The great aspirations vs the reality

The minds that are free from ignorance and egoism don’t need to be inspired to have great aspirations to achieve something to feel good and meaningful towards life existence, but there’s nothing wrong with the minds that are still under the influence of ignorance and egoism need to be inspired to have great aspirations to motivate them to achieve something in life for them to feel good and meaningful about themselves and their life existence.

Anyone also can have great aspirations, to set as a direction in life with certain goals and visions to achieve what they want to achieve, or to be what they want to become. Though the reality of whether those aspirations will be materialized or turn out to be what they are, or not, is not necessarily the way that the minds imagine or anticipate, of what the minds expect it to be, or want it to be.

There are important elements or factors that allow people achieving all their aspirations and goals, which are hard-working, discipline, focus, attentiveness, patience, determination, perseverance, forbearance, tolerance, acceptance, adjustment, adaptation and accommodation, along side with the available intelligence, knowledge, technologies, interests, talents, skills, creativity, opportunity, assistance and cooperation from many other different fields and levels.

It’s very good for people to have great aspirations of “I want to do/achieve this and that” or “I want to be this and that”, but if the minds are over-powered by laziness, impatience, lack of discipline, distractions, inattentiveness, lack of determination, lack of perseverance, lack of forbearance, intolerance, incapability of accepting things as they are, reluctance of making adjustment, inability to adapt and accommodate, then those aspirations or goals might not turn out to be the best as they could be, even when intelligence, knowledge, technologies, interests, talents, skills, creativity, opportunity, assistance and cooperation from many other different fields and levels are available to the minds with great aspirations to achieve something that they want to achieve, or to be somebody that they want to be. These minds are being affected or disturbed very much by the hardship, challenges, distractions, or obstacles that might exist on the way towards achieving those aspirations, and be over-powered by dissatisfaction, disappointment, irritation, frustration, anger, self-criticism, meaninglessness, laziness, impatience, inattentiveness, or demotivation that arise in the minds due to lack of those important elements that allow the minds to be focused and persevered to achieve what they want to achieve. These minds would easily give up whatever they have started in the beginning with great aspiration and full of motivation, but then, everything that they have started will be abandoned halfway when those excited passionate feelings of aspiration and motivation slowly fade away.

For example, many people might have the aspiration of “I love the Earth/nature/world”, “I want to help to look after the Earth/nature/world” and “I support environmental and ecosystem friendly way of living.” That’s great.

Everyone can help to look after the environment and ecosystem by adopting a simple way of life or living.

But the reality is not always the way that the minds aspire it to be.

People like to talk and share about the issue of looking after the environment and ecosystem, and talk about living a simple life, but at the same time, living in the modern society, many people want to enjoy a healthy active lifestyle, be busy doing many things or create things and need to be presentable all the time in their active social life, by looking after their physical appearance, beautiful skin and hair that needed to be washed, cleaned and treated frequently especially with particular brand of body care, skin care and hair care products, while frequently applying the body with perfumes, lotion, moisturizer, beauty products, branded fashions and accessories, and couldn’t live without using iPhone or Gadgets that needed to be replaced with the latest/up to date model every now and then, or enjoy very much indulging in different forms of entertainments for the body and mind, or enjoyments of the senses and different types of leisure activities, and at home, people have the spending power to decorate their house with the latest designs of beautiful things, enjoying the conveniences and comforts of different kinds of electrical devices that would be replaced with new ones once in a while, where all these commercial products and leisure activities are mostly involved with some kinds of ‘exploitation’ and ‘pollution’.

Some people are also being passionate about bringing people to come together for some activities, frequently organizing birthday/anniversary/new year celebrations or cultural/spiritual/religious/sports festivals that require certain expenses, such as getting appropriate attires/costumes/decorations/food for the specific functions, or getting presents on daily/weekly/monthly/yearly basis to please and motivate oneself or other people for a cause that worth ‘celebrating’ and ‘rewarding’, expending extra money, energy and effort, and generating extra waste products and rubbish.

