Want to reform the system of the world?

Human beings, regardless of one’s gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, belief and nationality, whom themselves, or who are aware of some others, have been experiencing certain kinds of discrimination whether coming from within their own ‘group’ or coming from some other ‘groups’, who have ‘good’ intention and aspiration of getting involve in different types of activism/protest with the intention/aspiration to reform the highly corrupted system of the world, who want to promote peace and harmony in the world, who really want the world to be free from all kinds of discrimination among the enormous diversities in the world, people need to work on reforming oneself first, by conquering one’s human nature that is under the influence of ignorance and egoism as well as the basic survival instinct, which is the mother of all kinds of corruption and discrimination either existing within the same ‘group’, or among the different ‘groups’.

All kinds of activism and protest are useless, if people think and believe that there are something wrong/incorrect with the world or with certain people’s thinking, beliefs and behavior, and trying to reform the world or certain people’s thinking, beliefs and behavior to be in certain way that they desire and agree with, that they think how it should be, but without reforming themselves first.

Once everyone knows how to reform oneself, free from being the slave of ignorance, egoism and survival instinct, there is no need of any kind of activism and protest to be existing, to go against ‘this’ or ‘that’ in any society, anywhere in the world.

Many people think and believe that education is the most important thing in the world for developing a healthy society and prosperity, and it’s true, but it depends on what type of education.

If it’s just education to have the knowledge, skill and qualification to be able to find a job/do a business, to make a living in the world of capitalism and consumerism, that supports the world economy and prosperity, as well as education that is under the influence of certain ‘morality practice’, ‘spiritual practice’, ‘religious belief’ or ‘political interest’, that is feeding egoism which empowers ‘personal/social identification’ which generates all kinds of separateness/comparison/discrimination between ‘I’ and ‘the others that are not I’, that encourages ‘greed’, ‘selfishness’, ‘possessiveness’, ‘the sense of belonging’, ‘pride’, ‘heroism’, ‘nationalism’, ‘loyalty’ and ‘patriotism’, where it doesn’t want or allow the people to question the truth of everything, or be able to think and live life independently, that would ‘threaten’ the ‘existence’, ‘power’ and ‘profits’ of all sorts of ‘authority’, it won’t stop/eliminate all kinds of corruption and discrimination in the world.

The education should be emphasizing on self-control, self-discipline, self-inquiry, self-investigation, self-realization, self-reliance, physical/mental/emotional independence and open-mindedness, of how to be free from ignorance, egoism and impurities – the root cause of all kinds of humanity problem in the world, besides developing the knowledge and skill to be making a living in the world of capitalism and consumerism, or to be able to live a self-contained/self-sufficient way of life that doesn’t need to depend on the society of capitalism and consumerism, or the economy/prosperity of the world.

The education on self-control, self-discipline, self-inquiry, self-investigation, self-realization, physical/mental/emotional independence and open-mindedness, of how to be free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, is universal. It has nothing to do with any particular ‘morality practice’, ‘spiritual practice’ or ‘religious belief’, as ignorance, egoism and impurities also exist in so called ‘morality practice’, ‘spiritual practice’ and ‘religious belief’, not to say, in ‘political interest’.

Corrupted education is sort of like ‘parents’ who want to ‘mould’ their children to be in certain way, to ‘train’ their children to be obedient and don’t question anything about their ‘authorization’ and ‘whatever they want their children to listen and follow’. If the children behave according to their ‘rules’, or achieve ‘what the parents want them to achieve’, which pleases them, then they would give their children some ‘praising’ and ‘rewards’, but if their children don’t behave according to their ‘rules’, or don’t achieve ‘what the parents want them to achieve’, then they would give their children some ‘disciplinary’ and ‘punishment’. And the parents want the children to become ‘somebody’ that they want them to become, and expect the children to ‘give’ the parents what they desire to be getting from the children. “Do something and be somebody that make us feel proud.” The ‘corruption’ of the entire society, of the ‘authority’, of the ‘system’ in the world, is deriving from this kind of ‘family relationship’.

Beware of anything that sounds like this, “Just obey. Do not question my authorization. This is the Truth and you must believe in this Truth. It’s sinful and punishable if you disbelieve in this Truth or have any doubt towards this Truth.”

In yoga and Buddhism, it’s all about attaining self-realization towards the truth of everything. It’s not a sin or punishable if one is ignorant towards the truth or is doubting the truth of something. The Truth is not a belief. The Truth doesn’t need anyone to believe in it nor doesn’t like anyone disbelieve in it or has doubt in it.

“Do not blind believing, blind following, or blind practicing anything, even if it’s coming from your parents, elders, school teachers, religious teachers, best friends, members of the society, famous philosopher, or popular political leaders. Inquire and investigate the truth of everything, including all the teachings here.” There’s no ‘authority’ to ‘discipline or punish’ anyone for being ignorant under the influence of ignorance.

It’s about being aware of the ignorance in oneself.

It’s needless to be looking for a great teacher here and there.

None can teach, or discipline, or liberate anyone who isn’t aware of ignorance in oneself, while those who are aware of ignorance in oneself, then the impermanent and selfless modifications of one’s mind, as well as one’s actions and the consequences of one’s actions, is one’s greatest teacher towards knowing Thyself, and be free from ignorance.

Compassion is not something that can be obtained from receiving, learning, training or education. Compassion manifests as it is upon the annihilation of ignorance, egoism and impurities, upon the realization of selflessness.

Compassion is not about giving people whatever they like and want and desire, and don’t give them what they don’t like, don’t want and don’t desire, in order to make them feel good, satisfied, meaningful and happy, or so that people won’t feel bad, dissatisfied, meaningless and unhappy, though that is what most people understood as ‘compassion’ – give people happiness/convenience/comfort and take away their unhappiness/suffering/discomfort.

Compassion is there as it is, when the mind is free from egoism of attachment, identification, expectation, judgment, or desire of craving and aversion, ‘respecting’ the law of nature – Cause and Effect, Impermanence and Selflessness, ‘respecting’ the world as it is and everyone as they are (existing and functioning under the law of nature), ‘allowing’ everyone to take their own pace and effort to know their own minds, to know Thyself, realizing what is actually going on in their own minds, to realize selflessness, being free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, transcending the mind perception of a worldly life existence of impermanent and selfless names and forms, be able to deal with all kinds of pleasant/unpleasant, agreeable/disagreeable, desirable/undesirable experience, condition and situation independently and equanimously, being free from suffering deriving from ignorance and egoism of attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation.

Video – My daily asana practice 2020 calmness | yoga practice for the mind | speed up version

This is part of my daily asana practice.

Through prolonged period of persistent regular self-practice in solitude without attachment, identification or expectation, without straining the body or without forcing the body beyond its limitation, with the correct understanding and attitude while performing the yoga asana practice that might be different in each practice according to the present condition of the physical body and the state of the mind, allowing the practice and the fruit of practice being what it is, until the body and the mind developed the effortless physical and mental endurance and adaptability, turning the outgoing mind inward living in the present dispassionately free from the desire of craving and aversion, being undetermined by all the different quality of names and forms of impermanent life experiences and conditions, naturally, the practice will become effortless, and the mind will be rendered calm and quiet selflessly and intentionlessly. It’s not about the ability, the performance and the benefit of doing the different yoga asana poses or movements. It’s letting go the ego and egoism. All is impermanent.

Wishing everyone peace during this time being.

Video – My daily asana practice 2020 calmness – yoga practice for the mind

This is part of my daily asana practice.

Through prolonged period of persistent regular self-practice in solitude without attachment, identification or expectation, without straining the body or without forcing the body beyond its limitation, with the correct understanding and attitude while performing the yoga asana practice that might be different in each practice according to the present condition of the physical body and the state of the mind, allowing the practice and the fruit of practice being what it is, until the body and the mind developed the effortless physical and mental endurance and adaptability, turning the outgoing mind inward living in the present dispassionately free from the desire of craving and aversion, being undetermined by all the different quality of names and forms of impermanent life experiences and conditions, naturally, the practice will become effortless, and the mind will be rendered calm and quiet selflessly and intentionlessly. It’s not about the ability, the performance and the benefit of doing the different yoga asana poses or movements. It’s letting go the ego and egoism. All is impermanent.

