Via the Huffington Post,
“The entire Buddhist path is based on the discovery of egolessness and the maturing of insightor knowledge that comes from egolessness.”
— Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche / Journey Without Goal
I have heard many times from students and spiritual practitioners of all kinds, shapes and sizes, that if they could only “get rid of their ego,” then they could have some peace and taste enlightenment. There are also many “self-help” teachings and gurus who are promoting techniques to “strengthen” the ego — to ripen and develop one’s sense of power, accomplishment and tangible assets — make you skinnier, more assertive, richer, happier, etc. etc. etc.
But the approaches of getting rid of OR strengthening the ego may both share a similar delusion: that it actually exists in some solid and fixed way in the first place.
According to the Buddhist teachings, the fundamental mistake we make (which causes all kinds of trouble and suffering) is the assumption that we exist as a permanent, unified, independent being. What causes our most fundamental suffering and anxiety is that we are ignorant of the true nature of our existence. Because of our assumption, we cannot fully understand or relate to impermanence (including our own) and the interdependence of all phenomena.
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