Inquire into the conditioned behavior pattern of the mind

Under the influence of different family background, educational background, cultural background, religious background, spirituality background, social, philosophical or political background, of all kinds of input coming from everywhere apart from the basic instinct of living beings, human minds are being conditioned to think, feel, believe, act and react or behave in certain way, conditioning the mind to analyze and judge everything based on the conditioned thinking, belief and practice about what is good or bad, right or wrong, positive or negative, happiness or unhappiness, meaningfulness or meaninglessness, appropriateness or disappropriateness, and etc, although most minds aren’t aware of it under the veil of ignorance.

When something happens, whether it’s happening onto oneself or others, autonomously, the mind will react based on the conditioned thinking, belief and practice, and would expect others would also react in the same way, and would be puzzled, disturbed, offended and annoyed by others who don’t react in the similar way as one would be reacting, because the behavior pattern of other minds are being conditioned differently under different thinking, belief and practice influenced by different types of background.

In certain society and culture, minds are being conditioned to react towards what the conditioned thinking and belief categorized as bad, wrong, terrible, painful, sad, sorrowful or undeserving, with the reaction of, “Oh no! Poor me/you.” and either feel sorry for oneself if it happens to oneself, or feel sorry for others if it happens to some others, as well as expect sympathy/empathy from others to also show similar sympathetic/empathetic reaction. But, what a mind feels and doesn’t feel, or how it perceives and reacts towards the similar happening, can be very different from one another. Something that appears to be bad and terrible for one culture might be nothing bad or terrible for some other cultures.

It’s neither right nor wrong about all kinds of different conditioned mind behavior pattern under the different thinking, belief and practice under the different societies and cultures. But most of the conditioned minds functioning under the influence of ignorance and egoism will be disturbed and puzzled by the different reactions or non-reactions of the others towards the similar happenings.

In many different society, something happen that most people would be angry about, that they think and believe that it is something that deserves the reaction of anger, or to be condemned, and they would tell themselves and others that “We should be angry and feel angry. This is bad, wrong and terrible. Why would anyone not react with anger towards something like this? One must be crazy if one doesn’t feel angry for such happening.”

That is how the so called ‘sympathetic’/’empathetic’ society comfort themselves and others about how everyone ‘should’ feel and react under such and such circumstances, and would categorize those who don’t feel or react the same as ‘lack/void of sympathy/empathy’, ‘crazy’, ‘mad’, ‘insane’, or ‘psychopath’. If that’s true, then all those past enlightened saints and sages, who renounced the world and ‘care-less’ towards the ignorance and the consequences of ignorance in the world, who remained equanimous and peaceful under any condition and situation, had their minds tamed being undetermined by ignorance and the consequences of ignorance, they all were insane and psychopath, while the worldly minded who think all their ‘reactions’ are something ‘normal’, ‘righteous’ and ‘healthy’, would perceive themselves as ‘mentally healthy’ for reacting in such and such way. Even many ‘yoga teachers’ in the world also would think and believe like that.

Everyone can feel and react as one desires, as one is, as it is everyone’s freedom on how everyone wants to feel and react towards everything, but in the path of yoga and Buddhism, those who have conquered their own mind, who are free from the influence of ignorance and egoism, have the will-power of choice towards how to feel and react, or not. It’s not about “One should autonomously feel and react in such and such way towards such and such circumstances.” That’s also how selfish greedy people in the world would manipulate people’s thinking and behavior, and make use of the ‘autonomous’ reaction of most human beings to create situations that would benefit them to get what they want.

Being undetermined by conditioned behavior pattern of the mind and being undetermined by the quality of names and forms doesn’t mean that one wouldn’t perform any necessary actions that would help and benefit others. One can be performing action selflessly and fearlessly, without being conditioned to react in certain way according to any particular thinking, belief and practice about how everyone should feel, act and react.

Yoga and Buddhism practice is about freeing the mind from ignorance and the conditioned behavior pattern of the mind. The world will have less human beings constantly feel annoyed, disturbed, offended, angered, frustrated or unhappy about this or that. There will be peace in those who are free from ignorance and the conditioned behavior pattern of the mind, who respect everyone as they are, not necessarily agreeable to one’s particular thinking and belief to analyze and judge everything, and naturally, it helps to bring more peacefulness into the world.

The important and effective practice to free the mind from being conditioned into a particular behavior pattern is non-attachment and non-identification towards one’s family, educational, cultural, religious, spiritual, social, philosophical or political background. While for the minds that feel it’s difficult to practice non-attachment and non-identification, but are still interested in transforming one’s mind, then they can practice renunciation or moving the mind away from such environment that empowers attachment and identification with all kind of qualities, names and forms.

Those who have strong foundation in non-attachment and non-identification don’t need to renounce the world of egoistic identification with all kinds of quality, name and form, and live in the world as it is, but without being influenced, affected, disturbed or determined by any qualities, names and forms.

Those who are not (really) interested in peace, they don’t have to practice yoga or anything that is about changing and transcending one’s mind behavior pattern, where it’s not about trying to control, influence and change other people’s thinking and behavior to be the way that one thinks and believes how it should be, the way that one can agree with, based on one’s particular family, educational, cultural, religious, spiritual, social, philosophical or political background.

What to renounce and embrace in renunciation?

What to renounce in renunciation?

Renounce the idea of ‘I’, ‘my’ and ‘mine’.

Renounce action and the fruit of action. It doesn’t mean non-action or irresponsible towards the consequences of action, but performing action without attachment, identification, intention and expectation, and allowing the fruit/result of action being what it is, as it is.

Renounce egoism of attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation.

Renounce qualities, names and forms.

Renounce past pleasant/unpleasant, desirable/undesirable, enjoyable/non-enjoyable, happy/unhappy experiences and future imagination/anticipation/projection.

Renounce day dreaming and building castle in the air.

Renounce scheming, plotting, planning.

Renounce petite mindedness and stinginess.

Renounce worldly social relationships, connections and interactions.

Renounce worldly affair, habit and activity that empower egoism and ignorance.

Renounce worldly ideas, values and objects.

Renounce worldly thinking and belief.

Renounce superstitious belief and practice.

Renounce healing and gratification of desire through superstition practice or superhuman power.

Renounce novel, magazine and news reading, TV and movie watching, and theater visiting.

Renounce self-righteousness based on particular social, cultural, tribal, racial, religious or political thinking and belief, values and practice.

Renounce physical/mental/emotional intoxicant and addiction.

Renounce pride, arrogance, greed, jealousy, envy, admiration, blaming, fault-finding, slandering, back-biting, gossiping, flirting, dissatisfaction, disappointment, offensiveness, defensiveness, anger, hatred, violence, fear and worry.

Renounce debates, discussions and arguments.

Renounce possessiveness, selfishness and protectiveness.

Renounce worldly passionate greed and ambition, desire and lust.

Renounce spiritual greed and ambition, students recruiting, ashram building, cult forming, follower and disciple hoarding.

Renounce the outgoing tendency of the mind.

Renounce interference towards others’ diverse way of living, thinking, belief, values, practice, judgment, action, inaction, reaction, non-reaction, behavior, and so on. What others do with their life, their energy, their body and mind, is their own freedom and responsibility.

Renounce the urge to change or control the world and everything to be the way that I like it to be, or the way that I think how it should be.

Renounce extremity of laziness/idleness and restlessness, over fasting and over eating, rigidness and slackness, austerity and indulgence, and etc, without comparing with one another, as what is extreme for one might be moderate for another, and vice versa.

Renounce chasing after sympathy, empathy, love, attention, support, recognition, acknowledgement, accreditation, appreciation, praise, compliment, agreement, approval, friendship, companionship, enjoyment of the senses, name, title, entitlement, fame, respect, authorization, power or wealth.

Renounce intention, aspiration and inspiration.

Renounce self-idolization, self-glorification, self-boasting, self-flattering.

Renounce duality of what the worldly social/cultural/religious/political thinking and belief categorized as good/bad, right/wrong, positive/negative, happiness/unhappiness, meaningfulness/meaninglessness, success/failure, praise/condemn, respectfulness/disrespectfulness, deserving/undeserving, and so on.

Renounce the sense of confidence, self-esteem, self-worth and meaningfulness.

Renounce the sense of humiliation, guilt and shame.

Renounce the sense of being hurt, intimidated, belittled, insulted, disrespected, bullied, piteous, ill-treated, and etc. Understanding that all kinds of human beings action and behavior that resulting in hurting/disturbing/violating some others are deriving from ignorance and mental illness/corruption, and hence, need not be determined by the products of ignorance existing in the world. Being ignorant is not a crime, or sin, or punishment deserving, but it would lead to many ignorant actions and reactions that bring along further ignorant consequences, and all minds perceiving this impermanent selfless worldly life existence of names and forms are under the influence of ignorance, unless the mind realizes ignorance in itself and be initiated to be free from ignorance.

Renounce grief and sorrow.

Renounce the sense of boredom, meaninglessness and loneliness.

Renounce clinging towards the world of impermanent selfless names and forms of the mind perception of worldly life existence.

Renounce ignorance and the consequence of ignorance.

Renounce physical, mental and emotional dependency, unless one is suffering from physical, mental or emotional illness/malfunction/disability.

Renounce worldly egoistic freedom or satisfaction deriving from the gratification of passionate egoistic desire of craving and aversion, by attaining/experiencing what I like and want or desire, and not getting/experiencing what I dislike and doesn’t want or doesn’t desire.

Renounce political involvement, power accumulating, leadership or grouping.

Renounce any form of ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ gangsterism and its similarity, such like worldly authorization is one kind of ‘legally approved’ and ‘supported by most people’ gangsterism which seizes power, possession and control over certain land, space, resources and the people on earth, and then collect money in the form of tax from the people with the excuse in return with providing public services, certain kinds of benefit, legal documentation/recognition/privilege/rights and certain degree of protection, while generate separateness and discrimination in the society to create fear and hatred among each other, creating the best situation for the authority to be in business by keeping in power to dominate the society and exploiting natural resources and manpower, by harassing, oppressing, torturing, persecuting and prosecuting anyone who appear to be ‘illegal’, ‘disrespecting’, ‘disobeying’, ‘going against’ the authority.

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

 

What to embrace in renunciation?

Embrace dispassion, solitude and seclusion in silence.

Embrace quieting and purifying the mind.

Embrace living/being in the present.

Embrace fearlessness.

Embrace open-mindedness and generosity.

Embrace patience, perseverance, determination, forbearance, tolerance, acceptance, adjustment, adaptation and accommodation.

Embrace calmness, clarity, correct understanding, contentment, simplicity, truthfulness, straightforwardness, non-violence, non-possessiveness, non-authorization, non-separateness and non-discrimination.

Embrace non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment, non-comparison, non-expectation.

Embrace selfless compassionate kindness that is void of attachment, identification, intention and expectation.

Embrace self-inquiry and investigation towards the truth of everything, being uninfluenced by personal likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements deriving from worldly social/cultural/religious/political thinking and belief.

Embrace physical, mental and emotional independence as much as possible unless due to deform, injury, sickness or old age, one has no choice but has to be dependent on some others physically or mentally for certain things in this limited impermanent and selfless life existence.

Embrace right discrimination or wisdom that removes the veil of ignorance and leads to non-separateness and non-discrimination.

Embrace peace and harmony.

Embrace tranquility.

Embrace nature and the law of nature.

Embrace the truth of impermanence and selflessness.

Embrace everything as it is, not necessarily the way that I think how it should be and the way that I desire it to be, respecting the perceived names and forms, conditions and situations as they are, not necessarily pleasant or desirable, without being determined or disturbed by pleasant/unpleasant, desirable/undesirable perception of names and forms or experiences.

Embrace the yearning for liberation.

Embrace true freedom or liberation, being free from ignorance, egoism, impurities and suffering.

Embrace unconditional peace, being free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, being undetermined, unaffected, uninfluenced, undisturbed by the mind perception of different qualities of impermanent and selfless names and forms perceived through the senses.

Embrace self-effort, self-control, self-discipline, self-introspection and self-realization.

Embrace oneness, non-separateness, namelessness, formlessness, attributelessness.

Embrace annihilation of the modification of the mind.

Embrace silence.

How to practice yoga for the mind to transcend names and forms?

How to practice yoga for the mind to transcend names and forms, to realize unconditional peace and freedom?

Stop identifying with any quality of names and forms as ‘I’, or what/who the mind think is ‘I’, or ‘This is I’. Such as specific specie, race, culture, nationality, family background, gender, sexual orientation, personality, characteristic, appearance, talent, skill, likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, thinking, belief, spirituality, religion, political view, lifestyle, social status, social network, friend circles, educational background, career, profession, livelihood, experience, contribution, non-contribution, achievement, non-achievement, ability, disability, and so on.

Living within this worldly egoistic society that is being conditioned by documentation/nationality/citizenship/specific rights under specific law and orders, which derived from basic instinct of living beings and human civilization of ‘survival instinct’, ‘self-protectiveness’, ‘selfishness’, ‘possession of land and resources’, ‘food agriculture’, ‘village’, ‘township’, ‘city’, ‘country’, ‘capitalism’, ‘consumerism’, ‘procreation’ and ‘greed’, we all are unwittingly being ‘forced’ to carry certain ‘social personal identity’ with certain names and forms to be living and moving in this world, (or else, one would be ‘illegal’ being anywhere on Earth and would be discriminated, persecuted and prosecuted if without any ‘proper/legal’ documentation and citizenship), but all these identities with different names and forms are not ‘I’, and it’s not easy to be living and moving in the world if being ‘illegal’ without all these so called legal/proper/essential documentation/recognition, even though all these shouldn’t be existing in the beginning.

