be free, be happy, be peaceful

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

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Want to practice yoga? (9)

Yoga is the unconditional peace beyond all the qualities of names and forms, where ignorance is absent when one realizes the truth of impermanent names and forms - the worldly life existence of the body and mind, that there is no 'I' existing as an individual being to be in control of any impermanent changes of names and forms - The realization of selflessness, or ego-lessness, or 'I'-lessness.

This self-realization of selflessness seems impossible or non-logical for the impure mind. Due to ignorance, the impure mind cannot perceive or comprehend the wisdom or the truth of selflessness. The mind thinks that if there's no 'I', then who is the one who realizes selflessness? Just like the impure mind is being conditioned to think and believe in certain ways that how life should be lived, or how things should be done, or how humans should behave, or how to think and what to believe, or how to be happy. There's nothing wrong when the intellect questions the logic of everything, including the wisdom of self-realization of selflessness. That is the beginning of self-inquiry - to find out who 'I' am, or who is this 'I' that the mind thinks and believes as 'I'.

The existence of 'I' is when the mind thinks itself has a solid existence who is in control of its existence and function. And thus, the mind would think and judge itself as a 'good' or 'bad' being according to certain qualities of names and forms that it possesses or doesn't possess, and has satisfaction or dissatisfaction, pride and arrogance or low self-esteem about itself. As well as the mind constantly generates ceaseless reactions towards all the names and forms that it perceives through the senses based on the conditioned thinking and belief in the mind that is conditioning it's personality and behavior.

Due to ignorance towards the truth of its own existence and function, the mind experiences or feels separateness, boredom, loneliness, fear, discontentment, defect, imperfection, and etc, and generates attachment, identification, pride, clinging, craving and aversion towards names and forms that it likes and dislikes. And when all its craving and aversion is not being gratified, the mind reacts with unhappiness, dissatisfaction and disappointment. In order to get rid of unhappiness, dissatisfaction and disappointment, the mind keeps looking for attaining some qualities of names and forms that it thinks that will bring the mind satisfaction and happiness, to feel good, confident and meaningful. The mind is forever restless, as it keeps chasing after qualities of names and forms that are impermanent to feel satisfy and happy.

But the truth of all the impermanent names and forms is there is no such solid existence of 'I' in control of one's own existence or function. It's merely a process of forming and deforming of elements. And there's no 'I' existing in all these elements that allow and support the body and mind to be existing and functioning. There's no 'I' existing in all the cells, physical structure, organs and senses that are performing action ceaselessly to be supporting one another to be existing and functioning. There are countless births and deaths is happening within the body and mind from moment to moment. There are countless sensations and thoughts arising and passing away from moment to moment that are not in the control of 'I', if 'I' exist.

There is no ownership to be claimed by 'I' towards the existence and function of this body and mind, and all the impermanent changes that is going on in the body and mind, not to say, there is no valid possession towards all the worldly objects of names and forms that the mind comes in contact with, such like personal relationships with everyone and everything. Through the ceaseless selfless actions of all these cells, organs and senses being supported by energy and elements, the mind perceives names and forms, knows or doesn't know, acts and doesn't act, but it isn't 'I' perceive names and forms, know or don't know, act and don't act.

When the mind realizes the truth of names and forms, or is being free from ignorance, when the idea of 'I' is annihilated, all sorts of defilements like egoism, attachment, identification, desire, craving and aversion, judgment and expectation, pride and arrogance, confidence and low self-esteem, fear and worry will also be absent from the mind, naturally.

To realize the truth of names and forms or be free from ignorance, the mind needs to have a pause from restlessness, or a moment of being free from impurities. To be free from impurities or restlessness, one can practice yoga, which is letting go of the ego, attachment, identification, desire, craving and aversion, judgment and expectation, as well as limit or minimize stimulation of the mind by restricting inputs and outputs of the mind, as impurities or restlessness are the by-products of all these defilements.

There is persistent effort to maintain self-awareness, self-restraint, self-discipline and self-control to free the mind from all these defilements - the purification process of the impure mind. The moment the mind is being free from all these defilements and being free from impurities or restlessness, the mind will be able to see or reflect the truth of names and forms, as they are, uninfluenced by any conditioned thinking and belief that is existing in the mind that is influencing the mind's behavior pattern and reaction towards all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses. Following the annihilation of ignorance, the mind will also be free from all sorts of defilements naturally and effortlessly, without the need of the persistent practice of letting go. Yoga practice is unnecessary. There's no 'I' being there that needs to practice yoga to be free from ignorance, to let go of the ego, attachment, identification, desire, craving and aversion, judgment and expectation, as there is none.

If we haven't realized unconditional peace, if we still rely on either possessing or not possessing certain qualities of names and forms to feel good, happy, satisfy, confident, meaningful and peaceful, then no matter how many yoga poses we can perform, or how long we think we have been practicing yoga, or how strong and flexible is our physical body, we will always be determined by the impermanent qualities of names and forms to be who 'I' am. We are not free and won't have peace.

If the mind knows how to practice non-attachment, non-identification, desireless, non-judgement, non-expectation, non-craving and non-aversion, the mind will have peace under any circumstances, or undesirable conditions and difficult situations. The mind will be free, being undetermined by any qualities of names and forms and impermanent changes that are not in the control of 'I', if 'I' exist, not to say, when this 'I' doesn't exist at all.

Liberation is not about having everything the way that we like it to be, but it is being liberated from the idea of 'I', and all the by-products derived from the ignorance of there is an existence of 'I' to be in control to make everything the way that how 'I' like it to be.

Om shanti.

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

Om shanti

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My husband 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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