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 Transformative Power Of Acceptance

    Experience The Power Of Acceptance. This website contains about 500,000 words. You could read every single word and it wouldn't make any real difference to you. You might become better informed, but t…

    Read More

  2. Inversion - The Power Of Opposite Thinking

    How To Avoid The Unwanted Outcome. The power of opposite thinking, also known as inversion, lies in its ability to stimulate creativity, enhance problem-solving, and provide a fresh perspective on cha…

    Read More

  3. Are You Aligned With Reality? Or Do You See What You Believe?

    We tend to see that which aligns with what we believe, and to act upon that rather than acting on reality. Being aligned with reality starts with a clear and accurate understanding of the world. It me…

    Read More

  4. The Law Of Response and Outcome

    A New Approach To A New Life At time of writing we are entering a new year which is traditionally a time of making resolutions to change our behaviour and improve the quality of our lives. And yet pow…

    Read More

  5. Clear Thinking - Turning Ordinary Moments Into Extraordinary Results

    There are two ways to handle the world - try to predict, or try to prepare. "Clear Thinking" by Shane Parrish, published in Oct 2023, is a laudable testament to the art of cogent thinking, and will be…

    Read More

  6. Self Dialogue - Working With Your Many Selves

    Self Dialogue Is About Working With ALL Levels Of Your Mind. The key to effective self dialogue is to have tools, techniques and resources that work with all levels of your mind. This simple self-faci…

    Read More

  7. The Balanced Brain - The Ultimate Route To Personal Transformation

    How To Experience The Benefits Of A Balanced Brain. Underpinning all of the belief systems and practices that offer routes to personal change, transformation and spiritual growth is the balanced brain…

    Read More

  8. How To Make Better Decisions - By Avoiding The Narrative Trap

    To Understand The Truth We Have To See The Whole Picture. One of the best ways to make better decisions is to have a deeper understanding of the many things that might stop that happening. To understa…

    Read More

  9. The Greatest Love - The Most Important Relationship You Will Ever Have

    Yet Most Will Never Know It Everyone of us has a place, in our hearts there's a space, that is home to the greatest love of all. This love transcends everything we think we know about the world of for…

    Read More

  10. Everything Is Connected And Why You Don't Feel It

    ...And Why It Matters As human beings we are skating on very thin ice with our sense of self and certainty about "how things are" and what we like to think of as reality:

    - What if everything we think…

    Read More

  11. Who Is In Charge Of Your Brain?

    How Not To Be Stupid. Who is in charge of your brain? This is not a silly questions. It matters because the outcomes that you experience in your life are determined by how you respond to the events th…

    Read More

  12. How To Be A Winner On A Very Large Scale

    The Incredible Benefits Of Selective Attention. This is not a typical article about how to be a winner. We are not going to talk about goal setting, the importance of habits, the power of focus and al…

    Read More

  13. The Metagame Approach To Life

    How To Achieve Your Biggest Objectives. The metagame approach to life is all about winning and achieving your biggest objectives by: - Understanding the bigger picture
    - Being better by doing things d…

    Read More

  14. Shantideva - The Way Of The Bodhisattva

    Walking The Path Of Compassion. Shantideva the 8th century Indian Buddhist sage is famous for his treatise "The Way of the Bodhisattva" delivered as an extended teaching to the monks of Nalanda monast…

    Read More

  15. Reframing History - Deconstruction And Discussion Not Destruction

    History is always about context, not imposing our own moral values on the past. For those of us fortunate enough to live within western democracies, we are living in an age where a vociferous and into…

    Read More

  16. 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

  17. How Things Really Are - The Inbuilt Design Flaws

    Chaos, Disorder And Decay Is The Natural Order Of Things. Nobody has the perfect life. We all struggle and strive to attain health, wealth and personal happiness. Yet these three big areas: our health…

    Read More

  18. Intuition Or Anxiety - Are There Angels Or Devils Crawling 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? Several months ago I was having a drink…

    Read More

  19. What Is Truth - How To Tell A Partial Truth From The Whole Truth?

    How the truth and nothing but the truth is often not the whole truth. My great aunty Flo broke her arm and died. It is true that she broke her arm in 1923. It is also true that she died in 1949. But t…

    Read More

  20. Duality And Life Beyond Your Thinking Mind

    Duality and life beyond your thinking mind focuses on the limitations of time, foreground and background, duality and "stuckness". The first aspect of duality and life beyond your thinking mind focuse…

    Read More

  21. The Conscious Mind Is Limited - Be Aware And Be Prepared

    Being aware is the first stage of being prepared. The conscious mind is limited in so many ways. There are some who would argue that there is no such thing as conscious thought and that it is represen…

    Read More

  22. Your Inner Map Of Reality - Here's Why You Think The Way You Do

    The big picture of how your inner map of reality creates your feelings, thoughts, and behaviours. Your inner map of reality is based on the filters of your own ethnic, national, social, family and rel…

    Read More

  23. The Failure Of Cancel Culture - Suppression Not Engagement

    Why we need to wear our beliefs lightly and develop negative capability. Throughout history people have campaigned to fight beliefs, ideologies, and injustices that they perceived to be oppressive, di…

    Read More

  24. 4 Big Reasons Why We Get Stuck In Our Attempts At Personal Change

    Most People Spend Their Entire Life Imprisoned Within The Confines Of Their Own Thoughts. This first of the 4 big reasons why we get stuck is, in my view, the most important. The "self-help industry…

    Read More

  25. How Do I Change And Why Is It So Hard?

    We Would Rather Die Than Change, And We Usually Do In my experience, the vast majority of people who say they want to change don’t change. Most people reading this won’t change because they don’t real…

    Read More

  26. The Illusion Of A Separate Self - Windows 11 With Self Awareness!

    Beyond the content of your mind you are so much more than you think you are. When we talk of "myself" this is the conventional way of referring to our self image which is in fact the ego's constructio…

    Read More

  27. Finite And Infinite Games - Dazed, Confused & Ultimately Transcendent

    This is not an instruction manual, it is a wake up call! Over this past week I have read Professor James Carse's highly regarded "Finite And Infinite Games - A Vision Of Life As Play And Possibility"

    Read More

  28. The Gap And The Gain - How Your Brain Sabotages Your Happiness

    How Your Lizard Brain Sabotages Your Happiness We are hardwired to measure our progress in any and all areas of life where we have goals and aspirations. We can't not do it. But what we measure and ho…

    Read More

  29. How To Wake Up - 4 Simple Practices To Help You Wake Up Now

    So What Exactly Does It Mean to Wake Up - What Is "Enlightenment"? There is nothing magical, mystical or mysterious about waking up we’re actually having glimpses of enlightenment all the time. Enligh…

    Read More

  30. Situational Communication - Different Strokes For Different Folks

    Situational communication is about taking account of 3 often ignored factors about the other person. You are a situational communicator when you recognise that effective communication is not an event…

    Read More



Get new posts by email:









Zen-Tools.Net





Support This Site