This is part of my daily asana practice.
Wishing everyone peace during this time being.
This is part of my daily asana practice.
Wishing everyone peace during this time being.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
Most minds will tend to have fear and worry towards changes, especially letting go a familiar living environment and family/friends/social circle, as well as letting go job or business that provides ‘stable’ financial support for living, unless they have no other choices but they have to find another living environment elsewhere and to find some other job or business due to unforeseen circumstances, such as losing their beloved home or job/business unwittingly due to natural disaster, bad economy, accident, war, and etc.
This fear and worry is the instinctive fear towards the unknown/uncertainty and fear of making the wrong decision to be losing the good and comfortable condition that one has been familiar with, which one loves/enjoys very much.
Whether we are aware or unaware of it, stability is always the main element and attachment in everything in life, even though the nature of everything is impermanence. Impermanence exists even in so called ‘stability’. Most minds would think and believe that they are embracing impermanence, but most probably only embracing towards changes of improvement, while there’s great aversion towards changes of deterioration. But deterioration is the ultimate truth of everything that exist under certain name and form.
Only when the mind learns how to embrace the nature of impermanence regardless of improvement or deterioration, there’s no fear towards changes or decisions making that actually would lead towards unlimited possible opportunities that are unknown to the mind until the mind sees them upon letting go/abandoning the little box of a familiar life that the mind lives in, when the mind starts to allow itself to be opened towards all the unknown/uncertainty without fear or regret, but with great welcome.
This is also similar to the teaching of yoga about surrendering. It’s not about ‘letting God to lead life and God will look after life for us’, but it’s about letting go the attachment/identification/clinging/expectation towards ‘the existing comfort that gives rise to the sense of meaningfulness derived from particular way of living and activities that the mind enjoys very much’ and letting go the fear towards losing or no longer having ‘this comfort and the sense of meaningfulness that it has been attaching or clinging onto’.
Most people will think and say, “Unless we have to, why do we want to let go something that is good and meaningful which we love very much that is still available to us now?”
There’s nothing wrong with that, as people don’t really need to let go anything (especially ‘goodness’ that gives rise to the sense of meaningfulness) until they have to. People like to hear and say, “Appreciate all the good things until they are no longer available.” That’s very good. But for the truth seekers, the attachment/clinging towards ‘goodness or comfortable good condition that give rise to the sense of meaningfulness’ is indeed one of the great obstacles towards liberation that most minds don’t realize.
For the minds that are in searching for ‘the truth’ or ‘liberation from ignorance’, or ‘selflessness/namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness/beginninglessness/endlessness/birthlessness/deathlessness/changelessness’, there’s no waiting, as this life existence, regardless of ‘good and comfortable life’ or ‘bad and challenging life’, is passing away.
For some who believe in one life, they might think and say, “Ah! there’s only one life, why bother about anything? Enjoy as much as possible while it’s available.”
For some who believe in many continuous lives, they might think and say, “Ah! there’s so many lives, need not hurry for anything. Enjoy as much as possible while it’s available.”
For the truth seekers, “It’s NOW, and there’s only NOW.” regardless of it’s good and comfortable life or bad and challenging life, or one life, or many continuous lives, or the beginningless/endless/birthless/deathless infinite Sat-Chit-Ananda.
The minds that aren’t aware of ignorance in itself, thinking and believing that “I am smart and intelligent, well-informed and knowledgeable, I am void of ignorance and I am a good/kind/loving/righteous/compassionate/wise being. I don’t associate with the term of ‘ignorance’ or ‘ignorant being’. It’s so insulting to me for being associated with ‘ignorance’ and being refer as ‘ignorant being’.” might be interested in doing some forms of yoga practice regularly to attain the benefits of the yoga practice, but wouldn’t really be interested in practicing yoga.
The minds that are aware of ignorance in itself, knowing that ‘the mind is functioning under the influence of ignorance’ is not an insult at all, but it’s the truth of this thinking mind, even if this mind is quite smart and intelligent, and is very well-informed and knowledgeable about many things in this world, who have the determination to free itself from ignorance, would be initiated to be practicing yoga, even if they might not look like they are doing certain type of ‘yoga practice’ regularly just like many others who love and enjoy doing many of the yoga practice.
Many people, including yoga practitioners and yoga teachers would think and believe that ‘yoga’ or ‘teaching yoga’ and ‘learning yoga’ shouldn’t involve any ‘fixed amount of fees’ or shouldn’t be ‘contaminated’ by ‘money’ in the form of fees at all, where ‘donation basis’, or ‘donate as much as you can give’, or ‘donate as much as you like’ and any other form of ‘offering’ is totally acceptable and non-contaminating the ‘purity’ of yoga, where ‘yoga teachers’ who charge and receive ‘certain fixed amount of fees’ are being seen as ‘greedy’, ‘materialistic’ and ‘money minded’ impure yoga teachers, and vice versa.
There is a yoga teacher who is looking forward to find a ‘pure and genuine human being teacher/guru’ who doesn’t bother about ‘fees’ or ‘money’ to teach her yoga, is being ‘disappointed’ and ‘complaining’ about it’s so difficult (impossible) to find a (human being) ‘real yoga teacher/guru’ that doesn’t bother about ‘fees’ or ‘money’ who would teach her yoga.
It’s the deep rooted ignorance that generates such ignorant thinking and expectation that is what hindering this person from realizing the one and only ‘real and pure guru’, which is (knowing) the mind itself.
Does her business that gives her the financial income/support for living doesn’t involve ‘money’? Do the yoga classes that she conducts doesn’t involve any expenses and maintenance in the form of ‘money’? Does the life or the everyday living of her and her family doesn’t involve any form of ‘money’? Does her parents gave birth to her and brought her up and provided her with food, shelter, medical needs and education without the need of ‘money’? Does she doesn’t have any expenses in the form of ‘money’ to bring up her children by providing food/shelter/education/medical needs to them? Is her house that she is living in and her car that she is driving and her phone and internet access that she is using doesn’t need any money? Does the food that she feeds herself and her family and those who are hungry on the street doesn’t involve money? When she went to the temple and presented some ‘offering’ to the many different (statues of) ‘Buddhas’ and ‘Gods’ asking for ‘blessings’ to herself, her family and the whole world, and gave ‘donation’ to the temple for the maintenance and build more buildings to house more (statues of) ‘Buddhas’ and ‘Gods’ doesn’t involve money? Is the water, gas, electricity and everything that is conveniently available in her house doesn’t involve any form of ‘money’?
But why do most people think and believe that ‘human beings’ who teach yoga or yoga classes must be deprived from ‘being independently generating income for living from teaching yoga’ by taking ‘money’ in a fixed amount of fees? That ‘learning yoga’ from somebody and ‘teaching yoga’ to somebody must not involve ‘fixed amount of fees in the form of money’, it should be either ‘free’ or ‘on donation/offering basis’, or at a very low fees that the mind thinks that is how much it deserves? That ‘real and pure yoga teachers’ should either have some other form of permanent full time job/business/investment that provides them the income/support for living or they should be living on the charity/donation of others (begging for food, shelter, clothing, daily needs, and etc)?
