Want to reform the system of the world?

Human beings, regardless of one’s gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, belief and nationality, whom themselves, or who are aware of some others, have been experiencing certain kinds of discrimination whether coming from within their own ‘group’ or coming from some other ‘groups’, who have ‘good’ intention and aspiration of getting involve in different types of activism/protest with the intention/aspiration to reform the highly corrupted system of the world, who want to promote peace and harmony in the world, who really want the world to be free from all kinds of discrimination among the enormous diversities in the world, people need to work on reforming oneself first, by conquering one’s human nature that is under the influence of ignorance and egoism as well as the basic survival instinct, which is the mother of all kinds of corruption and discrimination either existing within the same ‘group’, or among the different ‘groups’.

All kinds of activism and protest are useless, if people think and believe that there are something wrong/incorrect with the world or with certain people’s thinking, beliefs and behavior, and trying to reform the world or certain people’s thinking, beliefs and behavior to be in certain way that they desire and agree with, that they think how it should be, but without reforming themselves first.

Once everyone knows how to reform oneself, free from being the slave of ignorance, egoism and survival instinct, there is no need of any kind of activism and protest to be existing, to go against ‘this’ or ‘that’ in any society, anywhere in the world.

Many people think and believe that education is the most important thing in the world for developing a healthy society and prosperity, and it’s true, but it depends on what type of education.

If it’s just education to have the knowledge, skill and qualification to be able to find a job/do a business, to make a living in the world of capitalism and consumerism, that supports the world economy and prosperity, as well as education that is under the influence of certain ‘morality practice’, ‘spiritual practice’, ‘religious belief’ or ‘political interest’, that is feeding egoism which empowers ‘personal/social identification’ which generates all kinds of separateness/comparison/discrimination between ‘I’ and ‘the others that are not I’, that encourages ‘greed’, ‘selfishness’, ‘possessiveness’, ‘the sense of belonging’, ‘pride’, ‘heroism’, ‘nationalism’, ‘loyalty’ and ‘patriotism’, where it doesn’t want or allow the people to question the truth of everything, or be able to think and live life independently, that would ‘threaten’ the ‘existence’, ‘power’ and ‘profits’ of all sorts of ‘authority’, it won’t stop/eliminate all kinds of corruption and discrimination in the world.

The education should be emphasizing on self-control, self-discipline, self-inquiry, self-investigation, self-realization, self-reliance, physical/mental/emotional independence and open-mindedness, of how to be free from ignorance, egoism and impurities – the root cause of all kinds of humanity problem in the world, besides developing the knowledge and skill to be making a living in the world of capitalism and consumerism, or to be able to live a self-contained/self-sufficient way of life that doesn’t need to depend on the society of capitalism and consumerism, or the economy/prosperity of the world.

The education on self-control, self-discipline, self-inquiry, self-investigation, self-realization, physical/mental/emotional independence and open-mindedness, of how to be free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, is universal. It has nothing to do with any particular ‘morality practice’, ‘spiritual practice’ or ‘religious belief’, as ignorance, egoism and impurities also exist in so called ‘morality practice’, ‘spiritual practice’ and ‘religious belief’, not to say, in ‘political interest’.

Corrupted education is sort of like ‘parents’ who want to ‘mould’ their children to be in certain way, to ‘train’ their children to be obedient and don’t question anything about their ‘authorization’ and ‘whatever they want their children to listen and follow’. If the children behave according to their ‘rules’, or achieve ‘what the parents want them to achieve’, which pleases them, then they would give their children some ‘praising’ and ‘rewards’, but if their children don’t behave according to their ‘rules’, or don’t achieve ‘what the parents want them to achieve’, then they would give their children some ‘disciplinary’ and ‘punishment’. And the parents want the children to become ‘somebody’ that they want them to become, and expect the children to ‘give’ the parents what they desire to be getting from the children. “Do something and be somebody that make us feel proud.” The ‘corruption’ of the entire society, of the ‘authority’, of the ‘system’ in the world, is deriving from this kind of ‘family relationship’.

Beware of anything that sounds like this, “Just obey. Do not question my authorization. This is the Truth and you must believe in this Truth. It’s sinful and punishable if you disbelieve in this Truth or have any doubt towards this Truth.”

In yoga and Buddhism, it’s all about attaining self-realization towards the truth of everything. It’s not a sin or punishable if one is ignorant towards the truth or is doubting the truth of something. The Truth is not a belief. The Truth doesn’t need anyone to believe in it nor doesn’t like anyone to disbelieve in it or has doubt in it.

“Do not blind believing, blind following, or blind practicing anything, even if it’s coming from your parents, elders, school teachers, religious teachers, best friends, members of the society, famous philosopher, or popular political leaders. Inquire and investigate the truth of everything, including all the teachings here.” There’s no ‘authority’ to ‘discipline or punish’ anyone for being ignorant under the influence of ignorance.

It’s about being aware of the ignorance in oneself.

It’s needless to be looking for a great teacher here and there.

None can teach, or discipline, or liberate anyone who isn’t aware of ignorance in oneself, while those who are aware of ignorance in oneself, then the impermanent and selfless modifications of one’s mind, as well as one’s actions and the consequences of one’s actions, is one’s greatest teacher towards knowing Thyself, and be free from ignorance.

Compassion is not something that can be obtained from receiving, learning, training or education. Compassion manifests as it is upon the annihilation of ignorance, egoism and impurities, upon the realization of selflessness.

Compassion is not about giving people whatever they like and want and desire, and don’t give them what they don’t like, don’t want and don’t desire, in order to make them feel good, satisfied, meaningful and happy, or so that people won’t feel bad, dissatisfied, meaningless and unhappy, though that is what most people understood as ‘compassion’ – give people happiness/convenience/comfort and take away their unhappiness/suffering/discomfort.

Compassion is there as it is, when the mind is free from egoism of attachment, identification, expectation, judgment, or desire of craving and aversion, ‘respecting’ the law of nature – Cause and Effect, Impermanence and Selflessness, ‘respecting’ the world as it is and everyone as they are (existing and functioning under the law of nature), ‘allowing’ everyone to take their own pace and effort to know their own minds, to know Thyself, realizing what is actually going on in their own minds, to realize selflessness, being free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, transcending the mind perception of a worldly life existence of impermanent and selfless names and forms, be able to deal with all kinds of pleasant/unpleasant, agreeable/disagreeable, desirable/undesirable experience, condition and situation independently and equanimously, being free from suffering deriving from ignorance and egoism of attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation.

Feedback for yoga teachers?

In the last few months, there were hundreds of blog views coming from the search word “Feedback for yoga teachers”.

Looking at the pandemic lockdown and social distancing situation, it’s normal that many yoga teachers who used to conduct yoga classes to be making a living would move their classes onto the online social media platform. And hence, as the ‘new normal’, there are now many online (guided) yoga classes.

Personally, I neither encourage/support nor discourage/unsupport ‘the old normal’ yoga classes, or ‘the new normal’ online yoga classes, as it’s everyone’s freedom for what they do and don’t do, even though I myself am not interested in conducting ‘yoga classes’ in the past, not to say to be conducting ‘online yoga classes’ in the present. In the world of capitalism and consumerism, if there’s a demand requesting certain service and product, and there will be somebody offering the service and product, especially if people are interested in learning to do some yoga exercises as a healthy leisure activity, it’s something very good for the society to have ‘yoga classes’ or ‘online yoga classes’.

First of all, it’s a new thing for both the ‘yoga teachers’ and the ‘yoga students’. The process of teaching and learning yoga (asana) practice in a physical present yoga class is no doubt being quite different from teaching and learning yoga (asana) practice via online yoga class.

The teacher can’t be paying attention to many students at the same time in physical present yoga classes, not to say in online yoga class, where there’s a rather small computer screen with many different small windows of the different people joining the ‘online yoga class’. Unless it’s a one to one private yoga practice session, or private online yoga practice session.

Even though, in many of the physical present yoga classes, the yoga students are being advised not to turn/tilt their head to be looking at the teacher or the others while performing most of the yoga asana positions or exercises, as it might cause certain muscular sprain or injury around the neck and shoulder area, but many of the students would still be spontaneously turning/tilting their head while performing many of the yoga asana poses/exercises in order to take a look or glance at the teacher and/or the others under their own different intentions/motivations/reasons for doing that, mostly it’s curiosity, or trying to imitate, or trying to compare, or being unsure/unclear about the practice and being not confident towards one’s performance or execution. Not to say, in the online yoga classes, the entire attention is to be turning the head in a particular angle to be constantly looking at the computer screen, to be following some instructions and imitating the teacher and/or the others to be doing the yoga asana poses or exercises.

Of course, there will be many opinions coming from different participants who want to ‘improve’ their experience on the online yoga class, and want to give feedback/advice/suggestions to the yoga teachers who conduct the online yoga classes, and most of the teachers also welcoming ‘feedback’ from the participants to improve the experience on teaching online classes and to improve the quality of their online classes. Mostly it’s either about the positioning of the camera so that they can have a better view angle to see more clearly towards how the teacher demonstrates the practice/exercise, or something to do with the usage of microphone and volume control, or the pacing/intensity of the particular practice/exercise/routine, or the format and contents of the yoga class, or about the background and the layout of the room use for giving the online class, the impact of the surrounding environment, the music (most commercial yoga classes use music to create certain atmosphere), and etc. It’s all about the whole experience or the mind perception of names and forms of different qualities that are agreeable or disagreeable to the minds of everyone.

Yoga practice is about freeing the mind from such attachment and desire of craving and aversion towards the mind perception of names and forms through the senses, of what the eyes see, what the ears hear, what the nose smells (in this case, what the participants smell or don’t smell is nothing to do with the yoga teacher or the online yoga class), what the tongue tastes, what the body or skin senses, as well as what the mind experiences, thinks, feels, acts and reacts.

Yoga practice is about dispassion, renunciation, silence, solitude, seclusion, non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment, non-comparison, non-expectation, self-control, self-discipline, self-reliance, self-inquiry, self-realization, inquiring the truth of names and forms, inquiring the truth of ‘I’, knowing thyself, the elimination of the root cause of suffering – ignorance, egoism and impurities, the annihilation of the modification of the mind, transcending the wheel of birth and death, cause and effect, or attaining liberation or Samadhi. All these has nothing to do with ‘qualified/certified yoga teachers’, ‘yoga teachers certification’, ‘yoga classes’, ‘different brands and styles of yoga school, lineage, practice’, ‘physical ability/disability/limitation’, ‘physical health condition’, ‘worldly condition and situation’, ‘surrounding environment’, ‘proper precise physical alignment while doing the yoga poses/exercises’, ‘yoga props’, ‘yoga mats’, ‘yoga attires and accessories’, ‘yoga scents’, ‘yoga music’, ‘yoga super food’, and etc.

If one is truly teaching or practicing yoga, it’s really not about whether the yoga teacher is good or not good; whether the many different details of the yoga class are good or not good; whether the practice/exercise/routine is good or not good; whether the contents of the yoga class is good or not good; whether the way that the teacher conducts the yoga class is good or not good; whether the instructions are good or not good; whether the result of the teaching, the yoga class and the practice is good or not good; or whether the teaching skill of the yoga teacher is good or not good; not to say, whether the students/participants/somebody’s performance, or execution, or physical alignment is good or not good; whether one’s body and mind feels good or not good, being comfortable or uncomfortable throughout the practice.

It’s about there’s an opportunity where someone is there delivering the teachings and practice of yoga that would lead the minds towards self-realization and liberation from ignorance and suffering, without attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation, as well as someone is there receiving, learning and practicing the teachings and practice of yoga without attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation, to transcend the worldly life existence of a body and mind that is subject to impermanence and selflessness; to transcend the mind perception of qualities, names and forms that are impermanent and selfless; to go beyond duality of good/bad, right/wrong, positive/negative, meaningfulness/meaninglessness, praise/censure, success/failure, heat/cold, pleasantness/unpleasantness, happiness/unhappiness, enjoyable/non-enjoyable, and so on; to go beyond the egoistic likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements based on the worldly conditioned passionate egoistic social/cultural/spiritual/religious/political thinking and belief; to tame the outgoing tendency of the restless mind, turning the mind inward; to be in the present; to quiet, silent and annihilate the modification of the mind; to perform self-inquiry; to free the mind from the veil of ignorance, egoism and impurities; to realize the truth of suffering and the root cause of suffering; to realize selflessness and attain liberation from ‘mind stuff’, or ‘modification of the mind’, or ‘all that related to the mind perception of an impermanent selfless worldly life existence’, or ‘endless suffering deriving from the bondage of birth and death, cause and effect’.

In short, it’s about guiding the minds to be free from ignorance, egoism, impurities and suffering (upmost important), while in the process of doing or not doing some forms of physical and mental practice under many different names, brands, ways or styles (not important at all).

Either through physical present yoga session or online yoga class, whether the teacher is teaching yoga as it is, or not; whether the students of yoga will be learning and practicing yoga as it is, or not; with correct understanding, attitude and mentality or not; and realize yoga, or not, it’s their own effort and responsibility.

Feedback about the quality of the yoga teacher, the venue/environment/background, the technical issues, the teachings, the teaching skill, the interactive skill, the creativity, the charisma, the atmosphere, the yoga class, the practice, the result, or the entire experience, is truly irrelevant in the process of eliminating ignorance, egoism, impurities and suffering in one’s mind, or in the process of letting go/renouncing worldly conditioned passionate egoistic thinking, belief, values, practice, actions, reactions, expectations, desires, aspirations, inspirations, likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, and etc.

Inquire into the conditioned behavior pattern of the mind

Under the influence of different family background, educational background, cultural background, religious background, spirituality background, social, philosophical or political background, of all kinds of input coming from everywhere apart from the basic instinct of living beings, human minds are being conditioned to think, feel, believe, act and react or behave in certain way, conditioning the mind to analyze and judge everything based on the conditioned thinking, belief and practice about what is good or bad, right or wrong, positive or negative, happiness or unhappiness, meaningfulness or meaninglessness, appropriateness or disappropriateness, and etc, although most minds aren’t aware of it under the veil of ignorance.

When something happens, whether it’s happening onto oneself or others, autonomously, the mind will react based on the conditioned thinking, belief and practice, and would expect others would also react in the same way, and would be puzzled, disturbed, offended and annoyed by others who don’t react in the similar way as one would be reacting, because the behavior pattern of other minds are being conditioned differently under different thinking, belief and practice influenced by different types of background.

In certain society and culture, minds are being conditioned to react towards what the conditioned thinking and belief categorized as bad, wrong, terrible, painful, sad, sorrowful or undeserving, with the reaction of, “Oh no! Poor me/you.” and either feel sorry for oneself if it happens to oneself, or feel sorry for others if it happens to some others, as well as expect sympathy/empathy from others to also show similar sympathetic/empathetic reaction. But, what a mind feels and doesn’t feel, or how it perceives and reacts towards the similar happening, can be very different from one another. Something that appears to be bad and terrible for one culture might be nothing bad or terrible for some other cultures.

It’s neither right nor wrong about all kinds of different conditioned mind behavior pattern under the different thinking, belief and practice under the different societies and cultures. But most of the conditioned minds functioning under the influence of ignorance and egoism will be disturbed and puzzled by the different reactions or non-reactions of the others towards the similar happenings.

In many different society, something happen that most people would be angry about, that they think and believe that it is something that deserves the reaction of anger, or to be condemned, and they would tell themselves and others that “We should be angry and feel angry. This is bad, wrong and terrible. Why would anyone not react with anger towards something like this? One must be crazy if one doesn’t feel angry for such happening.”

