Purifying, calming and quieting the restless mind efficiently

All the different forms of external yoga practice must be accompanied by the internal yoga practice of annihilating egoism of attachment, identification, craving, aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation, supported by the internal mental strength, flexibility and stamina of patience, perseverance, determination, tolerance, forbearance, acceptance, adjustment, adaptation and accommodation, as well as cultivating the essential tools for self-inquiry and self-realization, such as awareness, dispassion, desireless, renunciation, self-discipline, self-reliance, seclusion, solitude, care-free, fearlessness and equanimity, to be efficiently purifying, calming and quieting the impure egoistic restless mind, to prepare the mind for spontaneous meditation into Silence (complete annihilation of the mind/birthlessness and deathlessness/attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness/oneness or non-separateness).

Even if one’s physical body is unable to perform any external yoga practice, it doesn’t stop the mind from performing internal yoga practice to annihilate egoism, impurities and restlessness, and be free.

Without the internal yoga practice of annihilating egoism and impurities which is nothing to do with the impermanent and selfless physical and mental condition, ability and limitation, the mind will always be disturbed by the mind perception of names and forms of all kinds of pleasant and unpleasant, desirable and undesirable, agreeable and disagreeable life experiences, where there’s clinging and craving towards pleasant/desirable/agreeable experiences and aversion towards unpleasant/undesirable/disagreeable experiences, even after many years and huge amount of external yoga practice that one has been performing or many years of teaching yoga and meditation practice to many other people, and getting all the momentary effects and benefits from the regular external form of yoga practice.

The mind might be rendered calm and quiet momentarily during and after all those external yoga and meditation practice, but it doesn’t last long, as very soon, the mind would unwittingly slip back into restlessness due to the stubborn egoistic mind habits of chasing after the objects of the senses, worldly enjoyments and stimulation, passionate desires of worldly and/or spiritual aspirations and ambitions, worldly social interactions and activities, and the ceaseless impurities generated through countless actions and reactions towards the mind perceptions of names and forms due to egoism of attachment, identification, craving, aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation, where the mind is restless most of the time, even if the mind can attain certain degrees of relief from restlessness for a short period of time during deep sleep state, or during and after the different forms of external yoga practice.

By freeing the mind from egoism would allow the mind to be undetermined or undisturbed by the mind perception of names and forms, of quality and duality, or the good and bad/positive and negative/pleasant and unpleasant/desirable and undesirable life experiences, that allow the mind to be free from impurities and restlessness thoroughly.

And hence, the importance of the practice of silence for those who truly want to conquer the restless modification of the mind, to attain Silence.

After some time of practicing some kind of yoga and meditation practice regularly, one needs to perform self-introspection, “Is the mind still being determined or affected by the impermanent and selfless physical and mental condition, ability and limitation, as well as the worldly affairs, relationship, friendship, social activities and interactions, and worldly and/or spiritual achievements and acknowledgements to feel good, confident and meaningful, or not?” and “Is the mind still being determined by duality of good and bad/positive and negative/right and wrong/meaningfulness and meaninglessness/happiness and unhappiness, or all the mind perceptions of different qualities of names and forms, to feel good, positive, rightful, joyful and meaningful, or not?” or “Is the mind still being disturbed by what the mind thinks and believes as bad, wrong, negative, unhappiness and hurtful?” If the answer is yes, it means the mind is still not free, even if one has been performing yoga practice for a long time, or possessing many ‘yoga certifications’, and believing in ‘goodness’, ‘righteousness’ and ‘positiveness’.

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they want and don’t want to practice.

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Take good care of everything to appreciate everything, but without fear of losing anything

Non-attachment doesn’t mean that we don’t take good care of anything. We take good care of everything – life, the body and the mind, the environment, the house, the relationships, the family, the world, and etc, to appreciate everything that we think is good – good life, good condition, good health, good experiences, good feelings, good environment, good living area, good relationships, good family, good situation of the world, and etc, but without attachment towards everything and without fear of losing anything that we think is good.

When we perform the yoga poses, we pay maximum attention, be vigilant and take care while coming into the poses, while holding or staying in the poses and while coming out or releasing from the poses, in a relaxed manner, without tension of fear, craving, aversion, judgment, comparison, or expectation.

It’s about relaxing the body into the postures without forcing or struggling, and quieting the restless worldly egoistic judgmental and expectational mind that keeps judging its performance and expecting certain results from all its effort to perform certain actions. There is minimum risk of injury, even if one couldn’t execute the yoga poses in so called ‘correct or perfect alignment’ due to certain limitation, if one knows how to relax while performing the yoga asana practice, and respecting the impermanent condition, ability and limitation of the body as it is, without forcing or pushing the body to go beyond its limitation. The risk of injury will still be there, even if one knows how to perform all the yoga asana poses in so called ‘correct or perfect alignment’, if one performs the yoga asana practice under the influence of ignorance and egoism, full of tension of judgment, comparison and expectation, and doesn’t respect the condition, ability and limitation of the body as it is, by forcing or pushing the body to go beyond its limitation. The body and the mind is not able to be relaxed due to trying to comply to the standard of ‘correct or perfect alignment’.

It’s really not important whether the body can perform all or some or none of the yoga poses. One doesn’t need to be able to do any yoga poses at all to free the mind from ignorance and egoism and suffering. Being able to perform many of the yoga poses in ‘perfect alignment’ regularly for a long time also doesn’t guarantee that one is practicing yoga or is free from ignorance and egoism. The yoga asana practice is just one of the tools to help to influence the state of the mind, to balance the mind, to quiet the mind, to prepare the mind for meditation. If one doesn’t know how to let go of the ego and egoism, and is full of passionate desires of craving and aversion, then even if one has been doing yoga asana practice in ‘perfect alignment’ for many many years and attained all kinds of health and fitness benefits from the regular yoga asana practice, but the mind is not free from suffering being disturbed and determined by all the perceptions of qualities of names and forms.

In the process of performing the yoga poses, it’s mainly about letting go the ego and egoism of attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, judgement, comparison and expectation, to renounce the actions and the fruit of actions, to realize the truth of impermanence and selflessness of the life existence of the body and mind, to allow the restless mind to be free from restlessness, to be in silence. It’s nothing to do with how ‘good’ the body can do the yoga poses, or how many yoga poses the body can perform in ‘perfect alignment’, or not.

