Yoga classes, yoga courses and yoga retreats?

Those (the minds) who are free, who are peaceful, who are free from ignorance, egoism, doubts and impurities, they don’t need to learn or practice yoga. They don’t need to attend yoga classes, or yoga courses, or yoga retreats.

Those (the minds) who are not free, who are not peaceful, who are not free from ignorance, egoism, doubts and impurities, they might want to learn and practice yoga, by attending yoga classes, or yoga courses, or yoga retreats, to learn and practice yoga under one or a few yoga practitioner(s) (teachers) who know the teachings and practice of yoga.

Somehow, some of those (the minds) who are not free from ignorance and egoism, who are not peaceful, who are interested in attending yoga classes, or yoga courses, or yoga retreats, are ignorant towards oneself is being over-powered by pride and arrogance. They are not really interested in ‘learning’ and ‘practicing’ yoga under the guidance of other yoga practitioners. They think they know quite a lot about the teachings and practice. They think they have been doing yoga for quite some time or a long time. They think they are quite ‘experienced’ and ‘qualified’ yoga practitioners or yoga teachers, as they have attended one or many yoga workshops, yoga courses, or yoga teachers training courses. They think they are quite ‘advanced’ on the path of yoga. They are not ‘open-minded’ to learn and practice yoga under other people’s guidance to be free from ignorance, egoism, doubts and impurities. They attached strongly onto their habitual mind behavior pattern and their way of thinking and belief and practice. They cannot be opened to investigate or experience something that is different from their thinking, belief and practice.

They want to interfere with how the people running the yoga schools, the yoga studios, or the yoga retreat centres, and what the teachers teach and how the teachers teach the classes, or courses, or retreats. They criticize the way of the people running and teaching the classes, courses, or retreats, about the format, the schedule, the accommodation, the facilities, the environment, the staff, or anything that they think it’s not the way that they like it to be, or not the way that they think or expect it should be. There are many things that they dislike and disagree with, that they cannot tolerate or accommodate. They reluctant to adjust, adapt and accommodate something that is different from their habitual comfort zone, thinking, belief and practice.

They expect/demand the people to run the yoga schools, the yoga studios, or the yoga retreat centres the way that they like it to be, and they expect/demand the teachers to teach what they like and want to practice and don’t teach what they don’t like or don’t want to practice. They expect/demand the teachers to teach the classes, the courses, the retreats the way that they like it to be. They get very annoyed and irritated when the teachers teach something that they don’t like and don’t want to learn or practice, or the people running the classes, the courses, or the retreats the way that they don’t like and don’t agree with. They expect/demand everything about the entire space of learning and practicing yoga to be the way that they like it to be, or the way that they think it should be.

These people (the minds) don’t just not really learning or practicing yoga, though they think and believe that they are very ‘serious and advanced and certified’ yoga practitioners and yoga teachers, but they also generate inconvenience, disturbance, doubt and obstacle for others who are interested to learn and practice yoga, those who ‘are aware of’ or ‘know’ their minds are not yet completely free from ignorance, egoism, doubts and impurities. The minds that are free, they won’t be affected or influenced by the ignorance and impurities of others, but most minds are not free yet, they will still be affected and influenced by the ignorance and impurities of others. But, it doesn’t mean that these minds are bad or negative. All minds are free to behave the way that they want to behave and react the way that they want to react, whether they are aware of their own behavior and reaction, or not.

And hence, when one thinks and believes that oneself is an ‘experienced’ and ‘advanced’ and ‘certified’ yoga practitioner or yoga teacher, and one wants to inform/tell other people about how experienced and advanced one is on the path of yoga, then know that one doesn’t know what is yoga, yet. Those who know yoga, they have no attachment or identification towards the experiences or levels of their practice, or be proud and arrogant about what they know or realize from their practice. They mind their own practice and they don’t need to attend yoga classes, yoga courses, or yoga retreats.

Those who are not sure or have doubts about their practice or what they think they know, and are interested in attending yoga classes, yoga courses, or yoga retreats to learn and practice yoga under the guidance of other people, must learn how to allow the mind to be opened to learn and practice yoga under another person or other people, while not by pushing away or arguing about something that the mind dislikes and disagrees with, but to investigate the truth of everything that the mind comes in contact with through direct experience.

What the mind agrees with and what the mind disagrees with, are not necessarily the truth.

One doesn’t need to like and agree with everything, even if it’s part of the teachings and practice of yoga, but remain equanimous, being undisturbed or undetermined by what the mind dislikes and disagrees with, is already what yoga practice is about.

Be free.

How yoga is being perceived as one type of physical health and fitness exercise

Some people asked us if we teach TTC (Yoga Teachers Training Course). No, we don’t.

