Want to learn and practice yoga?

Yoga practice is preparing the mind for self-inquiry, inquire towards “What is yoga?”, or “The truth of names and forms.”, “What is life/worldly life existence?”, “What is suffering/the cause of suffering?”, or “Who am ‘I’, or who/what is this ‘I’ or self cognition/self-existence/self-identity/individual being?”

People could be talking about yoga according to what the Yoga Scripture stated about yoga – “Yoga is the union of the individual consciousness and the universal consciousness.” or, “Yoga is the suspension of the modification of the mind.” but without direct experience of knowing Thyself, or knowing Yoga.

When people identify and introduce themselves as “I am an experienced yoga practitioner/yoga teacher”, or “I have learned/studied/practiced yoga for how many years under such and such Guru/teacher/school”, or “I am 200/500 hours certified yoga teacher.” it only shows that they don’t really know what is ‘yoga’. And there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with being ignorant towards many things under the influence of ignorance. If human beings can be free from ignorance easily, there won’t be so much ignorance and the consequences of ignorance in this world.

The realization of selflessness/’I’-lessness/egolessness, or non-duality/oneness/non-separateness/namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness/birthlessness/deathlessness, has nothing to do with whether one had been practicing ‘yoga’ for how long and how much, or whether one had attended ‘yoga teacher training courses’ and attained certain ‘Internationally recognized/affiliated yoga teacher certification/qualification’, or whether one is educated and can converse, read and write in certain language, or not.

Most of the time, when people talk about ‘yoga’, that they are practicing yoga, that they love yoga, they are talking about the ‘yoga’ as a form of exercise consists of positions/movements/breath control/concentration/relaxation that gives many physical and mental health benefits, that can help to improve physical and mental health and fitness condition, or talking about some kinds of ‘energy channels/centres cleansing technique’, or ‘sound/vibration/mystical/mantra/energy healing’ practice or ‘energy exchange’, or ‘love sharing and hugging’, or ‘yogic diet’, or ‘clean eating’, or ‘organic living’, or ‘yogic lifestyle’, or ‘yogic attires and accessories’, or ‘yoga mats/blocks/straps/cushions/etc’.

When people visualize ‘someone practicing yoga’, most people would think of someone on a ‘yoga mat’ wearing certain brand of ‘yoga attire’ holding a particular ‘yoga posture’ or doing a set of yoga movements consist of different ‘yoga postures’ or ‘stretches’ with or without some yoga accessories such as block and strap, or doing some ‘breathing exercises’, ‘chanting/praying/clapping/dancing/singing with music’, or ‘meditating in a cross-legged sitting posture holding a particular hand gesture’ with incense burning or meditative music background in an out of the world beautiful and peaceful environment, or a group of people happily chatting, cooking and eating ‘organic produce’, or something to do with ‘positive thinking/empowerment’/’relaxation and de-stress methods’/’healthy lifestyle’/’the sense of happiness or meaningfulness’, or even, visualizing people with certain appearance such like ‘tattooed body’, ‘dreadlocks’ and ‘smoking pot’. Just like what people see in the ‘yoga videos’/’TV documentary on yoga or yogi’/’yoga posters/advertisements/arts’, or in the ‘yoga classes’ in the ‘yoga centres’, or on the streets of certain famous ‘cities of yoga’ in India.

We often hear many ‘yoga practitioners’ say, “I didn’t practice yoga for some time because life was too busy in the past few years/months/weeks/days and I didn’t have enough space for the yoga practice. Now that I have more free time and free space, I want to start practicing yoga again.” It shows that they have no idea what is yoga and yoga practice even though they might have been doing some ‘yoga practice’ either by themselves or attending ‘yoga classes’ for some time.

Yoga and yoga practice is unlimited by name and form, time, space and causation.

Then there are also many ‘yoga competitions’ that are about ‘how good/well one performs some ‘yoga postures’ or ‘yoga movements’. “This person performs the postures/movements better than the others, this person endowed with the strength/the flexibility/the techniques/the artistic/the creativity/the grace/the flow/the endurance/the focus/the effort, and so, this person is the best ‘yogi’ and the champion/winner of this ‘yoga competition’.” There are also many ‘yoga events’, ‘yoga festivals’, ‘yoga shows/performances/demonstrations’, or ‘yoga international day’, and etc.

All these ‘names and forms’ don’t determined that one is practicing yoga, or one knows yoga, or one is a yogi. Those who truly practice yoga, or who know yoga, there’s no such idea/identification of “I know yoga”, “I practice yoga for how long for how regular”, “I meditate for how many years for how many hours/times per day”, “I can hold my breath for how long”, “I am a yogi”, “I am a yoga teacher”, “I am a 200/500 hours certified yoga teacher”, “I participate in such and such yoga events/festivals/courses/yoga competitions”, “I am celebrating yoga international day”, “I am a champion of yoga”, “I am the best yogi”, “This is how a yogi looks like”, “Yoga is so good”, or “I love yoga.”

