Self-transformation

Self-transformation in the world is about changing the ‘qualities’ of the body and mind (what the mind identifies as ‘I’) from what the worldly thinking and belief categorize as bad, wrong and negative into what the worldly thinking and belief categorize as good, right and positive, in order to enhance one’s self-esteem, self-image, attractiveness, confidence, productivity, knowledge, skill, ability, physical and mental performance, social networking, or success in career, life and relationships, to attain what most people’s thinking and belief categorize as ‘good’, ‘easy’, ‘comfortable’, ‘enjoyable’, ‘successful’, ‘prosperous’, ‘happy’ and ‘meaningful’ life.

Self-transformation in the teachings of yoga is about reforming the thinking pattern of the mind to free the mind from being conditioned by the worldly egoistic thinking and belief that influences how the mind thinks, acts and reacts towards all the mind perception of names and forms, to free the mind from ignorance, egoism, restlessness and impurities, to be free from suffering that exists due to ignorance. Being free from attachment towards qualities of names and forms and being free from identification with the impermanent selfless existence and function of the body and mind as ‘I’, realizing selflessness or ‘I’-lessness, unlimited by any qualities of names and forms.

If the mind is surrounded by the company of the worldly minded and constantly receiving all kinds of worldly input and influence of worldly ideas, thinking and belief, and being influence by all the ceaseless trends in the world to make decisions and live life, then it’s very difficult for the mind to practice yoga of the annihilation of ignorance and egoism (even if the mind likes to perform some forms of yoga practice), as the mind will disagree with many of the teachings of yoga that are contradicted with the worldly thinking and belief, and unable to be opened to inquire the truth of something that is unknown to the mind or something that is disagreeable to the mind that is under the influence of the worldly thinking and belief to analyze and judge what is agreeable and disagreeable.

And hence the importance of retreating or moving the mind away from the worldly way of life, behavior, habits, thinking and belief, to renounce worldly inputs and influences, relationships, interactions and activities, to allow the mind to see things beyond the limited worldly thinking and belief that influences the mind to judge everything, act and react, that empowers ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness.

Does the mind still think that ‘this’ is something ‘good’, and everyone should do ‘this’, and ‘that’ is something ‘bad’, and everyone shouldn’t do ‘that’? Does the mind still think that “To live a good and meaningful life, I need to be like this and not like that. Other people also need to be like this and not like that to live a good and meaningful life?” Does the mind still amazed by and admire towards someone or something that the mind perceives as amazing, wonderful and meaningful, that the mind would like to be like that someone and to have/experience that something? Does the mind still want to be able to inspire or amaze other people? If the answer is ‘yes’, then this mind is not free, even though this mind only wants to perform ‘good’ actions and doesn’t want to perform ‘bad’ actions, and living everyday life being in certain ways and not being in certain ways, according to what the mind thinks and believes as ‘good and bad’ or ‘meaningfulness and meaninglessness’ based on the worldly thinking and belief about what is ‘good and bad’ or ‘meaningfulness and meaninglessness’.

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to do with their life, body and mind, and whether to practice yoga to free the mind from ignorance, or not.

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May all be free…

All kinds of suffering, unrest, ignorance, selfishness, unjust, violence, dissatisfaction, disappointment, and fear will always exist in the perception of names and forms in the worldly life existence of the ignorant and egoistic minds.

Buddha taught living beings how to be free from suffering.

Buddha didn’t teach living beings how to make the world of names and forms to be free from all kinds of suffering or unhappiness. Or Wishing there will only be desirable, pleasant and happy experiences, and no undesirable, unpleasant and unhappy experiences in the world of impermanent names and forms.

Buddha taught living beings to purify one’s mind, cultivate one’s kindness, to refrain oneself from evil thinking, action and speech.

Buddha didn’t teach living beings to ‘purify’ other beings’ mind, to make other beings to cultivate kindness, or to make other beings to refrain from evil thinking, action and speech.

As the world is just what it is. It is neither a suffering place nor a non-suffering place.

Suffering derives from ignorant of the truth and egoism.

To be free from suffering, one works on eliminating ignorance and egoism from one’s mind.

As the perception of the worldly life existence is not outside the mind. It’s within the mind.

Purify and tame one’s mind, and be free.

The world of impermanent names and forms will still be what it is. All other beings will still be what they are. But, one is free from suffering for being free from ignorance and egoism while living in the world of impermanent names and forms.

This is not selfish.

No one can change another being.