Anyone who has realized selflessness and unconditional love and peace through self-realization, who knows the path to free the mind from suffering that derived from ignorance and egoism (attachment, identification, worldly desires, craving and aversion), not necessarily that one has to be a yoga practitioner and disregards how long one has been practicing yoga, one can share the knowledge of selflessness and unconditional love and peace with anyone, without the necessity of becoming a ‘yoga teacher’ to ‘teach yoga classes’. One doesn’t need to attend TTC to be trained to become ‘qualified yoga teacher’ to ‘teach yoga classes’ to share the realization of selflessness and unconditional love and peace with other beings. One doesn’t need ‘approval’, or ‘authorization’, or ‘qualification’, or ‘certification’, or ‘affiliation’, or ‘graduation from TTC with excellent results’ to share the knowledge of unconditional love, peace and fearlessness through self-realization with other beings who are in search for liberation from ignorance and suffering.

Attending TTC and graduating with excellent results from TTC doesn’t determine that one is, or will be free from ignorance and egoism. Teaching yoga is nothing to do with ‘professionalism’, or ‘teacher training’, or ‘certification’, which is part of the worldly ideas born out of egoism.

TTC are a platform or medium for anyone, including those who have never done any yoga practice before but who have the interest to know about yoga, to be open-minded and be humble to learn about the teachings of yoga, and begin their self-practice with self-discipline to purify the mind to free the mind from egoism and ignorance. Once the mind is purified and has realized selflessness and unconditional love and peace, one can share the knowledge of selflessness and unconditional love and peace with other beings without intention, without identification, without attachment.

Meanwhile many of the ‘professional TTC allied with yoga alliance’ are about being a platform or medium for people who think they know a lot about yoga and that they are good enough or ready to become ‘yoga teachers’, and they think they need to attend ‘internationally recognized TTC allied with yoga alliance’ to be trained ‘how to teach/conduct professional, safe, effective, creative, fun and motivative yoga asana exercise classes’ to acquire some kind of ‘internationally recognized certification allied with yoga alliance’ so that they can find a job called ‘yoga teacher/instructor’ to teach/conduct ‘yoga asana exercise classes’ in yoga centre or fitness centre or community centre, and lots of these TTC exist to cater to their ‘needs’ to provide the appropriate ‘training’ and ‘certification’ that they are looking for.

These ‘professional’ TTC also teach about the teachings or philosophy of yoga but emphasize mainly on training the people about how to teach/conduct a ‘yoga asana exercise classes’, about how to give instructions, how to perform the yoga poses, what to do or what not to do, what are the benefits of the different yoga poses, the breathing exercises, the relaxation and the other practices, how to make physical adjustments, what are the ‘correct alignment’, general knowledge to share in the class (about diet, lifestyle, positive thinking, anatomy, physiology, health and fitness, stories telling, philosophy, and etc), how to interact, what is a ‘good teaching technique’, or a ‘good practice’, or a ‘good class’, how to make the students or clients happy and satisfied, how to ‘touch’ people’s heart, and etc. It is a great contradiction because during the philosophy class they teach/talk about “perform all your actions without attachment and identification, renounce the fruit of actions and allowing the fruit of actions to be there as it is” but then in the ‘yoga asana classes’ is about feeding the egoism of both the teachers and the students – empowering the identification and attachment towards the action and the result of the action. Such like, “I am a good yoga teacher who teach/conduct good yoga classes” and “I am a good yoga student/practitioner who performs the yoga poses nicely and achieves good results/improvement from the practice”

Love and peace has nothing to do with how a person look or feel while being in particular yoga poses, or what is the physical condition, ability and limitation, or what type and how much benefits coming from the yoga practice. People don’t have to put their bodies in any particular yoga poses to be kind and compassionate, or to be peaceful. The impermanent physical condition, ability and limitation doesn’t determine a being would be free from ignorance, egoism, impurities and suffering, and be compassionate and peaceful, or not.

If one truly knows what is yoga or has realized selflessness and unconditional love and peace, one doesn’t need to attend TTC to learn how to conduct ‘yoga classes’ to attain ‘certification’ to be ‘authorized’ to become ‘professional internationally certified yoga teacher’ to be teaching or passing the knowledge of yoga to other beings, or to be compassionate towards oneself and all beings.

No doubt that there are ‘TTC graduates’ who realize yoga through the practice of silence, self-inquiry, dispassion and right discrimination, and they may or may not be teaching ‘yoga classes’.

The attachment towards the performance/results/effects/benefits of the yoga practice, and the emphasis on the technical/professional teaching instructions about “the correct body alignment of each yoga pose”, or “how a yoga pose/position should look like”, and the ‘positive’ encouraging words, cheering and hand clapping to congratulate or give encouragement, such like ‘Well done!’, ‘You can do it!’, ‘You did it!’, ‘That’s very good!’, ‘You’re amazing!’, ‘Awesome!’, ‘Feel strong!’, ‘Be strong!’, ‘Let’s boost your confidence and self-esteem!’, ‘Yoga strengthens your body and mind’, ‘Yoga elevates your mind!’, ‘Yoga makes you feel great!’, ‘You should be proud of yourself!’, ‘I am so proud of you!’, and etc, as the core structure or important qualities of the ‘yoga exercise classes’ are indeed feeding the egoism (attachment, identification, craving, aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation).