If someone thinks one knows something about yoga but doesn’t really know what is yoga, and wants to approach a teacher asking to be learning and practicing yoga under this teacher, one must ’empty’ thyself of what one thinks who/what one is, of what one thinks one had learned/practiced/experienced/known/achieved. Actually, just by ’emptying’ thyself, or abandoning the ‘self-identification with such and such quality of names and forms’, one has already opened the ‘door’ of yoga, even without a teacher’s guidance.

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Social conversation / talking / sharing / caring?

Most people need/like/love to talk to some other people most of the time, or even talking to themselves if other people are not available. Talking is a normal thing to do, and a common way to know, learn, express and share, or to have an activity to pass time to chase away boredom and to gratify curiosity. In many cultures in the society, it’s considered ‘rude’, or ‘impolite’, or ‘inappropriate’, or ‘wrong’, or ‘something is wrong’, if there’s silence among people (especially for a prolonged period of time), or if someone doesn’t interact with other people or doesn’t get involved in a conversation with other people around, especially those who know one another, even if someone who can’t hear or speak, or don’t speak the same language, or those who are new comers/complete strangers showing up in a place with some other people around, are also being ‘expected’ to have at least some sort of body language/facial expression/sign language/gesture to be conversing/interacting/communicating with other people. People would feel offended, or disrespected, or mistreated, if they don’t get any ‘expected’ response from people whom they talk to, where either people didn’t give any response or people talked about something that they don’t like to hear.

Many people aren’t satisfy with some people just giving a friendly non-intimidating smile to acknowledge or greet other people, but they believe and expect that all human beings need to have certain physical/mental/emotional conversation/communication/interaction/involvement with each other to build a ‘healthy’ and ‘caring’ society. Someone who keeps to oneself, who has no unfriendly discrimination or intimidation towards everyone else, but doesn’t interested in engaging in any kind of physical/mental/emotional contact/conversation/interaction/communication/involvement with anyone, is being seen as ‘wrong’, ‘selfish’, ‘unhealthy’, or ‘sicked’, by all the others who ‘expect’ certain ‘normal’ and ‘healthy’ behavior/action/reaction/interaction among ‘normal’ and ‘healthy’ human beings.

Many passionate/sociable/friendly/caring people couldn’t understand or respect there are people who prefer complete quietness/solitude or some quiet/alone time/space for themselves. People would either feel ‘bad’ or get ‘offended’ when other people reject or don’t accept their friendly invitation to meet up, or get together, or to chat.

People need/want to share ‘what I think is who I am’ and ‘how I think and feel’ with other people and they want other people to share with them ‘what they think is who they are’ and ‘how they think and feel’. Majority of the worldly so called ‘normal’, ‘healthy’, ‘friendly’ and ‘caring’ society is all about developing and empowering that ‘self-identity’ which attached and identified with certain qualities of names and forms and ‘the modification of the mind of impermanent thinking and feelings’ as ‘this is I’, that is not ‘I’ in yoga of selflessness/namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness.

For those who know each other, mostly the conversation begins with “How are you?” and then naturally will be followed by talking about the past and the future, “What have you been doing and where did you go and what’s next?” while for those first time meeting/knowing each other, it’s mostly talking about self-introduction of each other about “Who I am/who you are.” or “This is me and my name/my nationality/my life/my family/my relationship/my friends/my experience/my knowledge/my interest/my ambition/my passion/my vision/my point of view/my ideas/my talent/my skill/my achievement/my non-achievement/my success/my failure/my pride/my shame/my good/my bad/my happiness/my unhappiness/my guilt and regret, and so on. This is who I am, where I come from/where I live and what I do for living and at free time, and what I think/believe/feel/like/dislike/agree with/disagree with/want/don’t want, my good/bad/happy/unhappy experiences, and what I did in the past and will be doing in the future.” as well as talking about “This is good/better/right/positive/excellent/happy/funny/meaningful/encouraging and that is bad/worse/wrong/negative/terrible/unhappy/sad/meaningless/discouraging.” or ‘obligated manner’ of pleasant words, praise and compliment. And sometimes there will be scheming, plotting, cover-up/made-up stories telling, or hypocrisy, or lies, or gossip, or mocking, or teasing, or flirting, or criticism, or condemn, or slander, or back-biting, or argument, or intimidation, and etc.

