be free, be happy, be peaceful

May all find the teacher within to guide oneself towards unconditional love and peace

Friday, January 13, 2017

Just observe the breath as it is

Whether you think you were good or not good in the past, it's not important. Let it go.

Whether you think you will be good or not good in the future, it's not important. Let it go.

Whether you think you are good or not good in the present moment, it's not important. Let it go.

All the qualities of names and forms are impermanent, and they are not 'I'.

Just be in the moment, and observe the breath coming in and going out, as it is.

Nothing complicated.

Nothing to do with any spiritual belief, cultural belief, personal belief or religion belief.

Be free.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

No one can discipline our mind for us but the mind itself

No one can discipline our mind for us but the mind itself.

No one can purify our mind for us but the mind itself.

No one can do our practice for us but the mind itself.

No one can free the mind from ignorance and egoism for us but the mind itself.

No one can liberate the mind from suffering of anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, lust, pride, dissatisfaction, disappointment, fear and worry for us but the mind itself.

When the mind is free from ignorance and egoism and impurities, the mind will be peaceful as it is, undetermined by the good or bad condition of the body and the mind, the ups and downs of life experiences, the good and bad relationships with everyone, the good and bad condition of the world and the surrounding environment.

When one thinks and feels and says, "I am contented, happy and peaceful. I'm all good. Life is good. The part of the world where I live in is good. The people in my life are good and wonderful." Know that this mind is not necessarily free. The mind might still be affected and disturbed by what the mind thinks and believes as 'not good', 'bad', 'negative', 'suffering' and 'wrong', based on the worldly thinking and belief that has been ingraining into their minds, influenced by many influences coming from everywhere (The parents, the society, the friends circle, the social network, the education, the religious teachings, the stories told by different people from everywhere, the researchers, the scientists, the philosophers, the medias, the politicians, the world leaders, and so on.)

There's nothing abnormal or wrong for anyone to think and feel contended, happy and peaceful, when one perceives everything about oneself, as well as everything and everyone that are related to one's life, is all good, is the way that how one would like it to be. Or, one should feel grateful when things are like this, and one should feel bad, angry, guilty and shameful when things are like that. And people would hurt themselves or others, in pursuit of a life that they think is 'meaningful', 'fruitful', 'successful' and 'happy', or people might hurt themselves and/or others when they think they should be feeling bad, angry, guilty and shameful about something. People manipulate or make use of other people's feelings and emotions to be 'doing' something for them unwittingly. People stir up other people's anger, hatred and fear to create a situation in the society that will allow them to achieve something that they want.

There are many minds don't mind being 'not free', as they think and believe that that is what human life is about - achieving a life that what they think and believe as 'meaningful', 'fruitful', 'successful' and 'happy'. They are 'free' in their own world when they feel contented and happy (as long as everything and everyone is the way that they like it to be, and all their desires are being gratified). That's their freedom.

Minds that are deeply conditioned by particular thinking and belief to think, to behave, to act and react, to feel confident or not, to feel happy or not, to feel meaningful or not, and to feel good or bad, are easily being influenced by intentional manipulation from those who want to influence the people to think in certain ways and to believe in certain beliefs, so that they can get the support that they want from the people to be in power to achieve what they want to achieve in the world of selfish desires.

The yoga and meditation practice is to purify the mind, to free the mind from the pollution of conditional worldly thinking and belief, which is the product of ignorance and egoism, as well as the fuel that feeds ignorance and egoism. And all these worldly thinking and belief about what is a meaningful, fruitful, successful and happy life, how people should think and behave, act and react, and what people should believe in, are being manipulated by many impure selfish minds. If the mind is under the influence of ignorance and egoism, it is easily be manipulated and influenced by what they perceive through the senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and thinking, that are not necessarily the truth of what things are. No matter how intelligent that the mind thinks it is, it still can be manipulated and influenced by worldly conditional thinking and belief, without knowing that it has already been manipulated or influenced by them.

If one's mind starts to reason/doubt/investigate the truth of the information that has been feeding to it from here and there, it will be hammered and threatened by worldly people around and from part of itself that is being conditioned to believe that 'This is bad and evil!', 'This is wrong!', 'You are bad and evil!', 'You don't deserve love and goodness!', 'You will be condemned to hell!', 'You will be punished and suffered!', 'You will bring shame and suffering to your family!', and so on.

We can understand why many religious people or organizations or politicians or capitalists or business people don't like it if people are being exposed to the teachings of BUDDHISM, YOGA and MEDITATION about SELF-INQUIRY to investigate the truth of everything and be free from worldly conditioned thinking and belief. When yoga is being commercialized with lots of 'yoga products' and 'organic health and beauty related yogic products', and there are many of the 'yoga practitioners', 'yoga teachers', or 'yoga lovers' are being influenced by it without knowing that they have become the 'slaves' of particular people or groups or organizations who are playing the mind games.

Yoga and meditation practice is to free the mind that has been conditioning by all these worldly thinking and belief. And thus, there is a very important part of the yoga and meditation practice that is being ignored or criticized by many worldly people, including those who think they love yoga and practice yoga, which is the practice of SILENCE, to be in solitude and seclusion for a sustained period of time (at least 5-6 years), to move away from the society, stop mixing with worldly people, stop engaging in worldly interactions and conversations, stop reading newspapers, novels and magazines, stop watching TV programs, advertisements and movies, stop all kinds of worldly contact and communication. It doesn't matter whether the mind thinks these 'inputs' of the mind are true, or not true. By allowing the mind to be in silence and cleared out of all the worldly thinking and belief, be free from conditional judgment and expectation based on the worldly thinking and belief, the mind will be able to see the truth of things as it is. This sounds extreme or horrible for many people, but it is the most effective way to free the mind from being manipulated or influenced by ceaseless 'inputs' that are not the truth of what things are. Only those who are determined and are fearless to let go all the worldly thinking and belief as well as worldly identity with qualities of names and forms can truly practice yoga and meditation. Or else, everyone is just doing some forms of different styles and brands of 'yoga exercises' to feel good and look good.

Be free.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Pride and arrogance

One of the significant characteristics of the ego is pride and arrogance.

The ego is being proud and arrogant about one's worldly identity, personal thinking and belief, cultural practice, spiritual practice, religion, family background, origin, nationality, race, standard of living, lifestyle, conducts, way of doing things, social circle, social status, profession, career, special talent or skill, position held in a community or company or organization, intelligence, accumulated knowledge and experience, qualifications and achievements, social image, physical appearance and condition, physical and mental ability, relationships, contributions, self-righteousness, and etc, thinking that 'I' am better and more superior than other people, as well as this ego has the urge to interfere with other people's thinking and belief, way of doing things, lifestyle, conducts and everything thing else that are different from oneself, that the ego thinks they are less good and more inferior than all the qualities that it possessed and identified with.