But there is nothing wrong with all these TTC producing ‘internationally certified yoga teachers’ teaching ‘yoga asana exercise classes’ because most people who want to attend yoga classes are only interested in doing something that will make them feel good and look good, or give them the benefits/effects/results that they want. Being conditioned by worldly ideas, people evaluate a ‘yoga teacher’ based on their ‘qualification’ and ‘certification’, their ‘professionalism’, their ‘ability’ to give a ‘good yoga exercise class’ that can make them look good and feel good physically and mentally, or their up-to-date tips/general knowledge on the latest styles and techniques and about health and fitness. Many people are not interested in the practice of silence, quieting the mind, self-inquiry, dispassion and self-discipline to be free from ignorance and egoism, mainly it’s because people don’t think their minds are influenced by ignorance, they don’t think they need to free the mind from egoism, as they love their ego of who they think they are. They don’t see what’s wrong with egoism. They enjoy being passionate about worldly life and social activities, and spend most of their effort on gratifying all their desires, and do what will make them feel good and happy as the meanings of life.

All these TTC graduates are ‘good people’ who have ‘good intention’ and hope to ‘be qualified’ to share yoga with other people, and it makes them feel meaningful and happy when their students look good and feel good about themselves after taking yoga exercise class with them. There’s nothing ‘wrong’ with that.

It’s like many children don’t like to eat healthy food, the parents or care-taker might give them something that they like in return, such like desserts, to persuade them to eat the healthy food that they don’t like to eat. And the parents feel happy seeing their children eating the healthy food and enjoying the desserts afterwards. So everyone is happy. That sounds very ‘good’. Eventually, some of the children might start to realize why it is important to eat the healthy food, and even without any desserts in return, they will eat the healthy food out of their own choice. But very few children will have the self-realization, and in the end, they are addicted to the desserts, and they won’t be happy unless they have their desserts. Just like people won’t do something that is good for them or other people unless they will get something that they like and want in return. This is not yoga.

Imagine when a great ‘yogi’ who has attained self-realization and is compassionate comes to the yoga centre and offer himself to share the knowledge of yoga to whoever are interested in learning and practice yoga, and the yoga centre staff ask him, “Do you have internationally recognized either 200 hours or 500 hours yoga teacher certification allied with yoga alliance?” The yogi tells them, “No.” And they tell him, “Sorry, we only employ ‘qualified’ professional yoga teacher with internationally recognized yoga teacher certification allied with yoga alliance to conduct yoga classes here.”

Everyone has the freedom to choose what they want to do with their life, their bodies and minds. If people are contented with living a restless passionate worldly life full of attachments and identifications, and are okay with being the slave of their desires of cravings and aversions, and enjoying doing some yoga exercise regularly that will make them look good and feel good, that’s their freedom.

Be free.

Yoga teachers, teaching yoga, and make a living…

Some yoga teachers are disturbed by doubt and guilt about whether it is alright for them to be able to make a living from teaching yoga by giving yoga classes or courses, as some ‘good’ people who are directly or indirectly involve in the world of yoga insist that there should be no fees charged, or there should be very minimal fees charged for giving yoga classes, as teaching yoga should be a selfless service or charity work, and most important is that part of the yoga practice is about perform selfless actions, and not expect anything in return. Even if there are fees charged (small or big amount), then all the profits from running yoga classes and courses should be given away for charity cause. They ‘expect’ yoga teachers should live on charity and begging, or they should have some other forms of livelihood or income (but not from teaching yoga by giving yoga classes) to support their life and living expenses. Or else it is wrong, or it’s a great sin, or bad karma to make a living from teaching yoga.

Not to say, there are many ‘yoga’ enthusiasts (who come from different backgrounds with different social or financial status) who are interested to take up yoga classes or yoga courses who actually think and believe that all yoga classes and yoga courses should be free, and they are reluctant to pay some fees, or only want to pay a little amount of fees that they think is sufficient to cover the cost for the yoga classes or courses, and they think yoga teachers should not make any profits or make a living from running yoga classes or courses. And they think and believe that all yoga teachers should be the role models for others to live a simple life with limited livelihood. And so, they believe yoga teachers don’t really need much money to live life, nor have any living expenses. And hence, they think yoga teachers don’t need to take any fees from teaching yoga.

There’s nothing wrong with those thinking and beliefs, coming from these people’s particular worldly point of view. Everyone is free to express what they think and believe, to criticize and to condemn other people whom they dislike and disagree with. But those who truly know what is yoga, they are aware of all the different points of views, but they will not criticize nor condemn anyone. If it is the truth, there’s nothing to be criticized about. If it is not the truth, it’s pointless to criticize someone who is being ignorant of ignorance in oneself.

Here are a few points to let anyone who directly or indirectly relates to this matter to reflect upon this matter and measure it by themselves.

