Why is it not surprising? Because the ego-mind, and it’s emotions, judgments cravings, and attachments – it’s reactions to one’s life experiences – are the source of our suffering. Not the events of our life or aspects of our being.
This is the core truth of the Four Noble Truths and the Buddha’s teaching. In my books and my posts I have spoken to this, but except in my book, How to Find Inner Peace, I thought I had not in one place stated what that intent entails. And I was going to write a post that summarized the process.
But as I began writing these words, I realized that I had in fact addressed this before, and quite early in the life of this blog, in the posts, “The End of Suffering Cheat Sheet,” and “12 Steps on the Buddhist Path,” which together lay out the process. Most critical to the process is first, understanding that your ego-mind is not your true self, and that it’s emotions, judgments, cravings, and attachments are the source of your suffering. Not the events of your life or aspects of your being. And second, coming to know the your true self is your heart.
So I commend both of these posts to you. What I would add to these posts in information regarding how you actually implement the process. What are the practices that free yourself from the control of your ego-mind?
First, you must form the intent to free yourself, to change your reaction to things. If you don’t truly have that intent, then you will not make any progress. For many practicing Buddhists, this is a core problem. A reason why they are frustrated by the lack of progress in their practice. They want to have their cake and eat it too. And that is not possible. The Buddhist path is not compatible with the lessons we, meaning our ego-mind, has learned from our interaction with family, peers, and culture. See my post, “Do You Really Want to Be at Peace and Content?”
Second, the practice of “Not me!” of peeling off the layers of the ego-mind is very helpful. See my post of that title.
Third, discovering the truths of the Buddha dharma from within. It’s one thing to understand the truths intellectually, it is another to then discover them from within. Only then will you have the strength to go through this challenging process and not succumb to the power of the ego-mind.
Fourth, actually changing your reaction to things. An important part of this is the practice of the Heart’s Embrace (see my post of that title) as well as testing and rejecting harmful guidance, guidance that is not in your best interest.
Fifth, healing your inner child. See my posts on this subject.
Sixth, changing the direction of your energy flow. Instead of absorbing negative energy from the world around you, emit positive energy, creating a forcefield around you that negative energy cannot penetrate. See my post, “Changing Your Life by Changing the Direction of Its Energy Flow.”
Seventh, just do it! Ultimately it comes down to having the courage and the discipline to just do it.
If you prefer watching videos more than reading, then watching my “Coming Home” series, available from this website, covers much, but not all, of the same ground.
If you want to end your suffering, this should be the most important goal of your practice. May you experience peace and happiness.