That is how the so called ‘sympathetic’/’empathetic’ society comfort themselves and others about how everyone ‘should’ feel and react under such and such circumstances, and would categorize those who don’t feel or react the same as ‘lack/void of sympathy/empathy’, ‘crazy’, ‘mad’, ‘insane’, or ‘psychopath’. If that’s true, then all those past enlightened saints and sages, who renounced the world and ‘care-less’ towards the ignorance and the consequences of ignorance in the world, who remained equanimous and peaceful under any condition and situation, had their minds tamed being undetermined by ignorance and the consequences of ignorance, they all were insane and psychopath, while the worldly minded who think all their ‘reactions’ are something ‘normal’, ‘righteous’ and ‘healthy’, would perceive themselves as ‘mentally healthy’ for reacting in such and such way. Even many ‘yoga teachers’ in the world also would think and believe like that.

Everyone can feel and react as one desires, as one is, as it is everyone’s freedom on how everyone wants to feel and react towards everything, but in the path of yoga and Buddhism, those who have conquered their own mind, who are free from the influence of ignorance and egoism, have the will-power of choice towards how to feel and react, or not. It’s not about “One should autonomously feel and react in such and such way towards such and such circumstances.” That’s also how selfish greedy people in the world would manipulate people’s thinking and behavior, and make use of the ‘autonomous’ reaction of most human beings to create situations that would benefit them to get what they want.

Being undetermined by conditioned behavior pattern of the mind and being undetermined by the quality of names and forms doesn’t mean that one wouldn’t perform any necessary actions that would help and benefit others. One can be performing action selflessly and fearlessly, without being conditioned to react in certain way according to any particular thinking, belief and practice about how everyone should feel, act and react.

Yoga and Buddhism practice is about freeing the mind from ignorance and the conditioned behavior pattern of the mind. The world will have less human beings constantly feel annoyed, disturbed, offended, angered, frustrated or unhappy about this or that. There will be peace in those who are free from ignorance and the conditioned behavior pattern of the mind, who respect everyone as they are, not necessarily agreeable to one’s particular thinking and belief to analyze and judge everything, and naturally, it helps to bring more peacefulness into the world.

The important and effective practice to free the mind from being conditioned into a particular behavior pattern is non-attachment and non-identification towards one’s family, educational, cultural, religious, spiritual, social, philosophical or political background. While for the minds that feel it’s difficult to practice non-attachment and non-identification, but are still interested in transforming one’s mind, then they can practice renunciation or moving the mind away from such environment that empowers attachment and identification with all kind of qualities, names and forms.

Those who have strong foundation in non-attachment and non-identification don’t need to renounce the world of egoistic identification with all kinds of quality, name and form, and live in the world as it is, but without being influenced, affected, disturbed or determined by any qualities, names and forms.

Those who are not (really) interested in peace, they don’t have to practice yoga or anything that is about changing and transcending one’s mind behavior pattern, where it’s not about trying to control, influence and change other people’s thinking and behavior to be the way that one thinks and believes how it should be, the way that one can agree with, based on one’s particular family, educational, cultural, religious, spiritual, social, philosophical or political background.

Inquire the root cause of separateness and discrimination

In many different society, community and nationality with different ethnics and cultures in the world, there’s something in common that everyone think and believe as something good and right, “You must be grateful to your own family, tribe, culture, community and country, and you must give back to your own people and protect your own people from any external threat/intimidation/invasion/hostility.”

Human beings are being brought up in such way at home, at school, at work, in the community and country, for how they think and what they believe as good and bad, right and wrong, positive and negative, should and shouldn’t, appropriate and inappropriate, being trained to be ‘loyal’, ‘patriotic’ and ‘caring’ for their own people/family/ethnicity/tribe/culture/community/country.

There it goes and expands, separateness and discrimination exist everywhere in the world, even in those who think and believe that they are going against ‘discrimination’ and fighting for ‘non-discrimination’.

As even the identification of “We are citizen/human beings of the world. The entire world is our home, and we shouldn’t discriminate one another in the world”, is not free from the idea of “We need to be grateful to our own beings. We must give back to our own beings and protect our own beings and our home” that generates separateness and discrimination towards ‘non-citizen/human beings of the world’, or ‘outsiders’, or ‘foreigners’, or ‘aliens’, as there are countless worlds in countless universes.

Those who truly know what is the source of ‘discrimination’ and ‘non-discrimination’, there’s no need to go against ‘discrimination’ or fight for ‘non-discrimination’, as ‘discrimination’ doesn’t exist in those who are free from any sort of identification, and ‘non-discrimination’ doesn’t exist upon the absence of ‘discrimination’.

Everyone without ‘any identification with any names and forms’ can be contributing or giving back to the world, and can be kind and compassionate and helpful towards anyone without any ‘discrimination’ towards anyone under different names and forms, without the idea of “I need to be grateful to give back to my own people/beings and protect my own people/beings.” Unfortunately, not many minds can truly understand this.

It’s common reaction that most people would get offended upon coming in contact with this teaching, and categorized this kind of teaching as ‘bad’, ‘wrong’, or even ‘dangerous/threatening’ towards what they think and believe as ‘we, us and ours’, of their own particular family, ethnicity, tribe, culture, community, or country, as they feel threatened by such teaching that they think would ‘destroy’ their ‘bubble’ of ‘a strong family/ethnicity/tribe/culture/community/country, where they believe it’s essential to have ‘strong identification as one of us’, ‘loyalty’, ‘patriotism’ or ‘caring for our own people/beings’ in order to protect one another within that family/ethnicity/tribe/culture/community/country from any ‘external’ threat/intimidation/invasion/hostility from ‘outsiders’, ‘foreigners’, ‘aliens’, or ‘those who are not one of us.’

If people really want the world to evolve or progress ‘healthily’, people need to free their own minds from ignorance and egoism, and see the truth of the root cause of all ‘humanity problems’ in the world.

It’s okay if many people don’t like to hear this, and the world continues to evolve as it is, under the influence of ignorance and egoism. In less than 150 years or so, all kinds of people existing now, regardless of whether under the influence of ignorance and egoism, or not, whether people think and believe themselves are good or not good enough, selfish or unselfish, contributing to good or bad happenings, will all be gone. Although the left behind damages derived from ignorance and egoism might last a little longer in the world for the next generations to deal with. Just like now, we all are dealing with the damages derived from ignorance and egoism that left behind from the previous generations.

What to renounce and embrace in renunciation?

What to renounce in renunciation?

Renounce the idea of ‘I’, ‘my’ and ‘mine’.

Renounce action and the fruit of action. It doesn’t mean non-action or irresponsible towards the consequences of action, but performing action without attachment, identification, intention and expectation, and allowing the fruit/result of action being what it is, as it is.

Renounce egoism of attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation.

Renounce qualities, names and forms.

Renounce past pleasant/unpleasant, desirable/undesirable, enjoyable/non-enjoyable, happy/unhappy experiences and future imagination/anticipation/projection.

Renounce day dreaming and building castle in the air.

Renounce scheming, plotting, planning.

Renounce petite mindedness and stinginess.

Renounce worldly social relationships, connections and interactions.

Renounce worldly affair, habit and activity that empower egoism and ignorance.

Renounce worldly ideas, values and objects.

Renounce worldly thinking and belief.

Renounce superstitious belief and practice.

Renounce healing and gratification of desire through superstition practice or superhuman power.

Renounce novel, magazine and news reading, TV and movie watching, and theater visiting.

Renounce self-righteousness based on particular social, cultural, tribal, racial, religious or political thinking and belief, values and practice.

Renounce physical/mental/emotional intoxicant and addiction.

Renounce pride, arrogance, greed, jealousy, envy, admiration, blaming, fault-finding, slandering, back-biting, gossiping, flirting, dissatisfaction, disappointment, offensiveness, defensiveness, anger, hatred, violence, fear and worry.

Renounce debates, discussions and arguments.

Renounce possessiveness, selfishness and protectiveness.

Renounce worldly passionate greed and ambition, desire and lust.

Renounce spiritual greed and ambition, students recruiting, ashram building, cult forming, follower and disciple hoarding.

Renounce the outgoing tendency of the mind.

Renounce interference towards others’ diverse way of living, thinking, belief, values, practice, judgment, action, inaction, reaction, non-reaction, behavior, and so on. What others do with their life, their energy, their body and mind, is their own freedom and responsibility.

Renounce the urge to change or control the world and everything to be the way that I like it to be, or the way that I think how it should be.

Renounce extremity of laziness/idleness and restlessness, over fasting and over eating, rigidness and slackness, austerity and indulgence, and etc, without comparing with one another, as what is extreme for one might be moderate for another, and vice versa.

Renounce chasing after sympathy, empathy, love, attention, support, recognition, acknowledgement, accreditation, appreciation, praise, compliment, agreement, approval, friendship, companionship, enjoyment of the senses, name, title, entitlement, fame, respect, authorization, power or wealth.

Renounce intention, aspiration and inspiration.

Renounce self-idolization, self-glorification, self-boasting, self-flattering.

Renounce duality of what the worldly social/cultural/religious/political thinking and belief categorized as good/bad, right/wrong, positive/negative, happiness/unhappiness, meaningfulness/meaninglessness, success/failure, praise/condemn, respectfulness/disrespectfulness, deserving/undeserving, and so on.

Renounce the sense of confidence, self-esteem, self-worth and meaningfulness.

Renounce the sense of humiliation, guilt and shame.

Renounce the sense of being hurt, intimidated, belittled, insulted, disrespected, bullied, piteous, ill-treated, and etc. Understanding that all kinds of human beings action and behavior that resulting in hurting/disturbing/violating some others are deriving from ignorance and mental illness/corruption, and hence, need not be determined by the products of ignorance existing in the world. Being ignorant is not a crime, or sin, or punishment deserving, but it would lead to many ignorant actions and reactions that bring along further ignorant consequences, and all minds perceiving this impermanent selfless worldly life existence of names and forms are under the influence of ignorance, unless the mind realizes ignorance in itself and be initiated to be free from ignorance.

Renounce grief and sorrow.

Renounce the sense of boredom, meaninglessness and loneliness.

Renounce clinging towards the world of impermanent selfless names and forms of the mind perception of worldly life existence.

Renounce ignorance and the consequence of ignorance.

Renounce physical, mental and emotional dependency, unless one is suffering from physical, mental or emotional illness/malfunction/disability.

Renounce worldly egoistic freedom or satisfaction deriving from the gratification of passionate egoistic desire of craving and aversion, by attaining/experiencing what I like and want or desire, and not getting/experiencing what I dislike and doesn’t want or doesn’t desire.

Renounce political involvement, power accumulating, leadership or grouping.

Renounce any form of ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ gangsterism and its similarity, such like worldly authorization is one kind of ‘legally approved’ and ‘supported by most people’ gangsterism which seizes power, possession and control over certain land, space, resources and the people on earth, and then collect money in the form of tax from the people with the excuse in return with providing public services, certain kinds of benefit, legal documentation/recognition/privilege/rights and certain degree of protection, while generate separateness and discrimination in the society to create fear and hatred among each other, creating the best situation for the authority to be in business by keeping in power to dominate the society and exploiting natural resources and manpower, by harassing, oppressing, torturing, persecuting and prosecuting anyone who appear to be ‘illegal’, ‘disrespecting’, ‘disobeying’, ‘going against’ the authority.

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

 

What to embrace in renunciation?

Embrace dispassion, solitude and seclusion in silence.

Embrace quieting and purifying the mind.

Embrace living/being in the present.

Embrace fearlessness.

Embrace open-mindedness and generosity.

Embrace patience, perseverance, determination, forbearance, tolerance, acceptance, adjustment, adaptation and accommodation.

Embrace calmness, clarity, correct understanding, contentment, simplicity, truthfulness, straightforwardness, non-violence, non-possessiveness, non-authorization, non-separateness and non-discrimination.

Embrace non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment, non-comparison, non-expectation.

Embrace selfless compassionate kindness that is void of attachment, identification, intention and expectation.

Embrace self-inquiry and investigation towards the truth of everything, being uninfluenced by personal likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements deriving from worldly social/cultural/religious/political thinking and belief.

Embrace physical, mental and emotional independence as much as possible unless due to deform, injury, sickness or old age, one has no choice but has to be dependent on some others physically or mentally for certain things in this limited impermanent and selfless life existence.

Embrace right discrimination or wisdom that removes the veil of ignorance and leads to non-separateness and non-discrimination.

Embrace peace and harmony.

Embrace tranquility.

Embrace nature and the law of nature.

Embrace the truth of impermanence and selflessness.

Embrace everything as it is, not necessarily the way that I think how it should be and the way that I desire it to be, respecting the perceived names and forms, conditions and situations as they are, not necessarily pleasant or desirable, without being determined or disturbed by pleasant/unpleasant, desirable/undesirable perception of names and forms or experiences.

Embrace the yearning for liberation.

Embrace true freedom or liberation, being free from ignorance, egoism, impurities and suffering.

Embrace unconditional peace, being free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, being undetermined, unaffected, uninfluenced, undisturbed by the mind perception of different qualities of impermanent and selfless names and forms perceived through the senses.

Embrace self-effort, self-control, self-discipline, self-introspection and self-realization.

Embrace oneness, non-separateness, namelessness, formlessness, attributelessness.

Embrace annihilation of the modification of the mind.

Embrace silence.

How to practice yoga for the mind to transcend names and forms?

How to practice yoga for the mind to transcend names and forms, to realize unconditional peace and freedom?

Stop identifying with any quality of names and forms as ‘I’, or what/who the mind think is ‘I’, or ‘This is I’. Such as specific specie, race, culture, nationality, family background, gender, sexual orientation, personality, characteristic, appearance, talent, skill, likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, thinking, belief, spirituality, religion, political view, lifestyle, social status, social network, friend circles, educational background, career, profession, livelihood, experience, contribution, non-contribution, achievement, non-achievement, ability, disability, and so on.

Living within this worldly egoistic society that is being conditioned by documentation/nationality/citizenship/specific rights under specific law and orders, which derived from basic instinct of living beings and human civilization of ‘survival instinct’, ‘self-protectiveness’, ‘selfishness’, ‘possession of land and resources’, ‘food agriculture’, ‘village’, ‘township’, ‘city’, ‘country’, ‘capitalism’, ‘consumerism’, ‘procreation’ and ‘greed’, we all are unwittingly being ‘forced’ to carry certain ‘social personal identity’ with certain names and forms to be living and moving in this world, (or else, one would be ‘illegal’ being anywhere on Earth and would be discriminated, persecuted and prosecuted if without any ‘proper/legal’ documentation and citizenship), but all these identities with different names and forms are not ‘I’, and it’s not easy to be living and moving in the world if being ‘illegal’ without all these so called legal/proper/essential documentation/recognition, even though all these shouldn’t be existing in the beginning.

But, it’s possible to free the mind from attachment and identification towards all these external identities with different names and forms as ‘I’, or what we think and believe as ‘who/what am I’, while ‘playing’ along with the worldly games of ‘legality and all kinds of documentation/rights/permission’ for being where you are and what you are and what you do, to be able to have a livelihood and move around only within the area that is ‘allowed’.

The moment the mind identifies as “I am this or that” and “I am not this or that”, separateness and discrimination exists in oneself, regardless of whether one is aware of it, or not, agrees or disagrees with it.

As long as there’s any identification of any particular name and form as ‘I’ or “This is I/This is not I”, even as “I am good/I am not good”, or “I am a good human being/I am a bad human being”, or “I believe in God/I disbelieve in God”, “I am female/I am male/I am neither female or male”, or “I am a yogi/I am not a yogi”, separateness and discrimination is there naturally as it is, even if we have no intention at all to generate separateness and discrimination between ourselves and all the others whom are not being identified within the same category of similar name and form. This is not denial of ‘fact’, as some people would argue about that.

