Self-righteousness is not yoga practice

Self-righteousness is part of the egoism acting in conjunction with worldly thinking and belief about what is right and wrong/good and bad, it’s not part of the yoga practice. In yoga practice, the mind disciplines itself to be free from the cause of suffering – Ignorance, egoism and impurities, to see the truth as it is, going beyond all kinds of thinking and belief about what is right and wrong/good and bad, being free from egoism of attachment, identification, craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation. This is not the same as egoistic self-righteousness that is based on particular worldly thinking and belief about what is right and wrong/good and bad, to judge, criticize, discipline and punish oneself and/or others, or out of the sense of pride and superiority, one interferes with other minds/people, with intention to influence/control/change/discipline/punish other minds/people that one doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with.

Under the many different cultures, many people growing up being encouraged to develop self-righteousness to uphold what they believe as right and good. It’s regarded as a ‘good quality’ that someone should possess, to discipline oneself. It’s fine if people just stop at ‘disciplining’ oneself in accordance to one’s belief and practice about ‘what is right and wrong/good and bad’. But most people don’t just stop there, but they also want to self-appoint themselves as ‘morality guardian/hero’ to ‘discipline’ others whom they know or don’t know, whom are different from them, whom they dislike and disagree with, whom they think and believe are ‘wrong’ and ‘bad’ in accordance to their own cultural/religious/social/political/personal thinking and belief or practice.

People are being encouraged to develop a strong self-identity/family identity/national identity/cultural identity/religious identity/political identity/social identity and have strong sense of pride towards their identity of that particular thinking and belief, values and practice, and then based on that particular thinking and belief, values and practice, people judge all and everything, and expect themselves and others in the society or the world to somehow comply to that particular thinking and belief, values and practice to think, to behave and to live life the way that they can agree with/accept.

People also like to talk about personal/family/social/national/global ‘development’ and ‘peace and happiness’, but mostly are being influenced by self-righteousness based on their particular cultural/religious/social/political/personal thinking and belief, values and practice about what are ‘good/right/positive/progressive development’ and ‘peace and happiness’ to them. It’s not so much about universal selfless development, peace and happiness for all kinds of diversity beyond all the different names and forms, unlimited by any particular cultural/religious/social/political/personal point of view, thinking and belief, values and practice.

If someone truly/sincerely wants to have peace in oneself and wish to contribute peace into the world that one is living in, the mind needs to be free from self-righteousness based on a particular values of life existence, way of life and conduct, thinking and belief about what is right and wrong/good and bad.

Though it’s not necessary, but most minds/people think and believe that as ‘an individual among the species of human beings’, they need to rely/attach onto a particular values, way of life and conduct, cultural/religious/social/political/personal thinking and belief to nurture/build a personal/worldly identity to be existing as who they are, and to think, to behave and to live life complying to that particular values, way of life and conduct, cultural/religious/social/political/personal thinking and belief.

Most minds/people don’t just keep their values of life existence, way of life and conduct, cultural/religious/social/political thinking and belief only to themselves, but they want to interfere with others who are different from them. Out of survival instinct and fear of extinction, people want to gather/invite more other people into their ‘group’ to form a ‘strong and powerful group’ by converting/recruiting many others to ‘join’ their group, to adopt and support their vision. People also have the tendency of self-righteousness to control/change/condemn/punish others for being different from themselves, which they dislike and disagree with, where they feel that their values, belief and practice are being threatened/intimidated by the other values, beliefs and practices.

  • The idea of ‘I’.
  • Attachment and identification onto certain qualities of names and forms to ‘support’ the existence of a self-identity of ‘I’.
  • Possessiveness and pride towards the self-identity and the possessions of ‘my life’, ‘my body’, ‘my mind’, ‘my thinking and belief’, ‘my culture’, ‘my religion’, ‘my God’, ‘my wealth and health’, ‘my success and happiness’, ‘my accreditation and reputation’, ‘my virtues and merits’, ‘my home’, ‘my family’, ‘my parents’, ‘my partner’, ‘my relationship’, ‘my children’, ‘my friends and relatives’, ‘my country’, ‘my world’, ‘my practice’, ‘my contribution’, ‘my teacher’, ‘my students’, and so on.
  • Desire of craving and aversion of “I want ‘I’ and all that is ‘mine’ to be like this and I don’t want ‘I’ and all that is ‘mine’ to be like that.”
  • Fear of losing the identity of ‘I’ and all that is ‘mine’ the way that ‘I’ like it to be.
  • Defensiveness/protection towards the identity of ‘I’ and all that is ‘mine’.

