Dying To Self & Dropping The Ego

Everything Does Not Revolve Around Me

Achieving balance between the inner world of consciousness and the day to day requirements of the outer world of duality.


Dying To Self & Dropping The Ego. Picture of a face with a layers of a mask peeling away.

Dying To Self & Dropping The Ego - What Does It Mean and Why Would You Do It?

It does not mean sitting in a cave on a mountain in Tibet chanting Om.

Nor does it necessarily mean having some form of amazing esoteric or transcendent experience.

The two phrases dying to self & dropping the ego are Christian and Buddhist  expressions of the same fundamental truth - the need to correct the inbuilt, hardwired tendency to assume that everything revolves around "me".

This is all about achieving a balance between the harmony and peace of the inner world of consciousness and awareness with the requirements of surviving and functioning effectively in the outer world of duality.

This balance occurs when we draw daily guidance and inspiration from our inner world and execute and implement with our thinking minds.



    Dying to self & dropping the ego is all about:

    [1] Understanding the functions of your mind and your selves and developing a good working relationship with them.

    [2] Understanding where, and why, it all goes horribly wrong because of:

    • Your ego's desire to be in control,
    • Your ego usurping the role of your higher self,
    • Your ego disconnecting you from your true source of power.


    Here is a simple model: Living with your thoughts









Dying To Self - How To Do It?


Internal conflict. Picture of distorted faces.

Lonerwolf


Dying to self and dropping the ego occurs quite naturally when you quieten your mind and shift your focus away from yourself.

One of the best ways to do this is with mindfulness practice, the practice of gratitude or indeed any meditation practice that allows for space between the stream of thoughts and for consciousness to arise.

It is a practice and it grows with focused attention and repetition.



    Dying to self and dropping the ego is not a one-time experience but a frequent activity that should be undertaken at least daily and often many times throughout the day.




Dying to self can also occur in response to a direct request (or prayer) to your higher consciousness/higher self for help.

Putting someone else first and acting in a selfless way is another practical way of practicing it.

Quite often you just need to get out of your own way, stop trying to figure out the "how?", understand that seeing is not always believing and let the energy flow, in other words:



    Water your garden by not standing on the hose!









So Is The Ego All Bad?

Absolutely not. The ego is your operating system we can liken it to your own personal "Windows 10"!

Your ego is essential and does a wonderful job of running things for you and marshalling your mental and emotional resources to work for you.

But your inner "Windows 10" has one big fatal flaw, it creates and sustains the delusion that it is who you really are - and in so doing it cuts you off from your relationship with the energy of life.







The Ego Is Sneaky

Your ego is clever and it is sneaky because it will always be looking for ways to assert itself in all sorts of subtle and not so obvious ways.

Stuck in seeking syndrome

For example, over many years I have attended a large number of different spiritual groups and heard people (often experienced practitioners who really should know better) saying things like: "One day, in 10,000 lifetimes I look forward to being enlightened."

Of in another context: "One day, when I get to heaven, I look forward to being more like Jesus."

This is a clever deception by the ego because being stuck in seeking is the single biggest stumbling block to present moment awareness. There is nothing of truth that we can find anywhere but NOW right here in this present moment.








The Ego Paradox

To drop the ego effectively you have to have an ego to drop!

The more healthy and strongly developed your ego is the more effectively you will be able to drop it.

This might sound strange, but there is something that I have observed many times over the years within Buddhist groups and also in Christian groups and it is particularly prevalent amongst young adults.

The "Wounded Seeker Syndrome"

It is what I call the "wounded seeker syndrome". This often happens because spiritual groups [of various beliefs] are usually welcoming and inclusive and therefore provide a safe haven for people who for a variety of reasons have not learned to be able to cope with life and have sought refuge in these circles.

"Nothing wrong with that" I hear you say, and to a point you are right, but the problem arises over time - usually several years - as these people develop a sense of self/an ego that becomes heavily identified in a role within the confines of the group to which they are affiliated.

Unless wise and skillful leadership works with these people and guides them to the help they need they never move and do not grow, and without a developed ego to drop they fall apart when they try .

Paradoxical as it may sound, until you have a strong and well developed ego, it is difficult and sometimes dangerous to try and drop your ego.

If you feel that this is where you are at right now, then I would strongly and lovingly recommend that you seek help and deal with your unresolved issues first.






But I am wary of dying to self & dropping the ego...

I understand your concern and maybe I can paraphrase it this way:

" It's all very well talking about all this stuff about dropping the ego or dying to self but if I am ceding control, if I am not in control, who or what is?

I could just say, that you'll never know until you do it, but that probably won't help you.

This can only be experienced, and what you will be experiencing is framed differently according to the spiritual expression within which you are practicing.

Within the Buddhist tradition what you will experience is described as  "emptiness", consciousness that is beyond form and substance, the energy from which all things arise and into which they decay and recede.

I also want to offer a different perspective that draws from the deep well of Christian experience of The Energy Of Life that expresses this experience as relationship.




    Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.

    Gospel of Luke 17.33









Dying To Self & Dropping The Ego - A Personal Experience


Nikki Sapp


It was early one sunny summer morning, and I went out for a walk along the seafront. It was a beautiful day. An expensive looking yacht was moored in the bay. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and the tide was in and as calm as a millpond, unlike my head which was in turmoil from questions I couldn’t answer.

Over and over I played and replayed the sequence of events that had led to this moment, the loss of all my money, the death of my business and the impending death of my reputation as I filed for bankruptcy.

Thoughts of despair, thoughts of failure, thoughts of shame at having failed my family…

I found quiet spot, on the cliff path adjacent to the seafront, I sat on a bench and focused on my breath and meditated. I focused on the sound of the sea lapping on the beach, the seagulls overhead… my mind stilled and I felt at peace.

After about 30 minutes I decided I ought to return to the house as my family would be waking up and wouldn’t know where I was. As I walked down the path back towards the seafront a most extraordinary thing happened: suddenly and without any prior warning of what was about to happen I felt that it was as though I had become two dimensional and was as thin as a sheet of paper and had taken on the shape of an open door frame… and then it happened…

I suddenly became aware of an enormous surge of energy flowing through this open two dimensional door frame shape, I could see it coming from way behind me flowing through me and surging off into the distance. It was like a river about four feet deep and six feet wide…and it poured through me…it swirled through me…and I heard a voice in my head saying:

“I am Life, The Energy of Life, and I flow through you; I always have and I always will…”

I came back to myself and the moment was over. The sense of that experience stayed with me, and remains with me to this day many years later. The veil was lifted and I had a glimpse of a far deeper reality than the world of my thoughts.

Did my life suddenly change? No. Things were still tough and remained so for a while longer. But my sense of the underlying reality that I had experienced changed my perception.

From that day onwards I dropped my heavy thinking and behaved far more intuitively. In a very profound way I understood what it means to go with the flow.








    If You Want To Be Given Everything, Give Everything Up.

    Tao Te Ching [22]










Next Article: The Confident Mind - 4 Keys To Peak Performance

Return from "Dying To Self" to: Walking The Talk

Or to: What Is Spirituality?

Contact me





English Chinese (Traditional) Russian French German Italian Spanish Vietnamese


LATEST ARTICLES

  1. The Art Of Persuasion Planning For Success - Here's How To Do It!

    To be successful in the art of persuasion you must ensure that certain things happen. To be successful in the art of persuasion you must establish a framework of what has to happen to get you to that…

    Read More

  2. The Art Of Persuasion Advanced Communication Skills - Gaining Buyin

    Create The Environment Where They Want To Buyin to Your Proposal In order to build the win-win you have to uncover what it is that the other person really wants or needs, and to do that you have to as…

    Read More

  3. The Art Of Persuasion The One Fundamental Principle - Create A Win-Win

    The art of persuasion is based on the simple idea that you get what you want by enabling the other party to get what they want. Being a nice friendly person with good inter-personal skills may be a go…

    Read More

  4. Communication Persuasion And Change - Key Skills To Survive & Succeed

    It's not the strongest that survive, nor the most intelligent, but those who are most responsive to change, the most persuasive, and the best communicators. We are living in an age of unprecedented ch…

    Read More

  5. The Eisenhower Box - What Is Important Is Seldom Urgent

    What Is Important Is Seldom Urgent And What Is Urgent Is Seldom Important. The Eisenhower Box is a time management and decision-making model devised by President Dwight Eisenhower to help him prioriti…

    Read More

  6. Zen Enlightenment [Satori] - The Stink Of Zen

    Lost In Our Delusions About Enlightenment. There is something in human nature - a desire to glamorise, sanctify, objectify and idolise – that elevates people who have offered deep insights to the huma…

    Read More

  7. 5 Zen Mindsets For Mastery - In Any Area Of Your Life

    The Wisdom Of A Person Who Masters In Any Art Is Reflected In Their Every Attitude. The state and quality of your mind has a very large bearing on the quality of your performance in any area of life t…

    Read More

  8. Dealing With The Toxicity Of Online Dating - 6 Key Tips From A Clinical Psychologist

    Toxicity Is The Price Tag Of Accessibility. In the early days of online dating, users were vetted and had to go through a registration process and agree to comply with a code of conduct designed to en…

    Read More

  9. Why Understanding Ergodicity Is Critical To Your Long Term Survival

    How Not To Be Fooled By Randomness. Ergodicity is an ugly word from the world of mathematics. It is an umbrella term for two sets of conditions of probability and outcome. These two conditions form th…

    Read More

  10. Dealing With Imposter Syndrome - Ego Is The Enemy

    How You Frame A Situation Has A Profound Impact On How You Respond To It Emotionally. Imposter syndrome is a psycho-emotional experience of a fear of being found out as incompetent despite ongoing evi…

