Passionate mind and dispassionate mind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be free.

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Yoga retreat for developing self-discipline, self-restraint, self-reliance, forbearance and simplicity

Many people who are interested in doing regular yoga exercises as a form of health and fitness activity, they might also interested in participating in yoga retreats once in a while. And there are many yoga retreats everywhere in the world that would cater the demands and expectations of those who want to participate in yoga retreats.

Some people are looking for yoga retreats that allow them to learn about yoga and to be focusing and immersed into the traditional yoga practice for a period of time, to develop self-discipline and self-practice in everyday life, to free the mind from ignorance, egoism and impurities, to realize unconditional love and peace that is beyond all the qualities of name and form, undetermined by life experiences, condition and situation, physical and mental ability, achievements and enjoyments. While many others are looking for yoga retreats that allow them to gratify the desires of craving and aversion, to be in a comfortable and desirable environment that emphasize on indulgence of the senses, self-pampering and socializing, that makes them feel satisfied, pleased, good, relaxed and peaceful, even though it’s impermanent.

Whether the retreat organizers are aware or unaware of it, most yoga retreats are not really about the yoga practice of guiding the yoga enthusiasts/practitioners into the yoga practice of annihilating ignorance and egoism to free the mind from the root cause of suffering – the desires of craving and aversion, but it’s actually providing the opportunity for empowering ignorance and egoism through gratifying their desires of craving and aversion, giving them momentary satisfaction and good feelings via pleasurable physical, sensual and mental enjoyments, by giving the mind what it wants and not giving the mind what it doesn’t want.

Most people are not really interested in the yoga practice of developing self-discipline, self-restraint, self-reliance, forbearance and simplicity, to free the mind from ignorance, egoism, and the desires of craving and aversion through participating in yoga retreats that allow the participants to learn about the essential teachings of yoga, to focus and immerse into the traditional yoga practice of annihilating ignorance, egoism and impurities, while not pushing away but confronting any impurity, difficulty, discomfort, fear, or blockage that the mind doesn’t like to confront with, that the mind would rather runaway from.

Most people are more interested in yoga retreats with holiday resort facilities that provide many types of pleasurable activities, facilities, services and enjoyments of sight, sound, taste, smell, sensation, and imagination, that emphasize on self-indulgence, self-pampering and socializing, to temporarily escape from what the mind thinks is ‘negative’, ‘unpleasantness’, ‘discomfortable’, ‘difficult’, ‘depressing’, ‘disturbing’ or ‘non-enjoyment’ in everyday life, to be in a relaxing comfortable environment that would gratified the desires of craving and aversion, to be doing activities that they enjoy doing, to be indulging in sensual pleasurable enjoyments, to be pampered physically and mentally, beside attending daily yoga exercise sessions, to feel good, relaxed, satisfied and pleased.

This type of yoga retreats that emphasize on pleasurable physical and mental enjoyments in a comfortable pampering environment are great for those who feel that there is a need to be temporarily moving away from everyday life where they have to carry out their duties and responsibilities, and dealing with all kinds of people whom are not like-minded, and situations and things that are not the way that they like it to be, that make them feel disturbed, frustrated, exhausted, drained, stressed or tensed, that they need to participate in a ‘retreat’ from time to time, to unwind and relaxed, even though it’s just a momentary relief derived from being away from what their mind perceives as undesirable disturbing environment or something that they don’t like, but to be in a desirable pleasant environment, while engaging in some activities that they like to do, the way that they like it to be, that make them feel good.

Though this is not what yoga practice is about, there’s nothing wrong with most yoga retreats in the world are of this kind as they are many people want and need this kind of yoga retreats. And it’s everyone’s freedom for what they like and want. It’s a business, where you give the customers what they like and want, to make them feel satisfied and happy, and to make sure they will continue to come back again and again to support your business.

