Yoga practice – why and how?

The practice of yoga is about the realization of unconditional peace which is the nature of all beings beyond the mind perception of all the different qualities of names and forms that generate separateness and discrimination among all beings which lead to restlessness or peacelessness and suffering.

The root cause of restlessness or peacelessness and suffering is ignorance and egoism.

The unconditional peace is unconditioned/undetermined by the impermanent qualities of names and forms (the law of birth and death), and is realized upon the annihilation of ignorance and egoism.

The annihilation of egoism is the realization of selflessness.

Compassion is the active force of selflessness that allow actions being performed without egoism of attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, and expectation. Just like the sun, the water, the wind, the earth and the space, or like all the internal organs in the physical body. There are specific functions in their existence to support one another, but there is no egoism in them to influence or to control or to identify with their functions/actions and the fruit of their functions/actions.

Ignorance is not knowing the truth of names and forms, and egoism is born out of ignorance. Egoism is the idea of ‘I’ exist as an individual being attached to certain qualities of names and forms to be identified as ‘I’, where all sorts of desires of craving and aversions arise due to this false identity of ‘I’. And all kinds of impurities of anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, frustration, agitation, depression, hurts, offensiveness, defensiveness, fear and worry are born out of ungratified desires of craving and aversion. And hence, the mind is being in a state of restlessness or peacelessness and suffering. The mind appears to be not peaceful.

The ego, or who/what the mind thinks is ‘I’, is nothing but made up of mere pieces of BROKEN MEMORIES of all the perceptions of names and forms, life experiences, actions and reactions, feelings and emotions, imaginations, expectations, dreams and relationships with everyone and everything. What is not found in the memories, or beyond what the mind can recollect, there’s no ‘I’. People say, “This is not who you really are, you need to find/go back to your true identity of who you really are” or “This person is not what he/she appears to be, you need to find our his/her true identity of what he/she really is.” Everyone can ‘appear’ or ‘pretend’ to be what they are or what they want to be and they are being different on different timing and condition, whether intentionally or unintentionally, with their appearance, personality, mentality, vision, mood and behavior are changing from time to time, but there is not a permanent ‘I’ being there as “this is who I really am.”

There is no ‘existence of an individual identity of who you really are’ or ‘who I think is the real I’. When one realized the true nature of oneself beyond the existence of the body and the mind and the worldly identity that attached onto certain qualities of names and forms, it’s not about realizing my original self or a personal nature. It’s the limitless/non-separate/egoless/selfless/nameless/formless/attributeless nature in all and everyone. The mind will be free from separateness and discrimination, and all the impurities of anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, offensiveness, defensiveness, hurts, fear and worry that come along with the existence of separateness and discrimination.

When a person lost all his/her memories, all the relationships with everyone with all the past painful and uplifting life experiences, and the past accumulated knowledge have no impact on this person’s mind perception of himself/herself or his/her identity in the present. What is pride and arrogance about ‘I’ am knowledgeable or ‘I’ have great achievements? Subconsciously, this person might still be able to perform certain habitual actions without the memory of ‘how did I know how to do this’ and unwittingly react towards all the pleasant and unpleasant sensations that keep arising and passing away.

When a person feels bitter or hurt or angry about something unpleasant/painful that has happened on them, it is because of the attachment and identification towards all these memories of experiences that generates the reaction of bitterness or hurt or anger towards these experiences. The experiences and the memories of the experiences has no power to cause bitterness, hurt or anger. For example, if ‘I’ have no recollection/remembrance about something unpleasant or hurtful that has just happened, ‘I’ won’t feel ‘bitter’ or ‘hurt’ or ‘angry’. It is the continuous remembering what had happened that the mind recognizes as ‘unpleasant’ or ‘hurtful’ that causes the ego, or ‘I’, to continue to feel ‘disturbed’, and continuously react with ‘bitterness’, ‘hurt’ and ‘anger’.

All the past reactions of pleasant and unpleasant feelings and emotions towards all kinds of pleasant and unpleasant sensations arising and passing away that has been storing in the subconscious mind might come up to the surface of the mind without remembrance/recollection of when and how did these feelings and emotions exist in the first place, the mind can be trained to just observe and be aware of them without attachment or identification, without reaction of craving or aversion, and allowing them to pass away. This is what deep mind purification is about.