Social conversation or talking is an intense physical/mental/emotional energy consuming process that keeps the mind ceaselessly busy and restless receiving/processing inputs and generating/delivering outputs, while all these ceaseless mind inputs and outputs generate further random mental/emotional imprints that doesn’t allow the mind to be quiet, and unwittingly empowering egoism of worldly/spiritual attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation that feeds ignorance in oneself and others.

For those who sincerely want to meditate or practice yoga to be free from ignorance, it’s all about freeing the mind from being unwittingly empowering all those names and forms, of duality, attachment, identification, past experiences/future anticipation, passionate desires, craving/aversion, judgment, comparison, expectation, restlessness, impurities, and etc, to stop feeding egoism and ignorance. And hence, the important practice of silence, renunciation, seclusion and solitude.

Without renunciation from the worldly society, one is being ‘obliged’ to meet up/get together/communicate/interact with many other people of family/relatives/friends circle/community and spend so much energy into social conversation/interaction/communication/activity with all the others around in order to ‘build’ and ‘maintain’ a ‘healthy, caring and friendly society’ that might make the mind feels ‘love’, ‘kindness’, ‘acknowledgement’, ‘goodness’, ‘positiveness’, ‘liveliness’ and ‘meaningfulness’. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it doesn’t help to free the mind from ignorance and egoism, to quiet/annihilate the restless modification of the mind. Instead, the mind might attached stronger onto the sense of ‘love’, ‘kindness’, ‘acknowledgement’, ‘goodness’, ‘positiveness’, ‘liveliness’ and ‘meaningfulness’ deriving from the impermanent and selfless worldly names and forms of all kinds of attachment and egoistic identity and actions/the fruit of actions.

From the perception/achievement/notion of “Life in this world is good and meaningful.” there arise the desire of “We need to preserve and protect life in this world to stay good and meaningful.” and then there arise ‘dissatisfaction’, ‘frustration’, ‘hurts’, ‘depression’, ‘unhappiness’, ‘anger’, ‘disappointment’, ‘fear’, ‘worry’, and etc, when things are not being the way that the mind desire it to be, when there’s obstacles/difficulties/circumstances that hinder the gratification of that desire to be building/maintaining/protecting what the mind think and believe as ‘good and meaningful life in this world’. This is attachment/clinging/craving/expectation.

First, there’s an idea/thought arise in the mind, then there arise attachment/clinging onto that idea/thought and there arise desire to materialize that idea/thought to become action/creation, and then there’s possessiveness/identification/expectation/protection towards that action/creation and the result/fruit of that action/creation. If things turn out to be the way that is not what the mind desire/expect it to be, the mind feels disturbed/dissatisfied/disappointed/hurt/sad/unhappy/depressed/frustrated/angry/aggressive/violent and so on. And ceaseless random ideas/thoughts arise to counter those ‘tension’ accumulating in the mind. Restless.

Those who have firm foundation in non-attachment/dispassion, or those who know thyself/selflessness, or maybe those who think and believe “I have done and achieved everything that I desire and I can die in peace without regret.” can mix into the worldly society and perform many actions to help to build a ‘caring and friendly society’ in the world, but without being distracted or influenced by the constant restless physical/mental/emotional interaction/activity, being undetermined by the actions and the fruit of actions, being free from disturbs, hurts, disappointment, dissatisfaction, frustration, or guilt/regret. This is non-attachment/non-clinging/non-craving/non-expectation.

One can mix with many people and constantly talk about “This is my name, my nationality, my family, my friends, my relatives, my community, my past, my present, my future, my actions and fruit of my actions, my thinking/belief/culture/point of view/feelings/emotions/experiences, or this and that is happening/has happened/will be happening here and there, and so on.” as all these names and forms are what most people talk about in any conversation and where people identifying with all these names and forms as “who they think they are”, but all these names and forms are not “who I am” or ‘I’ for the minds that know thyself/selflessness.

When someone is being alone or in silence being in their own ‘space’, people around will ask, “Are you okay? Is there something bothering you? You can talk to me. I’m here to listen.”

There’s nothing wrong when people feel sad, or unhappy, or depressed, or disappointed, or frustrated, or negative once in a while, and most people feel they need to talk to someone to share their feelings and what’s bothering them, to release some tension or to get some advice. People don’t have to be okay, or satisfy, or happy all the time. But those who know what is going on in the mind, there is nothing to be sad, unhappy, depressed, disappointed, frustrated or negative about, that need to be talking or sharing with someone else, or to release any tension, as there’s no tension built up, or to get any advice, as there’s no problems.

Those who know this, they can be happy as they are, no matter what.