People think that allowing others to practice ‘charity’ by making then giving in the form of ‘donation’ or ‘offering’ is promoting generosity, sharing, compassion and selflessness in the world. But, generosity and sharing is not limited in the form of ‘charity’, while compassion and selflessness is not determined by performing ‘charity’ in the form of giving ‘donation’ or ‘offering’. Many people who perform ‘charity’ under certain names and forms, who give donation and offering, are not necessarily compassionate and selfless, or are being free from ignorance and egoism.
The organizations or the yoga teachers/gurus that are ‘living’/’surviving’ on the charity or donation from the public are not necessarily be free from all sorts of corruption, ignorance, egoism and impurities. Those who teach yoga to other people, who don’t depend on charity or begging for donation from the public for living/surviving are not necessarily non-genuine, corrupted and impure. This is such a simple ‘understanding’, but even many yoga practitioners and yoga teachers don’t get it.
Why is that many good and righteous people would protest strongly against different kinds of ‘exploitation’ that exist in the world, but then, ‘teaching yoga’ and ‘yoga teachers’ should be ‘exploited’ to the maximum, as the way to define and uphold ‘the highest purity’? It’s totally acceptable for most people to pay certain amount of ‘money’ for supporting/promoting/getting ‘vegetarianism’, ‘veganism’, ‘pure and clean food’, ‘superfood’, ‘organic food’, ‘special spiritual healing’, ‘yoga props/clothing/accessories’, ‘religious/spiritual activities’, ‘psychotherapy’, ‘medical care’, ‘all kinds of education, learning, training and services’, ‘pleasurable entertainment and enjoyment’, ‘social activities’, ‘holidays’, ‘travels’, ‘daily needs’ and etc, but, it’s so unacceptable, terrible, bad and wrong for people to pay ‘certain fixed amount of fees’ for ‘learning yoga’.
People would spend money buying ‘different types of offering’ to be offering to ‘Gods’ and ‘Buddhas’ hoping to receive something that they want from ‘Gods’ and ‘Buddhas’, where ‘Gods’ and ‘Buddhas’ (if they are really gods and buddhas) don’t need any of these offering, but then, people would think and believe that giving certain amount of fees to learn yoga from a teacher to be supporting the living of the yoga teacher is something inappropriate and wrong. Such deep ignorance.
There’s nothing insincere or wrong with those who don’t need to depend on receiving fees or donations from anyone for living, but instead, they might have more than enough for their own living, and they can teach yoga and run yoga classes/courses to anyone without taking any fees or donations at all. But that also doesn’t determine that these minds are being free from corruption, ignorance, egoism and impurities.
The ‘teacher’ or ‘guru’ who is a living human being that doesn’t need to bother about fees/donation or money, who either doesn’t receive any fees/donation at all, or who would just take any amount of fees/donation ‘as much as you can give’ or ‘as much as you would like to give’ when teaching yoga to other people, are either they are financially secured where they don’t need to depend on receiving money in the form of fees or donation from teaching yoga for living, or they are living on the charity of others (supported by spouse, family, friends or the public). Unless they are non-human beings or non-living beings that don’t need to be ‘living’ or ‘surviving’ to maintain the life of the existence and function of the impermanent selfless physical body, or they are human beings who live/survive self-sufficiently on a piece of free land in the wild, surviving purely on mother nature that is free from ‘money transaction’, that isn’t ‘touched’ or being ‘possessed and governed’ by some kind of ‘authority’ at all.
When ‘good and generous’ people offer ‘flowers’, ‘food’ and ‘clothing’ to a person who teaches them yoga to show their gratitude and appreciation, can this person uses the ‘flowers’, ‘food’ and ‘clothing’ to pay rent, or tax, or medical needs, or even using a toilet to shit and pee, unless the ‘flowers’, ‘food’ and ‘clothing’ could be resold to become ‘money’, or this person actually lives/survives in the wild, surviving on mother nature that is free from ‘money transaction’, to build a shelter and planting and collecting food and water in the wild that isn’t being ‘possessed and governed’ by some kind of ‘authority’ in ‘a society’ of ‘a village/town/city/county/state’ under ‘the law of a country’.
By thinking and believing that being ‘generous’ and ‘pure’ is to be giving ‘free teaching’ or ‘low fees yoga classes’ or ‘yoga classes based on donation as you wish’ or ‘discounted fees’ to many of those who only want to pay ‘a little amount of fees’ or ‘donate as you wish’ to learn yoga from someone or to do some yoga exercises in a ‘yoga class’, even when they can afford to pay certain amount of fees but is higher than what they would like to give, as the minds think and believe that money-less or low fees is what purity and sincerity is about, or that is how much the teachings, or the classes, or the service, or the person deserved to be paid or should be receiving, is indeed promoting the ignorance in oneself and in the others.
Yoga, selflessness, compassion, oneness, liberation from suffering, the teachings of yoga, the practice of yoga, teaching yoga, learning yoga and the realization of yoga are invaluable. It cannot be sold or bought by any amount of money/fees/donation/offering. Teaching yoga and learning yoga among beings doesn’t really need ‘money’ to be happening. But being existing, moving and living in this world, especially in the modern society, require ‘money’ for most things. ‘Money’ is neither pure nor impure, it’s just part of the game of living in the world, while the action of ‘giving’/’receiving’/’sharing’/’generosity’/’loving kindness’/’charity’/’donation’/’offering’ either in the form of money or non-money, don’t necessarily determining something pure and selfless under the influence of ignorance and egoism.
Yoga schools that provide ‘yoga classes’ or ‘yoga courses’ might not survive or exist if without sufficient funding in the form of money (regardless of whether it’s fixed amount of fees or donation basis). Human beings who know the teachings and practice of yoga might not have the free time, space and energy to be ‘present’ at a particular time, space and causation to teach yoga to some others, if they need to be working/doing business full time for supporting their own living and those who are living under their support, and they also need the time, space and energy to be performing their own practice. Many people complain about how their parents are being too busy with their work or business that they don’t get enough affection and attention from their parents, because their parents need to spend most of their time, space and energy into making income to support the living of everyone in the family.
For a person to put time, space and energy into running a yoga studio/school that provides yoga classes, yoga courses or yoga retreats for people be there to learn and practice yoga require a lot of expenses in the form of money.
All the articles/writings/blogs/teachings about yoga here are free for anyone to take, provided if they have access to a computer and internet usage that require money, and the person who blogs this also needs money to have access to the computer and internet access for this blog to be existing.
So, think again if the mind is still looking forward to be finding/meeting a ‘pure and genuine’ human being yoga teacher to be teaching yoga to oneself, under the expectation that this teacher shouldn’t be taking money or certain fixed amount of fees that one’s mind thinks it’s too much and don’t deserving, or expecting this teacher only takes small amount of fees or donation as you wish, or else, this must be an impure and non-genuine teacher if this person takes a fixed amount of fees that one’s mind thinks it’s too much or don’t deserving.
