Perform self-inquiry towards all the doubts in one’s mind

There’s nothing wrong with reading and memorizing and studying the teachings from the ancient scriptures of Yoga or Buddhism. Just that one needs to know how to unattached towards all the teachings in the scriptures, even if some or all of the teachings might seem to be agreeable or disagreeable to the mind based on what the mind thinks it knows, without blind-agreeing/disagreeing, blind-believing, or blind-following, but be determined to purify the mind to free the mind from egoism and impurities, to allow the mind to perform inquiry/investigation to inquire the truth of all these teachings whether they are true, or not.

At the same time, when the mind is still under the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities, the mind might generate disagreement or dislike towards some or all of the teachings, and out of the egoistic habit of the mind, it might feel disturbed or resentment towards the teachings that the mind disagrees with or dislikes. The disturbed mind would want to argue or debate or discuss about the truth of this and that, which the mind itself isn’t sure what it is. The mind that ‘knows’, would be in silence, allowing others to ‘understand’ or ‘interpret’ this and that in their own ways/versions.

It’s not so much about whether the teachings in the scriptures are all true, or not. Or whether there’s some misinterpretation coming from the impure mind while studying and analyzing the teachings, or there’s some misleading coming from those who ‘prepared’ the scriptures while putting the teachings into words/texts in a particular language, or there’s some imperfection while describing/translating the teachings into a particular language.

Any kinds of written texts or verbal words in any particular form of language is imperfect. That’s why the truth can only be realized through self-realization under a pure mind, and it can never be described/translated into the form of verbal or written words/texts of any languages. Buddha already stated that the truth can only be attained through self-realization via a pure and quiet mind reflection for the mind reflects upon itself to know thyself, it’s never through reading/studying/analyzing/debating/discussing or getting answers from anyone by asking questions, as one will never know whether all the answers from anyone is true, or not, unless one realizes the truth by itself.

Dhamma cannot be written down in words of any languages, and if the teachings had to be passing down through verbal form and be translated into other languages in verbal or written form, and be kept in the form of texts/words in any particular languages, it’s not perfect. Everyone who sincerely wants to follow the path of yoga or Buddhism, must work diligently on purifying and quieting the restless mind to allow the mind to inquire/reflect the truth of everything, including all the teachings from all the scriptures (any kind of teachings in text form or in verbal form of any particular language.)

And it’s not important at all whether the agreements and disagreements coming from the impure mind towards the teachings are true, or not. But it’s about the mind develops non-attachment towards all the teachings as well as all the impure mind reactions of agreements and disagreements towards everything based on ‘what the mind thinks it knows or understands’, without being disturbed by something that the mind disagrees with or dislikes, without being attached onto something that the mind agrees with or likes, remain equanimous being free from craving and aversion towards the duality of what the mind thinks and believes or understands as ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, or ‘true’ and ‘untrue’, that is upmost important.

Any form of argument, debate and discussion that derived from impure minds are useless as the minds are functioning under the influence of impurities. If the mind is free from impurities, there’s no argument, debate or discussion. Swami Sivananda mentioned repeatedly many times in many of his books – Abandon all forms of argument, debate and discussion. Purify and silent the mind. Meditate and realize. Ajahn Chah mentioned in his teachings – There’s only one book to read – the heart, look within and know thyself. Buddha’s teaching – Do not blind-believing or blind-following, investigate the truth of everything via self-realization through purification of the mind and the annihilation of ignorance and egoism – attachment, identification, the desire of craving and aversion.

The truth is there as it is when the mind is pure and quiet, being free from the influence of duality, being free from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance – egoism, impurities and restlessness of the modification of the mind. The truth is not a belief. The truth is just what things are. The truth is still the truth, that all are impermanent and selfless, including what the impure mind perceives as pleasurable enjoyment or painful suffering, regardless of what the mind thinks it knows or doesn’t know, or whether the mind agrees or disagrees with what it perceives based on what it thinks it understands, or whether the mind thinks itself is perfect or imperfect, or whether the world that the mind perceives through the senses appears to be pleasant or unpleasant, or whether the mind is happy or unhappy.