Even when the mind perceives all the different names and forms, colours and shapes, features and characteristics, but the one same nature of everything with all the different names and forms is the same – Impermanence and Selflessness. If one keeps following the truth of impermanence and selflessness to inquire the truth of everything, it would lead/guide one’s mind towards liberation from ignorance, egoism, impurities and suffering, even without a particular human or non-human teacher being existing to guide oneself, even if the world is a messy place full of all kinds ignorance and corruption, which all started from the selfish desire to hoard and possess resources and lands, to protect ‘goodness’ and ‘mine-ness’, to eliminate ‘badness’ and ‘the threats towards mine-ness’, with the excuse ‘to keep things in order/under control’.

This practice of non-identification/non-attachment towards realization of selflessness, is the very basic step, as well as the upmost important step in the path of yoga and Buddhism.

Otherwise, even by passionately fighting for ‘non-discrimination’ and keep shouting ‘Say No To Racism/Stop Racism’, ‘Say No To Discrimination/Stop Discrimination’, ‘We All Are One’, “We All Are Citizen Of The World”, “We Want Peace”, “We Want Freedom”, “We Want Change”, and etc, it won’t work, as the world will still be the same full of ‘corruption’, ‘oppression’, ‘unjust’, ‘unrest’, ‘separateness’ and ‘discrimination’ everywhere, even if the authority appears to be giving in for the moment, and seems to be giving people what they demand/wish/want to see and hear, it’s just a momentary strategy for ‘cooling things down’, and meanwhile, there are some other ‘messy things’ that are brewing somewhere, while everyone happily thinking and believing that they have successfully made a change in the world, that they have gotten what they wanted from the authority.

Separateness and discrimination is there, even when one thinks and believes that oneself is completely free from any discrimination towards anyone or anything, which is impossible, as even the idea/notion/identification of “I don’t discriminate anyone or anything” is separateness and discrimination itself. Unless one attains ‘self’-realization and realizes selflessness/egolessness/’I’lessness.

The ‘self’ in self-realization, is not referring that ‘there is a self-existence/individual being/soul/spirit’, but it’s the selfless/’I’less mind realizing the truth of ‘I’/’self’, or ‘who/what the mind thinks and believes and identifies as a self-existence of an individual being’, where there’s no ‘I’ or ‘self-existence’ or ‘individual being’, but just merely impermanent and selfless names and forms of a life existence under the function of a physical body and perceptive/thinking mind forming, changing, decaying and deforming. If the mind perceives meaningfulness, it’s just the mind feels meaningful. It’s not “I am meaningful or I feel meaningful”. And even that perception of meaningfulness is impermanent and selfless.

It’s not that difficult to realize the truth of impermanence, but ignorance and egoism hinders the mind from realizing selflessness, even for those who gave up many worldly things trying to conquer the mind, as there’s an identification of ‘I’ or ‘self-existence’ being there hindering the mind to annihilate the ego. “I am practicing”, “I am improving/declining”, “My practice is good/not good”, “My mind is good/not good”, “I have a good meditation today”, “I like to practice X brand/X style yoga”, “I learn and practice XXX yoga. I am a XXX yogi”, “I want to be like my teacher/guru”, “I wish there’s a great teacher to guide me”, “I couldn’t do my practice because I was sick”, “I can do my practice now because I am in good health”, “I am performing selfless service/action”, “I am selfless/I want to be selfless”, “I am kind and compassionate/I want to be kind and compassionate”, and so on.

Let it go. Let go all the ‘I’, ‘my’, ‘mine’. And one will know.

When the mind transcends all the different qualities of impermanent names and forms of what it perceives through the senses selflessly, it will realize unconditional peace and true freedom being undetermined, unaffected, undisturbed and uninfluenced by any quality of names and forms, may it be the quality of ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, ‘positive’ or ‘negative’, ‘happiness’ or ‘unhappiness’, ‘meaningfulness’ or ‘meaninglessness’, ‘pleasantness’ or ‘unpleasantness’, ‘praise’ or ‘condemn’, ‘pleasurable enjoyment’ or ‘painful suffering’, and so on.

Some people might say, “I don’t want this kind of peace and freedom. It doesn’t sound right, as we need to get involve, we need to be active in order to make changes, to fight for our rights, peace and freedom.”

If people can think about it calmly, it’s ridiculous that anyone needs to ‘fight for’ or ‘obtain’ certain rights, peace and freedom from any ‘Authorization’.

Protests of any kind and fighting for any rights or benefits from ‘Some Body’ or ‘The Authority’ shouldn’t be existing at all. None should be ‘documented’, ‘recognized’, ‘approved’, ‘(mercifully) be given certain rights’ by such and such ‘Person’ and ‘Authority’, in the first place. Who give ‘them’ the power to be ‘possessing’ so much power and ‘owning’ everyone’s freedom of being existing on earth? It’s The People themselves. People don’t see the root cause of ‘why would anyone need to obtain or fight for ‘certain rights’, ‘peace’ and ‘freedom’. None ‘owns’ anyone. None ‘belongs’ to anyone. None needs to ‘be given’ or ‘receiving’ any rights from anyone or so called ‘The Authority’. Any kind of ‘Rights’ shouldn’t exist at all. Everyone is just what they are and how they are. Who are supporting those who become The Authority who then created The System with all kinds of rights? It’s The People themselves, who gave away their freedom of being existing on earth to an Authorization.

People think and believe that it’s normal or there’s nothing abnormal where all and everyone need to be ‘documented’, to ‘obtain something’, or ‘apply something’, or ‘fight for something’ from ‘somebody’ or ‘the authority’ to be who they are and where they are, so that they can be ‘legally’ being ‘recognized’ by ‘somebody’ or ‘the authority’ to be living/surviving/moving on certain restricted area on Earth. It’s absurd that anyone would be ‘illegal’ being anywhere on Earth and would be persecuted and prosecuted if without any ‘legal/proper’ documentation and citizenship, even though all planets, lands, oceans, mountains, space and natural resources in the world or the universe doesn’t belong to anyone or anything, but they were being ‘self-claimed’/’conquered’/’dominated’/’robbed’ by certain human beings from the very beginning until now. Except probably those people who become ‘The Authority’, who are the ones who create and carryout those law and orders to ‘dominate’ the rest of the people, are not bound by The System that they created themselves. And people who started to realize so many things that aren’t right in the world, are there continuing to support to have The Authority and The System, wittingly or unwittingly, allowing The Authority and The System to be in power to do all that.

If people truly want to experience real non-separateness and non-discrimination in this world, it’s not about changing The Authority or The System, it’s about abandoning The Authorization and The System, by letting go all kinds of nationality, borders and documentation, but it will only works if all and everyone letting it go, as The System cannot run without the majority of The People being there want to be ‘protected’ by The System, to be given ‘privilege of certain rights’ for being somewhere and somebody, and to move about and make a livelihood here and there. If there are still some people supporting The Authorization and The System, they will still be in power and will only benefit certain group of people of their own, but oppressing/discriminating/persecuting all the others.

Most people won’t want to abandon Authorization and The System, as they are reluctant to let go ‘the privilege of receiving and having certain rights’ that they received from an Authorization and The System. People who are living in a rather comfortable space and have more than enough livelihood would like to have ‘The System’ to ‘protect’ them, their home and their livelihood, as well as there’s fear of “What will happen if themselves become ‘the unwanted/unwelcome illegal immigrants’ anywhere in the world, without ‘proper/legal’ documentation/recognition and losing all their privilege and rights to be somewhere, to live somewhere, to make a living somewhere, to go somewhere, or to do something?” While the world, the earth, the lands, the oceans, the mountains, the resources, the space, the universe doesn’t belong to anyone or anything, but ‘The Authority’ took all that and claimed ‘authorization’ and ‘dominate’ everyone, by telling everyone, I am doing this (running The System) to protect you, your livelihood, your home and your benefits from foreign attack, invasion, or damage. “There are bad people out there waiting to hurt you and your livelihood. We are here to keep them away to protect you and your livelihood.” That’s what they want everyone to think and believe.

Most people who are mentally healthy don’t intentionally want to ‘hurt’, or ‘invade’, or ‘attack’, or ‘rob’, or ‘conquer’ anyone or anything that doesn’t belong to anyone, that all and everyone are free to be sharing the resources that are available anywhere on earth. Most living beings just keep moving to find resources to survive. And all kinds of resources don’t belong to anyone. But somehow, somewhere, somebody/a community started to claim ownership or possession towards certain resources that they found, and want to keep it all for themselves and stop any others coming to ‘share’ some of it. And out of survival instinct, most people would think and believe that that is the best way running the world in order to be able to survive, at least for themselves.

Ridiculous, but most people don’t see that as ridiculous, but that’s something great for them.

Even a rather good country with good (kind and compassionate) leadership running ‘The System’, discrimination is still existing, as the resources are limited and they need to ‘keep it for themselves and their own people’, even if they would like to share their resources with some others, they cannot take everyone onto ‘their boat’. They have to filter and discriminate who and how many they want to bring onto ‘their boat’ to share their limited resources.

For those who are interested in searching for unconditional peace and true freedom, who are interested in practicing renunciation and dispassion, can contemplate on the teaching and practice. Inquire the truth of everything.

Those who aren’t interested in renunciation and dispassion to realize unconditional peace and freedom that appears to be not the kind of freedom that they want, they don’t have to do anything, but continue living their everyday life as they like, as they are. Living in The System, supporting The System. If they don’t like anything about The System, they complain and protest, and they might get some ‘nice treats’ from The Authority from time to time, so that they will think that The Authority is not so bad anyway, thinking that they would rather be ‘protected’ by The System than attaining independence and dealing with the world being shared among all and everyone peacefully without discrimination.

Most people talk highly about independence, but they don’t really like to be independent. It’s too tough for them. They only like independence from being controlled by ‘the others who are not them’, that they perceive and categorize as ‘predator/enemy/invader/those who are not us’, but they want to be controlled by their very own Authority, no matter how bad and corrupted it is, and feel ‘as long as I have the privilege of certain rights’ and ‘I am being protected somehow’.

“One of our own go out there to invade other’s land and take over their resources, is being praised and recognized as ‘our hero’, while the others come to invade our land and take over our resources is being condemned and recognized as ‘intruder/robber/enemy/bad people’.” How contradicting that is.

The world has its own natural system and running on that system of the law of nature autonomously. But, human minds have fear towards “without leadership, authority and human made system to keep things in order and to control human’s conduct and activity, to protect ‘our’ resources, livelihood, goodness and homeland.” Many ‘good’ people also concern about the nature or the earth would be damaged by certain ‘bad’ people, and think that they need an authority and The System to protect the nature or the earth. But, ever since there’s authorization and human made system existing in the world, did it stop anyone who are mentally-ill, greedy and selfish and have intention to be doing something that ‘good’ people think they shouldn’t do? Nope. Did it effectively get rid of all kinds of ignorant selfish social interaction and activity? Nope. But, it becomes a platform that gives rise to many forms of corruption, prejudice, unjust, oppression, separateness, discrimination, violence, hatred, crimes, wars, ‘legal’ invasions, fear, unrest, and etc.

Even in the world of yoga and Buddhism is not free from being influenced by worldly egoistic ideas and system.

In Swami Sivananda’s teachings, “The world would probably run smoother if all the leaders are being taken out of the world.”

Renounce the world. None can change the world by controlling/expecting the world to be in certain way that ‘I’ think how it should be, unless all and everyone is free from ignorance and egoism, and the world is fine as it is.

Positive thinking vs dispassion and non-attachment

Positive thinking might be able to make the mind feels a little bit better momentarily, but it’s not the end of practice, as it doesn’t really help the mind to transcend ignorance and be free from suffering, as the mind is still being determined by the qualities of names and forms, where there’s craving/clinging/grasping towards the quality of names and forms that is likable, agreeable, pleasing and desirable for the mind, and there’s aversion towards the quality of names and forms that is dislikable, disagreeable, unpleasing and undesirable for the mind. There’s intentional egoistic tendency of changing something that the mind doesn’t like into something else that is less dislikable for the mind, as the mind is being affected/determined/disturbed/influenced by the quality of names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses. This mind is not free, even though by thinking positively might give momentary relief to the mind from continuously drowning in negative thinking.

While dispassion and non-attachment would allow the mind to transcend ignorance and be free from suffering, being aware of the mind perception of different qualities of names and forms regardless of what the worldly minded perceived or recognized as good/bad/positive/negative quality of names and forms, but without being affected/determined/disturbed/influenced by any quality of names and forms, going beyond all the pleasant/unpleasant and desirable/undesirable or good/bad and positive/negative qualities of names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses of a worldly life existence.

By telling worldly egoistic passionate people to think positive in the midst of pandemic, lockdown, political tension, economy downturn, discrimination, fear, hatred, violence, unjust, corruption, worry and uncertainty, would most probably inflict further disappointment and frustration in the passionate egoistic minds that are being affected/determined/disturbed/influenced very much by the quality of names and forms or the unpleasant/undesirable condition and situation in the world. Such as “Things will get better for sure.” or “Everything will be fine in the end. Don’t worry.” or “We are good people. God will take care of us. Nothing bad is going to happen to good people like us.”

In yoga or Buddhism, it’s okay even if everything is not going to be fine in the end, and regardless of whether one thinks and believes oneself is a good person or not, whether one believes or disbelieves in God, it still doesn’t change the truth of impermanence and selflessness.

While the practice of dispassion and non-attachment is about seeing the truth of things as it is, even if it’s something really bad and terrible for the worldly egoistic passionate minds, without intentionally denying, or pushing away, or trying to change the unpleasant/undesirable condition or situation of the world, although one can perform kind and beneficial compassionate actions for oneself and/or others in the world selflessly at anytime and anywhere, but without expecting everything will be good and nothing bad, or expecting more good and less bad, knowing clearly that all is impermanent and selfless, without attaching onto the impermanent and selfless function of the body and mind or the perception of a worldly life existence of all kinds relationships and experiences that is being conditioned by actions and the consequences of actions, and hence, the mind is not being affected/determined/disturbed/influenced by it, remain equanimous and at peace as it is, even when disaster and death is approaching. This mind is free as it is, it doesn’t need to think positive at all, to be hopeful, wishing everything will be positive and good the way that the mind would like it to be.

It’s okay and there’s nothing wrong to react and feel negative, depressed, sad, angry, dissatisfied or disappointed towards the worldly condition and situation that the mind perceives and recognizes as unpleasant/undesirable/bad/negative, allowing the mind to react and feel as it is, but the mind knows clearly that even this feeling is impermanent and selfless, it’s not ‘I’. Need not be influenced or over-powered by this feeling to perform more actions that would most probably bring further unpleasant/undesirable consequences of actions.

Positive thinking is like leadership or having a leader, regardless of good or bad leader, who is being given the responsibility or power by a group of people (or the majority of the people under the system of democracy) to lead them, where these people need a leader to decide for them what to think and what to do, and be responsible for all the actions and the consequences of actions, as they are unable to think and act independently and incapable to take responsibility for performing action and the consequences of their action fearlessly. But, that is not a solution to all the problems in the world. Or else, the world would already be free from all kinds of problems since long time ago when leaders started to be existing in the world to lead a community or nation, if by having leader to lead a community is the way to a better world.

A really efficient community of the world doesn’t need any leader at all, not even a good leader, as everyone can think and act independently, wisely and responsibly, being free from ignorance, petite mindedness, separateness, discrimination and fear.

The teaching and practice of yoga doesn’t propagate leadership, or to create and train good/magnificent leaders that lead a group of followers who are dependent on the leader to give them a set of rules and regulations on what or how to think and act, or to live life and behave. It emphasizes on training/practice that would allow each and everyone to be able to be thinking and acting independently, wisely and responsibly, where none needs any leader or a set of rules and regulations to tell them what to think and act, or how to live life and behave, being free from ignorance, petite mindedness, separateness, discrimination and fear, by realizing selflessness, oneness, namelessness, formlessness, attributelessness.

