How To Handle The Ego In Others

ReactionAre you bothered by the ego in others?

The quickest way to dispel someone else’s ego is to let go of the ego in yourself. Meaning, that you detach yourself from the thoughts you are having about who they are, who you are, and how both of you should be.

Only egos recognize other egos, only spirit recognizes spirit.


“How To Cure An Addiction To Drama”

Does drama seem to follow you wherever you go?  Do you just want a moment of peace, but find that it is ever elusive?  In my own life I can see moments where unhappiness and drama reigned supreme, and while I genuinely wanted peace, the ego within me lived for and on those dramatic moments.

When situations seem out of control, and your reactions seem like the only appropriate responses to such craziness, take a step back and witness your sense of self becoming all wrapped up in those outer situations.  Feel the need to react, and watch the tirade of thoughts that follow. This creates a small space that is enough room for your true self that only wants peace to shine through and provide clarity and equanimity.

I’m so excited that OWN is re-broadcasting the webcast of Oprah and Eckhart Tolle’s chapter by chapter discussion of A New Earth.  One of the great gems of wisdom from these discussions is this clarifying piece on how to cure an addiction to drama.  If you witness yourself complaining, blaming, or discussing the shortcomings of others, (and really who doesn’t), this video is a breath of fresh air:



You Are Missing Something

Joey and Katie Lolla '12But it is not what you think it is!

On Friday and Saturday nights the world of social media blows up with pictures and comments about the fun parties, plans, and events that it seems everyone is taking part in.  But for every selfie taken at a club there is a person looking at it and feeling like they’re missing out.

The pictures do make those events look fun.  And I’m sure many of those weekend parties truly are a great time.  But you aren’t actually missing anything by not being there.  A picture on Facebook doesn’t come close to the complexity of the actual experience of an individual.  Even if you are at home alone, your experience is no less or more than anyone else’s.  If you were in that situation there is no telling what the actual experience would be in comparison to the vision you have of it in your mind.

Creating scenarios contrary to your current experience that you think would enrich your life or make you “more” than you are right now is a favorite activity of the ego.  It is just another way the ego can take control of your attention, and bring you out of alignment with the reality of the present moment.  You aren’t missing the party, you are missing the now.

Wishing you were there when you are here is creating suffering for yourself.  If those people in the pictures seem to be having a better time than you it is not because of the party, but rather your own thoughts are keeping you out of the space of infinite joy, possibility, and peace.

If your sense of self is wrapped up in the thoughts you have, and those thoughts are telling you that you cannot be at peace now, you are experiencing ego.  So if you see the good times being had by others and feel a twinge of discomfort and suddenly become ill at ease with your present situation, congratulations!  You have become aware of the ego directly.  That awareness is the beginning of the end of the ego, and the start of the experience of your true self, real joy, and lasting peace.


The Easiest Way To Get Rid Of The Ego

Mimi and KatieHow can you become aware of the ego in you?  The ego is the sense of self that is created when your identity becomes all wrapped up in form: thought forms, what you have/don’t have, the state of the body, situations.  And while an identity based on that which will inevitably change leads to suffering, the good news is that becoming aware of the ego is the easiest way to go beyond it and discover your true self.

Any moment when you watch your thoughts without judgment provides just such an opportunity.  But for me, the ego becomes extremely obvious when I am criticized.

As a child the slightest hint of disapproval from another would reduce me to tears.  By the time I was a teenager I was fed up with this reaction that I felt powerless to control.  The suffering created by the disapproval of others was so obviously disproportionate to the experiences themselves that the dysfunction was easily recognizable.  

What I didn’t understand at the time was that my identity was wrapped up in form, mainly in the thought forms, opinions, I perceived others held of me.  When this ego identity was diminished by criticism the ego promptly rebuilt itself through my identification with the reaction to this diminishment, negative emotions and unhappy thoughts about myself and my situation.  My ego also easily remained in place through identification with negative thoughts about the person who had first diminished it.

When someone criticizes or offends you, watch your mind. It will come up with thought after thought until you either find one to identify with, or until it quiets down from the lack of momentum created by your conscious presence.

One of Eckhart Tolle’s most helpful exercises is to occasionally allow the diminishment of your ego.  When someone criticizes you, don’t immediately retaliate or condemn the other person.  Allow the ego to die a little bit.  (Just be careful that the ego doesn’t sneak back in through identification with the mental position of the other person or a negative self-image.)  It feels uncomfortable at first, but gives way to a peace that makes that moment of tension seem wholly insignificant.


The Problem With Being Right

Dr. Wayne DyerHave you ever been in a situation where you were absolutely in the right, but were unable to convince someone else who had a differing viewpoint?  When you are right, and someone else is wrong, especially about basic facts (e.g. when water is frozen it becomes ice), it can be frustrating to say the least.

