Teach the children to accept and love themselves as they are

If we want to help to build a more peaceful and compassionate society, it’s very important to have young generations that are selfless, peaceful, wise and compassionate, and hence, how the parents or caretakers and the influence of the surrounding environment for the children growing up to be adults/leaders that are endowed with awareness, self-discipline, self-control, independence, truthfulness, honesty, peace, wisdom and compassion is very crucial.

We need to teach the children how to accept and love themselves as they are, to develop awareness, independence, self-discipline and self-control, to inquire the truth of everything, to realize the truth of impermanence and selflessness, to be free from craving and aversion, to have unconditional peace and compassion, so that they don’t need to depend on the qualities of names and forms that are impermanent to be who they are. They don’t need to depend on receiving other people’s love, kindness, acknowledgement, compliments, supports, friendships, relationships and companionship, or depending on a wishful desirable perfect world, to be who they are, to be proud, to be confident, to feel meaningful, to be happy, and to perform actions that are wholesome to themselves and others, out of free-will, out of compassion towards oneself and others, without attachment or identification towards the actions and the result of the actions to be who they are.

They know what are their ability and limitation. They are not defined by their ability and limitation to be who they are. They do their best to achieve what they want to achieve, but they have no attachment or identification towards the ability or limitation, the achievement or non-achievement. They allow other people to think, to judge, to compare, to expect, to like and dislike, to agree and disagree with towards their ability and limitation, but they are not affected or defined by other people’s thinking, judgment, comparison, expectation, likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements.

Being free from pride and arrogance, they know how to take consideration towards other people’s advice, but without taking other people’s advice blindly, and they know how to make use of the opportunity that is available to make decision and perform actions that they think are the best, without attachment or expectation towards the outcome of the decision made and the actions performed.

They can work in a group, cooperating with all levels and respecting all levels as equally important, without the sense of superiority or inferiority, knowing that the entire system requires every levels to work together for it to be functioning, but at the same time, they can work independently as well, when cooperation from others is not available.

The society will naturally have more peace and harmony by having less personal, family, relationship, social, political and religious problems if the children grow up to be adults/leaders in the society who are endowed with peace, wisdom and compassion, being free from ignorance, egoism and impurities.

Unfortunately, most people who became parents are not free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, and are being conditioned and influenced by worldly, cultural, social and religious thinking and belief to live their life and how they bring up their children. Many children grow up to be adults/leaders living in the society with some sorts of psychological issues and behavior problems, full of discrimination, pride, arrogance, dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hatred, greed, jealousy, selfishness, aggression, violence, corruption, untruthfulness, dishonesty, offensiveness, defensiveness, animosity, depression, low self-esteem, hurts, regret, guilt, fear and worry. And then, when they try to runaway from or cover up what they think is not good or bad or negative or imperfect about themselves, that they don’t like about themselves, that they don’t want any others to know about it, they might create further and deeper problems for themselves and others, in their life and relationships, and in the society.

This is due to many parenting are influenced by the worldly, cultural, social and religious thinking and belief that emphasizing on empowering the ego of the children to boost their self-esteem or self-confidence or self-image by giving them praise and compliment and rewards to motivate and encourage them to be what the parents expect them to be and by giving them criticism and threat and punishment to discourage them to be what the parents don’t want them to be, telling them that they need to do well and be good but also always be better and better, so that they can please other people, to attain praise and compliment, love, support, approval, agreement, acknowledgement and friendship or relationship from others to be who they are.

Whether they are aware of unaware of it, many parents bring up their children by emphasizing on the empowerment of the worldly egoistic nature with great attachment and identification towards the qualities of names and forms, to be somebody that the children and their parents and other people would be proud of. This empowerment of egoism generates separateness and discrimination, that give rise to many personal, family, relationship and social problems in one’s life and in the society.

If children start early to develop correct understanding towards the thinking and behavior pattern, actions and reactions, craving and aversion, feelings and emotions, all sorts of mind activities and impurities, the ego and egoism, and train to eradicate egoistic thinking and behavior that give rise to restlessness and the impurities of dissatisfaction, disappointment, greed, anger, hatred, jealousy, corruption, untruthfulness, dishonesty, violence, animosity, offensiveness, defensiveness, hurts, regret, guilt, fear and worry, they can be kind and compassionate towards other beings, but without expecting or craving for love and kindness and appreciation from other people in return, without clinging onto other people’s love and kindness and appreciation to be who they are.

