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Monday, November 26, 2012

Ego = Pain + Suffering

By Pamela J. Wells

Our identity with our self and our judgment of others keeps us asleep, unconscious. It keeps us from being at peace with ourselves and others. Ego is the primary cause of pain and suffering in families, communities, countries, and the world.

The Ego Is An Illusion, but the Problem Herein Lies, When We Believe That We Are The Ego.

The Ego is your false self. You have to wake-up from that self. To be at total peace with the world and everyone around you, including yourself, you have to wake up from your identity. In order to do that, you have to lose yourself—lose your false self. Forget about yourself. Forget about your illusory separateness from everyone around you, even the people with whom you do not like or even feel hate for. Your ego, your thoughts about who you think you are, creates separation between you and everyone else. Your ego only causes pain and suffering.

Ego Is Not Attractive

Many times, people like it when they are told that they have a big ego. They think that it validates their worthiness, their superiority over others, that it makes them important, makes them stand out from others. It does make them stand out from others. They stand out from others, but not in a good way. They are alone and empty inside, craving attention, but they cannot find it. Yet it continues to be a vicious cycle of repeated delusional thoughts and behavior that can never be filled up with anything. It is like a gaping hole inside of you that makes you feel like you are invisible, insignificant, and worthless, so in order to attempt to fill that hole, one has to build himself or herself up, so that he or she will not feel invisible; however, others are turned off by that ego and end up shutting down when around that person or they choose to not have anything to do with that person anymore. 

Ego is likened to a pair of eyes that can only see our physical differences from others, our differences in our appearance, the way we look, and our differences in what we have, material objects. Ego identifies individuals and groups of individuals through labels that it creates based upon those differences, as well through labels used to describe the “status” of an individual or group in a society. The ego begins to separate, dissect, and categorize individuals and groups of individuals based upon faulty and false ideas and perceptions. Ego is not attractive. It is a negative energy that pushes people away and causes the person with the ego to feel feelings of loneliness and separation.

Copyright © 2012 Pamela J. Wells. All Rights Reserved
Image licensed under Bigstockphoto.com

Creative Commons License 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tibetan Yogas Of Body Speech And Mind - Book Excerpt

~ Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

In the absolute sense, what we hope to find through the three doors of body, speech, and mind is self-realization: realization of who we truly are.… Who we really are is the unconditional experience of being, in the absence of the grasping mind. Who we are not is what we usually identify with, for example, “I am a mother,” “I am a lawyer.” We identify with our roles, our thoughts, our emotions, or other conditions we are trapped in. When we go beyond that mistaken view of self, we can discover who we truly are: the inseparable state of openness and awareness.

But before we can begin to understand this larger self, we need to explore who we are in the smaller sense. Who is the one here, now, the one who is manifesting in this identity through body, speech, and mind? … Most of the time our view of ourselves causes us pain. We feel the pain of needing and desiring what we don’t have, the pain of fear or anxiety over losing what we do have, the pain of being separated from our loved ones, the pain of encountering our enemies.

The main causes of this pain and suffering are the conceptual mind, karmic conditions, and negative emotions. The teachings speak of an enlightened sense of body, speech, and mind, but for now, in the negative sense we can be said to have a conceptual-karmic-emotional pain body, conceptual-karmic-emotional pain speech, and a conceptual-karmic-emotional pain mind. I refer to these three more simply as “pain body,” “pain speech,” and “pain mind.”

Whether physically, energetically, or psychologically, we experience ourselves mainly through our pain. It is hard to recognize rigpa, the enlightened nature that is our self, the nature that we share with the deities. The small self is more familiar to us. The small self is the one through which we express our pain, and because it is so familiar, it becomes an important door through which we may discover our bigger self—and through this discovery, release our pain.

Pain Body

Some years ago on a commuter plane from Charlotte to Charlottesville I found myself sitting near a young couple with their toddler, and this young couple presented some vivid examples of pain body and pain speech. The young woman was very angry and disappointed with her partner because he did not acknowledge or respond to her, and she expressed this to him verbally through her pain speech in a high, emotional tone almost nonstop during the entire flight. The young man was probably as stressed out as she was, but instead of reacting with pain speech, he reacted with pain body: he held all of his stress inwardly and refused to respond, either in word or gesture. At one point he closed both his ears with his fingers—and when he did so, she finally stopped talking. But as soon as he released his ears, she started up again. Her speech was explosive and scattered; his body was closed and rigid. They were both experiencing similar pain, but as far as their awareness was concerned, both seemed totally disconnected from their true thoughts and feelings.