The ego thinks that it is better, more intelligent and experienced, and more successful than other people, that it has a 'duty' or 'responsibility' to interfere with other people's choice of way of living and conduct that is different from its own. It thinks that it is instilled with some kind of 'authority' or 'aspiration' from 'something higher above all human beings' to 'guide' or 'inspire' other people's life by 'helping' them to 'change' everything about them that the ego thinks is less good and inferior than itself.

If other people don't agree with, or follow, or show interest in the 'kind' advice or suggestion from this ego, it will feel disturbed, offended, disappointed, disrespected, or humiliated. "I am giving you 'something very good', how come you don't appreciate?"

Meanwhile, this prideful and arrogant ego doesn't like it when other people try to interfere with it's thinking and belief, way of life and conduct, or giving advice, suggestion or opinion to this ego that they think is 'better' or 'more superior'.

Those who are free from pride and arrogance will allow other people to be prideful and arrogant, to give their advice, suggestion or opinion, but one is undetermined by it. One will consider the advice that is useful, but ignore the advice that is irrelevant.

'Yoga practitioners' and those who identifies themselves as 'yoga teachers' who are sincere in the path of yoga, are not being here to 'interfere' or 'change' or 'influence' or 'advise' everyone to also practice yoga and follow the way of life of yoga, it doesn't matter it's out of loving kindness or goodwill or good intention. 'Yoga teachers' or 'yoga practitioners' are just being here to sincerely perform their own practice to be free from ignorance and egoism and realize selflessness and unconditional peace. At the same time, 'yoga practitioners' or 'yoga teachers' who have the opportunity to 'share' their own practice and realization or insights with other people can disseminate the teachings of yoga without the sense of 'duty', attachment, identification and expectation, and selflessly guide those who are interested in yoga onto the path of yoga, without pride and arrogance of oneself being a 'yoga practitioner' or 'yoga teacher', and towards one's actions and the fruit of one's actions.

It's everyone's freedom whether one performs actions out of egoism, pride and arrogance, or being free from egoism, pride and arrogance.

Beware of the characteristics of the ego. Such like, "I am doing something good and meaningful.", "I am contributing to the society or the world.", "I am a good being and I 'want' other people also to be good beings.", "Yoga is so good, everyone should also practice yoga.", and so on.

Be free.

Friday, December 30, 2016

The advantage of silent meditation in stillness immediately after the yoga asana practice

All the different yoga practices exist to allow the living beings that function under the limited and conditioned mind perception of names and forms to be free from ignorance and all its by-products of egoism, attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison, expectation, and impurities of lust, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurts, agitation, depression, defensiveness, offensiveness, possessiveness, frustration, irritation, fear, worry, sorrow, grief and restlessness. All these defilement are not separated from suffering.

Whether the beings will be liberated from suffering, or not, it's up to the beings themselves whether they are determined to be free from suffering, and whether they are persistent to purify and quiet the mind to inquire into the truth of names and forms, to be free from ignorance and all the by-products of ignorance.

No doubt that the body and the mind will feel good after doing some forms of yoga practice (yoga asana, pranayama, chanting, kirtan, japa, concentration, relaxation, and etc) that serve the purpose of influencing the energy field or the states of the mind, mainly to balance and calming the restless mind, and to divert the mind away from worldly ideas, affairs and activities, to allow the mind to have a few moments of concentration and quietness. These precious few moments of the concentration and quietness of the mind is the best opportunity for further meditation in stillness.

The good feelings of the body and mind after doing some forms of yoga practice is impermanent and is not the goal of the yoga practice. People might mistake the concentration of the mind while doing some forms of physical movements and yoga poses as meditation. No doubt that concentration is the key that leads to meditation, but it is not meditation. In meditation, the mind goes beyond the body consciousness of pleasantness and unpleasantness. Time and space and causation doesn't exist in meditation. There is no physical or mental interaction with the world. That is beyond the mind is being in a state of concentration and being aware of the pleasantness or unpleasantness while doing the yoga asana poses.

Yoga asana and pranayama practice serves the purpose of influencing the mind to render the mind calm and quiet and focus to prepare the mind for meditation, but in meditation practice, it doesn't involve any actions to influence the mind, but it is to allow the mind to stand as a witness being aware of the reality and allowing the reality in the present moment to be what it is and allowing it to change as it is, without trying to interfere with the different states of the mind, without trying to change the reality into something different from what it is, without attachment, identification, judgment, expectation, craving and aversion. There's not even an existence of 'I' to be identifying as "I am meditating."

People are too busy with worldly life affairs and social activities. Many people devote some time to attend 'yoga classes' to do some yoga asana exercises, and their body and mind might feel good after that, but not many people would take the advantage or make use of the calmed and concentrated state of the mind derived from the yoga asana practice to meditate in stillness of thought, action and speech immediately after the yoga asana practice. People would give themselves reasonable excuse that there is something else that is more important that they need to attend or do immediately after the yoga class. Some said that "I like to meditate in motion while doing the yoga exercises or while being in the yoga asana poses, and meditation is not just limited to sitting quietly, and so, I don't need to sit quietly for further meditation."

It is true that meditation is not just about sitting quietly, it's about the ability of being aware of the reality in the present moment, without being disturbed or determined by the reality, and going beyond the impermanent changes of the body and the function of the mind, going beyond all the perceptions of names and forms through the senses, without attachment, identification, craving and aversion, being free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, being free from fear and worry with the mind resting in its nature of unconditional peace, no matter the body is in motion or in stillness. But, what people don't realize is that the main reason why they don't want to sit quietly for meditation is because their restless minds don't enjoy or don't like to sit quietly without any physical movements and mental stimulation and interaction with the world of names and forms. The minds are impatience and will be in agitation or irritation for holding still and be quiet without any stimulation of inputs and outputs even just for a few moments. The minds are not free from aversion towards stillness and the unpleasantness that arise in the body and the mind from restricting the body and mind in stillness.