Perform all the yoga poses in a relaxed manner and accepting the body as it is, without forcing the body to go beyond its limitation, without judgment, comparison and expectation. There’s no need to think about how one should look or feel in the yoga poses because everyone has a different body and limitation, and everyone might look and feel differently while performing the same poses. And how we look and feel in the yoga poses is impermanent because the physical ability and limitation will change from moment to moment. We don’t have to look like other people, or the teacher. The body might feel strong, flexible, light and comfortable in one practice, and it might feel weak, stiffed, heavy and discomfortable in another practice performing the same poses or exercises.

It’s the same as in life, we are aware of the existence of certain risks, we pay maximum attention, be vigilant and take care while performing any tasks, in a relaxed manner, without tension of fear, craving, aversion, judgment, comparison, or expectation.

If there’s something we need to deal with in the present, we do our best to deal with it instantly in a relaxed manner, without fear. If we can’t or don’t know how to handle it, we let it be and take it as it is, without fear. There are things that we can do and there are things that we can’t do, and it’s okay. And what we can do or cannot do in the present, is impermanent.

Be free.

Root out the root cause of suffering – ignorance and egoism

No doubt that by doing some yoga asana and pranayama practice regularly can gives some momentary effects of calmness, relaxation, pleasant sensations, good feelings, and many health and fitness benefits to the practitioner, but, it doesn’t stop one’s mind from being influenced, or disturbed, or determined by all the perceptions of names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses based on what the ego likes and dislikes, agrees and disagrees with, wants and doesn’t want under the influence of a particular worldly egoistic thinking and belief, if one doesn’t work on the annihilation of ignorance by eliminating the ego and egoism of attachment, identification, and desire of craving and aversion.

The ego is the idea of ‘I’ exists as an individual being that identifies with and attaches onto particular worldly egoistic thinking and belief, culture, family brought up, education system, accumulated knowledge and life experiences, the actions and the result of actions, duties, responsibilities, achievements, contributions, family ties, friends and social circle, relationships, personality, interest and liking, social identity and image, personal identity and image, physical appearance, physical and mental condition and ability, gender, and so on, to be ‘I’.

Those who have strong attachment and identification with particular worldly thinking and belief and all kinds of qualities of names and forms might have been practicing yoga asana and pranayama practice for many years, but due to the worldly attachment and identification, they might still be influenced, be disturbed, and be determined by all the perception of names and forms, and feel dissatisfied, or disappointed, or offended, or hurt by the names and forms that the ego doesn’t like, doesn’t agree with and doesn’t want, if they didn’t work on eliminating the egoism (the fuel that feeds ignorance) and the annihilation of ignorance.

Attending yoga asana and pranayama classes for many years regularly doesn’t guarantee that one is free from being disturbed by the by-products of ignorance and egoism – the ceaseless reactions of impurities of dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hatred, jealousy, lust, pride, arrogance, offensiveness, defensiveness, feelings of hurt, guilt, regrets, fear and worry, and so on. The mind is restless, swaying between the calmness effect of the yoga asana and pranayama practice and the disturbance of the ceaseless egoistic reactions of impurities.

The ego also constantly looking for love, attention, affection, connection, companionship, sense of belonging, accomplishment, acceptance, respect, agreement, acknowledgment, approval, support, liking and compliment to feel ‘I’ exist, ‘I’ am somebody, ‘I’ am loved, ‘I’ am good, ‘I’ am right, ‘I’ am confident, ‘I’ am happy, ‘I’ am complete, or ‘I’ am meaningful. Root out this ego, one will be free and peaceful as one is.

If the mind is not free from ignorance and egoism, everyone will keep hurting oneself and others out of selfish desires and impurities, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Everyone is looking for ‘love’ and they frequently fall in love with something or someone, but then, out of ignorance and egoism, they keep hurting the thing or person that they think they ‘loved’ very much. It’s all about ‘me’, ‘my feelings’, ‘my happiness’, and what ‘I’ like and what ‘I’ want. When we don’t get what we like and want, and we are getting what we don’t like and don’t want, we will feel disappointed and dissatisfied, and we will hurt anything and everyone, including ourselves. There’s no love. Just possessiveness. To possess something or someone to make us feel good and meaningful about ourselves, to be existing. When our desires or wishes are not being gratified, we feel disturbed, dissatisfied, disappointed, hurt, angry and unhappy. We don’t love anything or anyone, not even ourselves.

One will only know what is love and how to love, when the mind is free from ignorance and egoism.

Yoga practice about the annihilation of ignorance and egoism to transcend suffering, is universal. It is beyond all the different qualities of names and forms.

It doesn’t matter whether we have a religious belief and practice and believe in God, or not. It doesn’t matter we eat vegetarian food or non-vegetarian food. It doesn’t matter we think we are good or bad. It doesn’t matter how long we have been practicing yoga and meditation. As long as the mind is functioning under the influence of ignorance and egoism, the mind will perceive suffering and has no peace. The mind will always be disturbed and determined by the qualities of names and forms (mind perceptions of everything and all kinds of life experiences) that the ego doesn’t like, doesn’t agree with and doesn’t want.

It’s everyone’s freedom whether they want to free the mind from ignorance and egoism, or not, or they just want to attain the momentary effects of calmness, relaxation, pleasant sensations, good feelings, and health and fitness benefits from doing the yoga asana and pranayama practice. There’s no right or wrong, no good or bad. It’s just what everyone wants to do with their life, their body and mind.

Be free.

The advantage of silent meditation in stillness immediately after the yoga asana practice

All the different yoga practices exist to allow the living beings that function under the limited and conditioned mind perception of names and forms to be free from ignorance and all its by-products of egoism, attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison, expectation, and impurities of lust, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurts, agitation, depression, defensiveness, offensiveness, possessiveness, frustration, irritation, fear, worry, sorrow, grief and restlessness. All these defilement are not separated from suffering.

Whether the beings will be liberated from suffering, or not, it’s up to the beings themselves whether they are determined to be free from suffering, and whether they are persistent to purify and quiet the mind to inquire into the truth of names and forms, to be free from ignorance and all the by-products of ignorance.

No doubt that the body and the mind will feel good after doing some forms of yoga practice (yoga asana, pranayama, chanting, kirtan, japa, concentration, relaxation, and etc) that serve the purpose of influencing the energy field or the states of the mind, mainly to balance and calming the restless mind, and to divert the mind away from worldly ideas, affairs and activities, to allow the mind to have a few moments of concentration and quietness. These precious few moments of the concentration and quietness of the mind is the best opportunity for further meditation in stillness.

