The great impact of what the yoga teachers deliver to the people in the yoga classes

What the yoga teachers deliver to the people in the ‘yoga asana exercise classes’ generate a great impact on how the people understand about yoga, especially when they teach yoga asana exercise class as merely a fitness exercise class to attain some benefits for health and fitness to look good and feel good, in oppose to teaching yoga asana practice as one of the many yoga practice to discipline the ignorant, egoistic, impure, passionate and restless mind, to prepare the mind for meditation to attain self-realization.

There is a difference between “Yoga is just a physical exercise” and “Yoga asana practice is a physical exercise”.

There’s nothing wrong with “Yoga asana practice is a physical exercise” because yoga asana practice is a form of physical exercise/postures, but it is beyond just a form of physical exercise for attaining health and fitness benefits, because it is one of the tools in yoga to serve the purpose of influencing the state of the mind, to render it calm and quiet, to prepare the mind for meditation upon the truth of names and forms.

Meanwhile, Yoga is not a physical exercise at all. It’s a profound knowledge and practice or wisdom for all beings who seek ultimate liberation from suffering, to transcend all kinds of suffering from its root cause – Ignorance and egoism.

There are ‘yoga teachers’ and ‘yoga medias’ deliver the message about “Yoga is just a physical exercise”. It’s ignorance feeding deeper ignorance. They are responsible for why many people think that they are ‘practicing yoga’ and that they love ‘yoga’ so much because they have been attending ‘yoga asana exercise class’ regularly for many years with the understanding that “yoga is just a physical exercise” because that is what the ‘yoga teachers’ and ‘yoga medias’ have been delivering to them. And when they come in contact with the teachings and the traditional practice of yoga, especially the parts that their minds dislike and disagree with, they generate aversion, dissatisfaction and disappointment, and complain that “This is not yoga (that they think what it supposed to be)”.

When these people who think they love ‘yoga’ (actually what they love is the ‘yoga asana exercise’ and the effects and benefits of the yoga asana exercise) have the chance to experience the traditional yoga practice that integrate the entire teachings of yoga of the elimination of ignorance and egoism into the yoga classes (where yoga asana practice is just a small part of the yoga practice), these people will be in great shock. Some of them might open up their mind to relearn what yoga is about, but many of them generate great aversion towards what yoga really is, and think, “This is not yoga!” or “This is not the yoga that I know that I want!”. Not just that they don’t like yoga as it is, which actually is quite an unpleasant purification process/experience/journey for many egoistic impure minds conditioned by worldly cultural, religious, social and personal thinking and belief, they also condemn yoga (not the ‘yoga’ that they think it should be), the yoga practice of eliminating ignorance and egoism, and the people who teach yoga (those who deliver yoga as it is).

Especially in the traditional ashrams or yoga retreats centres that provide the facilities to conduct yoga courses and retreats for people who want to learn and practice yoga following the tradition of yoga in an environment that allow the people to immerse into the traditional yoga practice to eliminate ignorance and egoism, it is not about ‘commercialized yoga retreats centres’ doing ‘yoga business’ where the ‘customers’ paying ‘money’ to receive some ‘customer service’, ‘special treatments’ and ‘pleasurable enjoyments’. But, it is about the peace seekers contribute some ‘fees’ to make use of the facilities and programs provided by the ashrams and retreats centres to immerse into the yoga practice where it’s about letting go of pleasurable enjoyments of receiving special treatments and customer service, but to give their ‘service’ to serve themselves and other people by observing/purifying/disciplining their own minds as well as to help to maintain the entire place to support Dharma and other people to come to the ashrams or the retreats centres to learn and practice yoga.

During the course or retreat, one practice yoga of changing the egoistic habits of the mind. If there is attachment and identification, let them go. If there is craving or aversion, let them go. If there is pride and arrogance, let them go. If there is defensiveness and offensiveness, let them go. If there is dissatisfaction and disappointment, let them go. If there is anger and hatred, let them go. If there is intolerance and frustration, let them go. If there is fear and worry, let them go. If there is petty-mindedness and covertness, let them go. And so on.