Even though people can attain some pleasant sensations or good feelings after the yoga practice especially the asana practice as they are getting a momentary relieve from stress or tension or soreness by stretching their body, improving blood circulation, energizing the entire system and relaxing the mind, but their minds might not be free from craving and aversion, which is the main part for the yoga practice, to free the mind from craving and aversion. This is also why there are people have been 'practicing yoga' for quite a long time, gaining all the benefits from doing the yoga asana practice, but they are not free from being disturbed by constant reaction of craving and aversion towards the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses.

The yoga studios or centres might not have the 'time' and 'space' to extend the duration of the yoga class to allow the students to have a meditation session immediately after the yoga class. Some classes don't even have enough time for final relaxation, not to say reserve extra time for meditation.

If the yoga studios or centres understand the importance of meditation, and they don't mind giving the extra time and space for meditation for at least another half an hour, and people could devote their precious time to just sit quietly after the yoga class, there will be a great difference in their mind of silencing the mind without any inputs and outputs. But, it's everyone own choice for what they want to do with their minds and their life. If people are just contented with momentary good feelings from doing some forms of yoga practice, but not interested in further into meditation to allow the mind to be silent, being away from worldly ideas, affairs and activities, that is their freedom.

Some people might have particular 'idea' about meditation, either they see 'meditation' as a way to 'attain' superpower so that they can have all their wishes come true, or they see 'meditation' as something 'evil' that against their religion belief or might pull them away from their religion belief. In that case, don't call it 'meditation', but it's just 'sitting quietly observing the natural breath', without expecting the fruit of the action of 'sitting quietly observing the breath'. One will self-realize what 'meditation' is about if one is free from expectation towards the fruit of the action of 'sitting quietly observing the breath' and allowing the breath to be what it is.

Some people might say that their minds are not quiet or calmed for meditation after the yoga asana practice. If the yoga asana practice doesn't serve the purpose of calming and quieting the mind for meditation, but stimulating the mind not allowing the mind to be quiet and calmed, then that is not really yoga practice, but just a form of worldly physical and mental activity.

Be free.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Feel disturbed by other people's behavior that the mind thinks as 'inappropriate' or 'wrong'?

There's nothing wrong with people feel disturbed by and be unhappy about other people's behavior that the minds think as 'inappropriate' or 'wrong', that are different from one's cultural practice and belief.

Those who practice yoga are aware of the different types of behavior that the minds think as 'inappropriate' or 'wrong', that are different from one's cultural practice and belief, but they will not be disturbed by it or be unhappy about it.

Go beyond the conditioned worldly thinking and belief. Allow all the worldly thinking and beliefs to be there and to be what they are, but without attachment or identification, craving or aversion towards any of these worldly thinking and belief, no matter how 'good' or 'bad' the mind think they are.

The truth is always here as it is, when the mind is free from being conditioned by worldly thinking and belief.

See how the ego reacts, and tame this ego, not other people's thinking, belief and behavior.

If one doesn't know this, and is constantly reacting with craving or aversion towards all the perceptions of names and forms whether wittingly or unwittingly, be disturbed by what the mind doesn't like and doesn't agree with, and trying to 'influence' or 'control' or 'change' other people's thinking, belief and behavior, then even though one might thinks one loves yoga and is practicing yoga for a period of time by doing some form of yoga practice, but one is not practicing yoga at all.

Everyone is free to think, believe and behave about how they want to think, believe and behave, whether they practice yoga, or not. Or whether those who practice yoga are truly practicing yoga, or not. If people think they rather be disturbed by things that they don't like and don't agree with than to have peace, and that they prefer not to practice yoga, but be happy with the restless mind of dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, bitterness, hatred, envy, defensiveness, offensiveness, fear and worry, that is their freedom.

There's no intention to 'influence' or to 'inspire' anyone to improve, or to be better, or to do good and be good, or to be free from suffering, the teachings of selflessness and compassion are being disseminated without attachment and identification, but allowing everyone whether to develop their own awareness and realization of selflessness and compassion, or not.

Be free.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Yoga practice - why and how?

The practice of yoga is about the realization of unconditional peace which is the nature of all beings beyond the mind perception of all the different qualities of names and forms that generate separateness and discrimination among all beings which lead to restlessness or peacelessness and suffering.

The root cause of restlessness or peacelessness and suffering is ignorance and egoism.

The unconditional peace is unconditioned/undetermined by the impermanent qualities of names and forms (the law of birth and death), and is realized upon the annihilation of ignorance and egoism.

The annihilation of egoism is the realization of selflessness.

Compassion is the active force of selflessness that allow actions being performed without egoism of attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, and expectation. Just like the sun, the water, the wind, the earth and the space, or like all the internal organs in the physical body. There are specific functions in their existence to support one another, but there is no egoism in them to influence or to control or to identify with their functions/actions and the fruit of their functions/actions.

Ignorance is not knowing the truth of names and forms, and egoism is born out of ignorance. Egoism is the idea of 'I' exist as an individual being attached to certain qualities of names and forms to be identified as 'I', where all sorts of desires of craving and aversions arise due to this false identity of 'I'. And all kinds of impurities of anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, frustration, agitation, depression, hurts, offensiveness, defensiveness, fear and worry are born out of ungratified desires of craving and aversion. And hence, the mind is being in a state of restlessness or peacelessness and suffering. The mind appears to be not peaceful.

The ego, or who/what the mind thinks is 'I', is nothing but made up of mere pieces of BROKEN MEMORIES of all the perceptions of names and forms, life experiences, actions and reactions, feelings and emotions, imaginations, expectations, dreams and relationships with everyone and everything. What is not found in the memories, or beyond what the mind can recollect, there's no 'I'. People say, "This is not who you really are, you need to find/go back to your true identity of who you really are" or "This person is not what he/she appears to be, you need to find our his/her true identity of what he/she really is." Everyone can 'appear' or 'pretend' to be what they are or what they want to be and they are being different on different timing and condition, whether intentionally or unintentionally, with their appearance, personality, mentality, vision, mood and behavior are changing from time to time, but there is not a permanent 'I' being there as "this is who I really am."

There is no 'existence of an individual identity of who you really are' or 'who I think is the real I'. When one realized the true nature of oneself beyond the existence of the body and the mind and the worldly identity that attached onto certain qualities of names and forms, it's not about realizing my original self or a personal nature. It's the limitless/non-separate/egoless/selfless/nameless/formless/attributeless nature in all and everyone. The mind will be free from separateness and discrimination, and all the impurities of anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, offensiveness, defensiveness, hurts, fear and worry that come along with the existence of separateness and discrimination.

