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Thread: Ego in practice.

  1. #1

    Ego in practice.

    Ego can be a problem in our practice and I can't help but see that for a lot of people including myself, the more we practice or learn, the more egotistic we sometimes seem to be and not even realize it. This goes for people who seems to had practice for s very long time as well. Buddha and Mara seems to he one step apart. This lead to problem that lead to suffering such as being prideful, having envy, being jealous, holding grudge Etc.

    My question is, does this happen to you and how do we deal with our ego? Is letting go completely of ego possible?

    Thank you
    Victor

  2. #2
    Hi,

    Whatever you can touch, see, smell, taste, hear and not touch, taste, see, smell and hear, all ego. A rock is ego. A tree is ego. A mountain and the clouds, ego. The smell of fresh rain. Ego. The sky above and the earth bellow and all in between. Ego, not ego and beyond ego and not ego. Ego.

    Mind is ego.

    Egotistical, huh?

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Victor Chu View Post

    My question is, does this happen to you and how do we deal with our ego? Is letting go completely of ego possible?

    Thank you
    Victor
    Hello,

    Recognize it and let it go.

    Repeat as needed.


    Gassho
    Myosha sat today
    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

  4. #4
    Hey!

    I often find that ego appears, and I try to identify those times, and see what offsets them. Most apparently when I am angry. Knowing what causes it to appear seems to help me identify those situations and take a step back to actually analyze everything objectively. I usually find that both and neither parties or situations are wrong.

    I hope that helps. It makes sense to me haha

    Gassho
    James
    SatToday

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Myosha View Post
    Hello,

    Recognize it and let it go.

    Repeat as needed.


    Gassho
    Myosha sat today

    I would go with Myosha's advice over mine. Its much simpler

    Gassho
    James
    SatToday

  6. #6
    Mp
    Guest
    Hello Victor,

    When we create separation between self and other, that is ego. Seeing and accepting the interconnectedness of all things allows the ego to fall away. =)

    I also feel that attachment can be a fuel to ego ... having thoughts, ideas, belief, etc is ok, but when we are attached and controlled by them, the ego wins; having an open heart and mind allows the ego not to win.

    Gassho
    Shingen

    #sattoday

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Myosha View Post
    Hello,

    Recognize it and let it go.

    Repeat as needed.


    Gassho
    Myosha sat today

    Yup, that's it.
    The mind makes the ego when it separates the self from other. Then there is an opposition, a conflict, a fight. Ego is relationship between self and other. When there is anger, hate, fear, hatred, ego gets stronger; when there is love, compassion, sympathy, ego fades. When we practice, we become aware and let it go. Just being present we drop the ego and forget the self said dogen

    SAT today
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

    https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Shingen View Post
    Hello Victor,



    When we create separation between self and other, that is ego. Seeing and accepting the interconnectedness of all things allows the ego to fall away. =)



    I also feel that attachment can be a fuel to ego ... having thoughts, ideas, belief, etc is ok, but when we are attached and controlled by them, the ego wins; having an open heart and mind allows the ego not to win.



    Gassho

    Shingen



    #sattoday

    Yes, attachment has caused me to miss more of life than anything.

    SAT today
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

    https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Victor Chu View Post
    Ego can be a problem in our practice and I can't help but see that for a lot of people including myself, the more we practice or learn, the more egotistic we sometimes seem to be and not even realize it. This goes for people who seems to had practice for s very long time as well. Buddha and Mara seems to he one step apart. This lead to problem that lead to suffering such as being prideful, having envy, being jealous, holding grudge Etc.

    My question is, does this happen to you and how do we deal with our ego? Is letting go completely of ego possible?

    Thank you
    Victor
    I was joking with someone recently that many of the Buddhist Teachers I know have very very big "Non-Egos".

    I do not believe that, so long as we are in human form, we can be completely free of ego, in the sense of not having whatsoever a personal sense of "self", and its desires and tendencies for better and worse. It may be possible to completely abandon the worst of human psychology ... such as pride, envy, anger, jealousy ... so that not even a drop remains, but one would need to be a very advanced practitioner, i.e., a Buddha in fact.