Regardless of whether the person whom oneself learns yoga from is pure or impure, it really doesn’t matter. It’s about how this mind behaves. If this mind is looking for a teacher with the expectation and judgment towards the teacher should or shouldn’t be in certain way, judging the teacher based on one’s expectation towards how a teacher should be like, expecting the teacher to meet up with one’s expectation as well as be able to receive whatever one expects to be receiving from a teacher, but at the same time, one is measuring what and how much one would like to ‘give’/’donate’/’offer’ to the teacher to show ‘gratitude’ and ‘appreciation’ to the teacher for teaching oneself, then even though the teacher doesn’t ask any fees/donation/offering in return, and one would give/donate/offer something to the teacher, this person won’t be able to learn anything even if this is a great teacher who delivers the teachings of yoga. If this mind is opened, free from expectation, then this mind doesn’t even need to look for a teacher, as the opened mind itself is the greatest teacher that allows itself to see the truth from all and everything that the mind comes in contact with. One will respect and show gratitude towards all and everything, without discrimination of pure or impure, deserving or undeserving.
Contemplate, and see how ignorant is this thinking mind. When one sees/realizes the ignorance in one’s mind, one found/meets the greatest teacher.
One might not learn or realize anything, even if there’s a great teacher (living or non-living being) being there teaching yoga to oneself all the time without involving ‘money’ in the form of ‘fees’ or ‘donation’, as one doesn’t see/realize the ignorance in one’s mind.
Most people think, react and behave in certain ways that conform to the way of thinking, reaction and behavior of the majority of the society, and naturally there will be egoistic judgment and expectation towards how all the others should or shouldn’t think, react and behave in certain ways in accordance to their way of thinking, reaction and behavior that they think and believe as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘positive’ or ‘negative’, ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy’, ‘appropriate’ or ‘inappropriate’, ‘normal’ or ‘abnormal’, ‘sane’ or ‘insane’. Anything that are contradicting and are different from their own way of thinking, reaction and behavior, would be categorized as ‘wrong’, ‘bad’, ‘negative’, ‘inappropriate’, ‘unhealthy’, ‘abnormal’, or ‘insane’. What is contradicting with what the impure egoistic minds think and believe as ‘humanity’ is being understood as ‘inhumanity’. There are lots of discussions, debates, arguments and conflicts exist due to the strong attachment towards the mind perception of duality under the influence of ignorance and egoism that based on particular way of thinking, reaction and behavior that is agreeable to the majority of the society.
Yoga practice is about changing such egoistic thinking pattern of the impure egoistic mind and allowing the mind to see things as they are, to free the mind from egoistic judgment or expectation towards all the different ways of thinking, reaction and behavior to be or not to be in certain way.
Upon coming in contact with the ‘death’ of someone or something, most minds would react and feel sad and grieve/mourn, and would criticize or condemn certain minds that don’t react in such way, where they don’t feel sad nor grieve/mourn towards the ‘death’ of someone or something (that most minds think and believe as something good and is dear to them), as a form of ‘wrongful’/’bad’/’inappropriate’/’negative’/’unhealthy’/’abnormal’/’insane’ way of thinking, reaction and behavior. Meanwhile, these impure egoistic minds would feel glad and cheer towards the ‘death’ or ‘destruction’ of someone or something that they think and believe as something bad and is hated by them.
And that’s everyone’s freedom for how they think, feel, react, judge and expect.
For the yoga practitioners, it’s all about the elimination of ignorance and egoism, by freeing the mind from such worldly egoistic thinking pattern of the mind.
How the minds perceive and judge towards everything is based on what the minds know and understand, and what the impure egoistic minds know and understand is very limited and conditioned under the influence of ignorance and egoism, even if the minds are highly educated and knowledgeable.
People who might be highly educated and knowledgeable could be thinking and believing that, “The minority must respect and conform to the idea and wish of the majority.” and constantly be offended and hurt by something that the mind dislikes and disagrees with.
The selfless yogis, or the wise ones, or the dispassionate ones, neither grieve/mourn towards the ‘death’ nor cheer/celebrate towards the ‘birth’ of ‘the good and dearest ones’. Neither will they cheer towards the ‘death’ nor grieve/mourn towards the ‘birth’ of ‘the bad and hated ones’. It’s not that they are emotion-less, or heart-less, or depressing, abnormal or insane, it’s just that they perceive and understand everything differently from the majority of the society, being aware of the truth of names and forms and transcending all the qualities of names and forms that are subject to cause and effect, impermanence and selflessness. The thinking, reaction and behavior pattern of these minds towards the perception/experience of all kinds of names and forms or the pleasant/unpleasant experiences has transcended the perception and understanding of the impure egoistic minds, where they don’t think, react or behave like the majority of the society.
Whenever the mind thinks and judges, “Oh, this person thinks, reacts and behaves in the way that is so wrong, bad, negative, inappropriate, abnormal, unhealthy or insane. Obviously this person doesn’t know or understand how to think, react or behave in the way that is right, good, positive, appropriate, normal, healthy and sane.” then know that most probably it’s actually ‘this mind that thinks and judges in such way’ that doesn’t know/understand or is being ignorant towards something that is beyond what this mind knows and understands.
Know this mind. Know Thyself.
It’s merely different ways of thinking, reaction and behavior under different states of the mind that is subject to cause and effect, impermanence and selflessness, that is either under the influence of ignorance and egoism, or not.
If the mind cannot go beyond the duality of right and wrong, good and bad, positive and negative, and so on, then even though one has been practicing and teaching yoga for many years, this mind is not free.
Contemplate, reflect, realize.
Just as drugs or medicines are useless to those who are free from physical or mental illness, positive thinking is irrelevant to the mind that is free from ignorance and egoism.
Positive thinking is one of the yoga practice to counter negative thinking, but it’s not the goal of the yoga practice, as if the mind needs to be thinking in the positive way, to be positive and stay positive, it means that the mind is still not free from being determined by the mind perception of duality under the influence of ignorance.
The mind that is free, perceives all the names and forms as they are, or sees things as they are. Everything is just what it is, neither good nor bad, neither positive nor negative. This mind doesn’t need to think positively. It doesn’t need to practice positive thinking to counter negative thinking as there is no negative thinking. All forms of yoga practice exist as different tools for the ignorant egoistic mind to be free from ignorance and egoism. Any form of yoga practice is useless to the mind that is free from ignorance.
The mind is not free, is due to it is still perceiving all the names and forms under the influence of ignorance and egoism perceiving duality of good and bad, positive and negative, and the mind is being determined by duality, where there’s craving/clinging towards the mind perception of the quality of good and positive, and aversion towards the mind perception of the quality of bad and negative, then this mind can practice positive thinking to counter so called negative thinking, or more precisely, ignorant egoistic thinking in the mind.
It’s like drugs or medicines to counter certain physical or mental illness, positive thinking is just a tool to counter negative/ignorant thinking. It’s not freedom if one needs to depend on drugs or medicines all the time, similarly it’s not freedom if the mind needs to rely on positive thinking as the mind is still not free from the influence of ignorance and egoism.