Those who don’t know this, they don’t have to be happy all the time and they can’t be happy no matter what. It’s okay sometimes the mind is not okay and not happy with certain things. There’s nothing wrong with that. But when they think no body is being there to share their thinking/feelings/problems, to be talking to other people, or to be listening by other people, they might feel more sad, unhappy, disappointed, depressed, frustrated, or negative. And hence, people believe that “People should be available to be talking to and listening to other people all the time. It would make people who need to talk feel better and it brings the sense of meaningfulness to those who listen.” There’s nothing wrong with that but it doesn’t free the mind from ignorance/attachment/craving/expectation. Just like giving an unhappy and crying child the sweets and sugary drinks that the child wants every time to make the child stop being unhappy and crying if the child doesn’t get the sweets and sugary drinks, doesn’t really help the child at all. There’s no freedom.

“It feels so much better talking to you. Let’s meet up regularly and talk more.” and “Talking to me can make you feel better and make me feel so meaningful. Let’s meet up and talk more often.” If for some reasons that these two people are not possible to meet up and talk as expected, both would feel bad, sad and disappointed. There’s no freedom.

Just like practicing yoga exercises and teaching yoga to other people would generate the momentary sense of well-being, goodness and meaningfulness, and if for some reasons one couldn’t practice yoga exercises or teach yoga for a prolonged period of time, one would feel frustrated, disappointed and meaningless. There’s no freedom.

Most people/minds don’t like to hear this.

“Compassion is not about giving the mind what it likes and wants, or what it craves for, to be empowering the ignorance and egoism in the mind to make it feels better, good, satisfied or happy. Compassion is allowing the suffering unhappy disturbed mind to inquire into the truth of suffering, unhappiness and disturbs, by freeing the mind from ignorance, egoism, restlessness and impurities, to see the truth of the root cause of all suffering of disturbs/hurts/unhappiness/disappointment/dissatisfaction/fear/worry, where all suffering is deriving from one’s ignorance and egoism or ceaseless egoistic mind reactions towards the gratification/non-gratification of the desire of craving and aversion. If one’s desire is being gratified by getting what one likes and wants, and not getting what one doesn’t like and doesn’t want, then the mind reacts and feels good, satisfied and happy. And when one’s desire is not being gratified, where one is not getting what one likes and wants, but is getting what one doesn’t like and doesn’t want, then the mind reacts and feels bad, dissatisfied and unhappy. It’s nothing to do with the experiences/names and forms being ‘bad’, ‘wrong’, ‘terrible’, ‘disturbing’, or ‘hurtful’.

The teachings/practice/process of freeing the mind from ignorance and egoism, it’s not something pleasant or agreeable to the ignorant egoistic mind at all, but it can free the mind from suffering deriving from ignorance and egoism.

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to practice, or not.

Be free.

Beginner, intermediate, advanced yoga practitioner?

Just as the name and form of ‘Buddhist’ doesn’t mean anything for those who truly practice ‘Buddhism’, the worldly name and form of ‘yoga practitioner’ or ‘yoga teacher’ also doesn’t really mean anything in yoga of selflessness/namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness, not to say ‘experienced’, ‘inexperienced’, ‘certified’, ‘qualified’, ‘good’, ‘bad’ yoga practitioner/yoga teacher, or even ‘beginner’, ‘intermediate’ and ‘advanced’ yoga practitioner.

Some people never done any ‘yoga practice’ before, but they know what is non-attachment and they are peaceful as they are. Some due to physical limitation/sickness/injury/weakness that they can’t do much physical ‘yoga practice’, but they know what is non-attachment and they are also peaceful as they are. The mind is free from disturbs/hurts/dissatisfaction/disappointment/anger/hatred/jealousy/fear/worry/offensiveness/defensiveness/loneliness/depression/hostility/animosity, and etc, being undetermined by the mind perception of names and forms under any circumstances in life or the condition of the world that one is living in.

There’s neither beginner/intermediate/advanced yoga practitioners or yoga practice. It’s either one is practicing yoga or one is not practicing yoga, in this present moment.

It’s neither about how long one has been ‘practicing yoga’, nor how much ‘physical yoga practice’ one has done in the past, nor how much physical/mental benefits one has been receiving from performing the ‘physical yoga practice’ regularly. Whether one is practicing yoga, or not, is undetermined by the selfless impermanent physical and mental condition/ability/disability/limitation to be performing certain actions/movements in the world, or whether one is highly intelligent, knowledgeable, educated and talented, or not.

