What is the ego?
The ego is the ego. It’s zazen … as in “Know thyself.” I am always saying, You must understand the ego . . …. and in the end, there is no ego, the ego has no substance. Where are you going to locate this substance? In the nose? The brain? The navel? The head? Hard to say. In the mind? But what is the mind? It has become a problem, the biggest problem of psychology, philosophy, and religion.
I have explained that we have no noumenon, no permanent substance. The ego changes with every second that goes by; yesterday’s ego, today’s ego … they’re not the same. Our body changes, our cells change too. When you take a bath, for example, all the dead cells of your skin are washed away. Our brain, our mind changes; that of the adult is not the same as it was in the child. So where does the ego exist? It is one with the cosmos. It is not only the body, the mind, but it is God, Buddha, the fundamental cosmic force.
To find eternity is not egotism; it is truth, true noumenon. That is the true religion we must create. Our life is connected to the cosmic power and stands in a relation of interdependence with all other existences. We cannot live by ourselves, we are dependent upon nature, air, water. So we must not become selfish… That is the great satori. It is useless to be egotistical because every ego is in a relationship of interdependence with the world and with all things.
So there is no need to keep things for oneself. That is very important. In his Essays, Montaigne wrote that everybody else was always looking outward, but he wanted to look within. It is necessary to turn your eyes inward, even though most people only look outside. Today more than ever before we must look into ourselves. To look at an object is easy, to look at the subject is not so easy.
SOURCE – http://www.purifymind.com/WhatEgoZen.htm
Somehow, in the process of trying to deny that things are always changing, we lose our sense of the sacredness of life. We tend to forget that we are part of the natural scheme of things. – Pema Chodron
People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar. – Thich Nhat Hanh
I have noticed that some people are uncomfortable when they are told that change is a fundamental part of life, or that nothing lasts forever. Yet impermanence is just a basic fact of our existence – it is neither good nor bad in itself. When we face impermanence wisely, we have an opportunity to cultivate a more constructive way of relating to that reality. If we do so, we can actually learn to feel at ease in the face of unexpected change, and work comfortably with whatever new situations might occur. -17th Karmapa
It is not impermanence that makes us suffer. What makes us suffer is wanting things to be permanent when they are not. Thich Nhat Hanh
Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth. – Rumi
“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”
Source – http://blisshabits.com/2014/03/why-you-must-open-the-door-to-this-chaotic-tango-of-change/
I like the clarity of expression found in the spiritual teacher Rupert Spira;
I get his daily quotes and the one for 24th September 2013 says;
From the point of view of a finite self, experience consists of a multiplicity and diversity of finite objects and selves, some of which are conceived as ‘me’, others as ‘not me’. From the point of view of experience itself, there is just the seamless intimacy of itself, one indivisible, unnameable whole, always changing in name and form but never changing in essence.
RP Recognizing that no analogies are perfect my favourite for what Spira is speaking about is the lava lamp – one in which the wax is infinitely the Whole and the forms endlessly changing.
Sitting quietly, doing nothing,
spring comes, and the grass grows by itself – – – Zen Proverb
PS ‘Don’t just do something, stand there.’ Zen (?) saying
The state of compulsive living is so painful, and its loneliness is so great that we that we do everything we can to escape it through dreams of it being otherwise – through entertainments, through self-gratification, through seeking in spiritual circles the love that we do not feel for ourselves. If we could just be, we would be able to relax from the anxiety of becoming something that we are not, getting something we don’t have, and trying to shape reality according to our own desires.
Too often we do not want to change, but instead want the pain to go away and allow us to remain the same with all our desires and with our image of ourselves being intact. We will not be successful running to anything, because we cannot run away from ourselves. And yet what we most need is what we already are; our essential Self. There is no escape; there is only coming home.
-Kabir Helminski, The Living Presence.