The path of yoga and Buddhism is about realizing the Truth and respecting the Truth as it is, regardless of whether the Truth is being perceived as something pleasant or unpleasant, agreeable or disagreeable, desirable or undesirable to the worldly impure egoistic minds.
Many minds/people like to talk about ‘truthfulness’ and see it as an important value of life, but then ironically, most minds/people don’t welcome and can’t handle certain ‘truthfulness’ or ‘the truth’ being something that they don’t like and don’t want. Many people prefer themselves and everyone else to be playing a game of ‘untruthfulness/lies/hypocrisy/pretension/acting’ in all forms of relationship that would portray “Everything being the way that they like and want, that would appear to be all good and positive and nothing bad and negative”, or they would try to ignore, or deny, or hideaway whatever that they don’t like and don’t want, such as “Don’t tell me about it. I don’t want to know anything about it.” so that they can have ‘the peace and harmony’ in their lives, in their relationships with their family, relatives and friends. There’s plentiful of untruthfulness/lies/secrets/manipulation in all kinds of human’s relationship except in the rare ones that are free from the influence of the ego and egoism. Back-biting exists in many relationships as well, where people pretend to be nice to one another in front of everyone, saying only nice and positive things in front of people in order to maintain ‘peace and harmony’ in the family, work place, friends circle, personal relationship and the society, but then, many minds/people couldn’t avoid back-biting behind people’s back to express and/or release their frustration, dissatisfaction and disappointment towards what they don’t like and disagree with.
The mind can never avoid some kinds of interaction that involve certain ‘untruthfulness/lies/hypocrisy/manipulation’ dealing with all kinds of human’s relationship.
There’s nothing wrong with trying to present many different images of certain ‘quality’ on different occasions that conform to the many different thinking and beliefs of the many different minds/people that one comes in contact with and interacts with, in order to please everyone, to not offending anyone, to not making anyone feel unhappy, dissatisfy, disappointed or upset, to maintain ‘peace and harmony’, or to be surviving in a competitive world of names and forms, or to gain love, liking, help, support and comfort from others, but that would be supporting and empowering ignorance and egoism in oneself and others, while yoga practice is mainly to free the mind from ignorance and egoism.
The minds that would be disturbed, offended and upset easily by what the minds don’t like and disagree with, or what the minds perceive as unpleasant, disagreeable, bad, wrong, negative or inappropriate, is due to ignorance and egoism. None need to be untruthful, hypocrite, lie, pretend or act while being or interacting with other minds that are free from ignorance and egoism, as these minds won’t be disturbed nor offended nor upset by all kinds of name and form that are being perceived by the worldly impure egoistic minds as unpleasant, disagreeable, bad, wrong, negative or inappropriate.
In Buddha or Satguru, or any beings that are free from ignorance and egoism, the mind is undetermined and undisturbed by all the selfless impermanent names and forms, being free from the desire of craving and aversion and expectation towards all and everything to be in certain way. All kinds of suffering/unhappiness/painful sorrow/hurts/depression/loneliness/meaninglessness don’t exist in them, as there’s neither craving for something pleasant and agreeable nor aversion towards something unpleasant and disagreeable. And hence, there’s needless of the existence of any other being or family and friends being there to be loving/liking/supporting/helping/comforting them, although they would allow anyone to be kind and friendly supporting or helping them and/or other beings in many ways, while without encouraging or empowering the ignorance and egoism in the beings, but allowing the beings to also realize selflessness and compassion, being free from all kinds of suffering/unhappiness/painful sorrow/hurts/depression/loneliness/meaninglessness, being undetermined and undisturbed by all the pleasant/unpleasant, agreeable/disagreeable, desirable/undesirable names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, where the need of gaining love, liking, support, help or comfort from some others is absent, and without egoistic intention to be making and accumulating ‘family ties and friendships’, they can be ‘kind’ and ‘friendly’ towards all and everyone unconditionally without discrimination of ‘friends or not friends’, ‘family or not family’ and ‘good or bad beings’, without the need or craving of gaining love, liking, help, support and comfort from others.
Real peace and harmony is unconditional, derived from the absence of ignorance and egoism, being undisturbed by the mind perception of names and forms through the senses that is subject to impermanence and selflessness. It’s being free from all kinds of suffering, restlessness and impurities upon the annihilation of ignorance and egoism. ‘Peace and harmony’ that is subject to the existence and non-existence of certain quality of names and forms, being determined by certain condition and situation that the mind desires, likes and agrees with, that is achieved and needs to be maintained through certain actions, is not real.
Those who are free from being conditioned by worldly thinking and belief would understand this and are free from the sense of loneliness and meaninglessness. Those who are being conditioned strongly by worldly thinking and belief wouldn’t or couldn’t understand this and would be perceiving the sense of loneliness and meaninglessness from time to time or most of the time. And hence, the importance of renunciation to free the mind from being conditioned by worldly thinking and belief for sincere yoga practitioners.
One can choose to perform certain actions in the world and be engaging in certain forms of relationship and interactive activity with some others selflessly without any attachment, but not because of one thinks and believes that one has to perform such actions in the world and must be engaging in certain forms of relationship and interactive activity, as one would think and feel bad, wrong, negative, meaningless, unhappy or suffering if one doesn’t or couldn’t perform such actions in the world, or doesn’t engage in certain forms of relationship and interactive activity with some others. That is freedom in yoga or Buddhism.
Some yoga enthusiasts are not free from self-righteousness where they think and believe that self-righteousness is a good and upright quality that compliment their yoga practice.
Due to deep rooted ignorance and egoism, there are minds that think and believe that they are good and righteous people and seeing themselves are somehow better human beings than some others whom they perceive as bad and wrongful human beings, and for the sake of humanity, they should stand up for righteousness and condemn those who think and behave in the way that is against what they think and believe is good and rightful way of thinking and behavior, that is bad and wrong, based on their understanding and expectation towards how people or human beings should or shouldn’t behave.
None can ‘tell’ or ‘teach’ another being/person/mind/community about “This is right and that is wrong.” as there’s neither right nor wrong, but just different minds judging everything differently based on their own particular thinking, belief, values, practice and preferences, and to behave, act and react in certain way. Siddhartha Gautama Buddha never said or taught about “This is right and that is wrong.” even though there’s the Eight Fold Path observations for the mind to purify and silent itself to allow the mind to inquire the truth of everything, to see things as they are, beyond the limited/conditioned judgment under the influence of different egoistic worldly thinking and beliefs.
It has to come from the mind itself to inquire into the truth of self-righteousness, where it doesn’t exist in selflessness, namelessness, formlessness, attributelessness.
Just as the ideas of patriotism, loyalty, family ties, friendship, relationship, connection, society, community, country, nationality, pride/shame, deserving/undeserving, meaningfulness/meaninglessness, or positiveness/negativeness, are all part of the play of the ego and egoism derived from ignorance. The mind only knows what it knows and what it thinks and believes about what it knows. The mind cannot comprehend what it doesn’t know, what it doesn’t think, what is beyond all kinds of knowledge that the mind could learn and remember. Just as the ego (the idea/perception of I) cannot comprehend ‘selflessness’ or ‘I-lessness’. And hence, the yoga practice is all about annihilating the ego and egoism to allow the mind to realize selflessness and see things as they are, transcending all the worldly egoistic thinking and beliefs.
