Difficult life conditions and low education level don’t make a being bad or immoral

Difficult life conditions and low education level are neither something good nor bad. It doesn’t make a being good or bad.

People might easily relate crimes and criminals with those who live in difficult life conditions or have low education level.

There are people might use the difficult life conditions and low education level as an excuse to commit crimes or immoral conducts.

But, difficult life conditions and low education level don’t make anyone a bad being or a criminal, to commit crimes or immoral conducts.

Those who might have difficult life conditions or low education level, but are endowed with integrity, self-respect and self-control, they strive diligently to improve oneself and one’s life condition, through right livelihood, morally and rightfully.

There are those who might have easier life conditions and higher education level than many others are not necessarily be free from greed or won’t be committing crimes and immoral conducts. Out of greed, they would lie, cheat, steal and harm other beings. Out of pride and arrogance, there are those who believe they are more superior than other beings would discriminate and abuse other beings whom they believe are inferior than them.

One must be endowed with integrity, self-respect and self-control, so that one won’t be over-powered by greed to commit crimes or immoral conducts, disregard the living condition and education level that one has. One must be endowed with wisdom and compassion being free from ignorance and egoism, to be free from pride and arrogance, discrimination and abuse.

There’s no superiority or inferiority. All are merely composition of elements and will decompose into elements. All are impermanent and selfless.

Those who are free, are not determined by any life conditions or education levels, and they don’t need to plead any recognition or acknowledgement from any other beings, to be ‘somebody’ who needs recognition or acknowledgement.

And this is nothing to do with religion or spirituality.

May all be free.

Be free…

There are people think they believe in God existence, and they believe in God.

There are people think they don’t believe in God existence, and they disbelieve in God.

There are people think they used to believe in God existence and they believed in God, but not anymore.

No matter which one we relate to what we think, it really doesn’t matter.

Why?

Because –

If God exists, and if the God that people believe in is almighty, selfless and compassionate, is all good and kind, then whether people believe in God, or don’t believe in God, or stop believing in God, it makes no difference, and it really doesn’t matter. This God loves all without attachment and expectation, without offensiveness, discrimination, anger and hatred.

If people believe God is the creator and destroyer of all and everything, then this God will still carry out the duty of creating and destroying no matter whether people believe in the existence of God, or not. As well as God will exist no matter whether people believe in the existence of God, or not.

If God doesn’t exist, then whether people believe in God, or don’t believe in God, or stop believing in God, it makes no difference, and it really doesn’t matter. God doesn’t exist, no matter whether people believe in the existence of God, or not, and whether people believe in God, or not. Everyone has their freedom for what they want to think and believe.

If the God that people believe in is NOT almighty or compassionate, it’s egoistic, arrogant, worldly minded, petty-minded, corrupt, bribery, bias, offensive, discriminating, angry and hating, full of attachment and expectation, and is NOT good or kind, then what’s the point of believing in this God?

Whether we think God exists, or not, and whether we think we believe in God, or not, it has nothing to do with one’s liberation from ignorance and suffering upon the self-realization of selflessness.

Be free.

Is yoga a religious practice? (3)

In most religious teachings, the followers or the practitioners are not allowed to question the truth of the teachings. Where else in the teachings of yoga, is all about self-inquiry and self-realization without blind-believing in anything, including the teachings of yoga. Even if there’s a vision of ‘God’ image appears in front of the practitioner, the practitioner is unattached, unmoved, undisturbed, and let it passes away.

In religious teachings, people must believe in God, or else it is regarded as sinful or evil if one disbelieves in God. Where else in the teachings of yoga, one can either believe or disbelieve in God, it makes no difference. In the end, liberation from ignorance has nothing to do with believing in God, or not. Beyond all the different selfless and impermanent names and forms, all is one.

In religious teachings, people will be condemned and criticized for having inappropriate or wrong conducts based on what the teachings categorize as appropriate and inappropriate conducts, right and wrong conducts. Where else in the teachings of yoga, there’s no condemn or criticism even if the practitioners do not practice yoga correctly according to the Scriptures, or their thinking and behavior are not perfect, or they abandon their practice. It’s one’s freedom and responsibility for what we want and don’t want, what we do and don’t do, what we think and don’t think, what we feel and don’t feel, what we know and don’t know, what we achieve and don’t achieve, and how we act and react.

In religious teachings, people will be judged by ‘God’. If one is ‘good’, one will be rewarded with all kinds of goodness blessed by ‘God’, and if one is ‘bad’, one will be punished with painful punishment accordingly in the name of ‘God’ or sanctioned by ‘God’. Meanwhile in the teachings of yoga, there’s no judgment or punishment from ‘God’, but each and everyone either suffer or enjoy the consequences of their actions. There’s no ‘God’ interference with the consequences of one’s actions. For those who have gone beyond egoism, all actions being performed are selfless and are not bound by the fruit of actions, or karma. There’s no doer of actions and there’s no enjoyer of the fruit of actions.

In religious teachings, ‘God’ is the controller of all manifestations, being extremely ‘busy’ minding all big and small life events of all beings. Whether it’s something good or bad, people would put the responsibility onto God, saying that it’s God’s will. In the teachings of yoga, the universal consciousness exists in all and doesn’t control anything, but all and everything exist, change and stop existing in accordance to the law of impermanence. Good or bad is deriving from each individual egoistic impure mind. It’s nothing to do with God.

Above all, yoga is about dealing with the mind and its modifications that are under the influence of ignorance, impurities, egoism, attachment, desires of craving and aversion, where restlessness and suffering arise due to all these defilements, and yoga shows a way to transcend the mind, ignorance, impurities and suffering. Yoga is universal or non-discriminate, beyond all kinds of religions and cultural beliefs and practices.

All minds, except those that are already free from ignorance and suffering, are under the influence of ignorance and impurities and would experience suffering, disregard whether the minds are religious or non-religious, spiritual or non-spiritual, highly intelligent or less intelligent, highly knowledgeable or less knowledgeable, good or bad personality and behavior, positive or negative thinking, happy or unhappy mood, and so on.

Be free.