Somehow, most of the worldly education/cultural/social/political system emphasized on producing great leaders to lead a bunch of followers to create a world that they think how it should be. While a very rare good and wise leader might bring some goodness to its community, but for how long this good leader can serve the community? What happen when this good leader is gone? Unless this good leader abandons leadership and transforms into a great teacher that would teach and train all and everyone to be independent, wise and responsible.

A truly great teacher never try to be a leader who leads a group of followers of a community and receives the power to hoard/guard/guide/protect that particular community. He or she will teach and allow all and everyone to become independent and wise, and be responsible for their own action and the consequences of action, to be free from ignorance and egoism, to be free from suffering and the cause of suffering.

Some would argue that there are too many people who are under the influence of ignorance, and hence, there is an inevitable need to have wise leaders to lead the huge amount of ignorant people. Just like many people emphasize on the importance of cultural/religious/community dependence and support, where many people believe that people would be lost and can’t live without depending on a particular culture/religion/community support. There’s nothing wrong with that, but even the enlightened Siddhartha Gautama Buddha never intended to be a wise leader leading a group of ignorant followers (as that would be so exhausting, going everywhere to help to solve everyone’s never ending problems due to ignorance.) He taught all and everyone about how to be free from ignorance and be independent, even though not all and everyone would attain success. Just like an ignorant leader can’t do anything to influence a group of wise people, a wise leader also can’t do anything to influence or change a group of ignorant people, not to say to take away or remove other’s ignorance. It has to come from each and everyone to be aware of ignorance and be self-initiated to be free from ignorance.

When someone fell and got hurt, a Buddha, or a great teacher, doesn’t go and comfort this person, “Oh no! Poor you. Such a bad thing happened to you. You don’t deserve this. But hey, I’m here for you. I will heal you and make you feel better.” Instead, they suggest, “If you want, you can see the truth from this experience. Falling and wounded is neither good nor bad, neither positive nor negative. Look into the action and the consequence of action. You fell, and there’s a wound, and there’s painful sensation. And look at the impermanence and selflessness of it, regardless of whether you like it, or not.” and “Whether you think and feel it’s okay or it’s not okay, of how you react towards this experience, it’s your own responsibility. It’s nothing to do with what you think and believe as right or wrong, or who’s responsible for the fall and the wound.” And this is true compassion, but most people would prefer the first version than the later one.

One can be living closely with a wise man for many many years, obeying and following the guidance/discipline of the wise man about how to think and act, live life and behave, but oneself never investigate the truth and is being comfortable with somebody else being there to tell oneself what to think and act, or not, but still one is not free from ignorance, where one doesn’t know what to think and act, how to live life and behave independently once there’s no more guidance/discipline from the wise man, unless one realizes ignorance in oneself, investigates the truth of everything, realizing the truth of things and eliminating ignorance through one’s own effort, and becomes independent.

Gratitude and peace amidst global pandemic

Being able to have a home/room to practice social distancing/physical isolation, have access to clean water and soap to wash hand and/or body, have home toilet/bathroom, have access to get enough grocery and daily needs once every few weeks, have a kitchen and gas access to be cooking (even just for having instant noodles or a cup of hot drink), have electricity to be storing food for weeks/months in a fridge/freezer and enjoying all sorts of comforts, conveniences and entertainments at home, have internet access to be continuing mentally/emotionally (socially) active, have enough physical/mental space to be continuing physically/mentally active, have access to face mask and sanitizer, have ‘the sense of humour’ to entertain and/or uplift oneself and others, being able to breathe effortlessly, being able to continue generate income by working at home or have enough savings for surviving a few more months, and etc, are inaccessible ‘luxury’ for many others around the world.

Need not be disappointed/upset towards travelling restriction, favorite food items or beauty products or entertainments non-available, accessibility to clean eating and specific food trend is disrupted, personal/family/business/social/cultural/religious/spiritual/leisure meetings, gatherings, events, festivals and celebrations or favorite outdoor interactive/non-interactive activities are cancelled or non-available for a period of time, and etc.

Wishing everyone peace during this time being.

Lockdown expose mental state of many people

After many days/weeks of observing lockdown in many different countries, not just that the process of lockdown could help to contain the global epidemic effectively, but unintentionally, it also helps to expose the mental state of many people, where many people themselves are not aware of their own mental state that is not so well. Some people appreciate and enjoy the many days/weeks being with their family/relative/friend physically under the same roof at this time being, but there are also many more people are starting to behave in the way that is not how they usually behaved due to being physically constraint in a limited space all the time being with the family/relatives/friends.

People are worried about those who lives alone during this time being, and encourage companionship of family, relatives or friends staying close together under the same roof during the lockdown for a prolonged period of time, but actually, that could be generating or exposing more ‘human interactive problems’ among one another physically/mentally/emotionally than those who lives alone.

Some people are developing momentary mild mental stress/instability due to anxiety towards the present situation, but some are already suffering from mental illness/breakdown even before the lockdown that never been treated properly as they weren’t even aware of it, but now, it’s being ‘forced’ to be exposed due to there’s not enough personal time and space where two or more people are being ‘stuck’ together physically sharing the same limited living space under the same roof being refrained from their many out of the house social leisure activity with some other ‘beings’ or just to be having some personal time and space being alone by themselves to ‘escape’ the ‘tension/stress’ built up at home being with the people that they live with.

The accumulating tension, stress, frustration and dissatisfaction are not only deriving from anxiety generated towards the pandemic situation, but also from dealing with the ‘normal yet abnormal’ human’s behavior of the other members living in the same house undergoing the process of lockdown. People under stress are starting to loose their limited patience/tolerance and behaving aggressively towards one another who live under the same roof. It’s not strange that there will be more and more family/relationship problem brewing slowly/rapidly and domestic abuse are increasingly happening everywhere.

Meanwhile there will be somewhat ‘mentally/emotionally healthy’ people are appreciating the ‘enforced’ time and space being with their loved ones and learn how to be more patient and tolerant under this lockdown situation for a prolonged period of time.

Frustration and disappointment due to lockdown?

During this global epidemic situation in the world, other than anxiety of fear and worry towards contracting illness and confronting death as well as uncertainty towards the aftermath if one survives this epidemic, many people are getting frustrated and disappointed due to the unpleasant/undesirable social/physical distancing or movement restriction undergoing the upmost important process of lockdown for a prolonged period of time to help to contain the epidemic efficiently. Some worry about their family and friends, some worry about their future, some worry about the economy going down and many other things.

There’s neither right nor wrong. It’s just how different minds think, feel, act and react or behave differently. Everyone has the freedom for how they think, feel, act and react.

The worldly egoistic minds are getting frustrated and disappointed is due to they are unable to be as free as they used to be, to go wherever they want to go, to do whatever they want to do, to eat and play at anytime and anywhere as they like, or to enjoy what they want to enjoy. And they have the rights to feel frustrated and disappointed as much as they like. Some even get angry/furious for certain ‘reason’ that they think and believe as the cause of this epidemic, blaming this and that for causing them many inconvenience, loss and suffering.

This modification (behavior/reaction) of the mind is merely the reflection of the untrained/undisciplined minds that are functioning under the influence of ignorance and egoism where the minds are being over-powered by egoistic attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion and expectation. It’s normal that the untrained egoistic minds don’t like discipline/restriction or be disciplined/restricted.

The frustration and disappointment that exists in many people is due to their ‘normal’ habitual routine of constantly gratifying the gross and subtle physical/mental/emotional desire of craving and aversion, whether consciously or subconsciously, is being disrupted mildly or heavily, but also more angry particularly when they think and believe that ‘the disruption’ is caused by other people and happening that has nothing to do with them. The mind (the ego) doesn’t like it and doesn’t want this. And that’s their freedom of thinking, feeling, action and reaction.

There’s no frustration and disappointment, or anxiety of fear and worry towards contracting illness and confronting death, or uncertainty towards the aftermath if one survives this epidemic in the minds that have been well-disciplined, being free from egoism and ignorance, being free from attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion and expectation, being in the present moment, being aware of the mind perception of a worldly life existence of impermanent and selfless names and forms powered by cause and effect.

One just do one’s best to observe this process of lockdown to help to contain this global epidemic, without attachment, identification or expectation, regardless of if there are some others who don’t understand the importance of this process and behaving in the way that they behave, while some others are merely being rebellious disrespecting the process of lockdown or quarantine, and some others might think and believe that they are being ‘caring and loving’ insisting to go visiting their family and friends, especially those who are elderly and lives alone, whether intentionally or unintentionally, under the influence of ignorance and egoism.

Online yoga class?

“Do you offer any ‘online yoga class’?”

What other yoga teachers do and don’t do is their freedom. What yoga practitioners/enthusiasts desire and don’t desire is their freedom. There’s neither right nor wrong.

I don’t have any interest or intention to run or teach ‘yoga classes’, not to say to organize ‘online yoga class’.

There were/are different type of people with different temperament/understanding and state of the mind, who want to learn yoga from us by participating in a compact yoga course in the form of yoga retreat over a few days to a few weeks. The yoga retreats emphasize on guiding and allowing the yoga practitioners/students to develop correct understanding, dispassion, right discrimination, self-inquiry, self-control, self-discipline and self-independence to be able to perform mental/physical self-practice internally/externally wherever they are without the need of attending ‘yoga classes’, by performing the different practices that serve the purpose of purifying and quieting the impure outgoing egoistic mind, to work on eliminating the ego and egoism diligently and independently, to be opened and turning the mind inward to investigate/inquire into the truth of everything, allowing the mind to see/realize the truth of names and forms as it is, to know what is going on in the restless self-cognitive thinking mind or knowing Thyself, be free from ignorance and the consequences of ignorance.

How everyone reacts towards the teachings and the different practices, or whether the students would be interested in developing the correct understanding, dispassion, right discrimination, self-inquiry, self-control, self-discipline and self-independence, or not, and whether they developed the correct understanding, dispassion, right discrimination, self-inquiry, self-control, self-discipline and self-independence, or not, it’s their own freedom, effort and responsibility. Everyone has their own pace treading the path of yoga.

Many of those who ‘expect’ the ‘yoga retreat’ or the ‘yoga practice’ to be the way that they desire it to be, that gives them what they think they should be getting/enjoying from ‘joining yoga retreat and performing yoga practice’ the way that they like and want, that gives them pleasurable sensual enjoyments, that gratifies their desire of craving and aversion, that makes them feel pampered and loved, wouldn’t appreciate and would reject this kind of ‘yoga retreat’ or ‘yoga practice’, and they would complain and criticize this kind of ‘yoga retreat’ or ‘yoga practice’ that they don’t like, don’t agree with and don’t want. And that’s their freedom.

Those who allowed their mind to be opened to inquire the truth of everything, while being self-initiated to perform yoga practice practically in everyday life to work on eliminating the ego and egoism diligently and independently, to free the mind from ignorance and the consequences of ignorance, who understand/realize the importance of dispassion, renunciation, seclusion, solitude and silence, would appreciate this type of ‘yoga retreat’ and ‘yoga practice’. They would have the basic understanding, dispassion, right discrimination, self-inquiry, self-control and self-discipline to be performing the internal/external practice accordingly. They don’t need to attend ‘yoga classes’, not to say ‘online yoga classes’ to be following some verbal/visual instructions/motivations to be motivated to perform some yoga practice or exercises, in order to stay calm/positive and healthy by keeping the body and mind busy engaging/occupying with some ‘healthy positive mental/physical activity’, to get rid of negativity, anxiety, boredom, or the sense of loneliness/meaninglessness due to the present global epidemic situation and prolonged social/physical distancing/isolation.

The existence of ‘yoga classes’, and particularly ‘online yoga classes’ in this present situation are very good for those who don’t have the basic understanding, dispassion, right discrimination, self-control, self-discipline and self-independence, who need to receive motivations/encouragements/guidance to be doing some healthy physical activity, to keep occupying the mind with healthy mental/physical activity, particularly in this present global epidemic situation, where people are being isolated/refrained from their everyday habitual social/mental/physical/emotional activity and interaction. Sort of like experiencing the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms of breaking away from certain mental/physical/emotional/relationship addiction/attachment/craving/desire, which is something very common that happens to many people who attend silent meditation retreats.

There’s nothing wrong with many yoga practitioners/enthusiasts who can’t or reluctant to perform self-practice independently, as they don’t have the basic understanding, dispassion, right discrimination, self-control, self-discipline and self-independence, and they don’t have the knowledge and confidence to perform the yoga practice by themselves, even after have been attending regular ‘yoga classes’ for many months/years, that mostly emphasize on social/mental/emotional/physical ‘connection’, ‘sharing’, ‘companionship’, ‘encouragement/motivation’ and ‘interaction’ among the community of the yoga teachers and the fellow yoga students while attending yoga classes/yoga retreats. That’s their freedom of thinking, belief, desire, action and reaction.

Those who know this, and/or who have been practicing yoga of renunciation, dispassion, solitude, seclusion and silence as it is, will not have any issue dealing with this global epidemic situation that requires efficient prolonged social/physical isolation/distancing for weeks/months or even years. They are free from boredom, anxiety, fear, worry, loneliness, or meaninglessness.

The sincere yoga practitioners can make use of this time being, or this great opportunity from this global epidemic situation to be starting practicing silence.

Those who aren’t interested in the yoga practice of disciplining and quieting the mind, don’t have to practice silence. They can continue to entertain the mind to keep the mind busy mingling and interacting with one another through all kinds of social media. It’s everyone’s freedom what they desire and don’t desire.

Living in the present

The minds that know how to ‘live’ in the present, time doesn’t exist, but only a reflection of impermanent selfless changes. These minds are fearless and worryless being free from craving towards particular desirable/agreeable/pleasant condition and aversion towards particular undesirable/disagreeable/unpleasant condition. The function of the thinking mind or the state of the mind will go through impermanent selfless changes, but the nameless/formless/attributeless universal consciousness beyond the egoistic self-cognitive thinking mind, is birthless/deathless/changeless/infinite.

The mind can make use of the existing available condition, knowledge, talent, skill, experience and opportunity in the present moment to be performing actions looking after the well-being of one’s life and/or others, without attachment towards the actions and the fruit of actions. Passionate optimistic people even propagate that people can create/develop the desirable condition, knowledge, talent, skill, experience and opportunity intentionally, if they aren’t existing/available in the present. There’s nothing wrong with that. The only difference is that there’s no satisfaction/dissatisfaction, pleasure/disappointment, happiness/unhappiness, success/failure, pride and arrogance/shame and guilt/regret in the minds that are free from attachment towards the actions and the fruit of actions.

The minds that know this, all actions are being performed out of selfless compassion, intentionlessly. It’s nothing to do with attaining the sense of goodness, happiness, righteousness, positiveness and meaningfulness or getting rid of the sense of badness, unhappiness, wrongfulness, negativeness or meaninglessness. As the minds that are free from the ego and egoism don’t need to attain the sense of goodness, happiness, righteousness, positiveness, or meaningfulness, to feel good, happy, righteous, positive, or meaningful, as these minds are void of the sense of badness, unhappiness, wrongfulness, negativeness, or meaninglessness, regardless of all the impermanent selfless changes of names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses. There’s not even the idea of “I am a selfless compassionate being performing selfless compassionate actions that are beneficial to the world.” not to say, “I want to be a kind and compassionate human being who performs kind and compassionate actions that will benefit the world.”

The worldly passionate minds that are being conditioned to think and believe that all human beings need to live life and perform actions in the way that would give rise to the sense of goodness, happiness, righteousness, positiveness and meaningfulness, couldn’t comprehend this. These minds are being ‘troubled’ by the absence of the sense of goodness, happiness, righteousness, positiveness, or meaningfulness, and would be ‘disturbed’ by the presence of the sense of loneliness, lovelessness, badness, wrongfulness, unhappiness, negativeness, or meaninglessness. The practice of silence, solitude, seclusion and renunciation from worldly affair and relationship is extremely painful, wrong, lonely, loveless, negative and meaningless to them.