In a simple term, peace seekers come to the ashrams or retreats centres and ‘pay’ to learn and practice “How to take care of oneself or one’s mind”. They learn to develop self-awareness, self-discipline and self-independence to perform their yoga practice, maintaining the tidiness and cleanliness of their own living space and practice space, mind their own practice/minds, and most important is to observe silence and solitude to reduce inputs and outputs of the mind, to silent the restless outgoing mind.

There is also a huge difference between the message of “Yoga asana practice is a physical exercise for health and fitness” and “Yoga asana practice is one of the many yoga practice to discipline the impure restless mind to prepare the mind for meditation to be free from ignorance and egoism to realize the truth of names and forms, to transcend suffering and realize unconditional love and peace, or selflessness and compassion, as the greatest meanings of life and greatest form of contribution to the world to serve humanity”.

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they want and don’t want, and whether they want to practice yoga as it is, or not. Yoga teachers should teach/deliver yoga as it is, and allowing everyone to decide what they want or don’t want to practice. It’s okay if people don’t want to practice yoga but only want to do some exercise for health and fitness benefits, but with the correct understanding about what is yoga.

Be free.

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Disappointment?

Disappointment is coming from unfulfilled expectation towards people, society, objects or experiences about everyone and everything have to be the way that we think they should be, which is based on our family brought up, religious and cultural belief and practice, social ethics, personal thinking and belief, likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, as well as desires of want and don’t want. It isn’t coming from people, society, objects or experiences that we think are ‘wrong’, ‘bad’, or ‘inappropriate’. All these names and forms don’t and couldn’t disappoint us or make us unhappy. It’s our own mind’s reaction that generates disappointment in us towards someone or something that we don’t like or don’t agree with.

Respect everyone and everything have the freedom to be what they are, even if our mind doesn’t like or doesn’t agree with them.

After performing actions that we think and believe as ‘good, ‘kind’, and ‘generous’, allow the result of the actions to be what it is, and allow everyone to show appreciation, gratefulness and thankfulness, or not. There’s nothing wrong with people who don’t appreciate or be grateful for something that we believe as ‘good’, ‘kind’ and ‘generous’. It’s our mind believing that ‘this is wrong’ or ‘it shouldn’t be like this’ that generates disappointment in us. There’s nothing wrong with the mind feels disappointed towards someone or something, because that is how the mind works under the influence of ignorance.

Practice yoga of non-attachment, dispassion and renunciation, if we truly want to be free from ignorance which is the cause of all kinds of unhappiness and suffering.

Abandon worldly thinking and belief about how human beings or people should or shouldn’t behave, act and react.

Love the world as it is, even if it is not the way that we like it to be.

Do our best to help the world to improve, but without attachment towards the actions and the result of the actions.

Be free.

Let go all the worldly identifications that built on impermanent qualities of names and forms

Let go all the worldly identifications that built on impermanent qualities of names and forms.

Knowledge, nationality, society, community, tribe, gender, sexual orientation, race, skin colour, personality, characteristic, family background, culture, spirituality, religion, education, language, title, relationship, life condition, health condition, fitness level, appearance, feature, shape and size, thinking and belief and practices, physical and mental state, physical and mental abilities and disabilities, physical and mental transition and limitation, creativity and ideas, talents and skills, interests and habits, social interactions and activities, worldly and spiritual achievements, possessions, actions and inactions, and so on.

Inquire the truth of what or who we think is ‘I’.

Realize selflessness/egolessness/’I’lessness.

There is no ‘I’ to be identifying with any qualities of names and forms as ‘I’.

It’s merely impermanent changes of countless arising and passing away of names and forms, from moment to moment.

Be free. Be peaceful.

Teaching yoga, neither good nor bad…

The truth is the same, no matter we realize the truth from which type of yoga practice or meditation techniques. It doesn’t matter if it was realized by some beings in many thousands years ago, or if it is realized by some beings in this very moment. It’s the same egolessness, wisdom and compassion in all beings.

There is a slight difference, when we haven’t realize the truth yet, but we teach yoga according to the truth or the teachings that we have heard from attending some yoga teachers training courses or yoga classes, or from yoga books that we have read, or when we teach yoga from what we have realized through our own effort from our own practice.