But, it’s possible to free the mind from attachment and identification towards all these external identities with different names and forms as ‘I’, or what we think and believe as ‘who/what am I’, while ‘playing’ along with the worldly games of ‘legality and all kinds of documentation/rights/permission’ for being where you are and what you are and what you do, to be able to have a livelihood and move around only within the area that is ‘allowed’.

The moment the mind identifies as “I am this or that” and “I am not this or that”, separateness and discrimination exists in oneself, regardless of whether one is aware of it, or not, agrees or disagrees with it.

As long as there’s any identification of any particular name and form as ‘I’ or “This is I/This is not I”, even as “I am good/I am not good”, or “I am a good human being/I am a bad human being”, or “I believe in God/I disbelieve in God”, “I am female/I am male/I am neither female or male”, or “I am a yogi/I am not a yogi”, separateness and discrimination is there naturally as it is, even if we have no intention at all to generate separateness and discrimination between ourselves and all the others whom are not being identified within the same category of similar name and form. This is not denial of ‘fact’, as some people would argue about that.

Even when the mind perceives all the different names and forms, colours and shapes, features and characteristics, but the one same nature of everything with all the different names and forms is the same – Impermanence and Selflessness. If one keeps following the truth of impermanence and selflessness to inquire the truth of everything, it would lead/guide one’s mind towards liberation from ignorance, egoism, impurities and suffering, even without a particular human or non-human teacher being existing to guide oneself, even if the world is a messy place full of all kinds ignorance and corruption, which all started from the selfish desire to hoard and possess resources and lands, to protect ‘goodness’ and ‘mine-ness’, to eliminate ‘badness’ and ‘the threats towards mine-ness’, with the excuse ‘to keep things in order/under control’.

This practice of non-identification/non-attachment towards realization of selflessness, is the very basic step, as well as the upmost important step in the path of yoga and Buddhism.

Otherwise, even by passionately fighting for ‘non-discrimination’ and keep shouting ‘Say No To Racism/Stop Racism’, ‘Say No To Discrimination/Stop Discrimination’, ‘We All Are One’, “We All Are Citizen Of The World”, “We Want Peace”, “We Want Freedom”, “We Want Change”, and etc, it won’t work, as the world will still be the same full of ‘corruption’, ‘oppression’, ‘unjust’, ‘unrest’, ‘separateness’ and ‘discrimination’ everywhere, even if the authority appears to be giving in for the moment, and seems to be giving people what they demand/wish/want to see and hear, it’s just a momentary strategy for ‘cooling things down’, and meanwhile, there are some other ‘messy things’ that are brewing somewhere, while everyone happily thinking and believing that they have successfully made a change in the world, that they have gotten what they wanted from the authority.

Separateness and discrimination is there, even when one thinks and believes that oneself is completely free from any discrimination towards anyone or anything, which is impossible, as even the idea/notion/identification of “I don’t discriminate anyone or anything” is separateness and discrimination itself. Unless one attains ‘self’-realization and realizes selflessness/egolessness/’I’lessness.

The ‘self’ in self-realization, is not referring that ‘there is a self-existence/individual being/soul/spirit’, but it’s the selfless/’I’less mind realizing the truth of ‘I’/’self’, or ‘who/what the mind thinks and believes and identifies as a self-existence of an individual being’, where there’s no ‘I’ or ‘self-existence’ or ‘individual being’, but just merely impermanent and selfless names and forms of a life existence under the function of a physical body and perceptive/thinking mind forming, changing, decaying and deforming. If the mind perceives meaningfulness, it’s just the mind feels meaningful. It’s not “I am meaningful or I feel meaningful”. And even that perception of meaningfulness is impermanent and selfless.

It’s not that difficult to realize the truth of impermanence, but ignorance and egoism hinders the mind from realizing selflessness, even for those who gave up many worldly things trying to conquer the mind, as there’s an identification of ‘I’ or ‘self-existence’ being there hindering the mind to annihilate the ego. “I am practicing”, “I am improving/declining”, “My practice is good/not good”, “My mind is good/not good”, “I have a good meditation today”, “I like to practice X brand/X style yoga”, “I learn and practice XXX yoga. I am a XXX yogi”, “I want to be like my teacher/guru”, “I wish there’s a great teacher to guide me”, “I couldn’t do my practice because I was sick”, “I can do my practice now because I am in good health”, “I am performing selfless service/action”, “I am selfless/I want to be selfless”, “I am kind and compassionate/I want to be kind and compassionate”, and so on.

Let it go. Let go all the ‘I’, ‘my’, ‘mine’. And one will know.

When the mind transcends all the different qualities of impermanent names and forms of what it perceives through the senses selflessly, it will realize unconditional peace and true freedom being undetermined, unaffected, undisturbed and uninfluenced by any quality of names and forms, may it be the quality of ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, ‘positive’ or ‘negative’, ‘happiness’ or ‘unhappiness’, ‘meaningfulness’ or ‘meaninglessness’, ‘pleasantness’ or ‘unpleasantness’, ‘praise’ or ‘condemn’, ‘pleasurable enjoyment’ or ‘painful suffering’, and so on.

Some people might say, “I don’t want this kind of peace and freedom. It doesn’t sound right, as we need to get involve, we need to be active in order to make changes, to fight for our rights, peace and freedom.”

If people can think about it calmly, it’s ridiculous that anyone needs to ‘fight for’ or ‘obtain’ certain rights, peace and freedom from any ‘Authorization’.

Protests of any kind and fighting for any rights or benefits from ‘Some Body’ or ‘The Authority’ shouldn’t be existing at all. None should be ‘documented’, ‘recognized’, ‘approved’, ‘(mercifully) be given certain rights’ by such and such ‘Person’ and ‘Authority’, in the first place. Who give ‘them’ the power to be ‘possessing’ so much power and ‘owning’ everyone’s freedom of being existing on earth? It’s The People themselves. People don’t see the root cause of ‘why would anyone need to obtain or fight for ‘certain rights’, ‘peace’ and ‘freedom’. None ‘owns’ anyone. None ‘belongs’ to anyone. None needs to ‘be given’ or ‘receiving’ any rights from anyone or so called ‘The Authority’. Any kind of ‘Rights’ shouldn’t exist at all. Everyone is just what they are and how they are. Who are supporting those who become The Authority who then created The System with all kinds of rights? It’s The People themselves, who gave away their freedom of being existing on earth to an Authorization.

People think and believe that it’s normal or there’s nothing abnormal where all and everyone need to be ‘documented’, to ‘obtain something’, or ‘apply something’, or ‘fight for something’ from ‘somebody’ or ‘the authority’ to be who they are and where they are, so that they can be ‘legally’ being ‘recognized’ by ‘somebody’ or ‘the authority’ to be living/surviving/moving on certain restricted area on Earth. It’s absurd that anyone would be ‘illegal’ being anywhere on Earth and would be persecuted and prosecuted if without any ‘legal/proper’ documentation and citizenship, even though all planets, lands, oceans, mountains, space and natural resources in the world or the universe doesn’t belong to anyone or anything, but they were being ‘self-claimed’/’conquered’/’dominated’/’robbed’ by certain human beings from the very beginning until now. Except probably those people who become ‘The Authority’, who are the ones who create and carryout those law and orders to ‘dominate’ the rest of the people, are not bound by The System that they created themselves. And people who started to realize so many things that aren’t right in the world, are there continuing to support to have The Authority and The System, wittingly or unwittingly, allowing The Authority and The System to be in power to do all that.

If people truly want to experience real non-separateness and non-discrimination in this world, it’s not about changing The Authority or The System, it’s about abandoning The Authorization and The System, by letting go all kinds of nationality, borders and documentation, but it will only works if all and everyone letting it go, as The System cannot run without the majority of The People being there want to be ‘protected’ by The System, to be given ‘privilege of certain rights’ for being somewhere and somebody, and to move about and make a livelihood here and there. If there are still some people supporting The Authorization and The System, they will still be in power and will only benefit certain group of people of their own, but oppressing/discriminating/persecuting all the others.

Most people won’t want to abandon Authorization and The System, as they are reluctant to let go ‘the privilege of receiving and having certain rights’ that they received from an Authorization and The System. People who are living in a rather comfortable space and have more than enough livelihood would like to have ‘The System’ to ‘protect’ them, their home and their livelihood, as well as there’s fear of “What will happen if themselves become ‘the unwanted/unwelcome illegal immigrants’ anywhere in the world, without ‘proper/legal’ documentation/recognition and losing all their privilege and rights to be somewhere, to live somewhere, to make a living somewhere, to go somewhere, or to do something?” While the world, the earth, the lands, the oceans, the mountains, the resources, the space, the universe doesn’t belong to anyone or anything, but ‘The Authority’ took all that and claimed ‘authorization’ and ‘dominate’ everyone, by telling everyone, I am doing this (running The System) to protect you, your livelihood, your home and your benefits from foreign attack, invasion, or damage. “There are bad people out there waiting to hurt you and your livelihood. We are here to keep them away to protect you and your livelihood.” That’s what they want everyone to think and believe.

Most people who are mentally healthy don’t intentionally want to ‘hurt’, or ‘invade’, or ‘attack’, or ‘rob’, or ‘conquer’ anyone or anything that doesn’t belong to anyone, that all and everyone are free to be sharing the resources that are available anywhere on earth. Most living beings just keep moving to find resources to survive. And all kinds of resources don’t belong to anyone. But somehow, somewhere, somebody/a community started to claim ownership or possession towards certain resources that they found, and want to keep it all for themselves and stop any others coming to ‘share’ some of it. And out of survival instinct, most people would think and believe that that is the best way running the world in order to be able to survive, at least for themselves.

Ridiculous, but most people don’t see that as ridiculous, but that’s something great for them.

Even a rather good country with good (kind and compassionate) leadership running ‘The System’, discrimination is still existing, as the resources are limited and they need to ‘keep it for themselves and their own people’, even if they would like to share their resources with some others, they cannot take everyone onto ‘their boat’. They have to filter and discriminate who and how many they want to bring onto ‘their boat’ to share their limited resources.

For those who are interested in searching for unconditional peace and true freedom, who are interested in practicing renunciation and dispassion, can contemplate on the teaching and practice. Inquire the truth of everything.

Those who aren’t interested in renunciation and dispassion to realize unconditional peace and freedom that appears to be not the kind of freedom that they want, they don’t have to do anything, but continue living their everyday life as they like, as they are. Living in The System, supporting The System. If they don’t like anything about The System, they complain and protest, and they might get some ‘nice treats’ from The Authority from time to time, so that they will think that The Authority is not so bad anyway, thinking that they would rather be ‘protected’ by The System than attaining independence and dealing with the world being shared among all and everyone peacefully without discrimination.

Most people talk highly about independence, but they don’t really like to be independent. It’s too tough for them. They only like independence from being controlled by ‘the others who are not them’, that they perceive and categorize as ‘predator/enemy/invader/those who are not us’, but they want to be controlled by their very own Authority, no matter how bad and corrupted it is, and feel ‘as long as I have the privilege of certain rights’ and ‘I am being protected somehow’.

“One of our own go out there to invade other’s land and take over their resources, is being praised and recognized as ‘our hero’, while the others come to invade our land and take over our resources is being condemned and recognized as ‘intruder/robber/enemy/bad people’.” How contradicting that is.

The world has its own natural system and running on that system of the law of nature autonomously. But, human minds have fear towards “without leadership, authority and human made system to keep things in order and to control human’s conduct and activity, to protect ‘our’ resources, livelihood, goodness and homeland.” Many ‘good’ people also concern about the nature or the earth would be damaged by certain ‘bad’ people, and think that they need an authority and The System to protect the nature or the earth. But, ever since there’s authorization and human made system existing in the world, did it stop anyone who are mentally-ill, greedy and selfish and have intention to be doing something that ‘good’ people think they shouldn’t do? Nope. Did it effectively get rid of all kinds of ignorant selfish social interaction and activity? Nope. But, it becomes a platform that gives rise to many forms of corruption, prejudice, unjust, oppression, separateness, discrimination, violence, hatred, crimes, wars, ‘legal’ invasions, fear, unrest, and etc.

Even in the world of yoga and Buddhism is not free from being influenced by worldly egoistic ideas and system.

In Swami Sivananda’s teachings, “The world would probably run smoother if all the leaders are being taken out of the world.”

Renounce the world. None can change the world by controlling/expecting the world to be in certain way that ‘I’ think how it should be, unless all and everyone is free from ignorance and egoism, and the world is fine as it is.

Online yoga class?

“Do you offer any ‘online yoga class’?”

What other yoga teachers do and don’t do is their freedom. What yoga practitioners/enthusiasts desire and don’t desire is their freedom. There’s neither right nor wrong.

I don’t have any interest or intention to run or teach ‘yoga classes’, not to say to organize ‘online yoga class’.

