"When understood, the Buddha’s universe..is anything but alien and inhibiting. It is a world full of hope, where everything we need to do can be done and everything that matters is within human reach. It is a world where kindness, unselfishness, non-violence, and compassion achieve what self-interest and arrogance cannot. It is a world where any human can be happy in goodness and the fullness of giving." ❦ Eknath Easwara

September 24, 2011

Let the Ego Bleed and Open the Heart

"The  Buddhist definition of ego as 'holding on to ourselves' and controlling our experience helps us understand why it is so hard to let ourselves feel our emotions and let them be.  We usually try to keep them from flowing through us because they threaten the control we try to maintain.  Since ego by definition is the actvity of holding holding on, 'I' cannot let go, 'I' wants to ward off anything that threatens this hold.

What is possible, however, is to let the emotions wash through me,  and in so doing, wash the controlling part of me away with them.  If I can really open to the actual texture and quality of a feeling, instead of trying to control it or churn out story lines from it, 'I'—the activity of trying to hold myself together—can dissolve into 'it'—the larger feeling and process itself.

If I fully become my sadness, it may intensify for a while, and I may feel the full painfulness of it.  Yet really letting myself the pain and letting myself dissolve into it wakes me up to the feeling of being alive.  Emotions, we could say, are the blood shed by the ego—they start to flow whenever we are touched, whenever the shell around the heart is punctured.  Trying to control them is trying to keep the shell from cracking. Letting the ego bleed, on the other hand, opens the heart."

John Welwood
from "Befriending Emotion" in
Awakening the Heart: East/West Approaches to Psychotheraphy and the the Healing Relationship
For more in-depth dharma articles and instruction, visit:  METTA REFUGE

No comments:

Post a Comment