How does one become free of a craving, relinquish it? Since cravings and emotions are a product of our ego-mind, how it reacts to our life experiences, that requires freeing oneself from the control of our ego-mind. As the Buddha said at another point, to be free of the conceit, “I am,” is the ultimate freedom. (See my post, “The Four Noble Truths.”)
As I relate in my post, “The Fourfold Path to Freedom,” central to this process of freeing oneself is surrendering one’s ego-mind to one’s true Buddha nature, turning one’s will and life over to the care of one’s true Buddha nature. The ego-mind cannot be transformed; it’s a matter of disassociating from it.
The books I’ve written, as well as my posts, are mostly about how to practically implement this process of freeing oneself and connecting instead with our true Buddha self. My morning mantras/affirmations are part of that process.
For example, I say in my morning mantras that I embrace and am one with my true Buddha self and so return home to my heart, my unborn Buddha mind, turn my will and my life over it its care, and thus see myself and the world around me through the eyes of my true Buddha self.
But what does that mean practically, how do you see things through the eyes of your true Buddha self? It means that I observe everything through my unwounded heart, full of joy and positive energy. (I think of the photos of me as a smiling toddler, who is the avatar of my true Buddha self. See my post, “Getting to Know Your True Buddha Self.”) It means that I observe through the neutrality of my senses, the equanimity of my Third Eye, free of worries and concerns, full of faith.
Ah, but how do you enable, empower, yourself to do that? That is the central question of much Buddhist teaching. It is the essence of being free of the control of your ego-mind.
I have discovered two answers to this question. The first is related in my post, “Seeing Things through the Eyes of My True Buddha Self.” This relates an easy to implement practice that works especially well when observing people. Basically, smiling and saying “hello” to everyone in your mind, observing them with compassion, and seeing them as they were as a smiling toddler. But it is by its nature of the moment, it is transitory.
The way to see all of life through the eyes of your true Buddha self is to practice the Heart’s Embrace (see my post, “The Heart’s Embrace”). When you open your heart, connecting with your true Buddha self, and embrace all aspects of your being and experience … past, present, and future … then nothing offends, all internal and external struggles cease, you know you have everything you need inside yourself to be at peace and happy and will allow nothing to disturb your peace and happiness. And so free of mental obstructions, you experience all things directly, with dispassion, with equanimity, free of the intervention of your ego-mind, knowing that things are the way they are because it’s just the way it is, all is ok, and so your mind rests undisturbed. And when the mind rests undisturbed, nothing offends, and when no thing can give offense, all obstructions cease to be, and so true faith pervades your mind.
My mantra continues … and when my ego-mind asserts itself, I say, no, and return to my heart. That is, as soon as I am aware of feeling any worry or concern, any lack of faith, that is a red flag that tells me that my ego-mind is asserting itself, because fear and lack of faith are a product of the ego-mind. It is that straight forward. Nothing positive flows from the ego-mind. We have been brainwashed to feeling that our ego protects us, but it is not so. It weakens us and causes us suffering.
As always, I must state clearly that this does not mean that we are not aware of the situations we are in; it means that we have no fear and do not act out of fear. We have strength and courage and make sound judgments based on equanimity and non-attachment, knowing that if what we try to achieve happens, that’s great, and if it doesn’t, that’s ok too, in the sense that we will be safe regardless because we have returned home and will always return home to our unborn Buddha mind.
To be in such a mental state, to see things through the eyes of your true Buddha self, is indeed the ultimate freedom. I am certainly not there 24/7, but I am there much of the time.