Compassion and wisdom – How to be free from suffering

Many people asked, “How to be free from suffering, especially suffering that is inflicted by other people’s ignorant behavior out of ignorance?”

Only through self-realized compassion and wisdom can free one’s mind from suffering. Obtaining sympathy and empathy from others can only console the mind for momentary relief, but it doesn’t free the mind from the root cause of suffering – Ignorance, egoism and impurities. It doesn’t matter what kind of suffering that the mind thinks it is suffering from, it’s all out of ignorance. The mind who thinks it is experiencing suffering, the object of suffering, and the cause suffering, may it be something physically, mentally or emotionally unpleasant or hurtful inflicted by others, intentionally and unintentionally, or it’s due to some unforeseen circumstances, are all the products of ignorance.

Even the liberated, compassionate and wise Buddha also couldn’t free other beings from suffering. He could only give them the teachings and it’s up to everyone’s own awareness, effort, perseverance, self-inquiry and self-realization to free one’s mind from ignorance, egoism and impurities, and thus, be free from suffering.

When there is a thinking of “I am the victim of suffering” and “I am the victim of the cause of suffering”, where there is an identification from the mind being identified as the sufferer, and there is attachment and judgment towards the suffering and what the mind thinks is the cause of suffering, this mind won’t be able to see the truth of the suffering and the cause of suffering. And hence, the mind couldn’t be free from suffering even though there are plenty of sympathy and empathy coming from other people towards this mind that it thinks it is suffering from some kind of suffering.

Compassion and wisdom allows the mind to stand as a third party looking into the mind that thinks it is the sufferer or an victim, the suffering and the cause of suffering, WITHOUT egoism of judgment, attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, intention or expectation. It allows the mind to see the truth of the existence of the sufferer or the victim, the object of suffering and the cause of suffering, as it is.

When the mind experiences something that the mind doesn’t like, doesn’t agree with and doesn’t want, there arise suffering in this mind. When the mind doesn’t experience something that it likes, agrees with and wants, there arise suffering in this mind. When the mind losing something that it likes, agrees with and wants, there arise suffering in this mind. It’s all in the mind from the mind, it’s not coming from the objects of name and form that the mind is experiencing. It’s the mind rejecting the reality that it perceives or experiences that is not the way that the mind likes and wants it to be, but is the way that the mind doesn’t like and doesn’t want, that is why suffering exists in the mind. It’s egoism of attachment and identification towards the physical body and the thinking mind, that generate great fear and aversion towards having bad condition, not having good condition, losing good condition, physical and mental limitation, loneliness, decay, weakness, injury, sickness, pain, hunger, thirst, disability, old age, separation from people and things that we love, the unknown, insecurity, and death. The mind is suffering from peacelessness or restlessness of ungratified desires of craving and aversion, dissatisfaction, greed, lust, passion, disappointment, anger, hatred, hurt, animosity, hostility, humiliation, pride, arrogance, ill-will, ill-thinking, violence, fear and worry, and etc.

Out of fear, craving and aversion, there’s violence, unrest, war, killing, sexual assault, hostility, discrimination, hatred, corruption, and all sorts of human-made ignorant happenings in this world.

And hence, out of wisdom, the mind realizes that all suffering are deriving from impurities born out of ignorance and egoism of attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, judgment and expectation. It’s really nothing to do with the objects of name and form that the mind experiences/perceives which the mind thinks are ‘bad’, ‘horrible’, ‘undeserving’, ‘wrong’, ‘hurtful’, ‘negative’ or ‘suffering’, that the impure mind thinks it’s the cause of its suffering.

And out of compassion from this mind towards itself that is under the influence of the ignorant thinking about itself is the sufferer or an victim, and being compassionate towards the mind perception of suffering and the cause of suffering, this mind is able to let go the thinking about itself as the sufferer or the victim and what it used to perceive as ‘suffering’, and thus, the sufferer, the suffering and the cause of suffering all disappear from the mind that is wise and compassionate. And knowing that whether they are pleasant or unpleasant sensations, desirable or undesirable experiences, enjoyable or hurtful experiences, happy or unhappy experiences, deserving or undeserving experiences, present or past experiences, they all have no quality or intention to be something pleasurable or suffering, and they are impermanent, and it’s not ‘I’.

