Go beyond self-esteem and self-worth

For those who are not really interested in the path of yoga, they don’t need to ‘practice yoga’. People can just live everyday life as they are, don’t need to do anything to purify the mind, to render the mind quiet, to free the mind from the influence of worldly egoistic ideas, thinking, belief, behavior, action and reaction, to free the mind from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance – egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering.

People can continue being passionate towards improving the quality of a worldly life that mostly emphasize on the gratification of the desires of wants and don’t wants.

From young to old, it’s all about developing and enhancing the qualities of name and form that the thinking mind attached onto and identifies as ‘I’, to carry on or adopt a particular cultural/religious/spiritual belief and practice that influence the way of life, to be ‘educated’, to accumulate ‘knowledge’, ‘skills’ and ‘qualifications’, to empower a high self-esteem and self-worth that builds on personality, confidence, self-image, body image, charm and attractiveness, physical and mental ability and achievement, to be accumulating relationships and friendships, to broadening social networks, to establish a livelihood and a social/community life, to enjoy sights/sounds/tastes/smells/sensations/imagination, to aspire and be inspired, to fall in love, to find a life partner or some lovers, to reprocreate, to build a family, to enjoy easier and more comfortable life, to contribute to the society or the country or the world, to attain acknowledgement, recognition, support, praise and compliments, to attain ‘success’ in life, career and relationship, to attain the sense of existence, purpose, pride, happiness, joyfulness, blessedness, gladness and meaningfulness.

For those who sincerely want to practice yoga and realize yoga, then go beyond a worldly life that emphasizes on developing and enhancing ‘self-esteem’ and ‘self-worth’ that derived from ignorance and egoism that feed on worldly ideas, thinking, beliefs and practice.

The necessity or importance of developing and enhancing ‘self-esteem’, ‘self-worth’, ‘confidence’, ‘self-image’, ‘body image’, ‘charm and attractiveness’, ‘physical and mental ability and achievement’, ‘the sense of existence/purpose/meaningfulness’, and etc, are nothing but the play of ignorance and egoism.

The sense of self-esteem and self-worth that builds on the qualities of names and forms, such as “I know something”, “I can do something”, “I achieved something”, “I am good”, “I look good”, “I feel good”, “I am strong”, “I am healthy”, “I have family and friends”, “I am contributing something”, “I am acknowledged and supported”, “My life/career/relationship is good and meaningful” and so on, is conditional and impermanent. It will break.

Yoga practitioners are supposed to eliminate the egoism and not empowering the egoism. It’s the ego that needs to have a high self-esteem to achieve ‘success’ in life, career and relationship, to attain the sense of existence, acknowledgement, self-worth, confidence, purpose, or meaningfulness. And thus it performs actions out of intention and aspiration. It attached onto and identifies with its actions and the fruit of actions. It is being determined and bound by the actions and the fruit of actions.

For those who are aware of this, actions are being performed out of compassion, without the need/aspiration of ‘developing’ and ‘enhancing’ self-esteem to achieve ‘success’ in life, career and relationship, to attain the sense of existence, acknowledgement, self-worth, confidence, purpose, or meaningfulness. Though that is what most people including highly educated and intelligent minds strongly believe in and are practicing, and that’s their freedom.

“Well done!”

“That’s very good!”

“You should be proud of yourself!”

“I am so proud of you!”

Most people think and believe that all these words are very essential positive encouragement and acknowledgement towards somebody’s achievement to enhance their self-esteem and self-worth, so that they will be motivated to strive harder to improve and be better, to attain continuous positive feedback and acknowledgement, to attain the sense of self-worth, accomplishment, purpose, meaningfulness. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Those who are free from ignorance and egoism don’t need any ‘positive words of encouragement or acknowledgement’ from anyone to motivate them to perform actions that will benefit all and everyone, and are not disturbed or discouraged by any ‘negative words of discouragement or non-acknowledgement’ to be continuing performing actions that will benefit all and everyone.

‘Yoga teachers’ who truly teach yoga in the yoga class don’t empower the egoism in the yoga students but to allow the students to develop correct understanding and direct experience towards the practice of yoga to eliminate the egoism.