    Read More

  11. The Challenges Of The Road Less Traveled

    Issues You'll Face When Playing The Long Game. The challenges of the road less traveled is loosely based around the phrase popularised by M.Scott Peck with his book "The Road Less Traveled". This arti…

    Read More

  12. How To Benefit From the Unseen Margins - 5 Key Tips For Success

    These Unseen Margins Can Have A Very Dramatic Impact On Your Life. To understand how to benefit from the unseen margins we need to start by understanding what they are and where we find them. In this…

    Read More

  13. The Art Of Thinking Clearly - How To Do More Than Just Survive And Reproduce

    3 Key Tips The art of thinking clearly starts with the sobering realisation that our brains are designed to achieve two things: Survival and Reproduction! 98% of our thinking is unconscious, automatic…

    Read More

  14. Algorithms to Live By - 5 Useful Rules Of Thumb

    5 Useful Heuristics From Algorithms To Live By The thesis of the book "Algorithms to Live By" is that algorithms developed for computers can be used by people in everyday life in a wide range of situa…

    Read More

  15. Finding Signal In The Noise - How To Avoid The Noise Bottleneck

    The Art Of Being Wise Is The Art Of Knowing What To Overlook. We are blessed and cursed to live in the digital age. We have access to more information than we can possibly handle yet we struggle to fi…

    Read More

  16. The Checklist Manifesto - Your Personal Safety Net

    A Checklist Is A Safety Net That Encourages Better Results And Prevents Avoidable Mistakes. The volume and complexity of what we know has exceeded our individual ability to deliver its benefits correc…

    Read More

  17. How Not To Be Stupid - 4 Key Tips

    How To Avoid The 7 Causes Of Everyday Stupidity. We are all capable of everyday stupidity as we undertake routine tasks in our business and working lives and also in our personal lives. This is not ab…

    Read More

  18. Beginners Mind And The Voice Of Experience

    Only The Experts Survived Evolution. "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few." These are the famous words of Shunryu Suzuki in "Zen Mind, Beginner's Min…

    Read More

  19. The Art Of Being Alone Is A Skill

    Let's Make Today A Good Day. You may not have chosen the condition of being alone, and it may have been imposed upon you by circumstances beyond your control, but your response to the situation is wit…

    Read More

  20. Intuition & Anxiety - Are There Angels Or Devils Calling Here?

    How To Tell The Difference Between Intuition and Anxiety. How do you know whether the voice of your intuition is real or just the product of your inner anxiety? We all struggle with these inner voices…

    Read More

  21. Like A Prayer - Life Is A Mystery

    It Isn't The Process Of Prayer That’s The Problem, It’s The Way It’s Framed. Regardless of what we feel about Madonna or her song the topic of prayer often arouses strong reactions. Usually, it is som…

    Read More

  22. Fear Of Missing Out - "I'll Have What She's Having!"

    We Follow The Herd - We Mimic Other People's Choices. Fear of missing out - or FOMO as it is popularly referred to - is the feeling that everyone else in your peer group is having much more fun than y…

    Read More

  23. Free - Self Improvement Resources

    Exercising Balance and Discernment. I have just updated these self improvement resources with a number of additional sources of material that are practical and can help you change your life. Check it…

    Read More

  24. Your Higher Self - Your Hardwired Portal To The Universe

    This Is The You That Is Beyond Your Thinking Mind. This is the big you, the transcendent you, the you that is often referred to as your higher consciousness or higher self. This is the you that acts a…

    Read More

  25. The Power Of Gratitude - It's Good For You!

    Gratitude And Attitude Are Not Challenges, They Are Choices. The power of gratitude quite simply is that it is good for you! Many of us were raised by parents who instilled in us the social niceties o…

    Read More

  26. Living With Your Thoughts - 4 Tools To Help You

    Develop A Good Working Relationship With Your Mind. The first step in living with your thoughts is to understand and develop a good working relationship with all areas of your mind. The key to develop…

    Read More

  27. You Are Not Your Thoughts - How To Escape This Ferris Wheel Of Suffering

    The 4 Stages To Dealing With Your Thoughts. You are not your thoughts, at least that's what your rational mind tells you most of the time, but that's definitely not how it feels at 3 am when you have…

    Read More

  28. Finish What You Start - Action Will Destroy Your Procrastination

    4 Key Tips To Help You Finish What You Start. So why do you fail to finish what you start? Or in my case, why do I fail to even get started? There is a wealth of information out there about how to avo…

    Read More

  29. Going The Extra Mile - The Power Of One More

    Life Is Non-Linear, Which Makes The Rewards Of Continued Effort Disproportionately Big. In the pursuit of a long term goal you have to go countless extra miles to set yourself up for a big success. Go…

    Read More

  30. Tao Te Ching - Connecting To Your True Source Of Power.

    How To Be Lived By The Tao. The Tao Te Ching is one of those books that many people read, few understand, and even fewer put into practice. The only way to know the Tao is to experience it, and it is…

    Read More



Get new posts by email:









Zen-Tools.Net





Support This Site