Give Your Ego the Wisdom Eye
Here, I have quoted a passage from Lama Yeshe’s book, Ego, Attachment and Liberation, published by the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.
Given that the word “ego” has so many different connotations in different contexts, I think it is best to understand “ego” of this context as referring to our ignorant mind that instinctively grasps onto a sense of an unchanging self or ‘I’. It is under the influence of such ignorance that we develop attachment towards things that seem to give us happiness and aversion towards those we perceived as hindering our happiness. Here’s what Lama Yeshe has to say:
“Actually, watching your internal world is much more interesting than watching a movie and certainly more worthwhile. Once you’ve seen a movie, you don’t want to see it again; you get bored the second time. But if you watch your mind with skillful wisdom you will never get bored. Every minute, there’s something new. Your mind is constantly moving. It’s a remarkable experience.
Every time your ego contacts an object, its interpretation leaves a different imprint on your consciousness. Those imprints react again and again. That’s what we call karma—cause and effect. The imprints are the cause; the reaction is the effect. That’s karma. Therefore we say that karma is very powerful. Why? Because the imprints left by previous ego activity are very powerful; extremely strong.
The energy force of ego bursts into your mind without permission. Even if you don’t want it to enter it forces its way in. If someone were to rush into your house without knocking you’d get really upset, wouldn’t you? “What’s going on? You didn’t even knock!” Even if your closest friend comes in without knocking you’re likely to object. So isn’t it silly that when the negative energy force of ego walks uninvited into your mind, instead of getting upset you say, “Welcome, ego. Please come in. How are you? Have a cup of tea. Would you like some chocolate?”
All we ever do is try to please our ego; it’s like we’re always paying homage to our ego, offering it tea, chocolate and prayers. We dedicate all our energy to our ego and what do we get in return? What does our ego offer us? Mental pollution. It brings such a foul, suffocating smell in our minds that there’s hardly room to breathe.
So from now on, instead of welcoming your ego’s energy force, stand guard against it with mindfulness and wisdom, watching with penetrative attention for the first sign of its arrival. And when it comes, instead of greeting it warmly, “How are you, ego? Come right in,” examine it with a great big wisdom eye—a wisdom eye bigger than your head. Just watch it. When you give your ego the wisdom eye it disappears all by itself.”
Published on November 24, 2011.