Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ego, and the Four Noble Truths.

After spending a bit of time with Elizabeth Gilbert's idea of ego in her book Eat, Pray, Love I began to feel a little niggle about just how many other ways my ego was holding me back. My “I” was demanding my attention during meditation, as it did for Elizabeth and so many others. EVERYONE knows meditation is good for you – so if my “I”, my ego was trying to distract me, then it was not working in my best interests. I began to wonder if my ego was not to be trusted.

Something in my growing distrust of my ego took me back to my “Buddhism for Dummies” book. Obviously not my first bump with Buddhism! I reread the section on The Four Noble Truths, which is a corner stone of this belief systm. Buddha said:
1.There is suffering (that is, we do suffer unhappiness and sadness in our lives. The sadness of having and loosing, the sadness of not having, sadness of disappointment – really, it is just everywhere, and Buddha wanted us to face up to it!)
2.Our desirous thoughts are the cause of all our suffering. Buddha believes that it is the things we desire, what we want to control, hold, keep, and our attachment to things and people that is the reason we suffer.
3.There can be an end to our suffering (That is good news – finally!) All we have to do is stop wanting things, and trying to control things, and we will no longer suffer.
4.The way to Nirvana (absolute peace) is through living the way of the Eight Fold Path. This consists of 8 perfect ways to live, which of course includes right thinking.

What I get from the Four Noble Truths is this. The ego IS our desirous thoughts. It is the source of our wanting. Also it is the idea of owning, holding and keeping, which is all about “mine”. If I could stop my ego from wanting, and holding, and calling things MINE, I would suffer less. That is right thinking, and puts me on the path to Nirvana!

Once again I find my Ego is not really serving me, my trust levels have lowered again. I will find out more!

What are your thoughts?

If you would like to know some good reasons to meditate take this link to another related post. Or if you are thinking of trying meditation, you may want to look into Open Eyed Meditation as a jumping off point!

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