This is in essence the same as the teaching I’ve presented, based on Pima Chodron’s, of having compassion for your thoughts and feelings, acknowledging them, but saying firmly that they represent the past and that you aren’t going there anymore; you are seeking guidance now instead from your true Buddha nature. But I found the imagery of the dance to be a powerful one.
And since it is a dance which leaves one exhausted and weak, it reminded me of the St. Vitus Dance, which was a phenomenon in the Middle Ages where hundreds or thousands of people would gather and dance wildly and uncontrollably for hours and days until they collapsed, and at times died on the spot. Beyond being physically and mentally exhausting, the dance that we engage in with our ego is a dance that kills our spirit by pulling us ever farther away from our true Buddha nature, which represents a threat, the only threat, to its supremacy. Ultimately, it is only our faith in the teachings of the Buddha and in our own true Buddha nature that provides us with a path to freedom from our ego-mind.
And so I have added to my friend’s thought and refer to the call of our ego-thinking-mind as an invitation to the Dance of Death. If we want to experience peace and happiness. if we want to lead a spiritually-grounded life, if we want to follow the Noble Eightfold Path, we must be aware when our ego-mind arises, have compassion for it for we know where it is coming from, it is a captive of our past, but we must respectfully decline its invitation to take its hand and engage in its deadly dance.