The minds can still be functioning under the influence of conditional egoistic thinking pattern to behave, judge, expect, aspire, act and react, unwittingly, even if the minds have ‘good’ intention to be supporting and upholding ‘good’ values/practice/behavior, and believe in performing ‘good’ actions and standing up for protecting ‘goodness and righteousness’ in the world.
Yoga practice is to free the mind from conditional egoistic thinking pattern that most minds are unaware of, while thinking and believing that those thinking and beliefs are the important values of humanity.
Yoga practitioners can perform self-introspection to find out whether one’s mind is being conditioned by egoistic thinking pattern unwittingly, by asking oneself these questions, as most minds are unaware of itself is being conditioned to think and believe in such way, to behave, judge, expect, aspire, act and react.
– Is there a strong sense of belonging towards a particular name and form of family/relationship/friendship/social group/community/country/nationality/ethnicity/culture/religion/school/spirituality/profession/politic/any form of practice and etc, and one would do one’s best to uphold and protect that particular name and form that the mind thinks and believes, ‘This is where I belong, that I am being proud of being part of it, and I have the duty and responsibility to do my best to be protecting it from being hurt, damaged or destroyed by what I think and believe as negativity, badness and wrongfulness’, or I don’t know where I belong and it’s important for me to be in searching for something/somewhere that I belonged to, that can give me the sense of belonging?
– Does the mind thinks and believes that patriotism and loyalty towards something/somewhere that one belonged to, is a great value or quality that everyone should be cherished and be proud of, where ‘Betrayal of any kind is something terribly wrong and unforgivable, and those who commit any form of betrayal must be condemned and punished accordingly’?
– Does the mind thinks and believes that there are certain things/objects/lives that it likes and agrees with, that it understands as something important and appreciates very much shouldn’t be subject to ‘impermanent changes’ and don’t deserve ‘extinction’?
Not that patriotism and loyalty or upholding something that one’s mind thinks and believes is ‘good and righteous’ is something bad or wrong, but it promotes ‘separateness’ and ‘discrimination’ where it doesn’t allow the mind to go beyond the conditional thinking pattern that hinders the mind from realizing selflessness, oneness, non-separateness, namelessness, formlessness and attributelessness, which is the ultimate goal of yoga. Similarly, there’s nothing wrong with showing great appreciation towards something that the mind perceives as important, lovable and agreeable, but the intense attachment towards something that the mind thinks and believes is important, lovable and agreeable, and not allowing everything being what they are, where everything will change and disappear, is what hinders the mind from realizing ‘yoga’, or be free from ignorance and suffering.
Patriotism/Loyalty and the sense of belonging or the need to find where one belonged to don’t exist in selflessness. Due to ignorance and egoism, many yoga practitioners are still being conditioned by such egoistic thinking pattern, where they think and believe that they belong to certain ‘yoga lineage’, or ‘yoga family’, or ‘yoga community’. Similarly, the minds that are free from ignorance and egoism can be appreciating all the lovable and agreeable names and forms, but without attachment and are able to respect the law of nature (impermanence and selflessness) as it is, and be able to let them go, in peace.
Patriotism/loyalty and self-righteousness is not yoga practice. Yoga practitioners must work cautiously and diligently to free the mind from such egoistic thinking/belief/values/practice in order to free the mind from ignorance and egoism, to realize selflessness/oneness/non-separateness/namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness, that leads the mind towards right discrimination towards the truth of everything and non-discrimination towards all the different qualities of names and forms that co-existing in this space, which all are subject to impermanence and selflessness.
The world doesn’t belong to anyone. The world is fine as it is and it doesn’t need anyone to protect it if nobody/no community claim ownership/possessiveness/authorization towards the world and desire the world to be and not to be in certain way according to their particular thinking and belief, values and practice, likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, or aspiration and expectation towards a world the way that they prefer, that they claimed as “Our world.”
Many people like to propagate and say, “The world is ours.” and then, “We love our world and we have responsibility towards looking after our world.” and then, “We want our world to be like this and not like that.” and then follow with, “Protect our world from what we believe as badness and wrongfulness. Get rid of those who are ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’, who are ‘obstructing’ our desire of making our world perfectly the way that it should be.”
Just like in all the love relationships among people. Many people don’t know what is love when they think they fall in love with someone that they think and believe they love very much, but end up hurting themselves and the one whom they think and believe they love very much. Similarly, we keep hurting the world, when we think and believe we love the world very much, but we don’t really know what is love.
We think and believe that we love the person in the relationship with us, but out of ignorance and egoism, there’s possessiveness and desire towards the relationship and the person in the relationship with us to be and not to be in certain way, and when the relationship or the person in the relationship with us is not being the way that we expect or desire it to be, but it’s being the way that we don’t like and don’t desire, we will feel disappointed, hurt and angry, and in order to ‘protect’ the relationship from becoming the way that we don’t like and don’t desire, we would do something that hurt ourselves and those whom we think we love very much and those whom we think are responsible for ‘disturbing’ or ‘destroying’ the relationship that we love very much. And the more we try to ‘control’ the relationship or the person in the relationship with us to be the way that we desire it to be, we keep hurting the relationship and the person in the relationship with us, whether intentionally or unintentionally, wittingly or unwittingly.
When we claim ownership/possessiveness/authorization towards the world, we don’t allow the world being what it is, but we want to ‘control’ the world to be the way that we desire it to be, and we want to ‘protect’ the world from being the way that we don’t like and don’t desire, we are actually ‘hurting’ the world in the process of making ‘our world’ the way that we desire, the way that we think how it should be.
When we truly love someone, we love them as they are and we let them go, without claiming ownership/possessiveness/control towards them to be the way that we would like them to be. Allowing them to be what they are, to love us, or not, to be in a relationship with us, or not.
If we truly love the world, even if we think we have good intention, we stop claiming ownership/possessiveness/authorization towards the world to be “Our world.” and stop desiring/aspiring/expecting, “We want our world to be like this and not like that.” but allowing the world to be what it is.
It’s not ‘our world’. It’s just the world that selflessly allowing all and everything being here.
When human beings stop claiming ownership/possessiveness/authorization towards the world, it doesn’t mean that everyone would be hurting the world intentionally, or wouldn’t be doing something beneficial for the world out of compassion. While those who claim ownership/possessiveness/authorization towards the world and expect the world to be in certain way according to their aspiration and desire of a world that they prefer, would be hurting the world whether wittingly or unwittingly, by protecting what they like and desire while fighting against what they don’t like and don’t desire.
Anyway, the world will still be what it is, according to the law of nature (cause and effect), with or without many egoistic minds trying to take control over the world to be theirs and desiring a world the way that they like it to be. And the world doesn’t have an ego to be bothered about it.
There’s no comment/judgment towards any thinking and belief as true or untrue. Learn to see things as they are. Need not judging or categorizing everything into ‘this’ or ‘that’. Everything is just what it is. Neither good nor bad. Neither right nor wrong. All are impermanent and selfless. Whatever being perceived through the mind in this worldly life existence of names and forms, are all subject to impermanence and selflessness, including all kinds of thinking, beliefs, values and practices.