Is yoga a religious practice? (2)

No doubt that in the history of yoga, there are many Hinduism influenced sources, stories, sages and teachings, and many past and present Gurus came with Hinduism background and they practice(d) Hinduism, but, upon the realization of selflessness, one’s liberation has nothing to do with Hinduism or non-Hinduism, spirituality or non-spirituality, religious beings or non-religious beings, good beings or bad beings, good karma or bad karma.

One might think that “Since I have done many good actions accumulating lots of good karma, I will be free from suffering.” But, it’s not necessarily so. One might still experience suffering even after performing many good actions accumulating lots of good karma, as long as the mind is not free from ignorance, egoism, attachment, identification, craving and aversion, and be over-powered by impurities like anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, animosity, ill-will, feelings of hurt, fear and worry.

Yoga is the annihilation of the mind and its modification, transcending all the names and forms, it doesn’t matter what types of qualities of names and forms that keep arising and passing away, influencing the impermanent existence, condition and function of the body and the mind.

Suffering and the end of suffering (liberation) is all in the mind, it is not in a particular name and form that the mind perceives through the senses.

When we think we are not peaceful or are suffering, ask ourselves, why we are not peaceful or are suffering.

One starts practicing yoga when one starts to be aware of what is going on in the mind, and the mind takes full responsibility for all the actions and reactions of the mind towards all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses.

Suffering and the end of suffering (liberation) doesn’t discriminate towards all the different qualities of names and forms which the mind thinks that is who and what it is.

It is due to ignorance, egoism, attachment, identification, craving and aversion towards all the impermanent qualities of names and forms, that generate suffering in the mind.

It is knowing the truth, egolessness, non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving and non-aversion towards all the impermanent qualities of names and forms, that free the mind from suffering.

Suffering and liberation is nothing to do with different types of religion, spirituality, culture, education, society, tribe, race, gender, sexual orientation, worldly success and achievements, physical condition and abilities, and etc.

Be free.

Feel free to practice yoga, or not…

Yoga practice is not a religious practice.

There’s no judgment or condemn towards anyone whether good or bad, happy or unhappy, ego-less or egoistic, wise or ignorant, compassionate or compassionate-less, peaceful or peace-less.

There’s no sin or punishment from anyone or ‘God’ if someone didn’t practice correctly according to the Scriptures or teachings, or when someone wants to stop practicing yoga, or when someone doesn’t agree with or doesn’t like some parts or all of the teachings and practice of yoga, or the Truth, or the Dharma.

‘Heaven and hell’ is in the present moment now, in our mind. It’s in this moment now, whether our mind is influenced or uninfluenced by ignorance, egoism, attachment, identification, desires, craving, aversion, unhappiness, painful sorrow, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, feelings of hurt or guilt, ill-will, ill-thinking, restlessness, fear and worry, and all kinds of impurity and suffering, that determines whether we are in ‘heaven’ or ‘hell’ within our own mind. It is not about how much good or bad we do or don’t do in this life existence, and then we will be judged and either go to ‘heaven’ or ‘hell’ after death, or when this life existence comes to an end.

We can be doing a lot of good actions and don’t do any bad actions according to what the religious teachings said or judged as good or bad actions, but we still can be experiencing unhappiness and suffering, if our minds are not free from ignorance and all the by products of impurities that derived from ignorance.

Yoga practice is about free the mind from ignorance, egoism, attachment, identification, desires, craving, aversion and all sorts of impurities. In this present moment now, peace and compassion is there when the mind is free from ignorance. We won’t be peaceful nor compassionate if our minds are not free from ignorance and all the impurities even though we have been performing rituals and prayers frequently, or studying and memorizing all the teachings in any religious Scriptures, or we have been performing yoga and meditation practice frequently, or studying and memorizing all the text in the Yoga Scriptures.

Yoga practice is about perform all our actions, duties and responsibilities without egoism, attachment, identification, intention or expectation towards the actions and the fruit of actions. It’s not about “Do good as it makes us feel good and happy”, or “Do good and don’t do bad, so that we will go to heaven and not going to hell”, though there’s nothing wrong in this to encourage more people to do more good in this life existence.

If our minds are not free from ignorance, egoism, attachment, identification, desires, craving and aversion, and all sorts of impurities, then even though we think we have done many good actions and didn’t do any bad actions, we will still be influenced, be disturbed and be determined by whatever the mind perceives through the senses, as the mind unceasingly reacts towards all the names and forms based on what the mind believes what things are, and won’t be peaceful nor compassionate.

Being able to show sympathy or empathy towards other people’s suffering also doesn’t guarantee that we are free from ignorance and impurities. We can still be disturbed and influenced by anger, hatred, dissatisfaction, disappointment, feelings of hurt, fear and worry towards names and forms that our minds don’t like and don’t agree with. This is not the same as compassion, as compassion is being aware of the reality as it is, without being disturbed or influenced by the reality that our minds don’t like and disagree with. There won’t be any impurities derived from the mind reaction towards any unpleasant or undesirable condition and situation. Compassion is free from discrimination influenced by the likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements of the impure egoistic mind.

Feel free to practice yoga, or not. It is our own freedom of choice for what we want to do with this body and mind, or this life existence.

Om shanti.

Yoga as it is…

The means of Buddhism teachings and yoga teachings are not different from one another. It’s about purification of the mind, control of the mind, self-awareness, self-control, self-discipline, purification of thoughts, actions and speech, non-blind-faith, non-follower, non-duality, non-separateness, wisdom, compassion, selflessness/ego-lessness/I-lessness, non-identification, non-attachment, desireless, namelessness, formlessness, self-inquiry and self-realization of the truth, and be free from ignorance, egoism, attachment, identification, craving, aversion, and all sorts of impurities, and transcend suffering.

Some people think yoga and Buddhism practice is a form of religious practice belongs to a particular religion and culture, as they often see some yoga and Buddhism practitioners perform some sorts of rituals here and there, where these rituals are coming from a form of religious and cultural practice.

There’s nothing wrong with some/most of the yoga practitioners perform rituals and religious ceremonies as part of the yoga practice, but yoga is undetermined by whether there is any rituals and religious ceremonies as part of our yoga practice, or not. As by performing rituals and religious ceremonies doesn’t determine that one is practicing yoga, or not. And by not performing any rituals or religious ceremonies, it doesn’t determine that one is not practicing yoga, and it doesn’t stop one from practicing yoga.