Children growing up suffering from low self-esteem is because of the parents make them think and believe that they have to be in certain ways and achieve certain qualities, in order to be accepted and be loved by their parents and other people. They were told that they don’t deserve love and they shouldn’t love themselves if they are not good enough, that they shouldn’t accept themselves as they are, as they need to be better and better, and never stop being better. There will never a point that they are good enough so that they can accept and love themselves, as they are. Because the parents are so afraid that their children will stop improving themselves if they think they are good enough. And so, the parents make sure that their children never think that they are good enough.

When these children couldn’t be in certain ways or achieve certain qualities, their parents will show dissatisfaction, disappointment and aggressiveness towards them, and this make them think and believe that they are not good enough, that they don’t deserve acceptance and love from their parents and other people, or even from themselves. They don’t know how to love themselves and they also don’t know how to accept or love other people as they are, as they will also be like their parents, that they will also have expectation towards other people to meet up with their expectation towards other people, that they have to be in certain ways and achieve certain qualities, to be good enough, but they will never be good enough, as they need to be better and better.

If the children grow up knowing how to accept and love themselves as they are, unconditionally, they will always accept and love themselves as they are, regardless they are being in the way that their parents or other people expect them to be, or not, and whether they achieve the qualities that their parents and other people expect them to achieve, or not. And they will also know how to accept and love other people as they are, without expecting other people have to be the way that they think they should be, or to achieve certain qualities that they like and agree with.

It’s not easy to guide children. Parents or caretakers who devote their time, effort, patience, love and acceptance towards the children unconditionally, is a great yoga practice. They don’t need to be regularly doing some forms of yoga exercise, or breathing exercise, or chanting and prayer, or ritual, or to call themselves yoga practitioners or yogis, but by nurturing young children to grow up becoming responsible, peaceful and compassionate members of the family and the society, without egoism of attachment, identification and expectation, just do their best, and let go of the outcome, allowing the children to learn and evolve as they are, and love them as they are, unconditionally, is a great yoga practice and great contribution to humanity.

Be free.

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When the mind is greatly disturbed by the inputs from social medias

Compassion is reflected in an equanimous mind that remains undisturbed under any difficult or challenging conditions and situations.

If the mind is greatly disturbed by the inputs from social medias, may it be worldly issues or regional issues or personal issues, then out of compassion towards oneself and others, it’s better for the mind to stay away from social medias for some time. Be kind to this mind and take care of this mind.

Losing the balanced state of the mind doesn’t help the world that one loves and cares very much to be better or to be free from suffering, no matter how intense that one loves and cares towards other beings or the world. It’s everyone’s freedom for how they feel and what they want to do. Those who practice yoga is to maintain equanimous and undisturbed under any condition and situation, that allows the mind to be compassionate and have the clarity to perform necessary actions out of wisdom.

One doesn’t need to react with great disturbance of anger, hatred, disappointment, distress, depression, ill-thinking and ill-will, to show that one cares a lot for the world or sympathizes towards other people’s suffering. The disturbed reactions of the mind towards something that the mind dislikes and disagrees with is nothing to do with compassion.

Being compassionate towards oneself and others, is reflected in a peaceful mind, where there is awareness of the inputs or the knowledge of names and forms, and there might be action need to be performed to deal with difficult condition or situation, but there’s no disturbed reaction of impurities arise in the mind towards something that the intellect recognizes as ‘bad’, ‘horrible’, ‘terrible’, ‘negative’, ‘wrong’, ‘depressing’ or ‘sorrowful’.

When the mind doesn’t react with anger, hatred, disappointment, distress, depression, grief, or sorrow, it doesn’t mean that this mind is unconcerned or cruel or discompassionate. The mind can be compassionate and sympathize towards the suffering of oneself and others, but it doesn’t has to be reflected with impurities of anger, hatred, disappointment, distress, depression, grief, or sorrow. There’s nothing wrong with the reflection of anger, hatred, disappointment, distress, depression, grief, or sorrow in the mind towards something that the intellect recognizes as ‘bad’, ‘horrible’, ‘terrible’, ‘negative’, ‘wrong’, ‘depressing’ or ‘sorrowful’, but it has nothing to do with compassion.

Impurities are the product of ignorance and egoism. When the mind is under the influence of ignorance and egoism, this mind is unable to be compassionate, even though it might show sympathy and empathy towards the suffering in oneself and others, while being disturbed by the unpleasant difficult condition and situation.

To realize the distinct between compassion (that is undisturbed by the object of suffering) and passionate sympathy/empathy (that is physically, mentally, emotionally be disturbed by the object of suffering), is the yoga practice.

