I often hear the lamenting,
"Oh , my Ego how can I get rid of it or why do I have such a strong Ego" and it always makes me smile internally.
Where is the Ego? Maybe you point to your head and then you describe thought patterns that disturb you or strong thought fluctuations that you cant calm down or you point to the heart in describing the emotional confusing patterns that you observe.
But is the Ego there to be found? Where is it and more importantly, how can I become more of a master of it rather than an obedient slave.
There are many ways to teach this, I like the comparison with driving a car.
You are driving endlessly around in a car, not reaching anywhere but being busy going from place to place.
This is the dynamic structure of the Ego. It does not exist separately but is being fed by your desires and fears. Desires and fear are two sides of the same coin. In every strong desire is a fear hidden, find out what it is. And in every fear there is a hidden desire lurking, find out what that is. These two powers are the fuel for the ego. If you have them under control you are already a huge step into understanding how to control the mind and with that your ego.
In Yoga we call this energy raja, always wanting, the mantra is:
I want this now or I am afraid of this, let's run, let's avoid.
We need first to stop the car!
How do we stop it? In calming the mind through mindfulness practices, slowing down, reflecting on your actions and taking time out. In this stage, Therapy is a huge help as well.
Find out the underlining emotional patterns that you picked up in your life and see how they determine your reaction towards situations. This might take time but are essential preparation for the next step.
When the mind slowed down the structure of the ego is still untouched but a feeling comes up in you of peace and maybe thought of, this should be always like that.
The car/mind slowed down but now we look at the car, we need to dismantle it, if we want to understand what the ego is.
Now we look at the structure of the Ego and that is,I am a Body/Mind
The beginning of the structural dismantling of the car/ego.
When you believe you are a body/mind then you see others as a Body/Mind as well. Your feel separated and you need to get your needs met by the world, which you project outside yourself.
The practice here is to enquire into your true nature. The path of Vedanta.
Once the movement of the mind slows down, you realize that the ego, you so desperately wanted to get rid of is actually just false identification with fluctuations that were based on fear and desires. In other words, ego is just thought and you are the witness of them! When you are at that point you need to go deep into analyzing your actions and separating your emotions and feeling from actions and rather follow Buddhi, your intellect, in determining what to do.
Here brutal honesty is important to get to the core of your suffering.
A teacher is often helpful at this stage.
Living with the understanding that I am free of the ego gives the peace that is beyond understanding.
You will still have a sense of identity if someone calls your name, you will turn around, but you know now that feeling, emotions and thoughts are just waves in the ocean of consciousness.
And you are THAT, consciousness.
To walk on the path of yoga is the most exciting journey you can take!
Hare Om Tat Sat
I and Betty wish you all a great new year