All kinds of thinking and belief existing for their own reason, for the minds that are under the influence of egoism and impurities to hang onto, to have a sense of direction, while navigating their way in the worldly life existence that is subject to uncertainty, impermanence and selflessness.
It’s all about whether the mind is free from egoistic attachment and identification, or not. It’s not about which thinking and belief is true or untrue, or which is truer and better than all the others.
Asians are bound by Asian cultural thinking and belief, but are not being bound by the western cultural thinking and belief to live life and behave in certain way. Westerners are bound by the western cultural thinking and belief, but are not being bound by the Asian cultural thinking and belief to live life and behave in certain way. Though both can respect each other’s different ways of life and behavior due to the influence of different cultural thinking and belief.
The mind took up and attached onto Christianity or Hinduism thinking and belief and practice, and identifying itself as a ‘Christian’ or ‘Hindu’, or as a ‘follower’ of ‘Christianity’ or ‘Hinduism’. Christians are bound by Christianity thinking and belief and practice, but are not being bound by the Hinduism thinking and belief and practice. Hindus are bound by Hinduism thinking and belief and practice, but are not being bound by Christianity thinking and belief and practice.
Christians have no fear of ‘not following’ Hinduism thinking and belief and practice at all, but there’s fear of ‘unfollow’ Christianity thinking and belief and practice, fear of sin and punishment and ‘The hell for (bad) Christians’. Hindus have no fear of ‘not following’ Christianity thinking and belief and practice at all, but there’s fear of ‘unfollow’ Hinduism thinking and belief and practice, fear of sin and punishment and ‘The hell for (bad) Hindus’. Though both can respect each other’s different way of thinking and belief and practice, and their respective ‘Hell for their (bad) followers’.
Without taking up or without attachment and identification towards any particular thinking and belief and practice, there’s no binding by any thinking and belief and practice, and there’s no need of ‘unfollow’ any thinking and belief and practice, as there’s no particular thinking and belief and practice that need to be ‘unfollowed’. What is fear of ‘unfollow’ any thinking and belief and practice?
Those who were never being exposed to or never picked up any particular thinking and belief and practice, or those who have no attachment and identification towards any particular thinking and belief and practice are not being bound by any particular thinking and belief and practice, to live life and behave in certain way. The notion of ‘unfollowing’ or ‘letting go’ or ‘abandoning’ certain thinking and belief and practice doesn’t exist at all. Though one can respect all the others with their particular thinking and belief and practice, to live life and behave in certain way, as most egoistic minds/people need to hang onto certain thinking and belief to have a sense of direction in life, but it’s unnecessarily for the minds that are free from ignorance and egoism.
Imperfection exists in all and everything including different yoga schools or yoga teacher training courses and the people involving in running the yoga schools and yoga courses.
With an open mind, without expectation, be ready to inquire the truth of everything, including all the teachings and practice presented by the yoga school or in the yoga teacher training course, and without regret towards one’s decision of choosing the particular yoga school or yoga teacher training course.
Dealing with all the pros and cons or imperfections existing in the yoga school or the yoga teacher training course with an open mind, and be able to make decision without regret, is indeed the practice.
Follow one’s conscience towards finding which lineage of yoga that one would like to explore and experience. It’s okay if one finds that after experiencing a particular lineage of yoga, one realizes it doesn’t suit oneself. If so, be open to experience some other kind of lineage of yoga, until one finds the most suitable one. In the end, it’s not about which lineage of yoga or yoga school that is the best among all, but it’s whether the mind is being unattached towards and unidentified with the particular lineage of yoga, the yoga school, the teachers, the yoga teacher training course, and all the desirable/undesirable or agreeable/disagreeable experiences.
Above all, it’s not about getting the best ‘Internationally recognized yoga teacher certification affiliated with such and such yoga alliance/organization’ from the best yoga school and yoga teacher, but it’s about being open-minded upon coming in contact with the different kinds of teachings and practice from the different lineage of yoga, to be purifying and quieting the mind, inquire towards the truth of all the teachings, and the truth of ‘I’ or ‘who am I/what is the ego’, realizing selflessness/egolessness, be free from ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering.
Attending many yoga teacher training courses in certain yoga schools and attaining many yoga teacher certifications and teaching many hours of yoga classes doesn’t determine whether the mind is free from ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering, or not.
In the end, one will realize the greatest teacher and the greatest ‘yoga course’ is the mind itself upon being rendered pure and quiet through the different kinds of persevered practice, being unattached towards and undisturbed by all the mind perception of names and forms or the activities/modification of the mind, of all the agreeable/disagreeable, pleasant/unpleasant, desirable/undesirable experiences, and be able to see the truth of things as it is, be free from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance.
Those who are free from ignorance and egoism don’t need to attend yoga teacher training course or attain ‘Internationally recognized yoga teacher certification’ to be peaceful and compassionate, or to disseminate the knowledge of yoga to those who are in need of the teachings and practice to be free from ignorance and egoism.
The ‘real’ Guru/teacher is the one without a ‘certificate’/’recognition’, without a ‘school’/’ashram’ and without giving ‘certification’/’recognition’ to anyone.
Many people who think and believe themselves are ‘unselfish kind and loving beings’ would react and feel disturbed or angered or hurt by other people’s behavior that they perceive or acknowledge as ‘selfish’, ‘unkind’, ‘unloving’, ‘disturbing’, ‘hurtful’, ‘bad’, or ‘wrong’, and they would express their ‘concern’ by expecting these ‘unkind and unloving beings’ would somehow be criticized or punished for being unkind and unloving, or be disciplined or trained to be (more) kind and loving.
But, ‘loving kindness’ is about how one’s mind behaves or reacts with ‘loving kindness’ towards other people’s behavior that one’s mind dislikes and disagrees with, that one’s mind perceives and acknowledges as ‘selfish’, ‘unkind’, ‘unloving’, ‘disturbing’, ‘hurtful’, ‘bad’, or ‘wrong’, without being disturbed or angered or hurt by other people’s behavior that one’s mind dislikes and disagrees with, without expectation towards how other people should and shouldn’t behave according to one’s particular thinking and belief, understanding that all forms of ‘unkind’ and ‘unloving’ behavior as well as one’s mind’s reaction of being disturbed, angered and hurt by other people’s ‘selfish’, ‘unkind’ and ‘unloving’ behavior and the expectation towards how other people should or shouldn’t behave according to one’s particular thinking and belief, are all deriving from ignorance.
Loving kindness is really not about “How human beings should behave in the way that is loving and kind” or “Other people whom one’s mind thinks and believes as unkind and unloving need to be (more) kind and loving” at all, but it’s about “This mind being kind and loving, where this mind understands towards ignorance and the consequences of ignorance, of egoistic actions and reactions, and how this mind reacts with loving kindness towards other people’s unloving and unkind actions and reactions under the influence of ignorance. Being undisturbed and unhurt by all the disagreeable/undesirable/unpleasant names and forms or experiences that the mind perceives through the senses. Without expectation towards other beings should or shouldn’t behave in certain way. Without expectation towards the world must be in certain way, or not to be in certain way.”