In this present moment, despite how long one has been ‘practicing yoga’ and how much ‘physical yoga practice’ one has been doing, when there’s egoism of attachment/identification/desire of craving and aversion/judgment/comparison/expectation influencing/over-powering the function of the mind, the mind is not free, unwittingly being in a state of restlessness occupying by ceaseless desires/actions/reactions/impurities being determined by the selfless impermanent qualities of names and forms that the mind perceives/experiences through the senses of what the mind sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches, feels or thinks. The mind is missing someone or something that the mind likes and desires but is absence/unavailable to the mind in the present moment, may it be a person, an animal, plant, food, house, toy, music, sport, climate, thing, scenery, sound, smell, taste, sensation, feeling, and etc. There’s clinging/craving/longing towards the names and forms/experiences that give rise to the sense of confidence, pride, goodness, happiness, meaningfulness, positiveness, togetherness, rightfulness, worthiness, success, accomplishment, satisfaction, well-treated, well-deserved, well-loved, well-lived, and etc. Then even though one has been performing certain ‘physical yoga practice’ for a few hours a day regularly for a long time, one isn’t practicing yoga at all, as one is being passionate towards the worldly life/ideas/values/relationships/activities and being busy/restless chasing after the objects of the senses to gratify the endless desire/craving/longing, and doesn’t know what is non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment, non-comparison, or non-expectation.

Some teachers/yoga schools teach that everyone need to start with ‘beginner physical yoga practice’ for certain years then they can begin learning/practicing the nameless/formless ‘advanced mental yoga practice’. Some teachers/yoga schools even teach about ‘yoga practice’ should be done during certain ‘auspicious hours’ and one shouldn’t practice yoga during the ‘inauspicious hours’. There’s neither right nor wrong with that. Just that, when someone is suffering from great mental disturbs, distress, restlessness, unhappiness, dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurts, fear, painful sorrow and etc, in this present moment, does this person need to wait for many years later to be allowed to start practicing non-attachment and letting go as well as looking/inquiring into the truth of the mental modification to free the mind from the root cause of all suffering? Just like if the hand is contacting with fire, do you have to wait for a few more minutes/hours to move the hand out of the fire? Or when someone is suffering a condition/injury that needs emergency medical operation, does this person need to wait for an ‘auspicious timing’ which can be a few days/weeks/months later to allow the doctor to perform the operation?

Inquire the truth of everything. Do not blind-believing, blind-following, blind-practicing, blind-propagating, blind-agreeing/disagreeing with anything.

The one who is practicing yoga eliminating egoism/restlessness/impurities or purifying/quieting the modification of the mind is the mind itself.

The mind that is practicing yoga is free from any identification with any quality of names and forms that are impermanent and selfless, such as the physical body, the function/modification of the mind, the yoga practice/duty/responsibility, all kinds of worldly social/cultural/religious/political/commercial thinking/belief/practice/values/image, or the knowledge/intelligence/talent/skill/relationships/ties/connections/way of life/actions and the fruit of actions/pleasant or unpleasant experiences as ‘I’.

One might be performing many ‘good actions’, but there’s no attachment/identification of “I am a good person who do many good actions and I will be receiving all the goodness in return.”

There’s no expectation towards other people must also perform ‘good actions’ that ‘I’ believe as ‘good’.

The mind is okay and has no problems under any condition and situation, where one can have many things or few things or nothing in life, without being determined by it, as the mind is free from attachment, desires, craving and aversion, being unlimited/undetermined by all the selfless impermanent changes of pleasant/unpleasant, agreeable/disagreeable, desirable/undesirable experiences/condition/situation/relationship.

One doesn’t miss anyone or anything that the mind perceives/recognizes as good, pleasant, meaningful, agreeable and enjoyable, but is absent/unavailable in the present moment.

One might perform actions that would benefit oneself and others, but without identification towards the actions or expectation towards the fruit of actions.

One does one’s best when performing any actions/duties/responsibilities and allowing the fruit of actions to be what it is, without attachment/identification/judgment/expectation, being undetermined by the fruit of actions.

One is not determined/disturbed/offended/hurt/intimidated/depressed/unhappy/dissatisfied/disappointed by the perception of all kinds of names and forms of unpleasant/undesirable/disagreeable sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations, feelings/emotions/thoughts, or the world is not being the way that the mind would like it to be.

One doesn’t need to be empowered to achieve/attain/possess certain quality of names and forms that give rise to the sense of confidence, pride, goodness, happiness, meaningfulness, positiveness, togetherness, rightfulness, worthiness, success, satisfaction, well-deserved, well-loved, and etc, although one can be very successful in whatever one does in life and enjoying good relationships with someone. Being undetermined by the sense of confidence/goodness/meaningfulness and etc, doesn’t mean that one doesn’t perform any actions that would bring benefits and improvement in life, or one doesn’t have a particular way of life that is most suitable and beneficial for oneself.

Loneliness, or depression, or dissatisfaction, or disappointment, or fear, is absent in the mind that is free from egoism, under any circumstances, condition, situation, environment, restriction or limitation.

The mind remains equanimous and clear under extreme difficult or challenging condition or situation.