Wishing everyone peace during this time being.

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.

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.

Loving kindness?

Many people who think and believe themselves are ‘unselfish kind and loving beings’ would react and feel disturbed or angered or hurt by other people’s behavior that they perceive or acknowledge as ‘selfish’, ‘unkind’, ‘unloving’, ‘disturbing’, ‘hurtful’, ‘bad’, or ‘wrong’, and they would express their ‘concern’ by expecting these ‘unkind and unloving beings’ would somehow be criticized or punished for being unkind and unloving, or be disciplined or trained to be (more) kind and loving.

But, ‘loving kindness’ is about how one’s mind behaves or reacts with ‘loving kindness’ towards other people’s behavior that one’s mind dislikes and disagrees with, that one’s mind perceives and acknowledges as ‘selfish’, ‘unkind’, ‘unloving’, ‘disturbing’, ‘hurtful’, ‘bad’, or ‘wrong’, without being disturbed or angered or hurt by other people’s behavior that one’s mind dislikes and disagrees with, without expectation towards how other people should and shouldn’t behave according to one’s particular thinking and belief, understanding that all forms of ‘unkind’ and ‘unloving’ behavior as well as one’s mind’s reaction of being disturbed, angered and hurt by other people’s ‘selfish’, ‘unkind’ and ‘unloving’ behavior and the expectation towards how other people should or shouldn’t behave according to one’s particular thinking and belief, are all deriving from ignorance.

Loving kindness is really not about “How human beings should behave in the way that is loving and kind” or “Other people whom one’s mind thinks and believes as unkind and unloving need to be (more) kind and loving” at all, but it’s about “This mind being kind and loving, where this mind understands towards ignorance and the consequences of ignorance, of egoistic actions and reactions, and how this mind reacts with loving kindness towards other people’s unloving and unkind actions and reactions under the influence of ignorance. Being undisturbed and unhurt by all the disagreeable/undesirable/unpleasant names and forms or experiences that the mind perceives through the senses. Without expectation towards other beings should or shouldn’t behave in certain way. Without expectation towards the world must be in certain way, or not to be in certain way.”

When the mind is disturbed, angered and hurt by other people’s unloving unkind actions and reactions, loving kindness is absent in this mind as well, then how could this mind criticize other minds for being unloving and unkind, and expect other minds to be loving and kind?

Non-attachment and dispassion is true loving kindness, but somehow this observation is being perceived and acknowledged by the world of egoistic minds as a form of ‘lack of loving kindness’, ‘unconcern’, ‘uncaring’, ‘selfish’ and ‘wrong’.

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they think and believe, for how they act and react. In yoga, it’s never about ‘how the others behave’, but it’s about ‘how this mind behaves’.

Contemplate on this, and be free.

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.

Self-righteousness is not yoga practice (2)

Teaching yoga, or practicing yoga, is not about ‘I am an unique spiritual being’ being chosen by ‘God’ or ‘Guru’, being initiated/assigned/given a righteous ‘duty’ from ‘God’ or ‘Guru’, being ‘self-righteous’ for helping ‘God’ or ‘Guru’ to patrol/judge/control/criticize/discipline/punish other people’s actions and reactions, or to be interfering with other people’s thinking/belief/behavior/practice that are different from one’s thinking/belief/behavior/practice, that the mind thinks and believes as ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’, and interfering with other people’s different ways of life, actions and reactions, mental and physical activities that one’s mind doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with, that one’s mind thinks and believes as ‘contradicting’ with the teachings and practice of yoga.

As all these ‘thinking’ and ‘actions’ coming from the mind acting and reacting towards the world of names and forms that the mind comes in contact with/perceives/experiences/acknowledges are nothing but the play of egoism born out of ignorance. Although most minds would think and believe that they are being the ‘good spiritual beings’ acting on behalf of ‘God’ or ‘Guru’, or upholding what they think and believe is ‘supremacy’, ‘authority’, or ‘righteousness’.

Teaching yoga is merely sharing the knowledge derived from one’s direct experience and self-realization, to give guidance to those who come to them to seek guidance to be learning and practicing yoga, while allowing everyone to be what they are, whether they want to take the guidance, or not; whether they want to learn and practice yoga as it is, or not; whether they want to develop awareness, correct understanding, initiative and self-discipline to discipline their own minds, or not; whether they are aware of all the egoistic urges/intentions behind all their actions and reactions, or not; whether they want to restrict their own mental and physical activities, to purify their minds to be free from egoism, impurities and restlessness, to silent the modifications of the mind, or not; and whether they want to perform inquiry towards the truth of everything and be free from ignorance, or not.

There’s no egoistic idea/desire/intention of “I want to be a yoga teacher to teach yoga to other people.” or “I am a yoga teacher performing action of teaching yoga to other people.”

Practicing yoga is also about allowing everyone and everything to be what they are, that everyone and everything are impermanent and selfless, while ‘working’ diligently to free one’s mind from ignorance and the consequences of ignorance.

Those who understand this, either they don’t need to perform any practice at all as they are peaceful as they are where their minds are free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, or if they are aware of the existence of ignorance, egoism and impurities in the minds, they will mind their own practice to discipline, to purify and to silent their own minds, while allowing all the other minds to be what they are, to be evolving as they are.

If ‘God’ or ‘Guru’ exists, they are ‘the selfless/mindless silent witness of pure consciousness’, being undisturbed/unaffected/uninfluenced/unchanged/unbothered by all the existing impermanent and selfless names and forms of different thinking/belief/behavior/way of life/actions/reactions of everyone and the consequences of that, or whatever is happening in ‘the world of ignorant egoistic impure minds functioning under ignorance, egoism and impurities’. If ‘God’ and ‘Guru’ exist, they don’t have egoism, or the ‘self-righteous’ urge or intention derived from egoism to be interfering with/patrolling/judging/controlling/criticizing/disciplining/punishing anyone or anything. If they have egoism, or the ‘self-righteous’ urge or intention derived from egoism to be interfering with/patrolling/judging/controlling/criticizing/disciplining/punishing everyone or everything, making sure everyone and everything ‘to be the way that I think it should be’, then they are not really God or Guru.

Such like some people would inflict anger, hatred, ill-will and violence towards others out of the excuse of ‘upholding peace’ or ‘upholding righteousness’. This is not yoga practice, although it’s everyone’s freedom for what they think and believe, and how they behave, act and react.

“In the name of God, I condemn you to hell.” or “These are bad and evil people, I hope that they will be punished with great suffering that they deserved.” Quite many minds/people would think and speak in such way ‘proudly’. No wonder, many of the saints and sages in the past renounced the world and retreated from the society/community to avoid wasting energy from dealing with such affairs.

Those who truly practice yoga, they withdraw the outgoing tendency of the mind, turning the mind inward to be ‘working’ diligently towards attaining/reaching that ‘pure consciousness of the selfless/mindless silent witness’, where they go beyond the egoistic urge/intention of interfering with/patrolling/judging/controlling/criticizing/disciplining/punishing anyone or anything.

If one is aware of this ‘self-righteous’ thinking and behavior existing in one’s mind, and is aware of oneself constantly feels dissatisfied, or frustrated, or disturbed, or angered, or offended by other people’s different thinking/belief/practice/behavior/way of life/actions and reactions that one’s mind dislikes and disagrees with, and couldn’t help oneself being over-powered by the ‘self-righteous’ urge or intention to be interfering with other people’s different thinking/belief/practice/behavior/way of life/actions and reactions, then either one can try to help oneself by developing will-power to free one’s mind from this self-righteous thinking and behavior, or one can try to seek ‘professional helps’ from the many ‘psychiatric professionals’, to have peace in oneself and stop generating ‘disharmony’ and ‘unrest’ into the surrounding environment, being free from restless impurities of dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hatred, jealousy, possessiveness, authoritarianism, offensiveness, defensiveness, hurts, hostility, animosity, aggressiveness, violence, ill-will, ill-thinking, fear and worry. That itself is a great contribution towards peace in oneself and peace in the world.