When the mind is disturbed, angered and hurt by other people’s unloving unkind actions and reactions, loving kindness is absent in this mind as well, then how could this mind criticize other minds for being unloving and unkind, and expect other minds to be loving and kind?
Non-attachment and dispassion is true loving kindness, but somehow this observation is being perceived and acknowledged by the world of egoistic minds as a form of ‘lack of loving kindness’, ‘unconcern’, ‘uncaring’, ‘selfish’ and ‘wrong’.
It’s everyone’s freedom for what they think and believe, for how they act and react. In yoga, it’s never about ‘how the others behave’, but it’s about ‘how this mind behaves’.
Contemplate on this, and be free.
It’s everyone’s freedom for what they think and believe, desire and don’t desire.
The yoga practitioners go beyond all the thinking and beliefs, free from desire and don’t desire.
The law of nature and the consequences of actions are not necessarily the way that one would like it to be, or the way that one thinks and believes how it should be. But if one knows how to respect the law of nature as it is and accepting the consequences of actions being what they are, without attachment or identification, without craving or aversion, without judgment or expectation, then this mind will be fearless, or fear doesn’t arise or present in this mind.
Unattached towards the condition of the world. Unattached towards the worldly life existence of all kinds of relationship and experience. Unattached towards all actions and the consequences of actions.
The impure egoistic minds that are being conditioned by worldly thinking and belief to analyze and judge about everything, to desire and don’t desire certain quality of names and forms to be here or shouldn’t be here, would have difficulty understanding and practicing the essential teachings and practice of yoga about the annihilation of egoism and silencing the modification of the mind, about the observation of dispassion, renunciation, silence, solitude and seclusion, about selflessness, oneness, non-separateness, namelessness, formlessness and attributelessness, about “The world is unreal”, about transcending the mind perception of a restless worldly life existence of impermanence and selflessness. The impure egoistic minds would analyze and think, “This is absurd, wrong and madness.”
So what, if someone can hold the breath for a very long time, or be able to do many acrobatic actions with the strong and flexible physical body, or accumulating and memorizing all kinds of information or knowledge about many things in this world through listening, watching, reading, researching, experiencing and studying about everything, or being intelligent and creative inventing many new things and higher technologies, or enjoying a higher quality of healthy and comfortable living, or has been travelling all over the world experiencing many different things and activities, or can perform to entertain many people, or is the greatest champion of certain competition, but the mind doesn’t know Thyself, where the mind is restless/peaceless being attached onto and identifying with the quality of names and forms of the function of the body and mind as ‘I’, attaching onto its actions and the fruit/result of its actions, swaying between satisfaction and dissatisfaction/disappointment being determined by the gratification and non-gratification of the desire of craving and aversion, being the slave of the modification of the mind, of egoism and impurities, of selfless impermanent state of the mind and physical condition, of passionate feelings and emotions arising and passing away, being disturbed and determined by the mind perception of names and forms through the senses, of pleasant/unpleasant, desirable/undesirable and agreeable/disagreeable life experiences or encountering, being bound by the expectation towards life and the world to be and not to be in certain way based on certain thinking and belief, craving for and clinging onto love, relationship, friendship, connection, interaction and the sense of meaningfulness, being drowned in aversion and tension of dissatisfaction, fear and worry towards life and the world being the way that the mind doesn’t desire it to be, or the way that the mind thinks and believes it shouldn’t be, constantly judging oneself and others being good enough or not good enough, to be achieving the life and a world that the mind desires it to be.
Everyone talks about promoting a world of democracy, an idea or a game that everyone learns to play and be engaged with since growing up especially in schools, while at the same time they want to be free from discrimination and oppression. But, discrimination and oppression is indeed the by-product of the idea or game of democracy. The representer of a particular idea/vision/politic/personality that gets the highest votes from the majority support will win and be in power, while all the other minorities who prefer different kind of idea/vision/politic will have to be legally ‘bound’ and ‘oppressed’ by the one in power and have to be ‘following’ and ‘respecting’ the ‘legally binding rules and regulations’ under ‘that power with particular idea/vision/politic’, reluctantly. Discrimination and lack of freedom will always be existing under the game of democracy, whether one agrees or disagrees with it. Some might be having the freedom that they desire, while some others won’t be having the freedom that they desire, and vice versa.
The advice from the many Gurus/teachers in the past, “Renounce the society. Stay away from politics.”
There’s neither right nor wrong. It’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to do with their life, body and mind.
There are so many ignorant actions/reactions/behavior and their consequences existing in this world deriving from people/human beings with the mind functioning under the influence of ignorance and the by-products of it, of egoism and impurities, wittingly or unwittingly.
There’s nothing wrong and it’s common that people who ‘love’ the world are being disturbed or frustrated or hurt by the ignorance of others. Everyone has the freedom to react and feel the way that they want to react and feel. But this is unnecessarily for the mind that is free from ignorance and egoism of attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, judgment and expectation, even if this mind would like to do one’s best to maintain or uphold ‘goodness’ and ‘rightfulness’ in the world and to protect the world from ‘badness’ or ‘wrongfulness’ as much as possible, according to what the mind believes as ‘good’ and ‘right’, and vice versa.
Those who have no attachment towards this world or the mind perception of an impermanent and selfless life existence of names and forms, are not being disturbed or frustrated or hurt by the ignorance of others and the consequences of that, as there’s no need of such reaction.
One lives in the present as it is, constantly adjusting and adapting to any situation and condition, performing necessary actions, being fearless/worryless towards unforeseen circumstances that arise whether due to the law of nature or the ignorance of human beings, and respecting the world being what it is.
Everyone lives in the world, and yet, the world doesn’t belong to anyone. But due to ignorance and survival instinct that born out of ignorance, most people/human beings (either by oneself or by group) claim ownership and authorization towards certain territory in the world or the entire world, and desire to make that part of the world or the entire world to be the way that they would like it to be, and would discriminate and fight against those who desire the world to be the way that is different from what they desire, or those who appear to be non-cooperative/non-supportive in gratifying their desire of building a world that they prefer, or those who stand in their way obstructing their desire/ambition/aspiration of controlling the world to be in certain way that they desire.
The ones who are free from ignorance neither desire nor don’t desire the world to be in certain way, respecting the world being what it is, evolves as it is, and respecting the law of nature to be what it is.
The law of nature will always be what it is, and nothing can alter or stop the law of nature being what it is, not even ‘God’ will be interfering with the law of nature, for those who believe in ‘God’ existence, regardless of what they think ‘God’ is. Even the ‘God’ that comes with certain names and forms is also subject to the law of nature. Only minds/human beings under the influence of ignorance would think and believe that they are so great and powerful to be defeating the law of nature to gratify all their desires the way that they want it to be, or to control the world to be the way that they desire it to be.