There’s need not to forgive or let go anything, as the mind is unhurt/unoffended/undisturbed/undetermined by all the names and forms that are not the way that the mind would like it to be, as the mind is free from attachment/identification/craving/aversion/judgment/expectation towards any names and forms, but allowing the names and forms to be what they are, as they are.

One is not determined by the presence or absence of family ties, relationships, friendships, companionship, community, society, connections, duty, responsibility, ability/disability, achievement/non-achievement, good/bad conditions, pleasant/unpleasant experiences, actions or the fruit of actions.

The mind is free from passionate aspiration/ambition/desire to change/control/influence the world to be the way that ‘I’ think how it should be, but allowing the world to be what it is, even though one can be performing actions that are beneficial to the world.

One doesn’t need to be relaxed/unwind/entertained/pampered from time to time, as there’s no tension building up/accumulated.

One doesn’t need to attain love, support, agreement, acknowledgement, recognition, validation, sympathy, empathy or understanding from anyone, or to be ‘somebody’ that one and others would be proud of.

One doesn’t need to be in certain ways or achieve something to please oneself or others.

There’s neither gratefulness nor ungratefulness, appreciation nor inappreciation, deserving nor non-deserving.

There’s no low self-esteem, pride or arrogance. There’s no need empowerment to develop/attain the sense of confidence.

The mind is unattached towards or being free from being determined by the present and past pleasant/unpleasant/happy/unhappy experiences and future imagination/anticipation/projection.

There’s no ‘bucket list’/’to do list’ that needs to be fulfilled/accomplished before one dies. There’s no unfulfilled/ungratified desire/ambition. There’s no regret or guilt. One just performs action and achieves what is possible in this present moment.

There’s no fear/aversion towards impermanent changes, difficult condition, aging, weakening, decaying, unattractiveness, aloneness, sickness, old age, death, or separation with people and objects that one loves.

The mind is free from being determined by the perception of duality. One is free and peaceful as it is. One doesn’t interfere with other people’s different thinking/belief/values/practice/ways of life/desires/actions/reactions.

There’s nothing that the mind needs to complain/argue/debate/justify to prove that ‘I’ am right. There’s neither right nor wrong.

For many people including many yoga enthusiasts, this might not be the life or freedom that they want, and this appears to be ‘dry’, ‘cold’, ‘wrong’, ‘negative’, ‘sad’, ‘mad’, ‘insane’, ‘abnormal’, ‘joyless’, ‘lifeless’ and ‘meaningless’ to them, and that’s their freedom of thinking and desire. Many people enjoy passionate way of life indulging in all kinds of attachment/identification/expectation/relationships/desires/stimulation/enjoyment/entertainment, enjoying restlessness and emotional roller coaster, enjoying the endless gratification of desires that lead to excitement/satisfaction or disappointment/dissatisfaction, and be ambitious/empowered to ‘save the planet/the world’ or change the world to be the way that they think how it should be, as the way of living a lively and meaningful life, where many people just want to do the ‘physical yoga practice’ to get some health and fitness benefits but not interested at all in the practice of dispassion and renunciation to be quieting the mind to free the mind from ignorance/egoism/impurities/restlessness, which they perceive as ‘meaningless things to do’ and ‘a dulled way of life’, and that’s their freedom of thinking and what they want to do with their life.

There’s nothing wrong with different people with their impermanent different states of mind, sometimes positive, sometimes negative, sometimes happy, sometimes unhappy, sometimes peaceful, sometimes disturbed, sometimes cheerful, sometimes depressed, sometimes excited, sometimes angry, sometimes disappointed, sometimes motivated, sometimes demotivated, sometimes okay, sometimes not okay, and so on. Just that under the influence of ignorance/egoism/restlessness/impurities and the ambition/desire to fight for ‘a world that they think how it should be’, sometimes people would hurt themselves and/or others out of disturbs, dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, jealousy, fear, survival instinct and other impurities. For those who want to free the mind from such restlessness, who want to stop hurting themselves and others out of ignorance, egoism and impurities, they can practice yoga, if they want.

In yoga, everyone just need to ‘save oneself by freeing one’s mind from ignorance and suffering’, which is an intense challenging/painful task for most minds, in order to help the world to be a better place. It’s not about fighting against other people to ‘save the planet/the world from being the way that one thinks it shouldn’t be’. Most passionate minds couldn’t understand this, and they believe everyone should be angry with/hating/fighting against what they think and believe is ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’ to ‘save the world from badness and wrongness’, and they want to provoke anger and hatred in other people towards what they think is ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’ to be supporting their mission to ‘save the world’, and that’s their freedom.

It’s always easier to be disturbed than to be undisturbed by what the mind perceives as ‘disturbing’.

Be free.