Yoga practice is to purify and quiet the mind, to allow the mind to be open, unconditioned by any conditional worldly thinking and belief, to allow the mind to see the truth of names and forms as it is, to be free from ignorance and egoism and all kinds of impurities that lead to restlessness or peacelessness and suffering.

The realization of unconditional peace of selflessness is beyond the different states of the mind. Different states of the mind conditioned by cause and effect are being projected in the mind and all states of the mind are impermanent, and it is not ‘I’. The mind projects restlessness. It is not ‘I’ am restless. The mind projects dullness. It is not ‘I’ am dull. The mind projects calmness. It is not ‘I’ am calm. The mind projects peacefulness. It is not ‘I’ am peaceful. The mind projects kindness. It is not ‘I’ am kind. The mind projects evilness. It is not ‘I’ am evil.

The mind is just what it is. It is neither good nor bad. It is neither perfect nor imperfect. It is neither pure nor impure. It is neither positive nor negative. It is neither wise nor unwise. Out of ignorance, the idea of ‘I’, ‘my’ and ‘mine’, and all kinds of ignorant thinking, attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion arise in the mind that leads to the countless births and deaths of different states of the mind with all kinds of actions and reactions and the result/consequences/fruit of actions and reactions.

The big picture of the yoga and meditation practice is about purifying the mind to free the mind from the pollution of conditional worldly thinking and belief, which is the product of ignorance and egoism, as well as the fuel that feeds ignorance and egoism. And all these worldly thinking and belief about what is a meaningful life, how people should think and behave, act and react, and what people should believe in, are manipulated by many impure selfish minds. If the mind is under the influence of ignorance and egoism, it is easily be manipulated and influenced by what they perceive through the senses of seeing, reading, hearing, smelling, touching and thinking, that are not necessarily the truth of what things are. No matter how intelligent that the mind thinks it is, it still can be manipulated and influenced by worldly conditional thinking and belief, without knowing that it has already been manipulated or influenced by them.

Yoga and meditation practice is to free the mind that has been conditioning by all these worldly thinking and belief. And thus, there is a very important part of the yoga and meditation practice that is being ignored or criticized by many worldly people, including those who think they love yoga and practice yoga, which is the practice of SILENCE, to be in solitude and seclusion for a sustained period of time (at least 5-6 years), to move away from the society, stop mixing with worldly people, stop engaging in worldly interactions and conversations, stop reading newspapers, novels and magazines, stop watching TV programs, advertisements and movies, stop all kinds of worldly contact and communication. It doesn’t matter whether the mind thinks these ‘inputs’ of the mind are true, or not true. By allowing the mind to be in silence and cleared out of all the worldly thinking and belief, be free from conditional judgment and expectation based on the worldly thinking and belief, the mind will be able to see the truth of things as it is. This sounds extreme or horrible for many people, but it is the most effective way to free the mind from being manipulated or influenced by ceaseless ‘inputs’ that are not the truth of what things are. Only those who are determined and are fearless to let go all the worldly thinking and belief as well as worldly identity with qualities of names and forms can truly practice yoga and meditation. Or else, everyone is just doing some forms of different styles and brands of ‘yoga exercises’ to feel good and look good.

There are many different practices exist to help in the purification of the mind, and to quiet the restless mind. The process of the mind purification and quieting the restless mind via intense disciplines and restrictions (mainly of renunciation from worldly ideas, affairs and activities) can be very unpleasant and prolonged. And hence, the qualities or the abilities of non-attachment, non-identification, non-expectation, desireless, self-introspection, self-discipline, self-control, self-reliance, faith, determination, perseverance, acceptance, tolerance, forbearance, adjustment, adaptation and accommodation play an important role to allow the peace seekers to keep practicing/purifying the mind disregards all kinds of obstacles and difficulties, until the mind is completely be free from ignorance and egoism, and realize selflessness and compassion, and unconditional peace.