The yoga retreats that are about yoga, the teachings and the practice, allow the participants to learn about their own mind and the root cause of suffering, and to practically immerse into the yoga practice of freeing the mind from ignorance to allow the mind to see the truth of things as it is, and freeing the mind from egoism through the practice of non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment and non-expectation, while developing self-discipline, self-restraint, self-reliance, forbearance, simplicity, wisdom and compassion, to become their own teacher to perform self-practice that is beyond time and space, that allow them to live in the world as they are, perform all their duties and responsibilities, without attachment or identification towards the body and mind, the actions and the fruit of actions, without being disturbed or determined by all kinds of life experiences, people, situations and things that are not necessarily the way that they like it to be, allowing them to deal with ‘difficult’ and ‘challenging’ condition and situation with wisdom and compassion, that allow them to be able to let go what the mind used to perceive as ‘negative’, ‘bad’, ‘disturbing’, ‘frustrating’, ‘exhausting’, ‘depressing’, ‘hurtful’, or ‘stressful’, that they know how to partially retreat themselves in everyday life to conserve energy for performing yoga practice and to silent the mind, that they know how to minimize or stop generating and accumulating tension or stress, that there’s no need to participate in a ‘retreat’ to be away from everyday life to unwind or relaxed as there’s minimal or no tension and stress building up, and realize unconditional peace that is beyond the qualities of name and form, and all kinds of condition and situation.

A yoga retreat that allows people to develop correct understanding, awareness, self-practice, self-discipline, self-restraint, self-reliance, forbearance, adjustment, adaptation, accommodation, simplicity, dispassion, wisdom and compassion, that eventually people don’t need to participate in any ‘retreat’ to retreat from everyday life experiences that are not the way that we like it to be of what the impure mind recognizes as ‘negative’, ‘bad’, ‘difficult’, ‘hurtful’, ‘distressing’, ‘disturbing’, ‘frustrating’, ‘depressing’, ‘discomfortable’, ‘non-enjoyable’, ‘unpleasant’, or ‘exhausting’. The mind is peaceful as it is and wherever it is, undetermined by the qualities of name and form, and all kinds of life experiences and impermanent changes, conditions and situations. One doesn’t need to go to a special place, or be with special people, or do special activities, or to participate in any kind of ‘retreats’ to find relaxation, calmness and peace that is determined by certain qualities of name and form, experience, activity, condition and situation, that is impermanent.

This type of yoga retreat is great for those who are looking for real peace or unconditional peace being free from ignorance and egoism through persevered discipline and restraint of one’s mind activities, but it’s not favorable for business. As there will be physical, mental and emotional unpleasantness during the purification process under going intensive yoga practice to eliminate ignorance and egoism. There will be rejection and disgust coming from the ignorant egoistic mind that doesn’t like to be disciplined or restrained. There’s disagreement and aversion coming from the egoistic mind towards the teachings of yoga that is different from the thinking and belief in the mind. And hence, this type of retreats are less popular, and are being criticized by those who expect pleasurable enjoyments, comfortable conveniences, customer service and social interactions in ‘yoga retreats’. Those who guide others onto the path of yoga don’t take it as a business, and hence, it doesn’t matter.

Obsession

Obsession is a form of attachment or clinging. Being obsessed with particular type of food, physical appearance, body shape and composition, body weight, muscles definition, attire, brand, fitness training, diet trend, healthy option, living standard, living environment, social media, selfies, smartphone, relationship, idol, activity, social interaction, cultural practice, religious practice, superstitious belief, ritual, position, number, colour, timing, cleanliness, and anything that can become a form of obsession. It becomes a form of mental illness, when the state of the mind is being conditioned or determined or affected by the obsession towards something, where the mind would be greatly disturbed when the obsession is disrupted or inaccessible, and without awareness, one might hurt oneself or others out of the disturbed state of the mind.

There’s nothing wrong with different people having their own particular type of thinking and belief to set as a guideline to live a particular way of life, or engage in a particular activity, or consume a particular type of diet, or do things in a particular way, that the mind thinks and believes is the best and beneficial for oneself, or for other people and the world, that would make the mind feels good, meaningful, happy and pleased.