The good feelings of the body and mind after doing some forms of yoga practice is impermanent and is not the goal of the yoga practice. People might mistake the concentration of the mind while doing some forms of physical movements and yoga poses as meditation. No doubt that concentration is the key that leads to meditation, but it is not meditation. In meditation, the mind goes beyond the body consciousness of pleasantness and unpleasantness. Time and space and causation doesn’t exist in meditation. There is no interaction with the world. That is beyond the mind is being in a state of concentration and being aware of pleasantness or unpleasantness while doing the yoga asana poses.

Yoga asana and pranayama practice serves the purpose of influencing the mind to render the mind calm and quiet and focus to prepare the mind for meditation, but in meditation practice, it doesn’t involve any actions to influence the mind, but it is to allow the mind to stand as a witness being aware of the reality and allowing the reality in the present moment to be what it is and allowing it to change as it is, without trying to interfere with the different states of the mind, without trying to change the reality into something different from what it is, without attachment, identification, judgment, expectation, craving and aversion. There’s not even an existence of ‘I’ to be identifying as “I am meditating.”

People are too busy with worldly life affairs and social activities. Many people devote some time to attend ‘yoga classes’ to do some yoga asana exercises, and their body and mind might feel good after that, but not many people would take the advantage or make use of the calmed and concentrated state of the mind derived from the yoga asana practice to meditate in stillness of thought, action and speech immediately after the yoga asana practice. People would give themselves reasonable excuse that there is something else that is more important that they need to attend or do immediately after the yoga class. Some said that “I like to meditate in motion while doing the yoga exercises or while being in the yoga asana poses, and meditation is not just limited to sitting quietly, and so, I don’t need to sit quietly for further meditation.”

It is true that meditation is not just about sitting quietly, it’s about the ability of being aware of the reality in the present moment, without being disturbed or determined by the reality, and going beyond the impermanent changes of the body and the function of the mind, going beyond all the perceptions of names and forms through the senses, without attachment, identification, craving and aversion, being free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, being free from fear and worry with the mind resting in its nature of unconditional peace, no matter the body is in motion or in stillness. But, what people don’t realize is that the main reason why they don’t want to sit quietly for meditation is because their restless minds don’t enjoy or don’t like to sit quietly without any physical movements and mental stimulation and interaction with the world of names and forms. The minds are impatience and will be in agitation or irritation for holding still and be quiet without any stimulation of inputs and outputs even just for a few moments. The minds are not free from aversion towards stillness and the unpleasantness that arise in the body and the mind from restricting the body and mind in stillness.

Even though people can attain some pleasant sensations or good feelings after the yoga practice especially the asana practice as they are getting a momentary relieve from stress or tension or soreness by stretching their body, improving blood circulation, energizing the entire system and relaxing the mind, but their minds might not be free from craving and aversion, which is the main part for the yoga practice, to free the mind from craving and aversion. This is also why there are people have been ‘practicing yoga’ for quite a long time, gaining all the benefits from doing the yoga asana practice, but they are not free from being disturbed by constant reaction of craving and aversion towards the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses.

The yoga studios or centres might not have the ‘time’ and ‘space’ to extend the duration of the yoga class to allow the students to have a meditation session immediately after the yoga class. Some classes don’t even have enough time for final relaxation, not to say reserve extra time for meditation.

If the yoga studios or centres understand the importance of meditation, and they don’t mind giving the extra time and space for meditation for at least another half an hour, and people could devote their precious time to just sit quietly after the yoga class, there will be a great difference in their mind of silencing the mind without any inputs and outputs. But, it’s everyone own choice for what they want to do with their minds and their life. If people are just contented with momentary good feelings from doing some forms of yoga practice, but not interested in further into meditation to allow the mind to be silent, being away from worldly ideas, affairs and activities, that is their freedom.

Some people might have particular ‘idea’ about meditation, either they see ‘meditation’ as a way to ‘attain’ superpower so that they can have all their wishes come true, or they see ‘meditation’ as something ‘evil’ that against their religion belief or might pull them away from their religion belief. In that case, don’t call it ‘meditation’, but it’s just ‘sitting quietly observing the natural breath’, without expecting the fruit of the action of ‘sitting quietly observing the breath’. One will self-realize what ‘meditation’ is about if one is free from expectation towards the fruit of the action of ‘sitting quietly observing the breath’ and allowing the breath to be what it is.

Some people might say that their minds are not quiet or calmed for meditation after the yoga asana practice. If the yoga asana practice doesn’t serve the purpose of calming and quieting the mind for meditation, but stimulating the mind not allowing the mind to be quiet and calmed, then that is not really yoga practice, but just a form of worldly physical and mental activity.

Be free.

Yoga teacher and the students on headstand practice

Headstand is the first basic pose in the traditional Hatha Yoga asana practice.

One doesn’t need to be super strong and flexible to perform headstand.

What allowing one to come into the headstand is both the body and mind is able to be relaxed when coming up into the headstand, while holding the headstand, and while coming down from the headstand, without tension, judgement, comparison and expectation.

What hinders people to come into the headstand and holding it, is fear. The fear of falling, fear of injury, fear of pain, fear of death and fear of the unknown.

Headstand is an effective asana to stimulate and purify the crown energy centre and rendering the mind calm and quiet for meditation, as well as giving many other physical and mental health benefits, if it is being performed with the correct understanding and technique, and without the interference of the egoism.

Although it is a great asana for many people, there are some people are not suitable to practice headstand due to certain physical limitations and health complications. People who don’t have those physical limitations like neck injuries and had performed heart surgery before, and don’t have health issues like serious high or low blood pressure, heart problems, eyes diseases, nose and ears infection, intense nose-blocked or headache, or have been advised by their doctor that they are not suitable to practice headstand for some reasons, but if they have great fear of performing the headstand (fear of falling and injuries), then they also are not suitable or ready to practice headstand yet, until they know how to deal with fear, and not being over-powered by fear. If they have great tension in the body and mind due to intense fear while learning to come into the headstand, it will only bring them more harms than benefits. Otherwise, anyone can practice headstand by learning how to come up into the headstand in a gentle and relaxed manner, and keep practicing until one can stay in the headstand for a prolonged period of time, comfortably. But one doesn’t need to be able to perform headstand in order to be peaceful and compassionate. It’s okay if people can’t perform headstand, or any of the yoga asana poses, due to certain physical restrictions.

