Archives for January 2013
“If you vanquish ego-clinging today, tonight you will be enlightened.” —Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
These days just about everyone in the blogosphere tells you to follow your heart, listen to your inner voice, embrace your passion, and map your desire.
But is it always smart to follow your heart?
There’s one potential problem with this advice: EGO. And, I don’t necessarily mean having a big head alone. Low self-esteem entwines itself beautifully with ego as well. By ego, I mean the incessant grasping at a permanent sense of self. This sense of “my” heart, “my” inner voice, “my” passion, “my” desire, “my” dream.
Or, “Me, me, me, me.”
How do you differentiate between a pure voice, idea or vision and all the layers of ego along with its best friends, attachment and aversion – the seeds of unhappiness?
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin
Is fear holding you back from achieving your dreams, tasting happiness, or living a satisfying life?
If you feel afraid, I understand. For many reasons – from trauma to Catholic school – fear became my signature state. On top of that, according to Ayurvedic medicine, people with a particular constitution actually possess the genetic potential to create fear. Count me in that category.
I know that fear runs strong and deep not just for me but for many of us. It manifests not just as terror, but as a palette of emotional states and stuck places like procrastination, frustration, low self-esteem, self-doubt, a lack of confidence, and more. What can we do?
Your True Self Awaits You
The poet Rainer Maria Rilke has said that our deepest fears are like dragons guarding our deepest treasures. As apprehensive as you may feel, like Rilke, you may also have a deep intuition that your true self patiently awaits you on the other side of trepidation.
“Murders and wars all begin with just one angry thought.” – The Heart of Compassion by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
From my dusty journals: December 17, 2003
A long day of travel brought us to the lively and colorful island of Puerto Rico.
After am unexpected night-long coqui frog serenade, I ambled down to the patio for breakfast. The discussion at the adjoining table first centered around Iraq: how the number of casualties is nominal when compared to the number of deaths in car accidents. The conversation then moved on to Michael Jackson: how he looks like a freak and therefore must be guilty of something.
“Such close-mindedness and intolerance,” I thought.
A spark of argumentativeness and judgment shot up in my being. I’m not the type to inject myself uninvited into a conversation. Instead, I was given a moment of grace, a moment of space to sit with my own heat and observe this “war-like” part of myself.
I know in my head that change and transformation can only come from acceptance of oneself and others; from feeling a link, not separation. Yet, in less than a millisecond, I was caught up in a war with strangers. That war might be silent and only exist within my mind. Yet, nevertheless it constitutes a war, a seed of violence.
How much I would like to dissolve this tendency to aggression!
Extinguishing the seed of violence begins within each one of us. Vigilance is required to catch every confrontational rising and release it on the wind. Not a tough vigilance, but a relaxed mindful awareness. One that naturally flows from insight into the nature of reality blended with heart-felt compassion, steeped in our commonality and interdependence.
Image: public domain
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