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Monday, April 25, 2016

Expressing feelings of hurt or anger with violent behavior?

There's nothing wrong if our minds react towards some 'undesirable' experiences that the minds think is hurting us or bad to us, and we feel hurt or angry. That's how the mind is being conditioned to react and behave in certain ways.

Most egoistic minds will not like to hear this - It's the mind's own responsibility for how it reacts and feels towards all the pleasant and unpleasant, agreeable and disagreeable, desirable and undesirable experiences based on what the mind thinks and believes what things are, or how the mind perceives and understands everything, disregard whether other beings or objects have the intention to hurt us, or not.

And afterwards, if the mind continues to feel hurt and angry, it's its own responsibility. The mind chooses to continue to be determined, be influenced and be disturbed by the past 'hurtful' or 'bad' experiences and refuses or doesn't want to let go the feelings of hurt and anger.

It's not denying or ignoring there's something hurtful and try to convince ourselves that this is not hurtful, but, it is seeing the truth of things as it is and and observing the reality as it is. One doesn't need to torture oneself or be tortured by others to insist that hurts don't exist. Hurts exist from time to time in the reality perceived by the mind through the senses, but how it reacts towards hurtful experiences is its own responsibility. One can choose to be miserable or angry, or one can choose to forbear and let it go and be free.

Untrained minds will easily be influenced by different elements that it perceives or experiences through the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and thinking, to act and react. But through yoga and meditation practice, the mind develops correct understanding towards all the actions and reactions towards all the perceptions of names and forms that are happening in the mind unceasingly.

Minds are being conditioned to think and behave in certain ways and have certain beliefs. Different minds have different ways of thinking and beliefs. Whenever the mind comes in contact with names and forms (objects, opinions, thinking, beliefs, behaviors, ways of doing things and etc) that are similar or agreeable with the thinking and beliefs in one's mind, this mind will generate liking and agreement and will project judgment of 'good', 'right', 'pleasant' or 'positive' onto these names and forms. Likewise, whenever the mind comes in contact with names and forms (objects, opinions, thinking, beliefs, behaviors, ways of doing things and etc) that are different or contradicted with the thinking and beliefs in one's mind, this mind will generate dislike and disagreement and will project judgment of 'bad', 'wrong', 'unpleasant' or 'negative' onto these names and forms.

It's not the experiences being 'bad', or 'wrong', or 'unpleasant', or 'negative' that have the quality to hurt or upset the mind. It's how the mind reacts or chooses to react based on what the mind thinks and believes what things are that is responsible for how the mind feels. The mind chooses to believe "This is hurtful. It's hurting me, I feel hurt, and continues to feeling hurt by this that was hurting me." The mind has the freedom to choose how it reacts towards all the experiences. It's its own responsibility for feeling good or bad, happy or unhappy, pleased or displeased, hurt or unhurt upon coming in contact with different experiences that it likes and dislikes, agrees and disagrees with, wants and doesn't want.

Be free from violent reactions (whether in thoughts, speech or actions) towards undesirable experiences is the basic teaching and practice of yoga and meditation.

There's nothing wrong with how one chooses to express or release one's frustration, anger, unhappiness or hurts. Some people feel better after they express or release their frustration, anger, unhappiness or hurts in some forms of violent behavior. But violent behavior that would hurt oneself and others or objects will not undo something that we don't like or don't agree with, but would generate more unnecessary damages in oneself and others, whether intentionally or unintentionally. And after feeling better, it doesn't guarantee that one wouldn't be continue to feel hurt and angry if one continues to hold on onto what the mind believes as hurtful or bad experiences.

It's the correct understanding about why do we feel frustrated, angry, unhappy and hurt, that allows us to let go the unnecessary reactions of frustration, anger, unhappiness and hurts towards all the 'undesirable' experiences. When the mind is free from frustration, anger, unhappiness or hurts, one doesn't need to suppress or express these feelings as there is none. One doesn't need to express or release these feelings through violent behavior to feel better or to feel good about oneself.

As yoga and meditation practitioners, one keeps the conditional subjective thinking and beliefs to oneself about how 'human beings' should or shouldn't think, believe and behave. Allow and respect others to be different from oneself or to have different ways of thinking, beliefs and behavior from oneself, even when one doesn't like and doesn't agree with these thinking, beliefs and behavior. If one doesn't know this teaching and practice of yoga, then even though one identifies as a 'vegetarian' who doesn't eat animal products or doesn't support killing animals for food, one isn't really practicing yoga of non-violence, when one mind is constantly being disturbed and influenced by reactions of frustration, anger, unhappiness and hurts towards undesirable or disagreeable experiences.

If there are people who practice yoga and meditation don't like or disagree with this teaching or practice of yoga about non-violence, they don't have to practice this teaching of yoga. Everyone is free to think, believe and behave the way that they want to think, believe and behave. It's one's freedom as well as one's own responsibility towards the well-being of one's mind.

Be free.

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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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