May all be peaceful, be happy…

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May all be peaceful, be happy…

 

When we have hatred towards some other people or some teachings that our mind disagrees with, the one whom we hate and disagree with will not be affected nor determined by our hatred and disagreement, but ourselves will be disturbed and hurt physically, mentally and emotionally by the hatred in our mind.

May those who are very unhappy and have hatred towards some teachings that they disbelieve, or towards others whom they don’t like and disagree with, be peaceful and be happy.

It doesn’t matter if we think we are better human beings than others, or we think we have better values and understanding than others, or we think we have higher realization than others, as long as we have hatred in our mind, we are not free.

Om shanti.

Plunge into your Sadhana, right now…

If you are aware of the state of your mind
is imbalanced,
restless,
swaying back and forth
between satisfaction and dissatisfaction,
between elevation and depression,
between happiness and sadness,
between feelings of love and hate,
between meaningfulness and meaninglessness,
between high confidence and low confidence,
between clarity and confusion,
between affirmation and doubts,
between energetic and low energy,
between motivated and demotivated,
and etc,
it is a sign telling you that you might have forgotten your Sadhana,
and have left your meditation practice far behind.
It’s time to pick up your Sadhana and meditation practice again.
No one can do it for you.
No one can tell you how you should live your life or use your time and energy,
or what you should do and shouldn’t do.
No one can control you for what you do and don’t do.
You’ll need to have intense self-discipline and determination to let go of your unnecessary “worldly affairs” which distract you and pull you away from your Sadhana,
and plunge into your Sadhana,
right now.
If you truly want to free your mind from restlessness,
and have peace.
Especially if you think you want to help the world to be a better place.

Om shanti.

About what is “allowed” and “disallowed” in yoga…

Lately there was search word like “What is allowed and disallowed in yoga?” came to this blog.

Well, if by taking up “yoga practice” will generate a lot more inconveniences and problems in life, making our life and other people’s life more complicated, then personally I have no interest to be practicing this yoga. As anyone also can be happy and peaceful as they are, it’s not necessarily has to be coming from practicing yoga.

Most of the rules and regulations exist for those who don’t have self-control and self-discipline to help them to develop these two elements to help them in their practice towards conquering their own mind.

For those whose minds are liberated, they don’t need to practice yoga, nor to observe any observations, nor be bound by any rules and regulations.

Here are some of the observations to be engaging yoga practice in everyday life:-
– Have strong self-discipline.
– Do our best in whatever we do and renounce the fruit of actions.
– Accept and respect all beings as they are.
– Talk less.
– Conserve energy.
– Be moderate in food intake.
– Take up Sattvic diet that helps in calming the mind.

– Be adjustable, adaptable and accommodating.
– Be kind and forgiving.
– Be truthful and straightforward.
– Be humble and generous.
– Contemplate on the teachings of yoga.
– Live in the present moment.
– Don’t give up, keep practice.
– Don’t judge, compare, expect.
– Don’t discriminate any beings based on our personal thinking and beliefs, likes and dislikes, agreement and disagreement.
– Don’t waste time and effort in vain talk, boasting, gossiping, slandering, condemning, scheming, complaining, mourning, and etc.
– Don’t waste energy in too much worldly physical and mental activities.
– Don’t take too little or too much food, and don’t take food that will either agitate or depress the mind.
– Don’t hate or save hatred.
– Don’t tell lies or be hypocrite.

– Give up the identification with the worldly self-image.

– Give up possessiveness and jealousy.
– Give up pride and arrogance.
– Give up anger and hatred.
– Give up fear and worry.
– Give up dissatisfaction and disappointment.
– Give up offensiveness, defensiveness, aggressiveness and animosity.
– Give up craving and aversion.
– Give up ill-will and ill-thinking.

