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

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.

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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 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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