#8 Thai Yoga Promiiwihan Sii
Thai Yoga Promiiwihan Sii refers to the four divine states of mind. Our Thai teachers taught us that if you do not have all four of these things, you are sick and in need of therapy. If all four divine states are not apparent in your life, there’s something that is imbalanced within you.
You need therapy, correct or help. The four divine states of mind, or boundless or unlimited states of mind…sometimes it can be translated as godlike or exemplary of conscious beings manifest. There are a lot of ways to say these things. Love, compassion, joy and equanimity. What is the dark matter of the universe? The binding, engaging force that generates all life and light in the universe is objective love. Love is what literally makes the world go round. Life itself is a manifestation of this concept of love. Love in a philosophical context is not good enough.
To have a balanced life, I have to have appreciation of love, knowledge of love, an experience of love and a practical expression of love. If I have love but I have no way to express it and I have no experience of love with the world and other people in my life, I am unbalanced. I could be a person who is nothing but love and I could also be completely imbalanced. This is a hard concept to consider. There are very many loving people who are really messed up.
There are many loving people who have a miserable existence, who languish for lack of the expression of love in their lives. They languish for the lack of reciprocity. They’re loving and genuine in their love but because they haven’t conquered the hurdle of practical expression, their love is unrequited, unsatisfied, and unreal. In order to be more balanced, we have to have the practical expression of love. By definition, what we mean when we say compassion. Compassion is defined as the “Practical Expression of Loving-kindness”. Compassion only comes into being when you do something. To be compassionate is not a way of thinking, though we might use the term that way. To be compassion does not mean to think loving thoughts. To be compassionate is to act and do loving acts.
That means that the thoughtful person who understands this and does not have a way to act out of love and manifest their love in practical terms in their life, house, relationships and community that they are then incomplete in their health. They might have an emotional, mental or physical imbalance. Unrequited and unexpressed love is a seed of much mental illness. It is a symptom. If I look at someone and don’t see the evidence of their expression of love, that explains why they are imbalanced.
For example, doing healing work is in fact a compassionate activity. We literally define the practice of Thai Yoga as the practical expression of loving kindness. That means that we grab someone and we love him or her in real terms. I show you that I have love in my life by making concrete efforts to reduce your suffering. That’s the most convincing argument in the world that you love someone is that you take practical steps to reduce their suffering.
If I love you but cant or I wont help you or only practice ‘tough love’, it’s different. It has to be practically expressed.
There is a side effect. There is even a little gauge, like the fuel gauge of compassion. If the compassionate act is an unqualified, unconditional, expression of boundless, unlimited loving kindness, there will always be evidence of this as a side effect. The side effect is always joy. Joy is the litimus test of true compassion. For example, I can be a big business boomer and I can give my money to charity to get a tax relief and I will not experience the side effect of joy because my expression of philanthropy was completely conditional and judgmental and completely attached to outcomes and results which have nothing to do with love. Guess what? I don’t get the joy and maybe nobody else does either. There’s no guarantee that just because you practice philanthropy and make a gift of money that you will get any benefit from it, especially if it is not an act of compassion or love.
In ancient literature, it is mentioned why rich people seldom get to spiritual enlightenment or self realized consciousness. Even if there are good people and they give away lots of their money…that giving away of money is not actually an expression of love or by definition an act of loving-kindness. If I give a billion dollars to the UN but my soul reason for doing that is because I need the tax break to make a hundred billion this year, that is not an act of compassion. Because of that, we cannot guarantee a healthful benefit from it.
We find, that lots of so called “charities” are corrupt. We find that when people give millions or billions of dollars to charity, that the money is mostly used for other things. You think about the Tsunami in Thailand. 250,000 people died at 8:30a in the morning on December 26th. All the billions that were donated…do you know that less than 10% actually went to the people that survived and were affected. Some, to this day, have never gotten anything, not even a t-shirt. Think of all the corporations that donated. So much of the giving was not compassionate. It was for tax breaks, shelters, to set up bureaucracies, infrastructure, grafted… everything but to help the people. It was a lot of feely goods, parties, nicely dressed people…it also supports our political agenda because we want a party to look we are compassionate people. We want to look like compassionate people. That is not giving or an expression of loving-kindness. It can be very confusing for some people why all this good work is being done but there are no examples of good occurrences happening as a result. It makes sense when you understand the principle.
Joy is a side effect of compassion. I say it is a litimus test. If there is no joy, there is something lacking in the practical expression of loving-kindness. A further effect of this expression generating joy has a strange effect on the brain. When you take the triad of love, compassion and joy, three different kinds of influences, all deriving from love (love is just another word for Prana), you get equanimity, a balanced mind. Strictly speaking you cannot have a balanced mind and be a healthy minded person if you do not have love, compassion and joy also as a mental and practical process evidenced in your life. A life without joy, a practical expression of loving-kindness, you are not balanced. A life without love is imbalanced.
Ayurveda is specifically designed to correct imbalances in these four areas. When we talk about our system of healing, or any system of healing, we might talk about primary outcomes. If I expose you to this medicine, what will be the primary outcome? If I give you medicine that might reduce a cancer but you will certainly lose all your hair, that’s an outcome. What I’m looking for in outcomes is not increase in circulation, or range of motion. That’s why I say over and over that range of motion is not important. The stimulation, the energy, attention, consciousness, breath and pressure are more important than pressure. Range of motion is an expression of pressure. Taking someone into a stretch is pressure equilibrium. It’s not necessarily about consciousness or intention or affirmation or acknowledgement or breath. It’s the least of it.
The idea is that our outcomes, that which we are trying to create on the mat or anytime in a therapeutic mind, my outcomes are the same: that I am expressing unconditional love with active and practical compassionate acts, which I hope to balance the energy to reduce suffering and generate a sense of well being and wellness to the client. It is practical and not airy-fairy. It’s not intangible. It’s not a concept. Love is practical. Love can be poven by helping, comforting and reducing your suffering. I can share the experience of love with you. As result, we will have a more joyful life experience. All of us will then think in a better way. We will become more ourselves and see our lives with more clarity and truth. With more truth we develop more balanced minds.
Those are my outcomes.
Student: What about something you are not excited about doing like volunteering for something and it was your idea and you thought, ‘well I should do this because I should help these people’. You just kind of drag yourself there but once you’re there and you do it, you feel glad that you did it and feel joy after that. At first your attitude was about ‘shoulds’.
In nothing I’ve said here have I mentioned that you should want to do this. What I’m saying is that the knowledgeable and wise person will do this whether they want to or not. In other words, my internal progress is dependent on my acting on these principles and making these concepts in my life a reality. The very moment it occurs to me, I have to explore love, express it practically, experience joy and create the possibility for balanced thinking. My life then changes. It might originally look like voluntary suffering. Voluntary suffering is when I put myself in a situation on purpose to cultivate one of these four divine qualities. That’s a whole other conversation. Voluntary suffering is necessary. That is your coin of the realm. That is the only dollar you can expend in the coin machine of 4 divine qualities.
We have the vending machine of Thai Yoga Promiiwihan Sii, the Four Divine States of Mind. The love soda, the compassion soda, the joy soda, and the equanimity soda are in the machine. You can kick and knock the machine all you want but if you don’t put in the coins of voluntary suffering in, then nothing will come out. That’s different from unconscious, uncontrolled victim suffering. When suffering is put upon you, you don’t necessarily get those benefits. You have to volunteer to accept the suffering. You have to make the extra effort to get the benefits. That’s how these algorithms work. We have lots of ideas of these things. This is a systematic idea of how they work.
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