Those who had never read or come in contact with any scriptures or teachings, can still attain self-realization and be free from ignorance and suffering, when the mind is pure. Being free from ignorance and suffering doesn’t change the truth of impermanence and selflessness in all the names and forms, or doesn’t change all the names and forms to be the way that the impure egoistic minds would like them to be.

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Wise vs intelligent

The minds that are intelligent, upon coming in contact with something, will analyze it based on the accumulated knowledge under the influence of a particular thinking and belief to apply judgment of right or wrong/true or untrue/good or bad/positive or negative, and followed by asserting agreement (towards what is corroborating with the thinking and belief) and disagreement (towards what is contradicting with the thinking and belief), and generating liking, admiration and support towards the agreeable, while generating disliking, disgust and oppose towards the disagreeable. Being attached onto and identifying with the accumulated knowledge or what the mind thinks it knows (even though there are many things are unknown to the mind), the mind doesn’t bother to inquire the truth of something agreeable or disagreeable, that either corroborates or contradicts with the accumulated knowledge under the influence of a particular thinking and belief in the mind.

The minds that are wise, upon coming in contact with something, will be aware of or seeing the thing as it is, without generating liking, admiration and support or disliking, disgust and oppose, being free from agreement and disagreement based on judgment deriving from analysis that is limited by the accumulated knowledge under the influence of a particular thinking and belief. Via insight that is free from attachment or identification towards the accumulated knowledge under the influence of any thinking and belief, the mind is opened to inquire the truth of everything, including what it knows and doesn’t know, whether it is something corroborating or contradicting with the accumulated knowledge under the influence of a particular thinking and belief in the mind.

Being intelligent doesn’t guarantee that the mind is free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, or is free from disturb, restlessness and suffering.

Being wise allows the mind to be free from disturb, restlessness and suffering.

What the mind agrees with or disagrees with, is not necessary the truth or not the truth.

Yoga and meditation practice serves the purpose to transform the egoistic intellectual thinking into selfless intuitive insight, provided if yoga and meditation practice is being performed with the correct understanding and attitude. Otherwise, even after many years of yoga and meditation practice also doesn’t lead the mind into silence or towards liberation from ignorance and suffering, but instead empowering restlessness, egoism and ignorance.

The world of discrimination

Inquire the truth of discrimination.

Discrimination of all kinds, have always been existing in the world of names and forms from the past to the present, and will continuing to be existing endlessly, unless all existing minds are free from ignorance and egoism.

As long as the mind (actually most minds) has the desire/aspiration/intention/ambition/pride/identification to be ‘somebody’ who possessed certain superior qualities and void of certain inferior qualities based on their particular thinking and belief about what are superior qualities and inferior qualities, there will always be discrimination towards all the different names and forms that exist in the world.

Even a ‘good person’ who identifying oneself as ‘good being’ who performs ‘good actions’ and doesn’t perform ‘bad actions’ and attached to the result of one’s actions, while being influenced by particular thinking and belief to judge everything that the mind perceives through the senses, and will generate discrimination towards all the different qualities of names and forms, unwittingly. Most minds reluctant to let go the sense of superiority that they attained from possessing certain qualities that they think and believe as ‘superior’ and ‘higher quality’ than some other qualities that they think and believe as ‘inferior’ or ‘lower quality’.

People will fight to their death to defend their superior status that they think they have in the society, being afraid of being discriminated by others once the superior status is gone, as themselves have been discriminating others just because they strongly think and believe that they are somehow more superior than all the others who are different from them.

“I want myself to be like this, and not like that.”
“I want other people to be like this, and not like that.”
“People should be like this, and not like that.”
Free the mind from this kind of worldly egoistic habitual thinking, desire and expectation, is part of the yoga practice that will free the mind from generate discrimination towards oneself and others, and be undetermined and undisturbed by the existing discrimination generated/projected by other minds that are under the influence of ignorance and egoism.

Most people want to possess what they think and believe as ‘superior qualities’ to feel good, confident, proud and meaningful towards themselves, and want to be able to amaze/attract other people to gain liking and support, to be acknowledged, accepted, praised, respected, or glorified by other people for being ‘somebody’ with such and such ‘superior qualities’. People don’t want to possessed or be related to certain qualities that they and other people think and believe as ‘inferior qualities’, ‘lower qualities’, ‘bad qualities’, ‘unattractive qualities’, or ‘negative qualities’.