Beyond all the influence of personal cultural practice or religious practice that was mixed into the yoga practice in different parts of the world, yoga is beyond all the cultural practice and religious beliefs and rituals. It’s the same for Buddhism practice.

Yoga is right here, in this moment, when the mind is free from the influence of any qualities of names and forms, egoism, identification, attachment, conditioned thinking and beliefs, dualities, desires, longing, craving, speculation, anticipation, expectation, judgment, and impurities.

When the mind is free from ignorance, egoism, attachment, identification, craving, aversion, desires, intentions, expectations, qualities of names and forms, one doesn’t need to perform any rituals with any intentions. Although one still can be performing rituals and religious ceremonies selflessly, without attachment, identification, intention or expectation.

Go beyond all the names and forms, and rest in silence.

May all be free…

It doesn’t matter if we think we have been practicing yoga and meditation for a long time, or we think we are smart, friendly, caring, good and kind people, it doesn’t determine that we are free from ignorance.

Ignorance leads to corrupt thinking and understanding. Corrupted thinking and understanding strengthens ignorance.

It’s not easy to be free from ignorance and egoism, but be determined, don’t give up, keep practice.

Om shanti.

The importance of self-reliance on the path of yoga and meditation

The teachings of yoga in the scriptures has all the instructions and guidance that one needs for any yoga enthusiasts to progress on the path of yoga and meditation for Self-inquiry.

An untrained mind that is under the influence of ignorance and impurities, the impure intelligence is not able to fully understand or comprehend all the teachings of yoga. And hence, all the yoga practice are here to help us, to allow us to purify the mind to remove impurities and ignorance for us to realize the truth.

There will be doubts and confusion arise from time to time when we progress on the path of yoga and meditation for Self-inquiry.

Sometimes we might feel despair and have doubts in the teachings of yoga and the practice. We might want to attain help from somebody who might be able to clear all or some of our doubts, or to give us a lift on the path.

But, the answers that can clear all our doubts have to come from one’s self-realization.

We have doubts because our mind is under the influence of ignorance. If we are free from ignorance, there’s no need to seek any helps from anyone or anywhere to remove any doubts, as there is no doubt.

Even though somebody who has realized the truth is here to expound the Dharma to us, we will still have doubts about whether whatever this person said is true or not, due to ignorance. Same as even if we have read many books written by some enlightened beings about what they have experienced and realized from their yoga and meditation practice about selflessness, wisdom and compassion, but it still doesn’t remove the ignorance, egoism, attachment, craving, aversion, impurities, or suffering in us. Nor does it give us peace, or make us become compassionate.

Even if someone is speaking the truth, we still need to investigate the truth of it, through our own effort and inquiry, to find out whether it is the truth.

As all these information or knowledge are coming from other people’s realization. It’s not coming from our own direct experience or self-realization. And so, we will still have doubts being ignorant about the truth, continued to be disturbed and determined by duality that derived from the mind perception of different qualities of names and forms. The mind is still under the influence of egoism, attachment, identification, desires, craving, aversion, impurities and suffering. It continues to generate ceaseless reactions towards all the names and forms that it perceives through the senses based on what it likes and dislikes, agrees and disagrees with. It is over-powered by the desires of wants and don’t wants, being in a state of restlessness, swaying between satisfaction and dissatisfaction most of the time. It performs actions under the influence of egoism, subjective thinking and beliefs, judgment, expectation, selfish desires, craving and aversion. It is determined by the fruit of actions.

The answers to our doubts must come from one’s self-realization, then all the doubts will be cleared.

When our minds start to let go of egoism, attachments, desires, judgment, expectation, craving and aversion, be free from impurities and restlessness, naturally it starts to be able to connect with some of the teachings of yoga when hearing somebody expounds the teachings of yoga, and it starts to see the truth that it couldn’t see before, this is coming from the mind itself, seeing the truth as it is. It has nothing to do with the person who expounds the teachings, nor has anything to do with the teachings.

The teachers and the teachings are like the light, illuminate the space without intention nor expectation. They are just being what they are, exist without intention to illuminate particular space, nor expectation towards anything in return for their illumination.

In the dark, we need the presence of light to allow us to see. The light allows us to see, but it has nothing to do with what we see and don’t see. That’s why some might see the truth, while some others might still be ignorant about the truth, even though they all are hearing the same teachings, at the same time, from the same person.

Without the organ of eyes and the sense of vision, we can’t perceive sights. Without light, having the best vision in the world also can’t see anything in the dark. If the organ of eyes and the sense of vision doesn’t function properly or has some damages, we can’t see clearly or properly. If the vision is blocked by some other objects in front of it, we can’t see what is hindered by the blockage, even if the the organ of eyes functions properly and there is presence of light. We need to make effort to remove any blockages in front of us, or keep the eyes and vision function properly, so that we can see clearly or properly under the presence of light.

The light is just being what it is. It has no intention to be good or bad, to make anyone happy or unhappy, to allow anyone to see something or don’t see something. Some will make good use of the light to see what they want to see. Some don’t like the light, complain that the light is too bright or too dim not the way that they like it to be, or feel that the light is disturbing them, or complain that the light exposes something that they want to keep in the dark.

Yoga enthusiasts who realized the truth through self-realization, with or without the help of some teachers and the teachings, they become one with the light. There is no separateness between the teachers, the teachings and the students. All are one, when ignorance disappears. And the light continues to be what it is. Without intention nor expectation, some will make use of the light, some won’t make use of the light. Some like to be in the light, while some like to be in the dark. Some are grateful and appreciate the light, while some don’t show gratefulness nor appreciation. But all these won’t affect, nor disturb, nor influence, nor determine the light for being what it is.

As long as we still have doubts, then keep practice, without judgment, comparison, nor expectation.

Om shanti.

Agreement and disagreement…

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There’s nothing wrong with having agreements and disagreements towards all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations and thinking. It is a common worldly minded cultural practice about as an individual human being, we need to study, survey, research and interact, to accumulate data and information, to develop a strong personality with our own personalized thinking and belief, to have individual opinions and points of view, to react towards all our experiences, to assert agreements and disagreements, to show likes and dislikes, to comment and to criticize, to have desires of wants and don’t wants, to be passionate and aggressive, to live life, to exist.