‘I’ am not the sufferer, the sufferer is not ‘I’. ‘I’ am not the suffering, the suffering is not ‘I’. ‘I am not the cause of suffering, the cause of suffering is not ‘I’. There’s neither ‘I’ exists to be suffering, or there is suffering existing, or there’s a suffering ‘I’ needs to be free from suffering. There might be painful and unpleasant sensations or limitation in the body due to injury or sickness, but there is awareness knowing that the body is not ‘I’, ‘I’ am not the body. And the body and the painful sensations or the injury or the sickness or the function of the body are all impermanent. There’s no identification or attachment towards the impermanent changes of the body and life existence. There’s no fear or aversion towards painful and unpleasant sensations, injury, sickness, separation from people and things that we love, and death or the end of this life existence. And hence, suffering doesn’t arise in the liberated mind.

It’s the intense aversion towards something that the mind recognizes as ‘bad’, ‘negative’, ‘horrible’, ‘unhappy’, hurtful’, ‘unpleasant’, ‘wrong’, ‘undeserving’, ‘sad’, ‘fearful’, or ‘suffering’, that the mind doesn’t like or doesn’t agree with and doesn’t want, that intensify the ‘suffering’ state of the mind. If the mind is free from craving or aversion towards any names and forms that are pleasant or unpleasant, then the mind will be aware of something is not nice, or greatly unpleasant, or not right that the mind is experiencing through the physical body, but the mind won’t perceive it as an suffering, and knowing that this is impermanent, and it’s needless to hold on onto this unpleasant experience, and allow the memory of this experience to be there, without pushing it away, and this memory has no power or quality to make the mind suffers, unless the mind allows itself to be continuously be disturbed or determined by this memory, and suffers.

When the mind is endowed with compassion and wisdom, this mind will know that all kinds of hurtful or painful experiences inflicted by human beings are deriving from ignorant behavior out of ignorance, whether intentionally or unintentionally. There’s no need to blame oneself or others by thinking that “I am a victim of other people’s ignorant behavior. And I am in great suffering because of other people’s ignorant behavior out of ignorance.” or “It’s because I am not good, that’s why I am experiencing this and I am suffering.” Because, the wisdom will allow the mind to understand, “I am not ignorant to behave ignorantly. Somebody else is ignorant to behave ignorantly. Why do I have to suffer for other people’s ignorant behavior out of ignorance? I don’t have to, even though there might be some damages or painful sensations inflicted onto this body and mind caused by other people’s ignorant behavior out of ignorance. If I allow myself to be suffering for other people’s ignorant behavior out of ignorance and generating further damages to this body and mind due to anger and hatred, then it’s out of my ignorance.” And out of compassion towards this body and mind that is physically, mentally and emotionally be affected by other people’s ignorant behavior out of ignorance, this mind will let go and move on without resentment, anger, hatred, hurt, guilt or blame. This mind doesn’t even need to forgive anyone or anything, as there’s no anger or hatred or resentment or hurt in this mind. This doesn’t mean that this mind is allowing or encouraging other people to be ignorant to perform ignorant behavior onto this body and mind.

By telling the people who are under the influence of ignorance about the damages and pain that they have done onto other people’s body and mind won’t undo what had happened and won’t remove the ignorance from the people’s mind. It has to come from everyone’s self-aware and self-realize towards the ignorance in them and the consequences of ignorant behavior, and out of their own free-will and self-control, they want to be free from ignorance and stop behaving ignorantly. If people are free from ignorance, they won’t behave ignorantly in the first place. And because of ignorance, they are ignorant towards their ignorant behavior, and continue to be ignorant, even though they are being pointed out that they are ignorant.

Out of our own ignorance, we can tell the wise about something that we think is ignorant about them, “You are ignorant. What you do is so ignorant.” And the wise won’t be disturbed, and it’s our own ignorance for having such statement towards the wise who are not ignorant at all. But we can’t tell this to the ignorant, even if it’s out of good intention trying to bring awareness to someone about their ignorance and their ignorant thinking, actions and behavior, it’s because of ignorance, they will be very offended, disturbed and upset, as the ignorant are being ignorant towards the ignorance in their minds. By telling those who are under the influence of ignorance that they are ignorant, won’t take away the ignorance in them. And so, it’s pointless to tell anyone whom we think they are ignorant that they are ignorant and to stop being ignorant, whether they are really ignorant, or not, because the wise are not ignorant at all, and the ignorant will still be ignorant.

