Yes, I know what you’re going to say, I believe I can be at peace and happy regardless what life throws my way. But since I have a choice I would naturally choose a nourishing environment, filled with beauty and nature, rather than an antagonistic one. I am not a saint. As the ancient Chinese poem, "Affirming Faith in Mind," says, "The Great Way is not difficult for those who do not pick and choose." So unfortunately, even though we both are committed walkers of the spiritual path, emotions have come into play.
I had been feeling that this task was a momentous one because of its potential impact on both of us in many ways. When I mentioned this to my partner, he questioned my categorization, but I didn't budge.
It was only when meditating the next morning that I saw that my labeling this process as momentous was not recognition of a fact, but the work of my ego-mind. How blind of me. It is inconsistent with my faith that I will be ok regardless what life throws my way because I have returned home to my true Buddha nature, because I know I have everything I need inside myself to be at peace and happy. And it is inconsistent with my awareness of the impermanence of all things, which makes the label “momentous” ridiculous.
The power and sneakiness of the ego-mind never ceases to surprise me, even at this stage of my spiritual path. And because I was under the ego-mind’s control in this way, I ended up saying several things which upset my partner greatly and which I greatly regret.
Yesterday, in the struggle between heart and mind, light and darkness, the ego-mind won. Despite the fact that with regard to most experiences my heart prevails, I see things directly with dispassion, nothing agitates me, and I am at peace, in this area my buttons were still being pushed.
And so, with renewed awareness of the power of my ego-mind (why do I need a reminder?), my intent is to focus on my faith that I will be ok regardless what happens, that I have everything I need inside myself to be at peace and happy. And let go my ego-mind’s fear and anxieties, doubts and confusions. Just becoming aware during my meditation of what was going on has resulted in letting go and being at peace. I will sit with this ongoing struggle and see if I have better success in freeing myself from my ego-mind in the future.
One note: I have written in the past that when one says “Not me!” regarding the five skandhas, this does not work globally. (See my post, “Not Me! Peeling Off the Layers of Our Ego-Mind.”) Every time one realizes a particular feeling or perception that causes suffering, one needs to address that specific skandha and say, “Not me!”
The Buddha said that to free oneself from the conceit, “I am,” is the greatest happiness of all. For only then is one truly free of suffering and can exercise true free will.