Worldly identifications

One of the great obstacles or challenges for the yoga enthusiasts to be free from egoism is the intense attachment towards worldly identifications with some qualities of names and forms to be existing as ‘I’.

It’s ‘unthinkable’ for the egoistic minds to be ‘functioning’ or ‘aware of the mind perception of a worldly life of names and forms’ without any identifications with some qualities of names and forms to be acknowledged by oneself and others as ‘This is I’.

There’s great fear towards losing the sense of the existence of ‘I’, or ‘selflessness/’I’-lessness’, or being unable to be acknowledged by oneself and others as “I am this and that”, if without any of the identifications that the egoistic thinking mind would like to acknowledge itself and be acknowledged by others that “I exist as an (unique/special/distinctive/meaningful) individual being with such and such qualities of names and forms.”

Similarly, most minds have great fear towards letting go all kinds of superstitious thinking, beliefs, values and practices that were being ingrained into the minds from very young age by their elders, parents, relatives, friends, school teachers, religious teachers, the community and the society. Very few minds would question the truth of all those thinking, beliefs, values and practices, to inquire the truth of everything that was told or informed by everyone, and would just blind-believing, blind-following, blind-practicing and blind-passing on all these thinking, beliefs, values and practices. As most people would ‘label’ themselves or be ‘labeled’ by others as ‘bad person’ or ‘traitor’ towards one’s root and ancestor’s cultural background and family values, if they don’t embrace or follow or pass down those thinking, beliefs, values and practices.

For many people, this is the ‘normal’, ‘good’, ‘productive’, ‘positive’, ‘healthy’, ‘successful’, ‘meaningful’ and ‘rightful’ way of life or living.

Not only that there was a ‘basic identity upon birth’ that relates to a ‘given name’, a ‘gender’, a ‘family’, an ‘ethnicity’, a ‘birth place’, a ‘nationality’ and a ‘security ID number’, but everyone was growing up being conditioned by the society to identify oneself with a ‘sexual orientation’, a ‘personality’, a ‘physical appearance’, a ‘self-image’, a ‘body image’, a ‘physical condition’, a ‘mental state’, a ‘religion’, a ‘culture’, a ‘lifestyle’, a ‘trend’, and etc. Most minds are being ‘encouraged’ by the society to be constantly ‘developing’ and ‘possessing’ further more other qualities of names and forms to empower or strengthen that ‘self-identity’, that would allow the minds to feel proud, confident and meaningful towards the existence of ‘I’ under such identifications. Such like, “I am a ‘good’, ‘strong’, ‘healthy’, ‘fit’, ‘beautiful’, ‘attractive’, ‘stylish’, ‘successful’, ‘intelligent’, ‘knowledgeable’, ‘positive’, ‘multi tasking’, ‘talented’, ‘well-informed’, ‘well-behaved’, ‘inspirational’, ‘generous’ and ‘kind loving’ human being on top of all the identifications with a particular belief, religion, spirituality, culture, caste, sect, educational level, social status, community group, political views, profession, interests, qualifications, certifications, achievements, contributions, possessions, relationships, connections, and so on.

There are some common sayings such as –
“Be good, do good, and life will be all good and you will be happy.”
“Be nice and friendly to other people, and other people will be nice and friendly to you.”
That is not necessary true.

But everyone has been circulating that kind of sayings especially from the elders to the youngsters, or from the yoga teachers to the yoga students. Many people experiencing disappointment, depression and meaninglessness because they have such expectation towards life, where everyone and everything has to be in certain ways based on those sayings.

Many times, life is not necessarily all good and people are not happy even after they are being good and they have done many good. And it’s okay.

People don’t have to be happy all the time. Just be good and do good, and allow the fruit of actions to be what it is, not necessarily has to be the way that we would like it to be.

Sometimes, people are not being grateful or appreciative towards our kindness and friendliness, and are not being nice or friendly to us when we are being nice and friendly to them. And it’s okay.

People don’t have to be grateful and appreciative, and be nice and friendly to others, if they don’t want to. Just be nice and friendly to others, without the expectation that other people should be grateful and appreciative, and be nice and friendly to us in return.

The most practical way in the yoga practice to eliminate egoism from the mind is via renunciation of what most minds being conditioned to think and believe as the ‘normal’ and ‘meaningful’ way of life. Moving the mind away from the egoistic worldly social cultural thinking and beliefs, ideas, relationships, connections, interactions and activities, and letting go novels, news and magazines reading, radio listening, movies watching and theater visiting. Be determined to observe seclusion and solitude for at least five or six years, cutting off all kinds of worldly social cultural inputs, ideas, connections, activities and interactions, to allow the mind to be free from being conditioned by worldly thinking and beliefs that are all about empowering worldly attachment and identification. Only then the mind can see the truth of names and forms as it is.

Once the mind is free from being conditioned by worldly egoistic thinking and beliefs, it is no longer being determined by any of the worldly identifications with qualities of names and forms to be existing as ‘I’. There’s no need to feel proud, confident or meaningful towards “I am somebody endowed with this and that prideful, superior and meaningful qualities.”

There’s no ‘I’ being there that needs to be empowered, be acknowledged, be motivated, be inspired, be loved, be proud, be confident and be meaningful. There’s no ‘I’ being there to be strong, be weak, be happy, be unhappy, be positive, be negative, be good, be bad, be hurt, be healed, be pleased, be displeased, be praised, be insulted, be selfish, be unselfish, be unfree or be free.