By constantly giving the students ‘positive words of encouragement’ out of “good intention to encourage and motivate the students to be good, do good, to improve and be better” because the teacher thinks and believes that “the students who haven’t developed non-craving and non-attachment would be discouraged or lack of motivation to be good and do good, or to improve in their practice, if the teacher doesn’t give any ‘positive words of encouragement’ to the students”, don’t help to eliminate the egoism, but instead will only be empowering the egoism in the students. And if the students have already developed non-craving and non-attachment towards any kind of ‘positive words of encouragements’, then, ‘positive words of encouragements’ are needless in such yoga classes, as the students don’t need to hear any ‘positive words of encouragements’ to motivate them to be good, do good and to improve, neither the students will be discouraged or lack of motivation to perform their practice, to be good, do good and to improve, if the teacher never give any form of ‘positive words of encouragements.’

Be free.

Be free from all kinds of craving and clinging

Though this is the very basic teaching and practice of yoga, many people are not free from certain forms of physical, mental and emotional craving and clinging, both gross (aware) and subtle (unaware). It’s a practice that seems to be challenging or struggling for many yoga practitioners, including ‘yoga teachers’, mostly those who are passionate towards worldly life existence of an individual being with a personal identity and most probably at least one or a few group/community identity under the influence of worldly cultural and social ideas, activities, thinking and beliefs.

The minds that are not free from attachment and identification with some kind of impermanent qualities of names and forms as ‘I’, are not free from being determined by the presence/possession and absence/non-possession of certain qualities of names and forms to feel good, happy, confident and meaningful, or not.

There’s craving towards certain qualities of names and forms that the impure mind perceives or recognizes as ‘good’, ‘positive’, ‘well-deserving’, ‘acknowledgement’, ‘payback to one’s effort’, ‘higher standard’, ‘prideful’, ‘successful’, ‘lovable’, ‘joyful’ and ‘meaningful’, and there’s aversion towards certain qualities of names and forms that the impure mind perceives or recognizes as ‘bad’, ‘negative’, ‘undeserving’, ‘non-acknowledgement’, ‘non-payback to one’s effort’, ‘lower standard’, ‘shameful’, ‘failure’, ‘unlovable’, ‘sorrowful’ and ‘meaningless’.

This is how most worldly minds think, believe, behave, live life, interact with one another, act and react, as most people/human beings grew up being taught/influenced by their parents, teachers, society and medias to develop a strong sense of ‘self-identity’ and ‘group identity’ attaching onto certain qualities of names and forms to be who they are, or who ‘I’ am. The entire life existence is very much based on upholding, or attaining, or possessing, or protecting, or passing down certain ‘values’ to feel happy, confident and meaningful, to live a proud, purposeful and meaningful life. Such as there’s nothing wrong when most minds would feel, think and believe that “It’s so good to practice yoga and it’s so meaningful to teach yoga to other people.” but the minds are not free.

It’s not easy for the minds to just ‘let go’ or ‘abandon’ all these identities of certain qualities that ‘generate’ the sense of ‘existence’ or more so the sense of ‘meaningful existence’, which is truly unnecessary to the liberated minds, but is upmost essential to the worldly impure minds.

There is the need of ‘aspiration’, ‘intention’, ‘motivation’, ‘inspiration’, ‘reward’, ‘encouragement’, ‘praise and compliment’, ‘recognition’, ‘acknowledgement’, ‘positive feedback’, ‘positive interaction’, ‘positive guidance’, and etc, for performing actions (of doing something that the mind perceives as ‘good’) or inactions (of not doing something that the mind perceives as ‘not good’).

As long as the mind is not free from this ‘worldly habitual thinking pattern’ under the influence of worldly thinking and belief where most people think and believe that there is a need of the existence of ‘positive beings’ to uplift/inspire ‘the other not so positive beings’ to ‘create’ a ‘positive world’, or there is a need of ‘spiritual beings with spiritual healing power’ or ‘magic pills’ to ‘heal’ all the ‘hurts’ or ‘take away’ all the painful sorrow and suffering of mankind, this mind will always be determined by the qualities of names and forms that are impermanent and selfless, and be disturbed by the absence and presence of what the worldly minds perceive as ‘good and bad’, ‘right and wrong’, ‘positive and negative’, ‘appropriateness and inappropriateness’, ‘should and shouldn’t’, ‘auspiciousness and inauspiciousness’ and ‘meaningfulness and meaninglessness’.