There were/are different type of people with different temperament/understanding and state of the mind, who want to learn yoga from us by participating in a compact yoga course in the form of yoga retreat over a few days to a few weeks. The yoga retreats emphasize on guiding and allowing the yoga practitioners/students to develop correct understanding, dispassion, right discrimination, self-inquiry, self-control, self-discipline and self-independence to be able to perform mental/physical self-practice internally/externally wherever they are without the need of attending ‘yoga classes’, by performing the different practices that serve the purpose of purifying and quieting the impure outgoing egoistic mind, to work on eliminating the ego and egoism diligently and independently, to be opened and turning the mind inward to investigate/inquire into the truth of everything, allowing the mind to see/realize the truth of names and forms as it is, to know what is going on in the restless self-cognitive thinking mind or knowing Thyself, be free from ignorance and the consequences of ignorance.

How everyone reacts towards the teachings and the different practices, or whether the students would be interested in developing the correct understanding, dispassion, right discrimination, self-inquiry, self-control, self-discipline and self-independence, or not, and whether they developed the correct understanding, dispassion, right discrimination, self-inquiry, self-control, self-discipline and self-independence, or not, it’s their own freedom, effort and responsibility. Everyone has their own pace treading the path of yoga.

Many of those who ‘expect’ the ‘yoga retreat’ or the ‘yoga practice’ to be the way that they desire it to be, that gives them what they think they should be getting/enjoying from ‘joining yoga retreat and performing yoga practice’ the way that they like and want, that gives them pleasurable sensual enjoyments, that gratifies their desire of craving and aversion, that makes them feel pampered and loved, wouldn’t appreciate and would reject this kind of ‘yoga retreat’ or ‘yoga practice’, and they would complain and criticize this kind of ‘yoga retreat’ or ‘yoga practice’ that they don’t like, don’t agree with and don’t want. And that’s their freedom.

Those who allowed their mind to be opened to inquire the truth of everything, while being self-initiated to perform yoga practice practically in everyday life to work on eliminating the ego and egoism diligently and independently, to free the mind from ignorance and the consequences of ignorance, who understand/realize the importance of dispassion, renunciation, seclusion, solitude and silence, would appreciate this type of ‘yoga retreat’ and ‘yoga practice’. They would have the basic understanding, dispassion, right discrimination, self-inquiry, self-control and self-discipline to be performing the internal/external practice accordingly. They don’t need to attend ‘yoga classes’, not to say ‘online yoga classes’ to be following some verbal/visual instructions/motivations to be motivated to perform some yoga practice or exercises, in order to stay calm/positive and healthy by keeping the body and mind busy engaging/occupying with some ‘healthy positive mental/physical activity’, to get rid of negativity, anxiety, boredom, or the sense of loneliness/meaninglessness due to the present global epidemic situation and prolonged social/physical distancing/isolation.

The existence of ‘yoga classes’, and particularly ‘online yoga classes’ in this present situation are very good for those who don’t have the basic understanding, dispassion, right discrimination, self-control, self-discipline and self-independence, who need to receive motivations/encouragements/guidance to be doing some healthy physical activity, to keep occupying the mind with healthy mental/physical activity, particularly in this present global epidemic situation, where people are being isolated/refrained from their everyday habitual social/mental/physical/emotional activity and interaction. Sort of like experiencing the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms of breaking away from certain mental/physical/emotional/relationship addiction/attachment/craving/desire, which is something very common that happens to many people who attend silent meditation retreats.

There’s nothing wrong with many yoga practitioners/enthusiasts who can’t or reluctant to perform self-practice independently, as they don’t have the basic understanding, dispassion, right discrimination, self-control, self-discipline and self-independence, and they don’t have the knowledge and confidence to perform the yoga practice by themselves, even after have been attending regular ‘yoga classes’ for many months/years, that mostly emphasize on social/mental/emotional/physical ‘connection’, ‘sharing’, ‘companionship’, ‘encouragement/motivation’ and ‘interaction’ among the community of the yoga teachers and the fellow yoga students while attending yoga classes/yoga retreats. That’s their freedom of thinking, belief, desire, action and reaction.

Those who know this, and/or who have been practicing yoga of renunciation, dispassion, solitude, seclusion and silence as it is, will not have any issue dealing with this global epidemic situation that requires efficient prolonged social/physical isolation/distancing for weeks/months or even years. They are free from boredom, anxiety, fear, worry, loneliness, or meaninglessness.

The sincere yoga practitioners can make use of this time being, or this great opportunity from this global epidemic situation to be starting practicing silence.

Those who aren’t interested in the yoga practice of disciplining and quieting the mind, don’t have to practice silence. They can continue to entertain the mind to keep the mind busy mingling and interacting with one another through all kinds of social media. It’s everyone’s freedom what they desire and don’t desire.

Living in the present

The minds that know how to ‘live’ in the present, time doesn’t exist, but only a reflection of impermanent selfless changes. These minds are fearless and worryless being free from craving towards particular desirable/agreeable/pleasant condition and aversion towards particular undesirable/disagreeable/unpleasant condition. The function of the thinking mind or the state of the mind will go through impermanent selfless changes, but the nameless/formless/attributeless universal consciousness beyond the egoistic self-cognitive thinking mind, is birthless/deathless/changeless/infinite.

The mind can make use of the existing available condition, knowledge, talent, skill, experience and opportunity in the present moment to be performing actions looking after the well-being of one’s life and/or others, without attachment towards the actions and the fruit of actions. Passionate optimistic people even propagate that people can create/develop the desirable condition, knowledge, talent, skill, experience and opportunity intentionally, if they aren’t existing/available in the present. There’s nothing wrong with that. The only difference is that there’s no satisfaction/dissatisfaction, pleasure/disappointment, happiness/unhappiness, success/failure, pride and arrogance/shame and guilt/regret in the minds that are free from attachment towards the actions and the fruit of actions.

The minds that know this, all actions are being performed out of selfless compassion, intentionlessly. It’s nothing to do with attaining the sense of goodness, happiness, righteousness, positiveness and meaningfulness or getting rid of the sense of badness, unhappiness, wrongfulness, negativeness or meaninglessness. As the minds that are free from the ego and egoism don’t need to attain the sense of goodness, happiness, righteousness, positiveness, or meaningfulness, to feel good, happy, righteous, positive, or meaningful, as these minds are void of the sense of badness, unhappiness, wrongfulness, negativeness, or meaninglessness, regardless of all the impermanent selfless changes of names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses. There’s not even the idea of “I am a selfless compassionate being performing selfless compassionate actions that are beneficial to the world.” not to say, “I want to be a kind and compassionate human being who performs kind and compassionate actions that will benefit the world.”

The worldly passionate minds that are being conditioned to think and believe that all human beings need to live life and perform actions in the way that would give rise to the sense of goodness, happiness, righteousness, positiveness and meaningfulness, couldn’t comprehend this. These minds are being ‘troubled’ by the absence of the sense of goodness, happiness, righteousness, positiveness, or meaningfulness, and would be ‘disturbed’ by the presence of the sense of loneliness, lovelessness, badness, wrongfulness, unhappiness, negativeness, or meaninglessness. The practice of silence, solitude, seclusion and renunciation from worldly affair and relationship is extremely painful, wrong, lonely, loveless, negative and meaningless to them.

“Being alone, living alone, without coming in contact or interacting with family and friends and the society for a prolonged period of time is something unhealthy, sad, wrong and terrible.”

For the worldly minds, everyone should be physically/mentally/emotionally closely ‘connecting’ to one another, be able to love and care for one another, be able to give and receive love from one another, (sort of) being free from loneliness/aloneness by being with some others, to be physically/mentally/emotionally connecting and interacting with some others, is the highest meaning and the joy of life existence. There’s nothing wrong, but it’s not freedom in yoga.

In yoga, (regardless of whether being by oneself alone, being physically distant from any other beings and without interacting with some others physically/mentally/emotionally, or being physically/mentally/emotionally surrounded by some other beings and constantly interacting with other beings,) the realization of unconditional peace of namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness/selflessness, being free from ignorance and egoism, being free from attachment and longing towards the sense of goodness, happiness, righteousness, positiveness, or meaningfulness deriving from certain quality of names and forms of the companionship of others and interaction with some other beings physically/mentally/emotionally, is indeed a great liberation. Though the worldly passionate minds don’t appreciate this liberation. For them, this is not the liberation that they want, because they think and believe life is so sad and loveless if nobody needs to depend on one another to feel love, to be giving and receiving love physically/mentally/emotionally among one another. And that’s everyone’s freedom of thinking, belief, feeling, action, reaction and desire.

Even many ‘yoga teachers’ who think they love practicing and teaching yoga would also think and believe in such way. They are not interested in dispassion, renunciation, silence, solitude, seclusion, or celibacy. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, some yoga practitioners aren’t working on silencing and annihilating the modification of the mind, but they are working on empowering egoism, desire of craving and aversion, passion and lust, and stimulating the modification of the mind. There are such saying – “Change what you don’t like until you are happy and satisfied.”; “If you don’t like how you look or how you feel, change it!”; “If you don’t like your eyes or your skin colour, change it to be the way that you like!”; “If you aren’t happy or satisfied with your life or relationship, change it!”; “If you don’t like the world, change it and make it the way that you like and prefer!”; “Be strong! Be in power! Be in control! You deserve everything that you desire!” And that’s their freedom. But that’s not yoga practice.

Any tiny or huge ‘amount’/’measurement’ of physical/mental/emotional distance makes no difference for the mind that realizes oneness/non-separateness/selflessness. The adept yogi is never lonely even when being alone, or non-coming in contact and non-interacting with some other beings physically/mentally/emotionally for a short while or for a prolonged period of time. Those who don’t know this, even after ‘practicing yoga’ for a long time, would feel lonely, sick, unhealthy, bad, wrong, unhappy, meaningless or depressed, when being physically/mentally/emotionally distant from some other beings for a prolonged period of time.

Many people can’t live without coming in contact and interacting with some others even for a few hours/days/weeks, not to say, for months/years. They would be suffering from loneliness and sadness, because the untrained egoistic mind perceives time and separateness, where time without actions or interactions (silence), is dulled, boring, empty, lonely and meaningless. Even many medical professionals think that in order to be ‘cured’ from loneliness and sadness, is to be with and interacting with some other beings physically/mentally/emotionally as much as possible. Though there’s nothing wrong with it, that is not yoga practice, but indeed a huge obstacle on the path of yoga towards liberation from ignorance and egoism.

Many people including some ‘yoga teachers’ believing in and promoting “Do what makes you feel good, happy, righteous, positive and meaningful” while encouraging people to be kind and do good by propagating “Be kind and do good or help others because it makes you feel good, happy, positive and meaningful.” Though there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s not yoga practice. It doesn’t help the mind to be free from the ego and egoism, but actually empowering the ego and egoism. The yoga teachings taught, “Stop doing what your mind likes that makes your mind (the ego) feels good, satisfy and happy.” in order to know Thyself, to realize unconditional peace as it is, which is not coming from doing/achieving something that the mind thinks it will make the mind (the ego) feels good, satisfy and happy.

Just be kind. Just do good. Just help others. Not because “I need or want to be kind and do good and help others because it will make me feel good, happy and meaningful.” In yoga, that’s no freedom at all.

Those who truly practice yoga, there’s no need to do/achieve something to feel good, happy or meaningful, but just being peaceful as they are, being free from ignorance, egoism, desire of craving and aversion. Imagine a world where all and everyone realize this unconditional peace, in stead of thinking and believing that all beings need to attain and feel love from some other beings, longing to be loved or touched by some other beings to feel good, happy, satisfy or meaningful, and people would perceive dissatisfaction, disappointment, badness, unhappiness, sadness, loneliness or meaninglessness upon the perception of lacking love and interaction from some others. Though it’s everyone’s freedom for what they think, believe, feel, act and react.

For those who truly want to practice yoga, must work diligently on the elimination of the ego and egoism, removing the veil of ignorance, silencing and annihilating the modification of the mind.

Respect as in yoga practice

Many people would relate the word ‘respect’ with respecting our elders, our teachers, our culture, our ancestor, our origin, our leader, our country’s law of rules and regulations, the heroes, ‘God’, ‘gods’, or what the mind thinks and believes as respectable/honourable or respect/honour deserving. While different minds have different idea towards what is respectable/honourable and what is disrespectable or humiliation deserving, based on their own particular thinking and belief under the influence of particular cultural, social, national, gender, racial, religious, spiritual, political, or philosophical background.

Most minds feel offended and angered by others who don’t show the similar ‘respect’ towards what they think and believe as ‘respectable’, that they respect very much.

Many people grew up being told by our elders, parents and teachers that we need to be ‘good’ and ‘successful’ enough to attain certain ‘status’ or ‘credits’ to earn ‘respect’ from others. Some people even grew up being told that they were born with the special status of ‘respect/honour deserving’ due to their particular origin/family/racial/social/financial/religious/political background.

In yoga, it’s not about respecting what the mind thinks and believes what is respectable/honourable or respect/honour deserving, while disrespecting or humiliating what the mind thinks and believes as disrespectable or humiliation deserving.

It’s about respecting the truth of things as it is, not necessarily the way that we think and believe how it should be.

Respecting the perceived reality being what it is, not necessarily pleasant, agreeable, or desirable.

Respecting the law of nature of impermanence and selflessness.

