Being peaceful and compassionate doesn’t mean that the body and mind don’t experience unpleasantness

Whether we feel comfortable or uncomfortable being in a yoga pose or in a particular position, or in a situation in life, it has nothing to do with peace and compassion.

Being peaceful and compassionate doesn’t mean that the body and mind don’t or won’t experience or perceive unpleasantness.

One can be peaceful and compassionate as one is, unconditionally, being undetermined or undisturbed by all the impermanent changes of the condition of the body and the state of the mind, and all the perceptions of pleasant and unpleasant sensations, sights, sounds, smells, tastes and thoughts.

If one can only be peaceful and compassionate when one perceives or experiences pleasant names and forms, and doesn’t perceive any unpleasant names and forms, but then one won’t be peaceful or compassionate when one perceives unpleasant names and forms, then that is just the momentary state of the ignorant egoistic mind being ‘peaceful and kind’ or ‘peaceless and unkind’ being conditioned and determined by the qualities of names and forms, it’s not the unconditional peace and compassion that one realizes from being free from ignorance and egoism.

The one who is free, will be peaceful and compassionate as one is under any condition or situation, no matter what is the physical condition or the state of the mind, whether it’s pleasant or unpleasant.

Be free.

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When there’s doubt whether in the yoga asana practice or in life

When there’s doubt whether in the yoga asana practice or in life, especially in relationships, we learn to take responsibility to make decision for ourselves, either we go beyond the doubt and endure whatever difficulty or challenge that we think we are dealing with, and make some adjustments to adapt and accommodate whatever difficulty or discomfort, proceed with what we want to venture, or, if we think we can’t go beyond the doubt, we can let go what we would like to do or have, without regret or guilt towards the decision that we made, no matter what is the outcome or consequences of our decision made.

When we attempt to perform certain yoga asana poses that we are not familiar with and there’s doubt towards our physical ability or fear of the risk of injury, we learn to take the responsibility to make decision for ourselves, either we go beyond that doubt and proceed with the attempt to perform the yoga poses without tension or fear or struggle or pushing the body beyond its limitation, especially when the body is capable and is ready to do the poses, but the mind has doubt and fear, and it doesn’t matter if we still can’t do the yoga poses after we have tried our best, or if we think we can’t go beyond that doubt, we think and believe that our body is not capable or is not ready to do the poses, we can let go of trying to perform those yoga poses in this practice session. There’s no regret afterwards towards the decision that we made for ourselves.

It’s really not important whether we can perform all the yoga poses, or not. It’s about learning how to deal with fear and doubt while we perform the yoga asana poses. It’s okay if we can’t go beyond the fear or doubt in this present, but we can try again in the next practice, or the next next practice, it doesn’t matter if one day finally we can perform the yoga poses without fear or doubt, or we still can’t do them even after many attempts for many years. It’s really not important and it has nothing to do with the realization of unconditional love and peace.

It’s the same as in life situations, especially in relationships. When there’s doubt in a relationship and we are not sure whether we want to continue to be in the relationship, or not, we can either go beyond the doubt and do our best to develop unconditional love, patience, tolerance, acceptance, adjustment, adaptation and accommodation to over-come whatever difficulties that we think we are encountering in a relationship, or if we think we can’t go beyond the doubt, if we think we can’t have the unconditional love, patience, tolerance, acceptance, adjustment, adaptation and accommodation to continue the relationship that is challenging for one or both parties, we can just let go of the relationship, even though we think we love the person in the relationship with us, as loving someone doesn’t mean that we have to be in a relationship with that person, to ‘keep’ the love, the person and the relationship to be mine and ours.

Sometimes we have to let go a relationship out of love, real love. As loving each other doesn’t necessarily mean that two people are suitable to be sharing a life together in a relationship or living together under the same roof.

