The second is the ego-mind itself. Until you turn your will and your life over to the care of your true Buddha nature, your ego-mind will generally control your reactions to most experiences, even as you are walking the path. Thus while you will have extended periods of calm and clarity resulting from your practice, you still will frequently experience the samsara of fear and craving.
When you have turned your will and your life over to the care of your true Buddha nature, as I have, you will for the most part not react with emotion or judgmentally to things. You will be at peace, not agitated. But your ego-mind will still assert itself, mainly regarding “minor” things that you don’t notice, for example your overall ambience. And those minor things are enough to put you in a blah space rather than a joyful one.
And so, every morning when I meditate, I go to my heart, release all desires, release all attachments, and embrace all aspects of my being and experience. Then throughout the day, I try to be in touch with the positive energy in my heart and let that energy flow outward, and to experience things directly through my senses.
But each day, without fail, I become distracted at some point by the events of the day and so I am not present; at that point my ego-mind senses an opportunity to assert itself and control me. Until such moment when I am aware of what is happening and I redirect myself to my heart by chanting or conjuring up my smiling toddler.
To an observer or a novice, the reaction on reading this may be, “Why bother?” Let me tell you why. Before I walked the path, I was beset by endless suffering, not just a case of the blahs. I no longer suffer; nothing I experience agitates me or disturbs me. I have released all desires and attachments. So while I am not totally free of the grip of my ego-mind, relatively speaking my life today is a walk in the park.
Yes, it requires constant work and discipline. But the reward is a state of almost consistent peace and frequent experiences of joy and happiness, both from offering others joy and just experiencing what the present moment offers. I’ll take it.