The realization of yoga, or unconditional peace, is not possible if the peace seekers are reluctant to let go conditional worldly thinking and beliefs, and all kinds of worldly and personal identifications. The mind is not opened to just seeing everything as it is, but it’s closed or limited by conditional worldly thinking and belief that influence how the mind perceives/understands everything. Whenever there’s judgment and expectation from the mind towards everything that it perceives through the senses of what it sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches and thinks, it is based on what the mind thinks and believes what things are and how everything should be. And the ego or the false identification of ‘I’ generates craving and aversion based on the likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements of the egoism towards all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, ceaselessly and restlessly. There’s no peace.

The realization of yoga, or unconditional peace, is nothing to do with what are the physical conditions, abilities and limitations, the thinking and belief, the intelligence, the talents, the skills of doing something, the creativity, the personality, the good and bad life experiences, the happy and unhappy feelings and emotions, whether one believes or disbelieves in God, religion or spirituality, and how much knowledge the mind knows or doesn’t know about this and that in this worldly life existence about humanity, spirituality, culture, religion, arts, music, fitness, health, technology, engineering, science, geology, history, mathematics, chemistry, physiology, biology, anatomy, psychology, and etc.

It is nothing to do with whether the mind thinks the world is a good or bad place, whether there are good things or bad things happening in the world, whether the world is full of happiness or unhappiness.

It is nothing to do with how much information about yoga, the teachings of yoga and the practice of yoga that people have been accumulating from reading, watching, hearing and ‘doing’.

People like to know/ask what type of yoga or yoga practice and their benefits, or how much and how long one has been ‘doing’ yoga, but all these doesn’t correlate with the realization of yoga or the liberation from suffering. One can be trying hard to clean up a dirty floor, but in the process of cleaning the floor, one can be creating more dirt onto the floor at the same time. One thinks that “Oh, I cleaned the floor already. The floor should be clean now after my effort of cleaning the floor.” but doesn’t aware that the floor is still dirty. The action of cleaning the floor doesn’t correlate with the cleanliness of the floor.

Be free.

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It’s not necessarily that one has to practice yoga to realize unconditional peace and love

The ability to let go of undesirable unhappy/painful experiences or to observe unpleasant feelings and thoughts without attachment and identification, or to be undisturbed and undetermined by all the perceptions of names and forms, is nothing to do with whether one practices yoga, or not.

It’s not necessarily that one has to be practicing yoga to be free from ignorance and egoism, and realize unconditional peace and love.

There are people who practice yoga, but they are not peaceful, because they are not free from ignorance and egoism. There are people who don’t practice yoga, but they are peaceful and compassionate, as they are free from ignorance and egoism. And it doesn’t matter whether people think they practice or don’t practice yoga, it’s the same when people realize peace and compassion when the mind is free from ignorance and egoism.

The peacefulness or calmness that derived from the effect of yoga asana, pranayama and concentration practice, is conditional and subject to impermanence.

Meanwhile, the unconditional peace and love is nothing to do with whether one is practicing yoga asana, pranayama and concentration practice, or not. It is always there, never increases nor decreases. It is not a quality that derives from yoga asana, pranayama and concentration practice. It doesn’t belong to those who practice yoga and it exists in all and everyone disregards one practices yoga, or not. Though the yoga practice serves as a tool to purify and quiet the mind to allow the mind to realize this unconditional peace and love that is always there, but not everyone who perform yoga practice can go beyond the mind perception of conditional qualities of names and forms due to deep rooted ignorance and egoism of attachment, identification, craving and aversion.

One can be free and realize unconditional peace and love whether one practices yoga, or not.

There’s nothing to be boast or proud about if one is practicing yoga or one has achieved particular results or benefits from performing the yoga practice. Boasting and pride is part of the characteristics of the ego.

Be free.

The practice of unconditional forgiveness and letting go – The essential practice to attain peace…

Real forgiveness is unconditional. When something happened and we felt hurt, angry and unhappy, but we don’t want to be unhappy, and want to be free from anger and being hurt, we need to be able to forgive and let go… In unconditional forgiveness, we do not expect other people to be sincere to ask for forgiveness from us, or be regretful for what they had did, but, we forgive everyone including ourselves for being imperfect, and let go of any anger and hatred that arised and accumulated due to we cannot forgive and let go of what had happened…

Practicing unconditional forgiveness or to forgive and let go unconditionally, is initially about being kind to ourselves, and then it’s about being compassionate towards other beings who had intentionally or unintentionally inflicted the anger, pain or unhappiness in us.