It’s okay if we are aware that we are not as loving or kind as what we would like us to be. We don’t have to love anyone, because most of the time, we don’t even love ourselves, we only love what we like and what we want. And it’s okay if we don’t love anyone or ourselves, as long as we are aware of it. It’s okay if we realize we don’t really love the person in the existing relationship with us. And it would be better to be aware of “I don’t love you” than to think or believe that “I love you”, but at the same time “I’ll do and say things that would hurt you and our relationship, because I don’t really love you, but I only love what I like and what I want. And I am unhappy or feel disappointed, angry and hurt when I don’t get what I like and what I want in this relationship with you.”

There’s neither regret nor guilt, once we made a decision and we take the responsibility for the consequences of our decision made.

Some people do not want to make decision for themselves and ask other people to give them advice and make the decision for them, so that, if the consequences of the decision made turn out to be good, everyone will be happy, and if the consequences of the decision made turn out to be bad, they can blame other people for it.

Be free.

People’s power?

People’s power is no doubt very powerful, of course. There’s no doubt that other than the greatest power of nature, it’s the people’s power that is so powerful and influential that it influences the condition or situation of the world, in a country, in a community, in a company, or in a family, through their thinking and behavior, making the world a better or worse place to be in. But what is influencing the people’s thinking and behavior is more powerful. And so, what happen if ignorance, egoism and impurities is the power that influencing many people in the world to think, behave, act and react?

Even those who think they are good people who want to be good, who do good actions and don’t do bad actions are not necessarily be free from the influence of ignorance and egoism and impurities. If the mind thinks and feels, “I am disturbed, disappointed, frustrated, threatened, depressed, angered or hurt by something that I think is bad, negative and wrong”, know that this is ignorance, though there’s nothing wrong with this reaction of thinking and feeling in such way reacting towards certain perceptions of names and forms that the mind believes as bad, negative and wrong. The power of ignorance is so great that the mind doesn’t even know it is under the influence of ignorance, thinking that it is wise or smart enough, or it is wiser or smarter than others. And the ego doesn’t like to hear or be pointed out that it is the product of ignorance, and would feel offended or humiliated or intimidated.

The wise won’t be disturbed nor determined by the ignorance of others of all sorts of ignorant thinking and behavior, or what the mind thinks and believes as bad, negative or wrong. If one will be disturbed and determined by the ignorance of others of their ignorant thinking and behavior, or what the mind thinks and believes as bad, negative and wrong, or be disturbed by the condition and situation of the world that is not how one would like it to be, then this mind is under the influence of ignorance.

One can choose not to be disturbed or determined by the ignorance of others of all sorts of ignorant thinking and behavior, or not.

The wise don’t have any intention to change the world. They allow everyone to be free from ignorance, or not, through everyone’s own interest and effort. If people are not interested in freeing their mind from ignorance, that’s their freedom.

Even the enlightened liberated beings can’t change the world or take away the ignorance in others or remove ignorance from the world. If not, the world is already be free from ignorant beings/thinking/behavior. One can only free one’s mind from ignorance through self-initiative, self-effort, self-discipline, self-inquiry and self-realization.

If there are people have the great ambition to be ‘superhero’ to change and save the world, that’s their freedom.

The YTTC or Yoga Teachers Training Courses is about being a platform for truth seekers who are interested in attaining liberation from ignorance and suffering to learn and practice yoga to become their own teacher to perform self-practice/Yoga Sadhana, to attain self-realization and independence, and when one is free from ignorance and suffering, the world will have less a being under the influence of ignorance. And one can share one’s self-realized knowledge of yoga with others, where yoga asana practice is one of the many practices to purify and quiet the mind to prepare the mind for meditation. But nowadays, many YTTC are not about developing serious self-practice or Yoga Sadhana to free oneself from ignorance and egoism, but, it’s mainly about to be equipped with some ‘teaching technical information’ for ‘teaching yoga (asana exercise) classes’ to most people who are not really interested in the elimination of egoism through the practice of silence, desireless, dispassion, self-discipline, self-inquiry and self-realization, but more interested in empowering egoism and gratifying their worldly passionate desires of craving and aversion especially towards enhancing physical health and fitness level, physical appearance and ability through performing the yoga asana exercises, while some others are interested towards developing mental psychic power for different reasons or intentions.