While the entire world emphasize on the empowerment of a strong self-identity nurtured with the qualities of names and forms of particular social/cultural/ethnicity/nationality ideas/values/practices, yoga practice is mainly to free the mind from all these identifications with any qualities of names and forms.

Even the idea of “I am a yoga practitioner practicing yoga of annihilating ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness” and the desire of “I want to practice yoga to be free from ignorance and suffering” vanished from the minds that know thyself.

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Quality of life?

Quality of life is not determined by life conditions, wealth status, health status, possessions, social status, success in education or career, relationships, material and sensual enjoyments, physical conditions or abilities, and etc.Without the correct understanding about things, or not knowing the truth of things, all these impermanent good and bad qualities of names and forms do not guarantee us peace and happiness. We still can be dissatisfied and be disturbed by anger, hatred, greed, jealousy, dissatisfaction, disappointment, pride, arrogance, agitation, depression, fear and worry, and etc, as we have attachment, craving and aversion towards things that we like and dislike, things that we agree with and disagree with…

Peace of mind doesn’t come from good quality of names and forms. It is going beyond the identification with all these impermanent good and bad qualities to determine who we are or what we are… It is non-attachment towards all these names and forms. We are able to accept the reality of everything as it is, not necessarily the way that we like it to be or what we think it should be…

Only when we are not attached to, nor determined by all these impermanent qualities of names and forms of good and bad, positive and negative, happiness and suffering, as who we are or how we should feel, then we can fully make the maximum out of this life existence…

We are leading our life to do our best in what we can do with this life, this body and this mind. But if we depend on all these impermanent qualities of names and forms to determine us, then it will be the opposite, we will be lead by all these impermanent changes of names and forms…

We will never have peace nor be truly happy as we will be forever restless and dissatisfied because the nature of life and all the things that come along with life are impermanent. Even if everything is the way that we like it to be in the moment, we might feel satisfied and happy about all these good quality of names and forms that we like and want in the moment, but this satisfaction and happy feelings are not pure. It is a mixture of dissatisfaction, fear and worry. It’s because everything is impermanent, constantly changing. And we have attachment towards this good quality of things to feel good and meaningful. Due to craving and clinging towards all these good qualities of names and forms, we don’t want them to change into something else that we don’t like, but we couldn’t stop all these things to go through changes or impermanence… Eventually when all these good or happy things changed or disappeared, we will feel dissatisfied, disappointed, lost and empty…

And even if we don’t experience any things that are not good in the moment, we are still full of aversion towards bad things, bad happenings or bad conditions. We are full of fear and worry even though nothing bad is happening now. We are disturbed by imaginations and anticipations about bad things, bad happenings and bad conditions that might going to happen on us…

There is no peace no matter everything is good now and nothing bad is happening, because we cannot avoid fear and worry and dissatisfaction that derived from attachment, craving and aversion, due to being ignorant about the truth of things. If we are able to let go of craving and aversion that comes from attachment towards the qualities of names and forms, then naturally peace and happiness is here, unconditioned and undetermined by all the impermanent qualities of things…

That should be the guideline for quality of life (existence)… It is not determined by whether our living condition is abundance or scarcity (in terms of all the basic needs and wants in life, such as food, clothing, shelter, things, education, career, wealth, possessions, relationships, friendships, enjoyments, physical health and abilities, and etc…). People who live a life of luxury and enjoy high quality things don’t necessarily have a high quality of life. A monk who renounced the worldly way of life, or even a man living on the streets can have a high quality of life. People who have very good physics, health condition and physical abilities don’t necessarily have a high quality of life. People who have poor physics, health condition and physical abilities can have a high quality of life. We are able to live life to the maximum and meaningfully without being determined by the different qualities of things, conditions, situations, physical conditions and abilities, and etc, that we have or don’t have…

There is nothing wrong with people who believe in accumulation of wealth, good condition of health, good physics and abilities, success in relationships or career, material possessions and sensual enjoyments as the foundation of happiness and value of life… There is nothing wrong also with people who believe in contentment, generosity and kindness as the source of happiness and value of life… It can be anything depending on what we really want. At the end it is our own choice and believe in what we want and whether we are going to be happy with what we want and what we can achieve… Most people don’t really happy or be satisfied with what they want… Some people think having more things in life will be happy but not necessarily. Some people think having less things in life will be happy but not necessarily… It is up to us whether we are satisfied and be happy with what we have and what we don’t have in the present moment now…

Happiness and value of life is not to be judged or determined by how the society think or believe what happiness and value of life are… Our life is centered on how we feel and think, and not how other people feel and think… This is not selfishness or being unthoughtful… Everyone is responsible for themselves for how they feel and think… Even if other people intentionally throw some abusive words and actions towards us, we don’t have to be disturbed or determined by it… We can choose to move away… We can still be peaceful as we are… When we are not happy and angry about certain things, it is coming from our own mind… It’s not caused by what other people say or do. We are not happy and angry is because what other people say or do is not something that our mind can agree with or it is not how our mind like it to be…

Be confident in our own belief and our belief should not be influenced or shattered by the thinking and belief of the society…

Om shanti.