One might can influence others to work on their own salvation when oneself is fully purified and be free from ignorance and egoism, without the intention to change other beings or change the world to be the way that the egoistic mind desires, or thinks how it should be.

Purifying and taming one’s mind is the greatest contribution towards humanity and world peace and harmony.

May all be free…

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.

Reform ourselves first, if we truly want to see reformation in the society…

Free ourselves from ignorance first, if we wish the world to be free from ignorant beings and happenings.

Have peace in ourselves first, if we want a peaceful world.

We cannot expect everyone else, except ourselves should be changing, so that we can have a better society that is free from ignorant beings and happenings, so that we can have a peaceful world to live in.

Out of pride and arrogance, we think that we are better human beings than others. We think that we are ‘good’ people, and we are angry with all the ‘bad’ people in the society. Thinking that everyone else except ourselves, are contributing and being responsible for the problems in the society or in the world.

The restlessness in us that comes from dissatisfaction, discrimination, anger and hatred towards other people’s ignorance are in fact polluting the society and the world, not any less than those who we think they are responsible for all the ‘problems’ that we have.

Reform ourselves first, if we truly want to see positive changes, or reformation in the society.

If we, or every beings know how to ‘clean up’ and ‘control’ ourselves, the world will start to change. It is not about ‘changing’ others, or ‘clean up’ others, or ‘control’ others…

In tradition, whether in Buddhism, or Yoga teachings and practice, is all about ‘reforming’ or ‘transforming’ ourselves. We retreat ourselves from the world, or worldly affairs, to concentrate on our own ‘reformation’, remove ignorance and egoism, until we are free, and have peace. Being undisturbed, unaffected, uninfluenced, and undetermined by all the qualities of names and forms in the world, then only we can ‘help’ to bring certain awareness into the world to ‘help’ other beings to be free from ignorance and egoism, and attain wisdom, or correct understanding, and thus will have correct thinking, actions and speech. And so, the society will start to change or reform.

Om shanti.

The lineage of yoga is being contaminated or manipulated by some impure beings?

Out of  love and protection towards the lineage of yoga and meditation, some good beings are being angry and worried about the lineage of yoga might be destroyed, or contaminated, or manipulated by some people in the world who are involving in practicing and teaching yoga and meditation without correct understanding or pure intention.

It is normal and nothing wrong to be worried and upset about this. Anyone also will feel sad when seeing something “good” is being contaminated or destroyed.

The point is, we don’t have to be angry or worried about whether the lineage of yoga will be destroyed, or contaminated, or manipulated by some impure beings, as there is no one, or nothing can destroy, contaminate or manipulate the essence of the teachings of yoga or the lineage of yoga. When we think like that (even though it is out of our love towards the lineage of yoga), it shows that we don’t really have faith in Dharma/Dhamma, or in God, or in the universal consciousness, or in the Self… As all these names and terms are not separated nor different from each other.

The true Self is identical with the universal consciousness. And the true Self will not and cannot be contaminated, nor affected, nor destroyed, nor hurt, nor wounded by anyone, or anything, or qualities, or elements… This teaching is indicated in the Bhagavad Gita.

Ashochyaan anvaschochastwam prajnaavaadaamshcha bhaashase;
Gataasoon agataasoomshcha naanushochanti panditah.
(commentary by Swami Sivananda – Thou hast grieved for those that should not be grieved for, yet thou speakest words of wisdom. The wise grieve neither for the living nor for the death.)

Acchedyo’yam addaahyo’yam akledyo’shoshya eva cha;
Nityah sarvagatah sthaanur achalo’yam sanaatanah.
(commentary by Swami Sivananda – This Self cannot be cut, burnt, wetted or dried up. It is eternal, all-pervading, stable, ancient and immovable.)

When we say Dharma/Dhamma is not affected, nor contaminated, nor hurt by anything or anyone, but it’s existence with name and form (the appearance and qualities) in this world is still conditioned by impermanence. It can be destroyed, be contaminated, be manipulated. But the essence or the true nature of Dharma/Dhamma, or the Truth, cannot be destroyed, nor contaminated, nor manipulated. We need to be able to accept the qualities of names and forms (the appearance of Dharma/Dhamma in the world) is subject to changes and impermanence.

Buddha had mentioned about everything that is existing with certain qualities of names and forms, is impermanent, even Dhamma also will be disappearing from the world, but the essence of Dhamma or the Truth can never be contaminated, nor manipulated, nor destructed by anyone or anything…

So what if the authentic lineage of yoga is gradually disappearing from the world? There must be a cause for that to happen, and the truth about everything is, all the names and forms are subject to impermanence.