Look after one’s mind before it’s too late where one might be completely losing the reasoning power that allow yoga practice to be taking place, even if one is interested in yoga, or strongly believe in ‘God’ or ‘Guru’. One might be doing some form of ‘yoga practice’ or ‘rituals’ regularly, but couldn’t help being busy looking at other people and shouting at other people, “You people should be like this and shouldn’t be like that,” expecting everyone and everything ‘to be the way that I think it should be’. That’s everyone’s freedom of thinking and behavior. It’s everyone’s freedom whether to look after one’s mind, or they prefer to be busy minding about other people’s minds, and losing the sanity of their own mind being lost in ignorance.

Be free.

Self-practice

Developing awareness and correct understanding along with self-discipline and determination, one doesn’t need to continuously attending yoga classes to be following the instructions of a yoga teacher/instructor to be performing the yoga practice, but out of own freewill and intense yearning for liberation, one retreats into seclusion and solitude to perform self-practice. One takes one’s natural pace to perform the practice at ease, without rushing or struggling or straining the body and mind beyond its limitation, and allowing the fruit of the practice to be there as it is.

Many people who attend yoga classes and those who provide yoga classes or other kind of yoga services, will look at or take consideration or give importance onto these factors –
– The qualifications/certifications/experience/background of the yoga teachers
– The professionalism and the ‘yogi’ look/appearance/image of the yoga teachers
– The atmosphere of the yoga practice space, such like the ‘spiritual/zen feel’, the decorations, the colour theme, the furniture, the fittings, the lighting, the plants, the sub-yoga products of ‘yoga attires’, ‘yoga mats’, ‘yoga accessories’ or ‘yoga health supplements’, the convenient facilities and other supplementary services, and/or other yoga family members of animals and pets.
– The surrounding environment of the yoga school or yoga studio, such like the scenery and the ‘quality’ of the neighbourhood.
– The degree of pleasantness of the enjoyment of the senses of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations and imagination/visualization/stimulation, and so on.
– The money-worth element of the fees in comparison with the services or enjoyments provided, and the rewards/benefits/effectiveness/recognition/qualification that one would be getting from attending the yoga classes or performing the yoga practice.

Meanwhile, yoga and the yoga practice has nothing to do with all these names and forms. If the yoga teachers or the yoga classes providers don’t get this or don’t understand this, then they don’t know what yoga is. In the process of yoga practice of silencing the mind or meditation, the eyes are either closed or the mind is focusing/restraining within, and all the other senses are restrained/withdraw from the objects of the senses. What kind of scenery or environment or atmosphere is irrelevant to one’s practice. So as all the other factors.

Yoga is in the moment regardless of the mind perception of different qualities of names and forms, environment, experience, time and space. It is not confined in a particular quality of name and form, environment, experience, time and space. If one can only find oneself or peace or the truth in a particular yoga practice environment, experience, time and space, such like being in the nature of forest or mountain or seaside, and doing a particular yoga asana practice or nature activity, then one doesn’t know what yoga is even though one might feel good and peaceful and meaningful being in that particular environment, experience, time and space, and doing that particular yoga asana practice or activity. The truth/yoga is always there as it is, regardless one is doing a particular kind of yoga asana practice or physical/mental activity, or not, and being in what kind of environment, experience, time and space. Peace, compassion and the ability to forgive and let go what that the mind perceives as ‘wrong’, ‘bad’, ‘hurtful’, ‘painful’, or ‘sorrowful’, is nothing to do with the mind perception of different qualities of names and forms.

There’s nothing wrong and it’s very common that most people who attend yoga classes will expect the yoga teacher/instructor to be looking at them and their practice, to tell them to do this and don’t do that, to correct their postures, to help them to push/challenge themselves beyond the limitation of their body and mind to make the body become more fit/strong/flexible and be able to do more ‘challenging’ yoga asana poses, to give positive feedback about their practice, to give encouragements of praise and compliments to motivate them to be continuing their practice, to be interacting in some kind of social conversation, to be involving in some form of social community activities together. Just that they haven’t learn/realize what yoga really is about, even after many years of attending many hours of yoga classes regularly, and performing the yoga asana practice in perfect alignment and attaining better health condition, developing fitter, stronger and more flexible physical body, being able to perform many complicated yoga asana poses, and generating momentary good, positive and meaningful feelings in their minds due to the effect of the yoga practice.

All these names and forms are nothing but the modifications of the conditional thinking and belief and behavior of the worldly egoistic impure minds. Yoga practice is mainly to free the mind from all these conditional thinking, belief and behavior of the worldly egoistic impure mind modifications.

One only needs a simple clean space free from dust or insects/animals to be practicing external yoga practice of yoga asana and pranayama practice. If there’s no clean space available to be practicing yoga asana and pranayama practice, or if the weather doesn’t permit such practice (extreme weather condition), or the environment is not suitable for such external practice (causing inconvenience to other beings), then one doesn’t have to be practicing external yoga practice of yoga asana or pranayama practice, but it doesn’t stop one from the unconditional unlimited internal practice of maintaining a calm and quiet mind, allowing the perceived reality/experience/qualities of names and forms that is not necessarily the way that the mind likes it to be, as it is, and be able to forgive and let go something that the mind perceives as ‘wrong’, ‘bad’, ‘hurtful’, ‘painful’ or ‘sorrowful’, without craving or clinging towards ‘good’ condition or pleasantness, without aversion towards ‘bad’ condition or unpleasantness.

Contemplate on this and be free.

Sadhana advice from Swami Sivananda

If you give up idle talk and gossiping and idle curiosity to hear rumours and news of others and if you do not meddle with the affairs of others you will have ample time to do meditation.

Environments are not bad but your mind is bad. Your mind is not disciplined properly. Do not complain against bad environments but complain first against your own mind.

Train your mind first. If you practice concentration amidst unfavorable environments, you will grow strong, you will develop your will force quickly, you will become a dynamic personality.

Know things in their proper light. Do not be deluded. Emotion is mistaken for devotion. Violent jumping in the air during Sankirtan for divine ecstasy. Falling down in a swoon on account of exhaustion from too much jumping for Bhava Samadhi. Rajasic restlessness and motion for divine activities and Karma Yoga. A Tamasic man for a Sattvic man. Movement of air in rheumatism in the back for ascent of Kundalini. Tandri and deep sleep for Samadhi. Manorajya or building castles in the air for meditation. Physical nudity for Jivanmukta state. Learn to discriminate and become wise.

Do not utter such words as are calculated to bring your own self-glorification. You must forget at once what is bad. But you must not forget any good done to you by others. There is no expiation for that man who is ungrateful. Forget your good qualities. Forget the bad qualities of others. Forget the enmity of those who are inimical to you. Forget the good actions that you have done to others.

Do not be afraid of any other devil. Fear itself is the greatest devil. Kill this devil first. All other devils will take to their heels. All troubles are only imaginary. Fear comes of ignorance. There is fear where there is duality.

When you remain in the world, association with worldly persons is unavoidable. Cut short the conversation and the period of mixing with them.

The worldly duties are not ties. The world is the best teacher. You are not require to renounce the world and take shelter in the Himalayan cave to claim back your lost divinity. The world cannot stand in the way of your God-realisation. Live in the world but allow not the world to live in you. He, who living in the midst of temptations of the world attains perfection, is true hero.

