘nice’ things in the world under a condition that their action and effort are being acknowledged and appreciated. And it doesn’t guarantee that these ‘nice’ people won’t be doing anything that would generate ‘disharmony’, ‘problems’, or ‘inconvenience’ to themselves and other people.

Most of the time, we behave differently and do things differently according to the state of the mind that is impermanent.

When the mind is in a calm and happy state, we are more patience, tolerant and accommodating, and we might behave nicely and do nice things for ourselves and other people. But it doesn’t mean that “I am a good person.” It’s the same as for other people. It doesn’t mean that “They are good people.”

When the mind is in a disturbed and unhappy state, we are impatient, intolerant and unaccommodating, we might behave badly and do hurtful things to ourselves and other people. But it doesn’t mean that “I am a bad person.” It’s the same as for other people. It doesn’t mean that “They are bad people.”

It’s just people with impure mind functioning under the influence of ignorance and egoism.

If one truly wants to be good and do good, it’s not so much about trying to behave nicely and do something nice to please other people or to make other people feel good and happy, but it’s to free the mind from ignorance and egoism and impurities, and thus, one stops generating unnecessary disharmony or problems or inconvenience to oneself and other people.

Those who are free from ignorance and egoism, there’s no judgment towards oneself and others as good or bad. Everyone is just what they are, as they are, in the present. There’s no attachment or identification, carving or aversion, or discrimination towards the recognition or acknowledgment of ‘good people’ or ‘bad people’.

If people don’t like or don’t want or disagree with this teaching and practice of yoga, that’s their freedom. People believe that “People should be nice to each other and say nice things to each other and show appreciation and encouragement for goodness in people to encourage them to do more good.” But, it doesn’t stop people from saying ‘bad’ things about other people behind people’s back. And then, people would feel disappointed and discouraged to do good or improve, if they don’t get the ‘nice’ reaction that they expect from other people, to be acknowledged, to be appreciated, to be praised and complimented for what they have done and achieved that they think is good and deserving. That’s courteousness of a ‘civilized’ society.

Be free.

Feel disturbed by other people’s behavior that the mind thinks as ‘inappropriate’ or ‘wrong’?

There’s nothing wrong with people feel disturbed by and be unhappy about other people’s behavior that the minds think as ‘inappropriate’ or ‘wrong’, that are different from one’s cultural practice and belief.

Those who practice yoga are aware of the different types of behavior that the minds think as ‘inappropriate’ or ‘wrong’, that are different from one’s cultural practice and belief, but they will not be disturbed by it or be unhappy about it.

Go beyond the conditioned worldly thinking and belief. Allow all the worldly thinking and beliefs to be there and to be what they are, but without attachment or identification, craving or aversion towards any of these worldly thinking and belief, no matter how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ the mind think they are.

The truth is always here as it is, when the mind is free from being conditioned by worldly thinking and belief.

See how the ego reacts, and tame this ego, not other people’s thinking, belief and behavior.

If one doesn’t know this, and is constantly reacting with craving or aversion towards all the perceptions of names and forms whether wittingly or unwittingly, be disturbed by what the mind doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with, and trying to ‘influence’ or ‘control’ or ‘change’ other people’s thinking, belief and behavior, then even though one might thinks one loves yoga and is practicing yoga for a period of time by doing some form of yoga practice, but one is not practicing yoga at all.

Everyone is free to think, believe and behave about how they want to think, believe and behave, whether they practice yoga, or not. Or whether those who practice yoga are truly practicing yoga, or not. If people think they rather be disturbed by things that they don’t like and don’t agree with than to have peace, and that they prefer not to practice yoga, but be happy with the restless mind of dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, bitterness, hatred, envy, defensiveness, offensiveness, fear and worry, that is their freedom.

There’s no intention to ‘influence’ or to ‘inspire’ anyone to improve, or to be better, or to do good and be good, or to be free from suffering, the teachings of selflessness and compassion are being disseminated without attachment and identification, but allowing everyone whether to develop their own awareness and realization of selflessness and compassion, or not.

Be free.

How to practice non-attachment or non-identification with the body and mind?

There are many people who are interested in practicing yoga and meditation, but they say it is not easy for them to practice the basic teaching of non-attachment or non-identification with the body and mind. They will be easily being determined by the attachment towards the body and mind, and couldn’t help themselves being disturbed physically, mentally and emotionally all the time. They are affected, disturbed, influenced and determined very much by what they see, hear, smell, taste, touch and think. They want to have peace, but it seems like very difficult for them to be peaceful.

The body and the mind is just like a car and the driver. And the life experience in this world is like the experience of driving on the road.