It’s not about fighting against ignorant beings or other people’s ignorant thinking/belief/action/reaction/behavior/values/practice that the mind thinks and believes as ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’, but it’s working diligently to free this mind from ignorance.
Just do good without desiring or expecting or controlling the world to be good the way that the minds think and believe how it should be.
Most minds/people don’t like to be related to ‘ignorance’ or what they understood as ‘being stupid’ or ‘lack of knowledge’. But ‘ignorance’ in the teachings of yoga and Buddhism is not about ‘being stupid’ or ‘lack of knowledge’. As many of those who are not ‘stupid’ at all, who are very smart and intelligent and knowledgeable are not necessarily free from the veil of ignorance.
People would like to think and believe and be acknowledged by oneself and others as somebody who is nothing to do with ‘ignorance’, or ‘I am not ignorant’, which they think and believe that they are smart and intelligent enough, and are highly educated and knowledgeable enough to not be related to ‘ignorance’. They think and believe that only those whom they think and believe are somehow less smart or less intelligent than them, and are less educated or less knowledgeable than them are most probably related to ignorance, where they understood ‘ignorance’ as something to do with ‘bad/negative’ genetic inheritance, improper brain development, influence from bad surrounding environment, lack of knowledge/skill/talent, uneducated or insufficiency of education, incompetency, being lazy or demotivated to learn and acquire knowledge, being stupid, or lack of social interaction and connection, or lack of stimulation, or inability to comprehend something or solve problem, and so on.
‘Ignorance’ in the teachings of yoga and Buddhism is about the mind being ignorant towards or ‘not knowing’ the truth of names and forms/existence/suffering, or ‘not knowing’ Thyself or the misidentification with the mind and the modification of the mind perceiving a worldly life existence of names and forms that is subject to impermanence and selflessness as ‘I’, or ‘not knowing’ who/what is the ‘I’ that the minds identifying/acknowledging as who ‘I’ am, as an individual being possessing certain quality of names and forms that distinguishing oneself from all the others that are not ‘I’, or ‘not knowing’ who/what is the ‘God’ or what are the ‘gods’ that many minds have been believing in and praying to, or ‘not knowing’ the truth of all the social/cultural/spiritual beliefs and practice that have been passing down from generation to generation that influencing how the minds think, act, react, feel, judge, expect, behave and live life in certain way.
Many minds believe in certain beliefs just because it’s propagated by their ancestors, parents, teachers, leaders, favorite famous people, idols, friends, philosophers, or particular social/cultural/spiritual/religious background, and there’s great fear of ‘letting go’ those beliefs and practice, being afraid of ‘sin’, or ‘bad happening’/’punishment’ might happen to them or their life or their loved ones, if they cease believing in/respecting/following/propagating those beliefs and practice to think, behave and live life. And it has to come from the mind itself realizing the truth of all those beliefs and practice. It’s not hard to inquire the truth, but most minds reluctant to inquire the truth of the existing beliefs and practice in their minds or lives, and it’s unthinkable for them to question the truth of their beliefs and practice, as it means that they are ‘disrespecting’/’offending’ those ‘sacred’ beliefs and practice for inquiring into the truth of it, which is ‘sinful’ and ‘punishable’ according to those beliefs and practice.
Being talented/skillful/knowledgeable in certain things or many things doesn’t guarantee that the mind is free from ignorance, where the mind is being disturbed/offended/hurt/disappointed/dissatisfied/angry/frustrated/hating/fearful/intimidated/insulted/humiliated/bullied by names and forms that the mind perceives/recognizes as bad, wrong, negative, unpleasant, undesirable, undeserving, disappointing, frustrating, intimidating or hurtful, and out of these impurities, it might generate actions and speech that might cause further consequences to oneself and/or others.
The minds that are not free from ignorance might be unwittingly ‘following’ a set of ‘rules and regulations of certain social/cultural/religious/spiritual belief and practice’ to live life and behave in certain way, and might be proud of having a specific type of food consumption of what they eat and don’t eat for certain spiritual/cultural/religious/environmental/ethical/health/personal reason, and they could be expecting the others (as human beings) should also be following the similar rules and regulations to live life and behave, as well as following their specific type of food consumption, or else, it will be mocked/criticized by them as ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’, or ‘sinful’ way of life and behavior and food consumption.
The ignorant impure egoistic mind unwittingly perceiving/experiencing a personal reality of a worldly life existence that consists of ‘I’ and everything that ‘I’ perceive/experience/know/acknowledge that the thinking mind refers as ‘this is me and my life experiences’ with all and everything that directly/indirectly relate to ‘I’ and ‘my life’, and perceives/experiences all kinds of duality derived from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance, and generate attachment and desire of craving and aversion towards the perceived reality of duality, not knowing Thyself or the truth of a worldly life existence of names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, not knowing impermanence and selflessness of the mind perception of a worldly life existence, constantly being disturbed and determined very much by the mind perception of pleasant/unpleasant, agreeable/disagreeable, desirable/undesirable names and forms or life experiences, being restless swaying between satisfaction and dissatisfaction, happiness and unhappiness, pleasurable enjoyment and painful sorrow determined by the gratification and non-gratification of the desire of craving and aversion, ceaselessly.
Transcending this restlessness of ignorance, silencing the mind, annihilating the modification of the mind of restless countless births and deaths nurtured by egoism, desires and impurities, is the ultimate goal of yoga and meditation practice. Any other forms of benefits/effects derived from the regular yoga and meditation practice are just some momentary side-effects of better health/fitness condition and pleasant good feelings that are impermanent.
It’s everyone’s freedom for how/what they think, believe, act, react, feel, behave, live life, consume and desire, or not. There’s nothing wrong if people just want to live a particular lifestyle in accordance to certain belief and practice, and do some yoga exercises to attain better health/fitness condition and pleasant good feelings, even if they are momentary and perishable.
The minds that are ignorant towards ignorance, or thinking and believing that oneself is void of ignorance due to one’s intelligence, talent, skill, education, knowledge, ability or achievement in certain things, would not be interested in yoga practice of dispassion, renunciation, silence, seclusion and solitude for mind purification, self-discipline, self-inquiry and self-realization.
Renunciation is not about abandoning existing worldly duty and responsibility to be in a monastery/forest/cave to be full time monk or nun, but it’s renouncing or letting go worldly social/cultural/spiritual/religious thinking and belief, values and practice, to open the mind to allow the mind to see things as they are, regardless of living among the society or away from the society. If the mind is not opened, then even if living away from the society, but the mind is still very much being conditioned by the worldly thinking and belief, values and practice to perceive, think, analyze and judge towards everything, and couldn’t allow the mind to see things as they are, even after many years of performing yoga and meditation practice, and getting all kinds of momentary effect/benefit from that.
For those who want to know Thyself or inquire the truth of names and forms, who are aware of ignorance, who have intense yearning for liberation from restlessness of the impermanent and selfless modification of the mind, they can practice yoga of mind purification, self-discipline, self-inquiry and self-realization. The journey might appear to be long, hard and unpleasant due to the ‘stubborn’ veil of ignorance, but be determined to keep disciplining, purifying and silencing the restless impure egoistic modification of the mind.