“This is my home/my country/my world. I want my home/my country/my world to be like this and not like that. I don’t like and don’t agree with all the others who are different from me, who’s vision is contradicting to my vision of the perfect home/country/world that I want to have. I want everyone to comply to my values of life existence, way of life and conduct, thinking and belief. If they don’t, I won’t be able to have my home/my country/my world exactly the way that I want it to be. And I don’t want that. I don’t want these people being here ‘polluting’ my beloved home/my good country/my beautiful world.”

Most minds are outgoing and desire to be engaged in community or worldly affair with very strong self-righteousness towards how the community or the world should be like, where they feel proud towards their thinking and belief and towards their identification with that thinking and belief as who they are, that they believe that they are being ‘assigned’ with the responsibility to ‘save’ the world (their world the way that they prefer) by ‘disciplining’ or ‘teaching’ others about what is right and wrong/good and bad based on their particular thinking and belief, to eliminate what they think and believe as ‘wrong’ and ‘bad’ from the society or the world.

Yoga practice is turning the mind inward, focusing on eliminating ignorance and egoism in this mind, to go beyond all the ‘right and wrong’/’good and bad’/’positive and negative’, to free this mind from being limited by any thinking and belief, values and practice (including the teachings of yoga) judging all and everything including this body and this mind, or expecting oneself and/or others and the world to be in certain ways that the egoistic mind likes/agrees with/desires based on those thinking and belief, values and practice. It’s not about enhancing health and fitness, to look good and feel good, or to create a ‘good’ world with everyone behaving in the way that we think it should be. Though there’s nothing wrong with that aspiration, but all these qualities of names and forms are impermanent, and it’s not the goal of yoga practice.

The freedom of being free from being limited or determined by any thinking and belief or identification with qualities of names and forms is unthinkable/unperceivable for the minds that attached strongly onto the thinking and belief to be who they are.

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to do with their life, body and mind, and whether to practice yoga, or not.

Be free.

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Cause and effect – Consequences of actions

There’s neither right nor wrong, neither good nor bad, neither positive nor negative, it’s just the law of cause and effect – different consequences of different actions.

The consequences of actions might be pleasant/desirable/agreeable or unpleasant/undesirable/disagreeable.

The different actions and the different consequences of the different actions are just what they are, neither right nor wrong, neither good nor bad, neither positive nor negative.

Something that the mind likes and agrees with, are being judged/categorized as ‘right’, ‘good’ and ‘positive’, while something that the mind dislikes and disagrees with, are being judged/categorized as ‘wrong’, ‘bad’ and ‘negative’ by the mind under the influence of ignorance and egoism.

All these judgments are not the truth of things.

Free the mind from the influence of ignorance and egoism, to see the truth of things as it is, is the yoga and meditation practice. Upon seeing the truth, being free from ignorance and egoism, the mind is undisturbed by all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses. There’s no problems, dissatisfaction, hurts, unhappiness, sorrow, fear, or suffering.

All the other effects/benefits of the yoga practice are just the by-products which are also impermanent and selfless. By receiving all the impermanent effects/benefits of the yoga practice and coming in contact with/reading/hearing/studying/memorizing the teachings of yoga, or being highly intelligent/educated/accumulating vast knowledge of everything, doesn’t guarantee that the mind will be free, if the mind cannot go beyond the limited worldly thinking and belief in the mind that influence how the mind perceives/reacts/judges/expects towards all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, where the mind is unwittingly drowning in the state of restlessness/greed/ambitiousness/dissatisfaction/disappointment/hurts/unhappiness/sorrow/hostility/fear/suffering.

There’s nothing wrong when the mind thinks and feels angry/hurt/sad/dissatisfied/unhappy when the mind perceives/experiences something that the mind thinks and believes as ‘wrong’, ‘bad’ and ‘negative’. Just that this mind is not free. There’s no peace.

The mind will not be free from being disturbed by the mind perception of names and forms/what the mind comes in contact with/experiences, until the mind is free from ignorance and egoism, and sees the truth as it is.

Surrendering desires, intention, expectation

When someone wants to join a ‘yoga course’ or ‘yoga retreat’, it’s normal that there’s a desire, or intention, or expectation towards the experience or the fruit/result of such effort/action being performed.