Or else the mind ceased existing. This is the ultimate means for the path of yoga and meditation, about annihilation of the mind, but it’s contrary for the worldly minded. Yoga and Meditation is quieting or silencing the mind, subdue all the modifications of the mind.

Agreements and disagreements are coming from the egoistic mind based on what the mind thinks and believes what things are. And the thinking and beliefs in the mind about all the names and forms are not necessary the truth of what things really are. All these thinking and beliefs are very subjective. They are ethnically, culturally, religiously and individually influenced and modified.

Agreements and disagreements in the mind cannot disturb nor influence us to be peaceful, happy and confident, or not, as they are just being what they are, and have no intention nor quality to be something good or bad, positive or negative, right or wrong, unless we give meanings and values to them, and we attached to all these thinking and beliefs in the mind to be who we are and to react towards everything that we experience in life, and generate craving and aversion towards the likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, wants and don’t wants coming from egoism. And thus, our minds will be in a state of restlessness, being elevated or depressed, as the ego constantly reacts towards all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses.

If the mind is trained to allow and to be aware of all these thinking and beliefs to be there in the mind as they are, but without attachment towards all these thinking and beliefs, agreements and disagreements to determine to be who “I” am, nor reacts towards the objects of names and forms based on these thinking and beliefs, then the thinking and beliefs are just some modifications of the mind, and they cannot influenced nor determined the mind to be peaceful, happy and confident, or not.

If the untrained mind attached strongly towards the thinking and beliefs in the mind to react and judge everything that it perceives in everyday life experiences, especially if it is something contradicted or different from what the mind believes what things are and how things should be like, then our minds will be easily disturbed, affected, influenced and determined by the egoistic reactions towards all these disagreeable names and forms, and have no peace. The egoistic mind will be easily dissatisfied, disappointed, insulted, agitated, irritated, frustrated, offended, feels hurt, or depressed, when comes in contact with the things that it doesn’t agree with and doesn’t like, that it believes as bad, negative, or wrong.

All the names and forms are just being what they are, it doesn’t matter our minds aware of them or not, like them or not, agree with them or not, based on what our minds think and believe they are good or bad, positive or negative, happiness or suffering, right or wrong. They don’t have intention nor quality to give us satisfaction or dissatisfaction, to give us good or bad feelings, to give us confidence or not, to give us peacefulness or not. It’s all coming from our minds react towards all these names and forms, and generate craving and aversion towards what it likes and dislikes, what it agrees and disagrees with, based on what the mind thinks and believes what things are.

Contemplate on this, and be free.

Om shanti.

May all be peaceful, be happy…

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May all be peaceful, be happy…

 

When we have hatred towards some other people or some teachings that our mind disagrees with, the one whom we hate and disagree with will not be affected nor determined by our hatred and disagreement, but ourselves will be disturbed and hurt physically, mentally and emotionally by the hatred in our mind.

May those who are very unhappy and have hatred towards some teachings that they disbelieve, or towards others whom they don’t like and disagree with, be peaceful and be happy.

It doesn’t matter if we think we are better human beings than others, or we think we have better values and understanding than others, or we think we have higher realization than others, as long as we have hatred in our mind, we are not free.

Om shanti.

Yoga?

The student said to the teacher, “For me, yoga is a fitness exercise. It is a business deal. I pay the money and I expect the customer service that I want. I don’t want the real yoga like the one they do in the Ashrams in India. I don’t agree with the teachings of yoga. I am a Christian.”

The teacher replied, “Be happy. There’s nothing wrong if anyone disagrees with the teachings and the practice of yoga, and don’t want to practice yoga. Even if you have given some money or something to the teacher, the teacher cannot teach you anything, because you don’t allow and don’t want the teacher to teach yoga, as you don’t want to learn and practice yoga. There are other people who come here to learn and practice yoga. The yoga classes here is about yoga. You don’t have to attend this yoga class, if this is not the “yoga” that you want. You can take your money back and leave the yoga class now, if you wish.”

Om shanti.

Ignorance?

Ignorance?

  • The root cause of suffering and unhappiness.
  • Identifying with the impermanent qualities of names and forms as who we are, which we are not.
  • Seeing the unreal as real, and seeing the real as unreal.
  • Not knowing the truth of who “I” am.
  • Forsake Dharma (which is in harmony with the law of nature), and embrace Adharma (which goes against the law of nature).
  • Attachment towards worldly self-image or worldly identity that attached to and identifies with certain qualities of names and forms.
  • Attachment towards all our actions and the fruit of the actions.
  • Natural habit of the mind which constantly and autonomously reacts without awareness towards the objects of the senses, being influenced by egoism, attachments, likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, craving and aversion, dualism, selfish desires, selfish intention, selfish expectation, and impurities like anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, pride, arrogance, feelings of hurt, animosity, ill-will, fear and worry.
  • Seeking freedom, satisfaction, confidence, meaningfulness, love, peace and happiness from without (of the impermanent qualities of names and forms).
  • Being ignorant about ignorance.

Ignorance has nothing to do with the amount of accumulated worldly knowledge, level of intelligence, level of education, religious beliefs, living skills, physical condition and abilities, years of yoga practice, years of teaching yoga, years of studying about the teachings of yoga, social status, financial status, achievements in life, academic, career or relationships. As ignorance, egoism, attachment and impurities are not determined by all these qualities of names and forms. It doesn’t matter who or what we think we are and how we are, we still can be influenced very much by ignorance, egoism, attachment and impurities, and have no peace, constantly being disturbed, affected, influenced and determined by all the qualities of names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses of what it sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches and thinks/believes.

We only know what we know, and see what we see. What is beyond our knowledge and sight, we don’t know and we don’t see. We cannot argue with anyone who doesn’t know what we know, who doesn’t see what we see. When we realize what others haven’t realized, when we see what others don’t see, there is no argument with anyone nor criticism about things that others don’t know and don’t see.

Be open-minded. Be free.

Om shanti.

About what is “allowed” and “disallowed” in yoga…

Lately there was search word like “What is allowed and disallowed in yoga?” came to this blog.

Well, if by taking up “yoga practice” will generate a lot more inconveniences and problems in life, making our life and other people’s life more complicated, then personally I have no interest to be practicing this yoga. As anyone also can be happy and peaceful as they are, it’s not necessarily has to be coming from practicing yoga.