Whether those who inflict ignorant actions out of ignorance onto other people will finally receive the consequences of their actions, or not, and whether they will repent and apologize, or not, it really doesn’t matter to the liberated minds and it’s not their intention to make them suffer or be punished for their actions out of ignorance.

If the mind needs to see the ignorant people to suffer or be punished for their ignorant actions, to feel better and satisfied, then this mind is not free, even though it might feel better and satisfied in this present moment by gratifying its desire of wishing the ignorant people to suffer or be punished for their ignorant actions, as this mind is also under the influence of ignorance and egoism and impurities.

May all be free.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The mind and the worldly life existence of enjoyment and suffering

The entire worldly life existence is nothing but mind activities powered by the mind perceptions of names and forms through the senses of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations and thoughts/feelings/imaginations/dreams.

If there is absence of the function of mind perception through the senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, sensing/touching and thinking, there are no mind activities, there’s no worldly life experience. There’s no good life or bad life. There’s no good being or bad being. There’s no good world or bad world. There’s no enjoyment or suffering.

The worldly life existence that the mind perceives or experiences, whether it’s pleasant or unpleasant, and whether the mind enjoys or suffers, it’s all in the mind itself, and it’s in now and it’s impermanent. It’s nothing to do with the names and forms that the mind perceives. The names and forms are just what they are. Duality doesn’t exist in the names and forms, but only in the mind itself. Duality exists in the mind, not in the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses.

Without the sense of seeing, the mind won’t perceive sights or images of colours and shapes. What is beautiful or ugliness? What is attractive or unattractive? What is respectful or disrespectful?

Without the sense of hearing, the mind won’t perceive sounds. What is pleasantness or unpleasantness? What is compliment or insult? What is calming or disturbing?

Without the sense of taste, the mind won’t perceive tastes. What is tasty or not tasty?

Without the sense of smell, the mind won’t perceive smells. What is nice smell or bad smell?

Without the sense of touch/sensing, the mind won’t perceive sensations. What is pleasure or displeasure? What is comfortable or discomfortable?

Without the thinking faculty and memory function, there’s no thinking and belief, culture and religion, or imaginations, or thoughts/ideas, or feelings. What is good or bad? What is right or wrong? What is positive or negative? What is satisfaction or dissatisfaction? What is joy or grief? What is happiness or unhappiness? What is believe or disbelieve? What is fear or fearlessness? What is birth and death? What is existence or non-existence?

The one who experiences suffering, is the mind that is under the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities. The one who performs yoga and meditation practice to be free from suffering, is the mind that is experiencing suffering. The one who is liberated from suffering, is the mind that is being free from ignorance, egoism and impurities through persevered discipline and practice. There’s no ‘I’ experience suffering, or ‘I’ perform yoga and meditation practice, or ‘I’ am liberated from suffering.

The mind that is NOT free from ignorance and egoism, there is an idea of ‘I’ existing to be identified as the one who perceives names and forms, who is aware of the mind activities, and who experiences worldly life existence, to enjoy or suffer based on the reaction towards the perception of names and forms (mind activities of worldly life experiences). The mind is being in a state of restlessness due to ceaseless passionate reactions of egoistic desires of craving and aversion from ‘I’ towards all the perceived names and forms (sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations, thoughts/ideas/feelings/imaginations/dreams).

The mind that is free from ignorance and egoism, there is no ‘I’ existing to experience worldly life existence, there’s no ‘I’ am perceiving names and forms, or ‘I’ enjoy or suffer. It’s just the mind functioning and perceiving names and forms through the senses via the sense organs. There is mind awareness being aware of the mind activities, but there’s no ‘I’ am aware of the mind activities. The selfless/egoless mind is undetermined or uninfluenced by the perception of names and forms due to the absence of egoism of attachment, identification, clinging, longing, craving or aversion towards the perceived names and forms, and thus, it’s free from restlessness. There’s no clinging or craving towards the objects of name and form that are pleasant and there’s no aversion towards the objects of name and form that are unpleasant.

Practice yoga of annihilating egoism, to purify and discipline and quiet the mind to allow the mind to see the truth of things as it is, to be free from ignorance – the root cause of suffering. All the other effects/benefits derived from the many forms of yoga practice are just some by-products, and they are impermanent and they are not the end of suffering. Even the positive effects of good feelings, pleasant sensations, enhanced physical condition and ability, calmness and positive thinking derived from many different forms of yoga practice are impermanent. They will change and pass away.