We cannot expect everyone will drive, follow the same rules, act and react on the road like us. We can pay full attention on the road and try to drive safe, but we cannot have expectation onto other drivers also should do the same. We will be risking ours and other beings safety, and be very frustrated and disappointed, if we expect everyone to drive, follow the same rules, act and react on the road like us.

It’s the same in life. We cannot expect everyone to think, behave, act or react in the same way as we think, behave, act or react. We can do our best trying to perform what our mind believes is good and right, but we cannot expect other beings to have the same ideas and mentality. We cannot control or change other beings to think, behave, act and react like us. We will only hurt ourselves by getting disappointed, frustrated and angry, and will cause further tension and harmful effect onto other beings when we react out of disappointment, frustration and anger, if we expect other beings to be the way that we want them to be.

Without the car, there’s no need of a driver. Without a driver, the car doesn’t go anywhere. Having the car and a driver, but it still depends on fuel, battery, air, water, and all the parts of the car to be functioning properly, and etc for the car to be moving and go where the driver wants to go.

Without the body, there’s no need of a mind. Without the mind, the body is useless, it doesn’t act nor perceive anything. Having the body and a mind, but it still depends on energy, oxygen, water and nutrients for it to be functioning.

The car needs maintenance and so does the physical body. The car will have problems if it is being over-used and not well-maintained, so does the physical body. And no matter how well we take care of the car or the physical body, the car or the body will still be conditioned by impermanence, and will go through ‘old age’, ‘weakness’, ‘injury’, ‘illness’, and ‘death’ or ‘decomposition’. They belong to the elements of fire, water, wind, earth and ether. The car owner doesn’t own the car, and the mind (what we think we are) doesn’t own the body. It is the body that is made of elements and being conditioned by qualities who is experiencing impermanence and ‘death’. There is no ‘I’ being there to experience impermanence and ‘death’.

The driver needs to be endowed with certain qualities for him to drive the car safely and responsibly. Such like proper driving skill and ethics, calmness, attentiveness, responsibility, patience, thoughtfulness, clear vision, obeying the traffic rules and etc, so that his action of driving the car doesn’t cause any harmful casualties or damages to himself or to other beings, people, or the environment. If the driver is reckless and irresponsible, he is risking his own and other beings safety as well.

Same as the mind, it needs to be endowed with certain qualities for it to use the physical body, hands and feet, and the organ of speech, morally and responsibly. Such like purity of thoughts, calmness, concentration, responsibility, patience, forbearance, perseverance, self-control, self-discipline, thoughtfulness, respect, acceptance, adjustment, adaptation, accommodation, forgiveness, generosity, open-mindedness, loving kindness, clear thinking, right conduct or action, right speech, right view, right intention, right understanding or knowledge, right livelihood, right effort, right concentration. right mindfulness, and etc, so that its action and reaction through the physical body doesn’t cause any harmful damages to itself or to other beings, people, or the environment.

The one who needs to be purified, and who is performing yoga and meditation practice, is the mind. The one who needs to practice non-attachment and non-identification with the functions, conditions and abilities of the body and the states of mind, is the mind itself. The one who needs to let go of the egoism, is the mind itself. The one who needs to realize the truth and be free from ignorance, is the mind. The one who is observing the thoughts, action and reaction, feelings, emotions, and sensations, and not generate craving and aversion towards all these experiences or perceptions of names and forms, is the mind itself. But there is no ‘I’. There is no ‘I am’. There is no ‘I am performing action’.┬áThere is no ‘I am receiving the fruit of action’.

Ignorance causes the mind to attach and identify with the physical body. The mind thinks and believes that the conditions and the abilities of the physical body is what it is. It feels good and bad, happy and unhappy, positive and negative, being influenced and determined by the impermanent conditions and abilities of the physical body, as well as whatever it perceives through the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin and thinking.

The mind thinks and believes that the body belongs to it, and thus, it thinks and says, “This is my body. This body is mine”.

The mind thinks and believes that all the sensations, feelings, emotions, beliefs and thinking belongs to it, and thus, it thinks and says, “These are my sensations, my feelings, my emotions, my beliefs and my thinking”.

The mind attached to the appearance, conditions and abilities of the physical body as ‘I’, and thus, it thinks and says, “This is my look, my conditions and my abilities”. As well as attachment towards all the ideas of “This is my study, my knowledge, my pride, my confidence, my self-esteem, my culture, my religion, my country, my point of views, and etc”. And so, whatever changes and experiences that is happening in the body and in the mind, the mind attached to them and identified with them, and be disturbed, affected, influenced and determined by all these changes and experiences of the qualities of names and forms.