    However, Buddhist Practice allows us to do two things with our humanity:

    First, it allows us to soften, sublimate, balance and control our worst psychological nature, not falling prisoner to extremes, turning negatives in a positive direction. For example, if some of these attributes can be compared to "fire", our practice teaches us to keep the fires in check ... use them for positive purposes like heat and cooking, not to burn down the whole house in runaway emotions. I wrote something on that concerning anger once ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ying-With-Fire

    Some pride, jealousy, anger and the like may remain, but we more quickly let it go, do not get tied up in it as easily, are not its prisoner.

    The second approach that Buddhist Practice allows is what I would call "seeing through the self-other divide" such that pride, envy, jealousy, anger and all the rest have no way to arise ... because there is no separate "I" to be jealous of or angry at "you" for example. Yes, Zen Practice allows us to attain such a peaceful, whole view.

    Unfortunately, I do not believe it possible for human beings to completely stay in that "undivided" view all the time, because we soon must get back to living in this complex world of "me" and "you" and such. However, what happens is that the "undivided" view comes to permeate and perfume our day-to-day "divided" view. What is the result? Well, one might experience "anger" but simultaneously a realm in which there is "nothing to be angry about", one might experience "jealousy" but simultaneously a realm in which there is "nothing to compare, no loss or gain" etc. etc.

    When that perfuming and permeation happens, the anger, jealousy etc. etc. simply cannot be as they were before.

    Something like that, I hope it is understandable.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    Last edited by Jundo; 08-30-2015 at 01:50 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  10. #10
    Member Getchi's Avatar
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    Than you myosha and Jundo, a great teaching there!I've often said e go is what you desire to possess, the rest is just human.Gassho,Ge offSatToday and learnt a new way
    Nothing to do? Why not Sit?

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    ...Buddhist Practice allows us to do two things with our humanity:

    First, it allows us to soften, sublimate, balance and control our worst psychological nature, not falling prisoner to extremes, turning negatives in a positive direction. For example, if some of these attributes can be compared to "fire", our practice teaches us to keep the fires in check ... use them for positive purposes like heat and cooking, not to burn down the whole house in runaway emotions. I wrote something on that concerning anger once ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ying-With-Fire

    Some pride, jealousy, anger and the like may remain, but we more quickly let it go, do not get tied up in it as easily, are not its prisoner.

    The second approach that Buddhist Practice allows is what I would call "seeing through the self-other divide" such that pride, envy, jealousy, anger and all the rest have no way to arise ... because there is no separate "I" to be jealous of or angry at "you" for example. Yes, Zen Practice allows us to attain such a peaceful, whole view.

    Unfortunately, I do not believe it possible for human beings to completely stay in that "undivided" view all the time, because we soon must get back to living in this complex world of "me" and "you" and such. However, what happens is that the "undivided" view comes to permeate and perfume our day-to-day "divided" view. What is the result? Well, one might experience "anger" but simultaneously a realm in which there is "nothing to be angry about", one might experience "jealousy" but simultaneously a realm in which there is "nothing to compare, no loss or gain" etc. etc.

    When that happens, the anger, jealousy etc. etc. simply cannot be as they were before.

    Something like that, I hope it is understandable.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    Thank you Jundo,

    this is so clear. And inspiring. Gives hope that someday I might not feel the need to drag this 2,000 lb. gorilla (ego) around with me everywhere I go.

    Yes, attachment has caused me to miss more of life than anything.
    Rich, this goes straight to my heart. Thank you. I will remember this.

    Myosha, dang, that's it, isn't it. Lather, rinse, repeat. Recognize, let go, repeat. My new mantra. Thank you.

    Golly, we have smart people here.

    Gassho
    Lisa
    sat today
    Last edited by Byokan; 08-30-2015 at 02:00 AM.

  12. #12

    Ego in practice.

    Hi Victor,

    To study the Buddha Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be verified by all things. To be verified by all things is to let the body and mind of the self and the body and mind of others drop off. There is a trace of realization that cannot be grasped. We endlessly express this ungraspable trace of realization. -Dogen - GenjoKoan.

    Catch 22. Need ego to catch ego where there is no ego at all. What is one to do? I say party naked. Take off identity clothing, drop off body and mind and jump into the Zazen pool of practice-realization and...