But when the mind starts to become overly obsessive towards a particular thinking and belief to live a particular way of life, or engage in a particular activity, or consume a particular type of diet, or do things in a particular way, where the mind would feel disturbed, or bad, or anxious, or worried, or guilty, or upset, or angry, or depressed, or disappointed, if for some reasons, the particular way of life, the activity, the type of diet or the way of doing things is disrupted or is not the way that the mind wants it to be.

Even if the object of obsessiveness is something that the mind or the society believes as ‘good’, ‘positive’, or ‘meaningful’, any kind of obsessiveness is still a form of mental illness.

Such like, there were/are artists, musicians, actors, entertainers, designers, scientists, writers, or sportspeople suffered from restlessness, or sleep deprivation, or depression, or mood swing, or anxiety, or self-harm, or drug/alcohol abuse, and etc, due to being obsessed with pushing their body and mind beyond its limitation to attain success or higher achievement and improvement in their respective profession.

There are yoga and meditation practitioners developed obsessiveness towards their particular type of practice, or lineage, or diet, or ritual, or accessories, or the order of things and practice, or yoga pose, or physical alignment, or energy field, or astrology, or dreams, or making connection, or self-identification, or self-image, or spiritual achievement, or psychic development, and so on.

Many people are being obsessed with personal identity, self-image, social status and professional image. Some people are being obsessed with the collection or accumulation of certain objects. Some people are being obsessed with attaining greater improvement. Some are obsessed with orderliness while some are being obsessed with disorderliness. Some people are obsessed with particular type of smell or fragrance and taste. Some people are obsessed with meat eating or non-meat eating. It can be anything that determining or conditioning the state of the mind very much, that people would be greatly disturbed or upset or depressed when their obsession towards something is disrupted or unattainable.

A little bit of obsessiveness would eventually grow into a form of mental disorder, if there’s no awareness towards what is going on in the mind, but the mind is under the influence of the egoistic desires of craving and aversion being obsessed with personal, worldly, spiritual, mental and physical achievement, development and enhancement for attaining the sense of success, goodness, meaningfulness and happiness.

Those who truly understand the practice of yoga and meditation do not push their body and mind beyond its limitation out of egoistic intention and expectation of “I want my body, my mind and my life to be like this and not like that, to achieve a particular goal or perfection.” but out of compassion, there are necessary actions being performed to take care the well-being of the body and mind, being kind to the body and mind and appreciating life existence, without hurting or straining the body and mind beyond its limitation to be the way that the ego wants it to be, to achieve what the ego wants to achieve. The mind is at peace and equanimous, being undisturbed or unaffected when it is not able to come in contact with the object that it likes, or when it is not able to do what it likes to do. There’s nothing wrong with having enjoyment or doing something that the mind likes to do, but there’s no attachment or clinging or obsessiveness, without being determined by what the mind likes to enjoy or the object of enjoyment.

The mind that is not free, depends on attaining, or possessing, or coming in contact with certain names and forms to attain the sense of meaningfulness and well-being. The ego needs affirmation from self and others to be existing and feel meaningful.

The mind that is free, doesn’t need to attain the sense of meaningfulness or well-being, at all. The mind performs necessary actions and allowing the fruit of actions to be what it is, without attachment or identification towards the actions and the fruit of actions, without clinging or craving towards pleasantness and achievement, without aversion towards unpleasantness and non-achievement.

Be free.

The mind and the worldly life existence of enjoyment and suffering

The entire worldly life existence is nothing but mind activities powered by the mind perceptions of names and forms through the senses of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations and thoughts/feelings/imaginations/dreams.

If there is absence of the function of mind perception through the senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, sensing/touching and thinking, there are no mind activities, there’s no worldly life experience. There’s no good life or bad life. There’s no good being or bad being. There’s no good world or bad world. There’s no enjoyment or suffering.

