Discover more from Timeless Luminosity Newsletter
2023, February, Issue 33
Ego is by far the greatest cause of suffering, some would say that it is the only cause. When we defend ego, we create pain and suffering with all beings—with ourselves and others. It’s a ripple effect that has no end.
It’s important to dispel ego in our lives, to nip it in the bud, to let this sense of self go. This is a very important Buddhist teaching. It is also something that became obvious to me in the death bardo. Dispelling ego is a teaching that will help you to increase your spiritual capacity, create joy in your life, destroy your own limitations, one that will help you to traverse the death bardo with much more ease, possibly leading to awakening while in that gap between life and rebirth. This became obvious in the death bardo; and, you have that opportunity waiting for you.
Many people have asked me why I had a full death experience, one that became fully integrated with Dharmakaya. I wasn’t really sure how to answer this. I’ve been extremely focused on Buddhist meditation for quite a few years; however, throughout most of this lifetime I didn’t even know what Buddhism was. When a lama appeared, it made complete sense to me at once. It was familiar; and people were also quite curious about that. Once again, I didn’t really know what to tell them.
I recognized Buddhism, because I’ve been a Buddhist in many lifetimes, which was something a lama pointed out to me, as well as something I eventually remembered. In this lifetime I was even seen meditating when I was a toddler, which was a very long time ago, long before I had even heard about Buddhism. I don’t say that out of an egotistical point of view, it’s just matter-of-fact. I take no pride in the misery I’ve experienced through intensive Dharma practice over many lifetimes. It’s a lot of pain to dispel ego, lifetime after lifetime. It hurts. It’s like taking pride in a migraine that won’t go away.
Now, I caught a lot of grief from people when I wrote The Frog: A Spiritual Autobiography, Spanning Many Lifetimes, both because I called myself a frog who saw Buddha one time, a long time ago, from a swamp, and also because I focused on how low I am for much of the book. It became sort of a running joke—and I’m okay with that. It makes me happy that being self-deprecating, being completely honest, not cutting out the hilarity about my Spiritual Path has made people laugh. This dispels ego. I didn’t want to place myself above anyone else; so, I placed myself below everyone else. It was an important part of my book.
Now, the reason I am explaining in a roundabout manner is that I need to explain the context of how ego becomes dispelled with me for it to benefit you in any way. If you know where I am coming from, it makes more sense. Before I encountered Buddhism in this life, I simply let go. When I did so, a lama appeared in my life. I was very surprised by this; however, it made sense. Each juncture in my Spiritual Path has involved increasing capacity. This means letting go of ego, trusting your intuition, opening your heart and mind. It’s not about intellect, it’s about opening yourself to unlimited possibilities. It’s rather joyful once the ego stops feeling pain.
On your Spiritual Path, it is important to start where you are, continuing from that place and being mindful of each step that you take. This is not a competition. Your accomplishments are not a feather in your cap for display, not something to be ashamed of, and not something where you will ever need to be acknowledged in any way. The number of years you end up practicing are not relevant. Where you are is precious; but, be careful that you don’t utilize this sense of value to fuel ego. Be happy about that in a matter-of-factual way, and that your Spiritual Practice is starting from that point.
With your own Spiritual Path, you must show the utmost respect for where you are. In my books and articles, I make it very clear that you are very important. This is to give you confidence. Please remember that you should feel good about this; but, also, you will need to let go of this idea at once and get on with it! Your Spiritual Practice awaits, right here, right now.
Hopefully this helps people in some way. Everyone is different, with different capacities and willingness to actually practice meditation. If something doesn’t quite make sense, be sure to examine what that is, maybe another point of view will come along that will create more clarity in your life, helping to dispel ego that way. Be patient. Discover what it is that you don’t know. Examine your own egotistical point of view, and let that go. Relax and don’t be afraid to laugh when you start to take things too seriously. That’s how you start from where you are; it’s by having enough compassion to let go, relaxing, looking within at just what is going on here.
You will awaken, I have no doubt.
Blessings in Light,