    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_
    Last edited by Jishin; 08-30-2015 at 03:07 AM.

  13. #13
    "To forget the self is to be verified by all things." Interesting translation. I have heard before, "to forget the self is to be enlightened by all things". Can you comment on this? Thank you.

    _/\_

    L.

    sat2day

  14. #14
    To forget the self is to be verified by all things. “To be verified by all things” has the same meaning as “all things coming and carrying out practice-enlightenment through the self.” By genuinely just sitting, we root our whole being in the ground of interdependent origination. - Shohaku Okumura - Realizing GenjoKoan

    I am not a good commentator. Jundo is though.

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Luciana View Post
    "To forget the self is to be verified by all things." Interesting translation. I have heard before, "to forget the self is to be enlightened by all things". Can you comment on this? Thank you.

    _/\_

    L.

    sat2day
    Hi Luniana,

    The actual Kanji character, 証 (Shou) means to be proven, certified, established, a seal of approval ... thus enlightened. When the world and the 10,000 things (myriad dharmas) of the world are thus, we are thus ... for we are so. All divisions forgotten, and yet all things flow as us and we flow as all things ... leaving just the flowing flowing.

    That is the Certified Truth!

    Here is how various translators have handled this ...

    Nishijima-Cross:
    To learn Buddhism is to learn ourselves. To learn ourselves is to forget ourselves. To forget ourselves is to be experienced by millions of things and phenomena. To be experienced by millions of things and phenomena is to let our own body and mind, and the body and mind of the external world, fall away. [Then] we can forget the [mental] trace of realization, and show the [real] signs of forgotten realization continually, moment by moment.

    Tanahashi:
    To study the buddha way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of realization remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly.

    Waddell-Abe
    To learn the Buddha Way is to learn one's self. To learn one's self is to forget one's self. To forget one's self is to be confirmed by all dharmas. To be confirmed by all dharmas is to cast off one's body and mind and the bodies and minds of others as well. All trace of enlightenment disappears, and this traceless enlightenment continues on without end.

    Cook:
    To study the Buddha Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be authenticated by the myriad things. To be authenticated by the myriad things is to drop off the mind-body of oneself and others. There is [also] remaining content with the traces of enlightenment, and one must eternally emerge from this resting.

    Cleary:
    Studying the Buddha Way is studying oneself. Studying oneself is forgetting oneself. Forgetting oneself is being enlightened by all things. Being enlightened by all things is causing the body-mind of oneself and the body-mind of others to be shed. There is ceasing the traces of enlightenment, which causes one to forever leave the traces of enlightenment which is cessation.

    Nishiyama-Stevens
    To study the Buddha way is to study oneself. To study oneself is to forget oneself. To forget oneself is to be enlightened by the myriad dharmas. To be enlightened by the myriad dharmas is to bring about the dropping away of body and mind of both oneself and others. The traces of enlightenment come to an end, and this traceless enlightenment is continued endlessly.
    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Here is how various translators have handled this ...
    Here's a handy link:
    http://www.thezensite.com/ZenTeachin...GenjoKoan8.htm

    step lightly... stay free...
    Jeremy
    sr

  17. #17
    This is awesome!
    Thank you, Victor, for the original question, and all answers.
    Thanks, Luciana, for your question - I love diving into this list of translations.

    "Den Buddhaweg ergründen heißt sich selbst ergründen (Dem Buddhaweg folgen heißt sich selbst folgen/Den Buddhaweg gehen heißt selbst gehen). Sich selbst ergründen (sich selbst folgen/selbst gehen) heißt sich selbst vergessen. Sich selbst vergessen heißt von den zehntausend Dingen bezeugt werden. Von den zehntausend Dingen bezeugt werden heißt Körper und Geist von sich selbst und den anderen fallen lassen. Die Spuren des Erwachens lösen sich auf, und die aufgelösten Spuren des Erwachens führen endlos fort."
    http://antaiji.org/classics/genjokoan/?lang=de

    It sounds like a strong, heavy seal of approval, but I feel it is a very light one.
    Everything carrying everything.