By observing these observations can help in purifying, taming and controlling the mind, to help to free the mind from ignorance, egoism, distractions and passionate desires. But it is not a guarantee of liberation or enlightenment. As even by observing these observations, it still doesn’t determine that we will be free from ignorance, egoism and attachment. For example, we might still have attachment towards identification of “I” am observing all these “observations”, and “I” am a good yogi.

It’s not that if we didn’t manage to have strong self-discipline, or we like to talk a lot, or if we like to judge, compare and expect, or we spent lots of effort and energy in many worldly physical and mental activities, or if we are not vegetarian, or if we are influenced by passionate desires, anger or depression, that will determine that we are “bad” beings, or we are “evil” beings, or will be guaranteed that we won’t be happy and peaceful.

There’s no such thing as things or behaviors that are “only be allowed” and “strictly disallowed” if we know what is yoga. If there is something that is “allowed” and “disallowed” in yoga, does that means if we do something that we aren’t allowed to do, we will be judged and punished accordingly? Or if we didn’t do what we are supposed to be doing, we will also be judged and punished accordingly? And then we will not be allowed or be disqualified to practice yoga, now and forever? If this is happening in what we think is the world of “yoga”, then this is not yoga at all. Even if somebody had committed some serious crimes whether intentionally or unintentionally, this person also can practice yoga, and attain liberation through one’s own effort. Of course there will be consequences of actions coming from our behavior that we have to be responsible for.

As yoga and Buddhism is a practice by freedom of choice. It’s not a religious practice or cult that we have to be observing certain rules and regulations. Or else if we don’t follow exactly the rules and regulations, or if we fail to meet up to certain observations or expectations, then we will be judged as “sinful”, “bad” and “evil”, or we will be punished by some “higher authorities” and be condemned to hell. It is our own freedom of choice and our own responsibility of whether we will be peaceful or not. Maybe some people don’t want to be peaceful, they enjoy being restless all the time. That’s their freedom and choice. There’s nothing wrong with that.

If anyone wants to be good and do good, it’s everyone’s freedom. If anyone doesn’t want to be good or do good, it’s also everyone’s freedom.

Yoga is about realizing the truth of oneness, non-separateness, non-duality, fearlessness, unconditional peace, unconditional love, attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness. It is everyone’s freedom whether they want to take up the practice or want to leave the practice, as they wish. There’s no contract, no agreement, no punishment, no sin or condemnation if we don’t practice yoga the way that some other people are practicing, or we don’t observe certain rules and regulations that some other people are observing, or if we want to stop practicing yoga for any reasons.

If we are interested in yoga practice, and we practice yoga sincerely and realize the truth through our own effort, at our own pace, it’s coming from our own self.

If we don’t want to practice yoga and are not interested in any forms of practice, it’s our own freedom. It doesn’t mean that we are any less good, or less peaceful and less compassionate than those who take up some forms of spiritual or religious practice.

Or, we want to practice yoga but somehow we haven’t realize the truth, and we are not free from suffering, ignorance and egoism, it’s also coming from our own self.

Be free.

Om shanti.

Introduction, briefing, or orientation before the yoga classes or yoga courses?

Generally, it is normal that in most occasions or courses, whether it is yoga practice, or fitness training, or educational and corporate training, there will be some sorts of introduction, or briefing, or orientation before the course starts, mostly it’s about what the course is all about, what to expect from the course, whether it’s the course format or structure, or the type of practice or training, or the qualification or affiliation that is related to the course, and the possible results or benefits that they are going to achieve at the end of the course.

If we truly know what yoga practice is about, then all these introduction, briefing or orientation (derived from the worldly idea of names and forms) are irrelevant to what yoga practice is.

Yoga is about training the mind to be free from ignorance and egoism to know the truth of the mind and the perception of names and forms, and be free from identification and attachment. It’s about living in the present moment now, be free from the past experiences and future anticipation or speculation. It’s about realizing the only existence is in the present moment now, that is full of uncertainties or impermanent changes that are not in the control of “I”. It’s about training the mind to be in the present moment now confronting with all the uncertainties of life existence, and to rise above the qualities of names and forms that is subject to impermanence.