Most of the rules and regulations exist for those who don’t have self-control and self-discipline to help them to develop these two elements to help them in their practice towards conquering their own mind.

For those whose minds are liberated, they don’t need to practice yoga, nor to observe any observations, nor be bound by any rules and regulations.

Here are some of the observations to be engaging yoga practice in everyday life:-
– Have strong self-discipline.
– Do our best in whatever we do and renounce the fruit of actions.
– Accept and respect all beings as they are.
– Talk less.
– Conserve energy.
– Be moderate in food intake.
– Take up Sattvic diet that helps in calming the mind.

– Be adjustable, adaptable and accommodating.
– Be kind and forgiving.
– Be truthful and straightforward.
– Be humble and generous.
– Contemplate on the teachings of yoga.
– Live in the present moment.
– Don’t give up, keep practice.
– Don’t judge, compare, expect.
– Don’t discriminate any beings based on our personal thinking and beliefs, likes and dislikes, agreement and disagreement.
– Don’t waste time and effort in vain talk, boasting, gossiping, slandering, condemning, scheming, complaining, mourning, and etc.
– Don’t waste energy in too much worldly physical and mental activities.
– Don’t take too little or too much food, and don’t take food that will either agitate or depress the mind.
– Don’t hate or save hatred.
– Don’t tell lies or be hypocrite.

– Give up the identification with the worldly self-image.

– Give up possessiveness and jealousy.
– Give up pride and arrogance.
– Give up anger and hatred.
– Give up fear and worry.
– Give up dissatisfaction and disappointment.
– Give up offensiveness, defensiveness, aggressiveness and animosity.
– Give up craving and aversion.
– Give up ill-will and ill-thinking.

By observing these observations can help in purifying, taming and controlling the mind, to help to free the mind from ignorance, egoism, distractions and passionate desires. But it is not a guarantee of liberation or enlightenment. As even by observing these observations, it still doesn’t determine that we will be free from ignorance, egoism and attachment. For example, we might still have attachment towards identification of “I” am observing all these “observations”, and “I” am a good yogi.

It’s not that if we didn’t manage to have strong self-discipline, or we like to talk a lot, or if we like to judge, compare and expect, or we spent lots of effort and energy in many worldly physical and mental activities, or if we are not vegetarian, or if we are influenced by passionate desires, anger or depression, that will determine that we are “bad” beings, or we are “evil” beings, or will be guaranteed that we won’t be happy and peaceful.

There’s no such thing as things or behaviors that are “only be allowed” and “strictly disallowed” if we know what is yoga. If there is something that is “allowed” and “disallowed” in yoga, does that means if we do something that we aren’t allowed to do, we will be judged and punished accordingly? Or if we didn’t do what we are supposed to be doing, we will also be judged and punished accordingly? And then we will not be allowed or be disqualified to practice yoga, now and forever? If this is happening in what we think is the world of “yoga”, then this is not yoga at all. Even if somebody had committed some serious crimes whether intentionally or unintentionally, this person also can practice yoga, and attain liberation through one’s own effort. Of course there will be consequences of actions coming from our behavior that we have to be responsible for.

As yoga and Buddhism is a practice by freedom of choice. It’s not a religious practice or cult that we have to be observing certain rules and regulations. Or else if we don’t follow exactly the rules and regulations, or if we fail to meet up to certain observations or expectations, then we will be judged as “sinful”, “bad” and “evil”, or we will be punished by some “higher authorities” and be condemned to hell. It is our own freedom of choice and our own responsibility of whether we will be peaceful or not. Maybe some people don’t want to be peaceful, they enjoy being restless all the time. That’s their freedom and choice. There’s nothing wrong with that.

If anyone wants to be good and do good, it’s everyone’s freedom. If anyone doesn’t want to be good or do good, it’s also everyone’s freedom.

Yoga is about realizing the truth of oneness, non-separateness, non-duality, fearlessness, unconditional peace, unconditional love, attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness. It is everyone’s freedom whether they want to take up the practice or want to leave the practice, as they wish. There’s no contract, no agreement, no punishment, no sin or condemnation if we don’t practice yoga the way that some other people are practicing, or we don’t observe certain rules and regulations that some other people are observing, or if we want to stop practicing yoga for any reasons.

If we are interested in yoga practice, and we practice yoga sincerely and realize the truth through our own effort, at our own pace, it’s coming from our own self.

If we don’t want to practice yoga and are not interested in any forms of practice, it’s our own freedom. It doesn’t mean that we are any less good, or less peaceful and less compassionate than those who take up some forms of spiritual or religious practice.

Or, we want to practice yoga but somehow we haven’t realize the truth, and we are not free from suffering, ignorance and egoism, it’s also coming from our own self.

Be free.

Om shanti.

Yoga practice is not a tool to satisfy our personal desires of wants and don’t wants…

Yoga practice is a tool for transcending ignorance and egoism, so that we are able to know the truth, and be at peace unconditionally being unaffected, undisturbed, uninfluenced, and undetermined by qualities of names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses from moment to moment.

When we realize the truth, there’s no good and bad, positive and negative, happiness and suffering, right and wrong. Everything is just being what it is. And hence we are able to be at peace, whether the reality is something pleasant or unpleasant, something that we like or dislike, agree or disagree with. We will allow the reality to be what it is. We do our best for the best interest of all beings, but we do not attach to our actions and we renounce the fruit of actions, unaffected, undisturbed, uninfluenced, and undetermined by the fruit of actions, or how others perceive and react towards our actions and the fruit of our actions.

Yoga practice is not a tool to attain some sort of “wishing power” so that we can attain all that we desire and don’t get what we don’t desire in life. It is not about wish that we will only experience something that is pleasant, enjoyable, good and happy for us, and will not experience anything that is unpleasant, suffering, bad and unhappy for us. It is not about looking forward to change the world to be the way that we like it to be, or to be the way that we think it should be, but it is to go beyond the world of names and forms that is full of good and bad happenings, happy and unhappy happenings, positive and negative happenings, right and wrong doings, that is subject to impermanence, and is limited and conditioned by time, space and causation. It’s not about desire or hope everything to be all good as what we believe what “good” is, and desire or hope all the things that we believe as bad, negative, suffering and wrong to be disappearing from the world. We cannot change the world to be the way that we like it to be. The world will change by itself when each and everyone changes themselves, whether towards better or worst.