Falling, whether during the yoga asana practice, or in life (whether physically, mentally or emotionally), is not something bad or negative. It’s neither good nor bad, neither positive nor negative. It’s part of the learning process to allow the mind to be more open and wise. When one learns how to perform the challenging asana poses under a calm and fearless mind, one would be able to remain calm and stress-free when performing any challenging tasks in life under any conditions and situations.

Just like when we learn how to stand up and walk when we were toddlers, falling was merely part of the learning process. But, we continued to learn how to stand up and walk, again and again, no matter how many times we fell. And gradually, we developed the stability and learned how to stand up and walk without falling.

As parents, they do their best to guide and assist the children until they are able to stand and walk by themselves, in their own pace, without being pushy, without judgment, comparison and expectation. This includes allowing them to fall during the learning process before they develop the stability. The children also continue to learn how to stand and walk, again and again, no matter how many times they fall. The parents allow the children to take responsibility for their action and the consequences of their action.

This is the same as when come to teaching, guiding and assisting the yoga students to come into the headstand.

The yoga teacher should have no fear to teach the headstand to the students, and without fear about allowing the students to learn how to fall in a relaxed manner, bringing the risk of physical injury to the minimum. And allowing the students to take responsibility for their action and the consequences of their action. The teacher must endowed with patience and compassion to guide the students coming into the headstand, in their own pace, without being pushy, without judgment, comparison and expectation. Meanwhile, the students should learn how to confront the fear and overcome it, while developing acceptance, adjustment, adaptation, accommodation, patience, perseverance, forbearance, non-attachment, non-identification, non-judgment, non-comparison, non-expectation, self-awareness, self-control, self-discipline and be free from craving and aversion, during the process of learning and performing the yoga asana poses.

Sometimes, some of the students see other people fall down from the headstand, they might generate fear and worry in themselves towards the headstand practice, even though the people who had fell didn’t hurt themselves, and they didn’t allow the fall to stop them from continuing their practice. One must learn not to be affected by one’s past experience of falling or other people’s falling from the asana poses, and do not let fear and worry to stop oneself from continuing to perform one’s own practice.

Fearlessness is part of selflessness. The one who has fear towards something, is the ego. Yoga is the realization of selflessness – the annihilation of the ego. The practice of headstand is confronting fear and be free from fear. The health benefits derive from the headstand practice are just some side-effects. Practicing headstand against the wall might bring health benefits to the practitioner, but it doesn’t allow the practitioner to confront fear and conquer it, instead, it is running away from dealing with fear.

Whether one can perform the yoga asana poses, or not, it’s really not important at all. Even after many times of practice, one might still unable to perform some or many of the yoga asana poses and might fall from time to time, and it’s fine, just keep practicing. What matter is, the practice of letting go of the egoism and not being over-powered by fear. Do our best, perform all our duties and responsibilities, without attachment towards our action and the result of our action, allowing the result to be what it is.

If the students have great fear of performing headstand and refuse to take responsibility for themselves, then they are not ready yet to practice headstand.

Be free.

Yoga teachers and teaching yoga?

“Who can teach yoga?”

“Anybody, who knows what is yoga, who is peaceful and compassionate, who knows about impermanence and selflessness, who knows what is the cause of suffering and how to be free from suffering. It’s not necessarily someone who has been practicing yoga for a long time, who is strong and flexible to do many of the yoga asana poses, or who had attended ‘yoga teachers training course’, and obtained or possessed ‘internationally recognized’ yoga teacher certifications.”

“But, isn’t that all yoga teachers must have recognized yoga teachers certification to be allowed to teach yoga legally?”

“Do you think someone who is free from ignorance and suffering, who is peaceful and compassionate, has to attend some ‘yoga teachers training courses’ to be trained to be a ‘yoga teacher’, to be authorized by some ‘authorities’ and obtains ‘internationally recognized certifications’ sanctioned and approved by some ‘yoga associations’, and be allied to some ‘yoga alliances’, in order to radiate peace and be compassionate, to share the knowledge of yoga and guiding other beings to be free from ignorance and suffering? Is a person not allowed to be kind to other beings because this person hasn’t attended ‘kindness training’ and doesn’t have a recognized ‘certification of kindness’ sanctioned by a ‘kindness association or kindness alliance’?”

“I will not learn yoga from someone who hasn’t been through professional yoga teachers training, who doesn’t have ‘internationally recognized yoga teachers certification’. ‘Yoga teachers’ who don’t have a recognized certification are not allowed to teach yoga classes in many countries. Yoga centres in many countries only employ ‘internationally certified’ yoga teachers.”

“Isn’t that true… It’s your freedom of thinking and freedom of choice then.”

Whether people are well-educated and highly intelligent, or not, many would think that those who teach yoga must go through some forms of professional yoga teachers training to be qualified and certified as ‘yoga teachers’ before they are allowed to teach yoga, and they also think that only those who have been practicing yoga for quite a long time, who are physically strong and flexible to execute many of the yoga asana poses ‘beautifully’, or who have the ‘qualifications of a yoga teacher’, are qualified to attend yoga teachers training courses and be certified as ‘yoga teachers’ to conduct ‘yoga classes’ to teach yoga to other people.

These are the worldly ideas and values derived from conditioned thinking and belief under the influence of ignorance.

There are many ‘internationally certified and affiliated’ yoga teachers or instructors conduct many different types of ‘yoga classes’ everywhere in the world. Most of them teach yoga (asana) classes with different brand names according to the modules, styles and techniques that they learned from one or different types of ‘yoga schools’. Some might even invent their own brands, styles, sequences and techniques of ‘yoga’. Most of them even trademarked or copyrighted their new invention of ‘yoga’ that is adopted, modified and transformed from the traditional yoga practice. It’s normal that many people are confused and uncleared about the tradition of yoga of its practice and purpose.