Some people are characterized more by pain body, others by pain speech, and still others by pain mind. The pain body is not just about the physical body. It can also be seen as the foundation, or ground, of our smaller unenlightened self, like a sense of identity. Think of someone who has been through many severe hardships in life but who has never managed to process the accompanying psychological, karmic, and emotional pain—the character played by Mickey Rourke in the film The Wrestler is a good example. Randy “The Ram” Robinson was once a star in the professional wrestling circuit, but when we meet him twenty years later, he is well past his prime, ailing with advanced heart disease and struggling to revive his identity as a wrestler. Randy spends a lot of his time in silence, seldom expressing any emotion. His ego is so dense that it almost manifests on a physical level: we can see the pain in his facial features, in his posture, in his measured way of moving, in his failing health. To loosen his dense identity, he medicates himself with alcohol and cocaine.

As the story progresses, Randy tries to rekindle a relationship with his estranged daughter. When the two meet, she touches his pain, and he begins to wake up a bit and to interact. As we observe this small awakening, we sense that this is a precious opportunity for Randy to connect not only with his daughter but also with a more genuine sense of self that can release his pain. But he is ultimately unable and unwilling to transform. He chooses instead to remain on his dead-end path; at the close of the film we are left with a feeling of deep sadness for him.

It is so important for the person characterized by the pain body to recognize the body through which the pain is flowing. Until one can discover the bounded, stuck self, there is no way to realize the deep, vast stillness that is free from pain: the aspect of oneself that is unconditioned and unbounded.

Pain Speech

To understand pain speech, think of someone you know who seems always to be talking and talking but never has a point to make. This person does not realize that the pain itself is the one who is talking, and the pain becomes externalized in a scattered or confused way.

A classic example of pain speech is Frances McDormand’s character Linda Litzke in the movie Burn After Reading. A fitness trainer in a health club, Linda is constantly explaining to everyone around her that she needs money for plastic surgery so she can attract the right man. She is so obsessed with verbalizing that she does not notice when her doting boss, who seems like the right man, says he cares deeply for her just as she is. She misses the opportunity to gain insight into the pain underlying her speech and through this recognition to find the feeling of connection she so clearly desires.

When you have an internal dialogue constantly running through your mind, this is another form of pain speech: the words go on and on, yet they never get you anywhere. Anyone characterized by pain speech can benefit from understanding that all these pain-based words are fruitless; for if you are not hearing your own words, why would you expect another to hear them? The first seed of doubt can help recognition to unfold: maybe what you are really trying to communicate is quite different from what you are expressing. With all her verbalizing, Linda might ultimately be saying that she felt hurt, unloved, and uncomfortable in herself.

When you start to connect more with the deeper truth at the source of pain speech, you can find the peaceful, pain-free place that is wordless, soundless, and where there is no expectation that someone must hear you. But first you must realize that your speech is an expression of pain—and the voice itself is what obscures the silence.

Pain Mind
The person dominated by pain mind has too many scattered thoughts, too many emotions, too many mental images. Each time the mind moves to yet another emotion, thought, or image, that’s what the mind becomes. When it doesn’t move—when it gets stuck in one place—it becomes dense and dark, sometimes depressed.

Heath Ledger’s character in Brokeback Mountain is an example of someone with pain mind. Ennis Del Mar is a troubled and troubling character, a man whose denial of his love for another man is causing him devastating psychic pain. His posture is rigid. He speaks very little, and when he does he speaks through a clamped jaw and barely gets his words out. He is trapped in his uncontrollable thoughts and emotions and spends a lifetime trying to deny them.

The pain mind is convinced it is achieving some purpose by all its activity and imagery. But if you look closer you can realize that all of these thoughts and emotions are mainly an expression of pain. This identification with thoughts is the small self, and in order to discover the big self you have to discover the small self. The pain itself becomes an entryway to self-discovery. The moment you catch yourself in a repetitive thought—for example, thinking over and over, “I hate the world”—in that moment you can realize “This is not me.” In this moment of awareness, the pain begins to release, and something else is allowed to unfold. It is all a question of recognizing that moment.

