I always had a bad stigma against yoga. When I was young, I only saw girls do yoga. I always thought yoga is about acrobatics. It is a feminine art of twisting and contorting your body to weirdly looking postures and poses. My initial thoughts about yoga was that it was not an exercise. You cannot call it an exercise because it was just about bending your body this way and that way.
Throughout the years, I looked at what yoga is. I always saw women do yoga, so I assumed that it was an activity for women, not for guys. Heck, there are pants named after yoga, and they are something that women wear.
So without a clue, I assumed that yoga is just a feminine activity. Only women do yoga because it is about stretching your body and becoming flexible. I assumed that that was the main point of yoga. I was wrong.
Yoga is not about becoming an expert contortionist. Yes, yoga postures and poses can stretch your body and make you flexible, but there is so much more.
Yoga started in ancient India, and it was used as a method, mean, or a technology through which one can transform himself. The physical aspects of yoga, the various postures and poses, were adopted by westerners. However, the deeper dimensions of yoga never caught on.
And as such, I developed a jaded view of yoga. I abhorred it initially, thinking and believing that it will not serve any purpose in my life. I came to a biased conclusion. Thankfully, I opened my mind and experienced new things. Now I practice yoga on a daily basis. Continue reading
I know I talked about death many times before. Perhaps, I am rehashing many things that I wrote about. But whatever the case is, it is something that is always on my mind. You can say that having death on your mind constantly is a very bad idea. It would always make you anxious and scared.
This is not true. In fact, being aware of death constantly brings clarity to my life. It is only death that has added any value to my life. It is only death that has added any value to your life. Because I know that I will die one day, I am consciously aware of the finite amount of time that I have. Because of this, I don’t dwell in so much nonsense. I try my best to always, always be joyful and happy regardless of what is happening around me.
I guess the topic of death appeared again because I read a fantastic excerpt from The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles. Here’s the excerpt:
“Death is always on the way, but the fact that you don’t know when it will arrive seems to take away from the finiteness of life. It’s that terrible precision that we hate so much. But because we don’t know, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that’s so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.”
When I read the excerpt, it really resonated with me. I find life so miraculous. I don’t even know how I exist. Yet, everything is fine. There are so many forces in play that sustain my existence here on earth without me being aware of them. Continue reading
I remember reading a lot of self-help books throughout the years. One of the most common self-help methods is known as affirmations. Affirmations are basically statements that you repeat out loud or in your thoughts on a regular basis. You repeat them to reinforce and bring about certain desires into your life. For example, repeating the phrase, “I am happy”, daily can subconsciously plant the idea in your mind that you are happy.
Supposedly whatever you practice, you become good at it… This makes sense because affirmations are just like that. They are repetitive statements you make, so that you create exactly what it is that you want within yourself. Or at the very least, it will trigger a response from within you to pursue after what it is that you want.
Affirmations are powerful tools that can help one develop a strong, and clear mind. It can also do the opposite. For example, if I say that “I am happy” or “I am successful” all the time, but my reality differs, then I could spiral down the path of depression. The more reality differs from my expectations and desires, the more suffering I can bring up. Continue reading
For the longest period of time I have always wanted to be a monk. It’s just that in my experience of life, I feel that many things that we do are superficial. When the survival process is taken care of by just going to the supermarket, there is an abundance of time and energy for people to do anything they want.
But what do people do? They spend most of their lives making a living. I don’t understand this because every creature on the planet is making a living. We are the smartest creature on the planet and we have made it so simple to live. Yet, people make survival the biggest priority in their lives, even though we no longer have to struggle for it.
It just seems that the survival process evolved into another form. It turned into self-preservation in the form of accumulation. This can be wealth, material things, relationships, knowledge, and various other things. Because it is human nature to expand boundlessly, we find limited expression of this in physical form. We do this by making things ours. We want this. This is mine. It is a part of me. This is all that we are doing. Continue reading
One of the best things in life that I realized is that we tend to get good at anything we do repeatedly. We’ve all heard the expression, “practice makes perfect”. But how many of us are aware that anything we do repeatedly is practice?
If you wake up at 7 am in the morning every day, you are practicing waking up early. If you run daily, then you are practicing and using your body. Naturally you become good at running, so you become faster and your endurance improve. Life is just like this. Anything you do can be a form of practice, of conditioning yourself to be a certain way.
I find it amusing when people say that they get distracted easily or procrastinate a lot. It’s just that in my experience of life, anything we do repeatedly, we become good at it. If you place yourself in a situation where most of the time you are distracted, you are, in a sense, practicing distraction. Continue reading
Nostalgia is a very funny feeling to me. The main reason is that when I am nostalgic about the past, I always remember the glory days. It’s just that in my experience of time, the past is always wonderful. The future is always inviting. And the present moment is not the one that I want to be in right now.
The past and the future are wonderful moments to me because I am not in it. If I think about my childhood, it is wonderful. If I think about my college days, and similar events, they are all wonderful. If I think about what the future holds, I get excited. But when I think about the current moment, I just wish it would be different from what it is.
If you are in a situation that you don’t want to be in, then avoidance is a common approach that people take. I do the same thing. Are all my past days wonderful? Of course not. I hardly remember most of them. I just believe and think that those days were amazing because I am no longer in those situations. Continue reading
Meditation has always been an elusive, far-fetched practice for me. How does one simply sit there and meditate? How does one calm his mind? Don’t the thoughts still come? How do I achieve the state of no thought? Is such a state possible?
These are just some of the questions that I had about meditation. I always believed for the longest time that meditation means no thought. After half a year of mediation through trial and error, I learned that this is not true. Meditation just means enhancing your perception. It makes you hyper receptive to what is already around you. Continue reading
“Stop wasting time” is one of the most common phrases repeated around me. My mom would tell me to stop wasting time with video games because it is a hobby that doesn’t get you anywhere in life. Nor does it make you any money.
She believed that time is best spent doing something of value. These values can be making a living, or anything productive. I understand her logic, but I don’t understand how does one waste time.
It’s just that in my understanding of time, you cannot waste it. You can’t even control it. Time is always ticking away every second and every moment. It doesn’t matter what you are doing or not doing, time is not in your control. Continue reading
Morality has always been a confusing concept to me. What constitutes good and bad? Who makes the distinction between what is right and wrong or good and bad behavior?
I wrote earlier that we all lived in an inclusive reality, but our views of life are entirely subjective. If our experience of life is generated from within us, then wouldn’t that mean that there is no absolute principle or rule that dictates what is good or bad?
Everybody have their own definition of what is good or bad. Yes, there are external stimuli that can determine your definition of morality. Perhaps you are influenced by your religion, your parents, your surrounding environment, political party, and many other influences. Whatever the case is, how can anyone ever say that an action is good or bad? Good or bad is just your explanation for how the world operates.
Actions, in reality, are not determined by good or bad. If anything, it only operates in the realm of cause and effect. There is a change, or a consequence that follows all activity. Good or bad is not the nature’s doing. It is our doing. It is our karma. Continue reading
It is said that ignorance is bliss. If you don’t know about something, you don’t have to worry about it. This basically means that lack of knowledge can result in happiness. As a young adult, I agreed with the phrase.
Whenever I looked upon children, I was always awed by their innocence. They don’t know about the drama in the world, nor do they care. They simply live in a joyful state. It doesn’t take much for a child to be happy.
To me, I have associated bliss with childhood innocence and ignorance. I know this is true because when I was a child, there were a lot less things that I worried about. I only cared about good grades and video games. Continue reading