Yoga practice and practice yoga?

What is yoga practice and practice yoga?

Yoga practice is a combination of different ‘mind cleansing’ tools and techniques to ‘clean up’/’purify’ the restless/impure egoistic mind to free the mind from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance. One who practices yoga is practically using those ‘mind cleansing’ tools and techniques to be engaging in a ‘mind cleaning up process’, constantly, inexhaustibly, determinedly and diligently, until the mind is free from ignorance, knowing the truth of impermanence and selflessness, knowing thyself.

Many yoga enthusiasts who identify themselves as ‘yoga practitioners’/’yoga teachers’ might have the ‘knowledge’ of the ‘yoga practice’ and might be doing some kind of ‘yoga practice’ or delivering the ‘knowledge’ of the ‘yoga practice’ to other people regularly, but not many are actually practicing yoga as it is (cleaning the mind efficiently, freeing the mind from restlessness, impurities, egoism, ignorance or suffering). There’s intense reluctance to let go worldly attachment/identification/thinking/belief/desire/relationship/objects/pleasurable enjoyments of the senses. There’s still attachment and clinging towards the world of qualities of names and forms with all kinds of ‘relationship’, ‘ties’ or ‘connection’, being determined very much by the presence and absence of certain qualities of names and forms, and the quality/condition of relationship/ties/connection to be confident/happy/meaningful, or not. There’s an identity/ego that longing to be empowered, acknowledged, understood, agreed with, empathized, pampered and loved. And there’s nothing wrong with it as that’s their freedom. But for those who truly want to practice and realize yoga, they will practice yoga as it is, to be determined to free the mind from ignorance, regardless of any amount of difficulties and obstacles.

Just like cleaning up a ‘rubbish dump’ that is full of rubbish. It’s not just about the cleaning process to clear away those existing rubbish, but more importantly, it’s about stop generating/bringing in more rubbish into that area as well.

The mind is sort of like a ‘rubbish dump’. The yoga practice is not just about ‘clearing away’ the existing ‘impurities’, ‘restlessness’, ‘egoism’, ‘ignorance’ or ‘suffering’ which is already a challenging task that requires great effort, discipline, initiative, patience, forbearance, perseverance and determination, but more importantly, it’s to stop generating/accumulating/empowering ‘impurities’, ‘restlessness’, ‘egoism’, ‘ignorance’ or ‘suffering’, to silent/annihilate the restless modification of the mind. And hence, the importance of the practice of silence and renunciation.

The difference between a ‘rubbish dump’ and the restless/impure egoistic mind is that the ‘rubbish dump’ can be cleaned up and maintained ‘rubbish free’ by many people working together, but, for ‘cleaning up’ the restless/impure egoistic mind, it can only be done alone by the mind itself, not even ‘God’, or ‘Guru’, or any amount of ‘good friends’ and ‘good teachers’ can help to ‘clean up’ this mind, to free this mind from ignorance and all kinds of suffering, as all the rubbish of ‘impurities’, ‘restlessness’, ‘egoism’, ‘ignorance’ or ‘suffering’ is ‘generated’/’accumulated/empowered’ from/by the mind itself, and no other can ‘take away’/’remove’/’eliminate’/’stop generating’/’stop accumulating’/’stop empowering’ those ‘rubbish’ except the mind itself.

Meanwhile, there are some benefits/side-effects/by-products of the yoga practice such as better physical health and fitness condition and the sense of well-being/confidence/goodness/meaningfulness/joyfulness/peacefulness that come along with the different yoga practice, but they are just like spraying a lot of air freshener and putting plenty of beautiful fragrant colourful flower petals that bring some freshness smell and appearance into the area of the ‘rubbish dump’, but it doesn’t really ‘clean up’ the ‘rubbish dump’.

Doing some form of ‘yoga practice’ regularly or teaching ‘yoga classes/courses’ to many other people for many years also doesn’t necessarily means that one is practicing yoga. Some even take the ‘image’ or ‘characteristic’ of certain ‘yogis’/’sadhus’ with a particular ‘yogi’/’sadhu’ appearance in particular position and gesture while enjoying the momentary ‘intoxication/hallucination/highness/calmness’ from taking certain drugs/substances or certain ‘yoga practitioners’/’yoga teachers’ enjoying intimate relationships with random people as what ‘yoga practice’ and ‘practice yoga’ is about.

Different teachings / practices catering the different levels of understanding

Sometimes people might feel confused by the different teachings or practices in yoga that appear to be ‘contradicted’ with one another.