When we realized the truth by ourselves, it is the same as the truth as the other beings had realized. There’s no separateness nor contradiction when we realized our true nature as it is, nameless and formless, beginningless and endless, birthless and deathless, attributeless and non-separateness. Unless we thought we had realized the truth, but we haven’t really realize the truth yet.

If we really had realized the truth as it is, and realized wisdom and compassion, all kinds of fear and worry disappears. Restlessness and dissatisfaction disappears. Anger and hatred disappears. Craving and aversion disappears. All doubts and afflictions disappears. All these impurities doesn’t exist in the presence of wisdom and compassion. They can only manifest themselves when wisdom and compassion is absent. And so, if we are still not free from all these impurities yet, then know that we still need to keep practice until we are completely free from all these impurities, or realize wisdom and compassion.

Some might can memorize most of the teachings from hearing, reading, learning and studying, and some may not have good memory towards what he or she had heard or read, learned or studied, but when come to practical experiences in everyday life condition and situation, whether our mind is free from attachment and will stay calm, uninfluenced and undetermined by the qualities of names and forms, be free from craving and aversion, anger and hatred, fear and worry, that will be a complete different story that is nothing to do with how much we know in our mind.

As knowing the truth of things and knowing many things is a different story.

One is knowing the truth and share with other beings, and the other one is borrowing the teachings and share with other beings. Even though there’s a difference, but it is still sharing a great wisdom (whether realized or borrowed) with many other beings. And sometimes the teacher has not realized the truth yet, but the students might realize the truth through their own practice according to the teachings they learn from the teacher.

But that’s the greatest part of it.

It is not about the teacher has to realize the truth before the students, nor the teacher gets any priority or superiority than the students. All are equal beings, all are the students of Dharma or Dhamma, striving to eliminate the ego and ignorance. The teacher will realize his or her own ego during the action of teaching. The students will realize their ego during the action of learning. One compliments one another, and is helping each other to eliminate the ego, without intention nor expectation.

The teacher who is not free yet, doesn’t need to feel low confident nor feel bad, as this is nothing wrong at all, as long as the teacher knows that he or she is not perfect yet, and is humble to learn and be sincere in his or her own practice while sharing with other beings to walk the path of liberation together.

But, if the teacher is not free yet, but with the ego thinks himself or herself is knowing more than the students without being aware of his or her own pride and arrogance, and expect the students to ‘behave’ in certain ways, and to ‘response’ to his or her teaching accordingly, then there’ll be some problems might arise.

But again, it is all a learning process for both the students and the teacher. The students actually will learn a lots from practicing under a teacher who is not perfect yet, and learn about action and reaction of the mind, likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements coming from the ego. They will learn and realize about non-attachment, non-judgment, non-expectation, egolessness and compassion, through his or her own observation towards his or her own mind reactions towards the teacher’s imperfection.

The teacher’s realization has nothing to do with the student’s realization. Same as the student’s realization is nothing to do with the teacher’s realization. Everyone is responsible for their own realization. A liberated teacher doesn’t guarantee all his or her students will be liberated. A teacher who is not free yet, won’t stop the students from attaining liberation.

In the beginning, Buddha had many different teachers, and some of them might not completely free yet then, but that didn’t stop Buddha from realizing the truth. As everyone and everything is our teacher. It is not limited in a liberated being in human form. And the greatest teacher above all, is our own Self.

Buddha was liberated, but he never intended and couldn’t make other beings to be liberated. He was peaceful and was free from suffering, but he couldn’t make other beings peaceful, nor could he make other beings suffering to disappear.

That’s why there is no good or bad teachers, nor good or bad students. Everyone is here to help each other to evolve, to transform, to be free from our own egoism and ignorance.