The mind expects itself and everything that it identifies as ‘I’, such as ‘my body’, ‘my appearance’, ‘my ability’, ‘my mind’, ‘my belief’, ‘my feelings’, ‘my knowledge’, ‘my happiness’, ‘my confidence’, ‘my life’, or ‘my existence’ to be in certain ways that the mind desires, likes and agrees with, of the qualities that it craves to achieve, or possess, or identify with. The mind also expects others and everything that it relates to ‘I’, such as ‘my family’, ‘my relationship’, ‘my friends’, ‘my country’, ‘my community’, ‘my group’, ‘my world’, ‘my fellow human beings’, and so on, to be in certain ways that the mind desires, likes and agrees with. When things are not the way that the mind expects it to be, the mind feels disturbed, dissatisfied, disappointed, and either agitated or depressed.

Those who truly ‘help’ other beings to be free from ignorance the cause of suffering, they ‘guide’ the minds to become their own teacher, to be aware of what is going on in the mind, to inquire the truth of everything, and to attain self-realization, to be free from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance – egoism and impurities empowered by worldly ideas, activities, thinking and beliefs.

Contemplate on “Positive thinking is a just a practice to counter negative thinking, but it’s not the goal of the yoga practice.” and “There’s nothing wrong with attaining good health and happy mind, but it’s not the goal of the yoga practice.” and go beyond positive thinking, good health and happy mind.

Realize this, “It’s okay when the mind is ‘negative or unhappy’ in the present moment, as even this state of ‘negativity or unhappiness’ is impermanent and will change. Without any intention or expectation to chase away the state of ‘negativity or unhappiness’ or to develop the state of ‘positivity and happiness’, without craving towards ‘positivity/happiness’ or aversion towards ‘negativity/unhappiness’, allowing the mind to be what it is, allow it to change as it is. The mind is just what it is. It is impermanent. It’s neither a positive nor negative mind, neither a happy nor unhappy mind. And it’s not ‘I’.”

Love and be kind to the mind as it is, even when it is negative or unhappy. This doesn’t mean that pampering the mind by gratifying all its desires, but be determined to free the mind from ignorance, impurities, egoism and suffering.

As long as there is an identity in the mind generates clinging/craving towards ‘positivity’ and aversion towards ‘negativity’, to change the mind to be the way that ‘I’ want it to be, the way that ‘I’ think it should be, the mind is not free, even though there’s nothing wrong with that. Instead of working on transforming a ‘negative mind’ into a ‘positive mind’, work on ‘being aware of what is going on in the mind, without attachment of craving and aversion towards all the ‘positive and negative’, ‘good and bad’, or ‘happy and unhappy’ thought activities as ‘I’. The mind doesn’t need to be ‘positive’, or ‘good’, or ‘happy’ when it is free from ignorance.

Practice yoga, without attachment, identification, craving, aversion and expectation, allowing the effects or the fruit of the practice to be there as it is. There’s no “I am doing the yoga practice and I will be receiving the effects or the fruit of the yoga practice.” The one who is free, or not free from ignorance, disturbs and suffering, it’s the mind. There’s no ‘I’ expects the mind will be free. The mind will be free as it is, when the idea of ‘I’ disappears.

Be free.

Go beyond the impermanent selfless physical body

It’s normal and nothing wrong that many people are being determined by everything that is related to their physical body to be who they are, being determined by the condition, ability/disability and appearance of the physical body to feel satisfy, confident, meaningful, good and happy, or not.

There is expectation towards the physical body to be the way that they desire it to be. And if their physical body doesn’t turn out to be the way that they expect it to be, they feel disturbed, disappointed, dissatisfied, unhappy, frustrated or depressed about themselves and their life. This is truly unnecessary if one practices yoga and knows what is yoga.

For those who truly want to practice yoga and realize unconditional peace, the non-attachment and non-identification with the impermanent selfless physical body is one of the important teaching and practice of yoga, alongside the non-attachment and non-identification with the thinking mind, the cultural and social thinking and belief, the feelings and emotions, the desires and all the perceptions/experiences of names and forms.

Go beyond the impermanent selfless physical body and realize unconditional peace.

The mind that perceives all the names and forms through the senses via the physical body won’t be determined or disturbed by the impermanent changes of health condition/strength/flexibility/ability/performance/energy level/appearance/aging/decaying/mortality of the physical body.

The youthfulness, good health, great strength, super flexibility, skillful abilities, high performance, high energy level and desirable appearance of the physical body cannot avoid/defeat/conquer impermanent selfless changes, decay, sickness, injuries and mortality. The strongest and healthiest person in the world would also breakdown instantly if being hit by a strong impact, or poisoned, or infected by life threatening viruses.