The racing thoughts and emotions of pain mind—the infinite imaginings of the ego—have at their source the deep identification with pain known as pain body. Pain speech, too, arises from the pain body’s mistaken sense of core identity. Thus, it is natural for a person to exhibit overlapping characteristics of pain body, pain speech, and pain mind— such as a tight jaw accompanied by churning thoughts. Ultimately, once we release ourselves from the pain body, then pain speech and pain mind will no longer be an issue. But sometimes the pain body is not clearly challenging us, whereas pain speech may be quite actively and obviously destroying our relationships, or pain mind may be immediately miring us in destructive thoughts or emotions and leading us to destructive actions. Our challenge is to identify the most advantageous place to begin the process of self-transformation.

Whether it is pain body, pain speech, or pain mind, moving past the small self is a matter of having some clue as to why you are doing, talking, or thinking as you are: deep inside you need a connection to your big self. Deep inside is your source of joy, but you go about searching for that joy in the wrong places and in the wrong activities of body, speech, and mind.

About the Author

Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, a lama in the Bön tradition of Tibet, presently resides in Charlottesville, Virginia. He is the founder and director of Ligmincha Institute, an organization dedicated to the study and practice of the teachings of the Bön tradition. He was born in Amritsar, India, after his parents fled the Chinese invasion of Tibet and received training from both Buddhist and Bön teachers, attaining the degree of Geshe, the highest academic degree of traditional Tibetan culture. He has been in the United States since 1991 and has taught widely in Europe and America.

Available on Amazon: Tibetan Yogas Of Body Speech And Mind

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Make a Difference In The World ~ Wayne Dyer

"If You're Going To Follow Your Bliss & Make A Difference In The World, You'll Soon Learn That You Can't Follow the Herd."

~Wayne Dyer~

Image: lonely-traveller-by Craig Sefton at Foter.com

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Being Selfless

By Pamela J. Wells

Image: Foter.com


By Pamela J. Wells

Oneness sounds nice when it is spoken or written, but if you let your “Personal” beliefs get in the way of connecting to others, then you are still playing on the monkey bars of the mind, better known as the ego, which becomes firmly attached to and stuck on spiritual concepts and terminology. If you spend your time being a right fighter then your living in ego land. Oneness (or non-duality) does not come from the mind and all of its concepts and beliefs.

Oneness Just Is. Anything beyond that and you have to take a step back and ask your Self, “Is what I am thinking or saying based on reality or delusion?” The mind spins out delusion as easy as breathing air, which results in the illusion of separation, which creates and perpetuates unnecessary suffering.

It is impossible to embrace oneness—to embrace all, when our mind and our thoughts are already fragmented, dissected—where we have been actively compartmentalizing people into who we like/dislike, agree with/disagree with, who we have the same beliefs as or different beliefs from. “We Are One” suddenly disintegrates when your belief doesn’t coincide with mine.

The first step in coming close to embracing and living oneness is to embrace the fact that there are many beliefs and cultures in the relative world and that is ok. Fighting over beliefs is ludicrous and futile. The more you fight, the stronger the belief becomes. The more you embrace, unconditionally, the more peace is allowed to be at its natural state.

Being Selfless

IS About

Being Kind, Compassionate, Giving, Sharing, Loving, Caring, Accepting, Peaceful, Embracing All


NOT About

My Concept Versus Yours, My Belief vs. Yours, Who’s Right/Who’s Wrong, Creating Separation

That’s Ego Land

If you want recognition, want to impress others and prove your rightness or righteousness and others wrongness or perceived misperceptions, what have you really accomplished? You have successfully created a wedge between you and the rest of humanity. Your oneness is personal. It is merely a concept within your bubble of oneness or beliefs, within your egoic mind that cannot even see reality. If we get too high on our spiritual pedestals, we actively create separation. We are like a kite that has gotten away from us. Our notions cause us to lose sight of reality, the oneness of life. And, instead of embracing each other in the relative world—we reject, deny, oppose—according to our own conditioned thoughts and beliefs.

If you want to make a difference in the world, if you want to see more peace in the world and see more caring, love, and kindness—be kind, be caring, be loving, be compassionate, be peaceful, give, help, be unconditionally supportive, be selfless in your interactions.

Leave your concepts and beliefs at the door. If they don’t jive with someone else’s—that is ok. Accept it! Otherwise you will suffer and you will create conflict with other people, who will also suffer, which defeats selflessness and oneness to begin with.

Remain in awareness, where there is nothing to defend or project. If you want peace, remain in awareness and choose silence over the need to project and defend opinions, beliefs and judgments, unless you enjoy suffering, then continue to fight the right fight. You either live a selfless life in peace and joy or you create conflict and discord—suffering.

Image: A Galactic Spectacle - hubblesite.org