Attaining all kinds of impermanent effects/benefits from the yoga practice doesn’t guarantee that the mind will be free from being determined or disturbed by the mind perception of names and forms of a life existence that is impermanent and it doesn’t stop the mind to experience suffering, if the mind is still under the influence of ignorance and egoism.

It’s through the elimination of ignorance and egoism that will lead the mind towards the realization of unconditional peace that is not subject to impermanence, that is nothing to do with the qualities of name and form, good and bad condition, and pleasant/desirable or unpleasant/undesirable life experiences. The selfless/egoless mind is peaceful as it is, while witnessing all the perceived impermanent changes of names and forms, or the countless births and deaths of mind activities arising and passing away.

The mind that is not free from ignorance and egoism will be involuntarily and restlessly swaying back and forth between the state of elevation and depression, satisfaction and dissatisfaction, happiness and unhappiness. The mind will feel good, satisfied and happy when its desires of craving and aversion are being gratified, but the good or happy feelings and satisfaction derived from experiencing good condition or pleasant/desirable experiences doesn’t stop the mind from feeling bad, dissatisfied and unhappy when the desires of craving and aversion are not being gratified, or when good condition or pleasant/desirable experiences are not available or no longer available, as the mind is not free from egoism of attachment, identification, clinging, longing, craving and aversion towards life experiences of names and forms. And thus the mind is restless or peaceless, even though the mind attains some momentary effects/benefits from the regular yoga practice.

Upon self-realization of the truth of names and forms as it is, when the mind is free from ignorance, all kinds of names and forms that the mind perceived asĀ  suffering due to ignorance, are no longer being perceived as the objects, or the quality, or the cause of suffering, but they are just what they are. There are changes, decay, old age, sickness, weakness, discomfort, pain and the end of the existence and function of the body and mind, but all these are not suffering.

There’s neither suffering nor the end of suffering.

Be free.

Go beyond the balanced and imbalanced state of the mind

Depression is not uncommon and is a sensitive subject to deal with, and it doesn’t exclude those whom the society believe are good, loving, generous, friendly, physically active, fit and healthy people, as well as those who have been doing yoga and meditation practice. It’s a form of mental illness.

Mental illness or mind blockage is neither a good nor a bad thing, and there’s nothing to be ashamed about. Different people might suffer different level of depression and might require different approach/counteract to counter the depression.

Though there is nothing wrong or bad or negative or shameful about someone is suffering from depression, there are people might not know how to deal with their own depression or with other people around them who are suffering from depression.

For many people, it’s normal that occasionally, the mind would feel unhappy, sad or down about something that they experience that their minds recognize as something ‘sad’ or ‘depressing’, or when they are not getting what they like and want or they are getting what they don’t like and don’t want, or when they think their lives are lack of something that would give them the sense of liveliness, goodness, positiveness, happiness, or meaningfulness. Once they found or attained something that would give them the sense of liveliness, goodness, positiveness, happiness and meaningfulness, when they experience something that they like and want, and when they don’t experience something that they don’t like and don’t want, they would stop feeling unhappy, or sad, or down. But this is not the same as those who suffer from depression.

For those who suffer from depression, depression is just what it is that is not in their free-will or control towards how they feel. The mind is just being in a ‘involuntary’ state of depression under the influence of chemical hormonal imbalanced that may require the help of medical treatment to get out of depression, as depression is not determined by whether their life experiences are ‘lively or lifeless’, ‘good or bad’, ‘positive or negative’, ‘joyful or sorrowful’, or ‘meaningful or meaningless’, or whether they have a cheerful and positive personality, or whether they are surrounded by positive and cheerful people who love them and care for them. The depression is there, even though life is all good and there are many people around them that are cheerful, loving and caring.

Those who suffer from depression are getting the direct experience of the teaching of yoga that the function of the body and mind is not in the control of ‘I’, they don’t belong to ‘I’, and they are not ‘I’. Even though the function of the body and mind is not in the control of ‘I’, but out of compassion, people can perform necessary actions that can influence the state of their minds to regain stability or balance.

There are people don’t understand depression and they might get impatient with or be annoyed by other people’s state of depression, and they ‘advise’ or tell people who are suffering from depression to be grateful for the good things that they have and to stop being depressed, because they think it’s wasting time and energy, and it’s meaningless to be depressed most of the time, especially when there’s no reason to be depressed, as they feel that it’s quite ‘depressing’ for them to deal with or be with people who suffer from depression. Some close family members or friends might feel guilty that they couldn’t help much no matter how much they show love and care for their loved one who suffers depression or any kind of mental illness.

