A large part of either watering or starving both our true Buddha nature and our ego is giving them, or not giving them, voice. When we give things voice … that is take something that is a thought and verbalize it … it strengthens it, whether it be a virtue or a craving. There is something about giving something voice that makes it more concrete, and in the case of cravings starts the vortex of obsession turning. Obsessive ranting or venting is for the ego like spinach for Popeye.
So. if what we want is peace and happiness, if we believe that our true self is harmony and love, and if we realize that the ego in all its various guises does nothing but bring us suffering, then we will want to do everything we can to starve our ego and water the seeds of our true self.
Thus each time you start to open up your mouth to vent about this or that, regardless of how self-righteous it makes you feel when you are angry, regardless how it feels like you are protecting yourself, standing up for yourself, you will know that in fact you are harming yourself, that you are falling into your ego-mind’s trap, pulling you away from your essence of peace, harmony, and love. And so you will stop and not vent, instead returning home to your unborn Buddha mind.
There is one emotion, however, that doesn’t tend to erupt with our voice. Fear, for some reason, doesn’t need to be given voice to become obsessive. It does very well on that score while just a thought in our ego-mind. Actually, that seems to be its best growing medium, not speech. The bogus nature of fear is actually exposed more readily when through voice it enters the realm of the real world. That’s probably why we instinctively rarely verbalize our fears.
But the same basic technique still applies. To starve the ego, you will stop your mind from fixating on fear before it gets pulled into the vortex.
Now this is much harder to do than stopping yourself from venting because it’s all still in the mind. You can’t hear yourself being fearful, so it’s harder to be aware. But without doubt you do feel fear building inside you. As soon as you become aware of what your mind is doing, you need to have the discipline and courage to stop and focus on your breathing to center yourself.
Then practice the antidote to fear by giving voice to your knowledge that fear is just a product of the mind and your faith that all will be well regardless what life throws at you because you will always go deep within yourself and return home to your unborn Buddha mind. That you will thus be at peace, present, aware of the emptiness of your feelings and perceptions, know that things are the way they are because it’s just the way it is, be grateful, compassionate, and find happiness in each moment. This is watering the good seeds of your true Buddha nature.