But then, we still think and believe that we are very friendly towards the environment and ecosystem because we have the great aspiration in the mind to be good and responsible human beings who care for the environment and ecosystem of the Earth, and be passionate towards the activism for protecting the environment and ecosystem, as we think we love the Earth/nature/world very much.

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they think, feel, act and react, and what they want and don’t want, what they aspire and don’t aspire, or what they achieve and don’t achieve.

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It’s okay even when the mind is not free from ignorance

Although there are not many yoga practitioners can completely be free from ignorance and egoism even after long time of practicing yoga, but it’s okay, as long as the mind is aware of it is ignorant towards certain things or many things and be able to accept the reality as it is, that in this present moment now, the mind is not free from ignorance and disturb, and it’s okay, because even this ignorance and disturb is impermanent, and it’s not ‘I’, it’s just the mind. And that is already a great liberation.

For those who have doubt towards the truth of many things, but somehow don’t know how to purify and quiet the mind to inquire the truth of things, then just keep this in mind, “Everything is impermanent and selfless, including happiness and unhappiness or pleasure and suffering. Regardless of good people or bad people, good things or bad things, meaningfulness or meaninglessness, excitement or painful sorrow, selfishness or unselfishness, togetherness or separateness, all will change and disappear.” One will be okay in life dealing with many things that are not necessary the way that the mind would like it to be.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The truth doesn’t change no matter what

Why ‘positive thinking’ and ‘changing the reality that ‘I’ don’t like and don’t want’ is not the objective or ultimate goal of yoga and meditation?

The truth is still the same truth, regardless the mind knows the truth, or not, likes and agrees with the truth, or not.

The truth is still the same truth, regardless the reality that the mind perceives through the senses is pleasant or unpleasant, agreeable or disagreeable, likeable or dislikeable to the mind.

The truth is still the same truth, regardless the mind is positive or negative, kind or unkind, happy or unhappy, peaceful or peaceless, extrovert or introvert, intelligent or not intelligent, knowledgeable or not knowledgeable, tamed or untamed, gentle or violent, pure or impure, wise or ignorant, selfless or egoistic, free or not free, and so on.

The truth is still the same truth, regardless the mind believes in God, or not, has a religion belief, or not, believes in spirituality, or not, and practicing yoga and meditation, or not.

The truth is still the same truth, regardless the mind thinks its life existence is long or short, easy or difficult, good or not good, meaningful or meaningless.

The truth is still the same truth, regardless the mind thinks the body is in good health, or not, strong and flexible, or not, feeling comfortable, or not, good looking, or not.

The truth is still the same truth, regardless the mind thinks the world is good or not good, full of goodness or evilness, progressing or declining, peaceful or peaceless, meaningful or meaningless.

The truth is still the same truth, regardless the mind has none, or little, or many achievements or accumulations through this life existence.

The truth is still the same truth, regardless what the mind knows and doesn’t know, remembers and doesn’t remember, thinks and doesn’t think, believes and doesn’t believe, does and doesn’t do, can achieve and can’t achieve, and so on.

The truth is still the same truth, even if the whole world, or the entire society, or the economy, or humanity is collapsing, or completely gone.

The truth is still the same truth, whether the impermanent embodied life existence is beginning or changing or ending.

The truth is still what it is no matter what.

If the truth can be altered, or changed, or contaminated, or manipulated into something else, it’s not the truth.

The truth doesn’t need to be protected by anyone or anything. It cannot be destroyed by time, space and causation.

The truth doesn’t need acknowledgement, approval, respect, agreement, liking, support, appreciation or glorification from anyone or anything.