Whether we practice yoga with pure or impure intention, all is good…

It really doesn’t matter if people practice yoga or just the yoga asana exercises with pure intention or impure intention, all is good…

At least during that few moments of yoga practice or performing the yoga asana exercises, whether we do it with pure intention or selfish intention, we are moving the body and mind away from committing worldly passionate activities and unwholesome activities…

We are not taking any intoxicants or drugs. (Except for those who cannot live without intoxicants or drugs even for a few moments…)

We are not indulging in sensual enjoyments of sights, sounds, smells, taste, touch and thoughts… (Except in certain modernized yoga classes nowadays which include passionate sensual decorations, aromatic incense or fragrances, musics, beautifully designed yoga clothings and accessories, special materials for cushioning and positioning, temperature control and etc, into the yoga class or the space for yoga practice)

We are not engaging in gossiping or slandering or back-bitting or criticizing or scolding or blaming (we should be in silence while performing yoga practice being busy observing and minding our breath and stay focus on what we are doing)… We are not talking, expressing, arguing, discussing, debating, teasing, mocking, boasting, lying, justifying and etc… All these restrictions are there to restrict the speech organ and silent the thought currents, as well as eliminating the ego… (Except in some of the yoga group class where complete silence is not being observed. For example, chitchatting or socializing during the class with the other practitioners or continue to be communicating with somebody outside the class through the phone… Or even in our own self-practice at home, we couldn’t let go of the phone calls or messages… Or imagine that we try to hold our breath (Pranayama) and being angry and arguing with somebody at the same time? It’s an extremely difficult task to do…)

While performing the yoga practice (self-control over the thoughts, actions and speech, self-introspection and observation, mindfulness, chantings, prayers, study of the yoga scriptures, practice of asana and pranayama, limiting and restricting the senses inputs, practice of concentration and meditation, performing Kriya yoga, performing selfless service or Karma yoga and etc…) or just performing the yoga asana practice, we are not engaging in watching movies or show performances; reading novels or magazines or newspapers; eating or drinking; listening to music (There’s no special music background in traditional yoga practice like in most of the yoga classes nowadays conducted in many yoga centres. There’s only natural sounds of nature and the environment in the background. Some yoga teachers even cracked their head in search for different music albums for their classes because the yoga students might be complaining for playing the same music over and over again…); lying on soft bed; thinking; worrying; imagining; anticipating; speculating; planning; scheming; creating; interacting; socializing; committing sexual or reproduction activities; or doing any worldly passionate social activities apart from exercising and training the body and mind to be pure, calm and still, and be free from thinking or possessing worldly objects… All these are the practice of controlling the senses and withdrawing the senses from the sense objects. This is practicing self-control, control of the mind, purification, dispassion and detachment…

In those moments of yoga practice, worldly connections or relationships with “this and that” disappear… There is no easy life or hard life, there is no good relationship or bad relationship, there is no happy moments or unhappy moments, there is no enjoyment or suffering, there is no good people or bad people… Just the body and mind performing the yoga practice…

In those moments while we are engaging in sincere yoga practice, we are not creating any disturbance or bad influences into the environment or the world…

The entire yoga practice itself is nothing but bringing positive benefits or impacts into our own body and mind, and the world…

When we perform any yoga practice whether with pure or impure intention, we are purifying, harmonizing, charging, balancing and calming the energy fields in our body and mind, and naturally this will be benefiting the entire world…

In those few moments, there is less a being generating harms or damages into the world…

At least during those few moments of yoga practice while being silent and being attentive in performing the physical movements of the yoga practice, we control and restrain our body and mind from performing any evil thoughts, actions and speech that will cause disharmony in ourselves and other people or the world…

We are not committing or involved physically or mentally in wars, killings, lying, hatred, greed, jealousy, gossips, criticisms, slandering, back-bitting, violence, sexual misconducts, hypocrisy, stealing, politics, agendas, propagandas, power, position and etc… We are temporary being moved away from any worldly egoistic activities… (Except in those whose mind is still busy with thinking about worldly activities and sense objects while performing the yoga practice… That means they are not really concentrating on what they are doing…)

And so, it really doesn’t matter what are the intentions or motives or reasons or desires that bring people to be practicing yoga, whether it is pure or impure, authentic or inauthentic, for spirituality, for physical fitness, for beauty, for youthfulness, for mobility, for strength, for health, for wealth, for fame, for satisfaction, for achievement, or for anything, it is all good…

It is better than engaging in unwholesome activities that will harm ourselves and others…

Those few moments of sincere yoga practice is actually being compassionate towards ourselves and the world…

The mind can only do one thing at one time… Even just by observing the breath for one tiny moment… That is already the greatest moment of peace and compassion…

Be happy…

Om shanti.