The world greatest super talented, fit and skillful sportsmen/sportswomen and incredibly strong and flexible acrobatic performers and world class gymnasts also would suffer from disappointment, depression, hurts, painful sorrow, sickness, injuries, degeneration, old age and death.

Seek not identity, satisfaction, confidence, sense of meaningfulness and happiness in the existence and function of this impermanent selfless physical body.

For the yoga or peace seekers, this life existence of the impermanent selfless physical body is just a momentary transition to allow the selfless restless mind under the influence of ignorance and egoism to be liberated from the suffering of ignorance, egoism and restlessness through transcending/silencing the modification of the mind.

Non-attachment and non-identification with the physical body and the thinking mind as ‘who I am’ doesn’t mean that one shouldn’t appreciate the existence and function of the physical body and the thinking mind, or does not maintain the well-being of the physical body and the thinking mind, but out of compassion, one appreciates and maintains the good condition of the physical body and the clarity/sanity of the thinking mind for performing yoga and meditation practice without attachment, identification and expectation towards the existence and function/the ability and disability of the physical body and the thinking mind.

This is the basic practical yoga practice that would bring the mind towards the realization of unconditional peace, not by performing lots of physical yoga asana exercises. By performing/practicing/teaching lots of yoga asana exercises regularly for many years, possessing the knowledge of the yoga asana exercises and gaining the maximum benefits from doing the yoga asana exercises doesn’t guarantee that the mind will have peace, if one has attachment, identification and expectation towards the existence and function of the physical body and the thinking mind as ‘who I am’, to feel good, happy, satisfy, meaningful and confident, or not.

Those who couldn’t or don’t do any yoga asana exercises for some reasons, they will have peace if they know what is non-attachment, non-identification and non-expectation towards the impermanent selfless physical body and thinking mind, being undetermined and undisturbed by the selfless impermanent changes of the body and mind.

When the mind knows how to be undetermined and undisturbed by the impermanent changes of the body and mind, the mind would also know how to be undetermined or undisturbed by the mind perception of all the different qualities of names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, of what it sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches/feels/senses and thinks.

That is what yoga is about, resting in peace in the NOW while experiencing all the ups and downs, pleasantness and unpleasantness, agreeable and disagreeable life experiences, or happy and unhappy relationships through this selfless impermanent mortal life existence of the function of the body and mind perception of a worldly life of impermanent names and forms of beings, relationships and things.

One doesn’t need to momentarily escape unhappiness or tension by taking any substances of drugs or intoxicants that could give many damaging side-effects to the function of the body and the thinking mind. One doesn’t need to rely on attaining/possessing ‘good and positive’ qualities and the gratification of desires of craving and aversion to feel good, happy, meaningful and confident, or not. That is real freedom or liberation.

Yoga is not about possessing great virtues and merits from performing good actions and accumulating good karma to have a better rebirth to a better/easier/less suffering next life experience, or self-punishing to inflict physical pain/injury to remove sins, or to be ‘migrating’ to a place called ‘heaven’ after death. Though that is people’s freedom if that is what they believe in and that’s what they want.

Body image issue, where it shouldn’t exist in the first place

In the areas where people are struggling everyday to attain the basic food and water resources to survive, to have a place to rest and be sheltered from harsh weather, to be free from hunger, thirst, exhaustion, discrimination, hatred, war and violence, there won’t be such body image issue existing.

Meanwhile, in the modern commercialized society with higher technology and comfortable or fancy lifestyle, where economy and spending power is stable and strong, where basic and higher education came with various subjects and interests is accessible for everyone, where people have the luxury to indulge in physical and mental enjoyments of the senses of sights/visuals, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations and thoughts/ideas/creativity/imaginations, where food is easily and excessively available in various forms and tastes, where food has gone beyond being a basic necessity of life but becoming an enjoyment of taste, where water and electricity supply and various modern facilities are available easily, where clothing is no longer a basic material to keep warm and be protected from insects and cuts but plays as an important role for self-image and self-esteem, where people are being presented with different choices of lifestyle and leisure activities, where people are interested in promoting health, beauty and fitness, and put importance into personal and general hygiene, where people can travel easily from one place to another, where people can have dreams and ambitions to be fulfilled, where countless opportunities are available for everyone, but then ridiculously, many people are being troubled by body image issue, which is truly unnecessary.