When a person lost all his/her memories, all the relationships with everyone with all the past painful and uplifting life experiences, and the past accumulated knowledge have no impact on this person's mind perception of himself/herself or his/her identity in the present. What is pride and arrogance about 'I' am knowledgeable or 'I' have great achievements? Subconsciously, this person might still be able to perform certain habitual actions without the memory of 'how did I know how to do this' and unwittingly react towards all the pleasant and unpleasant sensations that keep arising and passing away.

When a person feels bitter or hurt or angry about something unpleasant/painful that has happened on them, it is because of the attachment and identification towards all these memories of experiences that generates the reaction of bitterness or hurt or anger towards these experiences. The experiences and the memories of the experiences has no power to cause bitterness, hurt or anger. For example, if 'I' have no recollection/remembrance about something unpleasant or hurtful that has just happened, 'I' won't feel 'bitter' or 'hurt' or 'angry'. It is the continuous remembering what had happened that the mind recognizes as 'unpleasant' or 'hurtful' that causes the ego, or 'I', to continue to feel 'disturbed', and continuously react with 'bitterness', 'hurt' and 'anger'.

All the past reactions of pleasant and unpleasant feelings and emotions towards all kinds of pleasant and unpleasant sensations arising and passing away that has been storing in the subconscious mind might come up to the surface of the mind without remembrance/recollection of when and how did these feelings and emotions exist in the first place, the mind can be trained to just observe and be aware of them without attachment or identification, without reaction of craving or aversion, and allowing them to pass away. This is what deep mind purification is about.

Yoga practice is to purify and quiet the mind, to allow the mind to be open, unconditioned by any conditional worldly thinking and belief, to allow the mind to see the truth of names and forms as it is, to be free from ignorance and egoism and all kinds of impurities that lead to restlessness or peacelessness and suffering.

The realization of unconditional peace of selflessness is beyond the different states of the mind. Different states of the mind conditioned by cause and effect are being projected in the mind and all states of the mind are impermanent, and it is not 'I'. The mind projects restlessness. It is not 'I' am restless. The mind projects dullness. It is not 'I' am dull. The mind projects calmness. It is not 'I' am calm. The mind projects peacefulness. It is not 'I' am peaceful. The mind projects kindness. It is not 'I' am kind. The mind projects evilness. It is not 'I' am evil.

The mind is just what it is. It is neither good nor bad. It is neither perfect nor imperfect. It is neither pure nor impure. It is neither positive nor negative. It is neither wise nor unwise. Out of ignorance, the idea of 'I', 'my' and 'mine', and all kinds of ignorant thinking, attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion arise in the mind that leads to the countless births and deaths of different states of the mind with all kinds of actions and reactions and the result/consequences/fruit of actions and reactions.

The big picture of the yoga and meditation practice is about purifying the mind to free the mind from the pollution of conditional worldly thinking and belief, which is the product of ignorance and egoism, as well as the fuel that feeds ignorance and egoism. And all these worldly thinking and belief about what is a meaningful life, how people should think and behave, act and react, and what people should believe in, are manipulated by many impure selfish minds. If the mind is under the influence of ignorance and egoism, it is easily be manipulated and influenced by what they perceive through the senses of seeing, reading, hearing, smelling, touching and thinking, that are not necessarily the truth of what things are. No matter how intelligent that the mind thinks it is, it still can be manipulated and influenced by worldly conditional thinking and belief, without knowing that it has already been manipulated or influenced by them.

Yoga and meditation practice is to free the mind that has been conditioning by all these worldly thinking and belief. And thus, there is a very important part of the yoga and meditation practice that is being ignored or criticized by many worldly people, including those who think they love yoga and practice yoga, which is the practice of SILENCE, to be in solitude and seclusion for a sustained period of time (at least 5-6 years), to move away from the society, stop mixing with worldly people, stop engaging in worldly interactions and conversations, stop reading newspapers, novels and magazines, stop watching TV programs, advertisements and movies, stop all kinds of worldly contact and communication. It doesn't matter whether the mind thinks these 'inputs' of the mind are true, or not true. By allowing the mind to be in silence and cleared out of all the worldly thinking and belief, be free from conditional judgment and expectation based on the worldly thinking and belief, the mind will be able to see the truth of things as it is. This sounds extreme or horrible for many people, but it is the most effective way to free the mind from being manipulated or influenced by ceaseless 'inputs' that are not the truth of what things are. Only those who are determined and are fearless to let go all the worldly thinking and belief as well as worldly identity with qualities of names and forms can truly practice yoga and meditation. Or else, everyone is just doing some forms of different styles and brands of 'yoga exercises' to feel good and look good.

There are many different practices exist to help in the purification of the mind, and to quiet the restless mind. The process of the mind purification and quieting the restless mind via intense disciplines and restrictions (mainly of renunciation from worldly ideas, affairs and activities) can be very unpleasant and prolonged. And hence, the qualities or the abilities of non-attachment, non-identification, non-expectation, desireless, self-introspection, self-discipline, self-control, self-reliance, faith, determination, perseverance, acceptance, tolerance, forbearance, adjustment, adaptation and accommodation play an important role to allow the peace seekers to keep practicing/purifying the mind disregards all kinds of obstacles and difficulties, until the mind is completely be free from ignorance and egoism, and realize selflessness and compassion, and unconditional peace.

The realization of yoga, or unconditional peace, is not possible if the peace seekers are reluctant to let go conditional worldly thinking and beliefs, and all kinds of worldly and personal identifications. The mind is not opened to just seeing everything as it is, but it's closed or limited by conditional worldly thinking and belief that influence how the mind perceives/understands everything. Whenever there's judgment and expectation from the mind towards everything that it perceives through the senses of what it sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches and thinks, it is based on what the mind thinks and believes what things are and how everything should be. And the ego or the false identification of 'I' generates craving and aversion based on the likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements of the egoism towards all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, ceaselessly and restlessly. There's no peace.

The realization of yoga, or unconditional peace, is nothing to do with what are the physical conditions, abilities and limitations, the thinking and belief, the intelligence, the talents, the skills of doing something, the creativity, the personality, the good and bad life experiences, the happy and unhappy feelings and emotions, whether one believes or disbelieves in God, religion or spirituality, and how much knowledge the mind knows or doesn't know about this and that in this worldly life existence about humanity, spirituality, culture, religion, arts, music, fitness, health, technology, engineering, science, geology, history, mathematics, chemistry, physiology, biology, anatomy, psychology, and etc.

It is nothing to do with whether the mind thinks the world is a good or bad place, whether there are good things or bad things happening in the world, whether the world is full of happiness or unhappiness.