The worldly life existence that the mind perceives or experiences, whether it’s pleasant or unpleasant, and whether the mind enjoys or suffers, it’s all in the mind itself, and it’s in now and it’s impermanent. It’s nothing to do with the names and forms that the mind perceives. The names and forms are just what they are. Duality doesn’t exist in the names and forms, but only in the mind itself. Duality exists in the mind, not in the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses.

Without the sense of seeing, the mind won’t perceive sights or images of colours and shapes. What is beautiful or ugliness? What is attractive or unattractive? What is respectful or disrespectful?

Without the sense of hearing, the mind won’t perceive sounds. What is pleasantness or unpleasantness? What is compliment or insult? What is calming or disturbing?

Without the sense of taste, the mind won’t perceive tastes. What is tasty or not tasty?

Without the sense of smell, the mind won’t perceive smells. What is nice smell or bad smell?

Without the sense of touch/sensing, the mind won’t perceive sensations. What is pleasure or displeasure? What is comfortable or discomfortable?

Without the thinking faculty and memory function, there’s no thinking and belief, culture and religion, or imaginations, or thoughts/ideas, or feelings. What is good or bad? What is right or wrong? What is positive or negative? What is satisfaction or dissatisfaction? What is joy or grief? What is happiness or unhappiness? What is believe or disbelieve? What is fear or fearlessness? What is birth and death? What is existence or non-existence?

The one who experiences suffering, is the mind that is under the influence of ignorance, egoism and impurities. The one who performs yoga and meditation practice to be free from suffering, is the mind that is experiencing suffering. The one who is liberated from suffering, is the mind that is being free from ignorance, egoism and impurities through persevered discipline and practice. There’s no ‘I’ experience suffering, or ‘I’ perform yoga and meditation practice, or ‘I’ am liberated from suffering.

The mind that is NOT free from ignorance and egoism, there is an idea of ‘I’ existing to be identified as the one who perceives names and forms, who is aware of the mind activities, and who experiences worldly life existence, to enjoy or suffer based on the reaction towards the perception of names and forms (mind activities of worldly life experiences). The mind is being in a state of restlessness due to ceaseless passionate reactions of egoistic desires of craving and aversion from ‘I’ towards all the perceived names and forms (sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations, thoughts/ideas/feelings/imaginations/dreams).

The mind that is free from ignorance and egoism, there is no ‘I’ existing to experience worldly life existence, there’s no ‘I’ am perceiving names and forms, or ‘I’ enjoy or suffer. It’s just the mind functioning and perceiving names and forms through the senses via the sense organs. There is mind awareness being aware of the mind activities, but there’s no ‘I’ am aware of the mind activities. The selfless/egoless mind is undetermined or uninfluenced by the perception of names and forms due to the absence of egoism of attachment, identification, clinging, longing, craving or aversion towards the perceived names and forms, and thus, it’s free from restlessness. There’s no clinging or craving towards the objects of name and form that are pleasant and there’s no aversion towards the objects of name and form that are unpleasant.

Practice yoga of annihilating egoism, to purify and discipline and quiet the mind to allow the mind to see the truth of things as it is, to be free from ignorance – the root cause of suffering. All the other effects/benefits derived from the many forms of yoga practice are just some by-products, and they are impermanent and they are not the end of suffering. Even the positive effects of good feelings, pleasant sensations, enhanced physical condition and ability, calmness and positive thinking derived from many different forms of yoga practice are impermanent. They will change and pass away.

Attaining all kinds of impermanent effects/benefits from the yoga practice doesn’t guarantee that the mind will be free from being determined or disturbed by the mind perception of names and forms of a life existence that is impermanent and it doesn’t stop the mind to experience suffering, if the mind is still under the influence of ignorance and egoism.

It’s through the elimination of ignorance and egoism that will lead the mind towards the realization of unconditional peace that is not subject to impermanence, that is nothing to do with the qualities of name and form, good and bad condition, and pleasant/desirable or unpleasant/undesirable life experiences. The selfless/egoless mind is peaceful as it is, while witnessing all the perceived impermanent changes of names and forms, or the countless births and deaths of mind activities arising and passing away.