It doesn’t matter people are being knowledgeable, or intelligent, or talented and skillful in certain subjects, or highly educated, or having a successful career, or having a high profile in the community or society, or having a generous income and an easy comfortable high technology living standard, many people are being troubled very much by body image issue, unwittingly.

People’s state of mind, the sense of meaningfulness, confidence, self-esteem, happiness and sense of self-worth and well-being are very much determined by the body image consists of facial features, skin condition, hair condition, physical appearance, body shape, body composition, physical condition, physical ability and achievement, that they like or dislike, satisfied or dissatisfied with, based on a particular standard that they set for themselves to comply to.

People get depressed when they think they have a body image issue, that they are dissatisfied with and dislike their facial features, skin condition, body hair, hair condition and style, physical appearance, body shape, physical condition and ability as it is, that they prefer or desire their body to be something different from what it is now, according to what they think is better, nicer, healthier, fitter, stronger, younger, prettier, or more attractive.

To counter this body image issue, most people will try to achieve the body image that they would like to have, that they think is the best body image, that would give them the sense of satisfaction and good feelings about their bodies and themselves.

Even many of the yoga classes in the world are emphasizing on promoting improvement in physical appearance, physical condition and ability, to boost people’s self-esteem, confidence, sense of self-worth and well-being. And the yoga teachers/instructors aspire to portray a body image of ‘good’ or ‘fit’ or ‘healthy’ or ‘attractive’ or ‘high performance’ kind of physical appearance, condition and ability to inspire or motivate the yoga students to also achieve the similar form of body image (enhanced physical appearance, condition, ability and performance.) – “I can achieve this, so can you!” or “Yoga makes you look better and feel better!” But this is not the teaching and practice of yoga. This is empowering ignorance and egoism. It might give them momentary good feelings and confidence about their body and themselves (the ego) by achieving the kind of body image that they prefer, but it doesn’t help people to be free from the suffering of low self-esteem and depression derived from attachment and identification with the impermanent physical appearance, condition and ability to be who they are. Once the quality of the body image that they like, that they attached onto and identified with, that makes them feel good and confident about themselves starts to change into something else or is no longer available due to impermanence, they will suffer from disappointment, dissatisfaction, self-hate, self-criticism, low self-esteem, depression, self-harm, and so on.

When people think they are disturbed by body image issue, that is mainly due to ignorance and egoism. There is great identification and attachment towards the physical body and all that is related to the physical body, to be ‘I’, or what they think is who they are.

Realize yoga or selflessness, be free from identification and attachment towards the physical body, and body image issues won’t be existing at all. One will take good care of the well-being of the physical body, out of compassion, without attachment towards the impermanent physical appearance, condition and ability, without identification with the physical body as ‘I’, or ‘Who I am’. Be kind to the body, live a healthy lifestyle to benefit the physical body, and allowing the physical body to improve and change to be what it is, as it is, without any egoistic desire or intention or expectation to make or transform or change the physical body to be the way that ‘I’ would like it to be, so that ‘I’ will feel good, happy, satisfied and confident about ‘my’ body and ‘I’. This truly is loving our body, accepting the body as it is, while allowing all the changes to be there as they are, to be what they are.

Expecting the body to be the way that we like it to be, and constantly straining and forcing the physical body with intense physical training so that it will be able to do what we want it to do, and to look the way that we want it to look, to achieve the body image that we prefer/desire, is not loving our body, but it’s the ego loving what it likes and wants. “I want my body to be like this or to be able to do that.” Again, it’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to do with their body, and how they want to treat their body.

Be free.

Certificates for running and attending yoga courses?

Issuing and acquiring ‘Certificates’ for running and attending yoga courses are not yoga practice.

Yoga is nothing to do with ‘certification’, ‘certificate’, ‘yoga alliance’, ‘yoga association’, and so on.

All these names and forms are the products of ignorance, egoism, worldly ideas of identity, values, recognition, acknowledgment, fruit of actions, self/professional image and commercialism.

One doesn’t need certificates to have peace and compassion, or to forbear and forgive, or to love all beings unconditionally, or to show or guide other beings towards peace and compassion.

