February 27, 2016

Face Up to Ego Problems.


When you realize through your own experience how the powerful energy force of your ego comes and goes, you will realize that as well as your physical body there exists another, different kind of energy—your mind.

If your ego is obviously giving you trouble, reciting the mantra of Lord Buddha can help. Mantra is inner sound; therefore, when you recite a mantra verbally you can feel it vibrating in your heart at the same time. As it does so, it digests and controls your ego’s energy force.

The connotation of Lord Buddha’s mantra is, “Control, great control, greatest control.”

Recite it three times and then stop and listen silently to the inner sound of the mantra in your heart.

ta ya tha om muné muné mahamunayé soha

ta ya tha om muné muné mahamunayé soha

ta ya tha om muné muné mahamunayé soha

Instead of fearfully running away when confronted by the energy force of your ego, it is better to stand up to it with wisdom. Face up to ego problems with wisdom. The narrow mind, the mind weak in wisdom, cannot face the problems ego brings.

Fulfilling your human potential

06616_ng_gYou can discover through your own experience that when you investigate with introspective knowledge-wisdom the way in which your ego functions, it disappears. That small experience gives you confidence that you have the power and the potential to discover egolessness, the basic nature of the human mind. You may not have truly realized egolessness, but your experience shows the logical possibility of doing so. You can see that you possess wisdom and intelligence and are not hopeless by nature. It is extremely worthwhile for you to gain that understanding.

Basically, your mind is weak. You don’t comprehend that you have the potential to realize something like eternal peace. It doesn’t even occur to you. However, a small experience of egolessness will give you a logical reason for generating the brave, courageous mind that strives for such heights of human attainment. Such understanding does not come from the wisdom or the power of the lamas. It comes from your own wisdom, the power of your own mind.

Realizing egolessness

06567_ng_gWe always use the word “ego,” but although we’re constantly saying “ego, ego, ego,” we have no idea of the psychological nature of the ego or the way it controls our mind. We seem to think the ego is some kind of physical entity. Therefore, it is crucial to discover that the ego is not physical but mental.

Our lives are short; we do not have much time to realize egolessness, but striving to do so is what differentiates us from animals. Otherwise, how are we different? Animals enjoy the sense world and lead their lives to the best of their ability. Just like ourselves, they like those who feed them and dislike those who beat them. What’s the difference?

Perhaps you think, “Rubbish! I can conceptualize, I can write; I can make money to support and enjoy my life.” But even rats and mice can look after themselves with ego and attachment. They can collect and store food many times their own weight. What about bees? Even though their lives are so short, they collect enough honey to last for maybe hundreds of years. What, then, is the difference between bees and so-called intelligent humans if the mental attitude is the same, where both are living only for sense pleasure? Perhaps bees are even more intelligent than we are—they live such short lives but accumulate vast amounts of what gives them pleasure.

Therefore, I think it’s extremely important that while we occupy these precious human bodies, where intelligence and many other good qualities have come together, we take this opportunity to seek our inner nature and release ourselves from all the problems of mental defilement, which come from our ego. From the time we were born, everything we’ve done has come from our ego, but whatever pleasure we’ve experienced has been so transitory and small. Nevertheless, don’t think, “Oh, I’m too bad; my mind is completely dominated by my ego.” Don’t put yourself down. Instead, be happy to realize what’s happening.

Guiding yourself

06662_ng_gTo realize that only your own mind and effort can release you from your ego is most worthwhile. For years and years, all you’ve done is build up your ego, and under the influence of its hallucinated projection of the sense world, you’ve run, run, run from one thing to another, as if you’d lost your mind. To now have even a flash of recognition of this reality is most worthwhile and well worth the effort. Don’t think that without your own effort, without using your own wisdom, you can stop the schizophrenic mental problems that result from the energy force of your own ego. It’s impossible.

No lama believes that he can solve your problems without your own effort and action. That’s a dream. If that’s what you think, it’s a complete misconception. “God will do everything for me; Buddha will do everything for me. I’ll just wait.” That’s not true either. “I don’t have to do anything.” That’s just not true. You’ve already done everything and now you have to experience the powerful consequences. You can see all this through your own experience. Just one meditation session is all it takes.

Read more from Lama Yeshe’s Ego, Attachment and Liberation.  This book contains the teachings and meditations Lama  gave at a five-day retreat that he led near Melbourne, Australia, in March 1975.

Freely available from Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.


Author: Lama Yeshe

Editor: Travis May

All images by  Carol Royce-Wilder  

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