When I’m in the middle of an argument I can feel the infuriation rise the more I try to convince the other person of my side.  The other day when I was attempting to explain how to read a piece of sheet music to my friend, who disagreed with my interpretation, it became clear to me that the more I tried to convince him of my understanding, the more frustrated I became.  In the midst of the argument I asked myself, “why?”  When it isn’t a matter of life or death, is convincing another of your “rightness” really worth it?

The need to be right, even when you are, can erode relationships and prevent us from seeing each other as the complex, mysterious human beings we truly are.  The need to be right is also the perfect doorway for the ego to take over your life.  Identifying with a mental position and fighting for the life of that position is ego.

Next time an argument starts to go off the rails, take back control from the ego by letting go of the need to convince another person of your position.  But be careful that the ego doesn’t sneak back in through judgment of the other person based upon their thoughts.  When I let go of a mental position and feel satisfied because I am the “bigger person” I have let the ego take control in the most opportune moment for its demise.  On the other side of identification with thought is true communication, greater understanding, and better relationships.


Why News Commentary Is Made To Fail

AC360I rarely watch television news, but that wasn’t always the case.  For one year in college I was a news junkie.  Throughout that transformative, yet tumultuous, year in my life, I watched hours of news programming each day.

This was partly a form of comfort. While immersed in the news, the voice in my head was temporarily replaced by that of the news anchor.  Instead of learning about the nature of my mind, and the suffering created by thought, I was trading in an unsatisfactory identification with my life situation for a new identification with the stories on the news.

The energy of past pain, the pain body, that is strengthened and experienced anew by the energy of current suffering, was awake within me and relished this new identification with news stories.  After all, those stories carried the same low frequency energy of the past pain; they were its new lifeblood.

A few nights ago I felt compelled to watch Anderson Cooper 360.  After hearing several stories and endless commentary I realized why news commentary is often detrimental and unhelpful to the situations they discuss.

What do Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, and even local news have in common?  They all consist of people discussing the ins and outs of other people’s situations.  To the ego life is a mental screen of thought. Yet, real life is that which is felt, witnessed, and experienced by an individual.   The surest way to pass on those uniquely experienced and understood life lessons is to share from the depths of your own experience, or as a commentator to reflect on your shared human experience.

When we hear commentary trying to assess, label, and judge a situation we get further and further away from any real meaning. Commentators transform into voices identified with mental positions, and are no longer engaged in a discussion about a real human being’s unique life experience.  News commentary is the collective ego, strengthening the ego in all those they debase to a mere story.

What is really going on in any given situation can never be fully understood.  Without that felt realization, news commentary will continue to be void of conscious awareness, ignorant of the beings it has turned into objects, and continue to strengthen the collective human ego.

Full disclosure, I am writing a commentary on why the current state of commentary is unhelpful.  While I attempt to offer the best and most honest areas of my current understanding, I too know the excitement and strong appeal of purporting opinions on the lives and actions of others.  With that in mind, I acknowledge the state of the exchange of ideas that we are currently experiencing in this day and age, which I am not separate from, but wholeheartedly envision a world of communication with a remembrance of the unity and profundity of each human being.


How We Unconsciously Open The Door For The Ego

Divided Whether self-deprecating or self-inflating the mind loves to attach itself to thoughts of “who you are.”  Temporary satisfaction comes with any type of ego inflation, any instance of identification with thoughts about yourself.  The ego can manifest through identification with physical things, situations, and thought forms.

I first heard this explained by Eckhart Tolle and my own experience verifies it again and again.  Yesterday’s post was a great example of how my ego gained strength through identifying with the situation of not having internet access or TV.

Attaching your identity to a thought about yourself, whether it is good or bad, gives rise to the ego.  The good or bad thoughts are not the reality of your being, of your consciousness.

What happens when you compare yourself to another?  How does it feel?

By Peter Spero

By Peter Spero

My loving and talented older brother is a very disciplined and motivated jazz pianist.  I love him and I love his success, for any success is a victory for us all.  I myself have never had a clear path, the motivation to move in a specific direction, or the discipline that would allow me to do so.  All of these things are of course attainable but if I compare my journey to that of my brother’s, I will inevitably give rise to the ego.

All comparison is a doorway in which the ego will enter.  I could inflate my ego by creating an identity of being lost and without direction, or I could go the other way and inflate my ego by identifying with my association with, and the successes of, my brother.  It really doesn’t matter to the ego, which thoughts I choose to identify with, as long as I buy into the identification.

Is there a way out?  How do you disinvite the ego when it has already come in the front door and is seated firmly at the center of your attention?

The way out is to notice the thoughts, and recognize rising identification with thought.  Another brilliant lesson from Tolle is that the moment of seeing is the beginning of the end of the ego.  All that is required is your presence.

The moment you gaze upon an instance of identification with thought, you have stepped out of the ego and into your true self.  And from there you need not create new identification, because you are already in the midst of your greatest power, the present moment.  In the light of the present the highest potential of your being has space in which to arise, to guide your life, and to manifest unimaginable and beautiful dreams.  Instead of seeking to create yourself through identification, you can now sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.