Having many ‘internationally recognized certifications’ from attending yoga courses affiliated with ‘yoga alliance’, or having all the knowledge/information about different types of yoga practice and knowing how to perform all the different types of yoga practice, doesn’t mean that we are, or will be free from ignorance and egoism and suffering. It doesn’t guarantee that one is peaceful and compassionate, or be able to show or guide other beings towards peace and compassion.

We won’t find certificates in self-realization of the truth.

We won’t find certificates in silence of the mind.

We won’t find certificates in selflessness and liberation from suffering.

Be free.

Letting go of the ego – Letting go of pride and arrogance…

This is not as easy as it says…

At least if we want, we can try our best…

To let go of the ego…

Letting go of pride and arrogance…

We don’t really need pride and arrogance to be “somebody”…

We don’t even need to be “somebody” to be living in this world…

This life existence do not exist without the sun, the air, the water, the earth and the space providing and supporting all beings to be exist in this world…

Life can be without pride and arrogance…

It will be less tensions and more peaceful…

 

If anyone is being happy and peaceful by possessing pride and arrogance, and wants to continue to be proud and arrogant, there is nothing wrong with that… Be happy being proud and arrogant…

Deep inside us, we know that actually we are not really confident and are not happy about ourselves, that’s why we need to possess pride and arrogance to feel good about ourselves, and to feel we are stronger and better than anyone else…

The ego is neither good nor bad. If we identify with the ego, we will be over-powered by the idea of “I” and “mine”, desires, cravings and aversions, and being restless busy with building up a worldly self-image or social status, and getting what we desire, and busy protecting the self-image that we built up for ourselves and protecting all the attachments, possessions and belongings, and be in fear and worry of losing what we think is “I” (that “built” on self-image, self-esteem, self-worth, accumulation of knowledge, wealth, health, relationships, achievements and etc…) If we know how to not identify with it, and just let it performs its necessary function for maintaining this life existence, we will be free and happy being “what we are”, and not trying to become somebody with certain image and qualities…


If we want to be truly confident and happy, we really need to let go of the identification with the ego, letting go of pride and arrogance that comes along with the ego…

We need to be able to accept ourselves as we are, and not looking forward trying to be somebody else that we are not, even if we “think” that we are not perfect… And when we realize the true nature of who we really are, which is perfect, attributeless, nameless and formless, there is no need of attaining “good qualities” to be proud and arrogant, to support us or to determine us to be “what we are”…

Before we can “let go of the ego”, we need to know who or what is this ego…

Whenever there is cognition about “I”, “my”, “mine”, “I am”, “I am not”, “I feel”, “I don’t feel”, “I like”, “I don’t like”, “I want”, “I don’t want”, “I agree”, “I don’t agree”, “I am peaceful”, “I am not peaceful”, “I am good”, “I am not good”, “I am positive”, “I am negative”, “I am happy”, “I am not happy”, “I am wise”, “I am not wise”, “I am compassionate”, “I am not compassionate”, “I am superior”, I am inferior”, “I am special”, “I am not special”, “I am a yogi”, “I am a yoga teacher”, “I am strong”, “I am not strong”, “I am so and so”, “I am this or that”, “I practice yoga”, “I don’t practice yoga”, “I am a vegetarian”, “I am not a vegetarian”, “I meditate”, “I don’t meditate”, “I did, I do, I will do”, “I didn’t do, I don’t do, I will not do”, “I have to”, “I need to”, “I wish to”, “I don’t wish to”, “I have”, “I don’t have”, “I am loved”, “I am not loved”, “I am accepted”, “I am rejected”, “I’ve succeeded”, “I’ve failed”, and in any other forms of identifications, qualities and perceptions about “I” or “me” or “my” or “mine”… Know that all these are the plays of the ego…

By surrendering the ego, we are letting go of the identification with all these “names and forms”, “qualities”, “self-judgment”, “self-evaluation”, “self-image”, “self-esteem”, “selfish desires”, “expectation”, and so on… This looks like it’s going against the worldly thinking of “Everyone needs to have certain self-image, self-evaluation and self-esteem to be somebody…” or “Everyone needs to have certain expectations to set as a goal to strive to be better and to be successful in life…”

In the path of yoga and meditation, we are going to let go of all these worldly thinking and concepts about “who we should be” and “how we should be”…

We don’t just expect ourselves to have certain self-image, but we also project qualities onto other people and give them certain image… And usually we will project an image with certain qualities that comes from our own mind perception onto other people, judging this person as “this” and that person as “that”, judging everyone “you are good” and “you are not good” based on what our mind believes what things are… But, how true is our belief, perception and judgment?