Many people who attached onto worldly thinking and belief might interpret this undisturbed state of mind as unsympathetic or unempathetic, as they think and believe human beings should react with anger, hatred, disappointment, distress, depression, grief, or sorrow towards something that they think is ‘bad’, ‘horrible’, ‘terrible’, ‘negative’, ‘wrong’, ‘depressing’ or ‘sorrowful’, otherwise, it’s abnormal, uncivilized, insane, inhuman or wrong, if people don’t react in such way. And that’s okay. It’s everyone’s freedom for what they think and how they want to feel and react towards everything that they perceive.

Those who know, they know. Those who don’t know, they don’t know. Can’t do anything about it

Passionate mind and dispassionate mind

There’s nothing wrong with passionate mind or dispassionate mind. They just have different prospect and interest towards life existence, and how they live and act in the world.

Both minds can also be endowed with kindness and generosity and good will, to be good, to do good and to hope for the best for the world. Though the meanings of what is best for the world and the way of achieving what is best for the world can be very different for the passionate minds and the dispassionate minds.

In terms of Satsanga as one of the important elements for the yoga practitioners to progress in the path of yoga, especially those who haven’t develop a strong foundation of non-attachment and they are easily be affected or influenced by other people’s thinking, belief and behavior, and they attached onto their actions that are being performed out of good intention and they are affected or determined by the outcome of their actions very much, then they need the company of the dispassionate (less conflicts), and avoid the company of the passionate (more conflicts). Satsanga doesn’t matter for those who had developed strong non-attachment, who are not affected or influenced by other people’s thinking, belief and behavior, who don’t attach onto their action and are not affected or determined by the outcome of the action, there’s no difference between the company of the passionate or the dispassionate for them, but for the sake of conserving energy to not wasting energy into unnecessary issues created by the passionate minds, the yoga practitioners should also avoid the company of the passionate.

Those who are passionate are not bad people. They can be very good people who believe in goodness and righteousness and maintaining the order of the society or the environment. They can be doing many good actions in the world that they think are the best for the world. Just that the passion or intense love towards what they love, what they believe in, or what they think how the world should be like and how people should think and behave (act and react), could generate unnecessary disturbance or disharmony in themselves, and create disturbance and disharmony for others.

Passionate mind will feel hurt, frustrated, irritated, disappointed, distressed, depressed and angry, when things are not the way that it thinks they should be, or the way that it wants them to be, and under the influence of impurities, it will generate hurtful or violent action and speech to project the disturbed state of mind. There’s attachment towards the action being performed, and there’s expectation towards the fruit of action has to be the way that it thinks it should be. This is a mind that changes according to whether the experiences are something that it likes and wants, or something that it doesn’t like and doesn’t want. This mind projects kind qualities when it is happy and satisfied, when things are the way that it likes them to be, but it projects unkind qualities when it is upset and dissatisfied when things are not the way that it likes them to be. At one moment, it can be very kind and friendly, and in another moment, it can be very unkind and hostile.

Dispassionate mind won’t feel hurt, frustrated, irritated, disappointed, distressed, depressed or angry, when things are not the way that it thinks they should be, or the way that it would prefer them to be, and won’t generate hurtful or violent action and speech as the mind is free from disturb, ill-thinking or ill-will. This mind projects kind qualities disregard whether things are the way that it likes them to be, or not. Even when things are not the way that it would like them to be, this mind is still kind and compassionate. It doesn’t have ill-thinking or ill-will to hurt those who are different from them, who dislike or disagree with them, and who against them or hurt them.

There might be necessary action being performed, to bring awareness to others who are under the influence of ignorance, but there’s no attachment or expectation towards the action and the fruit of action. If others are getting offended and upset for being ‘lectured’ by other people and they continue to be ignorant, let them be. None can change another being, or remove the ignorance in others. None can change the world to be the way that one thinks it should be.

Yoga teachings doesn’t discriminate good or bad people. But it points out the distinction between passionate minds and dispassionate minds on the path of yoga towards peace and harmony in the society or in the world. Even good people who have good intention to perform good action might be under the influence of passion. These minds are not free. Yoga practice is to free the mind from passion, to be dispassionate, while living in the world, do one best performing necessary actions for the sake of peace and harmony in oneself and in the world, and let it go.

Be free.

Allowing the mind to see the truth as it is

Disregards what are the different qualities of names and forms that we think and believe and identify as ‘I’, or THIS is who I am, even when we think we are bad or not good enough or we think other people are bad or not good enough, all minds can be free from ignorance and suffering, and realize unconditional peace and love. We just need to know how to allow the mind to see the truth of all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses as it is, be free from ignorance, and thus be free from suffering that arise due to ignorance.