If we believe in the existence of God, or the creator of the universe, God or the creator of the universe didn’t brief us, nor explained to us about life before we came into this world of life existence, to give us some ideas or anticipation towards life experiences. God or the creator of the universe didn’t tell us nor inform us about what is going to happen in our life, what are we going to become, how we should act and react, what type of life experience we are going to have, what to expect from this life existence, what are we going to achieve from this life existence, and so on.

We came to this world as we are. We learn as we are. We confront every uncertainty as it is in the present moment now. We learn from our own direct experience of coming in contact with suffering that derived from ignorance, egoism, attachment and expectation, for us to to let go of egoism, attachment, expectation, and to purify and control the mind, to know about the truth and to attain liberation.

As yoga practice is in the present moment now, it’s not being prepared before hand in the past, it’s not anticipation of the future. Confront every moment of existence that is impermanent and non-self, within this present moment with a calm mind that is free from being influenced or determined by the past and the future, free from identification and attachment, free from anticipation, speculation and projection, free from judgment, comparison and expectation.

It’s training the mind to let go of the egoism, and perform all actions, practice, duties and responsibilities without attachment towards all these actions and renounce the fruit of actions. It is letting go of expectation towards the result or the fruit of actions or yoga practice, and allow the result or the fruit of actions or yoga practice to be what it is, without attachment, per-conception, projection, or anticipation.

It’s training the mind to be in the present moment now, and allow all the uncertainties in the present moment now to be what they are with a calm and liberated mind.

If we apply the similar type of worldly commercial training procedure or technique into conducting any yoga courses, then this is actually going to the opposite direction against the means of yoga practice. It is empowering the ignorance and egoism by strengthening the worldly ideas and attachment, instead of eliminating ignorance and egoism by letting go worldly ideas and attachment.

Om shanti.

Undisturbed and uninfluenced by qualities of names and forms is different from being self-centered, stubborn, proud and arrogant…

Sometimes we confuse “what is being undisturbed and uninfluenced by qualities of names and forms” with “being self-centered, stubborn, proud and arrogant towards our own thinking, beliefs and behavior.”

The difference between these two things is one is free from egoism, and the other one is derived from egoism.

One is at peace and being compassionate towards oneself and others, while the other one is not necessarily at peace, and is not necessarily being compassionate towards oneself and others.

One is being thoughtful for others without being influenced by others, and will not generate any actions that will intentionally hurt oneself or others. While the other one is being self-centered and unthoughtful for others, and might generate actions that will hurt oneself and others.

One is allowing and respecting others to be different in thinking, beliefs and behavior, while the other one might not allow nor respect others for having different thinking, beliefs and behavior.

Om shanti.

Why not?

Either it is something that is beyond the knowledge of our minds, which our minds have not experienced before, or it is something that our minds dislike and disagree with, and our minds react with “How can it be?!” or “No, It’s not possible!” then we reply the mind with this mantra – “Why not?”

Train the mind to be opened towards something that is beyond the mind’s knowledge and experiences, or towards names and forms that the mind dislikes and disagrees with.

This doesn’t mean that we have to be agreeing with everything, or we are supporting things that our minds believe as bad or wrong. But, it is to free our minds from being disturbed or determined by things that our minds strongly dislike and disagree with, and be at peace, maintaining a balance state of mind.

Only when ourselves is at peace, or the mind is balanced, we can contribute to the world to improve with peace and compassion. Or else we will be generating lots of negativities in ourselves and into the world, when our minds are disturbed and determined by things that our minds dislike and disagree with, and react with actions and speech that will cause further disharmony in oneself and in others.

Om shanti.