We can’t tell people who suffer depression to ‘just get over it’ or ‘please stop being depressed’ as it is really not in their control or free-will towards how they feel or the state of their mind. Maybe there are some people in the world enjoy being depressed, but most people don’t like to be depressed. Most people want to feel good and happy most of the time.

Everyone has their freedom for how they feel and think. The people who suffer depression are allowed to feel depressed and be depressed, even though they don’t want to feel depressed, but they have no control over it. While the people who get annoyed by other people’s depression also are allowed to be affected and feel annoyed. There are people don’t have empathy or compassion towards other people’s suffering, and that itself is also a natural form of mental illness or mind blockage as well. If we understand that there are different types of mental illness or mind blockage, we won’t be just being compassionate towards those who are suffering from depression, but we would also be compassionate towards those who are lack of empathy and compassion towards other people who suffer from depression.

Yoga practice such like ‘proper’ yoga asana practice with correct understanding (non-judgmental, non-perfection, non-competitive and non-fitness challenging), breathing exercises, chanting and etc, can help to balance the state of the mind and relieve the state of depression up to a certain extent, but even the balancing effect derived from the yoga practice is impermanent, and it’s not a guarantee that after we have been doing yoga practice for some time, we will be immune to depression or any other kind of mental illness, even if our physical body is becoming more fit and healthy from the regular yoga practice.

If the yoga practitioners actually practice yoga according to the essential teachings of yoga of freeing the mind from ignorance and egoism, learning how to go beyond the balanced and imbalanced state of the mind through the realization of the truth of the mind and suffering, and realized SELFLESSNESS and unconditional peace and love that is beyond all states of the mind and the impermanent function and condition of the physical body, and all the mind perception of different qualities of names and forms, then depression is just one of the condition of the mind that is not ‘I’ and it’s not a suffering.

When the mind is free from ignorance and egoism, then it doesn’t matter whether the mind is occasionally be affected or disturbed by the perceived qualities of names and forms, and feel unhappy, sad or depressed about something that the mind recognizes as ‘unhappy’, ‘sad’, and ‘depressing’, or there is depression in the mind caused by the chemical hormonal imbalanced, there is an awareness being aware of the mind is in a state of unhappiness or there is depression in the mind, being aware of what is going on in the mind, but there’s no judgment, attachment, identification, craving or aversion, and most importantly, knowing that it’s impermanent and it’s not ‘I’.

The realization of the truth of the mind and suffering, being free from ignorance and egoism doesn’t stop the truth of changes, decay, old age, sickness, and death or decomposition. All the saints and sages in the past had showed us the truth as it is. The mind could be liberated from ignorance, egoism and suffering, but, the life existence of the body with the function of the mind will still have to go through impermanent changes of decay, old age, sickness, pain, weakness, and death or decomposition. And upon the realization of the truth, all impermanent changes, decay, old age, sickness, pain, weakness and death, are not ‘suffering’. There is no suffering even though the body and mind are going through changes, decay, old age, discomfort, pain, unpleasantness, or some other limitation.

The mind that is not free from ignorance and egoism, would perceive depression as something ‘horrible’ and have aversion towards ‘depression’, and either it would hate itself for suffering from depression or it would generate self-pity, and would expect sympathy and empathy from others. And it feels more depressed if it doesn’t get the sympathy and empathy from others. And others who show sympathy and empathy towards those who suffer from depression might criticize others who don’t show sympathy or empathy, which they think and believe as ‘normal’ human being, everyone should have sympathy and empathy towards other people’s suffering.

The mind that is suffering from depression, but is free from ignorance and egoism and suffering, doesn’t need self-pity or sympathy and empathy from others, as that is unnecessary for a liberated mind. Meanwhile this mind allows other people to show sympathy and be empathetic towards this mind that suffers from depression, or not. And those who are free from ignorance and egoism might show sympathy and empathy towards other people’s suffering but there’s no expectation that other people should also or be morally obliged to show sympathy and empathy towards other people’s suffering, and they won’t be disturbed by other people being non-sympathetic or non-empathetic, because they understand that under the influence of ignorance and egoism, or being unable to be sympathetic or empathetic is also a form of mental illness or mind blockage.

