be free, be happy, be peaceful

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

Monday, February 15, 2016

Want to practice yoga? (10)

Many people are interested in yoga practice. Some are interested in the yoga asana practice as a form of physical exercise for mental and physical health, for beauty and fitness, for improving quality of life. Some are interested in the spiritual, emotional and physical healing effects of the yoga and meditation practice. Some are interested in the living philosophy of yoga. Some wants to know about the mind and life existence. Some are interested in attaining peace in oneself. Some are interested in achieving world peace and harmony among all beings. Some are interested in attaining transcendental experiences and psychic power. Some are interested in attaining liberation from the cycle of cause and effect, the wheel of birth and death, and be free from suffering. Some just want to have a few moments of 'me time' and quietness away from worldly life routines and activities. Some just follow the trend of yoga in the world. And so on. But, all these different interests have something in common - doing something or attaining something that the different minds could find satisfaction, fulfillment, comfort, freedom, happiness and meaningfulness.

It doesn't matter what is the main or sub interest, intention and motivation for us to be performing some yoga and meditation practice, or how much we think we know or don't know about yoga and everything else, and how long we have been practicing yoga and meditation, or whether we believe in spirituality and God existence, or not, what would lead us to peace is the ability or the understanding that allows us to respect all the different names and forms to be what they are, as they are; allowing everyone to be different from one another, and yet, everyone finds their own version of satisfaction, fulfillment, comfort, freedom, happiness and meaningfulness through different ways and different paths.

Some find peace through actions. Some find peace through actionless. And yet, peace doesn't come from actions or actionlessness.

Some find peace by believing in God. Some find peace by disbelieving in God. And yet, peace doesn't come from believing in God, or not.

There's no contradictory at all.

Whether performing (good and bad) actions, or not, some are peaceful while some aren't.
Whether believing in God, or not, some are peaceful while some aren't.

Whether we think we are good people who do good actions, or we think we are bad people who do bad actions, or we think we are just human beings who do both good and bad actions, or we think we are neither good nor bad people, we are just what we are, some of us are peaceful, while some aren't.

Even in the teachings of Buddhism, the one who had killed thousands of lives intentionally, could be liberated from suffering, and be in peace. It doesn't mean that by killing many lives intentionally will free us from suffering, as some people might comprehend this saying in such way when they come across with this teaching of Buddhism. Meanwhile many human beings who think we are good beings, who think we don't commit any wrong doings or killings, whether intentionally or unintentionally, and we condemn others whom we think they are bad and wrong based on what we think is bad and wrong, but we are not free from suffering, and aren't peaceful. Why?

That is what yoga and meditation practice is about - To find out what causes us not peaceful, or what allows us to be in peace, through our own effort, self-inquiry and self-realization.

Even by reading many books about yoga and meditation, attending many courses, hearing from other people discussing, debating, talking and teaching about yoga and meditation, knowing and memorizing all the teachings, names and terms, and the physical body can perform many movements and positions that require specific skill, technique, strength and flexibility, but, as long as we (the mind) haven't realize the truth by ourselves, we (the mind) are not free from ignorance, we (the mind) would still experience restlessness, dissatisfaction, void, meaninglessness, freedomlessness, hurt, fear or suffering. And if we (the mind) don't have self-control, out of restlessness, dissatisfaction, void, meaninglessness, freedomlessness, hurt, fear or suffering, we might generate actions that would inflict further hurt, unrest and disharmony in oneself and in others.

For example, if we (the mind) think we are somehow more or less superior than some other beings; or we expect everyone should behave according to our own personal thinking and belief; or we think we have to have this or do that, to be happy, or not; or we recognize something as bad and we don't like this bad thing, and we don't want to allow this bad thing to be existing within our existence or awareness, then we are very much under the influence of ignorance, even if we think we are super intelligent, knowledgeable and good beings, and we think we are better beings than some other beings.

Just like peace doesn't come from whether we eat vegetarian food or non-vegetarian food. Whether being a vegetarian or non-vegetarian, it doesn't guarantee that one will be peaceful, or not.

Peace doesn't come from whether our body is strong and flexible, or not. Whether the body is strong and flexible, or not, it doesn't guarantee that one will be peaceful, or not.

Peace doesn't come from whether our relationships with other people are good, or not. Whether the relationships with other people are good, or not, it doesn't guarantee that one will be peaceful, or not.

If we still couldn't understand this, then ask ourselves, "What makes us think that we are not peaceful?" or "What makes us not peaceful?" until we (the mind) are free from ignorance, and be in peace.

Some love and care their spouse, their children and their living environment or mother earth, they do their best for upkeeping the well-being and welfare of everyone and everything, and they are peaceful under any impermanent changes, circumstances, situations and conditions. While some others also love and care for their spouse, their children and their living environment or mother earth, they do their best for upkeeping the well-being and welfare of everyone and everything, but they are not peaceful. Why?

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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Pantai Cenang, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
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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