This doesn’t mean that we are agreeing and supporting all the things that we believe as bad, negative, suffering and wrong, but we don’t have to be disturbed, nor influenced, nor determined by all these things in order to show love and care for the world. We are dissatisfied, angry and unhappy is because we can’t have the world the way that we like it to be. It is about our desire is not being gratified. It’s not really about there are bad people and bad things existing in the world. We can’t really help the world to be better or improve if ourselves is being disturbed, influenced and determined by what is happening in the world, being angry, hating or depressed.

Yoga practice allows us to see the truth of things as they are, and be free from being conditioned by duality, where the intellect categorizes all the names and forms into different qualities of good and bad, positive and negative, happiness and suffering, right and wrong. Then the ego asserts likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, and generates craving and aversion towards what our mind believes as good and bad, positive and negative, happiness and suffering, right and wrong, and be affected, disturbed, influenced and determined by these perceptions of dualities, and the ego reacts towards all these qualities of names and forms upon coming in contact, or not coming in contact with all these objects of names and forms, and generates satisfaction and dissatisfaction, happy and unhappy feelings, and be disturbed, influenced and over-powered by impurities of anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, pride, arrogance, feelings of hurts, depression, aggressiveness, offensiveness, defensiveness, animosity, fear and worry, and etc that arise to act and react.

When we practice yoga in most yoga classes, we often hear some resolutions in the yoga classes about may our yoga practice brings us good health, success, strength, youthfulness, wealth, happiness and things that we desire, and to be free from sickness, failure, weakness, aging, poverty, unhappiness or things that we don’t desire. There’s nothing wrong with this, but this is not really why yoga practice exists in the world.

Yoga practice exists for us to realize yoga, or realize the truth of oneness, non-separateness, non-duality, attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness, birthlessness and deathlessness. There’s no suffering. There’s no fear towards suffering. There’s no aversion towards suffering or unhappiness, nor craving towards sensual enjoyment and happiness. All the happiness and suffering that the mind experiences in this world via the existence and function of the body and the mind, is subject to impermanence and is conditioned by time, space and causation, karma, cause and effect, birth and death. We allow all the pleasant and unpleasant experiences to be there as they are, without attachment.

We think we are good people, and other people who are not the same as us are bad, we think we are right and other people who are different from us is wrong. And this happen the other way round as well. Those whom we think are bad and wrong, they think we are the one who is bad and wrong, and they are good and right. The things that we want, are something that they don’t want. The things that we don’t want, are something that they want. And hence argument, frustration, anger, hatred, animosity, war, fear, worry, unhappiness, suffering, restlessness arise among all the different thinking and beliefs, because each one try to interfere with, or try to control, or try to change one another.

We all share the space of the universe. We don’t own this space of the universe we are existing in. We are being “selfish” when we only want to allow beings whom we like and agree with to be sharing this space with us, and we try to change all the beings whom we dislike and disagree with to be the way that we like and can agree with, or else, we want to get rid of them from the world that we are living in. Even if we think we are good and righteous beings, and we want to protect the world from being destroyed by all these bad and unrighteous beings, but we behave not any different from those whom we think are bad and wrong. We cannot allow nor accept other beings who are different from us to be who they are, what they are. We think we are so good and right to have the right to judge other beings, to control and change them to be the way that we think they should be. And when we behave like this, we are not any different from these beings whom we judged as bad and wrong.

When we practice yoga, or any other type of spiritual or religious practice, we like to say we practice love, unconditional love, that we are loving and kind human beings, but how come most of the time, we only can love those whom we like and agree with, but we are angry with and hate those whom we dislike and disagree with, we want them to be punished, to suffer for what they’ve done, or be condemned to hell? It doesn’t sound “right”, isn’t it? If we are able to love unconditionally without discrimination or hatred, there’s no dissatisfaction, disappointment, unhappiness or suffering in us. There is less a being in the world being unhappy and generate disturbing vibrations into the world.

How can we expect a peaceful world when ourselves are not peaceful? How can we spread peace, if ourselves have no peace?

Be free.

Om shanti.

Worldly knowledge doesn’t guarantee peace and compassion, wisdom will…

If worldly knowledge can guarantee us peace and compassion, then all the knowledgeable people on this planet will be peaceful and compassionate. But, it’s not necessarily.

It doesn’t matter who we think we are, or we think we know about the scientific facts about this and that, or how much knowledge that we attain from reading books and hearing from other people’s research and their personal experience, it still doesn’t guarantee us peace and compassion, be free from suffering and unhappiness that derived from ignorance, egoism, attachment, and impurities.

Or else, all the geniuses, scientists, mathematicians, doctors, lawyers, psychologists, physiologists, teachers, historians, geographers, engineers, economists, artists, architects, social activists, social workers, philosophers, yoga teachers, religious teachers, environmentalists, ecologists, or any fields that we think we expertise in, will be free from suffering of ignorance, hunger, thirst, changes, old age, decay, sickness, weakness, injuries, pain, death, separation from things and people that we like, come in contact with the things and people that we don’t like, anger, hatred, jealousy, fear, worry, doubts, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, agitation, depression, feelings of hurts, pride, arrogance, animosity, offensiveness, defensiveness, insult, humiliation, craving and aversion, and so on.

The stronger we attached to the egoism and qualities of names and forms, the more we think we are smarter or better than other beings, and the more suffering and unhappy we will be, as we will get very impatient, dissatisfied, disappointed, frustrated, irritated, or angry with other beings whom we think and believe as less smart and less good than us.

Same as, being vegetarian or non-vegetarian, or what we eat and don’t eat, also doesn’t guarantee peace and compassion. Nor does being a yogi, a yoga teacher, a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Christian or any names and forms that we identify ourselves with, will guarantee peace and compassion. Nor does a healthy, fit, strong and flexible physical body will guarantee peace and compassion.

As long as we attach to the egoism and all the qualities of names and forms to be who we are; We think we are good and compassionate people; We think we do many good actions; We think we don’t do any bad actions (not intentionally); We attach to our actions and the result, or the fruit of our actions; We expect the world will be the way that we like it to be, or how we think it should be; We expect other people also will be as good as us; We expect cooperation and support from other human beings on this planet to make the world a better place; Then our minds won’t be able to be at peace, nor are we compassionate beings as what we think we are.