If a yogi or a Sannyasin who is able to keep up serenity of mind while living in a cave in the forest, complains of disturbance of mind when he lives in the bustle of a city, he has no control of mind. He has no inner spiritual strength. He is not a practical Vedantin. He has no Self-realisation. He has not attained the goal of life. He is still within the domain of Maya.

A real yogi or a practical Vedantin is one who can keep perfect calmness of mind while performing intense activities amidst the bustle of a city. This is the central teaching of the Gita.

By destroying Vasanas and Sankalpas, you melt or annihilate the mind. By annihilating the mind, you kill egoism. By killing egoism, you know the Self. By knowing the Self you attain Self-realisation. By attaining Self-realisation you become free from all sorts of pains, tribulations and miseries. You enjoy supreme unalloyed bliss of the eternal and become That.

Destroy the Vasanas (of body, world and booklore). Withdraw the mind. Identified yourself with the Sakshi (silent witness of the mind).

You cannot wash the mind with soap and water to get rid of its impurities but if you eradicate desires and attachment, the mind will be purified of itself.

This Atman is Silence. The best conception of God is ‘Silence’. Therefore learn to be silent. Make the mind silent, waveless, thoughtless and desireless. This is real silence.

The world is a big wheel. It is revolving unceasingly. The mind is the nave of this wheel. Those who are egoistic, proud, passionate and greedy are caught up in this wheel. If you can stop the mind from moving, the world-wheel will come to a standstill and you will be freed from the round of births and deaths. If you wish to stop the mind from moving, you will have to annihilate egoism, pride, desire and greed.

Truth dawns by itself upon the mind of the tranquil who are equally good and friendly to all beings. Tranquillity of the mind is attained by eradication of desires and thoughts. Mind is agitated by desires and thoughts. When desires and thoughts are controlled, the mind becomes as calm as the lake which is not agitated by the winds. Tranquillity cannot be attained within a week or a month. Practice for a long time is essential.

Do not enter into heated discussion with people. Restrain the senses. Annihilate Raga-Dvesha (likes and dislikes). Extend compassion to all creatures. You will soon attain immortality.

A real aspirant who thirst for Self-realisation should be absolute honest in every dealing. Honesty is not only the best policy in him, but also a strict rule of daily conduct.

Life is not a misery. One should live for hundred years by performing action without attachment. Life is not a bondage when it is looked with the proper light. Such a man of proper knowledge looks on all beings as his own Self and his self as all beings. To him everything is his own Self, and he is not affected by grief, delusion or sorrow of any kind.

The Atman is not born, nor does it dies. It has not come from anywhere and it has not become anything. Unborn, constant, eternal, primeval, this one is not slain when the body is slain. This Atman is hidden in the deep core of the heart of beings. It cannot be attained by any amount of reasoning, study or instruction. It comes only through the Supreme grace. A man of bad conduct, who has not ceased from crookedness, cannot hope to attain the Atman.

The road to Supreme is clothed with pricking thorns. It is sharp like the edge of a razor, hard to tread, a very difficult path! It can be trodden only with the help of knowledge obtained from men of wisdom. Knowing That, one is liberated from the terrible mouth of death.

The mind and the senses always run outwards. Only the man of self-discipline and perseverance can gaze inward and experience the state of Atman as it really is. The childish who have no knowledge of the Truth, run after external pleasures and they fall into the widespread of death. Only the wise, knowing the state of Immortality, seek not the stable Brahman among things which are impermanent here.

The Atman or the Brahman has no connection with the world of change. The goodness, the light, the pleasure and the beauty of the world is not to be found there even in name. That State is experienced when the senses cease to work together with the mind and when the intellect does not move, and when there is mere consciousness. When all desires which are lodged in the heart are liberated, then the mortal becomes immortal. Herein he attains Brahman.

Brahman is Truth, Knowledge, Infinity, Bliss. Brahman is Bhuma where one sees nothing else, hears nothing else and understands nothing else. It rests on nothing else. On it everything else rests. One who knows this rejoices in his own Self and rests contented in his own Self.

Sacrifice cannot bring salvation. They are mere temptations which bind one to birth and death. The deluded people think that mere sacrifice and charity constitute eternal blessedness. They are mistaken. What is not the effect of action is not attained by any amount of action. Brahman which is not done cannot be attained by what is done. Having scrutinised the nature of the world, a wise man should arrive at indifference and dispassion. He must approach a preceptor and learn Brahma-Vidya from him. Such a fortunate soul rends asunder the knot of ignorance.

There is no other duty for man except meditation on the Self. Dismissing all else, one should establish himself in the Self. There remains nothing to be done or attained, when the Self is experienced. There is nothing but Brahman. All this is Brahman.

Existence alone was in the beginning. This was one alone without a second. From that everything else was produced. The modifications of it are only apparent. There is no world except mere names and forms, mysteriously connected with one another. There is no sun or moon except mere colours or fictitious forms. When the colours are distinguished, the sun loses it sunhood, the moon loses its moonhood, things loses their thingness. Brahman alone exists.

The Self alone is dear. One who loves something other than the Self loses what he loves. The Self is the Absolute. One who knows this becomes indestructible. He is only a beast who considers he and his God are different. Not for the sake of this all this is dear, but for the sake of the Self this all is dear. By knowing that Self, everything else becomes automatically known, for the Self indeed is this all.

The Self is an ocean without a shore and a surface. It is mere Existence, Consciousness and Bliss. Where there is duality as it were, one can speak to the other, see the other and understand the other, but where everything is just one’s own Self, then who can speak to whom, who can see whom, who can understand whom? This is the Supreme end. That is the Supreme blessing. That is the Supreme Bliss. On a part of this Bliss other creatures are living.

He who is without desire, who is freed from desire, whose desire is satisfied, whose desire is the Self – his Pranas do not depart. He being Brahman Itself, becomes Brahman immediately.

One who sees His own Atman in all beings, and all beings in his own Atman – he becomes fearless. He is not deluded by the objects of the senses. He is not particularly attached to any object or being. Time and space bow before him and withdraw. He lives in the one Great Present. There is neither a past nor a future for him. There is neither a ‘here’ not a ‘there’.

The apparent change does not belong to the Atman. Nay, even death is not the end. It is but another apparent change. Life continues beyond. Man sleeps with one encasement and wakes up after a short while with another encasement! Death has lost its dread for him! He has achieved the impossible – he has eluded the grasp of Death itself!

The senses have been created with a natural tendency to flow out towards the objective universe. This externalisation dissipates the rays of the mind, weaken the intellect and blind the eyes of intuitive perception. Unity is falsely represented as diversity, the untrue appears to be True, pain appears to be pleasure, and shadows holds out greater charms that the Substance Itself. This is the path of ‘Preya’ (the Pleasant) which the dullwitted ignorant man pursues.

The Atman is Akarta, non-doer. It is Abhokta, non-enjoyer! Realisation of this Truth enables man to transcend Samsara or the cycle of births and deaths.

Renunciation is necessary, but inner renunciation born out of true knowledge that the Atman is Akarta and Abhokta, and that it is not affected by the actions of the sense-organs, is considered preferable to external renunciation of physical actions. Man should perform his duties, in the proper spirit. Such actions do not bind him, but on the other hand they help him to liberate himself.

The deluded attachment to men and women, friends and relatives, money and gold, has to be ruthlessly burnt to ashes! All the so-called duties of the world have to be kicked away for the sake of that glorious state of Self-realisation.

Kick off the world ruthlessly. Enough of tea and coffee, enough of soda, lemonade and crushes, enough of novels and cinemas, enough of races and aeroplanes, enough of father, mother, brothers, children, friends and relatives! You came alone and you will go alone.

A worldly-minded fashionable wife (or husband) is a sharp knife to cut off the life of the husband (or wife). Be wedded to Santi and have Vairagya as as the sons, and Viveka the magnanimous daughter and eat the delicious divine fruit of Atma Jnana which can make you immortal!