Respecting all the different names and forms being what they are, being different from one another, having different thinking, belief, values, practice, way of life, way of doing things, understanding, misunderstanding, desires, action and reaction, and etc.

Respecting the world as it is, not necessarily the way that the mind would like it to be, or the way that the mind thinks and believes how it should be.

Be free from clinging, craving and longing.

Cultivating dispassion, abandoning passion.

Cultivating clearing and silencing the modification of the mind, renouncing worldly passionate egoistic desire, affair, activity and relationship.

Appreciation without egoistic passionate attachment or clinging towards (falling in love with) what the mind perceives as pleasant, good, right, positive, meaningful, lovable, agreeable, desirable, or enjoyable.

Respecting all beings as they are, even if the mind thinks and believes that they have many imperfections and the mind dislikes and disagrees with them. Need not disrespect, humiliate or despise anyone based on the dislike and disagreement of one’s mind.

Renouncing the ego and egoism is the greatest ‘respect’ in the world of impermanent and selfless life existence. Buddha or Guru didn’t need anyone to show ‘respect’ of certain names and forms to them, but surrendering the ego and egoism is the selfless intentionless respect towards Buddha or Guru and any kind of teacher.

A better world?

The world is being divided into many different countries that are being run by different bodies of ‘government’. Unfortunately, many countries are having troubles due to failed government policy or leadership.

People think and believe that a country needs to have a government to keep things in order and to progress, just like people think and believe that all communities need to have their own respective leader to lead them. Swami Sivananda said, “The world would probably run smoother if all leaders are taken out from the world.”

If the government or the leader is free from the influence of any particular cultural or religious belief and practice, and just perform their duty as what a government or a leader should be doing (serving the country and its people), then the country or the community will progress and prosper in many ways. The society of diversity will also have more peace and harmony.

Once the government/the leader is governing/leading the country/the community under the influence of certain ideas/values based on a particular cultural or religious belief and practice, then this country or this community will have many problems.

Similarly, education should just be education, where it should be free from the influence of certain ideas/values based on any particular cultural or religious, or even political belief/point of view and practice.

Unfortunately, that is what’s going on in many countries and communities. There are so much discrimination, oppression, hatred and violence due to failed government policy and leadership.

Self-esteem, pride and arrogance

Many people growing up being told to take pride or shame in what they do/don’t do, what they eat/don’t eat, what they achieve/don’t achieve, how they look and conduct, what and who they think and believe and identify as ‘who I am’ of a personal and community identity, taking pride/shame in ‘I’, ‘family’, ‘siblings’, ‘parenting’, ‘children’, ‘friends’, ‘school’, ‘social circle’, ‘career’, ‘nationality’, ‘race/tribe’, ‘culture’, ‘religion’, ‘spirituality’, ‘belief’, ‘political view’, ‘the actions and the result of actions’, ‘social status’, ‘financial status’, ‘possession’, ‘the sense of belonging’, ‘the sense of meaningfulness’, ‘the sense of achievement’, ‘social activity/contribution’, ‘recognition’, ‘appreciation’, ‘acknowledgement’, ‘qualification’, ‘certification’, ‘title’, ‘talent’, ‘skill’, ‘profession’, ‘knowledge’, ‘intelligence’, ‘righteousness’, ‘appearance’, ‘charisma’, ‘personality’, ‘life style’, ‘food choices’, ‘aspiration’, and so on.

The basic yoga practice is to let go and be free from that.

There’s neither pride nor shame.

All is impermanent and selfless.

This is true renunciation – Renouncing the ego and egoism.

There won’t be any personal/family/relationship/social/national/racial/religious/global issue that relates to self-esteem, pride and arrogance deriving from the ego and egoism.

The world could have more egoless human beings.

Teaching yoga?

Teaching yoga, is never ‘my intention’ or ‘my aspiration’. It’s allowing life being what it is. In this moment, life is here, and if some people want to learn yoga, and somehow, they want to come to us to learn about yoga, and so, that is what I am doing. Doing my best to organize a time and space to allow the teaching and practice to be happening. If nobody comes looking for us, I live life as it is.

In this present time, there might be some challenges and difficulties that all beings have to go through reluctantly, not just within a relationship, a family, a community, a country, or a continent, but also globally. Some minds might be lost in certain ‘chaos’/’fear’/’panic’/’unrest’/’uncertainty’/’disappointment’, while some minds are busy dealing with all kinds of ‘problem’ bravely and calmly, but yet, this is also the time where certain minds would be ignited to learn and practice yoga seriously, to give oneself some time to look after one’s mind, to put aside all the worldly affairs, to turn the mind inward, to transcend the impermanent life existence of a selfless body and restless modification of the mind, to free the mind from ignorance and egoism, to realize unconditional peace.

Many people would think and say that they love yoga and are doing certain brand and style of yoga practice regularly, and yet, most minds don’t really want to learn yoga or practice yoga. Many people want to know what type of physical/mental/emotional/spiritual benefits that they will be getting from performing such and such brand and style of yoga practice. Even many of the yoga schools and yoga teachers are promoting mostly about “What benefits/advantages people can get from attending their brand and style of yoga courses or yoga classes.” Even though there’s nothing wrong with such ‘inspiration’/’encouragement’ to attract more people to be learning and practicing yoga, but yoga practice is not about performing certain actions and expecting certain result/fruit of the actions in return, but it’s renouncing the result/fruit of actions.

Many yoga teachers think that they love teaching yoga as it makes them feel good and meaningful, but they aren’t really practicing yoga. Those who truly practice yoga, there’s no identification, attachment or craving towards the sense of goodness and meaningfulness.

Many minds interested in joining particular ‘yoga community’ wearing particular brand of ‘yoga clothing’ doing particular style/brand of yoga asana/breathing/concentration/relaxation/mindfulness/healing exercises/practices on particular brand of ‘eco friendly’/’organic’/’high-tech material’/’printed with precise alignment for positioning the hands and feet for the yoga poses’ type of ‘yoga mat’ with particular ‘yoga accessories’ and ‘yoga props’, as well as adopting a particular trend of ‘clean eating’ and ‘yogi look’ that would make the body and mind looking and feeling yogic, good, strong, healthy, righteous, spiritual and meaningful.

Most minds also interested in having resolution/affirmation/aspiration/intention/expectation and desire of ‘achieving certain goals from performing the yoga practice’, longing to be inspired and empowered, to be acknowledged by oneself and others as “I am part of the ‘yogic’, ‘good’, ‘strong’, ‘healthy’, ‘righteous’, ‘spiritual’, or ‘meaningful’ beings.”

Minds constantly feel hurt and offended by “What I and my community/my culture/my religion/my spirituality believe as bad, wrong, negative, hurtful or don’t deserving” or “What I don’t like, don’t agree with and don’t want.”

Minds constantly longing for ‘good/pleasant condition’, ‘love’, ‘kindness’, ’empathy’, ‘understanding’, ‘appreciation’, ‘acknowledgement’, ‘recognition’, ‘healing from hurts’ and ‘agreeable/desirable/pleasant treatments/interactions/reactions’.

The absence of ‘good/pleasant condition’, ‘love’, ‘kindness’, ’empathy’, ‘understanding’, ‘appreciation’, ‘acknowledgement’, ‘recognition’, ‘healing from hurts’ and ‘agreeable/desirable/pleasant treatments/interactions/reactions’, is terrible, bad, wrong, negative and suffering.

Dispassion? Silence? Solitude? Seclusion? Renunciation? Selflessness? Desirelessness? Non-attachment? Non-identification? Non-craving/aversion? Non-expectation? Intentionlessness? Namelessness/formlessness? Attributelessness? Beyond right and wrong? Neither positive nor negative? Beyond actions and the fruit of actions? Annihilation of the modification of mind? For many yoga enthusiasts, “This is not the yoga that I know and not the yoga practice that I want to practice. All these teachings/practices sound so wrong.”

Many minds might be interested in attending yoga classes/retreats/workshops/courses, or even have ‘good’ intention/aspiration to be teaching yoga to others, and are interested in the practice of calmness/relaxation/concentration/mindfulness that would give momentary good feelings/pleasant sensations to the body and mind, but not many are interested in practicing yoga of renouncing the world, of dispassion, silence, solitude and seclusion, to silent and annihilate the restless egoistic passionate modification of the mind.

Meanwhile, the untrained mind thinks and believes that life existence needs to be occupied and stimulated by all kinds of worldly relationship/social/cultural/religious/spiritual/political/commercial affair and activity, busy with mingling, socializing, interacting, aspiring, inspiring, empowering, planning, scheming, plotting, creating, multiplying, accumulating, gathering, hoarding, defending, fighting, intruding, judging, comparing, discriminating, commenting, praising, complimenting, criticizing, condemning, agreeing, disagreeing, celebrating, mourning, and so on. Or else, life is boring, dulled, empty and meaningless.

And there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s what worldly passionate minds do. That’s what minds think and believe that all human beings should be doing, to live life passionately, to be contributing to the society or to be caring for the world, to attain the sense of existence, prosperity, achievement, goodness, righteousness and meaningfulness.

Everyone has their freedom to think, to believe, to feel, to act and react, to desire and don’t desire, to live life as they are.

There’s always something going on here and there, from time to time, in life, or in the world that we are living in, of the mind perception of a worldly life existence. If the mind knows what is non-attachment, this mind is peaceful as it is, regardless of perceiving pleasantness/unpleasantness deriving from desirable/undesirable names and forms/conditions/situations/experiences. If the mind is interested in performing yoga practice that would help to develop awareness, mindfulness, calmness, relaxation, or concentration, but not knowing what is non-attachment, then this mind will always feel disturbed and hurt by what the egoistic mind perceives and judges as ‘bad’, ‘wrong’, ‘negative’, ‘terrible’, ‘undeserving’, ‘painful sorrow’, or ‘suffering’.

For example, most minds have the egoistic habit of complaining about many things that they think and believe as disappointing and frustrating, and would complain about “I would like to be able to practice concentration, and be able to concentrate without struggle, but it’s so disappointing and frustrating because I just can’t concentrate.” The ‘problem’ is not about the mind cannot concentrate due to any reasons, but there’s egoistic attachment, identification, judgment and expectation where the mind reacts towards the state of the mind not being the way that it would like it to be, or the way that the ego expects it to be. The state of the mind is just what it is. It’s impermanent and selfless (not ‘I’). The well-trained mind can be aware of all the selfless impermanent changes as they are, regardless of the state of concentrating or scattering, but without reacting with disappointment or frustration towards the state of the mind is not being in certain way (that the thinking egoistic assertive mind would like it to be).

It is the aversion towards what the mind perceives and judges as ‘bad’, ‘wrong’, ‘negative’, ‘terrible’, ‘undeserving’, ‘painful sorrow’, or ‘suffering’, that is why the mind reacts and feels disappointed, frustrated, disturbed and hurt. The world is just what it is – the consequences of ignorance and egoism. Someone/something is ‘hurting’ someone, and someone feels being ‘hurt’ by someone/something, are the consequences of ignorance. Free from ignorance, there’s no ‘I’ being hurt by anyone or anything. There’s no ‘I’ that needs to be healed from hurt.

Similarly when the egoistic mind wants to ‘control’ the state of the mind being in certain way, and reacts with disappointment and frustration when the state of the mind is not being the way that it desires it to be, the mind also wants to ‘control’ the world (the names and forms that it perceives through the senses) being in certain way, and reacts with disappointment and frustration when the world is not being the way that it desires it to be.

Great advice from the Gurus/teachers in the past – Stay away from the worldly affairs particularly politics.

In yoga, realizing unconditional peace and being at peace as it is, being free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, being free from anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurt, offensiveness, defensiveness, painful sorrow, fear and worry, while living in the world of impermanent names and forms powered by cause and effect, transcending the impermanent quality of names and forms, of the impermanent selfless function and existence of the body and mind, birth and death, success and failure, pleasantness and unpleasantness, enjoyment and suffering, praise and condemn, and so on, is indeed the highest contribution to the world or humanity.

The stronger the ego is, the greater the passionate desires/ambitions/aspirations are. For those who want to practice yoga, it’s about annihilating the ego, free the mind from passionate desires/ambitions/aspirations to create a world that ‘I’ think how it should be, and go beyond what the mind thinks and believes how things should and shouldn’t be, without controlling the world to be in certain way, without expecting the world to be in certain way, respecting the world being what it is, respecting the law of nature (impermanence and selflessness), not necessarily the way that ‘I’ think how it should be, not necessarily the way that ‘I’ desire/expect/aspire it to be, is indeed promoting peace and harmony into the world of diversity.

Those who don’t want to practice yoga, they don’t have to practice yoga of dispassion and desireless. They are free to be ambitious/aspirational to change the world to be the way that they think how it should be, to create a world that they desire it to be, just know that there are many others who also desire a world differently from one another.

Just like some desire to paint the world blue, some prefer painting it yellow, while some prefer painting it green, and some prefer painting it with combination of many different colours. And hence, everyone is fighting against each other to be in power to paint the world with the colour that they desire. There will be more peace and harmony in the world of diversity, of different names and forms, of different thinking and belief, if nobody desires to paint the world with any particular colour that they prefer, and allowing the world being what it is. All kinds of conflict/discrimination/prejudice/hatred/unrest begin with ‘desires’/’ambitions’/’aspirations’ – “I want the world to be like this and not like that.” even if the mind thinks and believes it’s the best for everyone. And all minds under the influence of different thinking and belief would think and believe that their particular thinking and belief are the best for everyone.

