“In Buddhism we usually say it doesn’t matter what we do, it matters how aware we are. It shows that the outer and inner are totally inseparable. It is what we are that counts, but that is what we do, actually. Our inner state shows up in our behavior…” Lama Surya Das
It is less than 3 days before my Pilgrimage, and the realness of it hit yesterday. My ego consciousness has been reasserting itself in familiar ways, like whispering how alone I am, or how ridiculous it is to travel to Brazil when all the teachings I need have been coming to me by audio file…lol. I have toyed with the idea of not going, because my daughter asked me if I really needed to go. I have cried and cried and cried. I have even felt a deep panic that I am doing the wrong thing. All this makes sense since I have jokingly said that my egoic consciousness is not coming back from this trip.
In my studies today, I was reminded of a few truths. One is what ego really is: ego is those ways of thinking that reinforce the idea of separateness. Fears and doubts are ways of the ego convincing you of the necessity of the ego. I was also reminded that consciousness is about surrender, versus trying to make something different. Surrender is about being with what is. Every moment is a communication with consciousness, and so there is no wrong journey. It is true that I do not have to go on this journey, and that I will learn and grow from every experience in front of me. No special teacher or program is needed. But, when I heard about this Pilgrimage, something in me stirred deeply, and that is the part of me that is Truth.
How will I show up? How will I reflect my inner state in my behaviour? For me, it starts with surrender. It is all ok that my ego is behaving as it is, as long as I continue to recognize that and not identify with it. It is not about simply repressing the ego state. I have enough tricks and tools to probably move away from my emotions easily; I could meditate and calm my body. I could go visit people or talk to people and have a cathartic experience to drain the emotion. I could get myself busy with things and push away the fear. But that is not surrender. Surrender involves not grasping at the emotions, nor grasping at the release of the emotion. Surrender means an examination of these fears, their source, and their movement. To lovingly notice all my experience, including the Knowing that has already become aware that I am not my ego. That is surrender too. Inquiry, meditation, awareness – these are all surrender
When I do this, how I see myself changes. I am not looking to find a more beneficial state and avoid my experience of emotion – although I have spent a lot of my life attempting exactly that. Ego does not allow everything to be. If ego allows everything to be, then there is peace and happiness – and no need for ego. The ego will stop allowing experience to be as it is; it will push for the exertion of personal will. “The ideal… is to allow negative emotions to form and dissipate without leaving any trace in the mind. Thoughts and emotions will continue to surface, but they will not proliferate and will lose their power to enslave us.”- Matthieu Ricard
How much of Self can be let go? That is my daily mantra. How much more can I open to? “What is the deepest place I can act from right now? By deepest we mean most open, most loving, and most authentic” – Christopher Hareesh Wallis. It is no wonder that one of my favorite songs has this line in it: “I release and I let go, I let the Spirit run my life. And my heart is op-en wide”. Michael Beckwith
I am moving towards Life without ego. Life without a need for power, control, resistance, grabbing…My will and that of the Divine move more and more closely into alignment. I unite with the will of the Universe, and deeply trust what occurs as I harmonize with the beauty of Life. And so it is.