Usually when someone intentionally inflicts unhappiness or generates tensions onto somebody else, it is because he or she is very unhappy and is suffering from anger, hatred and dissatisfaction. We should be compassionate towards them, show them peace and loving kindness, share love and happiness with them, and not being angry with them.

If somebody unintentionally inflicts unhappiness or generates tensions onto somebody else, then why do we still want to be angry and unhappy about it, since it is just an intention-less act comes from beings without the awareness that their action might cause somebody else discomforts… We should be compassionate towards them and show them peace and loving kindness, share love and happiness with them, and not being angry with them as well.

And so, whether anybody had intentionally or unintentionally inflicted any unhappiness or tensions onto somebody else, we should be compassionate towards them, and show them peace and loving kindness to ease their painful suffering that had caused them doing such ignorant action, and not being angry and hating towards anybody at all…

If we are being angry and unhappy about somebody or some undesirable happenings, we are the first one who is getting hurt and will bring harmful effects into our body and the mind. And if we extend this anger or unhappiness onto some other people, we will be hurting other people too. If we don’t know how to forgive and let go, we are actually hurting our own self, and bringing painful suffering to ourselves and others as well.

If we can forgive other people’s imperfections and wrong doings, we actually prevent ourselves and other people from getting further harms into the body and the mind. But first of all, we need to be able to forgive ourselves for our own imperfections and mistakes, then only we can forgive other people’s imperfections and mistakes.

In order to be able to forgive ourselves for being imperfect and accept ourselves as we are, we need to know how to accept ourselves as we are for what we can do and cannot do; for what we had did and haven’t done yet; be able to let go of the past instantly without any judgments, comparisons, criticisms and expectations. We also need to know how to not attach to all the names and forms, and know what is renounce from the fruit of our actions; not identify with the thoughts, feelings and sensations; know how to observe all the thoughts, feelings and sensations without associate with them or react to them, and let them go. We need to be able to accept ourselves as we are, without judgment and expectation, then only we can accept other people as they are, without judgment and expectation… Not expecting other people will be the way that we want them to be.

In order to be able to accept ourselves as we are and accept other people as they are, we need to know how to accept everything in the world as it is; not trying to interfere with the law of nature; not trying to control anything to be the way that we want them to be. At the same time, we also need to allow both “good” and “not good” things to be exist in this same space of the universe. We don’t possess the universe. Everyone and everything has the rights to be exist in this space of the universe just like ourselves being here.

And to start with, we practice observing the natural breath. Just be aware of the natural breath. Be aware of the air coming in and going out from the nostrils during the inhalation and exhalation. Accept the breath as it is. Not trying to interfere, or to control, or to change the pattern or the rhythm of the breath. Let go of any judgments, comparisons and expectations towards the breath and the result of observing the breath.

After inhalation, we have to exhale. After exhalation, we need to inhale. If we try to just inhale and not exhale, we will be in suffering. If we try to just exhale and not inhale, we will be in suffering too. If we try to not inhale nor exhale, we will be in great suffering. What we can do is, allow the breath to be what it is, allowing the inhalation to happen and allowing the exhalation to happen naturally. This is the law of impermanence. Having birth, we need to allow growth, old age, decaying, illness and death to happen, and accept all the different changes in our body and in the mind as it is, from moment to moment. Sometimes we feel good, sometimes we feel bad. Sometimes we have negative thoughts, sometimes we have positive thoughts. Sometimes we experience comfortable sensations, sometimes we experience uncomfortable sensations. Sometimes we act and speak selfishly, but sometimes we act and speak unselfishly. Sometimes we are wise and clear minded, but sometimes we are ignorant and confused in the mind.

Know that we are not the body, we are not the mind. We do not identify with them, and not generate reaction towards what the mind and body is experiencing from moment to moment, nor associate with them. We stand as a witness towards all the changes that is happening in our body and in the mind. We let all these phenomena manifest themselves; stay for a while; they will change and disappear – unceasingly arising and passing away. And then we extend this practice of being an observer, observing all the happenings out there in the world. Everything happens for a reason. If there is no such cause, there will be no such effect. If there is such effect, it is because there is such cause. We all are responsible for all the happenings in our lives and in the world.