Unless, our minds are free from ignorance, egoism, attachment and impurities through our personal direct realization of the truth. Being aware of the reality as it is, and able to allow the reality to be what it is, not necessary the way that we like it to be, or the way that we think it should be, based on what our minds believe what things are.

We can do our best. Make good use of the knowledge and talents that we have to be serving ourselves and others, contributing our service to the world, but be free from egoism, identification and attachment towards our actions and renounce the fruit of actions. This will allow us to have peace in oneself, and be truly compassionate towards all beings, including oneself.

Om shanti.

Quote by His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama

“The key to happiness has nothing to do with belief in God, heaven or spirituality. It has to be contentment and affection within oneself.”

 – His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama

This is why many religious leaders and fundamentalists (Especially in this country) are fear of their followers to come in contact with the teachings of Buddhism or yoga (In this country, books on Buddhism teachings are not allowed to be sold to, or read by Muslims, and there’s Fatwa on yoga), as it contradicts with their teachings about believe in God and go to heaven for attaining Salvation.

But now, on the Internet, everyone can easily come in contact with the teachings of yoga or Buddhism being shared freely and widely on the Internet, which is fantastic and liberating for many who have the chance to come in contact with the teachings of yoga or Buddhism.

Just a simple quote on the teachings of Buddhism can be so liberating for many people.

And it’s nothing to do with whether you have a religion or not, nor what type of religion you have, nor what you eat and don’t eat, nor what you practice or don’t practice, nor what political party that you support, nor any qualities of names and forms that you have and don’t have.

Just by being content, accept and love unconditionally towards oneself and others.

Be free from hatred.

May all beings be happy.

If anyone will be hating and angry upon seeing or hearing the teachings that support and promote love and peace in oneself and others, just because those teachings are different from or contradicting with what their mind is being “told” to believe in and what they practice, then obviously there’s something “missing” in that “belief” or in what they practice, as it promotes anger and hatred, making oneself so agitated and unhappy.

Om shanti.

Freedom?

When we do something, somebody will get offended and upset because what we do is not something that they like or can agree with. Even when we didn’t do anything, somebody also will get offended and upset because they expect us to be doing something that they think we should be doing.

Human beings whose minds are not free from ignorance, egoism, dualism, attachment, impurities such like anger, hatred, jealousy, pride, arrogance, craving, aversion, animosity, offensiveness, defensiveness, feelings of hurt, disappointment, dissatisfaction, fear and worry, are their own greatest enemy, and constantly generate unrest in themselves and in others, whether intentionally or unintentionally, directly or indirectly.

For the sake of our own peace and peace in others, out of our own free will, we perform some sorts of practice or cultivation to control and purify our own minds (not about to control or to purify other people’s minds), turn the outgoing mind inward, to develop self-control and self discipline, and observe certain observations, to filter or restrict or minimize the inputs and outputs of the mind, to eliminate ignorance, egoism, dualism, attachment, impurities, anger, hatred, jealousy, pride, arrogance, craving, aversion, animosity, offensiveness, defensiveness, feelings of hurt, disappointment, dissatisfaction, fear and worry. To be free.

Free the mind from ignorance, egoism, dualism, attachment and impurities, transcend this life existence that is conditioned by impermanent qualities of names and forms, have peace in oneself, is the greatest contribution to world peace.

If this is not the freedom that you are looking for, it’s fine. Be happy with what you want to achieve in this life existence. It’s your freedom.

Om shanti.

Be ourselves, but also be opened, let go of self-righteousness…

If we identified with and attached to certain ideology, ways of thinking, ways of living, ideas, beliefs, actions and reactions to live our life, to be who we are, about how we as “human beings” should behave, but we also expect other people or other living beings in the world to be agree with and live up to the same ideology or beliefs as we do, then we are not just generating affliction and unhappiness (Such like anger, hatred, fear, worry, dissatisfaction, disappointment, feelings of hurt, and etc) in ourselves, but also generating unnecessary conflicts with other people.

Sometimes, or, most of the time, while we are looking for freedom of thinking, action and expression to be what we want to be, we are not aware that we are “violating” other people’s or other living beings’ freedom of thinking, actions and expression, if ourselves is strongly attached to our own ideology and being self-righteous.

We get offended, feel insulted or humiliated, or feel hurt easily by other people or other living beings who have different ideology than us, who think, behave, act and react differently from us, which is contradicting with our own points of view and beliefs.

We’ll get angry and upset easily, hurting ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally, disturbing the equilibrium of the body and mind, as well as we might be hurting other beings, if we don’t have awareness and self-control over our own anger, irritation and frustration whenever our egoistic minds come in contact with something (names and forms) that our mind strongly dislike and disagree with, based on what our minds believe what things are, or how things should be like.

And that’s where anger and hatred begins, where arguments and clashes begin, where wars and violence begin…

Have our own ideology, be ourselves, as we are, but also be opened, let go of self-righteousness.

Allow and respect other people or other living beings to be what they are, to be different from us… It doesn’t mean that we have to agree with other people’s thinking and behavior that we cannot agree with, nor are we supporting other people to behave the way that we think is “wrong” or “not right” based on what our minds believe what is right and wrong…

Have peace in ourselves, before we can “expect” or “hope for” peace in the world, if we think we are so right and so good human beings.

Be in harmony with ourselves and with others. Let go of expectation towards other people or other living beings that they should behave in certain ways that our mind can agree with, no matter how “great” we think our ideology is…

Learn how to love unconditionally before we can “expect” or “hope for” peace and harmony in our relationships with anyone.

This is yoga practice.

Om shanti.

Egoism and the identification with qualities of names and forms…

All beings, except those who have gone beyond the egoism and the qualities of names and forms, attach to certain qualities of names and forms to be who we are, or who “I” am.

The one who think “I” am existing, is the ego, which is part of the function of the mind.

Just like all other “normal” human beings, the ego identifies itself with certain qualities of names and forms, such like birth place, family tree, nationality, ethnicity, language, culture, education, talents, career, profession, social status, financial status, relationships, social groups, living area, religion, beliefs, personality, thinking, physical appearance, physical condition, mental condition, and etc as who “I” am.