It’s mostly about “What will ‘I’ get or be benefited from doing this?”

“I am here to learn something that will lead me to freedom and peace.”
“I am here to attain peace and happiness.”
“I am here to be free from unhappiness and suffering.”
“I am here to heal myself (my body, my mind and/or my soul.)”
“I am here to be unwind/relaxed to feel good/peaceful.”

And that is also the reason why people keep going for courses and retreats again and again, but the mind is still desiring/expecting to learn ‘something that will lead me to freedom and peace’, or to attain peace and happiness, or to be free from unhappiness and suffering, or to be healed, or to be unwind/relaxed to feel good/peaceful.

Contemplate on the teaching of “The mind and the body is not I. I am not the body and the mind.”

Contemplate on what is intentionlessness. Neither good intention to motivate good actions nor bad intention to motivate bad actions, but good actions are being performed while bad actions are being refrained.

Contemplate on what is “There’s no ‘I’ perform actions, or ‘I’ receive the fruit of actions.” even though there are ceaseless actions and the consequences of actions, or cause and effect arising and passing away being the by-products of the impermanent existence/life maintenance of the body and the restless egoistic mind.

It’s the body and the mind performing the practice, and the body and the mind will be receiving the fruit/effect of the practice. And the body and the mind is impermanent and selfless regardless of being in good or bad condition/state. It’s not ‘I’ am performing the practice and ‘I’ will be receiving the fruit/effect of the practice.

In many of the ‘yoga classes’, the ‘yoga teacher’ would ask the students to create a good/kind/positive/happy/meaningful ‘intention’ or ‘aspiration’ in their mind before and/or after the class to achieve something that they desire through their efforts of performing the practice or ritual. Such like, “I am awesome!”, “I am positive!”, “I am strong!”, “I am healthy!”, “I am good!”, “I am enough!”, “I am perfect!”, “I am happy!”, “I am compassionate!”, “I am love or I am loved!”, “I wish the world be good!”, “I wish my children good health!”, or “I wish everyone love, peace, joy and happiness!”

It’s all about ‘I’ and what ‘I’ desire to be/to have, or what ‘I’ desire other people/the world to be/to have. That’s why the mind doesn’t progress any further after many years of ‘practicing yoga’ because the mind is still holding on strongly onto the idea of ‘I’ as well as ‘intention’ or ‘expectation’ that is about gratifying the desire of craving and aversion, because that is what they have been learning/practicing for many years by attending ‘yoga classes’ regularly. There is something that they desire and something that they don’t desire that they hope to be gratified from performing some kinds of action, practice, or ritual. Hoping that everything will be good the way that they like it to be, that they think/believe it should be, and nothing bad.

There’s nothing wrong, and it’s very good to have good and positive thinking/thoughts than to have bad and negative thinking/thoughts, but it can become a great obstacle on the path of yoga. Even though the mind and the body is getting the momentary effects/benefits of performing the practice regularly, the mind is not free because the mind is still under the influence of ignorance and egoism.

Surrendering any desire/intention/expectation and all that is related to the idea of ‘I’ and ‘my’, just do the best while performing actions/practice and allowing the fruit of actions/practice to be what it is, is the teaching and practice of yoga. This is real ‘non-attachment’ or ‘renunciation’.

Some people said, “I don’t really know why I am here. I have no intention to be here. I don’t know what to expect. But somehow, I’m here.” And that ‘allows’ their minds to be open towards any possibilities, without being bound/limited by any particular desire, intention, expectation, aspiration, anticipation, imagination, or projection.

Once the mind realized selflessness/desireless/non-craving and non-aversion, there’s no need to repeatedly attending ‘yoga classes’, or ‘yoga courses’, or ‘yoga retreats’ with the intention/expectation to learn something that will lead one to freedom and peace, or to attain peace and happiness, or to be free from unhappiness and suffering, or to be healed, or to be unwind/relaxed to feel good/peaceful, because this mind is free and peaceful as it is.

There’s no “I need to learn something that will lead me to freedom and peace.”

There’s no “I need to attain peace and happiness.”

There’s no “I need to be free from unhappiness and suffering.”

There’s no “I need to heal myself (my body, my mind and/or my soul.)”

There’s no “I need to be unwind/relaxed to feel good/peaceful.”