“People tell me that I could do all the yoga poses easily and beautifully, that I am strong and flexible, and they say I should become a yoga teacher. Should I?”
“What do I need to do in order to become a yoga teacher?”
“Is there a minimum years of yoga practice in order to become a yoga teacher?”
“How many and which yoga asana poses that I need to be able to perform in order to become a yoga teacher and teach yoga?”
“Do I need an internationally recognized yoga teachers certification to teach yoga in this country?”
“Do these yoga schools and yoga teachers affiliated with internationally recognized yoga association and yoga alliance?”
“Do these yoga courses issue internationally recognized certifications approved and sanctioned by internationally recognized yoga association and yoga alliance?”

In the commercial world of ‘education systems’, ‘qualifications’ and ‘certifications’, a person is obliged to obtain and possess some sorts of qualifications and certifications issued and recognized by ‘internationally recognized’ yoga association and yoga alliance to work as a ‘yoga teacher’ or ‘yoga instructor’ to conduct yoga (asana) classes to be teaching safe and result orientated ‘yoga exercise’ to other people. No doubt that those who teach yoga exercise fitness classes are better off being conformed and regulated under certain ‘rules and regulations’ regulated by ‘those who know what they are doing’, so that they have the basic knowledge to provide safe and effective physical training for other people by teaching varieties of ‘yoga (asana) classes’ with different brands, styles, techniques and routines, that have been adopted and modified from the traditional yoga asana practice. But, yoga is not about teaching or participating in yoga asana exercise classes. Yoga poses, or asana practice is just one part of the many yoga practice to help to influence the mind, to render the mind calm and quiet for meditation. It’s not necessarily that people have to perform yoga asana practice to be practicing yoga, or to be peaceful and compassionate.

If people think teaching yoga to other people is about becoming a certified ‘yoga teacher’ by attending internationally recognized ‘yoga teachers training courses’ to attain ‘internationally recognized certification’ issued and sanctioned by internationally recognized ‘yoga association’ and ‘yoga alliance’, or one needs to go through some sorts of professional yoga teachers training to learn how to teach yoga in order to teach yoga, or how many years of yoga practice will qualify someone to be a yoga teacher, or a yoga teacher needs to have certain level of strength and flexibility to perform and demonstrate the yoga asana poses when teaching yoga classes, or teaching yoga is about training the students to push the body beyond its limitations to achieve maximum strength and flexibility, to be able to perform as many yoga asana poses as possible, and to execute the yoga poses in perfect alignment, or a person needs to have recognized certificate(s) to teach yoga, or teaching yoga means teaching different types of yoga asana classes labeled with different levels, brands and styles, then very obviously they don’t know what is yoga, and so, how can they teach yoga, even though they possess ‘internationally recognized’ yoga teachers certifications?

Teaching yoga is not about teaching yoga asana (fitness exercise) classes. It’s nothing to do with becoming a ‘yoga teacher’ by attending yoga teacher training courses to attain internationally recognized certifications or qualifications issued and sanctioned by ‘internationally recognized’ yoga association and yoga alliance, so that one can teach yoga exercise classes adopted from traditional yoga asana practice. It’s dealing with the mind and its modification, the function of the mind, the perception of names and forms (the worldly life existence), the states of the mind, the habits and behavior of the mind, the actions and reactions of the mind, the impurities of the mind, the ignorance and suffering of the mind, and the liberation of the mind.

Yoga practice is about the elimination of ignorance, egoism and impurities, to free the mind from being conditioned by worldly thinking and beliefs, to realize selflessness and unconditional peace beyond all the impermanent qualities of names and forms.

Unconditional peace and compassion is not determined by how good a person can execute the yoga poses, or how long a person has been performing the yoga asana practice, or what type of qualification or certification a person has obtained and possessed from attending yoga classes or courses from yoga schools.

Whether a being is liberated from ignorance and suffering, and is peaceful and compassionate, or not, it has nothing to do with ‘yoga associations’, ‘yoga alliance’, ‘yoga schools’, ‘yoga classes’, ‘yoga courses’, ‘yoga teachers training’, and ‘yoga teachers qualifications and certifications’.

There are some qualities which can determine a yoga aspirant – Viveka, Vairagya, Shat-sampat and Mumukshutva. And all these qualities has nothing to do with being in yoga class, attending yoga class, teaching yoga class, being strong and flexible, performing some yoga poses, yoga schools, yoga association, yoga alliance, yoga teachers training courses, and certifications. Yoga practice is about Vichara, to perform self-inquiry to know the truth of names and forms. One can learn and practice yoga anywhere, anytime. One can teach yoga anywhere, anytime. All the names and forms are teaching us yoga, it’s not limited to a human being who identifies himself/herself as ‘yoga teacher’. Anything and anyone and all our experiences that can teach us about impermanence and selflessness, that allow us to realize compassion and be compassionate, is our yoga teachers. In the end, both the teacher and the student is the mind itself.

The one who is free from ignorance and suffering, who is peaceful, wise and compassionate, doesn’t need to attend any ‘yoga teachers training courses’ to be trained to become a ‘yoga teacher’ to teach yoga. This being doesn’t need to be certified, authorized and approved by ‘yoga schools’, ‘yoga associations’, or ‘yoga alliance’ for being peaceful and compassionate, to radiate peace and compassion, and to guide other suffering beings onto the path of selflessness, attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness, to also realize unconditional peace and compassion. This being doesn’t need the title of ‘yoga teacher’, or naming the act of sharing the knowledge of unconditional peace and compassion as ‘teaching yoga’. It’s free from egoistic attachments and identifications of ‘I want to teach yoga’, ‘I teach yoga or yoga classes’, ‘I am a yoga teacher’, ‘I am an internationally qualified and certified yoga teacher’, ‘I am qualified and certified to teach yoga’, ‘I am a good and experienced yoga teacher’, or ‘I have been practicing and teaching yoga for xx years.’

The realization of ‘Selflessness’ which leads to unconditional peace and compassion is undetermined by all the worldly impermanent qualities of names and forms. It doesn’t belong to a particular being, species, gender, sexual orientation, age, social status, intellect, personality, behavior, impermanent states of the mind, physical appearance, physical condition, limitation and ability, worldly education and knowledge, worldly commercial ideas, thinking and beliefs, worldly achievements and contributions, personal belief, cultural belief, religious belief, spiritual practice, yoga class, yoga school, yoga association, yoga alliance, or how many years of yoga practice.