Open mind is when the mind is uninfluenced by or unattached onto any particular thinking and belief and egoistic likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, being free from judgment and expectation, to just see the truth of names and forms as it is.

Minds that attached/identified strongly onto certain cultural, social, spiritual, religious or superstitious thinking and belief, it’s not easy for them to see the truth as it is, unless they willingly to let go attachment and identification, and be opened. These minds recognize, analyze, judge, and generate likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements onto all the names and forms that the minds perceive through the senses of what they see, hear, smell, taste, touch/feel and think, and expect all the names and forms to be the way that they think it should be, based on the thinking and belief about what is good and bad, right and wrong, should and shouldn’t, positive and negative, happiness and unhappiness, appropriateness and disappropriateness, meaningfulness and meaninglessness, and so on.

The mind that is opened, it stands as a witness towards all the names and forms as they are, respects everything as they are. Just like the sun, the wind, the water, the earth and the space, they have no egoism of attachment, identification, craving, aversion, pride, superiority, separateness, judgement, discrimination, intention, or expectation. Just like all the cells, internal organs, sense organs and life supporting systems, they have no egoism and ceaselessly performing action to support this body and mind, until they ceased functioning.

The mind that is under the influence of the ego doesn’t want to let go all the perceived names and forms, but it determines to interfere with everything that it perceives through the senses, applies judgment of good and bad, positive and negative, right and wrong, enjoyment and suffering, and generates craving and aversion towards all these names and forms, and desires to possess names and forms that it likes, and desires to destroy or get rid of names and forms that it doesn’t like. If it doesn’t get what it desires, if it gets what it doesn’t desire, it gets dissatisfied, disappointed, annoyed, furious, unhappy, angry, hating, and violent.

The egoistic mind thinks and believes that “(I) am more superior and important than other beings, and (I) deserve and have the rights to do and say what (I) like to do and say, but (I) don’t allow other beings who are different from (I), to do and say what they like to do and say, which (I) don’t like and don’t agree with. (I) am right and good. You are different from me. You are wrong and bad. (I) deserve to live and be here. You don’t deserve to live and be here. (I) can do what I want to do. You cannot do what you want to do. Just because (I) am more superior and important and deserving than you.”

Even the richest person, or the most beautiful person, or the most intelligent knowledgeable person, or the most powerful influential person, or the most healthy illness-free person, or the most religious person, or the most compassionate and wise person, or the oldest person in the world will also have to go through changes, decay, weakness, aging and death, just like everyone else. What is superiority, pride and arrogance? It’s merely the ignorant and selfish ego.

Some people have fear towards ‘open mind’, as they have been told or informed by ‘somebody’ that open mind is something ‘evil’ and ‘wrong’, that their souls might somehow ‘float away’ and don’t know how to ‘come back’ into the mind or the body, and that they might be inviting or allowing ‘evil spirits’ to come into the mind and take over the mind.

Those who have the greatest fear towards open mind are not the people who were being told to be fear of open mind, but they are those who try to induce or provoke fear in the people towards open mind, as they can no longer be able to ‘control’ or ‘influence’ these people to ‘manipulate’ them, in order to achieve their own selfish desires and personal agenda. It’s because once people allow their minds to be opened and see the truth as it is, being free from ignorance, they won’t be influenced or manipulated by anyone or anything.

The people who have selfish desires and personal ambitions make use of the ignorance, egoism, feelings and emotions in other people to manipulate them to ‘involuntarily’ helping them to achieve their selfish desires and personal ambitions, through provoking fear, or anger and hatred, or racism, or separateness, or intolerance, or violence, and etc, in the people’s mind to make people go against each other, to have fear towards each other, to cause unrest in the society, so that the people are too busy dealing with fear, anger and hatred, and won’t have time and energy and attention to be aware of what is really going on behind all these unrest, so that the people won’t unite together to hinder the selfish people from achieving their selfish desires and personal ambitions.

Some people might also ‘misinterpret’ open mind as to experience and try everything that they come in contact with, without any self-control or hesitation or responsibility, it doesn’t matter if these ideas, things and activities would be harming themselves and others, to prove to themselves and others that they are ‘cool’ and ‘fearless’ and ‘different’ and ‘special’, that they are ‘in-control’ of themselves, that they are not conformed to the ‘normal’ behavior of the society. What they don’t realize, is that they are already being ‘influenced’ or ‘controlled’ by the idea of want to be disobedient and want to be ‘cooler’ than others and ‘different’ from others. This is not what ‘open mind’ is about. This is not freedom.