For example, we will expect a “yoga teacher” should have certain “yoga teacher” image, and he or she should behave or present himself or herself as what a “yoga teacher” should be behaving… We will expect a “yogi” should have certain “yogi” image, and he or she should behave or present himself or herself as what a “yogi” should be behaving…

And it’s not just that, we also think that a “yoga teacher” or a “yogi” should behave as what a “yoga teacher” or “yogi” should behave appropriately, so that other people can follow and imitate that appropriate “image”, and learn to become a “proper” yoga teacher or “proper” yogi…

And we get so disappointed by our own expectation onto how other people should behave, when other people didn’t “behave” the way that what we think they should be behaving…

We also get so annoyed and unhappy when other people project different images or judgments onto us, which are contradicted or different from what we think we are… Such like, when we think we are “a nice and good person”, but other people didn’t think so, and they think that we are “not nice and not good”… And if we identify with the ego, we will be so unhappy and upset when we are being projected by other people as “somebody who is not what we think we are”…

We expect other people to see us or judge us exactly as what we think we are or “what we want” them to think what we are, “a nice and good person”… We want to have a “good” image in other people’s mind… We want other people to think that we are “nice and good people”… And we have been doing lots of good, and have been nice and good to other people, how could they possibly think that “I am not nice and not good”…? They are wrong and misunderstood about “me”… And then we will want to justify ourselves or try to convince other people that we are what we think we are, “a nice and good person”, and not what they thought what we are not… And if other people still “judge” us differently from what we think we are, we’ll be more disappointed, unhappy and upset…

Those who have gone beyond the ego, they will not be bothered by how other people think about them, or judge them, or misunderstood them… Criticism, slandering or condemn won’t affect them, nor damage their confidence, nor change who they are and how they are… Neither praise and compliments will affect them, nor increase their confidence, nor change who they are and how they are… They are not determined, nor defined, nor conditioned by praise and condemn…

The one who is getting upset and feels insulted is the ego… The one who is getting delighted and feels appreciated is the ego… This is one of the characteristics of the ego…

The ego also likes to compare with others, having jealousy towards other people who are somehow “better”, or “happier”, or “smarter”, or “luckier”, or “stronger”, “fitter”, “wealthier”, or “more superior” than us…

The ego will look down on other people who are somehow “less good”, “less happy”, “less smart”, “less lucky”, “less strong”, “less fit”, “less wealthy”, or “more inferior” than us…

The ego will feel so happy and delighted when things turn out to be the way that it wants it to be…

The ego will feel so unhappy and disappointed if things didn’t turn out to be the way that it wants it to be…

The ego also will be so proud and arrogant about the knowledge that it has and the achievements that it attained, and it wants to be noticed and acknowledged by the world about what it knows and what it had achieved… It needs approval, agreement, attention, acknowledgment, support, appreciation and compliment from the world to be “somebody”, to feel good, to feel meaningful, to be confident, to be happy, to be special, to be important…

These are the most significant characteristic of the ego, accompanied by pride and arrogance, as well as attachment towards success and failure, praise and condemn, being conditioned and determined by success and failure, praise and condemn to be happy or not happy, to be confident or not confident, to feel meaningful or not…

When we are full of anger, we project anger onto other people, seeing and hearing everything that we see and hear as an object of anger or reason to be angry… When our mind is negative, we project everyone and everything as negative… Whatever we see and hear is negative… When our mind is positive, we project everyone and everything as positive… Whatever we see and hear is positive… But, the Truth is, everyone and everything is neither negative nor positive. Everyone and everything is just being what it is… They have no qualities nor intention to be negative or positive… They have no qualities to make us happy or unhappy…

Whenever “we” see, or hear, or experience something that “we” like and agree with, “we” feel good, excited, happy, satisfied, encouraged, motivated and so on… Actually that is the ego comes in contact with what it likes and agrees with… It is the ego feeling good, excited, happy, satisfied, encouraged, motivated and so on…

Whenever “we” see, or hear, or experience something that “we” don’t like and don’t agree with, “we” feel upset, unhappy, frustrated, irritated, agitated, discouraged, demotivated, disappointed, angry and so on… Actually that is the ego comes in contact with what it doesn’t like and disagrees with… It is the ego feeling upset, unhappy, frustrated, irritated, agitated, discouraged, demotivated, disappointed, angry and so on…