If people want to think and believe that they will only learn and practice ‘yoga’ under the guidance of a ‘yoga teacher’ who possesses and advertises ‘internationally recognized’ qualifications and certifications, and those who want to teach ‘yoga’ think that they need to possess ‘internationally recognized’ qualifications and certifications, and be authorized by ‘internationally recognized yoga associations and yoga alliance’ to teach ‘yoga’ to other people, then the ‘yoga’ that they practice and teach will be what they think what it is. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Yoga is not about achieving peace and happiness by having the life or the world to be the way that we like it to be, but, it’s realizing the unconditional peace being undetermined by all the impermanent good and bad qualities of names and forms, pleasant and unpleasant or desirable and undesirable experiences.

Whether a person is practicing yoga, or not, it’s not determined by being content and happy when everything is the way that we desire it to be, but, it is seen whether the mind is able to be peaceful and compassionate under any challenging, difficult, undesirable and discomfortable conditions and situations, being free from all sorts of impurities, ill-will and ill-thinking when everything is not the way that we like it to be

Be free.

The yoga poses are neither easy nor difficult, neither comfortable nor uncomfortable, neither safe nor unsafe

The yoga poses or exercises are just what they are. They are neither easy nor difficult. They are neither comfortable nor uncomfortable. They are neither safe nor unsafe. They have no qualities nor intention to be easy or difficult, to make anyone feels comfortable or uncomfortable, to be safe or unsafe. It is coming from each individual physical condition, ability and limitation, the states of their mind, and how different bodies and minds react differently towards the poses and exercises that project the quality of easy or difficult, comfortable or uncomfortable, safe or unsafe onto every pose, or position, or exercise.

While doing the same poses or same exercises, some say it’s easy, some say it’s difficult. Some say they feel comfortable, some say they feel uncomfortable. Some don’t experience any injuries, some experience some injuries.

It is true for each individual about that is how their body and mind reacts towards the poses or exercises, and that is how they feel and experience while doing the poses and exercises. It is their personal truth and individual perception of reality. But it is not the truth of the poses or exercises.

Injuries occur while doing the poses or exercises if the practitioners don’t know their own physical ability and limitation, and they push their body to go beyond its limitation. Injuries don’t occur while doing the poses or exercises if the practitioners know their own physical ability and limitation, and they don’t push their body to go beyond its limitation. And yoga practice is really not about pushing the physical body to go beyond its limitation.

By pushing the body to go beyond its limitation, making the body more strong and flexible, and be able to do many of the yoga asana poses nicely, beautifully and in the perfect ‘correct’ alignment, doesn’t guarantee us peace and compassion, or liberation from ignorance and egoism. It’s about non-attachment, non-identification, desireless, non-craving, non-aversion, acceptance, adjustment, adaptation, accommodation, patience, forbearance, tolerance, and be free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, that lead us to peace and compassion. And all these has nothing to do with the physical conditions and abilities and skills to do the yoga poses or exercises. It’s nothing to do with the different types of benefits of the yoga poses and exercises either.

If the truth of the poses or exercises is they are something easy or difficult, comfortable or uncomfortable, safe or unsafe, then everyone who do the same poses or same exercises will react and feel the same. But, everyone would react and feel and experience differently from one another while doing the same poses or exercises, and everyone would react and feel and experience differently when doing the same poses or exercises on different practice session.

The poses or exercises are just being what they are. They are neither easy nor difficult, neither comfortable nor comfortable, neither safe nor unsafe.

Different minds perceive the world differently because different minds project different qualities onto names and forms that they perceive under the influence of different thinking and beliefs. Some perceive the world positively and some perceive the world negatively, but the world is neither positive nor negative. No one could debate with one another about their own personal perception of different reality that different minds perceive under the influence of their own personal thinking and belief, as that is what their minds perceive and understand, but, the different perceptions of different minds are not necessarily the truth of what things are.

The world is just what it is. It is neither good nor bad. Everything is subject to impermanence, arising and passing away. Realize this and be free from attachment, pride and arrogance about ‘I’, ‘my’ thinking, ‘my’ belief, ‘my’ actions and the fruit of ‘my’ actions.

By understanding this, we let go of judgment or expectation towards everything and everyone. All the names and forms are neither good nor bad, neither positive nor negative, neither happiness nor unhappiness, neither right nor wrong. It’s just different qualities being projected onto all the names and forms based on each individual mind being conditioned to think and believe about what things are, but it’s not the truth of all the names and forms.

Those who don’t see the truth or couldn’t understand this, they will want to argue with everyone whom is different from them, who has different perception of reality from them, who has different thinking and belief from them about what things are. They will want to prove that they are right and others who are different from them, are wrong. They want to prove that what they believe as good and bad, right and wrong, is true, while any contradictions with their belief about good and bad, right and wrong, is false. ‘Good people’ who think or label themselves as ‘good people’, they are not free from ignorance if they think and label those whom they think are bad, or those whose thinking and behavior are different from their own thinking and behavior, as bad people.

Be free.

Om shanti.

What is strength and power for the ego, is being weak in yoga practice…

The ego wants to get what it wants. It won’t satisfied or happy unless it gets what it wants.

The ego feels strong and powerful when it gets what it wants.

But, this is indeed being weak in our yoga practice.

We are over-powered by the ego and give in to the egoistic desires of craving and aversion.

Yoga enthusiasts with the strong egoism may feel satisfied and happy when their desires of craving and aversion are being gratified, through getting what they like and not getting what they don’t like, and attaining physical strength and flexibility through the regular yoga asana practice, but then it’s indeed a form of weakness on the path of yoga towards selflessness.

Om shanti.

Want to teach yoga?

Teaching yoga is not about trying to convince other people to believe in the teachings of yoga, or to persuade other people to like yoga and practice yoga, or recruiting many people to be our yoga students and joining our yoga classes, or to set as an example for others to imitate us, or to build a yoga empire. The students shouldn’t follow or imitate the teacher, or blind-believe in the teachings of yoga or what the teacher taught them. It’s guiding the students to be free from egoism, and allowing them to be free from attachment and identification towards any thinking and beliefs including the teachings of yoga, but to investigate into the truth of everything, to attain self-realization. Everyone may or may not need some guidance, but it’s up to everyone’s free will to change their own thinking and behavior by developing self-control and self-discipline over their own thinking, actions and speech, and attain self-realization be free from ignorance, and realize unconditional love and peace, and stopped hurting themselves and others. The teacher doesn’t and can’t control or change the students, but can only give them guidance and encouragement. The teacher and the student will meet at the right time and the right place naturally when the time has come, without the influence of egoistic selfish desires.