All paths lead to liberation when egoism and ignorance is eliminated…

Whether it is Karma Yoga, or Bhakti Yoga, or Jnana Yoga, or Raja Yoga, or any other forms of Yoga, or any types of practice, as long as it leads to the elimination of egoism and ignorance, it will lead to liberation…

Om shanti.

Yoga classes, fitness training, motivational and empowerment workshops?

Even though the means of yoga practice is supposed to be eliminating egoism, but sometimes it is not really eliminating the ego, but instead it is empowering the ego while performing the yoga asana practice.

There’s no good or bad, right or wrong in whether we are eliminating the ego, or are empowering the ego through the yoga asana practice. It is fine whether people perform yoga asana practice is for transcending the identification with the body and mind, to realize unconditional peace and be free from egoism, ignorance and suffering, or it is for getting some benefits for the body and mind, to attain good condition of the physical body, to relax and release tension physically, mentally and emotionally, or it is for both, or it is for any other reasons.

The duty or the role of yoga teachers in guiding the yoga students to be eliminating egoism and ignorance, to transcend suffering effectively, is different from the duty or the role of fitness instructors in guiding the fitness students to be performing some exercises to attain physical, mental and emotional fitness goals or to achieve positive results effectively.

In fitness training, there’s attachment towards the fruit of the actions, or the practice, or the exercises to attain some benefits, or to achieve certain results or improvement. And we are very much influenced or determined by the result or achievement to be motivating or demotivating us to perform the exercises, to feel good or not, to be happy and confident or not.

In yoga practice, there’s no attachment towards the fruit of the actions, or the practice, or the exercises. It is not about performing the yoga asana practice to attain some benefits or to achieve certain results in return. But to allow the fruit of the actions, or the practice, or the exercises to be what it is. There is no doership. There is no identification with the body and mind, the physical condition and appearance, the physical abilities, or the state of the mind. All the yoga exercises are preparing the body and mind for meditation to contemplate upon the truth. And the truth is nothing to do with the the physical condition and appearance, the physical abilities, or the state of the mind that are impermanent. We are not influenced nor determined by the result or achievement to be motivating or demotivating us to perform the yoga (asana) practice, to feel good or not, to be happy and confident or not.

In fitness training, there are judgment, comparison, expectation, desires of craving and aversion (coming from both the teachers and the students) to be encouraging or motivating one to be performing their fitness training. The students want to be “good” students who achieve “good” results. The teachers want to be “good” teachers who give “good” results to the students. The students have expectation towards the teacher’s performance, while the teachers also have expectation towards the student’s performance. It is empowering the egoism and strengthening attachment towards worldly self-image or identification with qualities of names and forms. It is looking for some pleasant sensations in the body and mind. It is about “I want to look good.” or “I want to feel good.” It is looking forward to achieve certain qualities that our mind likes and agrees with, and want to get rid of certain qualities that our mind doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with. It is living in the state of dualism.

While in yoga practice, we are letting go the usual habits of the egoistic mind that involve lots of judgment, comparison, expectation, desires of craving and aversion in order to eliminate egoism and ignorance. It is shattering the egoism and weakening the attachment towards worldly self-image or identification with qualities of names and forms. It also involves some unpleasant purification process. It is not about “I want to look good.” or “I want to feel good.” It’s not about looking forward to achieve certain qualities that our mind likes and agrees with, nor to get rid of certain qualities that our mind doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with, to be motivating us to perform yoga (asana) practice. But we allow the result of the yoga (asana) practice to be there as it is. It is living in the state of non-dualism.

In yoga practice, the teacher should be guiding the students on how to identify the egoism in them, and how to eliminate the ego and remove ignorance, by stop giving the ego what it likes and wants. The teacher allows the students to find the highest teacher within themselves and it’s not about following or listening to what the teacher tells them about what they should do or believe, and what they should not do nor believe. The teacher is free from egoism and attachment towards qualities of names and forms, and allows the students to be free from egoism and attachment towards qualities of names and forms. It is not about “be positive” at all. It is seeing the truth of names and forms as they are, that all these names and forms are neither positive nor negative.

