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Managing Your Relationship with Ego – Final Part Seven of Seven Part Series

Should I Recondition My Ego?

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The fact remains that you may never “immunize” your ego fully. It may continue to unnecessarily detract from your joy from time to time – until you get back to sensing your true self again. In Samatha meditation, our conditioned ego-self and thought-emotions tend to lighten up. We are then more amenable to dropping distractions and allowing the Creator’s grace to flow within us and without us. It’s particularly important to evaluate the meanings that we give to events and our consequent self-talk. So long as our intentions are noble, we should never have to bear painful emotions as a result of our actions – or even those of others.

Practically speaking, whatever work you do on yourself, such as meditation on the breath, your ego will most likely remain, albeit in a lightened form. There may well be small changes that compound over time and there is research to back this up, although it depends on the type of meditation. Meditating, maintaining effortless awareness and authoring feel-good thoughts consciously, will all contribute to a favorable reconditioning of one’s mind – as will eliminating disempowering habits and beliefs in favor of empowering ones. For some people, tools like customized hypnosis, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Sedona Method, The Work, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy CBT) and so on may be of benefit. (Descriptions and applications can be found using your favorite “Search Engine).” With a reconditioned mind, one has the potential for living more joyously, more effectively, and more authentically. We just need to choose the right activities and environments on a daily basis to materialize this potential.

The question remains, if you were to contemplate reconditioning your ego, what would you recondition it to? Superman or Superwoman? The biggest and boldest CEO that ever existed? The latter of course is rather ego-based, being rooted in social comparison, the former not necessarily so. You could be an amazing superman or superwoman that lives an incredible life of service, and sees greatness in everyone. Yet one needs to be careful not to burden oneself with labels, standards or expectations that are impossible to meet. This would of course result in frustration and self-delusion. Self-awareness is key. It’s important to be guided by the heart and to learn how to face new adventures with a certain amount of courage.

A practical way forward, is to decide on your mission, (that, inevitably involves others, even if indirectly), and your vision and values; then develop the perspectives, habits and beliefs that will get you moving in the right direction. This is an approach to deliberate creation. We can ultimately be creators of beauty and excellence, albeit powered by Mother Nature, the Cosmos, or God. Indeed, determining an overall sense of mission and direction is a helpful part of the creative process. If you can learn to walk, talk and read – not altogether the easiest of accomplishments – you can achieve almost anything else? Putting the mind aside, it’s well worth acknowledging your body’s amazing power. This very moment, a far greater intelligence than your conscious mind is carrying out miracles in keeping you alive: just consider your heart rate, breathing, digestion and steady temperature as a few of many examples of that intelligence operating outside of your conscious control. Knowing this, we can relax and learn to apply this to the level of mind. “Let go, let God.”

If you are in a situation that is causing uncomfortable thoughts or feelings, and your energy is low, the best thing might simply be to accept the situation and ride it out, without adding fuel in the form of ruminating thought-emotions. If your energy is higher, perhaps you can completely transform the situation for the better and treat the situation as some sort of adventure. How well you can transform depends on your mood, mind and current environment.  Perhaps you can open-up to a new and more refreshing way of seeing, being and living. The really key thing is to learn to live like an “Arahant,” [1] where you are not troubled by thoughts.

It helps to keep things in perspective and one way of doing this is to contemplate death – yours, as well as others. Anything less than a death, is by comparison relatively trivial. Life coach Robin Sharma, advises that if events are over dramatized, try asking the question “Has anyone died?”

Some Buddhist teachers recommend meditating on one’s own death to get used to the idea that death is natural, and part of the enduring phenomenon known as impermanence. It is also useful to imagine your lifeless corpse in order to really sense the aliveness of your animating presence. Try it now. Imagine looking at your lifeless corpse in a coffin for up to a minute, as you sense the aliveness in your body. This could form part of your morning ritual and help you in resetting for the day.

We needn’t be unfazed by anything less than a death – anything else, is by comparison, merely a temporary inconvenience; excepting some incurable suffering where death might, indeed, be the better option.

As presence, you’re still here – as you always have been. Your human tendency to get upset is learned – so, you can unlearn this response and choose to be peaceful, even in the worst of times. You are an indestructible animating presence – your temporary human form lives or lasts for less than a cosmic second.

While we have emphasized your creative nature and possibilities for change, once you have reached a certain age, you might reasonably conclude that you have had a good “innings” already and there is nothing more you need to do other than to live as happily and peacefully as you can. Yet living happily and peacefully may require ongoing renewal or reconditioning of your ego-mind, unless perhaps, you have awakened already.  And maintaining your well-being, may depend upon a sense of usefulness and accomplishment – yet without “toiling or spinning.” Inspired action on a daily basis – emanating from that peaceful place of “happy now,” helps us to maintain a sense of aliveness.

It’s really great to see people achieving something in their lives. This isn’t about pride or worthiness, not about judgment, not about proving oneself, not about showing-off or accomplishing more than others. It’s about flowering as a life form, as environmental challenges are transcended. And, the more beautiful the flowering the greater the heart-felt wonder. Can you be a flower for this generation and perhaps the ones to come?

Source: Peak Performance!! Awaken & Achieve available on Amazon.

This article concludes the series on managing your relationship with ego.


[1] In Buddhism, an Arahant is a fully enlightened person who has overcome, or learned to let go of, mental defilements, including negative thoughts and emotions.

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