Before we get into these information given below, take note that yoga practice is not limited in a yoga class or yoga course in a particular name and form, or at a particular time and space. Yoga and the practice of yoga is unlimited by names and forms, time and space. It exists everywhere and anytime. Everything and everyone can be teaching us yoga to realize the truth, it’s not necessarily has to be a human being who is graduated from yoga teachers training course and bears the title of ‘yoga teacher’, and is ‘certified’ and ‘qualified’ to teach yoga to others.

1.) Most people who identify themselves as ‘yoga teachers’ in the world nowadays are not really teaching yoga, but they are fitness instructors who teach yoga asana exercise classes under many different styles, names and forms. And so, they are not limited by the above ‘observations’ at all. They can charge fees as high as they like, depending on their cost for conducting classes and their ‘qualifications’, ‘teaching experience’, ‘competency’, ‘unique teaching skills and flair’, ‘creativity’, and of course, ‘popularity’ and ‘demand’. It’s a legal and healthy livelihood. It’s a very meaningful job that can enhance ones physical and mental health and fitness, as well as to encourage many others to have a healthier and active lifestyle by igniting great enthusiasm in these people to do some yoga asana exercises regularly.

They deserve to make enough money to pay back their cost to acquire the knowledge of the yoga asana exercises and learning the teaching skill and technique, and to attain various certificates and qualifications recognized by such and such international yoga affiliations to qualified them to teach yoga asana exercise classes to the public by continuously attending ‘yoga courses’ and ‘yoga workshops’ regularly to maintain and upgrade their professionalism in teaching yoga asana exercise classes, to ensure safe and effective yoga asana exercises, as well as fun and enjoyable innovative yoga asana exercise classes to be delivered to their students or clients. They are constantly being judged and evaluated by the clients as well as the employer, and they are either unwillingly or willingly being in competition with the other yoga fitness instructors.

On top of that they need to be able to make enough income to support their everyday life expenses on food, living space, transportation, holidays, entertainments, social activities, continuing education and learning, and for some people, they might even need to support their family, or helping out relatives and friends financially. And they also need to have some extra money to allow them to perform charity, or to be able to participate in some forms of volunteering works to contribute to the society once in a while.

There’s nothing wrong, or sinful, or bad karma in this at all.

No one can criticize or condemn them for anything as they are not teaching yoga.

2.) Yoga, the teachings of yoga, the yoga practice and Dharma are not for sale. It is not a trading object that can be exchanged or trade in for something else. It is not possible to make ‘yoga’ into a worldly business and make profit out of it. No one owns yoga, nor has authority over yoga, but it exists in all and everyone waiting to be realized. ‘Yoga classes’, or ‘yoga courses’, or ‘yoga asana exercise classes’ are something different. They can be made into a business to make some profits out of it, whether we think it’s okay, or it’s not okay. And those who really teach yoga don’t identify themselves with any names and forms. Neither they will call themselves ‘yoga teachers’. There are no yoga teachers. They are just instruments for performing the actions of transmitting the teachings of yoga to others.

3.) What’s the difference between fees and donations? It doesn’t matter they are in the form of money or in some other exchangeable forms, it is something that we show gratitude to somebody who gives us, or shares with us something that is invaluable which cannot be bought with money, whether the receivers are selfless and don’t expect anything in return, or they are not selfless and they expect something in return. Why is it if it’s ‘fees’, it is ‘not okay’, but if it’s ‘donations’, it is ‘okay’? Is it that if we think yoga teachers are supposed to be selfless beings, that they should be performing selfless service, and they shouldn’t expect or receive anything in return, and that allows us to take them for granted?

4.) Many of those who think and believe that yoga teachers should live in poverty and live on charity or begging, are not necessarily that they can’t afford to pay the fees or donations, but they are being stingy and just want to have ‘free’ or ‘cheap’ yoga exercise classes. So that they can keep their money for other expenses to support their social activities and life enjoyments. They think the yoga teacher doesn’t deserve more than what they think they want to ‘pay’. What are these people with such mentality learning and practicing when they claim themselves as yoga enthusiasts who love yoga (or yoga exercises more precisely) very much and want to learn yoga under a teacher, but they don’t respect the teacher or know how to appreciate the invaluable yoga teachings and practice at all?

Humility and respect oneself and others are the basis of yoga practice. We need to learn how to be free from arrogance, defensiveness and offensiveness, to respect all without discrimination of personal likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements based on what our minds believe how things should be like, not to say to show humility and respect towards someone who teaches and guides us about the teachings and practice of yoga.