In fitness classes, we will hear the teacher constantly motivates the students by using a lot of “positive”, “encouraging”, “uplifting” and “acknowledging” words. “Keep it up!”, “That’s very good!”, “Well done!”, “You are very good!”, “You can do it!”, and etc. It’s the ego that needs to rely on these positive, encouraging, uplifting and acknowledging words to be motivating them to do better or to work harder. Or else the ego feels demotivated or discouraged to strive to do better or to improve. This is empowering the egoism, by giving what the ego likes and wants.

How the yoga teacher teaches the students in performing the yoga (asana) practice cannot be judged with how the fitness instructor teaches the fitness students. Out of compassion towards the students, the teacher starves the ego of the students by not giving what their ego likes and wants. This type of teaching method might be criticized by worldly minded thinking as “unmotivating”, “cold” and “hard”.

There’s nothing wrong with different types of “motivational” and “empowerment” workshops or classes in this world to bring “positive changes” and “motivations” to many people to bring out the best in us, to find the meanings of life, to live a more meaningful life, to have better relationship with anyone, and be successful and happy in life. It will help to boost up the self-confidence and strengthen one’s ability to think and act, so that people can enjoy a better quality of life. But this doesn’t really help to remove the root cause of affliction or suffering. As it is the ego that needs all these “motivational” training to improve “self-confidence”, to be “better”, “to be “good” and “to be successful”, so that the ego will feel good and happy about itself and about life, when its desires are fulfilled, when condition is good, when things are the way that it likes it to be.

In motivational and empowerment workshops, many of them are about strengthening the self-image and empowering the identification with certain qualities of names and forms, and what we think we know and have, to be who we are. It’s about empowering our intention and desires to bring out the best in us to achieve what we like and want. There’s totally nothing wrong about this. Since not many people are interested in ultimate freedom that is free from being conditioned by qualities of names and forms due to egoism, ignorance and attachment, but rather interested in chasing after qualities of names and forms that they like and want, that will give them the sense of achievement, satisfaction and happiness that they want.

If we are interested to attain ultimate freedom or unconditional peace and happiness, we need to be free from egoism, ignorance and attachment. Be free from being disturbed, affected, influenced and determined by all the qualities of names and forms that our mind perceives through the senses from moment to moment, and thus be free from restlessness or unhappiness that derived from impurities that arise due to reactions of the ego towards what it likes and dislikes, agrees and disagrees with. We do our best to perform actions but not attach to the actions and the fruit of actions, and allow the reality to be what it is, as it is.

Om shanti.

Don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings?

Some people say that “hurting other people’s feelings” is not their culture. They will not want to hurt anyone’s feelings. They don’t really appreciate straightforwardness, honesty and truthfulness. They prefer not to express how they feel or what they think (especially it’s some negative comments, thinking and feelings,) in front of people, and they will always say nice things like, “You’re very good. Thank you.” even when they don’t think or feel like that at all, but they will complain behind people’s backs about they are not good.

They think and believe that by that way, they are free from hurting anyone’s feelings at all.

The point is, if we truly don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, we should not have any negative or bad thinking, feelings, actions and speech at all (even behind other people’s back or knowledge). Then we won’t need to be untruthful or dishonest, nor have to be hypocrite and tell lies in front of anyone, nor will we say or do anything that will hurt anyone, whether directly or indirectly, whether in front of people or behind people’s back.

Unless our mind is completely be free from impurities such like craving and aversion, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, pride, arrogance, animosity and fear that arise from egoism and attachment towards certain personal beliefs and cultural practice, or attachment towards the qualities of names and forms that we like and dislike, agree and disagree with. Or else we won’t be free from hurting somebody’s feelings at some points.