Such as, there is the teachings or external practice of ‘Yama (refraining from immoral conduct) and Niyama (observances)’, ‘positive thinking’, ‘sattvic physical and mental inputs’, ‘breath control’ and ‘physical position’ to influence/balance/purify/control/manipulate the energy field to ‘change’ or ‘influence’ the state of the mind from agitation to calmness, from dullness to brightness, from restlessness to quietness, from negative to positive, from unhealthiness to healthiness, from selfishness to unselfishness, from impurity to purity, from ignorance to the end of ignorance. These are ‘the practice with names and forms’ with the intention to influence or change certain ‘lower qualities’ to be transformed into ‘higher qualities’, or to let go certain old ‘bad’ habits and to develop new ‘good’ habits. This is for the passionate ones who are being conditioned deeply by worldly egoistic thinking/belief/habits/behavior/desire/action and reaction, who still identified strongly with certain qualities of names and forms (family, relationship, given name/self-identity, gender, sexual orientation, personality, self-image, physical appearance/condition/ability/disability, states of the mind of thinking/belief/feelings/emotions, action and the fruit of action, culture, religion, spirituality, community, knowledge, experiences, relationship, nationality, political point of view, and so on), who are still looking for and being determined by the sense of love, happiness, satisfaction, success, meaningfulness, confidence, positiveness, goodness, righteousness, easiness, or pleasurable enjoyments in the qualities of names and forms.

Then, there’s the teachings and internal practice of the senses are being withdrawn from the sense objects, concentration and meditation, which include non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment, non-comparison, non-expectation, annihilating egoism or the idea of ‘I’, where there’s no ‘I’ existing being the performer of action or the receiver/enjoyer of the fruit of action. There’s neither ‘I’ am selfish nor ‘I’ am unselfish. There’s neither ‘I’ want goodness/happiness nor ‘I’ don’t want badness/unhappiness. It’s going beyond all the qualities of names and forms, being undetermined by the Gunas/energy fields, the physical condition, the state of the mind, quality of names and forms, duality, actions and the fruit of actions.

This is for the dispassionate ones who have firm determination to transcend the mind perception of a worldly life existence of impermanent and selfless names and forms, who have abandoned worldly egoistic thinking/belief/habits/behavior/desire/action and reaction, who are disinterested in chasing after worldly objects/enjoyments/relationships/satisfaction/meaningfulness/identification/recognition, who have gone beyond the sense of love, happiness, satisfaction, success, meaningfulness, confidence, positiveness, goodness, righteousness, easiness, or pleasurable enjoyments, upon the realization of selflessness, namelessness, formlessness, attributelessness, non-duality, oneness, or non-separateness derived from self-inquiry under a desireless equanimous mind, being aware of the modification of the mind or the different states of the mind allowing all the pleasant/unpleasant or desirable/undesirable names and forms of all the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations, feelings, thoughts in this present moment now being there as it is, without interfering with or controlling or changing the physical condition or the state of the mind to be something else that is not what it is, or to be ‘the way that I desire it to be’, allowing all the names and forms to be arising and passing away, allowing all the impermanent changes to be there, as they are.

There’s neither attachment towards nor identification with the impermanent and selfless physical body/the modification of the mind as ‘I’. These are ‘the nameless and formless practice’ without any intention to influence or change anything, but allowing all and everything to be there as they are, to be changing as they are, to be what they are, as they are.

If the external practice with names and forms are being practiced with the nameless formless internal practice, then one will know how to free the mind from egoism while performing all the external practice and allowing all the effects or benefits coming from the external practice to be there as they are, without intention to be receiving the effects/benefits of the practice, without desire of craving or aversion, without judgment or expectation, without attachment or identification with the practice or the result of the practice.

Just like the sun, the wind, the water, the earth and the space have no intention to be performing action, or to be interfering with one another and everything in the universe, or discriminating/judging/praising/condemning this is good or that is bad, but actions/activities are there constantly influencing each other.

All the different teachings and practices exist to accommodate different states of the mind with different degrees of attachment, openness, awareness, ignorance, understanding and/or realization. There’s no ‘contradiction’ at all. It’s just different stages of the entire yoga practice. However, many yoga enthusiasts might just stop at getting the effects/benefits from the yoga practice and don’t want to proceed any further to free the mind from egoism, impurities, restlessness or ignorance, to free the mind from being determined by the mind perception of different qualities of names and forms, and be free, as they are not interested at all in silencing the modification of the mind, as they are passionately ‘loving’ and ‘enjoying’ the impermanent and selfless worldly life existence so much. And that’s their freedom.

When the mind is being less conditioned by worldly thinking/belief/habits/action/reaction, this mind will be less disturbed by the mind perception of names and forms of all kinds of agreeable/disagreeable or pleasant/unpleasant experiences, and this will allow the mind to see the truth of things as it is, under a calm and quiet state of the mind, intentionlessly, effortlessly, spontaneously.