Those who are truly humble and sincere to learn yoga from a teacher will naturally want to contribute and support the living of the teacher. Even when the teacher doesn’t expect or doesn’t want to be respected or served by the students, they will respect and serve the teacher out of their own free will. The students will be performing selfless service to serve the teacher even after they have contribute something or support the living of the teacher. Nowadays, many people who say they want to learn yoga, they don’t know anything about this precious value of yoga – to eliminate egoism. The students complain and criticize about their teachers when they are not getting what they want, or are being dissatisfied about something that they don’t like or disagree with. They are not learning or practicing yoga at all. They expect the teacher to be in certain ways with certain professional image and behavior. They expect the teacher to give them something in return that they like and want, which they think it should worth the similar value of money that they have given to the teacher. They want the teacher to serve them or treat them with some sorts of customer service and gratifying their desires of craving and aversion, as they have given some fees or donations to the teacher.

5.) People who pay some fees for yoga classes or courses, may drop out half way of the course when it becomes quite challenging physically and mentally, or when they didn’t get what they expect to be getting from the yoga classes, even if they know that their money will be ‘wasted’. Not to say those who pay no fees or very little fees for yoga classes or courses, may easily drop out half way of the course when it becomes quite challenging physically and mentally, or when they didn’t get what they expect to be getting from the yoga classes, as they know they won’t be ‘wasting’ much money.

6.) When ‘real’ yoga teachers who teach yoga by giving yoga classes or courses at a specific time and place to allow people to come together to learn and practice yoga, they don’t sell us yoga or Dharma, or the realization of the truth, or liberation, or peace and compassion. They can’t. Even if they want to ‘sell’ us yoga or Dharma, or the realization of the truth, or liberation, or peace and compassion, we can’t ‘buy’ it and ‘have’ it, no matter how much money we have.

7.) The fees or donations (whether it is a fixed amount or ‘donate as you wish’) that the yoga teachers receive from those who participate (or not participate) in their classes or courses, are for the time, effort and costs to make the classes or courses available, to show their gratitude and support to the teachers and to Dharma by paying some fees or donate some donations to allow some other people to be able to come together at a particular time and place, to learn and practice yoga or Dharma. And everyone has to work very hard individually to attain their own realization and salvation, it doesn’t matter the amount of fees or donations is big or small.

It doesn’t mean that if the amount of fees or donations is big, they’ll get faster and more efficient results and greater achievements, and if the amount of fees or donations is smaller, they’ll get slower and less efficient results and smaller achievements. Or vice versa. And above all, yoga is not about the results or achievements, and it’s nothing to do with fees or donations.

8.) The fees or donations that we pay or donate to ‘real’ yoga teachers who teach yoga, not just some yoga asana exercise fitness classes, is also a form of charity act come from us to allow these yoga teachers (who allow the yoga classes to be available to us, and to share the great knowledge of yoga of how to be free from ignorance and suffering, to realize unconditional love and peace, it’s not just about doing some fitness exercise routines) to support their lives, and for them to have the time and space to perform their personal practice to attain higher realization, apart from giving their time to teach classes to others. They also need to have some sorts of livelihood to support themselves, their lives and all other necessary expenses to perform their duties and responsibilities towards themselves and towards those who depend on them in lives financially, physically or mentally.

9.) Why should yoga teachers (or more precisely, experienced yoga practitioners who teach yoga to others) live in poverty, be homeless, or to survive under poor and insufficient conditions, solely depend on begging or receiving ‘charity’ from other people, to prove that they practice ‘detachment’, or ‘non-attachment’, or ‘non-possessiveness’, or they are ‘super human beings’? What is the real meaning and practice of detachment, non-attachment and non-possessiveness? What does yoga or yoga practitioners has anything to do with ‘super human beings’? Even enlightened beings will also witness or go through the law of impermanence through the existence of the physical body and mind. Their bodies will decay, experiences changes, old age, illness, pain, discomforts, and eventually decomposition or death. There are constant thoughts arising and passing away in their mind. But they are not associated with, or be determined or disturbed by the ceaseless changes of names and forms.

10.) Should the yoga teachers who teach yoga be limited by the above ‘observations’, and be criticized and condemned by ‘certain people’ who think they know about yoga more than other people, and they think they have the authority on yoga and all that is related to yoga, to give them the superiority to condemn the yoga teachers who teach yoga, who are able to make a living and be financially independent from giving yoga classes or courses, and don’t need to spend the rest of their time and energy in a worldly job for livelihood, or don’t need to depend on charity or begging from others? Isn’t that a great thing for people (including those who teach yoga to others) to have a better quality of life with the right livelihood that will benefits oneself and others? While in another point of view, the yoga students are being given the opportunity to perform charity by supporting the livelihood of the yoga teachers by giving some fees or donations to the teachers.

11.) Why should ‘real’ yoga teachers who know what is yoga be bothered or determined by the criticism and condemn by these people? Those who have realized yoga, they have gone beyond egoism and worldly image, ideas and values.

12.) Even when ‘real’ yoga teachers give yoga classes or courses to teach yoga to others, whether with or without fees, it also cannot guarantee that all the students or clients will be satisfied, or will appreciate, or will be benefited from their teaching, or will be free from ignorance and suffering.