It is nothing to do with how much information about yoga, the teachings of yoga and the practice of yoga that people have been accumulating from reading, watching, hearing and 'doing'.

People like to know/ask what type of yoga or yoga practice and their benefits, or how much and how long one has been 'doing' yoga, but all these doesn't correlate with the realization of yoga or the liberation from suffering. One can be trying hard to clean up a dirty floor, but in the process of cleaning the floor, one can be creating more dirt onto the floor at the same time. One thinks that "Oh, I cleaned the floor already. The floor should be clean now after my effort of cleaning the floor." but doesn't aware that the floor is still dirty. The action of cleaning the floor doesn't correlate with the cleanliness of the floor.

Be free.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Children grow up without a 'proper' family is NOT something terrible, bad or suffering

In the conditional worldly thinking and belief, people normally and naturally think and believe that if children grow up without a 'proper' family, it MUST be something 'terrible', 'bad' or 'suffering'.

Children grow up without a 'proper' family is NOT something terrible, bad or suffering. Growing up without a 'proper' family might not be easy and it might be more challenging and requires more effort and self-discipline than other children who grow up in a 'proper' family, but it is not something terrible, bad or suffering.

There's nothing wrong with people being sympathetic or empathetic, and to show sympathy or empathy towards other living beings who experience something that they believe as 'terrible', 'bad' or 'suffering', but it doesn't mean that this type of 'natural' and 'normal' thinking and belief and sympathetic/empathetic reaction will benefit the children who unwittingly having such 'abnormal' growing up condition.

Most people react with "Oh! This child is so pitiful for having no father, or mother, or both parents. What an unfortunate and suffering life this child has." or "Oh! So sad. This child must be so unhappy to not having a father, or a mother, or both parents, or family, or siblings, or relatives, or friends."

People have the freedom for what they want to think and believe, and how they want to feel and react. But if people really want to help the children without a 'proper' family, people should stop 'feeling sorry' for the children. People need to stop making the children think and believe that people should be or are 'feeling sorry' for them because it is something terrible, bad or suffering for them to grow up without a 'proper' family. By making the children to think and believe that it is something terrible, bad or suffering for having no 'proper' family, that they deserve 'special treatments' or extra love, attention and support from other people, it will only encourage the children to develop stronger attachment/desire/craving for 'love', 'attention' and 'support' from other people. This doesn't help or benefit them at all.

If people truly want to help the children who don't have a 'proper' family, they can teach and guide the children how to love themselves without the need of self-pity, self-blame, sympathy and empathy from other people, or envy towards other children who have a 'proper' family. It will be good if there are people being there to show sympathy, love and support for them, but if there's no sympathy, love and support from other people, it's fine. It's totally okay for not having a 'proper' family, if one knows how to love oneself, being free from ignorance and egoism, being unconditioned by conditional worldly thinking and belief. There's no bitterness, sorrow, anger, hatred, low self-esteem, defensiveness, offensiveness, envy, fear and worry for having a more challenging growing up life condition than other people.

People can be peaceful and happy as they are, with or without a 'proper' family, or parents, or siblings, or relatives, or friends. But if people are being conditioned to think and believe that children grow up without a 'proper' family, or parents, or siblings, or relatives, or friends, it must be something terrible, bad or suffering, that they should feel bad about themselves, that other people should feel sorry for them, or people need to have a 'proper' family, or parents, or siblings, or relatives, or friends in order to be happy and live life meaningfully, or else they will be suffering from loneliness and they are 'doomed' to be unhappy and live life meaninglessly, then that is what the children will become - Restlessly craving for 'love', 'attention' and 'support' from other people or 'somebody', for them to feel loved, happy and meaningful. Or else, they will feel unloved, unhappy and meaningless. They will always be dissatisfied and disappointed either with themselves for being 'not good enough' or with other people for being 'unloving', 'unsupportive', or 'unsympathetic', when they are not getting the right amount of love, attention and support that they think they deserve to be getting from other people.

When one knows how to love oneself, one will be free from restless desire/craving for love, attention and support from other people, and this freedom from desire/craving for love, attention and support allows one to be happy and peaceful as one is.

Or else, children might grow up having a 'proper' family and receive lots of love, attention and support, but they might not be free from attachment/desire/craving towards something that will make them feel happy and meaningful, as they think they need to have or they expect 'love', 'attention' and 'support' from other people for them to feel loved, happy and meaningful. They are not free at all, as they don't know how to love themselves.

Be free.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Children grow up without a father or a mother or both parents

Of course, it would be good if the children grow up in an environment that they are being loved and supported by both 'loving' parents.

If due to unforeseen circumstances, one of the parents is not there to love and support the children as they grow up, it would be good if at least there is a 'loving' father or mother being there to love and support the children.

If due to unforeseen circumstances, both of the parents are not there to love and support the children as they grow up, it would be good if they can depend on some other people's charity, love and support until they become independent.

If due to unforeseen circumstances, there's nobody being there to love and support the children as they grow up, that they have to depend on themselves and nature, it would be good if the children know how to love themselves and be independent without self-pity, self-blame and bitterness, no matter how difficult and harsh it can be.

If due to unforeseen circumstances, the children grow up in an environment where one or both of the parents or the care taker, is ignorant, unloving, selfish and abusive, it would be better if the children grow up without the parents or any care takers. Growing up in an environment surrounded by and under the influence of ignorant people with ignorant behavior can be worst than being alone not be surrounded by ignorant people with ignorant influences. Children grow up under the care of one or both of the parents are not necessarily well brought up to have the correct understanding of life and be free from unhappiness and suffering, who won't hurt themselves or other beings out of ignorance and egoism, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

If life appears to be challenging and difficult, most important is that one knows how to love oneself, and has peace and compassion. It's not a suffering or unfortunate if one grows up being abandoned or unloved or unsupported or being abused, if one has self-awareness and self-realization, be free from ignorance and egoism. There's no need of self-pity, self-blame, anger, hatred, envy, bitterness, defensiveness, offensiveness, fear or worry.

Being alone, by oneself, of solitude, is not something 'bad' or 'difficult' or 'hardship' or 'suffering'. It's indeed a great 'fortune' to immerse into the silence of solitude, of peace and compassion, being free from ignorance and egoism.

Many people are surrounded by some or many other people, of family and friends, but they are not necessarily peaceful and be free from suffering.

Be free.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The relationship between the parents and the children

This article is about the relationship between the parents and the children in 'conventional' family affairs/relationships. It's not about sensitive cases involve 'unconventional' single parenting out of sexual abuse and rape.