Application of soap to the body, oil to the hair, powder to the face, looking into the mirror a thousand and one times a day, wearing rings on the fingers – these and many like these will intensify your attachment to the body. Therefore give up all these things ruthlessly.

The cause of pain is love of pleasure. The cause of death is love of sensual life. Death is a horrible thing to him who is intensely attached to sensual life. Words like cremation, murder, death, corpse, burial, make the sensualist shudder at heart, for he is extremely attached to the body and the objects of the senses. “How to part with the sensual objects?” is his great cause of misery. Pity!

According to vedanta, annihilation of Adviya or ignorance leads to Samadhi. According to Patanjali Rishi, the aspirant attains Samadhi by removing the hold of Prakriti by practice and discipline.

The Vedantin enjoys the eternal bliss and natural easiness of Sahaja Samadhi. He remains as Sakshi or silent witness. He does not make any serious attempt to control the psychic stream or thought-current. He raises the Brahmakara Vritti by meditating on the significance of “Tat Tvam Asi” Mahavakya.

The Samadhi in the Jnani is effortless and spontaneous. Wherever the mind goes, there it experiences Samadhi. He rests in Samadhi always. There is no “In Samadhi” and “Out of Samadhi” for a sage. He enjoys freedom, bliss and peace, in all moments of his life.

Yogic Samadhi is analytical and discriminative. In this Samadhi greater stress is laid upon the discrimination between the Prakriti and the Purusha. In Jnana Samadhi, no discrimination is needed. Brahmakara Vritti, raised by an attempt to become identical with the Supreme Self or Brahma Chintana, destroys Avidya and dies by itself.

No more words. Enough of discussions and heated debates. Retire into a solitary room. Close your eyes. Have deep silent meditation. destroy the Sankalpas, thoughts, whims, fancies and desires when they arise from the surface of the mind.

You are left alone now. You have nothing to see and nothing to hear. There is none to cheer you. You will have to depend on yourself. Do not look backward. Forget the past. Forget the body and the world.

“Gathering his mind, the Yogi should retire to a mountain-cave, a temple or a secluded room. He should not associate with anything through mind, speech and action, for accumulation of and association with things cause misery to Yogis. He should cultivate indifference towards everything. He should be regular about his diet. Worldly gain should cause him no pleasure, nor worldly loss any sorrow. He should look upon one with an equal eye, both who censures him and one who bows before him. Whether good is happening to anybody or evil, he should not reflect. When there is gain he should not be besides himself with joy, nor should he worry when there is loss. He should look upon all beings with an equal eye and should remain unattached like the air. He who thus keeps his mind in health, works for others, cultivates an equal eye towards everything and everybody and lives for six months a regular disciplined life, can realise Brahman and attain Brahmanhood (Nirvikalpa Samadhi) himself.” (Mahabharata – Santi-Parva)

“Humility, unpretentiousness, harmlessness, forgiveness, rectitude, service of the teacher, purity, steadfastness, self-control, dispassion towards the objects of the senses, insight into the pain and evil of birth, death, old age and sickness, unattachment, absence of self-identification with son, wife, or home, and constant balance of mind in wished-for and unwished-for events, unflinching devotion to Me by Yoga, without other objects, resort to sequestered places, absence of enjoyment in the company of men, constancy in the wisdom of the Self, understanding the object of essential wisdom, that is declared to be real wisdom, all else is ignorance.” (Bhagavadgita)

Yoga retreat for developing self-discipline, self-restraint, self-reliance, forbearance and simplicity

Many people who are interested in doing regular yoga exercises as a form of health and fitness activity, they might also interested in participating in yoga retreats once in a while. And there are many yoga retreats everywhere in the world that would cater the demands and expectations of those who want to participate in yoga retreats.

Some people are looking for yoga retreats that allow them to learn about yoga and to be focusing and immersed into the traditional yoga practice for a period of time, to develop self-discipline and self-practice in everyday life, to free the mind from ignorance, egoism and impurities, to realize unconditional love and peace that is beyond all the qualities of name and form, undetermined by life experiences, condition and situation, physical and mental ability, achievements and enjoyments. While many others are looking for yoga retreats that allow them to gratify the desires of craving and aversion, to be in a comfortable and desirable environment that emphasize on indulgence of the senses, self-pampering and socializing, that makes them feel satisfied, pleased, good, relaxed and peaceful, even though it’s impermanent.

Whether the retreat organizers are aware or unaware of it, most yoga retreats are not really about the yoga practice of guiding the yoga enthusiasts/practitioners into the yoga practice of annihilating ignorance and egoism to free the mind from the root cause of suffering – the desires of craving and aversion, but it’s actually providing the opportunity for empowering ignorance and egoism through gratifying their desires of craving and aversion, giving them momentary satisfaction and good feelings via pleasurable physical, sensual and mental enjoyments, by giving the mind what it wants and not giving the mind what it doesn’t want.

Most people are not really interested in the yoga practice of developing self-discipline, self-restraint, self-reliance, forbearance and simplicity, to free the mind from ignorance, egoism, and the desires of craving and aversion through participating in yoga retreats that allow the participants to learn about the essential teachings of yoga, to focus and immerse into the traditional yoga practice of annihilating ignorance, egoism and impurities, while not pushing away but confronting any impurity, difficulty, discomfort, fear, or blockage that the mind doesn’t like to confront with, that the mind would rather runaway from.

Most people are more interested in yoga retreats with holiday resort facilities that provide many types of pleasurable activities, facilities, services and enjoyments of sight, sound, taste, smell, sensation, and imagination, that emphasize on self-indulgence, self-pampering and socializing, to temporarily escape from what the mind thinks is ‘negative’, ‘unpleasantness’, ‘discomfortable’, ‘difficult’, ‘depressing’, ‘disturbing’ or ‘non-enjoyment’ in everyday life, to be in a relaxing comfortable environment that would gratified the desires of craving and aversion, to be doing activities that they enjoy doing, to be indulging in sensual pleasurable enjoyments, to be pampered physically and mentally, beside attending daily yoga exercise sessions, to feel good, relaxed, satisfied and pleased.

This type of yoga retreats that emphasize on pleasurable physical and mental enjoyments in a comfortable pampering environment are great for those who feel that there is a need to be temporarily moving away from everyday life where they have to carry out their duties and responsibilities, and dealing with all kinds of people whom are not like-minded, and situations and things that are not the way that they like it to be, that make them feel disturbed, frustrated, exhausted, drained, stressed or tensed, that they need to participate in a ‘retreat’ from time to time, to unwind and relaxed, even though it’s just a momentary relief derived from being away from what their mind perceives as undesirable disturbing environment or something that they don’t like, but to be in a desirable pleasant environment, while engaging in some activities that they like to do, the way that they like it to be, that make them feel good.

Though this is not what yoga practice is about, there’s nothing wrong with most yoga retreats in the world are of this kind as they are many people want and need this kind of yoga retreats. And it’s everyone’s freedom for what they like and want. It’s a business, where you give the customers what they like and want, to make them feel satisfied and happy, and to make sure they will continue to come back again and again to support your business.

The yoga retreats that are about yoga, the teachings and the practice, allow the participants to learn about their own mind and the root cause of suffering, and to practically immerse into the yoga practice of freeing the mind from ignorance to allow the mind to see the truth of things as it is, and freeing the mind from egoism through the practice of non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment and non-expectation, while developing self-discipline, self-restraint, self-reliance, forbearance, simplicity, wisdom and compassion, to become their own teacher to perform self-practice that is beyond time and space, that allow them to live in the world as they are, perform all their duties and responsibilities, without attachment or identification towards the body and mind, the actions and the fruit of actions, without being disturbed or determined by all kinds of life experiences, people, situations and things that are not necessarily the way that they like it to be, allowing them to deal with ‘difficult’ and ‘challenging’ condition and situation with wisdom and compassion, that allow them to be able to let go what the mind used to perceive as ‘negative’, ‘bad’, ‘disturbing’, ‘frustrating’, ‘exhausting’, ‘depressing’, ‘hurtful’, or ‘stressful’, that they know how to partially retreat themselves in everyday life to conserve energy for performing yoga practice and to silent the mind, that they know how to minimize or stop generating and accumulating tension or stress, that there’s no need to participate in a ‘retreat’ to be away from everyday life to unwind or relaxed as there’s minimal or no tension and stress building up, and realize unconditional peace that is beyond the qualities of name and form, and all kinds of condition and situation.