Be free.

Who would practice yoga?

The minds that aren’t aware of ignorance in itself, thinking and believing that “I am smart and intelligent, well-informed and knowledgeable, I am void of ignorance and I am a good/kind/loving/righteous/compassionate/wise being. I don’t associate with the term of ‘ignorance’ or ‘ignorant being’. It’s so insulting to me for being associated with ‘ignorance’ and being refer as ‘ignorant being’.” might be interested in doing some forms of yoga practice regularly to attain the benefits of the yoga practice, but wouldn’t really be interested in practicing yoga.

The minds that are aware of ignorance in itself, knowing that ‘the mind is functioning under the influence of ignorance’ is not an insult at all, but it’s the truth of this thinking mind, even if this mind is quite smart and intelligent, and is very well-informed and knowledgeable about many things in this world, who have the determination to free itself from ignorance, would be initiated to be practicing yoga, even if they might not look like they are doing certain type of ‘yoga practice’ regularly just like many others who love and enjoy doing many of the yoga practice.

What do yoga practitioners practice in yoga?

“What do yoga practitioners practice in yoga?”

There are many different types of ‘external yoga practice’ that can be seen or recognized through various physical appearances and activities ‘representing’ different lineage or path under different names and forms or brands and styles, but all kinds of external practice must be accompanied by the internal practice of VIVEKA (right discrimination), VAIRAGYA (dispassion/renunciation), SHATSAMPAT (six fold path) and MUMUKSHUTVA (intense yearning for liberation). Or else, performing many of the different forms of external yoga practice regularly might bring some momentary effects or benefits (the sense of calmness, joyfulness, goodness, meaningfulness, healthiness) to the practitioners, but it doesn’t lead the mind towards the elimination of ignorance and egoism and the complete annihilation of the modification of the mind, which is the ultimate goal of yoga (although there aren’t many yoga enthusiasts are practicing yoga for this reason, and that’s their freedom), transcending all forms of name and form (the mind perception of impermanent pleasant and unpleasant life experiences) as well as all the momentary desirable/non-desirable, agreeable/disagreeable or enjoyable/non-enjoyable side-effects or by-products that may or may not arise throughout the internal and/or external yoga practice.

The external yoga practice is most probably being limited by time, space and causation, while the internal yoga practice is unlimited, transcending all kinds of condition and situation, names and forms that are subject to impermanence and selflessness. As long as there’s the modification of the mind, the practice is always available or present right here and right now. If there’s a ‘limitation’, then this ‘limitation’ is coming from the impure egoistic outgoing passionate mind itself, either rejecting the practice or giving up the practice for some reasons. And even this ‘limitation’ is impermanent.

Those who are endowed with the four means of yoga, might not be seen or recognized from their appearance or activity, as they don’t necessarily have to be performing any particular form of external yoga practice that representing particular lineage or path under a particular name and form or brand and style, although there’s great assistance coming from the external practice to conquer the impure restless state of mind.

It doesn’t matter with or without practicing a particular lineage or path of yoga under certain names and forms or brands and styles, but more importantly, practicing the teachings of yoga to silent the modification of the mind, to free the mind from restlessness deriving from ignorance and egoism, to realize selflessness/oneness/non-separateness/namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness/birthlessness/deathlessness.

Truthfulness?

The path of yoga and Buddhism is about realizing the Truth and respecting the Truth as it is, regardless of whether the Truth is being perceived as something pleasant or unpleasant, agreeable or disagreeable, desirable or undesirable to the worldly impure egoistic minds.

Many minds/people like to talk about ‘truthfulness’ and see it as an important value of life, but then ironically, most minds/people don’t welcome and can’t handle certain ‘truthfulness’ or ‘the truth’ being something that they don’t like and don’t want. Many people prefer themselves and everyone else to be playing a game of ‘untruthfulness/lies/hypocrisy/pretension/acting’ in all forms of relationship that would portray “Everything being the way that they like and want, that would appear to be all good and positive and nothing bad and negative”, or they would try to ignore, or deny, or hideaway whatever that they don’t like and don’t want, such as “Don’t tell me about it. I don’t want to know anything about it.” so that they can have ‘the peace and harmony’ in their lives, in their relationships with their family, relatives and friends. There’s plentiful of untruthfulness/lies/secrets/manipulation in all kinds of human’s relationship except in the rare ones that are free from the influence of the ego and egoism. Back-biting exists in many relationships as well, where people pretend to be nice to one another in front of everyone, saying only nice and positive things in front of people in order to maintain ‘peace and harmony’ in the family, work place, friends circle, personal relationship and the society, but then, many minds/people couldn’t avoid back-biting behind people’s back to express and/or release their frustration, dissatisfaction and disappointment towards what they don’t like and disagree with.

The mind can never avoid some kinds of interaction that involve certain ‘untruthfulness/lies/hypocrisy/manipulation’ dealing with all kinds of human’s relationship.

There’s nothing wrong with trying to present many different images of certain ‘quality’ on different occasions that conform to the many different thinking and beliefs of the many different minds/people that one comes in contact with and interacts with, in order to please everyone, to not offending anyone, to not making anyone feel unhappy, dissatisfy, disappointed or upset, to maintain ‘peace and harmony’, or to be surviving in a competitive world of names and forms, or to gain love, liking, help, support and comfort from others, but that would be supporting and empowering ignorance and egoism in oneself and others, while yoga practice is mainly to free the mind from ignorance and egoism.

The minds that would be disturbed, offended and upset easily by what the minds don’t like and disagree with, or what the minds perceive as unpleasant, disagreeable, bad, wrong, negative or inappropriate, is due to ignorance and egoism. None need to be untruthful, hypocrite, lie, pretend or act while being or interacting with other minds that are free from ignorance and egoism, as these minds won’t be disturbed nor offended nor upset by all kinds of name and form that are being perceived by the worldly impure egoistic minds as unpleasant, disagreeable, bad, wrong, negative or inappropriate.

In Buddha or Satguru, or any beings that are free from ignorance and egoism, the mind is undetermined and undisturbed by all the selfless impermanent names and forms, being free from the desire of craving and aversion and expectation towards all and everything to be in certain way. All kinds of suffering/unhappiness/painful sorrow/hurts/depression/loneliness/meaninglessness don’t exist in them, as there’s neither craving for something pleasant and agreeable nor aversion towards something unpleasant and disagreeable. And hence, there’s needless of the existence of any other being or family and friends being there to be loving/liking/supporting/helping/comforting them, although they would allow anyone to be kind and friendly supporting or helping them and/or other beings in many ways, while without encouraging or empowering the ignorance and egoism in the beings, but allowing the beings to also realize selflessness and compassion, being free from all kinds of suffering/unhappiness/painful sorrow/hurts/depression/loneliness/meaninglessness, being undetermined and undisturbed by all the pleasant/unpleasant, agreeable/disagreeable, desirable/undesirable names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, where the need of gaining love, liking, support, help or comfort from some others is absent, and without egoistic intention to be making and accumulating ‘family ties and friendships’, they can be ‘kind’ and ‘friendly’ towards all and everyone unconditionally without discrimination of ‘friends or not friends’, ‘family or not family’ and ‘good or bad beings’, without the need or craving of gaining love, liking, help, support and comfort from others.

Real peace and harmony is unconditional, derived from the absence of ignorance and egoism, being undisturbed by the mind perception of names and forms through the senses that is subject to impermanence and selflessness. It’s being free from all kinds of suffering, restlessness and impurities upon the annihilation of ignorance and egoism. ‘Peace and harmony’ that is subject to the existence and non-existence of certain quality of names and forms, being determined by certain condition and situation that the mind desires, likes and agrees with, that is achieved and needs to be maintained through certain actions, is not real.

Those who are free from being conditioned by worldly thinking and belief would understand this and are free from the sense of loneliness and meaninglessness. Those who are being conditioned strongly by worldly thinking and belief wouldn’t or couldn’t understand this and would be perceiving the sense of loneliness and meaninglessness from time to time or most of the time. And hence, the importance of renunciation to free the mind from being conditioned by worldly thinking and belief for sincere yoga practitioners.

One can choose to perform certain actions in the world and be engaging in certain forms of relationship and interactive activity with some others selflessly without any attachment, but not because of one thinks and believes that one has to perform such actions in the world and must be engaging in certain forms of relationship and interactive activity, as one would think and feel bad, wrong, negative, meaningless, unhappy or suffering if one doesn’t or couldn’t perform such actions in the world, or doesn’t engage in certain forms of relationship and interactive activity with some others. That is freedom in yoga or Buddhism.

Respecting the law of nature and accepting the consequences of actions as it is

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they think and believe, desire and don’t desire.

The yoga practitioners go beyond all the thinking and beliefs, free from desire and don’t desire.

The law of nature and the consequences of actions are not necessarily the way that one would like it to be, or the way that one thinks and believes how it should be. But if one knows how to respect the law of nature as it is and accepting the consequences of actions being what they are, without attachment or identification, without craving or aversion, without judgment or expectation, then this mind will be fearless, or fear doesn’t arise or present in this mind.

Unattached towards the condition of the world. Unattached towards the worldly life existence of all kinds of relationship and experience. Unattached towards all actions and the consequences of actions.

The impure egoistic minds that are being conditioned by worldly thinking and belief to analyze and judge about everything, to desire and don’t desire certain quality of names and forms to be here or shouldn’t be here, would have difficulty understanding and practicing the essential teachings and practice of yoga about the annihilation of egoism and silencing the modification of the mind, about the observation of dispassion, renunciation, silence, solitude and seclusion, about selflessness, oneness, non-separateness, namelessness, formlessness and attributelessness, about “The world is unreal”, about transcending the mind perception of a restless worldly life existence of impermanence and selflessness. The impure egoistic minds would analyze and think, “This is absurd, wrong and madness.”

So what, if someone can hold the breath for a very long time, or be able to do many acrobatic actions with the strong and flexible physical body, or accumulating and memorizing all kinds of information or knowledge about many things in this world through listening, watching, reading, researching, experiencing and studying about everything, or being intelligent and creative inventing many new things and higher technologies, or enjoying a higher quality of healthy and comfortable living, or has been travelling all over the world experiencing many different things and activities, or can perform to entertain many people, or is the greatest champion of certain competition, but the mind doesn’t know Thyself, where the mind is restless/peaceless being attached onto and identifying with the quality of names and forms of the function of the body and mind as ‘I’, attaching onto its actions and the fruit/result of its actions, swaying between satisfaction and dissatisfaction/disappointment being determined by the gratification and non-gratification of the desire of craving and aversion, being the slave of the modification of the mind, of egoism and impurities, of selfless impermanent state of the mind and physical condition, of passionate feelings and emotions arising and passing away, being disturbed and determined by the mind perception of names and forms through the senses, of pleasant/unpleasant, desirable/undesirable and agreeable/disagreeable life experiences or encountering, being bound by the expectation towards life and the world to be and not to be in certain way based on certain thinking and belief, craving for and clinging onto love, relationship, friendship, connection, interaction and the sense of meaningfulness, being drowned in aversion and tension of dissatisfaction, fear and worry towards life and the world being the way that the mind doesn’t desire it to be, or the way that the mind thinks and believes it shouldn’t be, constantly judging oneself and others being good enough or not good enough, to be achieving the life and a world that the mind desires it to be.

Everyone talks about promoting a world of democracy, an idea or a game that everyone learns to play and be engaged with since growing up especially in schools, while at the same time they want to be free from discrimination and oppression. But, discrimination and oppression is indeed the by-product of the idea or game of democracy. The representer of a particular idea/vision/politic/personality that gets the highest votes from the majority support will win and be in power, while all the other minorities who prefer different kind of idea/vision/politic will have to be legally ‘bound’ and ‘oppressed’ by the one in power and have to be ‘following’ and ‘respecting’ the ‘legally binding rules and regulations’ under ‘that power with particular idea/vision/politic’, reluctantly. Discrimination and lack of freedom will always be existing under the game of democracy, whether one agrees or disagrees with it. Some might be having the freedom that they desire, while some others won’t be having the freedom that they desire, and vice versa.

The advice from the many Gurus/teachers in the past, “Renounce the society. Stay away from politics.”

There’s neither right nor wrong. It’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to do with their life, body and mind.

Ignorance and how to be free from ignorance

Most minds/people don’t like to be related to ‘ignorance’ or what they understood as ‘being stupid’ or ‘lack of knowledge’. But ‘ignorance’ in the teachings of yoga and Buddhism is not about ‘being stupid’ or ‘lack of knowledge’. As many of those who are not ‘stupid’ at all, who are very smart and intelligent and knowledgeable are not necessarily free from the veil of ignorance.

People would like to think and believe and be acknowledged by oneself and others as somebody who is nothing to do with ‘ignorance’, or ‘I am not ignorant’, which they think and believe that they are smart and intelligent enough, and are highly educated and knowledgeable enough to not be related to ‘ignorance’. They think and believe that only those whom they think and believe are somehow less smart or less intelligent than them, and are less educated or less knowledgeable than them are most probably related to ignorance, where they understood ‘ignorance’ as something to do with ‘bad/negative’ genetic inheritance, improper brain development, influence from bad surrounding environment, lack of knowledge/skill/talent, uneducated or insufficiency of education, incompetency, being lazy or demotivated to learn and acquire knowledge, being stupid, or lack of social interaction and connection, or lack of stimulation, or inability to comprehend something or solve problem, and so on.