“I have been doing some yoga regularly for some time. Now, I want to learn and do more yoga. Can you teach me?”
“Really?”
“Yes! I am really interested to learn to do all the yoga poses that I am still not able to do. I also want to know what are the different muscles groups that we use in the different yoga poses and their specific benefits related to health and fitness. I hope to become a yoga teacher to teach yoga classes someday. I need to make my body healthier, fitter, stronger and more flexible so that I can do lots of the yoga poses to be qualified to join the yoga teacher training course. I also want to feel better about myself, because right now, I am not very happy with myself, my yoga practice, my physical appearance, my health and fitness level, my job, my life and my relationship. Many yoga teachers say yoga can gives us lots of benefits to improve health and fitness, and make us look good and feel good about ourselves, and become superhuman with superpower to do anything that we want to do with our body and mind. They say yoga can make our body stay young and strong, that we won’t get sick and we can defy aging. They say by doing yoga we can defy gravity and we can fly. And they say practice yoga can also have all our desires come true. I want a better life, a better body, a better relationship and a better job. I really want to learn and do yoga!”
“I can teach you yoga. But first, you will need to let go all these desires of what you want and don’t want.”
“This is not the yoga that I want to learn and do.”
“Be happy then.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be free.

May all be free from all kinds of suffering especially involving traumatic/disturbing/hurtful/abusive life experience

There are many different ways to cope with all kinds of suffering in the world to an extent, or even to be free from suffering. Especially in the suffering involving traumatic/disturbing/hurtful/abusive life experiences. Some people might keep to themselves hiding in the dark, while some people might try to get help from professional psychologists or spiritual healers, and some might turn to drugs or engage in some sorts of activities to escape the pain. Most of the time, when people try to look for help from the outside, it would involve third parties showing loving kindness, sympathy, empathy, supports, actions of sharing, caring, listening, and giving helps physically, mentally, psychologically and emotionally to the suffering beings to ease or relieve their suffering, as well as to condemn those who inflict suffering onto others. If one doesn’t know how to be free from continuously be disturbed by painful experiences (past and present), it will affect one’s relationships with everyone.

In the teachings of yoga, it’s beyond third parties showing love and care and supports towards the suffering beings to ease or relieve their suffering, or to condemn those who inflict suffering onto others. But it is guiding and allowing them to help themselves and love themselves without the need of sympathy/empathy/supports from third parties, to see the truth of suffering through silencing the mind, to be free from the root cause of all sufferings – ignorance and egoism. A lot of times, the teachings of yoga that lead the impure suffering ignorant egoistic minds to the realization of the truth of suffering are not something that the worldly conditioning minds would agree with or like to hear/practice, particularly the minds who think and believe they are ‘good’ and ‘kind’, that are conditioned by worldly thinking and are still functioning under the influence of ignorance and egoism.

Those who are free from suffering through the self-realization of the truth of suffering, there is no anger, or hatred, or fault finding, or blame, or condemn, or avenge, or punishment towards ‘the suffering’, ‘the sufferer’, ‘the cause of suffering’, or ‘those who directly or indirectly inflict the suffering’. There’s no need to forget, or to escape, or to be healed, or to be bitter, or to be shameful about, or to attain revenge. One acknowledges/confronts the experience or the memory of the experience which couldn’t be undone without attachment, identification, aversion, anger, hatred, or fear. One is free and has peace undetermined by unpleasant past experiences inflicted by ignorant beings out of ignorance.

The experience of suffering, or ‘I’ am suffering (whether ‘I’ think it’s because ‘I’ am ‘bad’ and ‘sinful’ or it’s because other people are ‘bad’ and ‘evil’), is born out of ignorance. The actions and the performers of the actions that inflict suffering onto others or themselves, whether directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, are born out of ignorance. But ignorance is not ‘the one’ to be blamed for suffering either. There’s none/nothing to be blamed at all for the existence of suffering inflicted by ignorant behavior.