Before two people in a love relationship want to create/bring in new lives/beings/children to form a family, they need to know what is love. Real love. Unconditional love. If not, it is the main factor why there are conflicts/unhappiness/affliction exist in many families which create broken children growing up into broken relationships/family of their own.

When the parents create/bring a new life/being into the world, they never, and couldn't ask the permission/consent of this being for creating this life and bringing this being into the world, as this life/being didn't exist until the parents had created this life/being whether through sexual intercourse or higher technology, whether intentionally or unintentionally, whether wittingly or unwittingly. Children are being born without their own free will or consent, but unwittingly out of the parents' desire to have children, or out of both or one of the parents' act of lust even though they have no desire to have any children. And yet, many parents think and believe that these beings/children belong to them, where they think that they have the authority on the children about how they want to treat and bring up the children and whether they will love and care for them, or not. The parents also think that children are born with the obligation, duty and responsibility towards their parents and all the other family members.

There are many parents don't have any intention to have children, but the child is conceived accidentally out of their act of lust, and these children are 'unwelcome' in their life/relationship. Maybe some parents might change their minds to 'welcome' the child into their life/relationships, and will love and care for the child, but some parents might 'perceive' the child as a 'burden' to their life/relationship, and they don't love or care for the child. Some even abandon the child to their relatives, or children homes, or on the streets. Maybe the abandon child will get love and care from some other people, maybe not. Meanwhile, some didn't abandon the 'unwelcome' child, but they don't love the child at all and this generates great damages to the child's overall well-being. The parents don't see that it's their own responsibility for conceiving the child out of their act of lust whether wittingly or unwittingly, and yet, they blame the existence of the child for 'giving' them 'problems'.

Most parents who intentionally and wittingly to create lives/children to form a family think and believe that it is because of love. Two people love each other and want to create children/family that 'belong' to both of them, that they share together. Some parents create/bring in children to build a stronger connection/relationship/bond between the two of them, or as fuel to keep their relationship alive. This is a complete selfish desire to have children, but people don't see it as selfishness. Children are being born because the parents want to gratified their desire to have children to form a family to be the connection/bonding medium for their relationship.

Some parents do 'love' their children unconditionally, but some might not realize that their desire to have children is selfishness, and their 'love' towards their children is conditional/possessive love that comes with great expectation/condition. Some don't even have the love, patience, effort and time to 'nurture' and 'look after' a child, but just because they have the basic instinct/desire to be a mother or a father, and so, they produce children.

Many parents don't realize that there are hidden selfish intentions/conditions in bringing/creating new lives into their relationship/family. Many parents expect something in return by creating/bringing in children onto their life/relationship. They think that by having children it will 'bring' joy and happiness into their life. They think that by having children it will give them meaningfulness in life or take away their loneliness/boredom. They think that by having children it will 'keep' their marriage/relationship to stay alive and connected. They think that by having children, they will grow up to bring back money to support their life. They think that by having children, the children will look after them when they are old or sick. They think that by having children, they will be loved. They think that by having children, it will make their life or relationship complete. They think that by having children, it will make them become a real man and a complete woman.

There are many people get married merely to form a family life and reproduce, which they think it's a 'solution' or 'investment' for them to deal with unhappy relationship/marriage, loneliness, emptiness, old age and sickness.

Many parents have expectation towards their children that the children have to love and care for the parents in return for the love and care that the parents have been giving to their children. They expect/think that all children 'are obliged to' or 'should naturally' show love and care to their parents as it is the duty and responsibility of the children towards their parents. The children should appreciate and be grateful and thankful to their parents for bringing them into the world, feed them and nurture them, and so, all children should show gratitude by giving their love and care to their parents in return. This is conditional love / selfish love / possessive love. And when they think their children don't love and care for them, or don't love and care for them enough, they feel disappointed and hurt. They are disappointed and hurt by their own expectation towards the idea of having children. They don't love their children. They love what they think they can get from having children.

Either they feel sad about their children unloving behavior, or they feel bad and sorry for themselves for being unloved by their own children, or they feel disappointed, hurt and angry with their children for not loving them or care for them after they have been showing lots of love and care to bring their children up, or after they have invested so much 'time', 'effort', 'money' and 'love' for the children's upbringing, welfare and education.

It's common and natural that the parents would feel disappointed or hurt or angry if their children don't love them or don't love them enough, but then know that this is because these parents don't really love their children, but they only love what they think they should be receiving from having a family life by having children. And thus, when they don't get what they think they should be getting from creating/having a family, they react in such way.

If the parents truly love their children, they will love their children as they are and won't be disappointed or upset or feel hurt, even if the children are not good to their parents or don't love their parents, or don't behave the way that what people think all 'good' children should behave, or if they think their children didn't carry out the duty and responsibility of being the children of their parents. People feel disappointed, hurt and upset in children/family affairs is because they think they love their children/family but they don't really know what is love or how to love. This is absolutely nothing to do with how the children treat their parents, or whether the children are being good and loving to their parents, or not.

It's normal for the parents to show love and care for their children, but many don't realize that they have great expectation towards their children to be the type of people that they would like them to be, that the children are obliged to listen to and follow all their commands/wishes, and they must show love and care in return for the parents' love and care for them.

When the parents want to be recognized as 'good parents', 'good father' and 'good mother', they put so much pressure onto the children to make sure they grow up to be 'successful' people that will make their parents, friends and relatives feel proud of. The parents feel proud of themselves to be able to produce and bring up children that appear to be 'somebody' that they feel proud of. Or else, they are frustrated/disappointed with themselves and their children as they couldn't produce and bring up children to be 'somebody' that would make them feel proud of. Meanwhile, the children grow up becoming people who keep looking for acknowledgement from other people, to make people feel proud of them, to feel "I am good enough" in order to feel confident, meaningful, and being loved. Or else, they feel disappointed/depressed about themselves for unable to be 'good enough' to make their parents or other people to feel proud of. And this affects their relationship with everyone else. These are the 'values' that were passing down from generations to generations of what a family means and what to expect from creating a family.

If the children are born out of real love, where the parents have the unconditional love and knowledge of life to give to another life/being unconditionally, then the parents wouldn't think/expect that their children are born with the duty and responsibility as children towards their parents and all the other family members, that the children are obliged to love and look after their parents and all the other members in the family. The parents will just do their best to nurture the children, teach them to love and look after themselves, until the children are independent, they'll let them go and allow the children to evolve to be what they are. As well as the children shouldn't be taught or feel that it's a duty and responsibility for being the children of their parents and being one of the family members, that they are obliged to give something back in return and to love and look after their parents and the rest of the family members. But, out of everyone's own free will, out of unconditional love, out of compassion, everyone do their best to be kind to oneself and each other, to love and look after oneself and one another without expecting anything in return. There's no disappointment, hurt, anger, bitterness or unhappiness. Everyone loves and accepts one another as they are.