‘Ignorance’ in the teachings of yoga and Buddhism is about the mind being ignorant towards or ‘not knowing’ the truth of names and forms/existence/suffering, or ‘not knowing’ Thyself or the misidentification with the mind and the modification of the mind perceiving a worldly life existence of names and forms that is subject to impermanence and selflessness as ‘I’, or ‘not knowing’ who/what is the ‘I’ that the minds identifying/acknowledging as who ‘I’ am, as an individual being possessing certain quality of names and forms that distinguishing oneself from all the others that are not ‘I’, or ‘not knowing’ who/what is the ‘God’ or what are the ‘gods’ that many minds have been believing in and praying to, or ‘not knowing’ the truth of all the social/cultural/spiritual beliefs and practice that have been passing down from generation to generation that influencing how the minds think, act, react, feel, judge, expect, behave and live life in certain way.

Many minds believe in certain beliefs just because it’s propagated by their ancestors, parents, teachers, leaders, favorite famous people, idols, friends, philosophers, or particular social/cultural/spiritual/religious background, and there’s great fear of ‘letting go’ those beliefs and practice, being afraid of ‘sin’, or ‘bad happening’/’punishment’ might happen to them or their life or their loved ones, if they cease believing in/respecting/following/propagating those beliefs and practice to think, behave and live life. And it has to come from the mind itself realizing the truth of all those beliefs and practice. It’s not hard to inquire the truth, but most minds reluctant to inquire the truth of the existing beliefs and practice in their minds or lives, and it’s unthinkable for them to question the truth of their beliefs and practice, as it means that they are ‘disrespecting’/’offending’ those ‘sacred’ beliefs and practice for inquiring into the truth of it, which is ‘sinful’ and ‘punishable’ according to those beliefs and practice.

Being talented/skillful/knowledgeable in certain things or many things doesn’t guarantee that the mind is free from ignorance, where the mind is being disturbed/offended/hurt/disappointed/dissatisfied/angry/frustrated/hating/fearful/intimidated/insulted/humiliated/bullied by names and forms that the mind perceives/recognizes as bad, wrong, negative, unpleasant, undesirable, undeserving, disappointing, frustrating, intimidating or hurtful, and out of these impurities, it might generate actions and speech that might cause further consequences to oneself and/or others.

The minds that are not free from ignorance might be unwittingly ‘following’ a set of ‘rules and regulations of certain social/cultural/religious/spiritual belief and practice’ to live life and behave in certain way, and might be proud of having a specific type of food consumption of what they eat and don’t eat for certain spiritual/cultural/religious/environmental/ethical/health/personal reason, and they could be expecting the others (as human beings) should also be following the similar rules and regulations to live life and behave, as well as following their specific type of food consumption, or else, it will be mocked/criticized by them as ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’, or ‘sinful’ way of life and behavior and food consumption.

The ignorant impure egoistic mind unwittingly perceiving/experiencing a personal reality of a worldly life existence that consists of ‘I’ and everything that ‘I’ perceive/experience/know/acknowledge that the thinking mind refers as ‘this is me and my life experiences’ with all and everything that directly/indirectly relate to ‘I’ and ‘my life’, and perceives/experiences all kinds of duality derived from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance, and generate attachment and desire of craving and aversion towards the perceived reality of duality, not knowing Thyself or the truth of a worldly life existence of names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, not knowing impermanence and selflessness of the mind perception of a worldly life existence, constantly being disturbed and determined very much by the mind perception of pleasant/unpleasant, agreeable/disagreeable, desirable/undesirable names and forms or life experiences, being restless swaying between satisfaction and dissatisfaction, happiness and unhappiness, pleasurable enjoyment and painful sorrow determined by the gratification and non-gratification of the desire of craving and aversion, ceaselessly.

Transcending this restlessness of ignorance, silencing the mind, annihilating the modification of the mind of restless countless births and deaths nurtured by egoism, desires and impurities, is the ultimate goal of yoga and meditation practice. Any other forms of benefits/effects derived from the regular yoga and meditation practice are just some momentary side-effects of better health/fitness condition and pleasant good feelings that are impermanent.

It’s everyone’s freedom for how/what they think, believe, act, react, feel, behave, live life, consume and desire, or not. There’s nothing wrong if people just want to live a particular lifestyle in accordance to certain belief and practice, and do some yoga exercises to attain better health/fitness condition and pleasant good feelings, even if they are momentary and perishable.

The minds that are ignorant towards ignorance, or thinking and believing that oneself is void of ignorance due to one’s intelligence, talent, skill, education, knowledge, ability or achievement in certain things, would not be interested in yoga practice of dispassion, renunciation, silence, seclusion and solitude for mind purification, self-discipline, self-inquiry and self-realization.

Renunciation is not about abandoning existing worldly duty and responsibility to be in a monastery/forest/cave to be full time monk or nun, but it’s renouncing or letting go worldly social/cultural/spiritual/religious thinking and belief, values and practice, to open the mind to allow the mind to see things as they are, regardless of living among the society or away from the society. If the mind is not opened, then even if living away from the society, but the mind is still very much being conditioned by the worldly thinking and belief, values and practice to perceive, think, analyze and judge towards everything, and couldn’t allow the mind to see things as they are, even after many years of performing yoga and meditation practice, and getting all kinds of momentary effect/benefit from that.

For those who want to know Thyself or inquire the truth of names and forms, who are aware of ignorance, who have intense yearning for liberation from restlessness of the impermanent and selfless modification of the mind, they can practice yoga of mind purification, self-discipline, self-inquiry and self-realization. The journey might appear to be long, hard and unpleasant due to the ‘stubborn’ veil of ignorance, but be determined to keep disciplining, purifying and silencing the restless impure egoistic modification of the mind.

Ego, more than self-esteem, self-worth, pride and arrogance

In the world, ‘ego’ is mostly being interpreted as the quality of a prideful ambitious overly confident high self-esteemed and self-centered person who thinks and believes oneself possesses certain qualities or achievements that one and others would be proud of and should deserve respect, appreciation, acknowledgement, or glorification.

When people say, “He/She has a big/bad ego,” usually it refers to this is a proud and arrogant self-centered, self-obsessed, or overly confident and ambitious person that boasts and glorifies about one’s contributions or achievements.

When people say, “He/She doesn’t have an ego or he/she has a small/good ego,” usually it refers to this is a down to earth, humble and unselfish person, who keeps quiet about one’s contributions and achievements.

‘Ego’, is more than the reflection of self-esteem, self-worth, pride and arrogance of a person under the teachings of yoga and Buddhism. It’s not a quality to reflect whether a person is being arrogant and self-centered or being humble and non self-centered.

‘Ego’, is an idea of ‘I’ derived from ignorance and exists in the form of a continuous stream of thought-current in the thinking mind, that feeds on egoism, attached onto and identifies with certain qualities of names and forms to be existing as an individual being experiencing life, either enjoying pleasant/desirable/agreeable/joyful experiences or suffering unpleasant/undesirable/disagreeable/painful experiences, identifies as ‘the perceiver that perceives/experiences/thinks/feels’ and ‘the perceived names and forms of perceptions/experiences/thinking/feelings’ as well as ‘the performer of actions’ and ‘the receiver of the fruit of actions’, who desires and doesn’t desire, who agrees and disagrees, who fights and protects, who enjoys and suffers. It appears to be existing and real due to ignorance.

The ego exists and identifies/acknowledges itself as ‘I am good’ or ‘I am bad’, ‘I know’ or ‘I don’t know’, ‘I am confident’ and ‘I am not confident’, ‘I like, agree and desire’ or ‘I don’t like, don’t agree and don’t desire’, ‘I deserve’ or ‘I don’t deserve’, ‘I am proud’ or ‘I am humble’, ‘I am happy’ or ‘I am unhappy’, ‘I am positive’ or ‘I am negative’, ‘I am meaningful’ and ‘I am meaningless’, ‘I enjoy’ or ‘I suffer’, ‘I am selfish’ or ‘I am unselfish’, ‘I am highly confident, ambitious and self-centered’ or ‘I am non confident, non ambitious and non self-centered’, and etc.

The end of yoga or Buddhism practice, is upon the annihilation of the modification of the mind or restless thought-currents, when the veil of ignorance vanished, where the mind sees itself as it is, attaining Self-realization, or knowing thyself, or knowing who ‘I’ am, where the annihilation of the ego/the idea of ‘I’, or the realization of selflessness/egolessness/’I’lessness takes place, transcending ‘the wheel of births and deaths of the egoistic impure consciousness powered by ignorance and the by-products of ignorance that generates ceaseless cause and effect/good and bad karma that feeds the loop of births and deaths of ignorance and the by-products of that’, ‘returning’ to oneness, non-separateness, namelessness, formlessness, attributelessness, birthlessness, deathlessness, void of/untouched by cause and effect/good or bad karma/merits and virtues.

It’s not about trying to be as ‘good’ as possible, where a ‘soul/mind’ will be judged as a ‘good or bad soul/mind’ upon the death of the physical body based on accumulated virtues and merits or good/bad karma, either to be sent to ‘heaven’ or ‘hell’ or ‘somewhere in between’, or to be reborn into respective higher or lower realm of beings experiencing life existence via the mind perceiving pleasant/unpleasant names and forms through the senses that are all subject to impermanence and selflessness, to be continuously ‘ignorantly’/’helplessly’/’unwittingly’ generating further ceaseless good/bad actions along with the consequences of actions, or cause and effect, or good/bad karma, that keeps fueling the wheel of restless births and deaths (restless transitions of life existence reaping the fruit of good/bad actions) that is subject to impermanence and selflessness, regardless of good or bad, desirable or undesirable, enjoyable or sufferable transitions.

Forgo the momentary ‘pleasantness’, ‘happiness’, ‘meaningfulness’ or ‘goodness’ of a conditional fleeting worldly life existence of restless selfless transitions. Even so called ‘heaven’ or ‘higher realms’ are impermanent transitions reaping the fruit of ‘good’ actions. It’s not liberation at all. Know thyself, the beginningless and endless infinite silent witness of all impermanent and selfless transitions.

The ego constant acts and reacts to create a condition or a world that ‘I’ desires, based on the endless desire of craving (What I want) and aversion (What I don’t want). The silent witness neither act or react nor there’s an ‘I’ aspiring/desiring to create a condition or a world that ‘I’ desires. There’s neither “I will be or I am missing all the people of family and friends, or names and forms of the objects of the senses/qualities/conditions/things/actions/enjoyments/pets/places/realms/world that I love very much.” where only the very few dispassionate ones can go beyond all the worldly connections/relationships/names and forms transcending all kinds of worldly social/cultural/spiritual/religious thinking and belief, actions and achievements (the fruit of actions).

“The knowledge of the Self, or Self-realization, or the annihilation of the mind, or Samadhi, is the only way to be free from the wheel of births and deaths.” as taught by Swami Sivananda.

Nothing but selfless impermanent changes of names and forms

What is here?

This is what’s going on in the mind and how the body functions while asleep, or this is what the mind perceives through the senses and how the body functions while awake, or this is what’s going on in deep sleep, or this is beyond the function of the physical body and the modification of the mind (beyond the three states of sleep, awake and deep sleep) – Turiya. Constant selfless changes of names and forms arising/passing away or forming/deforming are happening according to the law of nature/cause and effect, selflessly, intentionlessly, in the awaking state, sleep state and deep sleep state, but not in Turiya, which is nameless, formless, attributeless, birthless, deathless, beginningless, endless, or mindless/void of modification of the mind/beyond the three states of the mind of the selfless and impermanent worldly life existence.

Upon the annihilation of the modification of the mind that come along with intellect, egoism and memory storage of mind modification/activities consciously and subconsciously, there is nothing here but selfless impermanent changes of names and forms. There’s neither ‘past’ nor ‘future’, neither ‘I’ nor ‘not I’, neither ‘good’ nor bad’, neither ‘right’ nor ‘wrong’, neither ‘positive’ nor ‘negative’, neither ‘meaningful’ nor ‘meaningless’, neither ‘enjoyable’ nor ‘non-enjoyable’, neither ‘desirable’ nor ‘non-desirable’, neither ‘agreeable’ nor ‘non-agreeable’, neither ‘attaching’ nor ‘detaching’. There’s no family or not family, friends or not friends, contribution or non-contribution, being selfish or being unselfish, there’s no father, no mother, no son, no daughter, no partner, no relatives, no suffering, no end of suffering, or all kinds of separateness and duality, where this is disagreed/rejected/disliked/condemned by many worldly egoistic minds/people as all these names and forms are what they think they are, where they exist as ‘somebody’ who has an individual self-existence/self-identity that possesses all those names and forms, that has a family/ancestor background and personal relationships with all and everything.