To let go of the ego, is to not identify with the ego, and not associate with its reactions towards all the names and forms that the mind perceives or experiences through the senses… And remain unattached towards all these perceptions of names and forms, being the observer or the witness of the mind and its activities…

When “we” feel hurt or feel insulted by somebody or something, that is the ego reacting when it is being challenged for its “power”, “knowledge”, “authority”, “confidence”, or “self-image”…

The ego will try its best to “make” other people to like it, to love it, to agree with it, to support it, to respect it, to trust it, to appreciate it, to compliment it, and so on…

The ego wants to be, and needs to be “somebody” with certain image and qualities that is being recognized, approved and acknowledged by family and friends, the society or the community of the world…

The ego identified and attached to certain self-image, identity, qualities, condition, abilities, thinking, concepts, believes, ideas, traditions, lifestyles, ways of doing things, judgments, possessions, achievements, and so on, to be “somebody”…

The one who wants to express thoughts, ideas, creativities, feelings, emotions, likes and dislikes, wants and don’t wants, agreements and disagreements, and so on, is the ego…

Justification and arguing is one of the characteristics of the ego… It doesn’t like to see or hear something that it doesn’t agree with…

The ego depends or relies on “personal” or “professional” image and worldly identifications and achievements, such like, personality, uniqueness, academic and sports achievements, sensual and material enjoyments, personal characteristic and physical appearance, physical and mental conditions and abilities, financial status, social status, religious status, spiritual status, work and social activities and achievements, family and love relationships, friendships, fellowships, material possessions, wealth accumulations, lifestyles, worldly point of views, judgments, expectations and so on, to be “somebody”, to be “special”, to be “important”, to feel good, to feel being needed, to feel meaningful, to feel confident, to feel worthy, and so on…

The ego being conditioned and determined by other people’s judgments, evaluations, comments, supports, attentions, liking, agreement, acknowledgment, acceptance, appreciation, and so on, to be “who we are” in this worldly existence…

The ego being conditioned and determined by “qualifications”, “certifications”, “social status”, “financial status”, “academic status”, “lifestyle status”, “leisure status”, “relationship status”, “family status”, “spiritual status”, “fitness status”, “health status”, “mental status”, “achievements”, “personalities”, “personal image”, “professional image”, and so on, to be “somebody” who is well-worth living as a “person” or “human being”…

“We” think that “we” need all these “things” to be “who we are”… But it is just the ego clinging onto, or depending on all these “things” or “qualities” to be “alive”, to be “strong” and to be “in control”…

When we identify with the ego, our confidence and sense of self-worth are swaying up and down, according to the identifications, self-image, impermanent qualities and achievements that we create for ourselves… We are restless trying to be “somebody” with such and such qualities, making ourselves so busy trying to build up a “lovable”, “perfect” and “healthy” self-image… We are also being busy trying to protect or upkeep this “self-image” that we have created for ourselves… We don’t want this “good” self-image to be damaged or contaminated by “bad” reviews or “bad” qualities…

We are full of fear and worry, craving, clinging and aversion…


We are in a state of restlessness being dissatisfied for being “who we are” and “how we are” in the present moment now, rejecting and not accepting ourselves as we are…

If we can just let go of this ego, we will be so free being who we are and how we are, in this present moment now, as we are… Not looking forward to try to become “somebody” that we are not…

We can continue to perform actions in the world, and do our best in our life to pursue all our dreams and goals, but we are no longer being determined, or defined, or conditioned by all these names and forms, and the results of our actions, what we can do and cannot do, what we can achieve and cannot achieve… We are free while at the same time performing necessary actions improving ourselves in life physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually…

We are always confident, it’s because we are free from being conditioned and determined by the ego, and not because we are “somebody” with such and such qualities and achievements…

We are always happy, it’s because we are free from tensions and discontentment that come from being dissatisfied about “who we are” and “how we are”, and not because we are “somebody”, or we are “this” and “that”, or we have “this” and “that”…

We can fully enjoy what we do in life for ourselves or for other people, but we are not determined nor defined by all these things (our actions, the fruit of our actions, and the reactions of other people towards our actions)…

Yoga and meditation practice is nothing but to eliminate this ego… And be free.

This is truly liberation, being free from the ego, be free from the “worldly standardized” self-image, social status, pride and arrogance…

Om shanti.