It's not because it's an obligation, duty and responsibility, that's why the children 'have to' love and look after the parents and the other family members. It's not because of gratitude towards the parents' love and care for them, that's why the children 'have to' love and care for the parents in return. It's even without obligation, duty or responsibility, a being can show love and care for other beings. It's even other beings don't show love and care for a being, this being can still be loving and kind towards other beings.

May all families have peace and harmony, being free from suffering/affliction/unhappiness that derived from ignorance and egoism of attachment, identification, desires and expectation.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Selflessness is not 'unselfishness'

Self-inquiry is the core of all kinds of yoga and meditation practice to inquire into the truth of "who am I", or what the mind think is 'myself', and to attain self-realization of knowing who/what is 'I'.

Selflessness is the realization derived from the inquiry of who/what is this 'I'.

'I' is the ignorance of an identification of an individual being whom attached to certain qualities of names and forms (the physical body, the thinking mind, the knowledge, the thinking and belief, the physical and mental ability and limitation, the action and the result of the action, the achievements, the possessions, the relationships with other beings, the family background, the living environment, the lifestyle and all the life experiences, and so on) to be identified as "This is who/what I am". And yet, the existence and the function and all the impermanent changes of the body and the mind is not in the control of 'I'.

Selflessness is the realization of 'I' doesn't exist. There is no 'I'. And hence, there is no 'my' and 'mine'. And this realization leads to no 'relationships', no 'family', no 'friends', no 'enemies', no 'pride', no 'humiliation', no 'hurts', no 'fear', no 'worry', no 'gain', no 'loss', no 'loneliness', no 'suffering'.

Selflessness is not the opposite of selfishness. Selflessness is not unselfishness.

Selflessness is nothing to do with being unselfish or being free from selfishness.

There is no 'I' existing to be identified as selfish being, or "I am selfish".

There is no 'I' existing to be identified as unselfish being, or "I am not selfish".

Upon the realization of selflessness, there is no selfishness or unselfishness.

There's no "I want/don't want to be selfish".

Be free.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

What is freedom in yoga?

Freedom in yoga might not be the freedom that many would be interested in or looking for, as it opposes to what worldly freedom is about. To obtain this freedom in yoga it requires tremendous self-discipline, self-restriction, renunciation, seclusion, solitude, silence, will-power, determination and forbearance, where most people would prefer to live and enjoy a worldly passionate life (of eat, sleep, play, talk, enjoyment, stimulation, social interaction, building relationships, building self-esteem, empowerment of a personal identity, lust and reprocreate) than to live a life of desire-less, renunciation, seclusion, solitude, silence, self-discipline and self-restriction.

In the worldly thinking and belief, freedom might mean unrestricted freedom of thinking, action and speech, freedom of religion, freedom of going places, freedom of living a quality of life that I like it to be, and freedom of being free to be who I think I am or who I want to be.

There's nothing wrong when people feel happy, confident and meaningful if they are living a quality of life the way that they like it to be or the way that they think it should be. There's no suffering if one doesn't attach onto the happy feelings, confidence and meaningfulness that derived from a quality of life that they like very much. But if one has attachment towards the happy feelings, confidence and meaningfulness that derived from a quality of life that they like very much, then there will be suffering when impermanence strikes, as life changes into something else and one is being separated from the life or people whom they love every much. And it's okay, as people think and believe this is what life is about - swaying in between happiness and grief. But there are those who would choose to realize unconditional peace to be free from this restlessness of swaying in between happiness and grief.

In yoga, freedom is when the mind is completely be free from ignorance and egoism, not being conditioned or limited by any particular worldly cultural, social, religious and personal thinking and belief, being free from worldly attachment, identification, and passionate desires of craving and aversion. There's no attachment and identification to be 'somebody' whom I think I am or whom I want to be. This freedom exists in all and everyone when the mind is ready to let go of worldly conditioned thinking and belief, and egoism of attachment, identification and passionate desires of craving and aversion.

People might have come in contact with some forms of teachings that would lead one to attain this freedom from ignorance and egoism, but not many are interested in obtaining this freedom. Meanwhile those who might be interested in this freedom, but they might not be determined enough to let go all the worldly conditioned thinking and belief, attachments, identifications and passionate desires of craving and aversion.

This freedom is nothing to do with whether one believes or disbelieves in God and spirituality, whether one has or doesn't have a religion and religious practice, whether one does or doesn't do 'good actions' and 'bad actions', whether one is being recognized as 'good person' or 'bad person', 'happy being' or 'unhappy being', 'intelligent being' or 'unintelligent being'.

Just like the breath. It's universal disregard all the different qualities of names and forms of all beings. It doesn't belong to any particular thinking and belief, physical condition/ability/limitation, state of the mind, race, skin colour, language spoken, intellectual level, culture, religion, personality, talent, skill, creativity, behavior, education and social background.

All and everyone can realize this freedom without any discrimination towards all the different qualities of names and forms. What stops people from realizing this freedom is the deep rooted ignorance and egoism that hold them back from moving towards the life of desire-less, self-discipline and self-restriction.

One who practices yoga stops feeding the egoism of one's mind as well as others' minds. One could understand this naturally even without a teacher when one begins to observe the practice of silence. That is what yoga practice is all about - Starving the ego, until the ego is completely annihilated. But not many people would take seriously about the practice of silence and about stop feeding the egoism or starving the egoism, as people might not know what is the practice of silence and what is stop feeding the egoism or starving the egoism.

Without certain degrees of renunciation from worldly family/social life, it's not easy for the mind to observe silence when there are always people around, especially family and friends, who want/expect to engage in communication and interaction and all sorts of worldly activities. Those who believe in 'family and friends' is the most important thing in life might not understand the greatness of the practice of renunciation/silence, and might criticize the practice of renunciation/silence as a form of selfishness/irresponsibility/inhumanity. Only a few could understand that renunciation and the practice of silence is indeed a great noble action, to free the mind from ignorance and egoism, to be kind to all beings without discrimination and to serve humanity, selflessly and compassionately.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

It's not necessarily that one has to practice yoga to realize unconditional peace and love

The ability to let go of undesirable unhappy/painful experiences or to observe unpleasant feelings and thoughts without attachment and identification, or to be undisturbed and undetermined by all the perceptions of names and forms, is nothing to do with whether one practices yoga, or not.