Go beyond all the perceptions of qualities of names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, all the pleasantness/unpleasantness, desirable/undesirable, known/unknown, thinkable/unthinkable, believe/disbelieve, agreeable/disagreeable, likes/dislikes, positive/negative, good/bad, happiness/unhappiness, all kinds of life experiences, conditions and situations, all the worldly ties and relationships, thinking and belief, cultural and social practice, actions and reactions, and all the impermanent changes of everything, dispassion and desireless, purifying and silencing the mind, freeing the mind from ignorance, egoism, restlessness/turbulence and impurities, transcending the selfless/impermanent worldly life existence, realizing unconditional peace, is the yoga and meditation practice.

Be free.

The difference between non-attachment and positive thinking

It’s good and helpful to develop positive thinking especially when the mind is being influenced by negative thinking that generates unnecessary tension, fear, worry or unhappiness in the mind and further projecting all these impurities through speech and action into the environment in the relationships with others in everyday life.

Positive thinking is part of the many yoga practice, but it’s not the goal or the end of yoga practice, as the mind is still not free from attachment and identification towards names and forms that the mind perceives as positive and negative, and there is craving and clinging towards what the mind perceives as positive, and there’s aversion towards what the mind perceives as negative. The mind is not free from desire, duality and separateness. There’s desire of craving or longing for positiveness or goodness and there’s clinging onto positiveness or goodness with intention or expectation to control the reality to be the way that the mind thinks it should be and likes it to be.

There’s nothing wrong with “Think positively and optimistically, and everything will be good in your life and you can achieve anything that you want.” especially for the minds that are easily be disturbed or determined by names and forms that the worldly thinking and belief categorized as bad, negative, unhappiness and wrong. Just that the mind is not free from desires, even though the mind would feel happy and satisfied when the desires are being gratified, and its impermanent. Then pride might arise in this mind, “I am superhuman. I have superpower. I can control everything to be the way that I like it to be.” This mind is not free. And it’s okay, if that is what the mind wants. It’s everyone’s freedom for how the mind thinks and what it wants.

The mind that is free, is undetermined by gratifying desires of likes and dislikes, wants and don’t wants, to be happy, confident, meaningful or peaceful. It is peaceful as it is, undetermined by the world or the worldly thinking and belief, ideas and values, good and bad condition and situation.

Non-attachment is nothing to do with positive thinking. The mind that knows non-attachment doesn’t need to think positively. The thinking is just what it is. It is neither positive nor negative.

It’s about unattached towards what the intellect recognizes as positive or negative, good or bad, happiness and unhappiness, right and wrong. Undisturbed or undetermined by all the perceptions of name and form that are pleasant or unpleasant. Without attachment or identification towards the different states of the mind or the mind activities. Without intention or expectation towards the perceived reality to control the reality to be the way that the mind likes it to be. Allowing the reality to be what it is, and allowing the reality to change as it is.

The mind is free from being determined by coming in contact with positiveness and goodness and not coming in contact with negativeness and badness, to be peaceful. The mind is peaceful as it is.

The mind is free from desire, duality and separateness. Knowing that the quality of positiveness and negativeness are both impermanent. But, beyond positiveness and negativeness, is unconditional peace, that is undetermined by the qualities of name and form that the mind perceives through the senses, whether it’s positive or negative elements, good or bad condition and situation, and desirable/pleasant or undesirable/unpleasant life experiences.

If the reality is nice and pleasant, let it be. It will change, and allow it to change, without intention or expectation to control the reality not to be bad and negative.
If the reality is not nice and unpleasant, let it be. It will change, and allow it to change, without intention or expectation to control the reality to be all good and positive.

There are actions being performed out of compassion in everyday life, but there’s no attachment, identification, desires, intention or expectation towards the action and the fruit of action. There are beneficial actions being performed but there’s no intention or expectation that the fruit of actions will be all good and positive, or nothing bad and negative. Allowing the fruit of action to be what it is.

There’s no identification with all the impermanent changes of names and forms to be existing as ‘I’.

Life might be good and easy, enjoy and appreciate without attachment. It’s impermanent, and it doesn’t matter.
Life might be not so good and full of difficulties, but it’s okay. It’s impermanent, and it doesn’t matter.

Be free.