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.