“Being alone, living alone, without coming in contact or interacting with family and friends and the society for a prolonged period of time is something unhealthy, sad, wrong and terrible.”

For the worldly minds, everyone should be physically/mentally/emotionally closely ‘connecting’ to one another, be able to love and care for one another, be able to give and receive love from one another, (sort of) being free from loneliness/aloneness by being with some others, to be physically/mentally/emotionally connecting and interacting with some others, is the highest meaning and the joy of life existence. There’s nothing wrong, but it’s not freedom in yoga.

In yoga, (regardless of whether being by oneself alone, being physically distant from any other beings and without interacting with some others physically/mentally/emotionally, or being physically/mentally/emotionally surrounded by some other beings and constantly interacting with other beings,) the realization of unconditional peace of namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness/selflessness, being free from ignorance and egoism, being free from attachment and longing towards the sense of goodness, happiness, righteousness, positiveness, or meaningfulness deriving from certain quality of names and forms of the companionship of others and interaction with some other beings physically/mentally/emotionally, is indeed a great liberation. Though the worldly passionate minds don’t appreciate this liberation. For them, this is not the liberation that they want, because they think and believe life is so sad and loveless if nobody needs to depend on one another to feel love, to be giving and receiving love physically/mentally/emotionally among one another. And that’s everyone’s freedom of thinking, belief, feeling, action, reaction and desire.

Even many ‘yoga teachers’ who think they love practicing and teaching yoga would also think and believe in such way. They are not interested in dispassion, renunciation, silence, solitude, seclusion, or celibacy. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, some yoga practitioners aren’t working on silencing and annihilating the modification of the mind, but they are working on empowering egoism, desire of craving and aversion, passion and lust, and stimulating the modification of the mind. There are such saying – “Change what you don’t like until you are happy and satisfied.”; “If you don’t like how you look or how you feel, change it!”; “If you don’t like your eyes or your skin colour, change it to be the way that you like!”; “If you aren’t happy or satisfied with your life or relationship, change it!”; “If you don’t like the world, change it and make it the way that you like and prefer!”; “Be strong! Be in power! Be in control! You deserve everything that you desire!” And that’s their freedom. But that’s not yoga practice.

Any tiny or huge ‘amount’/’measurement’ of physical/mental/emotional distance makes no difference for the mind that realizes oneness/non-separateness/selflessness. The adept yogi is never lonely even when being alone, or non-coming in contact and non-interacting with some other beings physically/mentally/emotionally for a short while or for a prolonged period of time. Those who don’t know this, even after ‘practicing yoga’ for a long time, would feel lonely, sick, unhealthy, bad, wrong, unhappy, meaningless or depressed, when being physically/mentally/emotionally distant from some other beings for a prolonged period of time.

Many people can’t live without coming in contact and interacting with some others even for a few hours/days/weeks, not to say, for months/years. They would be suffering from loneliness and sadness, because the untrained egoistic mind perceives time and separateness, where time without actions or interactions (silence), is dulled, boring, empty, lonely and meaningless. Even many medical professionals think that in order to be ‘cured’ from loneliness and sadness, is to be with and interacting with some other beings physically/mentally/emotionally as much as possible. Though there’s nothing wrong with it, that is not yoga practice, but indeed a huge obstacle on the path of yoga towards liberation from ignorance and egoism.

Many people including some ‘yoga teachers’ believing in and promoting “Do what makes you feel good, happy, righteous, positive and meaningful” while encouraging people to be kind and do good by propagating “Be kind and do good or help others because it makes you feel good, happy, positive and meaningful.” Though there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s not yoga practice. It doesn’t help the mind to be free from the ego and egoism, but actually empowering the ego and egoism. The yoga teachings taught, “Stop doing what your mind likes that makes your mind (the ego) feels good, satisfy and happy.” in order to know Thyself, to realize unconditional peace as it is, which is not coming from doing/achieving something that the mind thinks it will make the mind (the ego) feels good, satisfy and happy.

Just be kind. Just do good. Just help others. Not because “I need or want to be kind and do good and help others because it will make me feel good, happy and meaningful.” In yoga, that’s no freedom at all.

Those who truly practice yoga, there’s no need to do/achieve something to feel good, happy or meaningful, but just being peaceful as they are, being free from ignorance, egoism, desire of craving and aversion. Imagine a world where all and everyone realize this unconditional peace, in stead of thinking and believing that all beings need to attain and feel love from some other beings, longing to be loved or touched by some other beings to feel good, happy, satisfy or meaningful, and people would perceive dissatisfaction, disappointment, badness, unhappiness, sadness, loneliness or meaninglessness upon the perception of lacking love and interaction from some others. Though it’s everyone’s freedom for what they think, believe, feel, act and react.

For those who truly want to practice yoga, must work diligently on the elimination of the ego and egoism, removing the veil of ignorance, silencing and annihilating the modification of the mind.

Respect as in yoga practice

Many people would relate the word ‘respect’ with respecting our elders, our teachers, our culture, our ancestor, our origin, our leader, our country’s law of rules and regulations, the heroes, ‘God’, ‘gods’, or what the mind thinks and believes as respectable/honourable or respect/honour deserving. While different minds have different idea towards what is respectable/honourable and what is disrespectable or humiliation deserving, based on their own particular thinking and belief under the influence of particular cultural, social, national, gender, racial, religious, spiritual, political, or philosophical background.

Most minds feel offended and angered by others who don’t show the similar ‘respect’ towards what they think and believe as ‘respectable’, that they respect very much.

Many people grew up being told by our elders, parents and teachers that we need to be ‘good’ and ‘successful’ enough to attain certain ‘status’ or ‘credits’ to earn ‘respect’ from others. Some people even grew up being told that they were born with the special status of ‘respect/honour deserving’ due to their particular origin/family/racial/social/financial/religious/political background.

In yoga, it’s not about respecting what the mind thinks and believes what is respectable/honourable or respect/honour deserving, while disrespecting or humiliating what the mind thinks and believes as disrespectable or humiliation deserving.

It’s about respecting the truth of things as it is, not necessarily the way that we think and believe how it should be.

Respecting the perceived reality being what it is, not necessarily pleasant, agreeable, or desirable.

Respecting the law of nature of impermanence and selflessness.

Respecting all the different names and forms being what they are, being different from one another, having different thinking, belief, values, practice, way of life, way of doing things, understanding, misunderstanding, desires, action and reaction, and etc.

Respecting the world as it is, not necessarily the way that the mind would like it to be, or the way that the mind thinks and believes how it should be.

Be free from clinging, craving and longing.

Cultivating dispassion, abandoning passion.

Cultivating clearing and silencing the modification of the mind, renouncing worldly passionate egoistic desire, affair, activity and relationship.

Appreciation without egoistic passionate attachment or clinging towards (falling in love with) what the mind perceives as pleasant, good, right, positive, meaningful, lovable, agreeable, desirable, or enjoyable.

Respecting all beings as they are, even if the mind thinks and believes that they have many imperfections and the mind dislikes and disagrees with them. Need not disrespect, humiliate or despise anyone based on the dislike and disagreement of one’s mind.

Renouncing the ego and egoism is the greatest ‘respect’ in the world of impermanent and selfless life existence. Buddha or Guru didn’t need anyone to show ‘respect’ of certain names and forms to them, but surrendering the ego and egoism is the selfless intentionless respect towards Buddha or Guru and any kind of teacher.

A better world?

The world is being divided into many different countries that are being run by different bodies of ‘government’. Unfortunately, many countries are having troubles due to failed government policy or leadership.

People think and believe that a country needs to have a government to keep things in order and to progress, just like people think and believe that all communities need to have their own respective leader to lead them. Swami Sivananda said, “The world would probably run smoother if all leaders are taken out from the world.”

If the government or the leader is free from the influence of any particular cultural or religious belief and practice, and just perform their duty as what a government or a leader should be doing (serving the country and its people), then the country or the community will progress and prosper in many ways. The society of diversity will also have more peace and harmony.

Once the government/the leader is governing/leading the country/the community under the influence of certain ideas/values based on a particular cultural or religious belief and practice, then this country or this community will have many problems.

Similarly, education should just be education, where it should be free from the influence of certain ideas/values based on any particular cultural or religious, or even political belief/point of view and practice.

Unfortunately, that is what’s going on in many countries and communities. There are so much discrimination, oppression, hatred and violence due to failed government policy and leadership.

Self-esteem, pride and arrogance

Many people growing up being told to take pride or shame in what they do/don’t do, what they eat/don’t eat, what they achieve/don’t achieve, how they look and conduct, what and who they think and believe and identify as ‘who I am’ of a personal and community identity, taking pride/shame in ‘I’, ‘family’, ‘siblings’, ‘parenting’, ‘children’, ‘friends’, ‘school’, ‘social circle’, ‘career’, ‘nationality’, ‘race/tribe’, ‘culture’, ‘religion’, ‘spirituality’, ‘belief’, ‘political view’, ‘the actions and the result of actions’, ‘social status’, ‘financial status’, ‘possession’, ‘the sense of belonging’, ‘the sense of meaningfulness’, ‘the sense of achievement’, ‘social activity/contribution’, ‘recognition’, ‘appreciation’, ‘acknowledgement’, ‘qualification’, ‘certification’, ‘title’, ‘talent’, ‘skill’, ‘profession’, ‘knowledge’, ‘intelligence’, ‘righteousness’, ‘appearance’, ‘charisma’, ‘personality’, ‘life style’, ‘food choices’, ‘aspiration’, and so on.

The basic yoga practice is to let go and be free from that.

There’s neither pride nor shame.

All is impermanent and selfless.

This is true renunciation – Renouncing the ego and egoism.

There won’t be any personal/family/relationship/social/national/racial/religious/global issue that relates to self-esteem, pride and arrogance deriving from the ego and egoism.

The world could have more egoless human beings.

Low self-esteem, pride and arrogance

胜不骄 败不馁 parenting method vs “Good job, well done, we are so proud of you and you should be so proud of yourself” kind of parenting method.

If more people understand 胜不骄 败不馁 rather than “I need to achieve something and be somebody that will make myself and other people feel proud of”, then the psychologists in the world will be out of job.

Teaching yoga?

Teaching yoga, is never ‘my intention’ or ‘my aspiration’. It’s allowing life being what it is. In this moment, life is here, and if some people want to learn yoga, and somehow, they want to come to us to learn about yoga, and so, that is what I am doing. Doing my best to organize a time and space to allow the teaching and practice to be happening. If nobody comes looking for us, I live life as it is.

In this present time, there might be some challenges and difficulties that all beings have to go through reluctantly, not just within a relationship, a family, a community, a country, or a continent, but also globally. Some minds might be lost in certain ‘chaos’/’fear’/’panic’/’unrest’/’uncertainty’/’disappointment’, while some minds are busy dealing with all kinds of ‘problem’ bravely and calmly, but yet, this is also the time where certain minds would be ignited to learn and practice yoga seriously, to give oneself some time to look after one’s mind, to put aside all the worldly affairs, to turn the mind inward, to transcend the impermanent life existence of a selfless body and restless modification of the mind, to free the mind from ignorance and egoism, to realize unconditional peace.

Many people would think and say that they love yoga and are doing certain brand and style of yoga practice regularly, and yet, most minds don’t really want to learn yoga or practice yoga. Many people want to know what type of physical/mental/emotional/spiritual benefits that they will be getting from performing such and such brand and style of yoga practice. Even many of the yoga schools and yoga teachers are promoting mostly about “What benefits/advantages people can get from attending their brand and style of yoga courses or yoga classes.” Even though there’s nothing wrong with such ‘inspiration’/’encouragement’ to attract more people to be learning and practicing yoga, but yoga practice is not about performing certain actions and expecting certain result/fruit of the actions in return, but it’s renouncing the result/fruit of actions.

Many yoga teachers think that they love teaching yoga as it makes them feel good and meaningful, but they aren’t really practicing yoga. Those who truly practice yoga, there’s no identification, attachment or craving towards the sense of goodness and meaningfulness.

Many minds interested in joining particular ‘yoga community’ wearing particular brand of ‘yoga clothing’ doing particular style/brand of yoga asana/breathing/concentration/relaxation/mindfulness/healing exercises/practices on particular brand of ‘eco friendly’/’organic’/’high-tech material’/’printed with precise alignment for positioning the hands and feet for the yoga poses’ type of ‘yoga mat’ with particular ‘yoga accessories’ and ‘yoga props’, as well as adopting a particular trend of ‘clean eating’ and ‘yogi look’ that would make the body and mind looking and feeling yogic, good, strong, healthy, righteous, spiritual and meaningful.

Most minds also interested in having resolution/affirmation/aspiration/intention/expectation and desire of ‘achieving certain goals from performing the yoga practice’, longing to be inspired and empowered, to be acknowledged by oneself and others as “I am part of the ‘yogic’, ‘good’, ‘strong’, ‘healthy’, ‘righteous’, ‘spiritual’, or ‘meaningful’ beings.”

Minds constantly feel hurt and offended by “What I and my community/my culture/my religion/my spirituality believe as bad, wrong, negative, hurtful or don’t deserving” or “What I don’t like, don’t agree with and don’t want.”

Minds constantly longing for ‘good/pleasant condition’, ‘love’, ‘kindness’, ’empathy’, ‘understanding’, ‘appreciation’, ‘acknowledgement’, ‘recognition’, ‘healing from hurts’ and ‘agreeable/desirable/pleasant treatments/interactions/reactions’.

The absence of ‘good/pleasant condition’, ‘love’, ‘kindness’, ’empathy’, ‘understanding’, ‘appreciation’, ‘acknowledgement’, ‘recognition’, ‘healing from hurts’ and ‘agreeable/desirable/pleasant treatments/interactions/reactions’, is terrible, bad, wrong, negative and suffering.

Dispassion? Silence? Solitude? Seclusion? Renunciation? Selflessness? Desirelessness? Non-attachment? Non-identification? Non-craving/aversion? Non-expectation? Intentionlessness? Namelessness/formlessness? Attributelessness? Beyond right and wrong? Neither positive nor negative? Beyond actions and the fruit of actions? Annihilation of the modification of mind? For many yoga enthusiasts, “This is not the yoga that I know and not the yoga practice that I want to practice. All these teachings/practices sound so wrong.”

Many minds might be interested in attending yoga classes/retreats/workshops/courses, or even have ‘good’ intention/aspiration to be teaching yoga to others, and are interested in the practice of calmness/relaxation/concentration/mindfulness that would give momentary good feelings/pleasant sensations to the body and mind, but not many are interested in practicing yoga of renouncing the world, of dispassion, silence, solitude and seclusion, to silent and annihilate the restless egoistic passionate modification of the mind.

Meanwhile, the untrained mind thinks and believes that life existence needs to be occupied and stimulated by all kinds of worldly relationship/social/cultural/religious/spiritual/political/commercial affair and activity, busy with mingling, socializing, interacting, aspiring, inspiring, empowering, planning, scheming, plotting, creating, multiplying, accumulating, gathering, hoarding, defending, fighting, intruding, judging, comparing, discriminating, commenting, praising, complimenting, criticizing, condemning, agreeing, disagreeing, celebrating, mourning, and so on. Or else, life is boring, dulled, empty and meaningless.

And there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s what worldly passionate minds do. That’s what minds think and believe that all human beings should be doing, to live life passionately, to be contributing to the society or to be caring for the world, to attain the sense of existence, prosperity, achievement, goodness, righteousness and meaningfulness.

Everyone has their freedom to think, to believe, to feel, to act and react, to desire and don’t desire, to live life as they are.