And hence, discrimination started within oneself towards certain qualities that one doesn’t like and doesn’t want, and this further influences the mind to discriminate other people who possessed certain qualities that one doesn’t like and doesn’t want, that one thinks and believes as ‘inferior qualities’, ‘lower qualities’, ‘bad qualities’, ‘unattractive qualities’, or ‘negative qualities’.

The minds that are free from this egoism of being attracted to and be proud of certain qualities and being repulsive towards and discriminating/hating certain qualities, are free from discrimination towards the qualities that come along with the existence of the body and mind, and towards others who possess different qualities from one another.

Unfortunately, this kind of egoless, selfless, desireless and dispassionate minds are very rare in this world. Look around us, most minds are influenced deeply by worldly egoistic ideas, thinking and belief, restlessly striving very hard to be ‘somebody’ that themselves and other people can agree with, respect, look up to and feel proud of. Most minds reluctant to let go the sense of superiority of possessing certain ‘superior qualities’. There’s nothing wrong with that, just that that’s how discrimination started towards all the different qualities that one’s mind recognizes as ‘good and bad’, ‘right and wrong’, ‘positive and negative’, ‘superiority and inferiority’. Ironically, these are the ones who don’t like to be discriminated by others and who protest against discrimination in the world, but they aren’t aware of, or didn’t realize that discrimination exist in their own minds towards all the different qualities that the minds perceive through the senses.

If one’s mind is free from attachment and identification towards qualities of names and forms to be identifying as ‘I’, this mind will also naturally be free from discrimination towards any qualities of names and forms, regardless of whether one possesses some of those qualities and doesn’t posses some of the other qualities. This mind won’t discriminate towards itself or towards any other beings/people/objects that carry with them many different qualities of names and forms.

The world will only be free from discrimination, if all minds are free from ignorance and egoism. And hence, discrimination will always exist in this world, as it’s a challenging work to annihilate ignorance and egoism from one’s mind, not to say, none can remove ignorance and egoism of others. And many minds aren’t interested in the annihilation of ignorance and egoism, even though they are interested in a better and peaceful world that is free from discrimination, hatred and violence.

Though discrimination of all kinds will always be existing, one’s mind can still be free, if one knows how to free one’s mind from craving/aversion/discrimination towards all the impermanent and selfless qualities of names and forms in oneself and in others. Whether all the other minds will be free from ignorance and egoism, and the world will be free from discrimination, or not, it’s their own responsibility. This mind won’t be determined or disturbed by all the many kinds of discrimination existing in the world deriving from minds under the deep influence of ignorance and egoism. This mind won’t be discriminating towards all those existing discrimination, and be free from the wishful thinking/expectation towards ‘the world should be free from discrimination’. This mind won’t be in a state of disappointment/frustration/anger/meaninglessness/hopelessness upon being aware of so much discrimination is happening here and there, endlessly.

Self-inquiry into the truth of who/what am ‘I’

– Inquire the truth of all the names and forms that the mind thinks and believes, and identifies as ‘I’, such like the life existence, the existence and function of the mind, the states of mind, the thinking/thoughts, the feelings/emotions, the mind perception of names and forms through the senses, the belief, the vision/ambition, the inspiration/aspiration, the self-esteem/confidence, the self-image, the culture, the race, the nationality, the pride, the shame, the ‘good’ qualities, the ‘bad’ qualities, the species, the religion, the practice, the behavior, the personality, the family/relatives/friends relationship, the social network, the social status, the titles, the talents, the skills, the learning/education, the knowledge, the qualifications, the memories, the experiences, the career, the energy field/level, the mental health condition, the desires of craving and aversion, the likes and dislikes, the agreements and disagreements, the positive and negative thinking, the standard of right and wrong, the sense of meaningfulness and meaninglessness, the existence and function of the physical body, the physical look/appearance, the different stages of growing and aging, the gender, the sexual orientation, the facial feature, the skin tone and colour, the hair, the body shape, the physical ability and disability/limitation, the physical health condition, the different bodily systems, the clothing and accessories, the life style, the living condition, the interests/hobbies, the food option, the actions and the result of actions, the possessions/belongings, the livelihood, the wealth, the achievements, the contributions, the sacrifices, the expectations, the satisfaction/dissatisfaction, the guilt/regret, the hurts/disappointment, the happiness/unhappiness, the sorrow/grief, and so on.