Human beings of higher evolution being endowed with an intellectual egoistic thinking mind that ceaselessly perceive, act and react, desire and don’t desire towards the mind perception of names and forms through the senses and processing all kinds of mind perception of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations, feelings/emotions/thoughts/imagination/memories/connections/relationships/interactions under the veil of ignorance, that give rise to the idea of ‘I’, or the ego, that exists merely as a stream of continuous thought-current/though-wave, being there asserting/identifying as ‘I’, attaching, grasping, discriminating, asserting, liking, disliking, agreeing, disagreeing, aspiring, desiring, craving, longing, learning, knowing, remembering, forgetting, creating, building, connecting, mingling, socializing, interacting, procreating, accumulating, possessing, boring, fulfilling, accomplishing, exciting, enjoying, worrying, frustrating, dissatisfying, disappointing, regretting, hurting, saddening, grieving, sorrowing, depressing, suffering, and so on, reacting towards the names and forms/experiences that the mind perceives/experiences through the senses as well as reacting towards the names and forms/experiences that were being stored as memory, that keep flashing back in the mind in the only existence, NOW, while in-searching for satisfaction, meaningfulness, joy and happiness in the worldly life of impermanent names and forms/self-identity/relationships/achievements/enjoyments/conditions.

The mango tree exists selflessly, and from it, many fruits of mango are being produced selflessly, which possibly reproducing many other mango trees selflessly, that also possibly produce many more fruits of mango, selflessly. The mango tree and the fruits of mango are existing, changing and cease existing, or extinct due to the law of nature/cause and effect, selflessly. Even so, the mango tree and all other kinds of plant also have the selfless survival instinct of surviving and reproducing. Similarly, there is the selfless survival instinct in all living beings of humans, animals, birds, insects, fish and etc, not to say when the human’s mind is functioning under the veil of ignorance and an idea of ‘I’, or the ego, rejecting extinction or non-existence, craving/longing for continuous or prolonged existence. Due to ignorance, living beings in search for continuous or prolonged existence of a self-identity in the physical body and the thinking mind attaching to the quality of names and forms (relationships/activities/achievements/possessions/conditions) that are all selfless and impermanent, and hence, fear, dissatisfaction, meaninglessness and suffering arise in these living beings.

There are constant selfless and restless actions happening as part of the existence and function of the physical body and the thinking faculty that rely on nature providing energy/food/air/water/nutrients/minerals to be existing and functioning, going through forming, growing, balancing, fueling, burning fuel, refueling, hydrating, dehydrating, rehydrating, digesting, nurturing, regenerating, repairing, shitting, peeing, warming, cooling, sweating, decaying, aging, strengthening, weakening, restrengthening, sleeping, dreaming, awaking, perceiving, living, dying, and eventually stop functioning and decompose/deforming. Inevitably restless due to the existence and function of the physical body and the acting/reacting thinking faculty.

Only the minds that are aware of this restlessness would forgo being the slave of ignorance, egoism and restlessness, of pleasure/satisfaction and meaning/purpose seeking through the senses in the impermanent names and forms of a selfless worldly life existence which lead to ceaseless actions/reactions and consequences of actions, or cause and effect, or karma, that power/fuel the wheel/loop of births and deaths, and hence, there arise the intense yearning for liberation from all that, to be determined to attain Self-realization regardless of intense difficulty and obstacle.

Freeing the mind from ignorance and egoism, transcending the three states of the mind of countless births and deaths of restlessness, realize nameless, formless, attributeless, birthless, deathless, beginningless, endless Turiya, or Atman.

Yoga practice and practice yoga?

What is yoga practice and practice yoga?

Yoga practice is a combination of different ‘mind cleansing’ tools and techniques to ‘clean up’/’purify’ the restless/impure egoistic mind to free the mind from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance. One who practices yoga is practically using those ‘mind cleansing’ tools and techniques to be engaging in a ‘mind cleaning up process’, constantly, inexhaustibly, determinedly and diligently, until the mind is free from ignorance, knowing the truth of impermanence and selflessness, knowing thyself.

Many yoga enthusiasts who identify themselves as ‘yoga practitioners’/’yoga teachers’ might have the ‘knowledge’ of the ‘yoga practice’ and might be doing some kind of ‘yoga practice’ or delivering the ‘knowledge’ of the ‘yoga practice’ to other people regularly, but not many are actually practicing yoga as it is (cleaning the mind efficiently, freeing the mind from restlessness, impurities, egoism, ignorance or suffering). There’s intense reluctance to let go worldly attachment/identification/thinking/belief/desire/relationship/objects/pleasurable enjoyments of the senses. There’s still attachment and clinging towards the world of qualities of names and forms with all kinds of ‘relationship’, ‘ties’ or ‘connection’, being determined very much by the presence and absence of certain qualities of names and forms, and the quality/condition of relationship/ties/connection to be confident/happy/meaningful, or not. There’s an identity/ego that longing to be empowered, acknowledged, understood, agreed with, empathized, pampered and loved. And there’s nothing wrong with it as that’s their freedom. But for those who truly want to practice and realize yoga, they will practice yoga as it is, to be determined to free the mind from ignorance, regardless of any amount of difficulties and obstacles.

Just like cleaning up a ‘rubbish dump’ that is full of rubbish. It’s not just about the cleaning process to clear away those existing rubbish, but more importantly, it’s about stop generating/bringing in more rubbish into that area as well.

The mind is sort of like a ‘rubbish dump’. The yoga practice is not just about ‘clearing away’ the existing ‘impurities’, ‘restlessness’, ‘egoism’, ‘ignorance’ or ‘suffering’ which is already a challenging task that requires great effort, discipline, initiative, patience, forbearance, perseverance and determination, but more importantly, it’s to stop generating/accumulating/empowering ‘impurities’, ‘restlessness’, ‘egoism’, ‘ignorance’ or ‘suffering’, to silent/annihilate the restless modification of the mind. And hence, the importance of the practice of silence and renunciation.

The difference between a ‘rubbish dump’ and the restless/impure egoistic mind is that the ‘rubbish dump’ can be cleaned up and maintained ‘rubbish free’ by many people working together, but, for ‘cleaning up’ the restless/impure egoistic mind, it can only be done alone by the mind itself, not even ‘God’, or ‘Guru’, or any amount of ‘good friends’ and ‘good teachers’ can help to ‘clean up’ this mind, to free this mind from ignorance and all kinds of suffering, as all the rubbish of ‘impurities’, ‘restlessness’, ‘egoism’, ‘ignorance’ or ‘suffering’ is ‘generated’/’accumulated/empowered’ from/by the mind itself, and no other can ‘take away’/’remove’/’eliminate’/’stop generating’/’stop accumulating’/’stop empowering’ those ‘rubbish’ except the mind itself.

Meanwhile, there are some benefits/side-effects/by-products of the yoga practice such as better physical health and fitness condition and the sense of well-being/confidence/goodness/meaningfulness/joyfulness/peacefulness that come along with the different yoga practice, but they are just like spraying a lot of air freshener and putting plenty of beautiful fragrant colourful flower petals that bring some freshness smell and appearance into the area of the ‘rubbish dump’, but it doesn’t really ‘clean up’ the ‘rubbish dump’.

Doing some form of ‘yoga practice’ regularly or teaching ‘yoga classes/courses’ to many other people for many years also doesn’t necessarily means that one is practicing yoga. Some even take the ‘image’ or ‘characteristic’ of certain ‘yogis’/’sadhus’ with a particular ‘yogi’/’sadhu’ appearance in particular position and gesture while enjoying the momentary ‘intoxication/hallucination/highness/calmness’ from taking certain drugs/substances or certain ‘yoga practitioners’/’yoga teachers’ enjoying intimate relationships with random people as what ‘yoga practice’ and ‘practice yoga’ is about.

Non-duality in silence

‘Silence’ is a very common yet important word/teaching/practice/observation/realization in yoga and Buddhism.

In silence, there’s neither right nor wrong, neither good nor bad, neither positive nor negative, neither meaningfulness nor meaninglessness, neither enjoyment nor suffering, neither satisfaction nor dissatisfaction, neither attachment nor non-attachment, and so on. What and who is there to be arguing/complaining/moaning/mourning/unhappy/angry/disturbed/offended/hurt/belittled/disrespected/suffering/enjoying/craving/liberated in silence?

As long as the mind is still being conditioned by worldly egoistic thinking, ideas, beliefs, values and practice to act and react ceaselessly towards all the perceptions of names and forms (of agreeable/disagreeable, pleasant/unpleasant, desirable/undesirable experiences), and is functioning under the influence of ignorance and egoism, the mind couldn’t go beyond the mind perception of names and forms that generates the impression of duality, which doesn’t allow the mind to see the truth of things as it is.

And hence, the importance of renunciation from worldly affairs/family ties/relationships/connections/interactions/activities and observation of seclusion and solitude for a certain period of time when the mind is ready, to free the mind from being conditioned by worldly thinking, ideas, beliefs, values and practice unwittingly, where the understanding of the mind is being influenced by the subjective judgment towards everything based on a particular thinking and belief that conditioning how the mind analyzes, judges, feels, acts and reacts, where the mind is being ignorant towards the ignorance and egoism in the mind, even if the mind is being highly knowledgeable, super intelligent, talented and skillful in doing something or many things in the world, and having the good intention to be doing something good.

Being highly knowledgeable, super intelligent, talented and skillful, and having the good intention to be doing something good, also doesn’t guarantee that the mind is free from ignorance and egoism, and hence, unwittingly be disturbed or determined by the mind perception of names and forms through the senses of what the mind sees, hears, smells, tastes, senses/feels and thinks/understands, where the mind is unwittingly being over-powered by the passionate desires of craving and aversion towards the different qualities of names and forms that the mind likes and dislikes, agrees and disagrees with, wants and doesn’t want based on a particular thinking/belief/values/practice, that generates and determines the sense of satisfaction/dissatisfaction, happiness/unhappiness, goodness/badness, positiveness/negativeness, meaningfulness/meaninglessness, rightfulness/wrongfulness, completeness/incompleteness, accomplishment/non-accomplishment, appropriateness/inappropriateness, unloneliness/loneliness, worthiness/unworthiness, pleasurable enjoyment/painful suffering, and so on. The mind is not free.

It’s everyone’s freedom whether they think there’s a need to free the mind from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance, or not. The minds that are ignorant towards the ignorance in the mind, they don’t think there’s a need to be free from ignorance, and that’s their freedom of thinking and action. There’s nothing wrong if the mind perceives/experiences suffering but it doesn’t think there’s a need to be free from the cause of suffering. Some minds are aware of suffering and knowing its nature of impermanence, and be unattached towards the perception of suffering, or it hasn’t get tired of restlessness while enjoying momentary satisfaction derived from the gratification of its passionate desire of craving and aversion, or prefer to be getting momentary relief from suffering through taking drugs/substances and getting help/sympathy/love/support/attention from others, and it doesn’t think there’s a need to be free from suffering.

Only the dispassionate ones who are aware of ignorance and the by-products of ignorance, can understand the greatness of liberation from ignorance, the root cause of suffering/restlessness, and would have intense yearning for liberation and be determined to silent the restless modification of the mind to transcend the selfless existence and function of the restless egoistic impure modification of the mind derived from ignorance.

Unfortunately, majority of the society (including yoga enthusiasts and health professionals), where the minds are not free from ignorance and egoism, where the minds think, behave, analyze, judge, act, react and live life in a particular way according to what the worldly egoistic social/cultural/religious thinking/belief/values/practice categorized as ‘normal’, ‘right’, ‘good’, ‘healthy’ or ‘sane’, they would think/believe/categorize/condemn human beings who think/behave/act/react/life life differently from the ‘normal’ human beings, who don’t think, behave, act, react and live life like the majority of the society are ‘abnormal’, ‘wrong’, ‘bad’, ‘unhealthy’, ‘insane’ or ‘mentally ill’. There would be strong criticism or disagreement coming from the majority of the society of family/friends/relatives/community/health professionals towards the practice of silence as they can’t perceive/understand beyond what their minds know/believe and are being ignorant towards their minds are being conditioned by worldly egoistic thinking and belief to think, believe, act, react and behave in certain ways.

Only those who are determined to free the mind from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance where the mind is functioning under the influence of worldly egoistic thinking/belief/values/practice/action/reaction to think, act, react, behave and live life in a particular way that the worldly minded egoistic society think and believe as something normal/right/good/healthy/sane for all human beings, can renounce the world effortlessly regardless of any amount of difficulties and obstacles. In the past, Siddhartha Gautama Buddha and many other saints and sages ‘had to’ renounce/retreat from the society to be in seclusion and solitude for many years, to be able to ‘conquer’ the restless modifications of the mind and successfully attained Silence or liberation, not to say in this era.

A better meaningful way of life?

For many people, spending most of the time being with other people (family, friends, community and other communities), focusing on bonding, socializing, interacting, connecting, sharing, knowing, eating, drinking, talking, listening, looking, laughing, playing, empowering, encouraging, aspiring, inspiring, remembering, projecting, anticipating, expecting, creating, planning, plotting, suggesting, contributing, commenting, complimenting, criticizing, gossiping, complaining, entertaining, enjoying, doing social/community activities together, upgrading their quality of life/standard of living, fulfilling passionate desires and achieving personal worldly ambitions and spiritual or religious goals, getting involve with achieving a world that complies to a particular vision, to attain the sense of in control, satisfaction, goodness and meaningfulness, is living life. For them, “This is a better meaningful way of life.”