There’s nothing wrong when people think that when they feel unhappy or angry, feel hurt and disappointed, it’s nothing to do with their own ignorance and egoism, but instead, it’s everyone and everything out there that are bad and wrong that give them unhappiness and suffering. There’s nothing wrong when people believe in God or disbelieve in God. It is everyone’s freedom of thought, actions and speech. But when people start to have strong attachment and identification with what they think and believe, there arise separateness, discrimination, prejudice, hatred, violence, fear and unrest in their minds towards others who are different from them. Some people even enjoy being angry and violent. They won’t feel good unless they get angry and violent.

If people don’t like to practice yoga about letting go of the ego, attachment and identification, no one can force them. The teachings of yoga teaches about everyone purifying their own thinking, actions and speech, but respecting others’ freedom of thinking, actions and speech, for what they want to do with themselves, their lives, their bodies and minds. Everyone takes the responsibility for the consequences of their own actions and inactions, for what they believe and disbelieve, for what they want and don’t want. No one can control or purify other’s mind. It is up to each one’s effort and free will to control and purify one’s mind. Yoga never condemns anyone who doesn’t like the teachings of yoga, or who doesn’t want to practice yoga as it is, or who misunderstands about yoga, or who criticizes yoga. Anyone can take up any yoga practice and practice anyway that they like, or do whatever they like with yoga, or they can stop practicing yoga for any reasons. There’s no condemn, or sin, or punishment.

Those who practice yoga, they don’t condemn nor criticize. Vice versa, those who condemn and criticize, they don’t practice yoga. We share yoga out of compassion, not out of egoism thinking that “Yoga is good for everyone. Everyone should practice yoga, and practice properly in a particular way, or else they are insulting the sacredness and purity of yoga.” One type of medicine may cure a person’s illness but may not necessarily has the same effect on another with the same illness, or would it cure some other form of illnesses. People react differently towards the same medicine and have different tolerance towards certain side-effects of that medicine which appear differently on different people. Some people may be a good friend for many others, but may not be a good partner or good parent. There are people dislike and disagree with the teaching and practice of yoga. That is their freedom. We can’t expect or force everyone to like yoga and practice yoga as it is. There are people who never heard about the teachings of yoga and don’t do any yoga practice in a particular name and form, but they are selfless, compassionate and peaceful beings. And if yoga is something sacred and pure, how can it be insulted or contaminated by anything at all?

Some people kept modifying the traditional yoga practices into many different new styles and versions to suit the preferences of what people like and don’t like, what they want and don’t want. Though there’s nothing wrong with that in terms of business marketing strategy and customer service and value, but then the yoga teachers are not really teaching yoga, and the students are not really practicing yoga. Instead it is empowering the egoism, attachment, identification, worldly thinking, ideas and habits, and encouraging the desires of craving and aversion of the egoistic mind. When we practice yoga, we stop giving the egoistic mind what it likes and wants. No doubt that sharing yoga is about sharing love and happiness. Yoga teachers are there to guide the yoga students on how to attain unconditional love and happiness by letting go the egoistic desires of craving and aversion. It’s not about giving them what they like and want, or don’t give them what they don’t like and don’t want, to gratified their desires of craving and aversion, to make them feel loved and happy. They feel happy is because they are getting something that they like and want, and not getting anything that they don’t like and don’t want. It doesn’t help them to be free from the desires of craving and aversion, to realize unconditional love and happiness. When they are not getting what they like and want, and getting something that they don’t like and don’t want, they will feel dissatisfied, disappointed, unhappy or miserable. This is moving away from what yoga is about.

Though there is a very significant teaching of yoga about seeing God in all and everything, that God exists in all and everything, but one doesn’t need to believe in God or spirituality to practice the teachings of yoga. For those who don’t believe in God, this teaching can be taught as seeing the one same universal consciousness of all and everything, which is the truth of impermanence and selflessness, that there’s no ‘I’ or individual existence exists in everything or in all the impermanent changes. For those who don’t believe in God or the one same universal consciousness, this teaching can be taught as seeing the element of teacher in all and everything to teach us something for higher understanding about worldly life existence, and be grateful and thankful for all kinds of good and bad experiences. Those who truly implement this teaching in everyday life wouldn’t be disturbed or determined by all the pleasant and unpleasant experiences, and wouldn’t generate anger or hatred towards anyone or anything, but they would respect the law of impermanence in all the different qualities of name and form, and respect all the different types of thinking, belief and behavior that exist in the worldly community as they are. This teaching leads us to peace and harmony in ourselves and not generating violence, anger and hatred in ourselves and into the world. But if our minds are over-powered by strong egoism and have pride and arrogance about ourselves and our thinking and belief, we would find this practice impossible or very difficult, unless we are ready to let go of our ego, pride and arrogance.

Peacelessness and disharmony exist in our minds are coming from the strong egoism, pride and arrogance, attachment and identification, craving and aversion, greed and discontentment, fear and worry, and all kinds of impurities empowered by ignorance or corrupted thinking and belief in the mind. One also generates restlessness and disharmony into the surrounding environment when one isn’t peaceful and harmony. If every being is free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, naturally the society will be free from separateness, discrimination, prejudice, hatred, violence, fear and unrest. If we want peace in the world, we must have peace in ourselves. Having peace and harmony in oneself is the only effective way to help the world to be in peace and harmony among all the different qualities and diversities. By being violent, angry and hating others and happenings that we don’t like and disagree with, and provoke anger and hatred in other people to also be angry and hate those whom we think they are bad and wrong, it wouldn’t help the world to be peaceful and harmony as how we would like it to be, but instead, we contribute so much restlessness and disharmony into the world, it doesn’t matter how good and right we think we are.

When we know what is yoga, we will know that teaching yoga has very little to do with qualification and certification coming from attending yoga teachers training courses. Yoga teachers training courses are for people to learn to become their own teacher. When one realizes the teacher within oneself, one will know that everything and everyone are teachers to teach everyone something. One will be free from discrimination and hatred towards anyone and anything, and will respect everyone and everything as they are. And naturally, one can also guide other people to become their own teachers with one’s unconditional love and peace, without any certifications or acknowledgement from anyone or any organizations.