– If this is ‘I’, then it should belongs to ‘I’ and it should be in the control of ‘I’ about how ‘I’ would like/want it to be. If it’s not in the control of ‘I’ about how ‘I’ would like/want it to be, it doesn’t belong to ‘I’, then it’s not ‘I’ or ‘mine’.

– Negate what is not ‘I’.

– Realize selflessness. There is no ‘I’. Just impermanent changes of names and forms, arising and passing away.

Suffering and restlessness exist because of the ‘existence’ and ‘identification’ of the ego/’I’ in the mind/the thinking. Realize the truth of ‘I’, there’s no suffering or restlessness. Absence of suffering and restlessness is peace. If ‘peace’ comes from experiencing/perceiving ‘good’ and ‘positive’ qualities of names and forms, or due to everything is the way that the thinking would like it to be, then this ‘peace’ is ‘conditional peace’ that is impermanent. The real peace derived from knowing the truth of ‘I’, being free from ignorance and egoism, is unconditional and undetermined by all the life experiences/the mind perceptions of different qualities of names and forms of ‘good and bad’/’positive and negative.’

How to be free from the idea of ‘I’, or the ego

Most minds cannot understand about the teaching and practice of yoga about the annihilation of the ego, or be free from the idea of ‘I’.

It’s beyond the logical thinking of many minds/people about the practice of annihilating the ego, or the idea of ‘I’. This is because the thinking itself is the identification of ‘I’. The thinking/The identification of ‘I’ can’t go beyond what is beyond the thinking or the identification of ‘I’. And hence, there’s a thinking/thought/idea/belief of “I am existing.” that leads to the doubt of “How come the teachings of yoga talk about ‘selflessness’, that there’s no ‘I’?”

Some people think and understand that the annihilation of the ego means “I don’t have an ego.” by thinking that there is an ‘I’ existing being aware of the absence of the ego, and thus, “I am being free from the ego or without the ego.” Then what is that ‘I’ that thinks itself doesn’t have an ego?

The ‘I’ is the ego. As long as there’s an idea of ‘I’, or an identity of a being existing as ‘I’, thinking that “I don’t have an ego.” this mind is not free.

The ego is the identity/idea of ‘I’ in the mind as a form of thinking/thought/belief/idea/part of the memories. The annihilation of the ego is the annihilation of ‘I’. There is no ‘I’ existing. And hence, there is no “I am free from the ego.” or “I am a being without the ego.”

The ego, or the idea of ‘I’ exists in the form of thinking/thought as an individual being experiencing life through a body and a mind, perceiving all the names and forms through the sense organs, being the performer of actions and the receiver/enjoyer of the fruit of actions, attaching onto and identifying with particular family and educational background/culture/religion/social group/spiritual or non-spiritual thinking and belief, being proud of certain qualities, abilities and possessions, thinking and not thinking, knowing and not knowing, believing and not believing, remembering and forgetting, feeling and sensing, desiring and non-desiring, growing and learning, acting and reacting, discriminating, judging and expecting, being peaceful and peaceless, to love and be loved, building a life and relationships, procreating, changing, decaying and dying.

The idea of ‘I’ is just a thinking/thought/idea/belief. The idea of ‘I’, or the ego, merely ‘existing’ as a stream of thinking/thoughts, or a continuous thought out of ceaseless thoughts arising and passing away. Under the function of the memory there is remembrance or acknowledgement of an ‘I’, being born, growing, experiencing, learning, feeling, sensing, acting, aspiring, inspiring, enjoying, suffering, changing, decaying and dying. If there’s no remembrance of certain parts of the existence and function of the body and mind, there’s no ‘I’ in those ‘blankness’. There’s no ‘I’ in Silence, or in the absence of the modification of mind/thought-current/thought activities.