For some people, being by oneself most of the time, as much as possible, focusing on one’s action, practice, duty and responsibility, talk less or talk nothing, without commenting on worldly affairs, or gossiping about other people’s affairs, or criticizing/interfering with other people’s different ways of life, thinking, belief, action and reaction, minding one’s life and one’s mind, being at peace unconditionally, respecting everyone being what they are, as they are, neither admiring/praising certain qualities that appear to be superior than others nor condemning/criticizing certain qualities that appear to be inferior than others, and stop contributing impurities, unhappiness, unrest, anger, hatred, jealousy, dissatisfaction, disappointment, grudges, conflicts, discrimination, violence, disharmony and disturbance into the surrounding environment or the world, is living life. As for them, having peace in one’s mind free from desire/hostility/animosity/fear/intimidation/offensiveness/defensiveness is the highest form of contribution to the society or the world peace. It’s nothing to do with “This is a better meaningful way of life.” or “Other ways of life is less good and meaningless.”

There’s nothing selfish about that at all, though for many people, the part of ‘not mingling/mixing with the society without getting involve in any form of social activities’ might appear to be ‘selfish’ or ‘rude’ or ‘unhealthy’ or ‘non-progressive’ for those who believe in a better world is about ‘all human beings should be getting involve with the social activities’, ‘community contribution’ and ‘worldly activism’, where they need as many other people as possible to get involve in their social activities to be supporting, cooperating or working with them to create a ‘better’ world that they think how it should be.

Whether wittingly or unwittingly, there will be some people would want to interfere with others who are different from them, whom they dislike and disagree with, and they would try to influence/control/covert/discipline/condemn/punish other people who don’t support or follow their vision for creating a world that they desire, that complies to their liking, values, vision, thinking and belief.

Yoga and meditation practitioners is about having unconditional peace in oneself as contributing peace into the world by focusing on looking after, purifying and quieting one’s mind, and it’s never about trying to influence/control/convert/discipline/condemn/punish others to also be like oneself to make a ‘better’ world that complies to one’s liking, values, vision, thinking or belief, especially those who have realized Impermanence and Selflessness.

The world doesn’t belong to anyone. Many people would think and believe that the world belongs to everyone, and hence, it’s everyone’s duty and responsibility to ‘cooperate together’ to make the world ‘a better place’, but how true is that? The standard and meaning of ‘a better place’ is according to whom and what? Different people desire a world with their own particular way of life according to their own liking, values, vision, thinking and belief. If everyone insist on making the world to be the way that they desire, that they think how it should be, what will happen in the world? People are getting frustrated and fighting against one another, to over-powered one another, in order to create a world that they desire. Even so, it’s everyone’s freedom for their thinking, belief, desire, action and the consequences of their action.

Swami Sivananda taught, “Even if all the leaders are taken out of the world now, the world will run on smoothly, probably more smoothly. Even if all the people retire into the forest, the world will go on.”

The world is so quiet and peaceful when everyone have gone to sleep and there’s nobody performing any actions in the world with the great aspiration to make the world to be in any particular way that different people desire and think how it should be.

In yoga, it’s not about the sense of duty and responsibility towards the world, but out of compassion, love the world as it is, not necessarily the way that ‘I’ desire it to be. One doesn’t claim possession/ownership towards the world being ambitious to make the world to be the way that ‘I’ desire it to be and the way that ‘I’ think how it should be. One just do one’s best to look after one’s mind, to stop contributing impurities and unrest into the world, and respecting the law of nature – Impermanence and Selflessness.

Be free.

Selflessness?

Just like ‘Self-inquiry’ and ‘Impermanence’, ‘Selflessness’ is one of the common words we come across in the teachings of yoga and Buddhism.

The ‘I’, where there’s a continuous stream of thinking/thought in the mind acknowledges as ‘I’ am an individual being with a physical body and thinking mind experiencing life, doesn’t exist. Out of ignorance, there arise the idea of ‘I’ exist as part of the modification of the mind acknowledging as an individual being, attaching onto/possessing such and such qualities of names and forms to be identified/recognized as this is what/who ‘I’ am, claiming ownership towards the physical body and the thinking mind (this is my body and my mind) and all kinds of connection with everyone and everything that the mind comes in contact with (my family and my belongings and etc), and at the same time also identifying with the physical body and the thinking mind as ‘I’ (This physical body and this thinking mind is ‘I’).

‘Selflessness’ is not something to be attained by accumulating certain amount of ‘merits and virtues’ or ‘good karma’ after performing many ‘good/righteous actions’ or ‘karma yoga/selfless service’, but it’s the ‘realization’ upon the mind seeing the truth of what is this ‘I’ where there’s a thinking in the mind thinks and believes as ‘I’. As long as there’s an idea, acknowledgement and identification of “I am a selfless being performing good actions or karma yoga/selfless service” the mind is still functioning under the influence of egoism.

The mind needs to be free from egoism, impurities and restlessness to realize ‘Selflessness’, where there’s no ‘I’ existing to enjoy or suffer, to be born or die, to know or don’t know, to desire or don’t desire, to be the performer of action and the receiver/enjoyer of the fruit of action, to be ignorant or be free from ignorance. It’s just the modification of the thinking mind perceiving all the names and forms through the senses via the sense organs of the physical body. It’s just the mind functioning and perceives, sees, hears, smells, tastes, feels, senses and thinks. There’s no ‘I’ existing to claim possession/ownership/control of the selfless modification of the mind or the ceaseless impermanent changes of the modification of the mind perceiving all the names and forms that are also impermanent and selfless. It’s coming from the mind being aware of the modification of the mind, while purifying and quieting itself to be free from restlessness, impurities and egoism, to be free from ignorance. It’s not something else ‘separated’ from the mind called ‘I’ being there to be aware of ‘my mind’ or to purify and quiet ‘my mind’, to free ‘my mind’ from restlessness, impurities, egoism and ignorance.

“I am not the mind. The mind is not ‘I’.” is not about ‘I’ am an existing being/soul separated/distinct from the mind. The mind is just being what it is, functioning as it is selflessly, where there’s no ‘I’ in the function of the mind which is supported/influenced by energy to be existing and functioning. Just like there’s no ‘I’ in all the cells/bones/muscles/organs/systems that forming the entire structure of the physical body which depend on nature to provide support that allows the physical body to be existing and functioning. The body and mind constantly functioning or performing actions selflessly, and there are also the consequences of actions following the actions (cause and effect). But, somehow, out of ignorance, there’s an idea of ‘I’ existing in the form of thinking claiming a personal identity and possession/ownership towards this and that, to desire and don’t desire, to agree and disagree, to enjoy or suffer, to aspire and expect, and so on. There’s an idea/identification of “I am the performer of my actions and I am the enjoyer of the fruit of my actions.”

It’s difficult/challenging for the egoistic mind that attached strongly onto a worldly self-identity attaching onto certain qualities of names and forms as this is ‘I’ or what ‘I’ am, to realize ‘Selflessness’. The egoistic mind that ‘possesses’ a self-identity thinks and believes that ‘I’ exist as an individual being experiencing life, this is ‘I’, this is my life, my body, my mind, my thinking, my belief, my feelings, my emotion, my idea, my creativity, my energy, my health, my fitness, my strength, my flexibility, my ability, my disability, my achievement, my failure, my look, my talent, my knowledge, my education, my house, my belonging, my pet, my family, my friends, my relationship, my duty, my responsibility, my rights, my aspiration, my inspiration, my sacrifice, my happiness, my suffering, my vision, my desire, my actions, my fruit of actions, my religion, my ‘God’, my world, my country, and so on. Not only there’s a personal identity, but there’s also a group identity, such like our family, our life, our thinking, our belief, our culture, our religion, our ‘God’, our action, our fruit of action, our achievement, our failure, our world, our country, our vision, and so on.

“I eat, I drink, I play, I work, I rest, I aspire, I inspire, I think, I believe, I feel, I express, I laugh, I cry, I learn, I share, I give and receive, I love and beloved, I perceive, I experience, I act, I react, I achieve, I live, I die. I am existing. How can it be possible that ‘I’ don’t exist?” It’s unthinkable for the egoistic mind about ‘Selflessness’ – ‘Egolessness’ – ‘I-lessness’.

That’s why it’s very essential for the mind to let go the attachment and identification towards any qualities of names and forms, especially the worldly conditioned egoistic way of thinking and belief in the mind that influence how the mind analyzes, judges, feels and reacts towards all and everything, as well as letting go attachment and identification towards the physical appearance/condition/ability/disability/achievement/non-achievement before the mind can reflect upon the truth of ‘Selflessness’.

Once the mind is free from the attachment and identification towards the impermanent and selfless qualities of names and forms as ‘I’, including the function of the physical body and the thinking faculty, naturally the mind will realize the truth of ‘itself’ or ‘the modification of the mind’, that there’s no ‘I’, knowing thyself. There’s neither “I know” nor “I realize” nor “I am free from ignorance” nor “I am free.”

As long as the mind is still mingling among the worldly passionate egoistic minds, that keep empowering/feeding the idea of ‘I’ and ‘the world of egoism of all kinds of attachment and identification’, it’s very difficult and almost impossible for the mind to be free from ignorance and egoism. And hence, the important practice of renunciation, seclusion, solitude and silence.

According to the teachings of Swami Sivananda, the mind just needs to spend at least five to six years in seclusion and silence being away/cutting off from the worldly affairs/activities/society/family/friends/relatives/connections/interactions that feeds/empowers egoism/restlessness/impurities/ignorance, the mind will realize the truth of ‘the mind perception of a worldly life existence of impermanent and selfless names and forms’. Although it doesn’t guarantee that everyone who try to practice silence in seclusion and solitude for a prolonged period of time will be free from ignorance and attain self-realization, as the mind might still be influenced by gross and subtle egoistic worldly/spiritual attachment hindering the mind from seeing itself/knowing thyself. And not many people are suitable for such practice, as most passionate minds would ‘go crazy’ after being in seclusion and solitude for some time. Worldly passionate minds can’t live or be without seeing/touching/communicating/interacting with other beings for even a short period of time, not to say for a prolonged period of time. That’s why it requires certain degrees of dispassion and right discrimination for someone to practice silence in seclusion and solitude, to allow the mind to realize ‘Selflessness’/’Oneness’/’Non-separateness’/’Namelessness’/’Formlessness’, where ‘suffering’ and ‘the end of suffering’ doesn’t exist.

Many people might understood ‘Selflessness’ as ‘an existing name and form such as a being/soul/mind that is free from selfishness, who is unselfish’, such as “I am a selfless/unselfish being/soul/mind”, or “I am performing selfless action to benefit other beings and other beings will be benefited from my selfless actions.”

If it’s selfless, then what/who is that ‘I’ being there acknowledging and identifying as “I am selfless/unselfish”? It’s just impermanent selfless function of the body and mind generating actions and the consequences of actions ceaselessly until the annihilation of the modification of the mind takes place, there’s no ‘I’ being there to be acknowledging/identifying as “I am selfless/unselfish.” or “I am good/bad.” And hence, silent the mind, or as Swami Sivananda taught, “Kill the mind.”

Selflessness is nothing to do with unselfishness. Regardless of living beings or non-living objects, all are impermanent and selfless or I-less, where there’s no ‘I’ within all the impermanent changes. There’s no ‘I’ existing to be identified as ‘I am selfless’, ‘I am a selfless being’, ‘I am unselfish’, ‘I am performing selfless service and other beings are benefited from my selfless service’, ‘I am kind and compassionate’, ‘I aspire to inspire others to be selfless, kind and compassionate’, and so on. There’s no “I want to be selfless.” or “I am becoming selfless.”

‘Selflessness’ is the realization of there’s no self or ‘I’, it’s not about training the mind to become ‘selfless’ or ‘unselfish’. None/nothing can train to become ‘selfless’, as there is no self or ‘I’ from the beginning. Everyone and everything is just selfless as it is. It’s due to ignorance, there is the idea of ‘I’ arise in the thinking mind materializing itself via egoism influencing the thinking pattern of the mind, where the idea of ‘I’ feeds on attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation, to desire and don’t desire, to aspire and expect, to enjoy and suffer, to love and be loved, to be continuing ‘existing’ in the form of thinking possessing a worldly self-identity with certain qualities of names and forms.

The idea of ‘I’ can be annihilated by eliminating egoism from the mind. As the ‘I’ appears to be ‘real and existing’ is nothing but the thinking pattern of the mind functioning under the influence of egoism, and upon annihilation of egoism or the veil of ignorance, the idea of ‘I’ will vanish naturally.

Upon the realization of impermanence and selflessness, naturally the mind also realizes ‘timelessness’. Time doesn’t exist, it’s just ‘what the mind perceives’, and ‘both the mind (the perceiver) and what the mind perceives (the perceived)’ constantly changing, and the ceaseless impermanent changes as well as due to the function of memory, there’s remembrance towards the impermanent changes generate the false impression of ‘time’ or ‘I’. The mind is going through countless births and deaths of ceaseless thoughts arising and passing away generating the different states of the mind. The body is going through countless births and deaths along with all the impermanent changes that are happening in the physical body generating the different condition/appearance of the body. The mind and the body is never remain the same mind or the same body even for a moment until the body and the thinking faculty ceased functioning and existing.

There’s no “I am performing yoga practice. I am a yoga practitioner. I will be receiving the benefits of the yoga practice. I am free or not free from ignorance.” It’s just the mind performing the practice, and whether the mind will be free from ignorance, or not.

Be free.