There’s always something going on here and there, from time to time, in life, or in the world that we are living in, of the mind perception of a worldly life existence. If the mind knows what is non-attachment, this mind is peaceful as it is, regardless of perceiving pleasantness/unpleasantness deriving from desirable/undesirable names and forms/conditions/situations/experiences. If the mind is interested in performing yoga practice that would help to develop awareness, mindfulness, calmness, relaxation, or concentration, but not knowing what is non-attachment, then this mind will always feel disturbed and hurt by what the egoistic mind perceives and judges as ‘bad’, ‘wrong’, ‘negative’, ‘terrible’, ‘undeserving’, ‘painful sorrow’, or ‘suffering’.

For example, most minds have the egoistic habit of complaining about many things that they think and believe as disappointing and frustrating, and would complain about “I would like to be able to practice concentration, and be able to concentrate without struggle, but it’s so disappointing and frustrating because I just can’t concentrate.” The ‘problem’ is not about the mind cannot concentrate due to any reasons, but there’s egoistic attachment, identification, judgment and expectation where the mind reacts towards the state of the mind not being the way that it would like it to be, or the way that the ego expects it to be. The state of the mind is just what it is. It’s impermanent and selfless (not ‘I’). The well-trained mind can be aware of all the selfless impermanent changes as they are, regardless of the state of concentrating or scattering, but without reacting with disappointment or frustration towards the state of the mind is not being in certain way (that the thinking egoistic assertive mind would like it to be).

It is the aversion towards what the mind perceives and judges as ‘bad’, ‘wrong’, ‘negative’, ‘terrible’, ‘undeserving’, ‘painful sorrow’, or ‘suffering’, that is why the mind reacts and feels disappointed, frustrated, disturbed and hurt. The world is just what it is – the consequences of ignorance and egoism. Someone/something is ‘hurting’ someone, and someone feels being ‘hurt’ by someone/something, are the consequences of ignorance. Free from ignorance, there’s no ‘I’ being hurt by anyone or anything. There’s no ‘I’ that needs to be healed from hurt.

Similarly when the egoistic mind wants to ‘control’ the state of the mind being in certain way, and reacts with disappointment and frustration when the state of the mind is not being the way that it desires it to be, the mind also wants to ‘control’ the world (the names and forms that it perceives through the senses) being in certain way, and reacts with disappointment and frustration when the world is not being the way that it desires it to be.

Great advice from the Gurus/teachers in the past – Stay away from the worldly affairs particularly politics.

In yoga, realizing unconditional peace and being at peace as it is, being free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, being free from anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurt, offensiveness, defensiveness, painful sorrow, fear and worry, while living in the world of impermanent names and forms powered by cause and effect, transcending the impermanent quality of names and forms, of the impermanent selfless function and existence of the body and mind, birth and death, success and failure, pleasantness and unpleasantness, enjoyment and suffering, praise and condemn, and so on, is indeed the highest contribution to the world or humanity.

The stronger the ego is, the greater the passionate desires/ambitions/aspirations are. For those who want to practice yoga, it’s about annihilating the ego, free the mind from passionate desires/ambitions/aspirations to create a world that ‘I’ think how it should be, and go beyond what the mind thinks and believes how things should and shouldn’t be, without controlling the world to be in certain way, without expecting the world to be in certain way, respecting the world being what it is, respecting the law of nature (impermanence and selflessness), not necessarily the way that ‘I’ think how it should be, not necessarily the way that ‘I’ desire/expect/aspire it to be, is indeed promoting peace and harmony into the world of diversity.

Those who don’t want to practice yoga, they don’t have to practice yoga of dispassion and desireless. They are free to be ambitious/aspirational to change the world to be the way that they think how it should be, to create a world that they desire it to be, just know that there are many others who also desire a world differently from one another.

Just like some desire to paint the world blue, some prefer painting it yellow, while some prefer painting it green, and some prefer painting it with combination of many different colours. And hence, everyone is fighting against each other to be in power to paint the world with the colour that they desire. There will be more peace and harmony in the world of diversity, of different names and forms, of different thinking and belief, if nobody desires to paint the world with any particular colour that they prefer, and allowing the world being what it is. All kinds of conflict/discrimination/prejudice/hatred/unrest begin with ‘desires’/’ambitions’/’aspirations’ – “I want the world to be like this and not like that.” even if the mind thinks and believes it’s the best for everyone. And all minds under the influence of different thinking and belief would think and believe that their particular thinking and belief are the best for everyone.

Be free.

Feedback for yoga teachers?

Question – How to give feedback to the yoga teacher or tell the yoga teacher in the yoga class to talk less, and not giving too much unnecessary instructions/explanation so that I can be focusing within and be mindful to observe what is going in my body and mind, to observe and connect with my thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations?

Why are you being in a yoga class anyway, especially if you already knew what is the practice of mindfulness and how to turn the mind inward to be observing what is going in the body and mind, and would prefer a mindful practice in silence without the need of following some verbal teachings/instructions/guidance to be performing certain practice that you want to practice?

In the same yoga class, some people would think that the teacher talks too much about the teachings of yoga or gives too many unnecessary instructions that they already knew, while some others would think that the teacher is not talking enough about the teachings and didn’t give enough instructions that they would like to receive from the teacher, according to the different reactions of the different minds that have different understanding and expectation. Some will complain that the yoga class is too intense, while some will complain that it’s too gentle, and some will say it’s just nice, not too intense or overly gentle.

The yoga classes and the yoga teachers are just being what they are. There’s nothing wrong with the yoga classes, or the yoga teachers, or how the yoga teachers conduct the yoga classes. There’s also nothing wrong with yourself and your wish to have some silent moments to be quiet and be mindful towards what is going on within the body and mind. It’s just that most yoga classes are not about ‘performing your own self-practice in silence’. Yoga classes are for people to be learning the teachings of yoga and following the guidance/instructions of a yoga teacher to be learning how to perform the practice. Yoga classes are meant to be somebody constantly delivering the teachings of yoga and giving guidance/instructions to be guiding the people performing the yoga practice. And after the people develop the basic understanding towards the teachings of yoga and learnt how to perform most of the basic yoga practice, they should retreat into solitude and seclusion to be performing self-practice in silence without looking at anyone or listening to some instructions/guidance/explanation to be doing any form of yoga practice.

The frustration and dissatisfaction coming from your mind towards the yoga class is not being the way that you want it to be, and the yoga teacher is being the way that you think it shouldn’t be, is not because there’s something ‘wrong’ or ‘inappropriate’ with the yoga class or the yoga teacher, or how the yoga teacher conducts the yoga class. It’s about you have certain expectation towards the yoga classes to be the way that you think how it should be and not to be in certain way that you think it shouldn’t be, as well as you are not getting what you think you should be getting from a yoga class or the yoga teacher.

If you truly know what are the basic teachings and practice of yoga, and are truly practicing yoga, you would allow the yoga classes and the yoga teachers to be what they are, not necessarily the way that you think how it should be. There’s no attachment and expectation towards the practice and the result of the practice. There’s no attachment and expectation towards the yoga classes, the yoga teachers or how the yoga teachers conduct the yoga classes. There’s mere awareness/acknowledgement towards all the modifications of the mind, including whatever the mind perceives or experiences, as well as towards the habitual behavior of the mind of how the mind reacts spontaneously towards all the perception of names and forms or experiences regardless of pleasant/unpleasant, agreeable/disagreeable and desirable/undesirable names and forms/experiences, without generate attachment, identification, craving and aversion, judgment or expectation towards all the perceived names and forms or experiences has to be or not to be in certain ways.

You should know how to apply the practice of non-attachment, non-craving, non-aversion and non-expectation, inside or outside the yoga class or self-practice, while performing particular yoga practice, or not, And not being distracted/disturbed/annoyed/frustrated by all the names and forms that your mind doesn’t like and doesn’t want which your mind perceives through the senses, of what is going on within and without the body and mind, and allowing all the names and forms/experiences being there as they are. Knowing that they all are impermanent and selfless.

If you truly are performing mindfulness, there’s no frustration or dissatisfaction towards the surrounding environment or the mind itself, for not being able to be focused, to be mindful, to be observing towards what is going on in the body and mind of the thoughts, feelings and sensations due to you think there’s distraction, or disturbance, or annoyance coming from the external names and forms/experiences that your mind perceives/experiences (in this case, it’s about the way how the yoga teacher conducts the yoga class.) Learn how to be mindful towards the mind is unable to be focused or mindful in this present moment now, knowing that even this is impermanent.

Yoga practice is about freeing the mind from the ego and egoism, being a silent witness that is aware of and acknowledging all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses without interference, grasping/attachment, or the desire of craving and aversion, as well as being aware of all the habitual egoistic mind reactions towards all the names and forms, and letting go any existing craving and aversion and expectation towards the names and forms should or shouldn’t be in certain way, should or shouldn’t exist, without attachment towards whatever the mind perceives from within or without the body and mind, remain equanimous under any condition and situation, without judgment and expectation towards all the names and forms/experiences to be or not to be in certain ways based on what the mind thinks and believes what things are, and what the mind likes and dislikes, agrees and disagrees with, or wants and doesn’t want.

It’s about knowing what is selflessness/egolessness/’I’lessness and performing necessary actions out of selfless compassion, not out of egoistic desires, that are free from egoism of attachment, identification, craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation.

If you are practicing mindfulness, you should be mindful towards all the reactions coming from your mind towards the mind perception of names and forms without attachment towards or identification with what is going on in the mind or the modification of the mind of thoughts, feelings, sensations, actions, reactions, memories, imaginations, and so on. It’s about disassociation with the modifications of the mind and not being disturbed by what is going on in the mind, being a silent witness witnessing all the modifications of the mind. It’s not about trying to be free from any external disturbance/distractions from the names and forms/experiences that the mind perceives through the senses. It doesn’t mean that one should be deliberately be in an extreme condition to be practicing yoga, but if a better condition is unavailable, then one learns how to adapt, adjust, accommodate. It doesn’t mean that one should be deliberately confronting with all kinds of difficulty to be practicing yoga, but if there’s unavoidable difficulty, then one learns how to tolerate and forbear.

You think and believe that it’s the happenings outside your body and mind distracting/hindering your mind to be focused and be mindful of what is going on in the body and mind, but actually, all the ‘distraction’/’disturbance’/’hindrance’ are all coming from your mind constantly reacting towards the mind perception of names and forms of what you think is happening outside the body and mind, as your mind doesn’t know what is non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion and non-expectation.

If you already learnt and knew about the practice of turning the mind inward to be mindful of the impermanent and selfless changes in the body and mind, you shouldn’t be ‘disturbed’ by the surrounding environment, and you don’t need to be attending yoga classes or be in a yoga class to be following some guidance (the way that you think how it should be) to be performing your yoga practice or mindfulness practice. You should be performing self-practice in solitude and seclusion, in silence, especially if you think mindfulness can only be done or achieved in a silent environment without any ‘distracting’/’disturbing’/’annoying’ sounds, noises, talking, instructions, or happenings.

Your mind wants/desires to perform the practice of mindfulness and wants to be able to be focused and mindful observing the thoughts, feelings and sensations while attending yoga classes to be doing some yoga practice composed by a yoga teacher, but feels unable to focus and mindful, as your mind thinks and believes that it’s because of the teacher constantly talking and giving instructions in the yoga class that you think is unnecessary, distracting, disturbing and annoying.

Actually, the ‘distraction’/’disturbance’/’annoyance’ existing in your mind is due to your mind generates attachment towards the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, and reacting with aversion and frustration being generated towards something that your mind thinks is ‘hindering’ you from doing what you want to do, and there’s craving towards certain names and forms/experiences that you prefer which is ungratified – I want to be able to be mindful to be observing the thoughts, feelings and sensations, but I can’t do that as the teacher is so annoying. There’s expectation towards a particular environment or situation that you think and believe will allow your mind to be mindful without any external distraction/disturbance/annoyance coming from outside the body and mind.

Learn how to be mindful of all the names and forms that your mind perceives through the senses wherever you are and whatever the surrounding environment is. Needless to choose a particular environment to be mindful towards something that you choose to be mindful about.

Yoga classes are a ‘product’ to meet the demand of the worldly minds that are interested in doing some yoga exercises to look good and feel good, to be fit and healthy, but not so much about learning how to be silent, to free the mind from ignorance, egoism and impurities, to free the mind from passionate desires of craving and aversion, to renounce the worldly affair, relationships and activities, to turn the mind inward resting in the chamber of the heart.

Yoga classes that are about delivering the teachings of yoga and teaching those who are interested in yoga and the yoga practice about how to perform the yoga practice are meant to be someone being there delivering the teachings verbally and physically, while giving instructions on how to perform the different practices. Different teachers have their own way/style of delivering the teachings and how they teach other people to be performing the yoga practice, so that these people can perform all the yoga practice by themselves after learning about the teachings and how to perform the yoga practice. The yoga teachers are just being the way as they are.

Most commercial yoga classes are about a yoga exercise instructor giving instructions leading a group of people doing some physical movements/exercises that would give certain health and fitness benefits to the people, they are not so much about a person delivering the teachings of yoga about freeing the mind from ignorance, egoism and impurities to the students so that they can contemplate upon the teachings, by performing the yoga practice that they learnt in the yoga classes, to purify and quiet the mind, to allow the mind to inquire and see the truth of things. If you think you can perform your own self-practice and you want to go deeper into the practice, but you would like to have certain supervision from some others (teachers) who are more experienced as you aren’t very sure about the practice, then you can look for and participate in either long silent meditation retreat or long silent yoga retreat that are more serious towards silencing and looking into the mind.

Most worldly passionate egoistic minds that aren’t aware of ignorance and egoism in themselves would generate great aversion towards some of the teachings of yoga that they don’t like and disagree with, and generate frustration if they hear or come in contact with any teachings/practice that they don’t like and disagree with. Most minds also generate aversion/dissatisfaction/disagreement towards certain way of the yoga practice and certain style of the class format, or how the teacher delivers specific teachings or how the teacher guides the students performing specific practice. But, it doesn’t matter whether the teachers are ‘good’ or ‘not good’ based on the judgment and expectation of the mind, it’s not so much about the teacher or the yoga class is ‘good’ or ‘not good’, but it’s about how this mind reacting under the influence of ignorance and egoism, and impurities of dissatisfaction, disappointment, frustration and so on.

If this mind knows what is going on in itself, this mind doesn’t need to attend any yoga classes at all to be performing some yoga practice, but there’s nothing wrong also if this mind is being in a yoga class, but then this mind will allow all the talking or teaching or instructions of the yoga teacher in the yoga class to be there as they are, regardless of whether the mind likes or dislikes, agrees or disagrees with the talking, or the teachings, or the instructions. The practice is about developing non-attachment towards all the mind perception of names and forms without being disturbed or determined by the mind perception of names and forms. It’s not about being in a most perfect desirable environment so that the mind won’t be ‘disturbed’ by any names and forms that the mind doesn’t like and doesn’t want, in order to be able to be mindful to be observing the thoughts, feelings or sensations.

What’s the point of developing the practice of mindfulness or observation towards thoughts, feelings and sensations, but not knowing what is non-attachment/non-craving/non-aversion, and constantly feel being ‘distracted’/’disturbed’/’annoyed’/’dissatisfied’/’frustrated’ by the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses towards the surrounding environment, or be disturbed by what is going on in the mind itself, of all kinds of thoughts, feelings, sensations, agreements/disagreements, likes/dislikes, actions and reactions, and the result of actions and reactions?

Be free.

My life stories – Part 12 (A new beginning)

My life Stories – Part 12
Stories from my past memories – childhood, family, friends, growing up, poverty, integrity, dreams come true, finding peace and happiness, Buddhism, Yoga, and now…

After more than 10 years living and running yoga retreats in Langkawi, we left Langkawi for good early this month. And so, here we are, starting a new chapter of life living on another island in Malaysia.

Now that we have left Langkawi, I would like to summarize some of our experiences in Langkawi as part of my life stories.