If everyone is free from ignorance, if everyone is wise and compassionate, if everyone is pure and enlightened, then there is no need of this practice or that practice, including yoga, meditation, Buddhism or any other forms of practice…

It is because people are not free and are not pure, that’s why everyone should take up some forms of practice that can help them to be free, to be pure, to be wise, to be compassionate…

Yoga, meditation, Buddhism and other types of practice, are not specially prescribed for the wise, compassionate, peaceful and selfless beings, as all these beings are already free. They don’t need yoga, meditation, Buddhism or any other forms of practice to help them to be free, as they are free…

And so, it is not abnormal, nor strange, nor bad, when we see so many people are practicing and teaching yoga in the world now without “correct understanding” or “pure intentions”, as these beings are the one who needed yoga, meditation, Buddhism, or any other forms of practice mostly and urgently, to attain correct understanding and be pure through all these practice.

Out of compassion, anyone are welcome to practice yoga, meditation, Buddhism, or any other forms of practice, as that is what all these practices are here for…

And thus, why be angry and upset towards all these “impure happenings” that are going on in the world of yoga, meditation, Buddhism, or any other forms of practice?

If the door of yoga and meditation is only accepting and be opened to those who are pure and wise, so that the lineage of yoga is not being contaminated nor manipulated by all these beings that are not free yet, who are not enlightened yet, then there are only few people in the world are qualified to practice yoga and meditation…

Indeed, we should try our best to protect Dharma/Dhamma as much as we can, as long as we can, so that more beings (who are not free, who need Dharma/Dhamma) will be benefitted from the lineage of yoga to be free. But out of compassion, we need to allow and accept all these impure beings into the world of yoga and let them mess around a bit, allow everyone to take their own time to purify, to transform, and be wise and pure. Just like bringing up children. We have to accept them as they are, allow them to make mistakes and learn to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions, allow them to learn and transform in their own ways and pace, allow them to be who they are, and love them as they are.

We don’t have to be worried and angry about all these things that are going on in the world of yoga and meditation that seem to be “corrupted”, or “not so pure”, or “not so authentic”, if we truly love yoga, love God, love Dharma/Dhamma, love our Self and love all beings.

I don’t even identify myself as pure being, that’s why I am still performing my practice regularly as much as I can…

Who am I to judge or criticize other beings for being not pure?

It is okay if in the beginning there are many people who are not pure, who try to do yoga, but are not doing the yoga practice the right way, nor with correct understanding, nor with pure intentions. Everyone starts with being impure and ignorant, and then transformation happens as we practice and when the time is right.

In the beginning when I first started teaching yoga (exercise) class in the dance studio, I had no idea what yoga is or is not. I had no intention to be a yoga teacher to teach yoga classes. I didn’t like yoga asana exercises, as I thought they were boring and too slow for me. I didn’t even think that I will be giving yoga classes and share yoga with so many people in the present now. My main motivation to teach yoga (exercise) classes beside my full time job as aerobics instructor in the past, was to earn a living to support myself, my parents and to help out my poor family.

The income that came from teaching yoga classes before I went to India, allowed me to be able to pay for my course fees, flight ticket and other expenses, as well as some monthly financial support for my parents when I was not around.

You may read the more detailed story about what brought me to India and how I managed to have the money to go to India to learn yoga, from this link MY LIFE STORIES  – PART 6

As I went deeper into the practice while at the same time giving yoga classes, I allowed myself to transform from within, and I owed this to the opportunity given to me by the universe. The universe was and still is so kind to me. It accepted me when I was ignorant, and be compassionate towards me and my family for my family’s poor living condition, and gave me the opportunity to teach “yoga classes” to improve my earning to support myself and my family, but most importantly, it gave me the opportunity to learn about yoga, and to practice yoga, and to transform myself into a more peaceful being. And I serve the universe by sharing these learning and transformation with other beings, where the universe bring us to meet each other.

Protect and preserve the Dharma/Dhamma in us by destroying the ego, impurities and ignorance in us. Trust and have faith in the universal consciousness, allow the universal consciousness to take care of everything else. We are underestimating the power of the universal consciousness if we think Dharma/Dhamma is going to be contaminated or manipulated by some impure beings. As even if that is happening, there is something for everyone to learn from. A fake guru, or an impure yogi, or a bad yoga teacher can teach us a lot about many things that we need to learn.

Om shanti.