Open mind is not about trying to be good or to be the opposite of good.

Either we think we want to be different and special, or we want to be all same and equal, we are not free. As long as there is clinging and craving towards something or idea that we like and agree with, and aversion towards some other thing and idea that we don’t like and don’t agree with, we are not free, even if we think and believe that our thinking and belief is the best, all good and perfect. Be free from anger and hatred towards something or someone that we think and believe as bad, wrong and evil. If we don’t like haters who hate us, don’t be one.

Allowing all the different names and forms to be what they are, as they are, without attachment or identification, craving or aversion towards all these names and forms, without trying to change the names and forms to be the way that we like it to be, or the way that we think it should be. Being undisturbed by all the different qualities of names and forms being perceived through the senses, and that is freedom.

Be free.

Wisdom vs intelligence and accumulated worldly knowledge

Wisdom reflects peace and freedom from suffering. Meanwhile intelligence and accumulated worldly knowledge in a person doesn’t necessarily guarantee that one will be peaceful or free from suffering.

One doesn’t need to know ‘the knowledge of how to build a house’ to have peace and be free from suffering. Knowing ‘the knowledge of how to build a house’ doesn’t guarantee that one will be peaceful and free from suffering. Though one can use ‘the knowledge of how to build a house’ to benefit oneself and others. Being a doctor with the knowledge of medicine and all kinds of illnesses, and using this knowledge to be doing something useful for one’s and others’ health condition also doesn’t guarantee that one will be peaceful and free from suffering. Being a psychologist with the knowledge of psychology and all kinds of psychological illnesses, and using this knowledge to benefit oneself and others also doesn’t guarantee that one will be peaceful and free from suffering.

Intelligence and accumulated worldly knowledge is neither good nor bad and it can be used for something good or bad, and it’s uncorrelated with peace and wisdom.

Wisdom is one with peace. They manifest in oneness.

When there’s peace, there’s wisdom. When there’s wisdom, there’s peace. And vice versa.

Whenever one finds ‘peace’ in any particular quality of name and form, or experience, or action and inaction, or the result of action and inaction, or object, or space, or place, or condition, or situation, then very soon this ‘peace’ will change and disappear.

It’s the same as compassion is uncorrelated with ‘love’ towards the world and the worldly names and forms.

People talk about ‘love the world’ and ‘love for peace in the world’. But without wisdom, this ‘love’ towards ‘love the world’ and ‘love for peace in the world’ is merely a form of attachment and affection (derived from ignorance and egoism) towards worldly names and forms that are impermanent. Out of ‘love’ towards the world and desiring ‘peace that we want’ in the world, people ‘desire’ to make the world to be the way that how we would love it to be, and would ‘destroy’ any ‘obstruction towards having the world to be the way that how we would love it to be’ at any cost. The by-products of this love towards ‘love for the world’ and ‘love for peace in the world’ is restlessness – a mixture of happiness/satisfaction/meaningfulness/peacefulness/victory (when the world and the worldly names and forms that one loves are the way that how one would love it to be) and unhappiness/dissatisfaction/meaninglessness/peacelessness/failure (when the world and the worldly names and forms that one loves are not the way that how one would love it to be).

Out of ‘love’ towards what we believe as ‘peacefulness’, ‘kindness’, ‘good’ and ‘right’, we ‘hate’ what we believe as ‘peacelessness’, ‘evilness’, ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’. ‘Hating’ what we believe as ‘peacelessness’, ‘evilness’, ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’ is nothing to do with compassion. Compassion is not about ‘accepting’, ‘allowing’ and ‘supporting’ what we believe as ‘peacelessness’, ‘evilness’, ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’ either. But, it’s freedom from the ‘suffering’ of ‘hatred’, ‘anger’, ‘dissatisfaction’, ‘disappointment’, ‘craving’, ‘aversion’, ‘hurt’, ‘regret’, ‘guilt’, ‘violence’, ‘ill-will’, ‘ill-thinking’, ‘animosity’, ‘offensiveness’, ‘defensiveness’, ‘obsessiveness’, ‘possessiveness’, ‘fear’ and ‘worry’, being undetermined or undisturbed by what we believe as ‘peacelessness’, ‘evilness’, ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’.

The wise abandon ‘love’ towards the world of worldly names and forms that are impermanent, but resting in unconditional peace of wisdom and compassion.

Be free.