13.) Of course, there are also some ‘yoga teachers’ who do not really interested to teach yoga to others, nor do they care for the well-beings of anyone but themselves, as their main motive or objective to give ‘yoga classes’, or ‘yoga asana exercise classes’ is solely about getting some profits, to attain name and fame. But there’s also nothing to be criticized about, as some people maybe enjoying their classes very much and are benefited from attending their classes, even though they don’t have intention to benefit anyone at all. And these people see them as their greatest ‘Gurus’ and they are willingly to ‘donate’ part of or all their money to their ‘Gurus’.

14.) ‘Real’ yogis who know yoga, are not obliged to teach yoga to anyone. They don’t have to give yoga classes or courses to anyone even if there are ‘high profits’ in return, or even if we beg them to teach us. And if they do teach us yoga whether by giving yoga classes or courses, or not, and there’s profit in return, it doesn’t mean that they are not ‘real’ yogis, or they are ‘bad’ yogis. Some ‘spiritual’ people think and believe that ‘money is evil’, and so, yogis can only take food from begging and should not touch money, or receive money from anyone, or else they become evil.

Money is like everything else, it is neither evil nor good. Whether touching money, or not, it doesn’t make one a yogi or not, be free from ignorance, or not. Money is just pieces of commercial papers for the convenience of the worldly society to exchange goods and services while living in this materialistic commercial world. It depends on the purity of mind whether the money will be used wisely, or not. Don’t have any money or not using money also cannot guarantee that one is free from ignorance, egoism, greed and attachment. Having money or using money doesn’t determine that one is not free from ignorance, egoism, greed and attachment.

15.) Does by not taking any fees, or taking less money, or charging lower fees than other people, will make us better yogis or yoga teachers than the others who take some fees, or take more money, or charge higher fees?

16.) Who are we to judge or to condemn anyone, including judging and condemn ourselves, anyway?

17.) Why is it those who don’t really teach yoga cannot be condemned for not teaching yoga the way that we think it should be, as they are not teaching yoga at all, but those who truly teach yoga could be condemned for teaching yoga not the way that we think it should be? It doesn’t make sense in yoga. Though it totally makes sense for the ignorant and worldly minded ones.

18.) How does selflessness and selfless service be determined by getting something in return, or not? It’s about not attach to the actions and the fruit of actions. Undisturbed and undetermined by the fruit of actions to be peaceful, happy, confident, or meaningful, or not. Who says anything about not having anything in return? There will be something in return naturally whenever there are actions being performed, but it’s not necessarily the way that we think it should be or how we like it to be, and there’s no identification or attachment towards the actions or the fruit of actions to be who ‘I’ am. There is no ‘I’ existing to be the doer of actions. There is no ‘I’ existing to be the enjoyer of the fruit of actions, or to be receiving the fruit of actions. It doesn’t mean that after actions are being performed there is no fruit of actions in return. All actions including inactions, will bear the fruit of actions.

19.) Some might think that those who are using the information/teachings from the Scriptures to teach yoga to others, or those who have realized unconditional love and peace through their own self-realization and share the knowledge with others, or those who are using the yoga asana exercises to teach fitness exercise classes, and make a living out of it, is like ‘stealing’ something from ‘God’ and sell it to make profits.

Well, just like some scientists knew how to harvest the sunlight, the wind, the water to make use of them for mostly good reasons and generate electricity from them, and some people make some profits out of that, some people also get some livelihood out of it, while many people are benefited from it for the convenience coming from the availability of electricity in our modern lives.

Does that mean everyone who involve with harvesting the elements of fire, wind and water to generate electricity, working in the fields, and all the consumers of electricity are robbers and sinful?

While there might be people who think that since the resource is coming from ‘God’ or nature, it should be free, no one should make any profits from it, we shouldn’t pay anything for using the electricity?

‘God’ must be very proud of these Scientists to have such invention to utilize the resources from ‘God’ and turn them into something great and beneficial for all and everyone, as well as some people can make a living out of utilizing these resources.

In the modern society, many people’s livelihood and everyday living depend a lot on the availability and convenience of electricity being supply to their villages, cities, homes, factories, farms, offices and shops. Some people insist not to use the electricity for some ethical reasons, and that is their own choice.

20.) Some people labelled the yoga in yoga classes being taught without fees as ‘non-commercial’, and the yoga being taught in yoga classes with fees as ‘commercial’. Does that mean the teachings of yoga being taught in both commercial and non-commercial yoga classes will be different, although there might be different intentions behind it? There’s no guarantee that there won’t be any impure intention in the non-commercial yoga classes, nor there must be impure intention in the commercial yoga classes. Non-commercial yoga classes doesn’t guarantee all the yoga students will be free from ignorance and egoism. And it doesn’t mean that all the students in the commercial yoga classes will not be free from ignorance and egoism. If yoga being taught in the commercial yoga classes can bring certain awareness to the society, and more people are becoming more aware of their minds, and learn how to be kind to themselves and to others, what’s so wrong with the commercial yoga classes then? Unless there are corruptions exist in the yoga classes among the teachers and the students, it doesn’t matter if it is non-commercial or commercial yoga classes, then there’s something is going against the teachings of yoga.