People say, “I was happy or unhappy. I was good or bad. I enjoyed or suffered.” Even in this present moment, this ‘I’ is no longer the ‘I’ a moment ago. Mere countless thoughts generate countless ideas of the ever changing impermanent ‘I’ in different states/forms, of countless ‘births’ and ‘deaths’ of countless ‘I’.

Who/what is this ‘I’, if there’s no function of memory or the ability of remembering the countless thoughts that arising and passing away ceaselessly? Even though there is remembrance of certain thoughts throughout the day, not to say, weeks/months/years, it’s only a small part of all the thoughts arising and passing away, of the stronger imprints. And hence, why still holding onto all the past memories of good and bad/happy and unhappy past experiences (even the remembrance of the last moment) to be who/what ‘I’ am? While continuing to feel disturbed, or angry, or hating, or hurt, or disappointed by the past experiences that was unpleasant or not the way that ‘the thinking’ would like it to be, or feel sad and missing something that was pleasant and the way that ‘the thinking’ liked it to be, but is no longer available in this present moment. Continuously thinking that “I am hurt and in painful sorrow.” and “I need to be healed from hurt and be free from painful sorrow.” or “I am missing someone or something.”

The body and the mind is impermanent and selfless. The body and the mind is not ‘I’. There’s no ‘I’ in the body and mind to be in control or claim possession/ownership of the impermanent existence of the body and mind.

It’s like when the body suffered from an injury and there is a wound or scar due to the injury. But the body is not ‘I’. The body is impermanent and the wound/scar is impermanent, and it’s not “I suffered an injury, or I have a wound/scar due to an injury.”

It’s the same as the thinking mind. If the thinking mind is not free from ignorance and the ego, and the ignorant egoistic mind feels hurt by hurtful experiences. But the mind is not ‘I’. The mind is impermanent and the hurtful feeling is impermanent, and it’s not “I feel hurt by hurtful experiences.”

Whether we like it, or not, and agree with it, or not, the teachings and practice of yoga is all about the annihilation of the ego, or the idea of ‘I’.

But how to be free from the idea of ‘I’ or how to eliminate the ego?

Since the ego is just a thinking/thought/idea/belief, it’s not real or it doesn’t exist at all. It’s the egoism being the by-product of the modification of the mind under the influence of ignorance that ‘create’ or ‘generate’ the existence of the ego, or ‘I’, and making the ‘I’ seems ‘real’ and ‘existing’. And so, to annihilate the ego, is about freeing the mind from egoism of attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation. This is the part of the yoga practice that many minds think and feel “It’s difficult.”

Once egoism is absent/annihilated, the mind is just what it is. The mind is neither good nor bad. Life existence is neither good nor bad. All kinds of experiences are neither good nor bad.

There’s no ‘I’ being there to assert wants and don’t wants, likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, and experiencing happiness/unhappiness, hurt, dissatisfaction, disappointment, greed, painful sorrow, offensiveness, defensiveness, agitation, depression, hostility, anger, hatred, fear and worry.

It’s all in the present moment, depending on whether egoism is present or absent in the mind. It’s neither easy nor difficult. It’s not something to be attained in the future after certain years or certain amount of yoga practice. The future doesn’t exist. There’s no guarantee that the ego will be annihilated after certain years and certain amount of yoga practice. But in this very moment, the only existence, whether the mind is free/not free from ignorance and egoism that generate the existence of an identity of ‘I’ being here to enjoy or suffer.

More important is that, there’s no ‘I’ being there to annihilate egoism from the mind. There’s no ‘I’ am performing yoga practice of purifying the mind and freeing the mind from the ego. There’s no ‘I’ am free or not free from egoism, or the ego. There’s no ‘I’ am practicing yoga or meditation. There’s no ‘I’ am good or bad. There’s no ‘I’ am suffering or ‘I’ am free from suffering. There’s no ‘I’ am selfish or ‘I’ am unselfish. There’s no ‘I’ am selfless. There’s no ‘I’ in attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness.

It’s just the mind purifying itself out of awareness, being aware of the consequences of egoism and be persevered to let go egoism of attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation. It’s the mind/the thinking being free or not free from ignorance and egoism.

Be free.