Tag Archives: yoga

Meditations on the Ego

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The most profound question a human being can ask them self is “Who am I?”. What lies between You (the one posing the question) and the experiential answer to this question is the ego. You cannot truly know yourself until you have become free of your ego. So, lets take some time to understand just what the ego is, how it manifests, how it communicates, and what it is not. Your ego is something you created. It is your self-centeredness. It is that voice within that feels defective, tells you your worth is based on your past actions or your possessions or the opinions of others. Your ego is the source of all of your suffering. Your ego blames, it judges, it pines for attention, it tells you that you have been victimized by life and its circumstances, and it pats you on the back when your self-righteous anger steals your inner peace. Your ego is heavily invested in your attachments, your possessions, and what you get versus what you give. If you give, it is your ego that expects recognition as payment for your good deed thereby squandering your good karma. Greed, jealousy, anger, self hatred, anxiety, fear, and desire all find their source in the ego. Your ego is invested in your belief system and will fight tirelessly to maintain this temporary “house” that it has build with spiritual power that it has usurped from your true Self. The ego fears change, the unknown, and anything that it perceives as a threat to it. This is because the ego is deluded into thinking that it is separate from everything else. The good news is that it has been mortally wounded by Love. Your ego will not survive this phenomenon you call “my life”. The ego recoils at the prospect of death because its’ existence is on the line, but death means nothing to your true Self which is beyond both birth, death, and identification to anything outside of reality. 

The language of the ego consists of attack, defense, and blame. It is the ego that feels slighted by another person’s words or actions and in return holds onto resentment. The ego knows nothing of grace, forgiveness, love, and acceptance. These four Spiritual attributes become poisoned by a cunning ego. Have you ever found yourself mentally rebutting everything someone is saying when you should be listening? That is the ego defending its perspective or belief and preventing you from listening. True communication and healing cannot happen when neither person is being heard.

The ego cannot change but through the love that comes from within when you surrender to your higher Self. You are responsible for how your ego behaves, no one else. You are responsible for propping up and then defending your belief systems, no one else. You are responsible for transmuting your own ego into the “servant” of your house instead of letting it run amuck like it owns the place. The best way to deal with your ego is to meet all of its habits, behaviors, tantrums, and rants with love. Love is your true nature. Love is the inner philosopher’s stone that changes base metals into gold. 

If you truly long to be free, you will surrender everything you think is “yours” because everything you place before the Truth will keep you from the Truth. The idea of “yours” is derived from the ego. The ego makes statements of possession, not Spirit. Find out what you have brought with you into this life and the only thing you take when you leave the body. Then you will begin to experience peace and see the ego for what it truly is. No one can do this work for you. You must drink directly from the well.

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As Time Goes By

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As time goes by, what are you doing that is within your power to change yourself for the better? We tend to question what needs to change outside of ourselves in order to be happy, content, and at peace. What an egocentric and immature way to approach our “problems”! Outside of your mind there are no problems. We have experiences and it is through the filter of our mind and ego that the baggage of attachment, judgment, blame, emotional pain, and separation are attached to these events and become “problems”. Essentially one who has this perspective is saying,” I am so important that the Universe has to change in order for me to be happy.” Otherwise, I am going to sit here, cross my arms, and make a fuss until I (my ego) get what I want. Chronological time will not dictate whether you approach life in this manner or not. I have seen children, adolescents, adults, and elderly people act this way. That said, we are all doing the best we can with what we have. The reality is that we do not have the power to change the behavior of others or how things in our life play out. We do have the ability to change our inner, habitual response to others and life situations that occur. How often do we tell ourselves, “If only people were less annoying, if only the weather was nicer, if only I had a better or more lucrative job, then I would be happy”. The Universe is constantly changing and shifting. Everything is happening here and now, simultaneously. If we have the expectation that this living divine process of life must occur in our favor in order for us to feel important or be at peace, we will be waiting a long time.

As an alternative to this egocentric approach, try letting go and surrendering your “emotional habitual reaction” or sense of self-importance the next time something happens that doesn’t occur in your favor or does not meet your expectation. Just let it go. Go with the flow…of life. Question your internal reaction. Why does anger come up? Why did those words, or that situation change my mood and pull me away from my sense of peace? Shine your inner light of consciousness into the darkness and onto your internal habits. Ask for guidance and grace from within so you can be free to approach life situations with more ease, understanding, and gentleness. No one can do this work for you. You are the only one responsible for how you feel and how you interact with other people and handle situations in life.

Use the reality of your mortality to check yourself. Bring your awareness back to the fact that your limited life is expiring as time goes by. Use this fact as a tool to help you change through life, not be abused and hardened by it. Be fearless in your approach to this transformation. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. As time goes by, learn to change by becoming softer, gentler, more loving, and filled with grace and peace. This will only happen with your desire to change and your full participation in the process.

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Peace and Health go hand in hand

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You cannot be healthy if you are not at peace. Peace is a sign that you are in line with your spirit and the Universe as a whole. Peace is a product of harmony between your subjective experience of life and the flow of life itself. Peace cannot be found outside of yourself. Even if you are in a “peaceful” place, the experience of peace arises from within. What would you do if your sense of peace were not dependent on your environment or any other external factors? Can you imagine being at peace in the “here and now” just because you are in existence? What would it take for you to be at peace now? What is preventing you from experiencing peace this very moment? The truth is, nothing is preventing you from experiencing peace except your erroneous subjective perception of existence.
Peace leads to health and wellness. The body and mind thrive when peace prevails. Health and peace go hand in hand. Over and over again I see patients who are sick in one way or another and invariably they are not at peace. The deviations from peace are infinite, but the experience of peace is the same for everyone. Your peace is your responsibility and no one else’s. You must decide that you are going to put peace before all other things. Put peace before friends, family, desires, hopes, expectations, frustrations, disappointments, and your own petty sense of self. When you place peace on the altar of your own consciousness, peace will pervade your entire being.
To think that your health is somehow separate from inner peace is like saying water is separate from its wetness or fire is separate from heat. Peace and health proceed from the flow of your vital force or qi. The greater to flow of your vital force the more you are in sync with your purpose in life. Not what you think you should be doing with your life or how many goals and expectations you are meeting, but how fully and authentically you live the life you are given. Very few people are truly at peace, but this fact should not deter you from being at peace. If a person is capable of finding peace in the process of death, they should be able to be at peace through life.