Meanwhile, it’s not as easy as it says for the mind to be free from ignorance and egoism, or be free from disturbs or suffering, and hence, most minds still need to go to someone/somewhere to learn and practice yoga.

The freedom of being free from desires of craving and aversion

The freedom of being free from the desires of craving and aversion is in the present moment. It’s never something to be remembering from the past or something to be redeemed in the future.

It’s not bought with wealth or health, love or possession.

It’s not acquired by reading lots of books and accumulating vast knowledge of many things.

It’s not redeemed by huge amount of good karma from performing good actions or accumulating virtues and merits.

It’s not attained by after gone through lots of ‘spiritual healing’ process.

It’s nothing to do with extraordinary supernatural transcendental mystical experience at all.

One can be super wealthy, healthy, loving, possessing lots of possessions, read lots of books, accumulated vast knowledge of many things, and has done huge amount of good actions accumulating good karma, virtues and merits, and feels satisfied/meaningful/happy/proud towards all these ‘good’, ‘positive’, ‘meaningful’ and ‘happiness’ qualities, but the mind might still be determined by the desires of craving and aversion, there’s neither freedom nor peace.

This freedom is unconditional, being undetermined by any qualities of names and forms that is impermanent. It’s not about being free from bad condition/difficulties/unpleasantness or being in good condition/easiness/pleasantness.

One doesn’t need to go through any ‘spiritual healing’ process or experience any extraordinary supernatural transcendental experiences to realize this freedom.

There’s no craving/clinging/chasing after towards good qualities, good life condition, good health, good relationships/friendships, companionship, togetherness, ability, success, enjoyments, meaningfulness, or happiness.

There’s no aversion/fear/pushing away towards bad qualities, difficult life condition, bad health, bad relationships/friendships, lack of companionship, separateness, failure, unpleasantness, meaninglessness, or unhappiness, and towards losing the good qualities, good life condition, good health, good relationships/friendships, companionship, togetherness, ability, success, enjoyments, meaningfulness, or happiness.

There’s no craving towards something that is different from what it is now, that is not available now.

There’s no clinging towards something that is good now, that is available now.

There’s no aversion towards something that is not good, whether it is here or not here now.

There’s no aversion towards something that is good now will change and be no longer available.

One can be anywhere, doing something or nothing, and is free and in peace.

There’s neither craving towards peace nor aversion towards peacelessness.

One is peaceful as one is.

Be free.

The world of yoga

People asked us how come we don’t run/teach yoga classes and teachers training courses?

Yoga practice is about taming/quieting the restless mind to free the mind from suffering of restlessness and impurities derived from ignorance and egoism by realizing selflessness (birthlessness, deathlessness, attributelessness, namelessness, formlessness) through the practice of dispassion, renunciation, silence, self-inquiry, concentration, meditation, non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment, non-comparison and non-expectation that require a high degree of open-mindedness, right discrimination, intense yearning for liberation, will-power, perseverance, independence, self-control and discipline.

After one learned about the teachings and practice from someone who has direct experience of the teachings and practice, one implements these teachings and practice in everyday life, to free the mind from ignorance and egoism, which is nothing to do with attending regular ‘yoga classes’ or attending ‘yoga teachers training course’ to become ‘certified professional yoga teacher’ to teach/conduct ‘yoga classes’.

Most people don’t really interested to learn and practice yoga when they are interested in joining ‘yoga classes’, as they wouldn’t/couldn’t let go the thinking and belief which they think and believe is who they are (the main hindrance towards the realization of selflessness.) They just want to do some physical exercises to keep fit and be healthy, to feel good and look good. And it’s nothing wrong. Everyone has the freedom for what they want and don’t want, and what they think and believe.

Most ‘yoga classes’ are existing mostly as one of the healthy leisure activities for health and fitness enhancement by doing some yoga asana, relaxation and breathing exercises, just like any other personal/group fitness training exercise classes, which is a very healthy activity. It’s very good that people would love to do some form of physical exercise regularly for maintaining good health and vitality to enjoy a higher quality of life. And some highly talented people even transformed yoga asana practice into amazing acrobatic performance, it’s very inspiring for people to take up some physical fitness training to look good and feel good, and not spending time and energy in unhealthy/unwholesome activities.

