The demonized ego

Rendering of Mt. Shasta, Northern California

Rendering of Mt. Shasta, Northern California

Misunderstanding ourselves

We make an all-too-human mistake when we believe our egos to be ourselves. This belief sells us short on the vastness of our true nature. The ego sees threats everywhere and insists on the "otherness" of everything in the world around us. This makes the universe seem a hostile and treacherous place.

"Stick with me," the ego tells us. "I am the only one who knows how to keep you safe." 

The ego is bluffing. It has no idea whether its actions are effective or not; it just needs to have us accept it as the alpha and the omega. It demands to exclusively rule the whole of our existence. It wants to be boss. If we accede to these demands, we are engulfed in misery and alienation. Ease and a sense of belonging leave us, and we become more and more alone, cut off from others.

Where, then, do we find relief from this trap? It is in the moment, in the now, in the presence of the unchanging Self (note large S). The creator places us in a position of neutrality from our fears. We finally get a rest!

This rest is deep and profound, and comes as a result of meditation, diligently pursued and actively engaged in.

“There is, I believe, in every disposition a tendency to some particular evil, a natural defect, which not even the best education can overcome."
"And your defect is a propensity to hate everybody."
"And yours," he replied with a smile, "is wilfully to misunderstand them.” 
― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice



Letting go of stresses

Value added benefits

We all carry a load of accumulated stresses in the tissues of our bodies. Along with these stored stresses, we have imbedded "stress triggers" that correspond to the environmental circumstances that were present during the overwhelming life experiences that caused the stresses in the first place.

If I am attacked on the street, I will not only store the stress of the attack, but also the blue car that passed just before, the scent of street food, the glint of light from a passing windshield. If in the future I have similar experiences that resemble the stress triggers, the original stress plays over again like a record. I re-experience the trauma, although there may actually be no danger present. This phenomenon has a lot in common with symptoms experienced by combat veterans suffering from PTSD.

Consistent meditation serves to safely and gradually release the stored stresses we have accumulated. Over time, we become better able to handle overwhelming life experiences that might come our way. Without these automatic stresses replaying constantly, we start to have an easier, gentler experience of life in general.

Vedic "Rounding" (meditation in combination with yoga positions, breathing exercises, and intervals of deep rest) can facilitate a much more rapid release of these stresses. A Rounding retreat is a great way to experience this accelerated method of "emptying out" the reservoir of unwanted energy we have been carrying around with us. It is good to be with others on the same path at such a time.

Students who have been through this procedure attest to its effectiveness, and seem to have more happiness and a more carefree experience in their day-to-day lives.

The truth is that there is no actual stress or anxiety in the world; it's your thoughts that create these false beliefs. You can't package stress, touch it, or see it. There are only people engaged in stressful thinking. 
Wayne Dyer

Yankee Meadows, Southern Utah

Yankee Meadows, Southern Utah