Out of compassion, the selfless mind will help itself with necessary actions or even receiving medical treatments that can help to counter depression if required, to influence and balance the state of the mind, and if the mind is still not free from the state of depression after all kinds of effort being done, there’s no judgment, disappointment and criticism. There’s no expectation that the mind has to be in a good and balanced state or be completely cleared from depression after all the efforts and actions have been done to help to counter depression.

It’s okay if the mind is not okay in this moment. Be compassionate towards this mind that is not okay in this present moment, even though this condition might last for a prolonged period of time, but still, it’s impermanent and it’s not ‘I’.

Be free.

Selflessness – Being free from the ego (The idea of I) and egoism

The ego is the product of ignorance in the impure mind where there is an idea of ‘I’ exists as an individual being with certain qualities of names and forms, such like, personal worldly identity and status, personality and characteristic, thinking and belief, physical condition and appearance, gender and sexual orientation, physical and mental ability and achievement, interest and talent, knowledge and memory, aspiration and inspiration, actions and the result of actions, family and relatives, relationships and possessions, social network and interaction, and all that the mind thinks and believes and identifies as ‘This is me or I’.

Selflessness is nothing to do with non-existence, as some people might ‘interpret’ it as non-existence. It’s beyond existence and non-existence. When people ‘misinterpret’ selflessness as non-existence, they might perform actions that would hurt themselves and others by thinking and believing that there won’t be any consequences of actions, and so, they think they can do whatever they like and want.

There is no ‘I’ to be existing or non-existing. There is no ‘I’ to be selfish or unselfish. There is no ‘I’ enjoy or suffer. There is no ‘I’ being happy or unhappy. There is no ‘I’ being good or bad. There is no ‘I’ as this or that. It’s just the mind functioning and perceiving names and forms through the senses. But due to ignorance, there is an idea of ‘I’ arise in the mind, that ceaselessly generates attachment and identification towards the impermanent quality of names and forms, and it judges and compares, intends and expects, acts and reacts, likes and dislikes, agrees and disagrees, desires and doesn’t desire, creates and destroys, enjoys and suffers, aspires and inspires, being proud or humble, being happy and unhappy, feeling meaningful and meaningless, and etc.

The mind that is being free from the ego or egoism is a selfless mind or liberated mind. The entire yoga practice is MAINLY about freeing the mind from the ego or egoism to realize or attain selflessness, which is the nature of life existence. There is no ego in each individual cell in the body, or in the different life supporting systems, organs and glands, or in the sense organs and the senses, or in the oxygen, nutrients, minerals, water and energy that allowing the body and the mind to be existing and functioning, but, this ego that exists as an idea in the mind thinking that ‘I’ am the most important and the highest above all. “I want my body to be like this and be able to do that. I want my mind to be like this and achieve that. I want my life to be like this and accomplish that, and so on.” This ego is full of desires waiting to be fulfilled, and constantly pushing, forcing and hurting the body and the mind in order to gratify all its desires via the body and the mind. When its desires are not being gratified, or there’s some obstacles hindering the process of gratifying all its desires, the ego gets offended, humiliated, insulted, dissatisfied, disappointed, angry, hurt, unhappy, depressed, or suffer. And out of these impurities, the ego performs actions or inactions that would hurt the body and the mind, and/or other beings or objects.

Yoga practice is not about being able to perform this or that asana, or pose, or position, or movement, to gain health, beauty and fitness benefits, but it’s to train or purify the mind to eventually drop-off this idea of ‘I’, through annihilate egoism and the by-products of egoism of all sorts of impurities. When the mind is free from the idea of ‘I’ and ‘mine-ness’, there’s only pure awareness being in the present, being aware of all the perceptions of names and forms through the senses, and all the impermanent changes, functions and activities of the body and the mind, being free from desires of craving and aversion, selfish intention, expectation, attachment and identification.

There’s no ‘I’ being the performer of actions or the receiver of the fruit of actions. There’s no ‘I’ being the thinker or believer. There’s no ‘I’ being compassionate or uncompassionate. There’s no ‘I’ being ignorant or wise. There’s no ‘I’ being limited or unlimited. There’s no ‘I’ being free or not free. There’s no ‘I’ believe or disbelieve in God. There’s no ‘I’ am sinful or sinless.

There’s neither past nor the future. There’s neither good nor evil. There’s neither positive nor negative. There’s neither happiness nor unhappiness. There’s neither enjoyment nor suffering. There’s neither vegetarian nor non-vegetarian. There’s neither yogi nor non-yogi.

Be free.