    Gassho,
    Danny
    #sattoday
    Last edited by Jika; 08-30-2015 at 08:46 AM. Reason: changed to new Antaiji website

  18. #18
    Thank you everyone for such wonderful teaching and sharing of experience/wisdom. Gassho. I am in deep gratitude.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    I was joking with someone recently that many of the Buddhist Teachers I know have very very big "Non-Egos".

    I do not believe that, so long as we are in human form, we can be completely free of ego, in the sense of not having whatsoever a personal sense of "self", and its desires and tendencies for better and worse. It may be possible to completely abandon the worst of human psychology ... such as pride, envy, anger, jealousy ... so that not even a drop remains, but one would need to be a very advanced practitioner, i.e., a Buddha in fact.

    However, Buddhist Practice allows us to do two things with our humanity:

    First, it allows us to soften, sublimate, balance and control our worst psychological nature, not falling prisoner to extremes, turning negatives in a positive direction. For example, if some of these attributes can be compared to "fire", our practice teaches us to keep the fires in check ... use them for positive purposes like heat and cooking, not to burn down the whole house in runaway emotions. I wrote something on that concerning anger once ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ying-With-Fire

    Some pride, jealousy, anger and the like may remain, but we more quickly let it go, do not get tied up in it as easily, are not its prisoner.

    The second approach that Buddhist Practice allows is what I would call "seeing through the self-other divide" such that pride, envy, jealousy, anger and all the rest have no way to arise ... because there is no separate "I" to be jealous of or angry at "you" for example. Yes, Zen Practice allows us to attain such a peaceful, whole view.

    Unfortunately, I do not believe it possible for human beings to completely stay in that "undivided" view all the time, because we soon must get back to living in this complex world of "me" and "you" and such. However, what happens is that the "undivided" view comes to permeate and perfume our day-to-day "divided" view. What is the result? Well, one might experience "anger" but simultaneously a realm in which there is "nothing to be angry about", one might experience "jealousy" but simultaneously a realm in which there is "nothing to compare, no loss or gain" etc. etc.

    When that perfuming and permeation happens, the anger, jealousy etc. etc. simply cannot be as they were before.

    Something like that, I hope it is understandable.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday

    Thank you Jundo. This is a very wonderful teaching. It resonates deeply with me. Your teaching on playing with fire is such a wonderful teaching and analogy. When I first embarked on Buddhism about 10 years ago, I often wonder if the goal of Buddhism is to become a lifeless emotional-less robot. I start to realize that isn't what it is about.


    Many Bows
    Victor
    Last edited by Victor Chu; 08-30-2015 at 08:50 AM.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Victor Chu View Post
    Is letting go completely of ego possible?

    Thank you
    Victor
    The Buddha and the old masters taught it is. I don't see any reason to doubt them.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by seeker242 View Post
    The Buddha and the old masters taught it is. I don't see any reason to doubt them.
    I do. One must not be too quick to buy into exaggerated or idealized stories, and legends as archetypes.

    It is possible, however, to fully let go and not let go at once.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  21. #21
    Can we let go of something that is not there ?

    For me dropping ego means to view that it never was here in the first place.

    Nothing changes but the way we view ourselves, which means everything change ? Ahaha

    Gassho,
    Ugrok, sat today


    Envoyé de mon CINK FIVE en utilisant Tapatalk

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Ugrok View Post
    Can we let go of something that is not there ?

    For me dropping ego means to view that it never was here in the first place. Ego is just a word that cristallizes a lot of "stuff".

    Nothing changes but the way we view ourselves, which means everything change ? Ahaha

    Gassho,
    Ugrok, sat today


    Envoyé de mon CINK FIVE en utilisant Tapatalk


    Envoyé de mon CINK FIVE en utilisant Tapatalk

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    I do. One must not be too quick to buy into exaggerated or idealized stories, and legends as archetypes.