A yoga retreat that allows people to develop correct understanding, awareness, self-practice, self-discipline, self-restraint, self-reliance, forbearance, adjustment, adaptation, accommodation, simplicity, dispassion, wisdom and compassion, that eventually people don’t need to participate in any ‘retreat’ to retreat from everyday life experiences that are not the way that we like it to be of what the impure mind recognizes as ‘negative’, ‘bad’, ‘difficult’, ‘hurtful’, ‘distressing’, ‘disturbing’, ‘frustrating’, ‘depressing’, ‘discomfortable’, ‘non-enjoyable’, ‘unpleasant’, or ‘exhausting’. The mind is peaceful as it is and wherever it is, undetermined by the qualities of name and form, and all kinds of life experiences and impermanent changes, conditions and situations. One doesn’t need to go to a special place, or be with special people, or do special activities, or to participate in any kind of ‘retreats’ to find relaxation, calmness and peace that is determined by certain qualities of name and form, experience, activity, condition and situation, that is impermanent.

This type of yoga retreat is great for those who are looking for real peace or unconditional peace being free from ignorance and egoism through persevered discipline and restraint of one’s mind activities, but it’s not favorable for business. As there will be physical, mental and emotional unpleasantness during the purification process under going intensive yoga practice to eliminate ignorance and egoism. There will be rejection and disgust coming from the ignorant egoistic mind that doesn’t like to be disciplined or restrained. There’s disagreement and aversion coming from the egoistic mind towards the teachings of yoga that is different from the thinking and belief in the mind. And hence, this type of retreats are less popular, and are being criticized by those who expect pleasurable enjoyments, comfortable conveniences, customer service and social interactions in ‘yoga retreats’. Those who guide others onto the path of yoga don’t take it as a business, and hence, it doesn’t matter.

People’s power?

People’s power is no doubt very powerful, of course. There’s no doubt that other than the greatest power of nature, it’s the people’s power that is so powerful and influential that it influences the condition or situation of the world, in a country, in a community, in a company, or in a family, through their thinking and behavior, making the world a better or worse place to be in. But what is influencing the people’s thinking and behavior is more powerful. And so, what happen if ignorance, egoism and impurities is the power that influencing many people in the world to think, behave, act and react?

Even those who think they are good people who want to be good, who do good actions and don’t do bad actions are not necessarily be free from the influence of ignorance and egoism and impurities. If the mind thinks and feels, “I am disturbed, disappointed, frustrated, threatened, depressed, angered or hurt by something that I think is bad, negative and wrong”, know that this is ignorance, though there’s nothing wrong with this reaction of thinking and feeling in such way reacting towards certain perceptions of names and forms that the mind believes as bad, negative and wrong. The power of ignorance is so great that the mind doesn’t even know it is under the influence of ignorance, thinking that it is wise or smart enough, or it is wiser or smarter than others. And the ego doesn’t like to hear or be pointed out that it is the product of ignorance, and would feel offended or humiliated or intimidated.

The wise won’t be disturbed nor determined by the ignorance of others of all sorts of ignorant thinking and behavior, or what the mind thinks and believes as bad, negative or wrong. If one will be disturbed and determined by the ignorance of others of their ignorant thinking and behavior, or what the mind thinks and believes as bad, negative and wrong, or be disturbed by the condition and situation of the world that is not how one would like it to be, then this mind is under the influence of ignorance.

One can choose not to be disturbed or determined by the ignorance of others of all sorts of ignorant thinking and behavior, or not.

The wise don’t have any intention to change the world. They allow everyone to be free from ignorance, or not, through everyone’s own interest and effort. If people are not interested in freeing their mind from ignorance, that’s their freedom.

Even the enlightened liberated beings can’t change the world or take away the ignorance in others or remove ignorance from the world. If not, the world is already be free from ignorant beings/thinking/behavior. One can only free one’s mind from ignorance through self-initiative, self-effort, self-discipline, self-inquiry and self-realization.

If there are people have the great ambition to be ‘superhero’ to change and save the world, that’s their freedom.

The YTTC or Yoga Teachers Training Courses is about being a platform for truth seekers who are interested in attaining liberation from ignorance and suffering to learn and practice yoga to become their own teacher to perform self-practice/Yoga Sadhana, to attain self-realization and independence, and when one is free from ignorance and suffering, the world will have less a being under the influence of ignorance. And one can share one’s self-realized knowledge of yoga with others, where yoga asana practice is one of the many practices to purify and quiet the mind to prepare the mind for meditation. But nowadays, many YTTC are not about developing serious self-practice or Yoga Sadhana to free oneself from ignorance and egoism, but, it’s mainly about to be equipped with some ‘teaching technical information’ for ‘teaching yoga (asana exercise) classes’ to most people who are not really interested in the elimination of egoism through the practice of silence, desireless, dispassion, self-discipline, self-inquiry and self-realization, but more interested in empowering egoism and gratifying their worldly passionate desires of craving and aversion especially towards enhancing physical health and fitness level, physical appearance and ability through performing the yoga asana exercises, while some others are interested towards developing mental psychic power for different reasons or intentions.

“I have been doing some yoga regularly for some time. Now, I want to learn and do more yoga. Can you teach me?”
“Really?”
“Yes! I am really interested to learn to do all the yoga poses that I am still not able to do. I also want to know what are the different muscles groups that we use in the different yoga poses and their specific benefits related to health and fitness. I hope to become a yoga teacher to teach yoga classes someday. I need to make my body healthier, fitter, stronger and more flexible so that I can do lots of the yoga poses to be qualified to join the yoga teacher training course. I also want to feel better about myself, because right now, I am not very happy with myself, my yoga practice, my physical appearance, my health and fitness level, my job, my life and my relationship. Many yoga teachers say yoga can gives us lots of benefits to improve health and fitness, and make us look good and feel good about ourselves, and become superhuman with superpower to do anything that we want to do with our body and mind. They say yoga can make our body stay young and strong, that we won’t get sick and we can defy aging. They say by doing yoga we can defy gravity and we can fly. And they say practice yoga can also have all our desires come true. I want a better life, a better body, a better relationship and a better job. I really want to learn and do yoga!”
“I can teach you yoga. But first, you will need to let go all these desires of what you want and don’t want.”
“This is not the yoga that I want to learn and do.”
“Be happy then.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be free.

What is freedom in yoga?

Freedom in yoga might not be the freedom that many would be interested in or looking for, as it opposes to what worldly freedom is about. To obtain this freedom in yoga it requires tremendous self-discipline, self-restriction, renunciation, seclusion, solitude, silence, will-power, determination and forbearance, where most people would prefer to live and enjoy a worldly passionate life (of eat, sleep, play, talk, enjoyment, stimulation, social interaction, building relationships, building self-esteem, empowerment of a personal identity, lust and reprocreate) than to live a life of desire-less, renunciation, seclusion, solitude, silence, self-discipline and self-restriction.

In the worldly thinking and belief, freedom might mean unrestricted freedom of thinking, action and speech, freedom of religion, freedom of going places, freedom of living a quality of life that I like it to be, and freedom of being free to be who I think I am or who I want to be.