Once we understand this, and are able to accept everything as it is, then we can accept ourselves as we are and accept other people as they are without any strong attachment towards all the conflicts and unhappiness that is happening among us and other people, or in any relationships. We are able to forgive and let go. The past is already gone, we can’t go back to the past to change or undo what had happened. Let them be and let them go. The future has not arrived yet, it doesn’t exist in the reality of this present moment. The present moment now is constantly changing from moment to moment.

If earlier I felt very bad, it doesn’t mean that I will continue to feel bad forever. If I was very angry earlier, it doesn’t mean that I will be angry forever. Either I will become more angry or less angry, and sooner or later this feeling of anger will disappear. Especially if we divert our attention onto something else. We can try and experience the truth of impermanence. Try to stay sad and angry for a long time. It will be so tiring and the intensity will becoming less and less. It doesn’t stay constantly the same unchanged. It’s the same for any happy feelings and excitement. They all don’t last long, and will change and disappear. Even the state of calmness is impermanent. If we know how to transcend these three states of the mind (agitation, depression and calmness), we will be free and be at peace all the time.

If we know the truth of impermanence, and able to accept the law of impermanence as it is, we will not have any attachment towards any names and forms, including both happy and unhappy events. We also won’t have any judgments, comparisons, criticisms and expectations towards ourselves and other people.

Once we let go of judgments and expectations towards ourselves and other people, we will be free from anger, irritation, frustration, dissatisfaction and disappointment. And thus we don’t even need to forgive anybody for any unhappy events, or against-our-wish happenings. If we know how to accept the reality of everything as it is, we don’t need to forgive anyone or anything. Because there is nothing there that we need to forgive or need to be letting go. It is only when we cannot accept the truth of thing as it is, because it is not the way that we want it to be, we will be angry, upset, dissatisfied and unhappy.

But if we still be disturbed, affected and determined by all the qualities of names and forms, and still have anger, unhappiness, disappointment and getting upset about someone or something, then we need to cultivate forgiveness to heal ourselves, to be kind to ourselves, and be compassionate towards all beings including those who had inflicted pain and suffering onto us, intentionally or unintentionally…

What is the meaning of being so upset or unhappy about some other people doing something wrong and bad, and make ourselves be in misery due to other people’s ignorance? We don’t have to. Let other people’s wrong doings and ignorance be with their respective owner, and not carry other people’s unhappiness and ignorance into our hearts. Be happy and let go. Life is too precious to waste our time and energy in conflicts, unhappiness, anger and hatred.

Whether other people sincerely ask for our forgiveness or not, we should forgive all and everything that had hurt us intentionally or unintentionally. This is actually being kind and compassionate towards ourselves and other beings. Wish all beings (including ourselves) be free from anger, hatred and guilt, and be at peace…

If we cannot forgive and cannot let go, we will never be in peace… Why do we want to hurt ourselves by being unforgiving and refuse to let go? Free ourselves from anger and hatred is true liberation… Whether other people want to forgive us for our imperfections, and free themselves from anger and hatred or not, even after we asked for forgiveness from them sincerely, that is their own freedom and choices, if they want to continue to be angry and unhappy, and don’t want to forgive and let go… We should respect their freedom to be angry and unhappy, and allow them to be angry and unhappy. We don’t have to feel unhappy and guilty if other people cannot forgive us and cannot let go of their anger and hatred towards us… Let them be what they want to be… When we ourselves are free from anger and hatred, then only we can share love and peace with other people…

If we ourselves cannot forgive and let go, how can we expect other people to forgive and let go? And if we can forgive and let go, then we won’t be bother about what other people did and didn’t do, and whether other people can forgive and let go or not. We can’t be angry with other people who are angry with us for what we have done and cannot forgive us… They have the rights to be angry and unforgiving, and be unhappy and not peaceful… It is their own responsibility to cultivate compassion and be compassionate towards themselves, and practice compassion towards other people, and to forgive and let go, and be in peace…

It is our own responsibility to be compassionate towards ourselves and other beings, to forgive and let go, and be in peace…

Be happy.