Because of this worldly identity or worldly self-image being deep rooted with the identification with all these qualities of names and forms as who we are, we are easily being disturbed, determined, upset and angry out of the “normal” reaction of the egoism when some people have some ideas, actions and speech that are being perceived or understood by our egoistic mind as “disrespectful”, “disagreeable”, “humiliation”, “hurtful”, “condemn”, or “insult” towards these qualities that the ego identifies itself with. The ego feels being disrespected, disagreed, humiliated, hurt, condemned, or insulted by what it perceives or understood as something “negative” and “wrong” about “I”, and reacts with anger and hatred.

If we identify ourselves as a “good Chinese woman” or a “Pious Buddhist”, or anything that we attach onto to be identified as who we are, then we will be determined or restricted by all these qualities, and be disturbed or influenced by how other people perceive and judge about all these qualities, whether it is about us, or some other Chinese women or Buddhists. If somebody said something not nice about Chinese women or Buddhists, or about anything that we identify ourselves with, the ego will naturally feel so intimidated or offended. Even though what other people think and say is not about us, and it has nothing to do with “who we really are”. The proud ego will also get upset and angry with some others who are also identifying with the same qualities as us, who are Chinese women or Buddhists, but they don’t behave the way that we think they should be behaving just like us, “good Chinese women” or “Pious Buddhists”. The proud ego thinks these “bad Chinese women” or “bad Buddhists” have humiliated or damaged the reputation of “Chinese women” or “Buddhists”.

As a “Chinese woman” or “Buddhist”, if “I” don’t behave like what other people think a “good” Chinese woman or a “pious” Buddhist should behave, we “create” a cause for others to participate in criticism and condemn towards “Chinese women” or “Buddhists”. Just like when some people who identify themselves as “Buddhists”, but their behavior is being perceived by others as offensive, or disturbing, or disagreeable, or wrong for some other people, then a lot of condemn and criticism from those who feel offended or disagreed with this type of behavior will be directed towards these “Buddhists” and all other “Buddhists”. Not to say when we don’t think there is anything wrong, or offensive, or disturbing, or disagreeable with our own behavior, but out of different points of view and beliefs, other people are offended, disturbed or disagree with our behavior, and this will irritate, or annoy, or upset our ego as well.

We don’t have to attach to the egoistic mind to be who we are, nor the mind should be over-powered by egoism, and attached to certain qualities of names and forms to be somebody or who “I” am.

If “I” identify myself as a writer, “I” will be restricted by all these qualities of names and forms that “I” am identifying with to write. Other people whose minds are restricted by certain qualities of names and forms will also judge about whether I am qualified to write about specific topics or subjects that has very little relation to the qualities that “I” identifying with, as well as restricting what I can write or should write based on what they think “I” am. There is no freedom of idea and expression, as the mind is being restricted to think, to believe, to behave, to act and react in certain ways based on all these qualities of names and forms.

There might be an action of “writing”, but there is no “I”, no “writer”, no “writing”… There will be consequences of the action of “writing”, maybe pleasant, maybe unpleasant, or both, but there is no “doer” of action nor “receiver” of the fruit of action.

Be free. This is real freedom of thinking, action and speech, not being limited nor restricted by any qualities of names and forms to think, to act and to express…

Om shanti.

I love yoga?

We think we love yoga.

We love to do yoga asana exercises, as it makes us feel peaceful and calm for some time afterwards.

Our physical body has been gaining some benefits from the yoga asana practice regularly and becomes stronger and more flexible. We can perform some of the yoga asana poses that we couldn’t perform in the beginning. We gain certain amount of self-confidence and improving tremendously in overall well-being.

It makes us feel good and look good. Our body and mind feels good.

We attend different types of yoga (asana) classes regularly, we perform our yoga asana practice either at home or at yoga centre, by ourselves or under the teacher’s instructions. We also have attended some special yoga courses, or yoga retreats, or yoga festivals here and there.

We call and identify ourselves as “yogi”, or “yoga practitioner”, or “yoga teacher”.

We tell ourselves and the world “I love yoga!”

And yet, in everyday life, we still feel that we need to get rid of or to get away from “something” that we think which makes us feel unhappy, hurt, insulted, humiliated, angry, fear, worry, depressed, disappointed, tired, exhausted or stressed, physically, mentally, emotionally…

We think and feel that we and other people should behave in certain ways, or else we and other people are not good human beings, or we feel dissatisfied and disappointed in ourselves or in others.

We are affected, disturbed, influenced and determined by the qualities of names and forms that possessed by the body and mind. We are affected, disturbed, influenced and determined very much by what the mind perceives through the senses of what we see, hear, smell, taste, touch and think.

It doesn’t matter who we think we are and what we do in life professionally, we attached to all these qualities of names and forms to be who we are, and we don’t have self-control over our thoughts, action and speech, but being over-powered by egoism, pride, arrogance, anger, hatred, jealousy, fear, worry, ill-will, animosity, offensiveness, defensiveness, craving and aversion, constantly hurting ourselves and others.

We are disturbed by how we judge about ourselves and how other people judge about us.

We swing back and forth from one extreme to the other extreme, couldn’t stay on the middle path.

We read books and study subjects about this and that, and generate like or dislike, agreement or disagreement based on what our mind believes what things are and how things should be like.

Then it doesn’t matter we tell ourselves and the world about how much “I love yoga”, and do all the yoga things, we are just wandering left and right at the very beginning path of yoga, we haven’t make any progression towards yoga…

If we truly practice yoga and love yoga, we let go of identification with qualities of names and forms, let go of the egoism and attachment towards the body and mind, let go of impurities that hurt ourselves and others, let go of the little “I” and “mine-ness”, let go of pride and arrogance, let go of the fruit of actions, let go of criticism towards ourselves and others, we love and accept ourselves and others as we are, as they are… And all these have nothing to do with how strong and flexible is our body, how many yoga asana poses we can perform, how perfect is the physical alignment to perform the exercises, how many yoga classes we have been attending, how many certificates we attained, or how much knowledge or information about yoga that we attain from reading and hearing…

When we let go egoism, there’s no “I” or “I love yoga”.

Om shanti.