There’s nothing wrong when people feel happy, confident and meaningful if they are living a quality of life the way that they like it to be or the way that they think it should be. There’s no suffering if one doesn’t attach onto the happy feelings, confidence and meaningfulness that derived from a quality of life that they like very much. But if one has attachment towards the happy feelings, confidence and meaningfulness that derived from a quality of life that they like very much, then there will be suffering when impermanence strikes, as life changes into something else and one is being separated from the life or people whom they love every much. And it’s okay, as people think and believe this is what life is about – swaying in between happiness and grief. But there are those who would choose to realize unconditional peace to be free from this restlessness of swaying in between happiness and grief.

In yoga, freedom is when the mind is completely be free from ignorance and egoism, not being conditioned or limited by any particular worldly cultural, social, religious and personal thinking and belief, being free from worldly attachment, identification, and passionate desires of craving and aversion. There’s no attachment and identification to be ‘somebody’ whom I think I am or whom I want to be. This freedom exists in all and everyone when the mind is ready to let go of worldly conditioned thinking and belief, and egoism of attachment, identification and passionate desires of craving and aversion.

People might have come in contact with some forms of teachings that would lead one to attain this freedom from ignorance and egoism, but not many are interested in obtaining this freedom. Meanwhile those who might be interested in this freedom, but they might not be determined enough to let go all the worldly conditioned thinking and belief, attachments, identifications and passionate desires of craving and aversion.

This freedom is nothing to do with whether one believes or disbelieves in God and spirituality, whether one has or doesn’t have a religion and religious practice, whether one does or doesn’t do ‘good actions’ and ‘bad actions’, whether one is being recognized as ‘good person’ or ‘bad person’, ‘happy being’ or ‘unhappy being’, ‘intelligent being’ or ‘unintelligent being’.

Just like the breath. It’s universal disregard all the different qualities of names and forms of all beings. It doesn’t belong to any particular thinking and belief, physical condition/ability/limitation, state of the mind, race, skin colour, language spoken, intellectual level, culture, religion, personality, talent, skill, creativity, behavior, education and social background.

All and everyone can realize this freedom without any discrimination towards all the different qualities of names and forms. What stops people from realizing this freedom is the deep rooted ignorance and egoism that hold them back from moving towards the life of desire-less, self-discipline and self-restriction.

One who practices yoga stops feeding the egoism of one’s mind as well as others’ minds. One could understand this naturally even without a teacher when one begins to observe the practice of silence. That is what yoga practice is all about – Starving the ego, until the ego is completely annihilated. But not many people would take seriously about the practice of silence and about stop feeding the egoism or starving the egoism, as people might not know what is the practice of silence and what is stop feeding the egoism or starving the egoism.

Without certain degrees of renunciation from worldly family/social life, it’s not easy for the mind to observe silence when there are always people around, especially family and friends, who want/expect to engage in communication and interaction and all sorts of worldly activities. Those who believe in ‘family and friends’ is the most important thing in life might not understand the greatness of the practice of renunciation/silence, and might criticize the practice of renunciation/silence as a form of selfishness/irresponsibility/inhumanity. Only a few could understand that renunciation and the practice of silence is indeed a great noble action, to free the mind from ignorance and egoism, to be kind to all beings without discrimination and to serve humanity, selflessly and compassionately.

Compassion and yoga practice

“It’s not easy to be free from the ego and the side products of the egoism like anger, hatred, jealousy, dissatisfaction, disappointment, feelings of hurt, fear and worry… But, keep practice. Keep letting go as much as we can. Try our best. No judgment. No expectation. Just keep practice and keep trying… And from time to time, without any expectation, we will see that our mind has changed its thinking pattern and reactions towards all the names and forms that it perceives through the senses due to the enhanced self-awareness, self-control and self-discipline… All our practice and efforts are not wasted.”

In the beginning, the ego might be very hard and stubborn. Through ceaseless practice, this ego will be soften and less stubborn. Eventually this ego will ‘dissolve’ completely, and the mind will be free from egoism, and just being what it is.

Anger is a by-product of the egoism. They exist together. Unless the egoism is completely gone, there will always be anger manifests in the mind from time to time whenever the mind experiences or perceives something that the ego doesn’t like, doesn’t want and disagrees with. Same as all the other impurities like hatred, greed, jealousy, stinginess, fear, worry, pride, arrogance, feelings of hurt, feelings of guilt, agitation, depression, dissatisfaction, disappointment, and so on, are all the by-products of the egoism.

Anger is not a negative or bad thing. It is neither good nor bad.

We were often being told by some other people that anger is not good, that we should not express anger as it will hurt ourselves and others. There is some truth in this saying, but, we were not told how to deal with anger, or how to be free from anger. We tend to suppress anger, and this doesn’t help at all, but instead it may cause further damage to ourselves (mental and physical health) and eventually it will become the main cause of conflict in our relationships with others.

The existence of anger allows us to know what is compassion.

If we don’t have self-awareness and self-control, then when our mind is over-powered by anger, we might be doing or saying something violent and hurtful that might hurt ourselves and others under the influence of this anger, which we might regret afterwards when our mind calms down.

If we have self-awareness and self-control, we will know how to be aware of anger when it manifests in the mind, acknowledge it and observe it with compassion towards ourselves and others so that we don’t generate actions and speech that will hurt ourselves and others. Be acknowledged that this mind is disturbed and upset in this present moment, and it’s okay. Knowing that this is impermanent. Without pushing away or suppressing this anger or agitation. Without identification with this anger. Without feeding or strengthening this anger with further negative thinking. Without judgment about this mind or this anger is not good, or it’s bad. Without expectation towards this mind that it has to be good and calm all the time, and anger shouldn’t exist in the mind at all. We allow this anger to be there, change and pass away, without being over-powered or influenced by it. Without hurting ourselves and others. In this way, we won’t be generating and accumulating tension into the body and mind.

Compassion is yoga practice. It’s the entire yoga practice.

For example, when someone is unhappy, dissatisfied and agitated, is showing anger to us, and blames us for his/her unhappiness, dissatisfaction and frustration. There might be two reactions coming from our minds –

1.) This being (I), the ego feels being victimized, attacked and hurt, and will react like this – ‘I’ did nothing wrong. ‘I’ don’t deserve to be treated like this. Why are you angry with me? It’s not my fault. Do not be angry with me. Angry is evil behavior. You shouldn’t be angry. You shouldn’t express your anger. And now, I am disturbed by your bad behavior, I am really ‘angry’ and ‘upset’ with you for you being angry and upset with me.

This is selfish thinking and reaction of self-protection without correct understanding of the mind and its modifications.

There’s no compassion in this being (I). Only selfish thinking and concerns about ‘I’ and ‘my feelings’.

This doesn’t help the person who is angry and unhappy to stop being angry and unhappy, and it doesn’t help this person to come out from the suffering of anger and unhappiness. As ourselves, are also influenced by ignorance and egoism, we are not free.

2.) The egoless and compassionate mind of this being (I) is aware of this person is suffering, is disturbed, unhappy and upset. Even though it is not the fault of this being (I), it is okay for this person to express his/her anger and unhappiness onto this being (I). He/she might get some reliefs from the tension of anger and unhappiness to a certain extend. Allow this person to express and behave as he/she is. This egoless mind is undisturbed, unaffected, undetermined, unhurt by this person’s expression and behavior out of anger and unhappiness. Without judgment towards this person as bad person, or judging this behavior as wrong or bad. Without expectation that this person should not be angry or unhappy, or shouldn’t express anger and unhappiness. Without identification as a victim of other people’s anger and unhappiness. Allow this person to express freely what is disturbing or upsetting him/her. Embrace him/her as he/she is, especially when his/her mind is disturbed, unhappy and frustrated. Being compassionate towards this being who is in suffering.

When this person starts to calm down as the anger and unhappiness fade away, this person might be able to see the truth of what is really happening, and be aware of the unconditional love coming from this being (I), and starts to be compassionate towards oneself and others, by seeing the truth of anger and unhappiness is coming from our own egoism, it’s not coming from anyone or anything that we dislike and disagree with. This person might start to be aware of the mind and the reactions of the mind, to develop self-awareness and self-control, and stop hurting oneself and others out of any impurities that manifest in the mind from time to time, due to the reactions of the ego towards the objects of names and forms that it doesn’t like, doesn’t want and disagrees with.