Those who have realized the truth of life existence consisting the impermanent and selfless existence and function of the impure/ignorant/egoistic mind and the impermanent limited physical body, whom have realized selflessness and compassion, they won’t be traumatized/disturbed/hurt/abused by what the worldly conditioned impure/ignorant/egoistic mind think and believe as ‘traumatic’, ‘disturbing’, ‘hurtful’ or ‘abusive’ life experiences. They are free from suffering that actually derived from conditioned reactions out of ignorance and egoism from one’s impure mind towards what the mind perceives as ‘traumatic’, ‘disturbing’, ‘hurtful’, or ‘abusive’ experience.

This doesn’t mean that the abuse, the victim of abuse, the abuser and the abusive behavior don’t exist at all, or the mind has incorrect recognition about the unpleasant/unkind abusive experience. But, the liberated mind has no identification as ‘the victim of the abuse’, and has gone beyond the experience that the mind recognizes as ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ or ‘abusive’, and it confronts/observes the experience and those whom directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally involve in the experience with compassion, being aware of all kinds of disturbing/abusive/hurtful/torturing actions are born out of ignorance. The realization of selflessness and compassion transcends all kinds of suffering inflict by ignorant behavior born out of ignorance. Meanwhile those who perform ignorant behavior out of ignorance will bear the consequences of their actions even though ‘the victim of other people’s ignorant behavior’ doesn’t suffer for ‘other people’s ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ behavior out of ignorance’.

All minds have the right and freedom to feel angry, hurt, traumatized, or depressed, when they experience something that the minds recognize as ‘wrong’ and ‘bad’, or ‘hurtful’ and ‘abusive’. But why should we suffer for other people’s ignorant behavior that our minds think and believe as ‘wrong’ and ‘bad’? We don’t have to. We have the choice not to suffer for other people’s ignorance. By allowing ourselves to suffer for other people’s ‘wrong’ and ‘bad’ behavior is actually self-harming/self-abusing our body and mind, out of ignorance and egoism. People are not aware that actually everyone has been constantly hurting/abusing/torturing their own body and mind with ceaseless impure egoistic reactions of anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, fear, worry, craving, aversion, and etc, from the past to the present, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

Those who realized selflessness and are compassionate, they stop hurting/abusing/torturing their own body and mind as their minds are from ignorance and egoism, as well as they don’t suffer for other people’s ‘wrong’ and ‘bad’ behavior, even though there might be damages or painful/unpleasant sensations in the body and mind caused by other people’s ignorant behavior. When one is free from suffering, it doesn’t mean that one is agreeing or supporting other people’s ‘wrong’ and ‘bad’ behavior, or actionlessly allowing ignorant beings to inflict ignorant behavior onto one’s body and mind. One can do one’s best to prevent/protect oneself from other people’s ignorant behavior, but one has no attachment towards one’s actions and the result of the actions, and has complete understanding towards all the impure actions and reactions in the world are born out of ignorance and egoism.

If one realizes the truth of selflessness and compassion, one will be free from feeling angry/hurt/traumatized/depressed towards life experience that impure minds recognized or perceived as traumatic, disturbing, hurtful, or abusive. One is able to confront all kinds of ‘suffering’ with peace and compassion, and stands as a witness and be compassionate towards the experience (the suffering), the one who suffers (the body and mind), and the one who inflict the suffering (the ignorant).

May all be free from all kinds of physical, mental, psychological and emotional sufferings through silencing the mind to realize the truth of suffering, selflessness and compassion, and be free from suffering of anger, hatred, jealousy, avenge, hurts, guilt, regret, self-harm, self-blame, disappointment, painful sorrow, fear and worry due to past and present traumatic/disturbing/hurtful/abusive life experiences.

It’s everyone’s freedom whether they choose to continually be disturbed or haunted by their past traumatic/disturbing life experience and feel angry and bitter, or they can choose to let it go and have peace.

Be free.