Now, it’s up to us, whether to add something else onto these information, or to take away some of these information that we think are irrelevant, to figure out the truth through our own self-inquiry.

Om shanti.

Money cannot buy love, peace, compassion and wisdom… Let go of stinginess and be generous…

Yoga and its practice are not meant to be some kind of pleasurable sensual enjoyment such like paying some money for getting some service like spa treatments. It is a practice to develop dispassion or disinterest in pleasurable sensual enjoyment to let go of craving and aversion.

Yoga and meditation practice is a process to change the old habits of the mind that have been there deep rooted for a long time influencing the mind for as long as we live. It is stop giving what the mind likes and wants. It is calming the mind and stop stimulating the mind. It is quite unpleasant for the mind in the beginning of the yoga and meditation practice as it takes some time for the mind and the body to adjust, to adapt, or to get use to something that it wasn’t familiar with, or to develop interest in something that it never interested before. As well as it is unpleasant for the mind to be not having something that it was addicted to, or used to familiar with. It is about letting go of desires of wants and don’t wants. It is not about fulfilling the desires of wants and don’t wants. The mind will resist. The mind will want to runaway.

If our will-power is weak, we will give in to the desires of the mind, and give ourselves many reasons or excuses why we should not continue the yoga and meditation practice temporary or permanently, and instead we look for some other activities that the mind enjoys, likes and craves for, to make the mind feels pleasant, stimulated, or excited.

We often hear many ‘yoga’ enthusiasts say, “I love yoga. I want to practice yoga. Yoga makes me feel so good.” But then when they experience some discomforts or unpleasantness physically, mentally and emotionally, they want to runaway. They complain this is not the yoga that they were expecting, that the yoga and meditation practice is not the way that they think it should be. They say they only want yoga that will give them pleasant sensations and which is enjoyable. They don’t want yoga that doesn’t give them what they want and like. Be happy. In the end it is our own freedom for what we want for our life, and what we want to do with our body and mind. We take full responsibility for the consequences of our actions derived from our desires of wants and don’t wants.

In order to allow the physical body to be able to perform the yoga asana poses comfortably, our body and mind will have to go through some unpleasant purification process while developing the skills, stamina, strength, flexibility, patience, perseverance, determination, forbearance, tolerance, acceptance, adjustment, adaptation, accommodation, concentration, non-attachment, non-identification, non-expectation, non-judgment, non-comparison, faith and courage to be able to perform and hold the yoga asana poses comfortably for a period of time effortlessly without struggling. And this will allow us to realize selflessness and compassion. It is not at all about how good we look and feel during and after the yoga asana practice, nor what type of benefits we are going to get from performing all these yoga asana poses.

Money cannot buy love, peace, compassion and wisdom. It takes some efforts, self-control, self-discipline, patience, perseverance, determination, will-power, tolerance, forbearance, acceptance, adjustment, adaptation, accommodation, for us to eliminate egoism, attachment, desires, greed, craving and aversion from the mind to be free from ignorance and impurities, and to realize unconditional love, peace, compassion and wisdom.

Greed is also associated with stinginess. It’s like, “If I can just pay as little money as possible and get as many things in return as possible, that would be very nice…”

Even highly intelligent or educated people might be influenced by stinginess and greed, and are not free.

Before we start practicing yoga, we need to learn to let go of stinginess and start to be generous.

If we cannot understand why we should let go of stinginess and be generous before we start to perform any yoga practice, we can never realize what is selflessness and compassion, even though we can be attending many yoga classes or yoga courses to learn and perform some forms of yoga practice, or if we have been practicing yoga asana for many years and our body has developed the skill, strength and flexibility to perform many yoga asana exercises beautifully in perfect alignment. All these qualities of names and forms have very little to do with what yoga really is.

Om shanti.

“Professional profile” of a yoga teacher or a yoga school?

“How long have you been practicing yoga?”

“How long have you been teaching yoga?”

“Where and whom did you learn yoga from?”

“Who is your yoga teacher or Guru?”

“What type of recognitions, certifications and qualifications do you have?”

“What type of yoga do you practice or teach?”

“What is the level of this yoga course or yoga class?”

“What type of certifications I can get from attending these yoga courses or classes?”

“What type of results or benefits I can get from attending this yoga course or yoga class?”

All these are the common questions coming from most people who want to practice yoga or to teach yoga. But yoga is nothing to do with all these names and forms…

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Normally, when people are looking for a yoga school or yoga teacher to learn about yoga, or to do some yoga exercises, most of us will want to know the “professional profile” of the yoga school or the yoga teacher, to know what are the qualifications, certifications, affiliations, past experiences, achievements, types of courses, classes or services of the yoga school or the yoga teacher.