But all these pleasant and unpleasant, desirable and undesirable changes and experiences are impermanent and they don’t belong to the mind. They come and go as they like, without asking any permission from the mind. That’s why all the idea of ‘I’ and ‘my’, is incorrect understanding as all these names and forms don’t belong to the mind at all.

From the attachment towards the physical body, the mind attached to all the relationships that come in contact with this physical body, and thus, it thinks and says, “My family, my partner, my children, my friends, my enemies, and etc”. And this generates separation and distinction of superiority and inferiority, priority and less priority, likes and dislikes, wants and don’t wants. And hence, the mind is being conditioned by all kinds of relationships with people, animals, insects, plants, nature, material belongings, jobs, and etc, and be determined to be happy or unhappy according to the conditions of all these names and forms, whether they are something that the ego likes or dislikes, agrees or disagrees with.

And the mind becomes restless, anxious, agitated, depressed, dissatisfied, disappointed, frustrated, irritated, have fear and worry, as it attached to all the impermanent qualities of names and forms that it perceives from moment to moment.

The point is, all the different qualities of names and forms have no intention or power to affect, or disturb, or influence, or determine the mind to be happy or unhappy, to feel good or bad. All the names and forms are not something good or bad, positive or negative, happiness or suffering. It is coming from the mind itself, being attached to what the mind thinks and believes what things are, categorizing and labeling everything with the judgment of good and bad, positive and negative, happiness and suffering. And what the mind thinks and believes what things are, is not necessarily the truth of things. What the mind thinks and believes is being contaminated or influenced by ignorance and impurities, as well as likes and dislikes, agreement and disagreement coming from the ego.

When the mind comes in contact with what the mind recognizes as good, positive and happiness, the mind will feel good and happy. When the mind comes in contact with what the mind recognizes as bad, negative and suffering, the mind will feel bad and unhappy.

The car doesn’t belong to the driver. The driver doesn’t own the car, as it is not in his control of the function of the car. The car doesn’t drive the driver. The driver drives the car. The driver will be affected by the condition of the car, if the driver attached to the car. But the driver will not be affected by the condition of the car, if the driver doesn’t attach to the car. The driver make full use of the car for conveniences, but the driver shall not be determined by the car.

Same as the body and mind. The body doesn’t belong to the mind. The mind doesn’t own the body, as it is not in the mind’s control of the function of the body. The body doesn’t make use of the mind. The mind makes use of the body. The mind will be affected by the condition of the body, if the mind attached to the body. But the mind will not be affected by the condition of the body, if the mind doesn’t attached to the body. The mind makes good use of the body for performing meaningful and beneficial actions in the world, but the mind shall not be determined by the body. And there is no attachment towards all the actions being performed through the body. And thus, the mind is free from being conditioned by the action and inaction, and the fruit or the result of the action.

By understanding the truth of things and who we really are, there is no gain or loss whether it’s coming from action or inaction. There is no guilt or pride whether it’s coming from action and inaction. As this body and mind is not ‘I’, there is no ‘I’ being here to gain anything or lose anything. But this life, the body and mind, have all the opportunities to be doing something that is meaningful and beneficial for ourselves and others. There is also plenty of ‘time’ that doesn’t belong to ‘I’ waiting to be spent, without attachment, without expectation, without to give or to receive. Make good use of this life existence to do something meaningful without attachment or identification, and not being determined by life existence to be who we are and how we feel. There is no success or failure, gain or loss when we understand this.

There is no fear and worry about getting the things that we don’t like and don’t want, or not getting the things that we like and want, or losing the things that we love. There is no craving or clinging towards ‘good’ things, ‘good’ happenings, ‘good’ experiences, or happiness. There is no aversion or fear towards ‘bad’ things, ‘bad’ happenings, ‘bad’ experiences, or suffering.

Free from craving and aversion. Free from egoism. Free from being conditioned by the subjective conditional beliefs and thinking in the mind. Free from anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, pride, arrogance, agitation, depression, frustration, irritation, anxiety, defensiveness, offensiveness, fear and worry. Free from generating good or bad karma. Free from being conditioned by the qualities of names and forms. Free from being conditioned by the impermanent condition of the body and mind. Free from duality, attachment, judgment and expectation. Free from ignorance.

These are real freedom for the mind. And the mind will dissolve itself into its true nature of without qualities and dualities, without birth and death, without existence and non-existence.

The true nature of all beings doesn’t need to be liberated from suffering, as there is no suffering. The one who experiences suffering is the mind. The mind needs to be free from ignorance. The mind is not something good or bad. The mind is just being what it is, and it is not ‘I’. There is no ‘I’ being here to be liberated.

And thus, there is no attachment towards the mind or the identification as ‘I’.

Contemplate on this teaching and be free.

Om shanti.