The mind that is not free from ignorance and egoism will be involuntarily and restlessly swaying back and forth between the state of elevation and depression, satisfaction and dissatisfaction, happiness and unhappiness. The mind will feel good, satisfied and happy when its desires of craving and aversion are being gratified, but the good or happy feelings and satisfaction derived from experiencing good condition or pleasant/desirable experiences doesn’t stop the mind from feeling bad, dissatisfied and unhappy when the desires of craving and aversion are not being gratified, or when good condition or pleasant/desirable experiences are not available or no longer available, as the mind is not free from egoism of attachment, identification, clinging, longing, craving and aversion towards life experiences of names and forms. And thus the mind is restless or peaceless, even though the mind attains some momentary effects/benefits from the regular yoga practice.

Upon self-realization of the truth of names and forms as it is, when the mind is free from ignorance, all kinds of names and forms that the mind perceived asĀ  suffering due to ignorance, are no longer being perceived as the objects, or the quality, or the cause of suffering, but they are just what they are. There are changes, decay, old age, sickness, weakness, discomfort, pain and the end of the existence and function of the body and mind, but all these are not suffering.

There’s neither suffering nor the end of suffering.

Be free.

My ego?

Some think and say, “I have a good, happy and kind mind. My mind is good, happy and kind.”

Some also think and say, “I have a good, happy and kind ego. My ego is good, happy and kind.”

The one who claims possession or ownership towards the mind or the ego, and being satisfied and proud of ‘my good, happy and kind mind/ego’, is the ego itself.

There is a separateness between ‘I’ and the object that ‘I’ thinks it belongs to ‘I’, that ‘I’ thinks and believes as ‘mine’, but at the same time, there is also self-identification that identifies itself as the object that ‘I’ think it’s ‘mine’. Such like, “I have a beautiful body and my mind is happy. I am beautiful and happy.” or “I don’t have a beautiful body and my mind is not happy. I am not beautiful and not happy.”

Whatever names and forms that the ego claims ownership and identification are just what they are and they are impermanent. They change as they are, they come and go as they are, they don’t belong to ‘I’, and they are not ‘I’. There is no ‘I’ in control of all the impermanent changes in all the names and forms.

Somehow, there is this idea of ‘I’ exists in the mind claiming identification, possession, ownership and control towards all these impermanent names and forms. Such like, “I want myself, my life, my mind and my body to be like this and not like that.” or, “I want my appearance and my relationships to be like this and not like that.” and so on. And the consequences of the idea of ‘I’ and the desire of ‘I want everything to be the way that I like it to be’ are restlessness full of mind impurities of dissatisfaction, disappointment, frustration, annoyance, anger, hatred, jealousy, hurt, regret, guilt, animosity, ill-will, offensiveness, defensiveness, pride, arrogance, depression, aggression, violence, discrimination, grief, sadness, painful sorrow, loneliness, meaninglessness, fear and worry. All these are the by-products of egoism of attachment, clinging, identification, desires of craving and aversion, judgment and expectation.

Meanwhile, when the ego wants to claim ownership and identification with certain qualities of names and forms, it also doesn’t want to be related or connected to, or be identified with certain qualities of names and forms that it doesn’t like or doesn’t want, that it perceives as something ‘bad’, ‘wrong’, ‘negative’, ‘meaninglessness’, ‘unhappiness’ and ‘suffering’, based on a particular thinking, belief, cultural or religious teaching and practice about what is ‘good and bad’, ‘right and wrong’, ‘positive and negative’, ‘meaningfulness and meaninglessness’, ‘happiness and unhappiness’, ‘pleasurable enjoyment and painful suffering’.

None can liberate another being. None can free the mind from ignorance and egoism, but the mind itself.

There is no ‘I’. There is no ‘my mind’ or ‘my ego’ or ‘my body’. It’s just the mind, the ego and the body. And they are impermanent.

The mind, the ego and the body are just what they are. They are neither good nor bad. But due to ignorance and egoism, suffering arise. That’s all.

Reflect and realize and be free.