    It is possible, however, to fully let go and not let go at once.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    I agree. One should not be so quick to engage in "blind faith" or whatever one wants to call it. But I do think there can be a time in one's practice, after much consideration, that one can just conclude that it's true and not doubt it anymore. I think that's OK. To me anyway, that is what "Great Faith" means. Faith that I can achieve everything the Buddha himself achieved, because it's not something outside me. It's just my true nature, which is perfect in every regard. My true nature is exactly the same as Gautama's true nature, which is the same as Linji's which is the same as Huangbo's and Baizhang's. But that doesn't necessarily mean it's been achieved, but just the capacity or potential is already there, without any doubts about that. That's how I think of it anyway.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by seeker242 View Post
    I agree. One should not be so quick to engage in "blind faith" or whatever one wants to call it. But I do think there can be a time in one's practice, after much consideration, that one can just conclude that it's true and not doubt it anymore. I think that's OK. To me anyway, that is what "Great Faith" means. Faith that I can achieve everything the Buddha himself achieved, because it's not something outside me. It's just my true nature, which is perfect in every regard. My true nature is exactly the same as Gautama's true nature, which is the same as Linji's which is the same as Huangbo's and Baizhang's. But that doesn't necessarily mean it's been achieved, but just the capacity or potential is already there, without any doubts about that. That's how I think of it anyway.
    That is an excellent attitude, and keep shooting for that star ... getting better and better and more Buddhalike ... all while realizing that Buddha is here all along, so nothing to attain.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  25. #25
    Thank you, All.

    -satToday
    Thanks,
    Kaishin (開心, Open Heart)
    Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaishin View Post
    Thank you, All.

    -satToday
    I second this. A good teaching.

    Gassho

    Randy

  27. #27
    Thank you, Jundo!

    _/\_

    L.
    sat2day

  28. #28
    Just to jump in a bit late here. It may be needless to say, but ego is not a permanent thing or entity. It is a mental activity-function that begins and ends all the time in ordinary people. Psychologically, healthy ego-function is the interface between different body/minds. I'm Daizan not Kaishin for instance. Ego-function is not a problem per se. I've had the good luck to meet a lot of mature practitioners from different Buddhist traditions, and without exception that psychological ego-function is intact. Even with an immature practitioner (like me), or a non-practitioner, ego appears and disappears all the time. In zazen there is no ego. While absorbed in an activity like painting, or dish washing, there is no ego.

    Egotism, the puffing up or demeaning of "me", is another story. That is diminishing slowly in my own life just from becoming deluded and proud then falling flat on my face over and over again. There is a (probably made up) story about the death of Oscar Wilde. He was on his death bed in some hotel and was forced to look at some very ugly wallpaper all day. Then finally just be before dying he looked at it one more time and said "One of us has to go". True or not it is a great story and it speaks to egotism it seems.

    Gassho
    Daizan

    sat today...dozed

    Just a student so please take with a grain of salt
    Last edited by RichardH; 08-31-2015 at 01:09 PM.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Daizan View Post
    That is diminishing slowly in my own life just from becoming deluded and proud then falling flat on my face over and over again. There is a (probably made up) story about the death of Oscar Wilde. He was on his death bed in some hotel and was forced to look at some very ugly wallpaper all day. Then finally just be before dying he looked at it one more time and said "One of us has to go". True or not it is a great story and it speaks to egotism it seems.
    Thanks Daizan.

    I could not say that it is diminishing in my life but at least I have started to notice it.
    Many years ago I used to practice aikido, and read somewhere that it was the art of becoming one with the mat.

    I believe life is something similar, with pride getting all the time in the way, and we falling and rising to fall again with the taste of the mat still fresh in our mouths.

    Gassho,
    Daiyo

    #SatToday
    Gassho,Walter

  30. #30
    I love this quote from Walpola Sri Rahula's "What The Buddha Taught" (p37):
    According to the teaching of the Buddha, the idea of self is an imaginary, false belief which has no corresponding reality, and it produces harmful thoughts of 'me' and 'mine', selfish desire, craving, attachment, hatred, illwill, conceit, pride, egoism, and other defilements, impurities and problems. It is the source of all the troubles in the world from personal conflicts to wars between nations. In short, to this view can be traced all the evil in the world.
    Such sweeping certainty is awesome (-:

    step lightly... stay free...
    Jeremy
    st

  31. #31
    Somebody said that sometimes people who are trying to get rid of their egos haven't actually ever developed one.

    Gassho
    Meishin
    sat today
    Last edited by Meishin; 08-31-2015 at 10:52 PM.

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