We are thankful to the nature of Langkawi which is the main reason we had been living there for a decade, even though there were some ‘difficulties’ that we had to deal with for living and running yoga retreats legally in Langkawi, that we didn’t really talk about in the past. We weren’t denying the unpleasant experiences that we encountered in Langkawi. We acknowledged all kinds of difficulty that we had to deal with, and lived with them, but we tried to focus more on promoting the beauty of Langkawi when we were living and running yoga retreats there. Initially, we thought of living in Langkawi for as long as possible, as we love the slow pace of living that is still available in Langkawi, but the time has come for us to let it go and be at somewhere else.

One of the reasons that made me decide to leave Langkawi, is that my dear father and big brother who had went through many difficulties and hardships in life, who were the very few loving kind-hearted and down to earth human beings in my life had passed away respectively over the last two years. My father passed away on the 30th of December, 2017, while my big brother who had been looking after our paralyzed father for many years, passed away on the 30th of June, 2019. They had suffered a lot their entire life even though they took things lightheartedly and smiled through all the hardships. I respect their resilience a lot. My family was my motivation to work hard making a living to support their life. Now that my parents and my big brother were gone, I don’t need to work so hard anymore. This body is not getting any younger as well.

Although I myself had also been through many hardships, I can choose to live life differently from my family. I chose to live a life that has more wise impact. Life doesn’t need to be wasted in deliberately dealing with ignorance and the consequences of ignorance in the world. Yoga practice talks about endurance or forbearance towards difficulties, but it doesn’t mean that we should be wasting life and energy dealing with the ignorance and the consequences of ignorance in the world. We can choose to be in an environment that has more wise impact, if possible. If that’s not possible, it’s okay. We accept the reality as it is, and live with it.

Living in a different environment on another island also has certain ‘unpleasantness’ or ‘difficulties’ that we need to deal with. Life and yoga practice isn’t about expecting perfection and avoiding imperfection, but it’s about no matter where we are, we learn to allow the world to be what it is, not necessarily the way that we would like it to be.

On Langkawi, the blooming development for tourism might be benefiting many of the plumbers, electricians and metal smiths in Langkawi, but that also means that there’s very limited plumber or electrician or metal smith would come to our house to do a little bit of work. Even though more and more new guesthouses and hotels have been building in Langkawi which provide jobs and business for the hardware shop, the construction company, the construction workers, the plumbers, the electricians or the metal smiths, but there are also more and more existing guesthouses and restaurants couldn’t survive due to the reduced tourists flow in the past few years.

It’s really difficult to find someone skillful enough to do something for us in Langkawi. And when we were able to find someone to do things for us, they couldn’t deliver a good quality of workmanship or service. We couldn’t even get a tailor to make a curtain for us. Once a tailor took our order and our cloth for making curtain, and then she went disappear along with our cloth, couldn’t be contacted for many years until now. We heard that some rich expatriates on the island import all their building materials and skillful workers from other countries to build their houses that live up to the European standard.

Once a dishonest air-conditioner installer recommended by a ‘friend’ cheated us by installing a one horse power air-conditioner claiming that it’s a two horse power air-conditioner that we had requested. It’s our own responsibility for trusting our ‘friend’ and his recommendation, and we didn’t know much about air-conditioning. And then the newly installed air-conditioner had problem, we tried to contact him for months also couldn’t get in touch with him. And so, we went to our ‘friend’ who recommended him, then only we found out that he had cheated us and were avoiding us deliberately. And it’s pointless to bring this issue to the police, which I will explain later.

After that this ‘friend’ recommended another air-conditioner mechanic to us, and he came once to fix a problem of the air-conditioner, but after that he was too busy to come to do even just a normal routine chemical service. And finally, we got another company from Kuah to service the air-conditioners, but with higher price than usual as they were reluctant to come to our place in the beginning saying that it’s too far for them to come.

Another very important reason is that my husband would like to live a healthy lifestyle, cooking and eating healthy vegetarian food, swimming and enjoying some outdoor time and space outside the house, he couldn’t do so while we were living in Langkawi. One time he got serious sun burnt (for doing some painting under the shade at the car porch) and needed to be treated in the hospital.

We had moved and lived in three different houses within the last ten and a half year in Langkawi. When we spent some time outside the house, we either suffered from heat-stroke, sun burnt, hornet stung, or poisonous ants and mosquitoes bite. There were countless insects, leeches, rats, poisonous centipedes, snakes, monitor lizards and scorpions coming into the house through gaps and holes of the door, windows and ceiling, or coming in through the drains, where we needed to keep doors closed all the time and putting a brick on top the cover of the drain so that rats, monitor lizards and snakes couldn’t come in from there.

Most of the non-sliding windows in the house were unable to be opened as they were blocked by the mosquito netting, while the entire house was having very low ceiling and non-insulated wall, where constant heat was accumulated in the house throughout the day even when the sliding windows that we replaced some of the non-sliding windows were opened and with the fans switched-on. We reluctantly needed to use the air-conditioner all day and night if we were in the house, or else, we would be suffering from heat-stroke and overly sweating and wouldn’t have a proper rest/sleep. The house was like an oven. It built up heat due to the poor structure. We had a thermometer in the house, and if without the air-conditioner switched-on, the temperature could go up above 35 degrees Celsius, even when the outside temperature was actually a lot lower. And if we were cooking, the temperature went up even higher. The room that was less hot in the house was the yoga hall, as the ceiling there is slightly higher, and we had the sliding windows installed that can be opened. Still, we needed to use the air-conditioner during the yoga sessions in the afternoon, as it would be too hot.

There were rats living on the ceiling and snakes living in the post box, in the gap of the ceiling and under the rubbish bin. In the first wooden house, we had to put rat trap onto the ceiling everyday, and every time when we caught one, we would bring it out in the car and release it into the bushes about a few km away from the house. But, this process never had an end as there were so many rats around our neighbourhood. There were a group of scorpions living outside the back of the wooden house, and hence we didn’t go to that area unless we had to.

There were tiny insects coming into the house if we didn’t have the outside lights turned-on but with the inside lights switched-on at night. I had to ‘get rid of’ so many insects and poisonous centipedes everyday in order to be able to live in the house, and to ensure a clean and safe practice environment for our retreat guests. My work of constantly cleaning the entire place was ceaseless. We had to ask the cooperation from the guests to keep the place as clean as possible to avoid attracting insects, particularly ants or mosquitoes, into the yoga hall. As once the ants found food in the yoga hall, they will return with many others, and also making their nest somewhere in the house, and it would be more difficult to keep them out.

Being bitten by poisonous ants and hornets is no fun at all. We both, especially my husband, had been bitten by ants and hornets numerous times while working in the garden. I have a few scars on my skin were from the ants bite. And we gave up, in the end. We also told the retreat guests not to hang around at the garden in the last two years, as there were too many ants and hornets that give nasty bites, or even allergic reaction that could lead to death in certain people. My husband had been admitted to the hospital a few times due the nasty hornet stung, where his body reacted badly to the hornet stung. This house was also no longer suitable for running the retreats, if our guests would be attacked by ants and hornets.

There were also too many house lizards in the house that generate huge amount of ‘shits’ everyday, where I needed to clean up everyday, and sometimes, a few times a day especially when we had the retreats going on. And then there was constant sand mining activity in this area that generates so much dust around the house.

Though the sea is very close to us, only about 5 minutes drive away from our house/yoga studio, and we loved to be on the beach, while my husband would love to swim in the sea, but we never wanted to get into the sea for two reasons. One is that there are too many jelly fish, some of them are extremely poisonous, already with several death cases in the past due to jelly fish stung. My husband nearly lost his life being stung by jelly fish while swimming in the sea of Pantai Cenang not long after we moved to Langkawi from Kuala Lumpur. He had stopped breathing when we arrived in the hospital and the medical people performed CPR on him immediately and gave him injections to be able to breathe again. He was suffering from extreme pain throughout the body for the next few weeks, and wasn’t fully recover until more than one year later. Another reason, is that the sea here is highly contaminated/polluted by the drainage and sewage system in that area (Pantai Cenang). Even the dolphins and turtles that used to come close to the seashore also had stopped coming here many years ago. For those reasons, my husband wouldn’t swim in the sea ever again even though it’s conveniently close by. More than a year ago, he started swimming at the pool in one of the big hotel not too far from our house, but the quality of the pool water wasn’t great, and half a year ago, this hotel had stopped operating. Then my husband found another hotel that allowed him to swim at their pool, again he only went for a few months and then stopped going, as the pool water was in a terrible condition.

We were paying tourist’s price for almost everything due to it’s a touristy island. Langkawi depends solely on tourism and almost everything are imported from the main land of Malaysia, or from the neighbouring countries, or even from countries far away. Most of the imported produce are catering for meeting the demand of tourism, and yet, many things are either non-available, or shortage of supply, or commonly out of stock for many weeks/months, or having higher price tags due to shortage of supply on the island. Food like chickpeas, sesame seeds, certain brand of muesli, certain brand of jams, cheese (though there are very limited choices of cheese/jams/muesli here) and eggs are often out of stock for some time (from a few days to a few months). Once we couldn’t get sesame seeds for two months and muesli was out of stock for half a year, and there’s no Parmesan cheese for the last few months. While the big hotels and the many restaurants that cater for tourists might have the priority to be getting their supplies adequately.

The things that are very cheap in Langkawi are the duty-free goods such as chocolates, sweets, alcohols and cigarettes, which we don’t consume. The imported cars, dining and kitchen wares are duty-free as well, but how many cars, dining and kitchen wares that we actually need? Before GRAB exists in Langkawi, taxis are the only public transport available on the island and the fare is even more expensive than in Kuala Lumpur. As residence of Langkawi, we were paying the same taxi fare as the tourists.

Whenever we needed to see a dentist, we had to travel to Penang or Kuala Lumpur, as the only dentist that we knew in Langkawi was incompetent, where my husband’s teeth and gums were seriously damaged by the dentist after one visit. From then, we would go to Penang or Kuala Lumpur for dental works. We also took the opportunity to do some shopping for things that we couldn’t get in Langkawi during our trips to Penang or Kuala Lumpur.

Other ‘problems’ such as neighbouring cats constantly coming into the garden and the terrace leaving behind dead animals/birds, shit/pee, fur and fleas. Unfortunately, when we asked the cooperation from the retreat guests to not feed or stroke the cats to not encourage them to keep coming to the terrace, some of the cats lover weren’t happy about that. We loved to have cows and buffaloes hanging around the paddy field, but they would break the fence from time to time trying to eat the grass from within the garden. We love animals and certainly we don’t hate animals, but they gave us too much work to deal with, unintentionally.

The entire family members of the house opposite us was well-known for drug intoxication, house breaking-in and stealing. We didn’t know about it until after our house was broken in, as if we had knew before we rented this house, we would look for some other houses. Again, it’s our own responsibility for not investigating more detailed about the surrounding neighbourhood. And of course, in order to rent out their houses successfully, the landlord wouldn’t mention anything about all houses here were being broken into countless times in the past. But anyway, it doesn’t matter which area in Langkawi, most houses had been broken into at least once before.

Langkawi had the highest record of drug addicts in Malaysia. Someone who had been living in this village for many years in the past told us that almost the entire villagers of all ages are all drug addicts. And due to drugs problems, house break-in is so common in Langkawi. While I was filing police report AGAIN for another house broken-in, the police said to me, “We know them. They are our neighbours and relatives. If we have proof and we will catch them. We will bring them to court, and it depends on the judge whether giving them warning and releasing them immediately, or sending them to prison for a few days or few weeks. And after a few days/weeks lock-up in the prison they are all out again, and will continue doing what they love to do. This process will continue to go on.”

Even children in the primary school are already smoking cigarette and maybe some other ‘stuff’ and are involving with many ‘illegal’ activities. We heard story about some drug dealers would give free sample of ‘sweets’ to the children outside the school to get them hook on it, and then these children would buy ‘sweets’ from them and/or become one of their runners.

One of our friend’s house was broken into four times within a month, and one time, the thief ‘carelessly’ left behind his Identity Card. When they brought the Identity Card to the police and told them, “This is the person who broke-into our house and stole our stuff.” The police took the Identity Card from him and said, “Ah! This is my relative. I will give this I.C. back to him. Thank you for returning the I.C.” This is why it’s pointless to go to the police.

In the beginning, after we moved to Langkawi living in the wooden house close to Pantai Cenang, we were so naive that we didn’t think of locking the gate at all. One day when we came back from the outside, the gate was wide opened and there were cigarette butts left on the terrace. Then we knew that Langkawi people are so ‘friendly’ that they would come into your house without invitation if your door are not closed or locked. And so, to avoid ‘uninvited guests’ we started to lock the gate. Not so much to keep people away as they can climb in easily if they want, but to keep cows and buffaloes away as they would damage all the plants in our garden. In less than a year, the wooden house was broken-into when we were away, even with the gate locked. When our friends from Europe came for holiday and stayed at the Airbnb house in the same village, their wallets were stolen when he was in the shower. He even saw the guy running away and he tried to run after him but lost him in the end.

Later we rented another house about 2 minutes walk away from the wooden house, where we used the wooden house only for the yoga sessions and the other house for living and cooking meals for the retreats. We needed to spend a few thousands Ringgit on this house to redo the flooring and the wiring before we could actually live in that house. And the old landlord of this house would walk around our house in the middle of the night with a ‘Parang’ knife, not so much about being a security guard for us and keeping ‘uninvited guests’ away, but it’s to check on us every night whether we had ‘invited guests’ staying with us, and whether we did anything that he didn’t want us to do in his house, or not. As we were told that we were not allowed to have any other ‘guests’ staying with us, that we couldn’t have non-halal food and drink or activity in the house. One night, he actually knocked on our door holding the ‘Parang’ wanted to see if there was anything that shouldn’t be there. Other than that, he and his wife were nice people. We loved to talk to them from time to time. They told us about their life stories in Langkawi, and some history of Langkawi.

Five years later, we needed to find another house for living and running the yoga retreats, due to the existing ‘problems’ with the wooden house. The house on stilts was leaning to one side seriously until we couldn’t close the door anymore, plus the issue with the building permit renewal, as well as our landlord wanted to take back the house that he rented to us for their own stay because their house was going to be demolished to make way for the new highway. They were happy about that because they were getting huge compensation from the authority, which later they used it for building a guesthouse. When I went to renew the building permit for 2014, the authority said that they couldn’t renew that permit anymore because the temporary permit only valid for five years. After five years, we need to make new application for the permanent permit, which requires a lot more money (that we didn’t have) and all kinds of document from the landlord, which the landlord didn’t have. And so, I went to cancel our business license and was getting ready to go through the entire ‘painful’ process of applying for a new temporary building permit and new business license for the new place.

For a few months, we were looking around for a suitable house to live and run yoga retreats, until we found this house beside the paddy field. We had to spend most of our savings to renovate the house and create a garden to make it good enough for living and running yoga retreats. We didn’t make a lot of money from teaching yoga, but we managed to save some money because we lived a very simple non-materialistic and non-sociable life.

Not long after we moved into the new place, some kids climbed over the fence coming into the compound, and when they saw us, they said they just wanted to ‘see’ if they can ‘borrow’ something from us (after they had climbed in without asking permission.) And we told them not to do that again (for climbing over the wall to come into our compound and ‘borrow’ or ‘take’ things as they like.) And then one night, whether it’s related to those kids, or not, our house was being attacked where there were broken glasses in the terrace and garden, resulting from someone throwing light bulbs into the garden and the terrace area. We went to the police station to file a police report for that incident even though knowing that the police won’t do anything about it.

Even when we first arrived in Langkawi, we received a ‘threatening’ email from an expatriate who was a ‘yoga teacher’ and runs a business in Langkawi for more than twenty years, who thinks she is the head of the expatriate community in Langkawi, who wasn’t happy that we came to Langkawi to teach yoga and run retreats, and wanted to ‘lecture’ us about how we should or shouldn’t run our yoga classes and retreats in certain way. We didn’t want to react or response to that, and continued to do what we wanted to do. Later, we heard from some other expatriates about the annoyance that they were getting from her as well.