The initial objective of ‘teachers training courses’ is about oneself learning and practicing the teachings of yoga to purify one’s mind, to awaken/realize the teacher within to become one’s own teacher, to discipline one’s mind to be free from ignorance and egoism. It’s not about training people who are interested in ‘teaching yoga classes’ or ‘running yoga courses’ to become ‘certified professional yoga teachers’ and issue/authorize them with ‘recognized certification’ to conduct yoga courses/teach yoga classes according to the different types of teaching style from different types of yoga school. It’s training one’s own mind to be it’s own teacher. Upon self-realization of yoga/oneness/selflessness, one might or might not share the direct experience with others.

‘Yoga retreats’ are also being ‘transformed’ into self-pampering/indulgence of the senses getaway that empowers the egoistic desires of carving and aversion, or being ‘transformed’ into ‘mystical healing’ camp. Even so, it’s neither right nor wrong. That is what most minds like and desire. It really doesn’t matter. In the end, yoga is still what it is, whether people are learning and practicing and teaching yoga as it is, or not. The truth won’t be affected/contaminated by any add-on/take-out elements, although the creative worldly minded can transform the teachings and practice of yoga into something that they prefer.

Most of the serious yoga practitioners don’t really run/teach ‘yoga classes’, or ‘yoga courses’, or ‘yoga teachers training courses’ although they might be teaching yoga to many others. Sharing the teachings and practice of yoga with others doesn’t necessarily has to be in the form of conducting yoga classes/courses/retreats. Some might have been teaching ‘yoga classes’ in the beginning, but after some time, they renounced the worldly social life and activities to concentrate on their own practice, upon realization that renunciation from worldly affair/interaction/activities/relationships is the greatest compassion towards oneself and all beings. Everyone is responsible for their own practice to look after their own mind, to discipline/quiet/purify their own mind, to deal with the consequences of their own ignorance, to become their own teacher, to free their own mind from ignorance, egoism and impurities via their own effort.

Meanwhile, ‘yoga teachers training courses’ are no longer about learning and practicing yoga to become one’s own teacher to be self-independent, to perform self-inquiry, to silent/annihilate the mind to attain self-realization, but the identity and qualification of a ‘yoga teacher’/recognition/authorization/certifications/association/commercial value/career value are the drive for conducting/participating yoga teachers training courses.

This is the world of yoga, and there’s nothing wrong or bad with it.

Many people think that they like and love yoga, but not really. When come to serious yoga practice, most people would turn away or justify that it is not yoga (the way that they think it should be.) And there’s nothing wrong, as all minds take their own pace and own path to evolve and realize.

In the silent meditation retreat that doesn’t charge any fees (donate as you like, or even nothing), quite many people would want to runaway or quit after a few days observing silence, for not being able to talk to other people, can’t have physical/eye contact with other people, not able to express as they like, can’t do what they usually like to do, can’t eat what they usually like to eat, no stimulating entertainment for the mind, sleeping on hard bed in basic accommodation, and they have to sit for meditation for more than 10 hours a day, while lots of physical/mental/emotional discomforts arise and random thoughts bubbling up to the surface of the mind. Some people would stay until the retreat finishes, but they don’t really observe silence throughout the entire retreat, such like they are still talking/whispering/making signs/interacting with their friends and keeping their phones with them, even though it’s not allowed. But, there’s nothing wrong with that either, as it’s how most worldly minds would behave, out of loneliness, boredom and meaninglessness derived from being refrained from their usual worldly stimulation/activities.

Most minds would ‘cheat’ to be comfortable and not to be uncomfortable. It’s not about what’s right and what’s wrong. And it’s not about how good is one’s yoga practice and meditation experience, but it’s the ability to confront/deal with all the things that the mind doesn’t familiar with, doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with, while not coming in contact with the things that the mind familiars with, likes and agrees with, being free from craving and aversion, be able to forbear difficulties and unpleasantness equanimously, and free the mind from restlessness/impurities out of ignorance and egoism, that matters most.

The mind won’t evolve/progress and keeps running round and round in the loop of worldly ideas/thinking/belief, if it keeps swaying in between craving and aversion, running away from difficulties and unpleasantness and what it doesn’t like (the mind perception of the qualities of bad, negative, wrong, meaninglessness and unhappiness,) and chasing after what it likes and desires (the mind perception of the qualities of good, positive, right, meaningfulness and happiness,) even after many years of attending ‘yoga classes’ and ‘yoga retreats’ or doing yoga asana and breathing exercises regularly, or possessed many ‘yoga certifications’ and given ‘yoga classes’ to many people.

Be free.