It's not necessarily that one has to be practicing yoga to be free from ignorance and egoism, and realize unconditional peace and love.

There are people who practice yoga, but they are not peaceful, because they are not free from ignorance and egoism. There are people who don't practice yoga, but they are peaceful and compassionate, as they are free from ignorance and egoism. And it doesn't matter whether people think they practice or don't practice yoga, it's the same when people realize peace and compassion when the mind is free from ignorance and egoism.

The peacefulness or calmness that derived from the effect of yoga asana, pranayama and concentration practice, is conditional and subject to impermanence.

Meanwhile, the unconditional peace and love is nothing to do with whether one is practicing yoga asana, pranayama and concentration practice, or not. It is always there, never increases nor decreases. It is not a quality that derives from yoga asana, pranayama and concentration practice. It doesn't belong to those who practice yoga and it exists in all and everyone disregards one practices yoga, or not. Though the yoga practice serves as a tool to purify and quiet the mind to allow the mind to realize this unconditional peace and love that is always there, but not everyone who perform yoga practice can go beyond the mind perception of conditional qualities of names and forms due to deep rooted ignorance and egoism of attachment, identification, craving and aversion.

One can be free and realize unconditional peace and love whether one practices yoga, or not.

There's nothing to be boast or proud about if one is practicing yoga or one has achieved particular results or benefits from performing the yoga practice. Boasting and pride is part of the characteristics of the ego.

Be free.

Monday, December 12, 2016

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 who 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.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Yoga is not about achieving better or highest qualities through the yoga practice

Yoga is not about achieving better or highest qualities through the yoga practice, but it's about going beyond all the impermanent good and bad qualities of names and forms to realize selflessness, attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness.

Even the good or highest qualities that one can achieve in this world of names and forms, including what the mind thinks is the highest performance and benefit that one can achieve from the yoga practice are also impermanent. Such like, one can achieve calmness and relaxation of the mind after a yoga asana and pranayama practice session, and one feels good when the mind is calm and relaxed, but even this calmness and relaxation of the mind is impermanent. If the yoga practitioners generate attachment of clinging and desire of craving onto this impermanent state of the mind deriving from yoga asana and pranayama practice, this yoga practitioner will soon be disappointed and dissatisfied when he/she couldn't repeatedly achieve such effect from the yoga asana and pranayama practice due to unforeseen circumstances. One should make use of the calmness state of the mind attained from the yoga practice to meditate upon the truth, but without clinging or craving onto this calmness state of the mind. Even this will change and pass away. When this calmness state of the mind passes away or is unavailable for some reasons, it doesn't affect/decrease/remove the unconditional peace that one realized from non-attachment and non-identification, and being free from the desire of craving and aversion.

The annihilation of egoism is the core of all kinds of yoga practice with different names and forms. The effects or benefits of both the physical and mental yoga practice are not the goal or the objective of yoga practice.

'Advancing in yoga' is nothing to do with the enhanced physical ability for performing more complex/challenging form of yoga asana practice, or the improvement of the physical health condition, or the achievement of greater ability to perform physical and mental activities, or the enjoyment of a higher quality of living. But the mind has developed a profound realization of the existence and function of the body and mind and the cause of suffering, and the mind has established firmly in dispassion and right discrimination, undetermined by all the impermanent qualities of names and forms.

One's liberation from suffering has nothing to do with the condition of the world or the surrounding environment, or the suffering that exist in all other beings in the world due to ignorance and egoism. One can be peaceful even though many other beings undergo painful suffering. One can be compassionate and show sympathy towards other beings' suffering, but one is undisturbed by it. Those who haven't realized selflessness and compassion, including many yoga practitioners as well as yoga teachers might not understand or agree with this, and might criticize this as 'selfishness' or 'cold-hearted'. Just like there are people, (including those who enjoy doing the yoga practice to get the effects or benefits of the yoga practice) criticize the teachings of Bhagavad Gita because they read the context with a closed mind that is being conditioned and limited by worldly social, cultural, religious and personal thinking and belief, under the influence of ignorance and egoism.

'Good and kind' people might think and believe that as long as there are evilness and bad people existing in the world, none will ever have peace, and everyone should be miserable and suffer for all the bad qualities that exist in the world. People think and believe that all kinds of evilness and bad people must be eliminated from the world because only by then they (the good and kind people) can have peace and be free from suffering while living/existing in this world. This is deep ignorance. The world might appear to be not peaceful, having all kinds of evilness, wrong doings, inhumanity and chaos here and there, but unconditional peace exists in all and everyone disregard the good or bad condition of the world, or the good or bad qualities existing in the world.

Many people are seeking liberation from discrimination, racism, bias, prejudice, violence and hatred in this world of diverse names and forms, and fight for their rights and respect from others for being who they think they are, but a yogi doesn't seek liberation from discrimination, racism, bias, prejudice, violence and hatred in this world of diverse names and forms, but is seeking liberation from ignorance and egoism, the seed of suffering. The yogi also doesn't fight for the rights and respect from others for being 'who I think I am', because there is no 'I'/ego exists in the selfless mind to be identifying as "This is I", "This is my right", or "I deserve respect from others". People might want to change/expect/control the world to be the way that they like it to be and to change/expect/control other people to behave the way that they think how people should behave. The yogi doesn't interested/intend to change the world or discipline other people, but only to purify and discipline one's own mind to be free from ignorance and egoism.

There's no "I am a yogi", "I am a beginner/advance yogi", "I practice yoga", "Yoga is good/not good", "I am good or not good at yoga practice", "I love yoga", "I like/don't like this type of yoga", "Yoga gives me such and such effects or benefits", "I am a yoga teacher", "I want to be a yoga teacher", "I am a good/advance/experienced/qualified/certified yoga teacher", and etc.

Be free.

Monday, December 5, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be free.

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Know thyself. There is no existence of 'I'. Everything is impermanent. Be free, be peaceful, be happy.

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Pantai Cenang, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
My husband - Marc De Faoite and I run ongoing yoga retreats in Langkawi Malaysia. We teach traditional Hatha Yoga - a combination of Asanas (postures) and Pranayama (breathing techniques) and relaxation, that has given benefit to millions of practitioners over thousands of years. Our yoga studio is situated in Langkawi. We also run yoga retreats in Europe and India.

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