This might help someone who is suffering to come out from suffering.

Even if this person doesn’t come out from suffering after we showed compassion towards him/her, it’s okay. There’s no attachment, no judgment, no expectation. Let it be.

This is compassion. This is our yoga practice.

Keep trying and keep practicing. Soften the ego, and there will be less such reactions and impurities to arise in the mind. And upon the annihilation of the ego, there will be no such egoistic reactions in the mind for any impurities to arise in the mind, to influence the mind to behave violently and hurtfully towards oneself and others.

Om shanti.

It’s all about self…

It’s all about self.

And it’s not selfish at all.

Self-reformation, self-evolution, self-cultivation, self-transformation, self-practice, self-awareness, self-control, self-discipline, self-restraint, self-realization, without judgment nor expectation…

One must be able to take care of oneself, then only one can truly benefit others, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

It’s not about convert others, reform others, control others, discipline others, restrain others, correct others, with judgment and expectation…

Om shanti.

Plunge into your Sadhana, right now…

If you are aware of the state of your mind
is imbalanced,
restless,
swaying back and forth
between satisfaction and dissatisfaction,
between elevation and depression,
between happiness and sadness,
between feelings of love and hate,
between meaningfulness and meaninglessness,
between high confidence and low confidence,
between clarity and confusion,
between affirmation and doubts,
between energetic and low energy,
between motivated and demotivated,
and etc,
it is a sign telling you that you might have forgotten your Sadhana,
and have left your meditation practice far behind.
It’s time to pick up your Sadhana and meditation practice again.
No one can do it for you.
No one can tell you how you should live your life or use your time and energy,
or what you should do and shouldn’t do.
No one can control you for what you do and don’t do.
You’ll need to have intense self-discipline and determination to let go of your unnecessary “worldly affairs” which distract you and pull you away from your Sadhana,
and plunge into your Sadhana,
right now.
If you truly want to free your mind from restlessness,
and have peace.
Especially if you think you want to help the world to be a better place.

Om shanti.

Self-discipline, self-control, yoga and meditation practice…

In the traditional teachings of yoga about yoga practice, it depends very much on the level of self-discipline and self-control of the yoga student, whether the yoga student can mix freely in the society, or the yoga student requires certain amount of solitary and restriction about who the student mixes with.

As well as whether the yoga student is easily being distracted, disturbed, affected or influenced by other people’s thinking and behavior.

Yoga is about meditation, sublimating the modifications of the mind to transcend the perception of names and forms. Reducing inputs and outputs of the mind, or quieting the mind activities is part of the important practice for meditation.

There are some important observances that can help to quiet the mind for realization of the truth to transcend names and forms, especially for those who have no strong self-discipline and self-control yet, such like reducing newspaper and novels reading or movies watching, avoid excessive physical activities, talking, eating, mingling or any activities that will stimulate the mind, and make the mind very busy.

If the yoga student has very strong self-discipline and self-control, and is not easily being distracted nor influenced by anyone that the student mixes with, and is not being affected nor determined by the worldly activities that the student involves with, then this student can mix freely with anyone and engage in any worldly activities, but these activities will not affect nor distract the student’s spiritual practice.

To be compassionate towards ourselves and other beings, we need to take care of our own practice first. We need to know who we shall mix with, and have certain degrees of restriction and limitation, so that our mind will not be distracted nor influenced by worldly passionate influences that will pull us away from our practice.

If mixing with certain people will allow us to develop dispassion and right discrimination (knowing what is real and unreal), then these are the Satsanga that we shall mix with.

If mixing with certain people will pull us away from dispassion and right discrimination, then these are the Kutsanga that we need to keep a distance.

This is not being selfish, but it’s an noble action, to take care of our own practice, before we can take care of other beings.

If we think we are practicing ‘compassion’, try to be ‘compassionate’ towards other beings, and try to help other beings to be free from negativities and suffering, but ourselves has not yet develop firmness in our own practice of non-attachment, dispassion and right discrimination, and easily being disturbed, affected, influenced and determined by whatever the mind perceives through the senses of what it sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches and thinks, being influenced by likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements derive from egoism, then we need to have some kind of filtration or restriction about who we mix with and what type of activities we engage with.

How can we help other beings to be free from negativities, if we are easily being influenced by other people’s negativities? How can we help the world to be free from negativities when we are vibrating negativities into the world?

We need to be able to take care ourselves first before we can take care of others.

To be able to help the world to be a better place, it requires wisdom and compassion, dispassion and right discrimination, non-attachment and selflessness/egolessness.

This teaching is a guideline for those who seriously want to transcend egoism, ignorance and suffering. As it appears to be something ‘horrible’ or ‘disagreeable’ for those who enjoy gratifying craving and aversion, who don’t like about self-discipline and self-control, who are passionate and not interested in transcending egoism, ignorance and suffering. There’s nothing wrong with being worldly minded, and busy with gratifying the ceaseless craving and aversion of the egoistic mind. Be happy.

Om shanti.

Intimidated by other people’s physical conditions and abilities in yoga (asana) practice?

If we have been putting in the same amount of time, discipline and effort into our daily yoga (asana) practice, just like those who have been spending lots of time, discipline and effort to keep the body and mind busy engaging in regular yoga (asana) practice, whether for spiritual growth, or for health and fitness reason, or for both;
we won’t have the free space in the mind, nor have the free time to be busy looking at other people’s ‘performance’ or result of a persistent and regular practice, and feel either envy, or intimidated by other people’s physical conditions and abilities, and spiritual improvement.

Although yoga, or unconditional love and peace is nothing to do with the levels of physical conditions and abilities, but naturally, there will be certain amount of improvement in physical conditions and abilities, as an ‘unavoidable’ side effect coming from regular yoga (asana) practice, whether we are aiming at it or not, or whether we like it or not.

We do not intent nor expect to gain any physical fitness, strength and flexibility while performing the yoga (asana) practice, as that is not the objective or goal of performing yoga (asana) practice, and our basic yoga practice is non-identification with the impermanent conditional physical body and the thinking mind. But the physical and mental effect coming from the regular yoga (asana) practice is still there.

The body will gain certain degrees of fitness, strength and flexibility, and the mind will gain certain degrees of calmness and peace. But that is not the end of our yoga practice. We need to use that physical condition and state of mind that is conducive for meditation, to contemplate upon the truth, to go beyond the body and mind, to remove ignorance, to be free from being conditioned by egoism, duality, qualities of names and forms.

We will never feel intimidated by anyone or anything, if we truly practice yoga and meditation.

Om shanti.

Give yourself 15 minutes, to get you going in daily yoga asana practice…

Before the start of yoga asana practice, it’s normal that our mind feels reluctant to move the physical body. We will give ourselves ‘reasonable’ excuses to escape a two hours of daily yoga asana practice.

The point is, even before we bring the body to perform daily yoga asana practice, to overcome that ‘laziness’ or ‘struggle’ is our real yoga practice.

To develop strong self-discipline in anything that we want to pursue is indeed our yoga practice. It’s not so much about how good we are in what we are doing. But to keep up the discipline is where the practice is.

It is only the first 15 minutes of physical movements that we feel ‘struggle’. After 15 minutes or so, it will turn into ‘enjoyable’ and ‘energizing’ that you don’t want to be disturbed until you finish your daily two hours routine.

That’s why I encourage anyone to do some yoga asana practice even just for 15 minutes (It’s a trick, but it works). Because that is what you need to get your body going. You will no longer need someone to ‘push’ you to ‘finish’ your daily 2 hours routine. As the energy fields in your body will tell you, “Yes! Keep going… 15 minutes is not enough.”

Om shanti.