If we are aware of our mind is not pure and is being over-powered by some bad and negative thoughts or feelings about other people, but we can have self-control not to do or say anything that will hurt them whether directly or indirectly, whether in front of them or behind their backs, then we can say that we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings even though there are some negative thoughts and feelings arising and passing away in our mind. We observe these thoughts and let them go, without attachment nor judgment, without reaction nor expression through actions and speech.

How can we say “I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings… Hurting other living beings is not my culture.” when we are over-powered by anger and hatred towards certain people’s personality, behavior and actions that we strongly disagree with, and we criticize them and condemn these people to hell, and wish that they will suffer for what they have done?

As well as whether what kind of actions and speech that will hurt other people’s feelings or not, has no particular standards that fit all. It depends on individual personality, perception about things, and how they react towards what they perceive. Some people easily get offended and feel hurt by what they perceive as ‘not right’, ‘not nice’, ‘not good’, offensive, or insult, even though nobody say or do anything that seems to be offensive or hurtful.

Those who have transcended egoism and names and forms will not be hurt by any forms of thoughts, actions and speech.

It depends on ourselves, our perception of things, our reactions towards what we perceive, the purity of our mind, to determine whether our feelings will be hurt by anybody’s actions or speech. Usually when our feeling is hurt by certain actions or speech, is because those actions and speech is something that we (the ego) dislike and disagree with. Those actions and speech has no quality or power to hurt us unless we perceive them as something ‘hurtful’, and give them the quality and power to hurt us.

Om shanti.

Freedom, peace and happiness is in this present moment now, it’s not in the future after death…

“If the people who do a lot of good actions and they will go to heaven after death, and the people who do a lot of bad actions and they will go to hell after death, then where will the people go after death, if they do equal amount of good and bad actions? It seems like these people are not qualified for heaven or hell… And if according to the teachings in certain religions, that if their followers have not perfected themselves in accordance to the religious teachings, or they abandon or stop practicing the teachings of their religion, then they will be judged as sinful beings, and will be punished in this life time by their religion authorities, as well as they will be condemned to hell after death, then why do people still want to get involve in these religions and be ‘conditioned’ and ‘restricted’ in such religious teachings?”

If anyone takes up Buddhism or Yoga practice, and then abandons the practice, or has not attain perfection or success in the practice, or is not behaving in accordance to the observances in the teachings of Buddhism or Yoga, there is no such judgment of being sinful, nor there will be punishment from any ‘authorities’, as there is no ‘authority’ in Buddhism and Yoga practice. If there is an authority that will be there to punish us for behaving ‘badly’ under the Buddhism or Yoga practice, then this person will be our own self. We are the witness of the consequences of our own actions, that’s all.

The only common thing is that there will be pleasant and unpleasant consequences of actions, it doesn’t matter if we are having a religion or not, or whether we are practicing the teachings of Buddhism and Yoga or not, or whether we perform all these practices correctly or not. But the consequences of our actions are not necessarily based on the standards coming from our mind about what are right and wrong actions, good and bad actions, as what our mind believes what things are, is not necessary the truth of what things really are.

When we expect to receive certain pleasant consequences coming from our ‘right’ and ‘good’ actions, but then what we actually experience are really unpleasant consequences, then know that either it is because what our mind believes what is right and good is not necessarily the truth of what things really are. It is not because the law of Karma or cause and effect is not true. Or it is because the real consequences or the end result have yet to be ripened. Be patient to see the end result of our actions.

The point is, if we are practicing Buddhism or Yoga, we do not attach to our actions, nor have any expectation towards the result of our actions, but to allow the result or the fruit of actions to be what they are. It is about perform all our actions without attachment towards our actions and the fruit of our actions.

Freedom, peace and happiness is in this present moment now, it is not in the future after death, whether we will go to heaven or hell according to our behavior in this life experience. As freedom, peace and happiness is nothing to do with being in heaven or hell, or “somewhere in between” after death. It is in this present moment now, whether we are free from egoism and ignorance, or not.

May all be free.

Om shanti.