It doesn’t matter whether we know the names of the yoga poses in English or Sanskrit, or not, what type of yoga we practice and what are the benefits of the yoga exercises, because yoga practice is not about gaining the benefits from the yoga exercises at all, and knowing the names of the yoga poses and which type of yoga we practice have nothing to do with the realization of unconditional love and peace. It’s about letting go of attachment, identification, expectation, craving and aversion towards all our actions and the fruit of actions, or towards the yoga practice and the result of the yoga practice.

Yoga is about realizing compassion and selflessness through the practice of dispassion towards worldly objects and ideas, discrimination of what is real and unreal, eliminating the ego and quieting our own mind, and be free from all kinds of attachments, identifications, desires, craving, aversion and impurities. And all these practices have nothing to do with the impermanent condition and ability of the physical body to perform the yoga poses, or how many years we have been doing yoga exercises, or how much yoga exercises we had done, or how many yoga poses we can perform and whether we can perform the yoga poses in perfect alignment, or not. It’s also nothing to do with all the physical health and fitness benefits that come along as side-effects from the yoga practice. All these names and forms cannot guarantee or determine whether we know about yoga or not, whether we are practicing yoga or not, whether we can teach yoga or not, and whether we are free from ignorance and egoism, and be liberated from suffering, or not.

Many people including many yoga enthusiasts don’t like to hear about the practice of dispassion. They give themselves many reasons to justify themselves that they don’t need to be dispassionate, instead they promote passionate way of thinking and living. They said follow all our desires and live passionately. There’s nothing wrong with having desires and being passionate towards worldly life existence, self-image, ideas, ambitions and social activities, and everyone has the freedom to choose what they want to do with their life existence, but then it isn’t what yoga practice is about.

Dispassion towards worldly objects, ideas and activities helps to render the mind calm and quiet to be able to perform self-inquiry to know who we really are, or, who we are not. Passion invigorates strong attachment and identification with worldly life existence, the function and ability of the body and mind, and passionate desires of craving and aversion. Instead of quieting the mind, annihilating the worldly ideas and eliminating the ego, it is stimulating the mind, strengthening the worldly ideas and empowering the ego. Passion hinders the mind to see the truth of things as they are. But if people enjoy being passionate and don’t mind being restless, that’s their freedom.

Dispassion doesn’t mean that we have no love. It is loving the world and everyone as they are, without selfish desires or expectations, discrimination of likes and dislikes, attachment, identification, craving and aversion, not necessarily it’s the way that I like it to be, or the way that I think it should be.

Passion is loving the world and people with selfish desires and expectations, discrimination of likes and dislikes, attachment, identification, craving and aversion. It’s I love my world to be the way that I like it to be, or the way that I think it should be.

When one is free from ignorance and egoism, then there’s no difference between passion and dispassion. As one can live and perform actions passionately in the world, but is undisturbed and undetermined by one’s actions and the fruit of actions.

The realization of selflessness will allow us to be undisturbed or undetermined by whatever the mind perceives through the senses, and remain equanimous and be at peace unconditionally. When one has realized unconditional love and peace, one won’t be intentionally generating thoughts, actions and speech that will hurt oneself and others under any circumstances, which is compassion. And the realization of unconditional love and peace has nothing to do with the knowledge about anatomy and physiology, or the physical condition and ability and alignment to do the yoga poses.

Everyone can practice yoga and share the wisdom of yoga and its practice with anybody, when they are free from ignorance and egoism and have realized unconditional love and peace through their own persist and sincere practice. They don’t need a piece of commercialized paper to allow them to share love and peace with others. Those who haven’t realized unconditional love and peace in themselves, they can’t share love and peace with others even if they have been attending many yoga courses and possess many pieces of certifications. Those who think and believe that they need to attend professional yoga courses and acquire a few pieces of paper to accumulate credits to allow them to share love and peace with other people, then they don’t really know what is yoga. But their minds are influenced by worldly ideas and qualities of name and form.

May all be happy, be peaceful, be free.

Om shanti.

Looking after our minds…

Yoga practice is looking after our minds particularly through observing certain observation and restriction of mental and physical activities to purify our thinking patterns, actions and speech in everyday life, besides performing some forms of physical and breathing exercises (Yoga Asana and Pranayama) to assist and support concentration and meditation practice (Dharana and Dhyana), to know the truth and be free from being determined or disturbed by the world of impermanent names and forms.

If our minds are highly sensitive towards all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, and easily be affected by the pleasant and unpleasant qualities of name and form, and being restless being influenced and disturbed by the perceptions of names and forms, then we need to have certain degrees of limitation, or restriction, or filtration of what types of input that come in contact with the mind.

When the mind develops a strong foundation of non-attachment and non-identification, then all kinds of observation are unnecessary, and there’s no need of limitation, or restriction, or filtration of what types of input that come in contact with the mind.

The practice of disassociation and non-identification with any names and forms is our basic yoga practice.

The worldly minded minds will want to avoid this type of yoga practice, and criticize this type of practice as anti-social and ‘unhuman’. The worldly minded minds identify with the name and form of ‘human beings’ – “I am a human being. I am a good human being. Good human beings should have such and such qualities, should behave in such and such ways, or else we are bad human beings.” We don’t just expect ourselves as human beings we should behave in certain ways, but we also expect other ‘human beings’ also conform to our own projection and expectation, constantly generate separateness, conflicts, arguments, discrimination and hatred in oneself and others.

Yoga and meditation practice is not about strengthening or securing the worldly identification with certain qualities of name and form as this or that, but it’s to drop off any identifications with any names and forms, realize non-separateness, or oneness beyond all the qualities of name and form.

It’s the same as when we identify ourselves with a particular type of ‘origin’, ‘nation’, ‘culture’, ‘religion’, ‘ethnic’, ‘personality’, ‘professionalism’, ‘behavior’, ‘gender’, ‘sexual orientation’, ‘political group’, ‘social group’, ‘yoga practitioner’, ‘yoga teacher’, ‘yoga lineage’, or ‘yoga group’, we are not free.

Even by identifying oneself as a ‘divine being’ or ‘spiritual being’ is also not free from identification with qualities of name and form, and separateness.

Fear, discrimination (including discrimination of friends or not friends, human beings or non-human beings), pride and arrogance derive from separateness due to the identification with name and form. Unless we are free from fear, discrimination, pride and arrogance, there’s no discrimination of friends or not friends, human beings or non-human beings, or else we can’t be truly compassionate even though we would like to be a compassionate being.

Om shanti.