Same as when a yoga school or a yoga teacher wants to “promote” their classes or services, naturally, they want to have a “professional image”, and to give a “laudable”, “highly recommended”, “reliable”, “professional”, “expertise”, “highly experienced”, “outstanding”, “competent”, “recognized”, “affiliated”, “updated”, “distinctive”, or “beautiful” type of profile to show to the respective “clientele” or yoga enthusiasts who might be interested to take up yoga courses, yoga classes or yoga exercise classes at this yoga school or with this yoga teacher.

There is nothing wrong with this universal worldly idea and practice in the process of getting a “product” and promoting a “product”. Just that, all these “identifications” that identify with certain qualities of names and forms has nothing to do with the practice of yoga and meditation, or the realization of the Truth, or the propagation of Dharma, which is about annihilation of ignorance and egoism, realization of selflessness, fearlessness, oneness, namelessness, formlessness, compassion and wisdom, and transcend suffering, birth and death.

As liberation, or selflessness, or compassion, or realization of the Truth, is undetermined by all these qualities of names and forms that consist of worldly minded business marketing standards, ideas and strategies, qualifications, certifications, affiliations, achievements, past experiences, excellent and extensive services.

All these identifications with qualities of names and forms are irrelevant to what yoga is, or the teachings and practice of yoga, or the realization of yoga, or the beings who learn, practice and realize yoga, or the liberated beings who share the wisdom of yoga with other beings.

Here are some examples of a common profile of most yoga schools and “professional” yoga teachers who provide yoga courses, yoga classes, or yoga exercise classes :-

“Want to teach yoga? Want to be certified as an internationally affiliated and recognized yoga teacher? Come to us, let our professional yoga teachers trainers to train you to be a qualified professional yoga teacher and be certified and recognized internationally”

“Our yoga school is a Yoga Alliance 200 Hour & 500 Hour Registered Yoga School.”

“Our yoga school has been established for how long.”

“I am a Yoga Alliance 200 Hour & 500 Hour Registered Yoga Teacher.”

“I have been practicing and teaching yoga for how many years.”

“I have been to such and such yoga schools.”

“I had learned and graduated under such and such yoga teachers and gurus.”

“I have attained such and such qualifications and certifications recognized and issued by such and such organizations, or alliances, or affiliations.”

“I am a qualified and certified yoga teacher, I teach such and such types of yoga classes.”

“The type of yoga classes and practice that I teach will give you such and such benefits and results.”

“I am an advance yoga practitioner and yoga teacher, I practice and teach advance yoga.”

“I am experienced, knowledgeable and well-trained yoga teacher. Come to my yoga class. I teach you yoga. I teach you yoga exercises.”

“I have how many years of teaching experiences.”

“I have taught yoga classes in such and such (creditable) yoga schools.”

“I am a good, happy, healthy, experienced, knowledgeable, fit, strong and flexible yogi and yoga teacher.”

And so on…

There is nothing wrong with all these worldly thinking, ideas, qualities and identifications, and most people want or need to see all these qualities to find what they believe is a “good” and “reliable” yoga school or yoga teacher, that will give them what they want after they have paid some fees to be getting something that they are looking for. As well as most yoga schools and yoga teachers also think and believe that they need to have such qualities to convince themselves and the world that they are experienced, qualified, knowledgeable and good enough to give or provide some forms of services, courses or classes to those who pay them some fees for some services or results in return.

But, yoga is nothing to do with all these worldly image or identifications, or worldly ideas of marketing strategies, business exchange of services and achieving results.

All these names and forms have no meanings or values for beings who truly practice yoga and meditation to transcend suffering, egoism, ignorance, names and forms.

Who is being there to identified with all these qualities of names and forms, to acknowledge ourselves and others that “this” is who I am, what I am, what I do, and what I can give you?

Those who had realized selflessness, who have gone beyond the qualities of names and forms, who are free from egoism, and who can guide anybody towards selflessness from their own direct experience and realization, out of compassion, undetermined nor limited by any worldly individuals or organizations to qualified or certified them to be sharing love, peace, compassion and wisdom with anybody, without intention, without identification, without discrimination, without attachment, they are not determined nor limited by any qualities of names and forms, nor will they strengthen the worldly ideas and attachment towards the qualities of names and forms, when the basic teaching and practice of yoga and meditation is to go beyond all these qualities of names and forms, and realize selflessness, namelessness and formlessness.

Those who are suffering, and are determined to be free from suffering, they will either meet the teacher, or the teacher will come to them naturally, when the time is right, to guide them, to show them the way. And the teacher is not necessary in a form of human beings who bear the title of “experienced, qualified and certified yoga teacher”.

Everything else is just a play of some worldly ideas and egoistic desires.

The Truth or Dharma, is always here as it is. It doesn’t belong to anyone or any organizations. It is not limited in yoga schools, yoga courses, yoga classes or yoga teachers. It’s not tradable nor exchangeable. It can’t be sold nor be bought. It is whether we realize it, or not.

Om shanti.