In less than one year living there, our house was broken-into. And then, followed by two other attempts of breaking-in, where they damaged the mosquito netting trying to come in through the windows, but after knowing that we were at home at that time, they fled. There were blood drops on the floor during the break-in and the police came and took some sample, but we were never being updated about whether they identified and caught anyone, or not. When we asked the police what can we do to protect ourselves if we would be attacked by the thieves, the police told us that we can try to fight back but never to the point of causing serious injury or death to them, as we will be prosecuted for injuring/killing others even for self-defense.

After that, our landlord asked us to keep all the outside lights and some of the inside lights on throughout the night all the time to avoid house break-in, especially when we were not at home, to pretend that someone is at home. Our electric bill was extremely higher than it should be due to the need to use air-conditioners all day and night because of the house was too hot all the time, as well as the need to have many of the lights on throughout the night for just trying to minimize the chances of getting house break-in.

Because our landlord reluctant to fix the broken grill due to the house break-in, they asked us to find someone to fix it. And so we asked someone recommended by a ‘friend’ to come to install a new grill. The guy came and took some deposit from us, and he didn’t come back to us for a long time, and we couldn’t get in touch with him, until we told our ‘friend’ that we will bring this issue to the police, then only our ‘friend’ gave us back the deposit from his own pocket, and he would deal with the guy himself. Then we ‘found’ another metal smith who said he would make the new grill for us, came to our house and took some measurements. And then many weeks later, when we called him as we didn’t hear back from him, he told us that the grill was ready and he would come to install on the next day, and we were waiting for him to come on that day, but he didn’t show up and didn’t call us, and didn’t want to answer our phone calls from then on. This was ridiculous, but it’s because they all have other more ‘important’ big projects to do. We were just some small business that didn’t interest them.

Within the last 5 years, we had tried to call various plumbers, electricians and air-conditioner mechanics to come to do some plumbing, electrical and air-conditioning works for us, none would come, saying that they were too busy with their respective projects with the many hotels and guesthouses. And those (recommended by the landlord) who would come to do a bigger renovation for the house in the beginning to make the house more suitable for living and running the retreats, they delivered a bad quality of workmanship, where the sliding windows, the paint work, the toilets, the doors, the plastering work, the wiring, the car porch and the terrace were of low quality and had lots of defects. And there’s nothing much we can do about it unless we spent more money on it to re-renovate it again, which we couldn’t afford.

In Langkawi, either you might have the money, but you can’t get anyone to do things for you, or, you paid the money and have the people to do things for you, but they are incompetent to deliver good enough quality of workmanship. The guesthouses and restaurants owners whom we knew, were all frustrated about the working quality and attitude of the local people that they could get in Langkawi.

The low quality wooden doors of the house were being affected badly by both the dryness/heat/sunlight and the humidity/rain, where the door repeatedly going through a process of shrinking or expanding causing it couldn’t be closed properly/at all or couldn’t be opened smoothly/at all, and as time goes by, the doors were rotting away. The house was built on refilled rubbles on top of the paddy field, where the flooring and the wall is seriously uneven and cracking through time, and the cracks on the wall and the flooring were widening/deepening in an incredible speed within the past five years. And the owner was being acknowledged about all the problems, but didn’t want to do anything about it. He said, “Oh, that’s normal-lah. Every two years the intense vibrations from the LIMA airshow will shake the house a bit.” There were moisture coming through the ground leaving stains at the lower parts of all the walls in the entire house as well. We had tried to repaint the wall to cover those stains, but very soon, the stains built up over the new paint. It’s pointless. This is due to the bad foundation of the house that they didn’t do right when they first built the house. And that’s common in most of the local houses in Langkawi.

And then, there were many ‘hassles’ that we had to go through yearly for just trying to live a life as well as to be running yoga retreats (legally) in Langkawi.

In order to have a business license and permit to run yoga retreats legally in Langkawi, I had to bear ongoing hassle of ‘threats’ coming from ‘the authority’ and ‘the law of rules and regulations’, where I had to go through the ‘painful’ renewal process repeatedly every year. Not just that I had to pay expensive fees for getting the initial application paper work done (more than 8 thousands Ringgit for the two different houses) and the yearly renewals for the building permit and business license, but I was being ‘threatened’ legally to bear all cost where the building or the house that I rented for living and being legalized/permitted to teach yoga and run yoga retreats need to be demolished, if I want to stop running yoga retreats and cancelling or discontinue renewing the building permit, or if for any reasons, the authority stops renewing the permit.

They said it’s their ‘fault’ and ‘mistake’ in the process of granting me with the building permit under my name, where it should be done under the landlord’s name (which no one told me about that), BUT, even though it’s a mistake from them, it’s still law binding that being the permit and license applier and holder, I am legally obliged to demolish the house/building, and be responsible for all the cost to demolish the house/building if I ever cancelling or discontinued to renew the permit, or if the authority decides to stop renewing the permit, and that it’s my responsibility that I had to negotiate any existing compensation to be paid to the landlord/house owner for demolishing his house or building under that rule and regulation, where the landlord/house owner wittingly rented the house/building to me, acknowledged and allowed me to run yoga retreats in the house or the building, and was aware of this ‘ridiculous’ rule and regulation.

The entire process of applying for the building permit and the business license took more than nine months. And from the very beginning, the authority, the owner and I, we all knew that I was only renting a house and simply just want to apply for a business license to be running yoga retreats legally in Langkawi. And the owner had to sign a paper granting me with the permission to teach yoga and apply for a business license to teach yoga legally in that house. In order to apply for the business license, I needed to apply for a temporary building permit for the house, which had cost me thousands of Ringgit each time. And if without the permission letter from the owner, the authority couldn’t process my application. And so, they knew that I am only renting an existing house, but they only have one application format, which is “Application of requesting permission to build a yoga studio on this land.” I told them, “This isn’t right, because I didn’t build the house, the house was already existing and I am only renting the existing house to live and teach yoga there. I am not asking permission to build a new building of yoga studio on that land.” They said, “We know. But it doesn’t matter. This is the only format that we have in order to grant you a temporary building permit that allows you to apply for the business license. We are here to help you.”

And so, every year, I had to renew the building permit in order to renew the business license. And then when I wanted to renew the temporary building permit for year 2018, the authority asked me to signed a legally binding acknowledgement about I will have to demolish the building and bear all the cost and compensation to any party, if I, or the authority, decide to cancel the building permit. I wasn’t comfortable with that, and told them that I didn’t want to get involved with such ‘trouble’ for just trying to do things legally. I was ready to let go everything and stop teaching yoga in Langkawi at that time. My father had just passed away a few days ago. I was quite emotional. Then they told me, “Hey, don’t worry. It’s just some standard paper work. It won’t affect you because we have the permission letter from the owner. The owner will be responsible for complying to the rules and regulations. Not you. When you stop business or stop living there, you just go. If anything, we deal with the owner. No problem.”

“But then, I am the one who had the name and signature on that legally binding document. It doesn’t matter what you say, I am the one who is legally bound by this.” Then they asked me to contact the owner to explain the situation to him. They also said that they would help me by changing the holder name of the permit to the owner’s name, as it was their mistake in the beginning where they should have use the owner’s name to apply for the temporary building permit, and not using my name. And when the owner came to the office, the owner asked the officer, “What happen if she had to demolish my house as requested by the authority?” The officer said, “Oh! That depends on your rental agreement with her. You can request and negotiate compensation from her.” What?!

Does this hurt your brain as well? And this is the system that everyone who wants to do things legally in Langkawi has to comply to.

That means, either I didn’t want to demolish the house as I was only renting the house, the house doesn’t belong to me, but then I would be prosecuted by the authority for not obeying the rules and regulations, or, I obeyed the rules and regulations from the authority, spent money (that I don’t have) to demolish the house (which is illegal for me to do that), and then be sued by the owner and had to pay compensation (that I don’t have) to him for demolishing his property that he rented to me.

Even though they had created a letter for me and the owner to sign stating that we requested to change the holder name for the temporary building permit, but when I wanted to renew the permit for year 2019, the name hadn’t been changed at all, it was still under my name, but they accepted the legal binding document was being signed by the owner, and not me. Even so, I was really uncomfortable with the whole affair. I just wanted to do things legally, but it’s so difficult and complicated and PAINFUL to do things legally in Langkawi, while there are so many illegal businesses and tourist yogis teaching yoga classes on Langkawi illegally didn’t need to go through all these ridiculous hassles that I had to go through for trying to do things legally.

On top of that, we had to pay higher rental than what the local people are paying as my husband is a European and I am a Malaysian Chinese. Normally the locals would pay only half of what we paid for the similar house.

The three houses that we rented for living/running yoga retreats were rundown and unmaintained by the owners, where we needed to spent quite a lot of money to renovate and maintain the condition of the houses in order for them to be functional and good enough for living as well as to run yoga retreats. When people came for attending the yoga retreats and said, “Oh, what a nice place you have for living and for hosting the yoga retreats.” that is because we had spent most of our savings into making the space suitable for running the yoga retreats and comfortable enough for the people who come to attend the yoga retreats.

Anyway, when I went to cancel the permit before we moved, unsurprisingly, they gave me a letter stating that I am being requested to demolish the building/house. The officer said to me, “Your permit is successfully cancelled. My boss said you need to demolish the building.” while pointing to the respective sentence. But then, he immediately said to me, “You can ignore this sentence. You don’t really need to demolish the house. You are just renting the house. We won’t do anything. Next time if the landlord want to have a permit, he can do so with the existing file.” I told him, “Really? This is a legal binding document that is directing to my name, how can you tell me to ignore this sentence? Why don’t you give me a letter that is without that sentence?” He said, “This is a standard order from the boss. We can’t change that.” There’s nothing more I could say. I can’t change the system. I left and let it be.

The village also has another issue. There is serious rubbish problem. The locals are not keen on keeping the surrounding environment clean and rubbish free. They throw rubbish everywhere as they like. In the beginning we went out to the street around the village to pick up all the rubbish. And then, we realized that not just it didn’t bring awareness to the people, but we were actually encouraging them to throw more rubbish everywhere, as they feel it’s okay for them to throw the rubbish everywhere because there were two ‘stupid’ people living here now will clean up the rubbish for them. And so, we stopped doing that.

We would try our best to keep the front of our house as clean as possible by picking up any rubbish being thrown by random people passing by. But somehow, our next door neighbours weren’t really helpful as they would just throw anything over their fence into the paddy field. The paddy field is no longer being cultivated but had turned into a rubbish dumpsite full of food waste, plastic wraps, bags, containers and bottles as well as unwanted old broken furniture, and etc. We had talked to the neighbours a few times requesting them that maybe they could stop throwing rubbish over the fence like that. But, they still do what they want to do. The paddy field in front of our house used to be so picturesque but it wasn’t anymore. And then from time to time, the other neighbours would burnt some rubbish with all kinds of plastic material that generate toxic fumes.

Another reason is that on the 1st of July 2019, I could have been injured or losing my life on the highway towards Kuala Lumpur for attending my brother’s funeral because of the ‘dishonesty’ and ‘incompetency’ of the car workshop that I had been bringing my car for regular service and repair in the past 10 years. Some how, they installed expired and non-compatible tyres to my car where they were in so bad condition that they could have exploded and caused serious damages to myself and/or others during my long driving journey from Langkawi to Kuala Lumpur that day, which I only realized how lucky I was when my second brother saw the serious damages of the tyres and immediately brought the car to a nearby tyre shop near the funeral place to change the tyres immediately. Everyone said that it was incredible that the tyres didn’t explode when it could easily have, while I was driving at a fast speed on the highway that day. Again, it’s my own responsibility for entrusting the car to that workshop and have limited knowledge about car and tyres.

I told my husband, “Okay. That’s enough. We leave Langkawi. I want to appreciate the remaining life time in peace not being threatened by dishonest people and the ridiculous system of this island.” I am not fear of death, I am ready to leave anytime, but if possible, I do not want to suffer unnecessary suffering due to other people’s dishonesty.

Despite all the mentioned difficulties, we did have a very good long term grass-cutting man who would come to cut the grass for us once every two months in the past 10 years. We are thankful for that. And the good thing about living in Langkawi is there’s no traffic jam (yet) and there are nice waterfalls, even though the locals have the habit of leaving rubbish everywhere and maintenance is not great. And we are thankful to Langkawi and the houses that we lived in, allowing many retreats had been happening and people from all over the world came to be learning and practicing yoga with us there, allowing us to share yoga with so many people. Thank you for all the supports.

We chose to move to Penang Island for start, and then we will see what happen. If we have to move somewhere else, it really doesn’t matter. The system in Penang Island could be worst or maybe better than Langkawi, we don’t know yet. And many parts of the world are going through certain difficulties. I don’t need to have a yoga studio or retreat centre. I don’t need to teach yoga restricted to a particular place.  I don’t need to teach yoga at all. I just want to have a place to live and do my own practice, if possible. If it’s not possible, I live and practice as I am. As a writer and editor, my husband can live anywhere. And in terms of the writing and reading scene, social, music, arts and cultural development, Penang has a lot more to offer than in Langkawi.

Finding a place to rent in Penang also wasn’t easy for us. We had to spend quite some money coming here twice to be looking for a place. We met some ‘good’ people helping us in certain things, we also met some ‘helpful’ people who only interested to take advantage of us. Anyway, we found a good enough place and paid the deposit to reserve it, even though the owner has some issues and doesn’t want to give us long term contract. As the moving out from Langkawi is the most complicated difficult part. We need to have a place secured even if it’s temporary. Once we arrived in Penang, then even though if we have to find another place later within Penang, or if we need to move to another place in Malaysia, or even outside Malaysia, it will be a lot easier in Penang than in Langkawi.

In this new place, my husband can swim everyday at the 50 metres well-maintained swimming pool, we seldom use the air-conditioner as the place is well ventilated, the windows can be opened and closed, we don’t have to keep lights on when we are not at home or when we go to sleep, there are security guards, there’s convenience of getting grocery and fresh produce, there’s no lizard shit, no cats leaving behind dead animals/shit/pee/fleas, no snakes or centipedes coming into the house, there’s a balcony to sit out comfortably without being eaten by ants and mosquitoes, there’s nice hill view and sea view from the windows and balcony, we can cook if we want with many choices of fresh produce available, or there’s plenty of restaurants or food courts nearby that have plenty choices and good quality of food at reasonable price (not tourists price), the people working in the shops and restaurants are friendly and courteous, my husband can read and write under proper lighting, there’s fast speed internet, there are many reading, writing, arts and cultural events in Penang for my husband’s interest, there’s hiking trails nearby, there’s good rubbish management, I found a car workshop where the people are really helpful, and many more, so far.

All is impermanent.

Be happy.

The yoga practice is here and now

Dealing with all kinds of desirable/undesirable, pleasant/unpleasant and agreeable/disagreeable condition and situation in this present moment now wherever we are, are indeed the best time, space and causation for implementing our yoga practice practically.

Upon the presence of desirable/pleasant/agreeable condition and situation, there’s no clinging onto this experience, or craving for more of this kind of desirable/pleasant/agreeable experiences.

Upon the absence of desirable/pleasant/agreeable condition and situation, there’s no aversion towards the absence of desirable/pleasant/agreeable experiences.

Upon the presence of undesirable/unpleasant/disagreeable condition and situation, there’s no aversion towards this kind of undesirable/unpleasant/disagreeable experiences.

Upon the absence of undesirable/unpleasant/disagreeable condition and situation, there’s no clinging onto this experience, or craving for the void of undesirable/unpleasant/disagreeable experiences.

If not this practice of freeing the mind from being bound by the egoistic desire of craving and aversion, what else?