Letting Go of Ego

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Inspiration from Dr. Wayne Dyer’s Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life, Living the Wisdom of the Tao
Chapter 7– Living Beyond Ego

Easier said than done – letting go of ego stumps the best of us, wherever we may be on our spiritual growth. But letting go of ego we must, if we want to discover the truth about ourselves. Ego creates our duality world, where we have to find the bad to make us feel good, and this leads to judgment, biases and personality clashes. Living beyond ego is possible, and the Tao points the way.

Still the mind

To get away from ego, we have to first get away from the constant chatter of our mind. Dr. Dyer says, “The ego is a demanding force that is never satisfied: It constantly requires that we seek more money, power, acquisitions, glory, and prestige to provide the fuel it thinks it must have.” The desire to want more, to need constant stimulation is the product of the mind. Through meditation, and practice being in silence, we can shift to living a Tao-centered life, rather than an ego-centered one.

However, merely to achieve the point of stillness is not enough. We have to keep practicing it till it starts seeping through our everyday activities and emotions. I have listed some videos below that would help get started or to keep up the practice. However, find something that truly resonates with you and keep finding the stillness within your centre.

Feel the presence, be the witness

Once the mind is still, we are made aware of our presence, a part of us that just exists without getting caught up in the drama. In fact, this part is the observer, the silent witness to everything happening around us. This part of us does not identify with me, mine or myself. It’s more than that. It does not associate itself with the materialistic world, and therefore is free from ego. Lao-Tsu says:

For this reason the sage puts himself last
and so ends up ahead.
He stays a witness to life…

Getting to know our presence is the first step of letting go of ego. Dr. Dyer advises, “Stop the chase and be a witness.”


Expanding into Oneness

When we are made aware of our presence, we are made free from the concept of us being just a body in time and space. Our attention moves away from what I need materialistically to how I can be, spiritually, enjoying the expansion of our presence, or spirit. We experience the eternal source, omnipresent, always flowing through us, and through everything and everybody around us. We realize that the source flows equally through all of creation, and therefore brings us all back to oneness.

In the oneness of it all, it’s easier to let go of your ego, or as Lao-Tzu says, we are able to ‘endure’ our differences and perspectives. In the Tao, he writes:

Heaven is eternal – the earth endures.
Why do heaven and earth last forever?
They do not live for themselves only.
This is the secret of their durability.

Dr. Dyer writes, “Identifying exclusively with the physicality of life…disregards our infinite nature and limits our awareness…” When we are connected to oneness of the eternal Tao, we live for others as well as for ourselves, a space where ego does not have a stronghold anymore.


Moving into service

As a natural next step, the feeling of oneness allows us to move more into service for others, rather than for ourselves. It does not negate our individuality, or our own experiences, however, fulfillment is not achieved by means of materialistic acquisitions, but in giving, helping others, and thinking from a higher or a different perspective. The Tao says:

Serve the needs of others,
And all your own needs will be fulfilled.
Through selfless action, fulfillment is attained.

Ego has very little space from this perspective. In this space, we are in control of our vortex, or our energies, and they tilt mostly towards the positive, most of the time. We are able to retain our observer position, even when we are pulled into the ego experiences of others.


Can you ever be fully free of ego?

Moving away from ego is an act of awakening, and it opens the door to so much more. However, we live in a physical world and therefore we are bound to get caught up in situations that trigger our ego.

In an interview about ‘gurus’, Mooji was asked whether he (as a guru) gets caught up in ego, and he answered, “Momentarily, all the different energies can play, sometimes sadness comes, sometimes anger comes, fear might come, but they cannot grow, they cannot linger because there is no soil for them to linger. They can only linger if you become personal with these things, then these forces bite in.”

Being physical, we cannot do away with our mind. But we can create stillness within ourselves, we can experience source in ourselves, and we can bring in the peace inside. If we do that, we can be aware when ego surfaces, and successfully root it out of our current experience.

Eckhart Tolle – Do you know your Ego?

Stillness Meditation: Experience Love (Marlise Karlin)

Eckhart Tolle: Silence and Stillness>

Photo credits: eastop @sxc.hu

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